Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the headlines-that-sound-like-pornos dept.
wjousts writes "Well-known futurist Ray Kurzweil has made many predictions about the future in his books The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990), The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) and The Singularity is Near (2005), but how well have his predictions held up now that we live 'in the future'? IEEE Spectrum has a piece questioning the Kurzweil's (self proclaimed) accuracy. Quoting: 'Therein lie the frustrations of Kurzweil's brand of tech punditry. On close examination, his clearest and most successful predictions often lack originality or profundity. And most of his predictions come with so many loopholes that they border on the unfalsifiable. Yet he continues to be taken seriously enough as an oracle of technology to command very impressive speaker fees at pricey conferences, to author best-selling books, and to have cofounded Singularity University, where executives and others are paying quite handsomely to learn how to plan for the not-too-distant day when those disappearing computers will make humans both obsolete and immortal.'"
Facebook

Facebook Messaging Blocks Links 143

Posted by timothy
from the deep-packets dept.
jhigh writes "With the launch of the new Facebook messaging system designed to encourage account holders to utilize Facebook for all of their messaging needs, one would think that Facebook would recognize that it cannot continue to block content that it disagrees with. However, Wired reports that Facebook messaging, like the rest of the social networking application, continues to block links to torrents and other file sharing sites, even when users are sending messages via their facebook.com email address. Say what you want about the morality of using file sharing services to share copyrighted material, if Facebook wishes to become a player in the email market, they cannot block content."
Open Source

Desktop Linux Is Dead 1348

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-no-he-didn't dept.
digitaldc writes with this quote from PCWorld: "It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead. Despite phenomenal security and stability — and amazing strides in usability, performance, and compatibility — Linux simply isn't catching on with desktop users. And if there ever was a chance for desktop Linux to succeed, that ship has long since sunk. ... Ultimately, Linux is doomed on the desktop because of a critical lack of content. And that lack of content owes its existence to two key factors: the fragmentation of the Linux platform, and the fierce ideology of the open-source community at large."
Programming

Rails 3.0 Released 110

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the really-right-rails dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After two years of gestation, 4 betas, 2 release candidates and thousands of commits by 1600+ contributors, the result of the succesful merge of the Merb and Rails frameworks (and teams) is now out and ready to transport your web applications on all new shiny tracks."
Crime

Apple Exec Stashed $150,000 In Shoe Boxes 345

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-it'll-thaw-out dept.
angry tapir writes "US federal agents found more than US$150,000 in cash when they searched the house of Apple manager Paul Devine earlier this month, according to prosecutors. 'He had over $150,000 stored in shoe boxes,' Department of Justice Attorney Michelle Kane said. Devine was charged two weeks ago with taking kickbacks from Apple suppliers."
GUI

Jolicloud 1.0 Has an HTML5 UI 99

Posted by timothy
from the blink-tag-considered-harmful dept.
kai_hiwatari writes "Jolicloud 1.0, a Linux based OS for netbooks, was launched a few days back. In this new release, the developers have completely replaced the old interface based on Ubuntu Netbook Remix in favor of a new one based on HTML5. Jolicloud 1.0 also features a new syncing feature using which you can sync installed applications across all your systems running on Jolicloud. Other interesting features includes new app center, social stream, etc."
Education

Science Historian Deciphers Plato's Code 402

Posted by kdawson
from the rewriting-the-foundations-of-western-civ dept.
Reader eldavojohn tips the news of a researcher in the UK, Jay Kennedy, who has uncovered a hidden code in the writings of Plato. From the University of Manchester press release: "[Dr. Kennedy said] 'I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato. This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation.' ... The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea — the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. ... Plato did not design his secret patterns purely for pleasure — it was for his own safety. Plato's ideas were a dangerous threat to Greek religion. He said that mathematical laws and not the gods controlled the universe. Plato's own teacher [Socrates] had been executed for heresy. Secrecy was normal in ancient times, especially for esoteric and religious knowledge, but for Plato it was a matter of life and death." Here is the paper (PDF), which was published in the journal Apeiron: A Journal of Ancient Philosophy and Science.
Earth

Louisiana Federal Judge Blocks Drilling Moratorium 691

Posted by kdawson
from the spill-baby-spill dept.
eldavojohn writes "In the ongoing BP debacle, the Obama administration imposed a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling and a halt to 33 exploratory wells going into the Gulf of Mexico. Now a federal judge (in New Orleans, no less) is unsatisfied with the reasons for this and stated, 'An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country.' The state's governor agrees on the grounds that blocking drilling will cost the state thousands of lucrative jobs." The government quickly vowed to appeal, pointing out that a moratorium on 33 wells is unlikely to have a devastating impact in a region hosting 3,600 active wells. And reader thomst adds this insight on the judge involved in the case: "Yahoo's Newsroom is reporting that the judge who overturned the drilling moratorium holds stock in drilling companies. You can view his financial disclosure forms listing his stock holdings online at Judicial Watch (PDF)."
Education

Why Are Indian Kids So Good At Spelling? 534

Posted by StoneLion
from the i-n-t-e-l-l-i-g-e-n-t dept.
theodp writes "Slate's Ben Paynter looks into why Indian kids dominate the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and concludes it's because they have their own minor-league spelling bee circuit (having the discipline to spell 7,000 to 8,000 words a day probably helps too!). Indian-Americans make up about 1% of the US population, notes Paynter, but this year an estimated 11% of the competitors at Scripps will hail from regional contests run by the North South Foundation. The NSF competitions function as a kind of nerd Olympiad for Indian-Americans — there are separate divisions for math, science, vocabulary, geography, essay writing, and even public speaking — and a way to raise money for college scholarships for underprivileged students in India. BTW, Strollerderby has the scoop on Whatever Happened to the Spellbound Kids? (RIP, Ted Brigham)."
Privacy

ImageLogr Scrapes "Billions" of Images Illegally 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you're-gonna-go,-go-big dept.
PurpleCarrot writes "In what must be one of the largest attempts to scrape images from the Web, the site ImageLogr.com 'claims to be scraping the entire "free web" and seems to have hit Flickr especially hard, copying full-sized images of yours and mine to their own servers, where they are hosting them without any attribution or links back to the original image in violation of all available licenses on Flickr.' The site even contains the option to directly download images that ImageLogr has scraped. What makes this endeavor so amazing is that it isn't a case of 'other people gave us millions of infringing images, help us remove the wrong ones,' but one of 'we took all the images on the Web; if we got one of yours, oops!' The former gets some protection from the DMCA, whereas the latter is blatant infringement. ImageLogr's actions have caused a flurry of activity, and the site's owners have subsequently taken it offline, displaying the following message: 'Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.'"
Google

Are Googlers Too Smart For Their Own Good? 307

Posted by kdawson
from the keep-it-complicated-smarty dept.
theodp writes "If you're a mere mortal, don't be surprised if your first reaction to Google Storage for Developers is 'WTF?!' Offering the kind of 'user-friendly' API one might expect from a bunch of computer science Ph.D.s, Google Storage even manages to overcomplicate the simple act of copying files. Which raises the question: Are Googlers with 'world-class programming skills' capable of producing straightforward, simple-to-use programming interfaces for ordinary humans?"

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire

Working...