writes: If you like online programming contests like IEEEXtreme and ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) you might find the Advent Programming Contest enjoyable. It goes at a slower pace, one problem a day until December 24.Link to Original Source
writes: Predicting the future when it comes to Apple (AAPL) has been fairly easy lately thanks to the company’s component suppliers in the Far East, which have been leaking like sieves for years. Even still, analysts love playing the guessing game when it comes to Apple’s product roadmap. Berenberg Capital Markets analyst Adnaan Ahmad recently offered his predictions for Apple’s coming year, and there are definitely a few reaches to say the least. His predictions? An entry-level iPhone, an Apple HDTV and... a MacBook Air running iOS...Link to Original Source
writes: There is a bug in the way that Twitter handles a feature that enables users to post messages via SMS and the researcher who discovered the bug says that it allows anyone who knows a user's mobile number to not only tweet from the user's account but also modify information in the user's profile.
The vulnerability is a reault of the way that the Twitter service handles incoming commands from users's mobile devices. Twitter users have the option of turning on an option that allows them to post messages, follow and unfollow users and take other actions simply by sending SMS commands from their mobile phones. In order to do this, a user must register his mobile number with Twitter in his profile, so the service knows what account the commands are associated with. The problem, however, is that anyone who knows a user's mobile number can post messages, change profile settings and take other actions on the user's behalf.Link to Original Source
writes: When was the last time you actually read and understood the EULA before installing a software? Never? You are not in a club of one. Unless you are a legal eagle, it would be almost impossible to fully understand what you are agreeing to.
Consider this: The Adobe Flash installer has a EULA that is 3500 words long. Adobe claims that the software is downloaded eight million times a day. If each person takes 10 minutes to read (and understand!) the entire text, they would consume over 1,522 years in just one day. If we put that into man-hours: an 8hr day, 240 working days in a year, that becomes 6944 years in a day. Turn that into a 50-year working life and that's 138 lifetimes a day!
This article at The Register deconstructs the text that we all blindly agree to by clicking the "I have read and understood the..." checkbox.Link to Original Source
writes: Via The Register
Apple is trying to patent wireless charging, claiming its magnetic resonance tech is new and that it can do it better than anyone else. This would be cool if its assertions were true.
Apple's application, numbered 20120303980, makes much of its ability to charge a device over the air at a distance of up to a metre, rather than requiring close proximity. The Alliance For Wireless Power, which also touts long-range juicing, will no doubt be comparing Apple's designs to its own blueprints.Link to Original Source
writes: The Austrian organization GIS is encashing the obligatory fee for using a TV set and receiving the national braodcast ORF in Austria. Data privacy activists have for long criticized the way how GIS is collecting and sloppily protecting data about private households.
The Anonymous net activists now hacked the GIS site and retrieved data sets from more than 214,000 customers. 96,000 of the data featured clients’ bank account information.
Anonymous did publish only a few addresses from people working in goverment but threatened to disclose the data unless GIS was forced to admit to what extend data was stolen. GIS promised to improve their handling of data.Link to Original Source
writes: Today Wal-Mart has added streaming video to their website. What better a time than now to compete with Netflix? Now that Netflix have raised their prices.
On Wal-Mart's website, the movies will be available the same day the DVDs go on sale in stores. Rental prices range from 99 cents to 599 cents. Digital purchases are priced from $4.99 to $24.99.
Walmart.com general manager Steve Nave said the retailer is following its customers as they increasingly embrace digital movie rentals and purchases.
"We know customers are starting to shift their behavior, in terms of how they consume their media," Nave said, adding, "As as customers make that change, we don't want to lose that customer as they shift to digital."
Wal-Mart, long the nation's leading seller of DVDs, signaled its intent to double down on digital movie distribution in February 2010, when it spent a reported $100 million to acquire Vudu, a Silicon Valley start-up that was gradually being added to home entertainment devices.Link to Original Source
writes: TheRawStory reports: "A journalism student at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who used the online alias "No" and "MMMM" faces 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if she is convicted of hacking charges related to the group "Anonymous."... the FBI arrested 20-year-old Mercedes Renee Haefer last week for allegedly participating in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against PayPal’s website." Anonymous responds through @AnonymousIRC: "[they] should know this will not make us stop. Quite the opposite. Expect a shitstorm in case of conviction."Link to Original Source
writes: IBM got its first patent 100 years ago in 1911 for a punch card tabulation machine — i.e an early computing machine. According to IBM the same basic ideas of figuring out how store stuff are relevant today 100 years later.
Link to Original Source
"The very first patent was the foundation of early automated computing, where the punch card tabulation system is the heart of efficient data processing," Meyerson said. "Although it doesn't seem like mind numbing technology today, the fact of the matter is this was a game changer a hundred years ago."
writes: Microsoft became a target of online ire over the weekend after the companies Twitter account posted an update inviting people to remember Winehouse by buying digital versions of her Back to Black album at social.zune.net.
MS has since apologised after being blasted for seeming to blatantly cash in on the death of Amy Winehouse.Link to Original Source
writes: Space News reports that NASA has given tentative approval for SpaceX to combine the two remaining flights designed to prove the Hawthorne, Calif., company can deliver cargo to the international space station, according to William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for space operations, although formal approval for the mission is still pending. If NASA does approve the plan, SpaceX's Dragon capsule would be the first civilian spacecraft actually to dock with the International Space Station. According to NASA spokesman Joshua Buck, the current plan calls for SpaceX to launch a Dragon capsule aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Nov. 30, which would then rendezvous and dock with the space station on Dec. 7 — a day that would live in spaceflight history.Link to Original Source