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NYPD Is Beta-Testing Google Glass 158

Presto Vivace writes "The New York City Police Department is trying to determine how useful Google Glass would be for law enforcement. From the article: 'The New York City Police Department's massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned. The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out. "We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes," a ranking New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat.'"

Ballmer To Retire 633

Today Microsoft announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will be retiring within the next 12 months. He said, "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. ... My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction." Ballmer, 57, has been Microsoft's CEO since taking over the role from Bill Gates in January, 2000. The company's board of directors has formed a committee to find a replacement for Ballmer, and he will continue his duties until a new CEO is found. Questions about Ballmer's fitness to remain CEO have been circulating for the past several years, particularly after the company struggled to get a foothold in the mobile market. It will be interesting to see how this affects Microsoft's stock price. Upon retirement, Ballmer will be able to cash out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Microsoft stock.

Comment Re:Windows 95! (OSR/2) (Score 1) 417

Wow, a custom compile for 95/NT? I wondered where you got it, then looked on your website.

I had been mostly using a version of Opera 10.6 (hex-edited to change references to some 98-specific APIs) that's pretty good at rendering, but its JavaScript renderer soaks up virtual memory like a sponge. SeaMonkey is better on Windows 95.

Comment Re:Change for the sake of change (Score 1) 375

Windows 95 OSR2 was far more stable than the initial release of Windows 98.

"Internet integration" was a sham, and it amazes me that people defend it. For the record, it was technologically possible to remove IE from Windows 95. Windows 98's "integration" ruined the modularity and usability of the system, and occurred for no reason other than to circumvent anti-trust stipulations and increase the penetration of Internet Explorer by any and all means necessary. We're still paying for that today.

Comment Re:Importance of Competitive Choices (Score 3, Insightful) 406

I remember Netscape 4. In fact, I was using it semi-regularly (albeit on my Windows 3.1 computer) as late as 2003.

Although it wasn't quite as lightweight as Netscape 3 (which was undoubtedly their high-water mark), it was generally stable and ran just fine on a 486.
It had none of the security issues that Internet Explorer 4 invited by going above and beyond the definition of what a web browser should do.
If it crashed, it seldom took the whole system down with it as IE would always do.
It didn't take the entire system hostage. It left the Windows shell well enough alone. It was uninstallable, like a normal application.
Its rendering capability was no worse than IE 4's. (If it seems worse now--and frankly, most people haven't used IE 4 in years so they don't really know--that's only because IE got ahead of it in rendering capability after Netscape had its air supply cut off and was in a mad scramble to do anything other than fade away without a trace.)

It was a more robust browser than IE 4 in practically every way. And if Netscape had been able to develop the software in a more natural manner (a la version 1-3) without a monopolist breathing fire at their heels with blatantly-illegal marketing practices, I'm sure it would have been better still.

(And before you claim that IE won the Macintosh market "fair and square," remember that Microsoft threatened to discontinue Office for the Mac if Apple didn't bundle IE as the default browser on its systems.)

Comment Re:Remove the Windows logo key from keyboard? (Score 1) 284

Assuming it matches the rest of the laptop, black permanent marker works in a pinch. It worked on the Dell that I've been trying (painfully) to convert to a workable Linux system.

In any case, "Windows" is a key that I've personally found to be as useful as "Sys Rq"...


One Year Later, "Dead" XP Still Going Strong 538

snydeq writes "Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP a year ago today, no longer selling new copies in most venues. Yet according to a report from InfoWorld, various downgrade paths to XP are keeping the operating system very much alive, particularly among businesses. In fact, despite Microsoft trumpeting Vista as the most successful version of Windows ever sold, more than half of business PCs have subsequently downgraded Vista-based machines to XP, according to data provided by community-based performance-monitoring network of PCs. Microsoft recently planned to further limit the ability to downgrade to XP now that Windows 7 is in the pipeline, but backlash against the licensing scheme prompted the company to change course, extending downgrade rights on new PCs from April 2010 to April 2011."

FDA Says Homeopathic Cure Can Cause Loss of Smell 452

Hugh Pickens writes "The FDA has advised consumers to stop using Matrixx Initiatives' Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel marketed over-the-counter as a cold remedy because it is associated with the loss of sense of smell (anosmia) that may be long-lasting or permanent. The FDA says about 130 consumers have reported a loss of smell after using the homeopathic cure containing zinc, an ingredient scientists say may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell and health officials say they have asked Matrixx executives to turn over more than 800 consumer complaints concerning lost smell that the company has on file. 'Loss of the sense of smell is potentially life-threatening and may be permanent,' said Dr. Charles Lee. 'People without the sense of smell may not be able to detect life-dangerous situations, such as gas leaks or something burning in the house.' The FDA said the remedy was never formally approved because it is part of a small group of remedies known as homeopathic products that are not required to undergo federal review before launching. The global market for homeopathic drugs is about $200 million per year, according to the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists. Matrixx has settled hundreds of lawsuits connected with Zicam in recent years, but says it 'will seek a meeting with the FDA to vigorously defend its scientific data, developed during more than 10 years of experience with the products, demonstrating their safety.'"
Internet Explorer

IE Losing 10% Market Share Every Two Years 345

mjasay writes "Mozilla's Asa Dotzler points to some interesting long-term trends in browser market share, noting that 'browser releases aren't having any major impact on the macro trends,' which suggests that a better IE will likely have little impact on its sliding market share. The most intriguing conclusion from the data, however, is that Firefox could surpass IE market share as early as January 2013 if Firefox continues to gain 5 percent every year, even as IE drops 5 percent each year. In the past, Microsoft might have fought back by tying IE to other products to block competition, but with the EU keeping a close antitrust eye on Microsoft and the US Obama administration keen to make an example of an antitrust bully, Microsoft may have few good options beyond good old fashioned competition, which doesn't seem to be working very well for the Redmond giant, as the market share data suggests. Microsoft's loss of IE market power, in turn, could have serious consequences for the company's efforts to compete with Google on the Web."

Comment Re:Are they breaking compatibility for its own sak (Score 1) 455

The difference, of course, is that recent Firefox releases are quite a bit better in terms of features, usability, rendering capabilities, and stability than Netscape Communicator 4.51 and the then-sub-prototypical Netscape 5/Mozilla Milestone 4 were ten years ago. I can think of no like advantage Windows Vista has over Windows 2000.

Comment Are they breaking compatibility for its own sake? (Score 4, Insightful) 455

Let's get this straight: "Raise the minimum requirements to require Windows XP Service Pack 3 or higher," with no benefit, and no rationale other than for breaking compatibility for its own sake? If that's the case, I venture to say that Mozilla has seriously lost its way.

So, Microsoft ditched support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP pre-SP2? So what; the APIs are just the same now as they always have been. If anything, Mozilla should focus more attention to catering to users of OS versions that Microsoft left behind, where they have less competition...and chances are, the users of Windows 2000 are still using the OS that they are because they're frustrated with Microsoft's "support" policies and the further regressions (performance and usability issues, product activation) posed by newer versions of its products.

I'm seriously still bitter about them breaking compatibility with Windows 95 and NT4 a few versions back: One consequence was that the current version of Firefox was no longer capable of running off a version of Windows not unremovably inundated with Internet Explorer and its ilk. Short of a miracle of penetration from the Linux camp, how are we going to wean people off of a steady consumption of upgraded Microsoft products when we get attitudes and potential decisions like this?


Google Losing Up To $1.65M a Day On YouTube 290

An anonymous reader writes "The average visitor to YouTube is costing Google between one and two dollars, according to new research that shows Google losing up to $1.65 million per day on the video site. More than two years after Google acquired YouTube, income from premium offers and other revenue generators don't offset YouTube's expenses of content acquisition, bandwidth, and storage. YouTube is expected to serve 75 billion video streams to 375 million unique visitors in 2009, costing Google up to $2,064,054 a day, or $753 million annualized. Revenue projections for YouTube fall between $90 million and $240 million." Maybe this is in part because, as Al writes, "Researchers from HP Palo Alto studied videos uploaded to YouTube and found that popularity has little to do with quality or persistence."

83% of Businesses Won't Bother With Windows 7 545

Olipro writes "Most enterprises stated they won't bother with Windows 7 for at least a year as they simply continue to distrust that compatibility issues won't occur with their mission-critical software ... The Million Dollar question will be whether the fact that XP upgrades to Windows 7 requires a clean install will prove to be Microsoft's undoing." I suspect that will change before they actually release the OS.

Clear Public Satellite Imagery Tantamount to Yelling Fire 230

TechDirt pointed out a recent bit of foolishness as a followup to California Assemblyman Joel Anderson's push to force Google and other online mapping/satellite companies to blur out schools, churches, and government buildings. When pushed, apparently his justification was that leaving these buildings un-obscured is the same as shouting fire. "News.com ran an interview with Anderson, where he attempts to defend his proposed legislation as a matter of public safety. He claims that there is no good reason why anyone would need to clearly see these buildings online, and that it can only be used for bad purposes. [...] Apparently, Anderson is the final determiner of what good people do and what bad people do with online maps."
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Says IE Faster Than Chrome and Firefox 532

An anonymous reader writes "According to its own speed tests, Microsoft's Internet Explorer loads most websites faster than both Chrome and Firefox when looking at the top 25 websites on the Internet. 'As you can see, IE8 outperforms Firefox 3.05 and Chrome 1.0 in loading 12 websites, Chrome 1.0 places second by loading nine sites first, and Firefox brings up the rear by loading four sites faster than the other two browsers. Also, in case you missed it, IE loads mozilla.com faster than Firefox, and Firefox loads microsoft.com faster than IE, just for kicks.'"

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.