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Privacy

USA Today Names Edward Snowden Tech Person of the Year 228

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the things-to-do-before-you're-thirty dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from the USA Today tech column: "...But until a lone information-technology contractor named Edward Snowden leaked a trove of National Security Agency documents to the media this summer, we didn't know just how much we'd surrendered. Now that we do, our nation can have a healthy debate — out in the open, as a democracy should debate — about how good a bargain we got in that exchange. For facilitating that debate, at great risk to his own personal liberty, Snowden is this column's technology person of the year for 2013."
Star Wars Prequels

An Animated, Open Letter To J.J. Abrams About Star Wars 376

Posted by Soulskill
from the ease-off-the-lens-flare dept.
juliangamble writes "Designer Prescott Harvey has written and animated an open letter to J.J. Abrams about the plans for the next Star Wars movie. He says, 'Like so many people, I've spent most of my recent years wondering why the original Star Wars trilogy was so awesome, and the new movies were so terrible. What are the factors that make Star Wars Star Wars? I took an empirical approach, determining what elements were in the original movies that differed from the prequels. My first major epiphany was that, in the originals, the characters are always outside somewhere very remote. The environment and the wildlife are as much a threat as the empire. All three movies had this bushwacky, exploratory feel. Contrast that with the prequels, where the characters are often in cities, or in the galactic senate. In order for Star Wars to feel like a true adventure, the setting has to be the frontier, and this became my first rule.'"
Biotech

Dogs Trained To Sniff Out Ovarian Cancer 83

Posted by timothy
from the as-long-as-the-dogs-aren't-menacing dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Dogs have been trained to sniff out drugs, explosives, cadavers, mobile phones, firearms, and money but now AP reports that researchers have started training canines to sniff out the signature compound that indicates the presence of ovarian cancer. If the animals can isolate the chemical marker, scientists at the nearby Monell Chemical Senses Center will work to create an electronic sensor to identify the same odorant. "Because if the dogs can do it, then the question is, Can our analytical instrumentation do it? We think we can," says organic chemist George Preti. More than 20,000 Americans are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. When it's caught early, women have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent. But because of its generic symptoms — weight gain, bloating or constipation — the disease is more often caught late."
Programming

Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Programmers 641

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-just-a-matter-of-code dept.
itwbennett writes "Software developers are, by and large, a cool and analytical bunch, but there are a handful of things that strike terror in their hearts. Phil Johnson scoured developer forums looking for an answer to the question: What's your biggest fear as a programmer? The answers clustered into 5 broad groups ranging from being forced to learn or use a specific technology to working for and with incompetents. What's your biggest fear?"
Firefox

Why We Love Firefox, and Why We Hate It 665

Posted by Soulskill
from the numbers-at-the-end-of-it dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Conceivably Tech: "Admit it. You are in a love-hate relationship with Firefox. Either Mozilla gets Firefox right and you are jumping up and down, or Mozilla screws up and you threaten to ditch the browser in favor Chrome. Mozilla's passionate user base keeps Firefox dangling between constant ups and downs, which is a good thing, as long as Mozilla is going up. Unfortunately, that is not the case right now. Mozilla's market share has been slipping again at a significant pace. There has been some discussion and finger-pointing, and it seems that the rapid release process has to take the blame this time. Are we right to blame the rapid release process?" What do you find most annoying or gratifying about Firefox these days?
Privacy

Sci-fi Writer Elizabeth Moon Believes Everyone Should Be Chipped 409

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sorry-have-you-met-humanity dept.
Bob the Super Hamste writes "The BBC has an opinion piece from science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon who believes that everyone should be chipped or barcoded at birth. Her reasoning is that it would prevent identification mistakes and even allow soldiers to identify combatants from non-combatants. Her comments came as part of a discussion on future wars hosted by the BBC World Service."
Piracy

BSA Claims Half of PC Users Are Pirates 585

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the gnu-is-a-crime dept.
judgecorp writes "Despite continued pressure on business users to buy legitimate software, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reports that the campaign seems to be failing. Well over half (57%) of users surveyed in a global survey admit to using pirated software. That's a big increase from the same survey last year — when 43% admitted to using pirated software. The BSA surveyed 15,000 people in 33 countries."
Displays

1366x768 Monitors Top 1024x768 For the First Time 394

Posted by timothy
from the hope-it's-not-like-the-rocky-movies dept.
mpol writes "Statcounter released new statistics today and 1366x768 is now the most used screen resolution on the internet. These screens are available in most cheap laptops, and therefore probably sold and used very much. With 19.2%, it is beating the old 4:3 resolution, which still has 18.6% usage share. (But as you know, you have lies, damn lies, and statistics.)" The numbers are still close, but it sounds like the tide has turned.
Google

Google Consolidates Privacy Policies Across Services 239

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the targetted-advertising-is-awesome dept.
parallel_prankster writes "The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Google will require users to allow the company to follow their activities across e-mail, search, YouTube, and other services; a radical shift in strategy that is expected to invite greater scrutiny of its privacy and competitive practices. The information will enable Google to develop a fuller picture of how people use its growing empire of Web sites. Consumers will have no choice but to accept the changes. The policy will take effect March 1 and will also impact Android mobile phone users. 'If you're signed in, we may combine information you've provided from one service with information from other services,' Alma Whitten, Google's director of privacy, product, and engineering, wrote in a blog post." The angle of the Washington Post article is a bit negative; Google sees this as consolidating an absurd number of privacy policies for its various services into a single, unified document. Reader McGruber adds: "Donald E. Graham, the Washington Post's chairman and CEO, joined Facebook's Board of Directors in January 2009. Curiously, the Washington Post article neglects to disclose that."
Firefox

Notes On Reducing Firefox's Memory Consumption 297

Posted by timothy
from the we-gave-it-post-it-notes dept.
Skuto writes "At yesterdays linux.conf.au Browser miniconference in Ballarat, Australia, Mozilla engineer Nicholas Nethercote gave a detailed presentation about the history of Firefox's memory consumption. The 37 slides-with-notes explain in gritty detail what caused Firefox 4's memory usage to be higher than expected, how many leaks and accidental memory use bugs were tracked down with Valgrind plugins, as well as the pitfalls of common memory allocation strategies. Current work is now focused on reducing the memory usage of popular add-ons such as AdBlock, GreaseMonkey and Firebug. Required reading for people working on large software projects, or those who missed that Firefox is now one of the most memory-efficient browsers in heavy usage."

Comment: Re:Sounds like a headache (Score 1) 1306

by n0dna (#35615430) Attached to: US Contemplating 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' Tax

Those who use less of it should be rewarded and those who use more of it punished. There definitely needs to be petrol excise taxes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax#United_States

Fuel taxes in the United States vary by state. The United States federal excise tax on gasoline, as of February 2011, is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. In January 2011, motor gasoline taxes averaged 48.1 cents per gallon and diesel fuel taxes averaged 53.1 cents per gallon.[7] For the first quarter of 2009, the mean state gasoline tax is 27.2 cents per US gallon, plus 18.4 cents per US gallon federal tax making the total 45.6 cents per US gallon (12.0 /L). For diesel, the mean state tax is 26.6 cents per US gallon plus an additional 24.4 cents per US gallon federal tax making the total 50.8 cents US per gallon (13.4 /L).[8] There are also a few states that charge sales tax on top of the excise taxes and the retail price.

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