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Nuclear Elephant (700938) writes "Yesterday I test drove a 2010 Lincoln Navigator equipped with the MS Sync feature advertised to make driving safer and easier. In the audio below, it took me a total of three minutes and thoughts of suicide to assign a simple destination using MS Sync. I was forced to take my eyes off the road several times to read numerous lists of possible voice matches for city, street name, and more. Have a listen to my conversation with the onboard computer. And to think that only yesterday, I considered texting to be the most dangerous thing to do while driving." Link to Original Source
Nuclear Elephant (700938) writes "A nasty windstorm blew through a couple weeks back and decimated the power infrastructure in my town. A large part of the town was out for as much as six days. While most of us have generators, many neighbors were still unreachable via their telephone, and weren't online. No connection to the outside world,... and most importantly – no 911. Come to find, they were all on Comcast.... But our FiOS was up, even though telephone poles had been torn down into the middle of streets and intersections, roads were closed, and live wires were flying around. To understand what’s going on here, you need to understand the differences in the technology..." Link to Original Source
PainMeds (1301879) writes "Author and longtime iPhone hacker Jon Zdziarski has written an article predicting that Apple will soon abandon the consumer. He cites the recent loss of AppStore developers for more open platforms, such as Android, and Apple's abandonment of Macworld as the beginnings of a cycle that will eventually end in a "big box" retail strategy for Apple. From the article, "I predict that Apple is headed in the direction of distancing themselves from both consumers and developers in exchange for the benefits that come from the volume sales generated by cheap equipment sold into cookie-cutter markets.". Towards the end of the article, Zdziarski suggests that Apple has lost its sense of innovation and has stagnated, re-selling the same products in different cases. His final prediction suggests that competitors will eventually overtake the company's mobile dominance and that Apple might lose the edge that make their hardware more "appealing" to the consumer."
Nuclear Elephant writes "As the author of three books on the iPhone and a participant in the pre-SDK iPhone community, I took personal offense to Apple's suggestion that the only purposes for "jailbreaking" are nefarious. Quite the opposite, an entire community of innovators (one that Apple even hired) helped grow the iPhone's initial hype and paved the way for what would eventually become Apple's App Store. I've written an in-line response to Apple's opposition to the EFF's proposed exemption to allow for jailbreaking. It is my personal belief that the DMCA's exemptions are quite enough for most legitimate purposes of jailbreaking the iPhone, at least in its early days. More importantly, I try to expose the hidden agenda that appears to be surrounding this. You might be surprised to find that "jailbreaking" and breaking the iPhone's digital right's management are actually two entirely different things. Apple seems to be suggesting that accessing your own computer is what's responsible for piracy."
Nuclear Elephant (700938) writes "I don't know how long this will last after somebody notices that others have noticed, but I had several people confirm this on different machines and operating systems. It looks as if Mr. Obama's website, which has recently added a new feature called Open Government, might be censoring certain questions submitted by the American people. The website appears to be filtering visitors' ability to find certain questions, preventing them from being voted on. I've included two screenshots, showing that a search for "assault weapons" suspiciously returns zero results, while a search for "ssault weapons" brings up 15 results. Searching for similar topics, such as "assault" and "ban" or "assault" and "atf" or "assault" and "rifle" seem to also provide empty results unless part of the spelling is removed. Strangely, a search for "gay marriage" returns plenty of results, so the issue obviously isn't one of multi-word searches. Longer multi-word queries such as "environmental protection" return results too, so the problem isn't one of query length. This suggests that someone might have hard-coded certain key words to return empty, leaving those questions to rot at the bottom of the pit. It is uncertain just how many votes were cast on these questions, and whether they were voted on before this suspicious behavior started. Clearly when the questions could be found, they were considered good questions to ask. How much confidence can we put in an administration that censors the thoughts and concerns of the American people? And of equal importance, what other topics are suspiciously returning no matches?" Link to Original Source
Nuclear Elephant (700938) writes "Our federal HIPAA laws have forced me to watch my father's meantal health degrade as if from behind iron bars — knowing that our federal government has rendered me helpess to do anything to help him pro-actively. He has hit bottom and become only a shell of the gifted, intelligent man I used to know him as. HIPAA has helped to destroy this man by affording him the ability to isolate himself amidst a disease whose symptoms include delusions inciting isolation and paranoia, and has castrated families across the nation who are seeking to help their own loved ones in similar situations. I've written a brief account of events that have allowed my father's psychological illnesses to fester and worsen as a result of the HIPAA privacy rules." Link to Original Source
Nuclear Elephant writes "Apple appears to be taking ideas from commercial software already being sold and is attempting to patent the
concepts as their own. According to Apple Insider, Apple has recently filed a patent application for a notification screen on the iPhone [ screenshot ]. The only problem with this is that Intellisync has been using this concept in their popular iPhone notification screen software for over a year now, and It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is a clear rip-off of it [ screenshot ]. Apple recently became famous
(or infamous) for stealing other people's ideas when they rolled out their
Dashboard in Mac OS X, which had many similarities to a desktop widget program
named the Konfabulator, which later became Yahoo widgets. The case here isn't
a simple hijacking of an idea however — Apple is applying for a patent on Intelliscreen's concept, which could be detrimental to the original manufacturer of the software, who is actively selling it for Jailbroken iPhones. This raises some serious questions about whether Apple is being unlawfully anti-competitive: by policy, they have banned Intelliscreen from being sold on the AppStore, so the original manufacturer hast o sell it on their own. Add to this an attempt to patent it, as if the software did not exist, and you have some very suspicious anti-competitive behavior on Apple's part."
Just to play devil's advocate, the courts could argue here in the US that brain scans are evidentiary, and not testimony (hence witness against one's self). My guess is they would argue that brain scans are of the same family of evidence as DNA; e.g. it doesn't "testify against you", but is rather physically relevant to the case. I would hope that this would cause outrage, but judging by the number of other things the government has desensitized us to, it wouldn't surprise me.
Nuclear Elephant (700938) writes "It's been a personal decision of mine to steer clear of Apple's SDK and stick with open development. There were many reasons for this, such as being able to write better software, but one of the key reasons was Apple's NDA, which I anticipated would be around for "as long as it took" to get patents filed in every country in the world. Unfortunately, many of my brothers in development were not as smart and have sold their souls to Steve for the "privilege" of writing software for his AppStore system. Developers worldwide have no doubt given much thought to Apple's policies concerning the SDK and its confidentiality requirements. From the comments I've heard on the subject, I decided to redact their thoughts and mine into ten reasons that I believe violating Apple's NDA is both ethical and beneficial to the consumer market." Link to Original Source
CmdrTaco from the things-you-can't-make-up dept.
netbuzz writes "Rule #1 when doing PR for an antispam vendor: Don't spam. This isn't exactly brain surgery, yet the fellow at a PR agency called Rocket Science managed to violate Rule #1 while attempting to drum up publicity for Singlefin, which provides e-mail, IM and Web filtering services to the likes of Juno and NetZero. He also violated Rules #2 and #3." Given the hundreds of press releases I get in my inbox on a weekly basis, PR folks in general need to learn that lesson regardless of their clients.
After a report that the company would not install or support the Linux operating system on any of its PCs, morcego writes "Looks like Lenovo decided Linux is a good idea after all. From the article: 'Lenovo executives Monday backtracked from remarks last week that the company would not support Linux on its PCs, saying it would continue to pre-load Linux onto ThinkPads on a custom-order basis for customers who purchase licenses on their own. In addition, they said, the Raleigh, N.C.-based company was working behind the scenes to boost its Linux support in conjunction with the expected July release of the next version of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Harvard University scientists claim they will soon start trying to clone human embryos to create stem cells. Even with the history of controversy and fraud researchers hope they can one day use the newly created stem cells to aid in battle against many diseases. From the article: 'The privately funded work is aimed at devising treatments for such ailments as diabetes, Lou Gehrig's disease, sickle-cell anemia and leukemia. Harvard is only the second American university to announce its venture into the challenging, politically charged research field.'"