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Cloud

Submission + - Will Capped Data Plans Kill The Cloud?

theodp writes: With the introduction of its Chromebook, Google is betting big on the Cloud. As is Apple, with its iCloud initiative. So too are Netflix and Skype. Unfortunately, their very existence is threatened by data-capping carriers, who seem hell-bent to make sure that the network is NOT the computer. 'I don't know what the solution is,' writes David Pogue. 'I don't know if anyone's thinking about this. But there are big changes coming. There are big forces about to shape our lives online. And at the moment, they're on a direct collision course.'
Intel

Submission + - Intel warns of chipset flaw (v3.co.uk)

Incisive writes: ntel is expecting to take a financial hit following the discovery of a flaw in its latest Core PC chipsets.

The company said that a design flaw in the "Cougar Point" support chip could lead to long-term performance issues with SATA devices such as hard drives and optical drives.

The Matrix

The Matrix Re-Reloaded 640

derGoldstein writes "According to Keanu Reeves: ' Matrix 4 and 5 are coming.' At an event that took place at the London International School of Performing Arts, 'Reeves revealed that he met with the Wachowskis around Christmas. They told him that they completed script treatments for two more Matrix installments. They are planning to make the films in 3D and have already met with James Cameron to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Reeves added that he's excited to return as Neo and promised that the treatments will truly revolutionize the action genre like the first Matrix film did.'"
HP

MicroHP — the New IT Giant? 112

storagedude writes "Although it may have gone unnoticed by most IT industry watchers, this week's announcement from Microsoft and HP that the two have combined on integrated appliances for corporate business intelligence and email could be the start of a closer relationship between the two IT giants as they seek to counteract the growing hardware and software dominance of IBM and Oracle. From the article: 'Combine Microsoft and HP — call it MicroHP — and what do you have? A full Windows-plus-Linux scale-out hardware and software lineup, with an exceptionally strong position both in SaaS/public cloud and data centers, and a huge presence on the business desktop. This would allow such a combined entity to produce well-tuned appliances for such hot areas as BI/analytics — as Microsoft and HP have just done.'"
Mozilla

Winners of Mozilla Open Data Competition 19

An anonymous reader writes "Back in November, Mozilla Labs and the Metrics Team together launched the first Mozilla Open Data Visualization Competition. While we set out to discover creative visual answers to the open question, "How do people use Firefox," we really didn't know what level of participation to expect from the Mozilla and data analysis communities. In fact, we were overwhelmed by both the number and quality of submissions – so much so that we had to give ourselves an extra few days to thoroughly review them. In all, we received 32 high-caliber submissions. The visualizations took a number of forms, from tools to easily query the data to interactive web applications. They also covered a broad range of important topics, from plugin memory consumption to user web activities."
Cellphones

Android Passes iPhone In US Market Share 550

Adrian writes "61.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in November 2010, up 10 percent from the preceding three-month period. For the first time, more Americans are using phones running Google's Android operating system than Apple's iPhone, but RIM's BlackBerry is still in first place, according to comScore. RIM fell from 37.6 percent to 33.5 percent market share of smartphones, Google captured second place among smartphone platforms by moving from 19.6 percent to 26.0 percent of US smartphone subscribers, and Apple slipped to third despite its growth from 24.2 percent to 25.0 percent of the market. Microsoft, in fourth place, fell into single digits from 10.8 percent to 9.0 percent while Palm was still last and further slipped from 4.6 percent to 3.9 percent." This is not unexpected, since Android sales have been outpacing iPhone sales for some time, but it happened significantly earlier than Gartner's prediction: Q4 2012.
Government

'No Refusal' DUI Checkpoints Coming To Florida? 1219

schwit1 writes "With New Year's Eve only days away, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects this to be one of the deadliest weeks of the year on the roads. But now a new weapon is being used in the fight against drunk driving. ... Florida is among several states now holding what are called 'no refusal' checkpoints. It means if you refuse a breath test during a traffic stop, a judge is on site, and issues a warrant that allows police to perform a mandatory blood test."
Education

Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use? 804

theodp writes "If you were a college prof, think you could successfully compete for the attention of a lecture hall of Mac-packing students? CS student Carolyn blogs that a debate has sprung up on her campus about whether it is acceptable to use a laptop in class. And her school is hardly alone when it comes to struggling with appropriate in-classroom laptop use (vendor/corporate trainers would no doubt commiserate). The problem, she says, is that the OCD Facebookers aren't just devaluing their own education — there's a certain distraction factor to worry about. 'Students,' she suggests, 'should also communicate with each other more and tell their classmates when their computer use bothers them. I'll admit it, when I'm trying to pay attention to the lecture, even someone's screensaver in the row ahead of me can be a major distraction.'"
Movies

Tron: Legacy — Too Much Imagination Required? 429

MoldySpore writes "Stepping back from the positive and negative reviews of the new Tron sequel, Tron: Legacy (which has so far amassed over $111,000,000 world-wide), something occurred to me after seeing the movie and reading the numerous reviews. It seems many of the reviews, and perhaps the reviewers themselves, can be split into two categories: those who saw the original Tron when it came out and can put the new movie in context, and those who either watched Tron recently to prepare for the sequel or never saw it and jumped right into the new movie." Read on for the rest of MoldySpore's thoughts.
Businesses

A Blue-Sky Idea For the USPS — Postal Trucks As Sensors 252

An anonymous reader writes "The US Postal Service may face insolvency by 2011 (it lost $8.5 billion last year). An op-ed piece in yesterday's New York Times proposes an interesting business idea for the Postal Service: use postal trucks as a giant fleet of mobile sensor platforms. [Registration-required link; this no-reg summary encapsulates the idea, as does this paper by the same author.] (Think Google Streetview on steroids.) The trucks could be outfitted with a variety of sensors (security, environmental, RF ...) and paid for by businesses. The article's author addresses some of the obvious privacy concerns that arise."
Education

String Theory Tested, Fails Black Hole Predictions 307

eldavojohn writes "Back in 2006 there was a lot of talk of testing String Theory. Well, today CERN has released a statement for the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment. The short of it is simply that as far as they could tell, 'No experimental evidence for microscopic black holes has been found.' The long statement indicates that since the highly precise CMS detector found no spray of sub-atomic particles of normal matter while LHC smashed particles together, the hypothesis by String Theory that micro black holes would be formed and quickly evaporated in this experiment was incorrect. These tests have given the team confidence to say that they can exclude a 'variety of theoretical models' for the cases of black holes with a mass of 3.5-4.5 TeV (1012 electron volts). Not Even Wrong points us to the arxiv prepublication for those of you well versed in Greek. While you may not be able to run around claiming that String Theory is dead and disproved, evidently there are some adjustments that need to be made."
Businesses

Yahoo Lays Off 600; Free Beers and Jobs Flow 164

CWmike writes "Yahoo confirmed on Tuesday that it has laid off 600 people, following news reports often based on Twitter messages from employees who had been let go. The layoffs amount to about 4 percent of the company's global workforce, Yahoo said. The company said affected workers are receiving severance packages and outplacement services. Laid-off workers may find some comfort on Twitter, where they are receiving an outpouring of goodwill. One San Francisco brewery is offering a free beer to people from Yahoo who show their termination letters. People with companies including Aprendi Learning, Tucows.com, DirecTV, Combine Couture, OMGPOP.com, and Uptake.com all posted Twitter messages expressing interest in hiring former Yahoo employees. The site Quora is hosting a thread for companies in the San Francisco area interested in hiring laid-off Yahoo workers. So far, there are 14 posts about jobs with companies including Yammer, Mozilla, and Cloudera."
Movies

Netflix Signs Deal With Disney-ABC 212

tekgoblin writes "Netflix announced today that they have brokered a deal with Disney-ABC to add their content to the Netflix library. The deal should add a substantial number of new TV shows and Movies to instant watch. The episodes will be added rather quickly to instant watch only 15 days after initial telecast."
Programming

Programming Mistakes To Avoid 394

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner outlines some of the most common programming mistakes and how to avoid them. 'Certain programming practices send the majority of developers reaching for their hair upon opening a file that has been exhibiting too much "character." Spend some time in a bar near any tech company, and you'll hear the howls: Why did the programmer use that antiquated structure? Where was the mechanism for defending against attacks from the Web? Wasn't any thought given to what a noob would do with the program?' Wayner writes. From playing it fast and loose, to delegating too much to frameworks, to relying too heavily on magic boxes, to overdetermining the user experience — each programming pitfall is accompanied by its opposing pair, lending further proof that 'programming may in fact be transforming into an art, one that requires a skilled hand and a creative mind to achieve a happy medium between problematic extremes.'" What common mistakes do you frequently have to deal with?
Earth

Earth's Water Didn't Come From Outer Space 181

sciencehabit writes "Where did Earth's oceans come from? Astronomers have long contended that icy comets and asteroids delivered the water for them during an epoch of heavy bombardment that ended about 3.9 billion years ago. But a new study suggests that Earth supplied its own water, leaching it from the rocks that formed the planet. The finding may help explain why life on Earth appeared so early, and it may indicate that other rocky worlds are also awash in vast seas."

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