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Google

Anyone Can Buy Google Glass April 15 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Starting at 9 a.m. ET on April 15 anyone in the US will be able to buy Google Glass for one day. From the article: 'This is the first time the device has been available to the general public. So far, the face-mounted computers have been sold only to Google "Explorers," the company's name for early adopters. At first only developers could buy Glass, but Google slowly expanded the program to include regular people. Some were hand-picked, others applied to be Explorers through Google contests by sharing what cool projects they would do if they had Glass.'"
Media

Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way 323

Posted by Soulskill
from the shut-up-and-take-my-money dept.
mendax sends this excerpt from a New York Times op-ed: "like Napster in the late 1990s, [torrent-streaming app Popcorn Time] offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we've all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren't good enough. ... In the music business, Napster’s vision eventually became a reality. Today, with services like Spotify and Rdio, you can pay a monthly fee to listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. But in the movie and TV business, such a glorious future isn't in the offing anytime soon.

According to industry experts, some of whom declined to be quoted on the record because of the sensitivities of the nexus of media deals involved, we aren’t anywhere close to getting a service that allows customers to pay a single monthly fee for access to a wide range of top-notch movies and TV shows.Instead of a single comprehensive service, the future of digital TV and movies is destined to be fragmented across several services, at least for the next few years. We’ll all face a complex decision tree when choosing what to watch, and we’ll have to settle for something less than ideal."
Communications

WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up 273

Posted by timothy
from the at-what-margin-do-you-pivot? dept.
There's been some positive news in the last year (and the last few) for American cellphone customers: certainly there's more visible competition for their business among the largest players in the market. Nonetheless, the Wall Street Journal reports that while more competition may translate into some more attractive service bundles, flexibility in phone options, or smoother customer service, it doesn't actually mean that the customers are on average reaping one of the benefits that competition might be expected to provide: lower price. Instead, the bills for customers on the major wireless providers have actually gone up, if not dramatically, in recent months — which means U.S. cell service remains much more expensive than it is in many other countries. The article could stand a sidebar on MVNOs and other low-cost options, though -- I switched to one of these from AT&T, and now pay just under $40 for one version of the new normal of unlimited talk and text, plus quite limited (1GB) data, but still using AT&T towers. Has your own cost to talk gone up or down?
Programming

Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer? 627

Posted by samzenpus
from the speak-up dept.
itwbennett writes "Writing about his career decisions, programming language choices, and regrets, Rob Conery says that as a .NET developer he became more reliant on an IDE than he would have with PHP. Blogger, and .NET developer, Matthew Mombrea picks up the thread, coming to the defense of IDEs (Visual Studio in particular). Mombrea argues that 'being a good developer isn't about memorizing the language specific calls, it's about knowing the available ways to solve a problem and solving it using the best technique or tools as you can.' Does using an IDE make you lazy with the language? Would you be better off programming with Notepad?"

Comment: Self-Fulfilling (Score 1) 394

Oracle and Redhat are great examples of how *not* to run an open source team:
  • - Constrain a project to prevent it from having more advanced features than your "enterprise" mirror
  • - Cherry pick the best "community" developers moving them to the "enterprise" staff, leading to brain / experience drain
  • - Cherry pick the best features from the "community" APIs, moving them to "enterprise"
  • - Fail to enforce rigorous standards on code commenting, documentation, unit / build acceptance / integration tests
  • - Allow conflicting APIs or features into the development process

Then, throw up your hands in disgust at the result, and blame the very concept of F/OSS. That's why, but for limited exceptions, I avoid the "community" products of Oracle and Redhat. And when the open source community provides much better alternatives, I avoid their "enterprise" products as well.

Businesses

Nobel Winners Illustrate Israel's "Brain Drain" 214

Posted by timothy
from the various-brains-various-drains dept.
barlevg writes "Two of the three scientists sharing this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry have Israeli citizenship, with Dr. Arieh Warshel having been born and educated in Israel, yet both are based at universities in the United States. These two scientists are perhaps the highest profile examples of a growing problem in the so-called "start-up nation," which is known for its high-tech tech companies and scientific innovation, and yet which loses more researchers to emigration than any other western nation. The problem? Large salary gaps between US and Israeli institutions. As Daniel Hershkowitz, president of Bar-Ilan University put it, 'I don't see Israel being able to compete with what they offer in the United States.'"
Google

Google X Display Boss: Smartphones, Tablets, Apps Are "Mind-Numbing" 157

Posted by samzenpus
from the magic's-gone dept.
curtwoodward writes "Stop drooling over that new iPhone. Put away the fancy tablet. Because the real hardcore nerds find that stuff 'boring' and 'mind-numbing,' says Mary Lou Jepsen, head of the display division at secretive R&D lab Google X. At MIT's EmTech conference, Jepsen said the next generation of 'moonshot' tech is much more exciting and interesting. That includes Google X projects like the driverless car, Project Loon, a stratospheric balloon-based wireless network, and Google Glass."
Space

Hiccup In Space: Orbital Sciences ISS Docking Delayed By Days 51

Posted by timothy
from the no-one-can-hear-a-hiccup-there-totally-proven dept.
Reuters has a quick report that "[a] software glitch will delay Orbital Sciences' trial cargo ship from reaching the International Space Station until Tuesday, officials said on Sunday. The company's Cygnus capsule, which blasted off Wednesday from Virginia for a test flight, had been scheduled to reach the station on Sunday. ... Orbital Sciences said it had found the cause of the data discrepancy and was developing a software fix. ... The next opportunity for the capsule to rendezvous and dock with the station will be on Tuesday." The WSJ has a more detailed article, and notes "The mission is a challenge for Orbital, which has invested more than five years and about $500 million of its own funds to develop a commercial-cargo capability. But it also presents a dramatic test of NASA's plans to outsource to industry all U.S. resupply missions to the space station. The agency has paid Orbital about $285 million to spur development of the Cygnus and Antares rocket system."
The Military

US Intercepts Iranian Order For Attack On US Embassy In Iraq 433

Posted by Soulskill
from the fool-me-once.. dept.
cold fjord writes "Another NSA story? The Wall Street Journal reports, 'The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria ... U.S. officials said they are on alert for Iran's fleet of small, fast boats in the Persian Gulf ... U.S. officials also fear Hezbollah could attack the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. While the U.S. has moved military resources in the region for a possible strike, it has other assets in the area that would be ready to respond to any reprisals by Syria, Iran or its allies. ... Israel has so far been the focus of concerns about retaliation from Iran and its Lebanese militant ally Hezbollah. The commander-in-chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps said last week that an attack on Syria would lead to the "destruction of Israel." ... The Iranian message, intercepted in recent days, came from Qasem Soleimani, the head of Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force, and went to Iranian-supported Shiite militia groups in Iraq, according to U.S. officials.' What's interesting is this Washington Post story from 2011: Iran's Quds Force was blamed for attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq."
Microsoft

Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft plans to raise the price of the Datacenter edition of the upcoming R2 release of Windows Server 2012 by 28 percent, adding to what analysts call a record number of price increases for enterprise software products from Redmond. According to licensing data sheets available for download from the Windows Server 2012 R2 Website (PDF), the price of a single license of Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter will be $6,155, compared to $4,809 today—plus the cost of a Client Access Licenses for every user or device connecting to the server. News of the increase was posted yesterday by datacenter virtualization and security specialist Aidan Finn, a six-time Microsoft MVP who works for Dublin-based value added reseller MicroWarehouse Ltd. and has done work for clients including Amdahl, Fujitsu and Barclays. The increase caps off a year filled with a record number of price increases for Microsoft enterprise software, according to a Tweet yesterday from Microsoft software licensing analyst Paul DeGroot of Pica Communications."
Chrome

Amazon One-Click Chrome Extension Snoops On SSL Traffic 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-doing-it-wrong dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It turns out Amazon has its own sketchy method of snooping on all your browser traffic — even SSL traffic — through their one-click extension for Chrome. As designed, the extension reports every URL you visit, including HTTPS ones, to Amazon. It uses XSS to provide some of its functionality. It also reports contents of some website visits to Alexa. The Amazon extension has also been exploited to allow an attacker to gain access to SSL traffic on browsers that have it installed."

Comment: Consider Apple... (Score 1) 149

Apple with Steve Jobs vs Apple without Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was one of the most hands on CEO's I've ever heard about. He was in the trenches, interfacing directly with developers and anyone else along the production chain that proved to be a critical path to deployment. He came up with seemingly impossible ideas that no one else would have the guts to suggest. And then he rode point on the entire organization to ensure that it happened. That's what a good CEO can do, and what will almost never happen by democracy.

That is not to say that the paychecks of most of the CEOs out there are warranted. Quite the opposite. There's no reason why a CEO, on average, should be making more than 5 times the salary of the average employee. But to discount the role that can be played by someone with the talent, drive, and innovation of someone like Steve Jobs is to misunderstand the dynamics of a corporation.
Math

Canada Courts, Patent Office Warns Against Trying To Patent Mathematics 215

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-numbers dept.
davecb writes "The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has recently published two notices for patent examiners relating to patent interpretation, and in particular computer-related/business method type patents saying: 'for example, what appears on its face to be a claim for an "art" or a "process" may, on a proper construction, be a claim for a mathematical formula and therefore not patentable subject matter.'"
Cloud

Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the every-cloud-is-lined-with-your-silver dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "As we discussed yesterday, Adobe plans on focusing the bulk of its software-development efforts on its Creative Cloud offering, with no plans to further update its 'boxed' Creative Suite products. The move isn't surprising, considering the tech industry's general movement toward the cloud over the past few years. Creative Cloud will cost $19.99 per month for a 'single app' version that features the full version of 'selected apps,' 20GB of cloud storage, and limited access to services. Those who opt for the 'complete' version will pay $49.99 per month for every Creative Cloud app, 20GB of cloud storage, and full access to services; it also requires an annual commitment. At that price, it would take a little over two years for a customer spending $49.99 per month to exceed the full retail cost of box-based Adobe Creative Suite 6, which currently retails for $1299.99 at Staples and $1100-1200 on Amazon. In a recent interview with Mashable, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen insisted that the Creative Cloud's cost to customers is lower, especially since they won't have to pay for cloud storage and other services — never mind that 20GB doesn't carry anyone far when it comes to visual design. However much customers stand to benefit from the cloud, it's easy to see that, over a long enough timeline, and with the right financial model in place, the companies providing those services stand to benefit even more than they did with boxed software. That's liable to make just as many people angry as happy, no?" Update: 05/08 03:29 GMT by S :Changed prices involved to reflect standard versions of Creative Suite, rather than the discounted Student & Teacher editions.

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