Nerval's Lobster writes "Google has sent invitations for a June 6 event in which it will apparently unveil 'The Next Dimension of Google Maps.' Meanwhile, rumor suggests Apple is preparing its own mapping service for iOS devices. The escalating battle over maps demonstrates the importance of cloud apps to tech companies' larger strategies." I only wish my phone would hold by default the X-million data points that my outmoded (but cheap and functional) dedicated GPS device does, without quite so much cloud-centric bottlenecking, and leave all expensive data use for optional overlays and current conditions.
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aesoteric writes "Six weeks after Hollywood lost a landmark internet piracy case in Australia, it appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy. Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available. The results appear to support the studios' policy position that legislation is a preferable way of dealing with the issue." The industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea all over the world.
New submitter Liberum Vir writes "Many of the people that I talk with who use Solaris-like systems mention ZFS and DTrace as the reasons they simply cannot move to Linux. So, I set out to discover how to make these two technologies work on the latest LTS release of Ubuntu. It turned out to be much easier than I expected. The ports of these technologies have come a long way. If you or someone you know is addicted to a Solaris-like system because of ZFS and DTrace, please, inquire within."
First time accepted submitter badmojo17 writes "After achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a public school math teacher, my wife has found the profession to be much more frustrating than she ever expected. She could deal with having a group of disrespectful criminals as students if she had competent administrators supporting her, but the sad truth is that her administration causes more problems on a daily basis than her students do. Our question is this: what other professions are open to a bright young woman with a bachelor's degree in math and a master's degree in education? Without further education, what types of positions or companies might be interested in her as an employee?"
closer2it writes "At this week's All Things D conference, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher invited Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel. He spoke about things like TV not dying, cord-cutting being some kind of myth, and that googlers are smart guys and they should do something about the stealing of content. Josh Topolsky, from The Verge, apparently challenged him (video) on this point, asking: 'Aren't you saying that the road is responsible for the fact that someone drove on it before they robbed my house?' Emanuel didn't like this analogy, and even ended the reply asking Topolsky where he works. Mike Masnick also wrote a piece about the interview. I guess that if the Internet has enemies, I'd say Emanuel gives them a face."
An anonymous reader writes "AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said today that he expects wireless carriers to start offering data-only cellphone plans within the next 24 months. 'Analysts see such plans as a logical extension of trends in wireless technology. Smartphones with data service can already use it for Internet phone calls and texting through services such as Skype. Phone calls are also taking a back seat to other things people do with their smartphones. AT&T has been recording a decline in the average number of minutes used per month.' He says there isn't a specific plan in the works — he just think it's inevitable."
eldavojohn writes "The title of this hard-hitting piece of journalism reads 'Powerful 'Flame' cyberweapon tied to popular Angry Birds game,' and opens with, 'The most sophisticated and powerful cyberweapon uncovered to date was written in the LUA computer language, cyber security experts tell Fox News — the same one used to make the incredibly popular Angry Birds game.' The rest of the details that are actually pertinent to the story follow that important message. The graphic for this story? Perhaps a map of Iran, or the LUA logo, or maybe the stereotyped evil hacker in a ski mask? Nope, all Angry Birds. Describing LUA as 'Gamer Code,' Fox for some reason (popularity?) selects Angry Birds from an insanely long list in their article implying guilt-by-shared-development-language. I'm not sure if explaining machine language to them would alleviate the perceived problem or cause them to burn their desktops in the streets and launch a new crusade to protect the children."
Larry Sanger writes "In 2011, the Wikimedia Board committed to installing a 'controversial content' filter even weaker than Google's SafeSearch, as proposed by the '2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content.' Since then, after growing opposition by some Wikipedians, some board members have made it clear that they do not expect this filter to be finished and installed. Nevertheless, Wikipedia continues to host an enormous amount of extremely gross porn and other material most parents don't want their kids stumbling across. And this content is some of the website's most-accessed. Nevertheless, children remain some of Wikipedia's heaviest users. Jimmy Wales has recently reiterated his support for such a filter, but no work is being done on it, and the Foundation has not yet issued any statement about whether they intend to continue work on it." (In case it isn't obvious from the headline and summary, these articles discuss subject matter that may not be appropriate for workplace reading.)
gambit3 writes "In a move to squeeze more cash out of its lucrative Web-search engine, Google is converting its free product-search service into a paid one. Online retailers will now have to bid to display their products on Google's Shopping site. Currently, retailers include their products for free by providing Google with certain data about the products. Google then ranks those products, such as cameras, by popularity and price. 'We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality data—whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability—should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.'"
Bob the Super Hamste writes "The BBC is reporting on a new law in Venezuela that effectively bans the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition to private citizens. Previously anyone with a permit could purchase a firearm from any commercial vendor but now only the police, military, and security firms will be able to purchase firearms or ammunition from only state-owned manufactures or importers. Hugo Chavez's government states that the goal is to eventually disarm the citizenry. The law, which went into effect today, was passed on February 29th, and up to this point the government has been running an amnesty program allowing citizens to turn in their illegal firearms. Since the law was first passed, 805,000 rounds of ammunition have been recovered from gun dealers. The measure is intended to curb violent crime in Venezuela, where 78% of homicides are linked to firearms."
blackbearnh writes "Everyone these days knows that you have to double- and triple-check your code for security vulnerabilities, and make sure your servers are locked down as tight as you can. But why? Because our underlying operating systems, languages, and platforms do such a crappy job of protecting us from ourselves. The inevitable result of clamoring for new features, rather than demanding rock-solid infrastructure, is that the developer community wastes huge amounts of time protecting their applications from exploits that should never be possible in the first place. The next time you hear about a site that gets pwned by a buffer overrun exploit, don't think 'stupid developers!', think 'stupid industry!'"
New submitter mk1004 writes "ETSI members have approved a new, smaller SIM format. 'The fourth form factor (4FF) card will be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, at 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and 0.67mm thick. It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs. The new design will offer the same functionality as all current SIM cards.' Nokia is not happy about the decision, as they believe their version was superior, but they say they're prepared to license the patents essential to the standard."
An anonymous reader writes "The latest Gallup poll is out, and it finds that 46% of Americans hold the view that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. According to Gallup, the percentage who hold this view has remained unchanged since 1982, when they first started asking the question. Roughly 33% of Americans believe in divinely guided evolution, and 15% believe that humans evolved without any supernatural help."
PerlJedi tips a story that highlights one of the downsides to ebooks. A blogger who recently read Tolstoy's War and Peace on his Nook stumbled upon some odd phases, such as: "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern..." After seeing the word 'Nookd' a few more times, he found a dead-tree version of the book and discovered that the word was supposed to be 'kindled.' Every instance of the word 'kindle' in the ebook had been replaced with 'Nook.' "The Superior Formatting Publishing version isn’t a Barnes and Noble book, so this isn’t the work of a rogue Nook marketer from B&N. Rather, it’s likely that Superior Formatting Publishing ported its Kindle version of War and Peace over to the Nook — doing a search and replace to make sure that any Kindle references they’d inserted, such as in the advertising at the end of the book about their fine Kindle products, were simply changed to Nook. The unwitting hilarity of a publisher doing a 'find and replace' and accidentally changing the text of a canonical work of Western thought is alarming. Many versions of e-books are from similar outfits, that distribute public domain works formatted for Kindle or Nook at the lowest possible prices. The great democratizing factor of the ebook formats – that anyone can easily distribute – can also mean that readers can never be quite sure that they are viewing the texts as the author intended."
Hugh Pickens writes "Rebecca Rosen writes that if you've recently opened up — or, more specifically, tried to open up — a CFL light bulb, you can sympathize with the question posted on Quora last year, 'What is the worst piece of design ever done?' The site's users have given resounding support to one answer: plastic clamshell packaging. 'Design should help solve problems' — clamshells are supposed to make it harder to steal small products and easier for employees to arrange on display — but this packaging, says Anita Schillhorn, makes new ones, such as time wasted, frustration, and the little nicks and scrapes people incur as they just try to get their damn lightbulb out. The problem is so pervasive there is even a Wikipedia page devoted to 'wrap rage,' 'the common name for heightened levels of anger and frustration resulting from the inability to open hard-to-remove packaging.' Amazon and Wal-Mart are prodding more manufacturers to change their packaging to cut waste. 'We've gotten e-mails from customers who've purchased scissors in a clamshell, which would require another pair of scissors to open the package,' says Nadia Shouraboura, Amazon's vice president of global fulfillment. Other worthy answers to the Quora question include the interfaces on most microwaves, TV remotes, New York City's parking signs, and pull-handles on push-only doors, but none gained even close to the level of popular repudiation that clamshells received."