With all the recent hacktivism in the news, Anonymous has decided to take on a new and powerful enemy: snow. On Sunday the group announced that it will "do everything in its power to shut snow down by attacking the Weather Channel and North Face websites, boycotting outerwear, and voting for the sun as Time’s 2010 Person Of The Year." I'm sure there are a lot of people in Minneapolis right now that would wish them luck.
Despite recent rumors that Facebook and FarmVille developer Zynga were gearing up for a legal battle, the two announced yesterday that they have signed a five-year agreement over how virtual currency will be used. Quoting: "The source of the conflict ... comes down to Facebook's decision to introduce Facebook Credits, an over-arching currency system to be used in all games on its platform. This allows users to purchase just one type of currency for use in Facebook games, rather than buying directly from individual developers — a lack of direct control over its monetization that became a major point of contention for Zynga. Also likely an issue is Facebook's decision to take 30 percent of revenues gathered from credits, with 70 percent allocated to the developers."
Trailrunner7 writes "Microsoft's announcement this week that it is preparing to end support for machines running Windows XP SP2 not only represents a challenge for the thousands of businesses still running SP2, but also is the end of an era for both Microsoft and its customers. It wasn't until 2004 that the final release of XP SP2 hit the streets, but when it did, it represented a huge step forward in security for Windows users. It wasn't necessarily the feature set that mattered as much as the fact that the protections were enabled by default and taken out of the users' hands."
Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"
An unnamed man flying from Nigeria to New York City found out he was added to a no-fly list somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean, when the plane stopped to refuel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Officials won't say what he did or why he was added to the list after he had already boarded a flight. He was not immediately charged with a crime and Customs and Border Protection will only say that he is a "potential person of interest." From the article: "The man, a citizen of Gambia, was not on the no-fly list when he boarded the aircraft in Dakar, Senegal, said a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly."
An anonymous reader tips a piece in Australian Geographic indicating that Pluto may be in for another demotion, as researchers work to define dwarf planets more exactly. "[Australian researchers] now argue that the radius which defines a dwarf planet should instead be from 200–300 km, depending on whether the object is made of ice or rock. They base their smaller radius on the limit at which objects naturally form a spherical rather than potato-like shape because of 'self-gravity.' Icy objects less than 200 km (or rocky objects less than 300 km) across are likely to be potato shapes, while objects larger than this are spherical. ... They call this limit the 'potato radius' ... [One researcher is quoted] 'I have no problem with there being hundreds of dwarf planets eventually.'"
eldavojohn writes "New observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal that our assumptions about the 'fog' of gamma rays in our universe are not entirely explained by black hole-powered jets emanating from active galaxies — as we previously hypothesized. For now, the researchers are representing the source of unaccounted gamma rays with a dragon (as in 'here be') symbol. A researcher explained that they are certain about this, given Fermi's observations: 'Active galaxies can explain less than 30 percent of the extragalactic gamma-ray background Fermi sees. That leaves a lot of room for scientific discovery as we puzzle out what else may be responsible.' And so we reopen the chapter on background gamma-rays in the science textbooks and hope this eventually sheds even more light on other mysteries of space — like star formation and dark matter."
I love NOLA as well. Had a client schedule a meeting for 10:30 tomorrow. Told him "I'm going to be drunk by then".
As a former worker bee for NorthropGrumman I can easily say that this project will be delivered many years late, way over budget, and not quite work right. I will give many people good jobs with benefits that last for years. You can be sure that it will be a cost plus contract (4 percent profit no matter what the cost). The shareholders will love it. The employees will love it. The suppliers will love it. Most of Grummans projects don't do much else.