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Databases

+ - Amazon Takes on Oracle and IBM With SimpleDB 1

Submitted by BoredStiff
BoredStiff (637972) writes "Amazon has just added an enterprise-class database called SimpleDB to it's cloud-based IT infrastructure suite, which also includes storage (S3) and computation (EC2). Today, Amazon announced it is taking limited sign-ups for the SimpleDB beta. As it points out on the new Simple DB page: Amazon SimpleDB is a web service for running queries on structured data in real time. Can companies can now go ahead and fire their expensive DBA's who keep the Oracle/IBM databases humming?"
Movies

+ - Obscene Losses

Submitted by BoredStiff
BoredStiff (637972) writes "The online magazine Portfolio.com has an article about the pornographic knockoff of YouTube called YouPorn, and how amateurs sites like it are taking over the porn industry and sending porn DVD sales into a free fall. What's happening to the adult-entertainment industry is exactly what's happening to its Hollywood counterpart — only worse. Just nine months after going live, in September 2006, YouPorn was on pace to log about 15 million unique visitors in May, and its audience was growing at a rate of 37.5 percent a month."
Robotics

+ - The Strangest Moving Things on Earth

Submitted by BoredStiff
BoredStiff (637972) writes "NPR ran a story about Theo Jansen who is a Dutch physicist turned sculptor, and he has spent much of his career fascinated with the role of evolution in natural life. Powered by the wind, his sculptures resemble massive dinosaur skeletons (he calls them "Sand Beasts") that seem to move autonomously. The former physicist refines each generation, tossing away ideas that didn't work and concentrating on those that do. There is also a video — you really need to see them to appreciate how amazing they are."
Education

+ - Bird's-Eye View May Include Magnetic Fields

Submitted by BoredStiff
BoredStiff (637972) writes "In a story heard on NPR and reported in ScienceDaily reports that a new study finds that migratory birds can "see" magnetic fields. The findings from a current study by a research group from Oldenburg, Germany strongly supports the hypothesis that migratory birds use their visual system to perceive the reference compass direction of the geomagnetic field and that migratory birds are thus likely to "see" the geomagnetic field."
Software

+ - Ajax standardization and the new SDK

Submitted by BoredStiff
BoredStiff (637972) writes "In Joel Spolsky latest column titled "Strategy Letter VI", Joel draws a parallel between the direction Lotus took 1-2-3 in the late 80's, and the direction Google is heading with Gmail, and how the forces that caused Lotus to lose control of the spreadsheet market will play out once again on the web. Joel suggests that these forces will be driven largely by a new SDK developed by some yet unknown startup, and precompiled javascript. This new SDK will ultimately compile down to native JavaScript, and will contain a huge library with all kinds of clever Ajax interoperability features that allow applications to "cut and paste, mash, sync and play drums nicely with one another", i.e. deliver a consistent user interface so that disparate web-based applications can work together. He goes on to suggest that Ajax apps written in this new SDK will eventually run in new versions of browsers that support cached, compiled JavaScript and how this new SDK will relegate Gmail to a legacy Ajax app."
Microsoft

+ - Ajax and the second coming of Microsoft Windows->

Submitted by BoredStiff
BoredStiff (637972) writes "In Joel Spolsky latest column titled "Strategy Letter VI", Joel draws a parallel between the direction Lotus took 1-2-3 in the late 80's, and the direction Google is heading with Gmail, and how the forces that caused Lotus to lose control of the spreadsheet market will play out once again on the web. He hints that these forces will be driven by Microsoft and their "second coming" desktop strategy. This strategy will be based on a new SDK that will compile down to native JavaScript, and will contain a huge library with all kinds of clever Ajax interoperability features. He goes on to suggest that Ajax apps written in this new SDK will eventually run in new versions of browsers that support cached, compiled JavaScript and how this new SDK will spell the beginning of the end of todays Ajax apps."
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Media

+ - NCAA says no to play-by-play blogging at events

Submitted by BoredStiff
BoredStiff (637972) writes "Last week a reporter for The-Courier-Journal in Louisville, was tossed from the press box at an NCAA College Regional baseball game for live blogging. The NCAA said the reporter was infringing upon broadcast rights by providing description of the action. The NCAA contends that "The limitation against play-by-play on the Internet is intended to support our media partners efforts to provide guaranteed, comprehensive coverage". Yesterday the NCAA backpedaled by releasing another statement that said: "live updates from its events are permitted as long as they are limited to scores and time remaining.""

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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