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Submission + - Swype Android keyboard makes almost 4000 location requests every day

postglock writes: Swype is a popular third-party keyboard for Android phones (and also available for Windows phones and other platforms). It's currently the second-most-popular paid keyboard in Google Play (behind SwiftKey), and the 17th highest of all paid apps.

Recently, users have discovered that it's been accessing location data extremely frequently, making almost 4000 requests per day, or 2.5 requests per minute. The developers claim that this is to facilitate implementation of "regional dialects", but cannot explain why such frequent polling is required, or why this still occurs if the regional function is disabled.

Some custom ROMs such as Cyanogenmod can block this tracking, but most users would be unaware that such tracking is even occurring.

Submission + - The Right to Fire Bad Teachers - And Good Ones Too

theodp writes: 'Now that the strike is over and teachers are back in school,' writes Ben Joravsky in the Chicago Reader, 'it's a good time to visit the story of David Corral, the UNO charter school teacher summarily fired after he notified officials of a 'mock rape' in the boys' locker room.' A favorite of City Hall and recipient of a $98 million state grant, UNO is headed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ally Juan Rangel. School officials reportedly praised Corral at first for reporting a potential incident of sexual abuse to the police (would that Penn State administrators had done the same), but within several days flip-flopped and told gym teacher Corral he was being terminated for lax supervision of the locker rooms. For his part, Corral believes he was used as a 'scapegoat' to send a message to the staff. 'I believe Rangel fired me because the police came to school and took those kids in handcuffs,' says Corral. 'That was an embarrassment-someone had to pay.' As a nonunion, at-will employee, Corral's contract stipulated that he could be fired 'at any time for any legal reason or for no reason, with or without prior notice.' Joravsky concludes: 'As he hands out more contracts to nonunion charters, Mayor Emanuel also vows to replace 'bad' teachers with 'good' ones. Let's hope he knows which one's which.'

Submission + - 3D printing on the micrometer scale (

cylonlover writes: Three-dimensional printers are popping up everywhere these days. Some are small enough to fit in a briefcase and others are large enough to build print houses, but scientists at the Vienna University of Technology are going for the microscopic. Earlier this year, the university built a 3D printer that uses lasers to operate on a tiny small scale. Now they're refining the technique to enable precise placement a selected molecule in a three-dimensional material. This process, called “3D-photografting,” can potentially be used to create a “lab on a chip” or artificially grow living tissue.

Submission + - Googlers gagged on Real Names; Protests coming (

An anonymous reader writes: There has been ongoing controversy over Google's demand for Real Names from Google+ users, but comments from Googlers have slowed to a trickle. People inside the company are now reporting that, on pain of disciplinary action, they have been ordered not to speak externally on the issue. Google execs seem to be hoping that if everyone quiets down, the whole thing will just blow over.

Outside of Google, though, things seem to be heating up: Shava Nerad, Development Director and former Executive Director of the Tor Project, is organizing protests of Google's heavy-handed Real Name policy. They will be held outside of Google Cambridge, and Google offices everywhere, starting this Friday.

United States

Submission + - Help-Wanted Ads Exclude the Jobless (

suraj.sun writes: The unemployed need not apply. That is the message being broadcast by many of the nation’s employers, making it even more difficult for 14 million jobless Americans to get back to work.

A recent review of job vacancy postings on popular sites like, CareerBuilder and Craigslist revealed hundreds that said employers would consider (or at least “strongly prefer”) only people currently employed or just recently laid off.

Legal experts say that the practice probably does not violate discrimination laws because unemployment is not a protected status, like age or race. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently held a hearing, though, on whether discriminating against the jobless might be illegal because it disproportionately hurts older people and blacks.



Submission + - Google Code. Now with more Git. (

leetrout writes: On Monday Google announced that it was adding support for Git in Google Code Project Hosting.

The post hints at the history of DVCS within Google Code and why they have added support.

Since our original announcement of Mercurial support, Git has grown significantly more popular and user-friendly, and on the technical side, it has added an efficient “smart” HTTP protocol that fits with Google’s HTTP-based infrastructure. (Note that this feature is only available in version 1.6.6 and later.)

The blog post goes on to briefly describe some of the technical aspects of the service including a note that states "to fit with our existing Python-based system, our Git server implementation is powered in part by Dulwich" which is a pure-Python implementation of the Git file formats and protocols.

I, for one, welcome the new option and will be curious to see if it gains any traction against GitHub.

Submission + - We strongly reccommended that you exit all Windows 1

Meshach writes: Nearly every Windows installer says it right after you launch the installer: "It is strongly recommended that you exit all Windows programs before running this setup program". But I want to know is there anyone who does this? Moreover is this dire warning really necessary? Judging from the number of times I have skipped it I would say not.

Submission + - Google's ebook reader has a web brwoser (

Nate the greatest writes: It hasn't even been on the market for a full day and I've already found a hidden feature. The iriver Story HD has a web browser. You can access it through by first opening the Google eBookstore on the device and then clicking the right series of links to get to the Google homepage.

Submission + - South Australia to scrap MA15+ games rating (

dotarray writes: Australia’s R18+ debate is heating up, with the nation’s Attorneys-General tipped to attend a “decision-making” meeting on the topic before the end of the month. For a while there, it had looked like (relatively) smooth sailing – but now an interestingly-shaped spanner’s been thrown in the works. South Australia is again calling to scrap the Mature Adult distinction for video games, effectively replacing it with an R18+ rating.

Submission + - How To Make Time Invisible (

thebchuckster writes: Researchers from Cornell say that by using a bit of electromagnetics wizardry they can create a 'hole' in space and keep it hidden — spatial cloaking. Invisible time.

Submission + - A Tale of Two Countries 1

theodp writes: Over at TechCrunch, Jon Bischke is troubled by the growing divide between Silicon Valley and unemployed America. While people who spend most of their days within a few blocks of tech start-up epicenters are enjoying a boom/bubble, the number of unemployed now eclipses 14 million nationwide, labor under-utilization is 16.2%, and the mean duration of unemployment has spiked to 40 weeks. 'Which bring us to an important question,' writes Bischke. 'Should Silicon Valley (and other tech clusters throughout the country) care? After all, as long as people in Nebraska or the Central Valley of California have enough money to buy virtual tractors to tend their crops in Farmville, should the tech community be worried about whether those same people are getting paid to do work in the real world? Is what’s best for Silicon Valley also good for America?'

Submission + - Aluminum-Celmet Could Increase EV Range by 300% (

LesterMoore writes: Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries have developed a new material that they believe can improve the range of EVs by an impressive 300%. The ‘super material’ is a form of porous aluminum called “Aluminum-Celmet.” It is a light-weight metal that SEI believes can be utilized in lithium ion batteries as its 3D structure can reportedly triple battery capacity.

Submission + - Breaking Bad Kicks Off Season 4 Sunday

theodp writes: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of meth-cooking high school chemistry teachers with Stage III lung cancer? Breaking Bad viewers know! Set your alarms for Sunday @ 10PM, kids: Walter White and partner Jesse Pinkman are back for Season 4 of Breaking Bad. 'When the world looks at Walt,' says TIME, 'it sees a tired, unemployed, middle-aged man. Breaking Bad viewers see a man who has made millions in the drug business, killed rivals and dissolved their bodies in acid. He is a pawn, and he is a kingpin. He is a nebbish, and he is a murderer. To paraphrase a quote that creator Vince Gilligan uses to sum up his show, he is Mr. Chips, and he is Scarface.' Weak Interactions has been covering The Science of Breaking Bad, including an explanation of how a coughing-up-blood-but-ever-resourceful Walt used a squeegee to wreak revenge on an obnoxious BMW owner.

Submission + - Adobe Flash player got a New version in Beta phase (

Anita Khanna writes: Adobe has launched a new flash player which is currently in beta phase . latest beta release of its desktop Flash Player — that’s version 11 — is now available for your download.. This particular version brings with it Stage3D APIs, for “advanced” 2D and 3D rendering, 64-bit support, H.264 encoding, and 7.1 surround sound. We’re just hoping number 11 won’t bring all the flaws and subsequent fixes that have plagued previous versions.

Our informal mission is to improve the love life of operators worldwide. -- Peter Behrendt, president of Exabyte