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Transportation

Are We Reaching the Electric Car Tipping Point? 904

HughPickens.com writes: Geoff Ralston has an interesting essay explaining why it is likely that electric car penetration in the U.S. will take off at an exponential rate over the next 5-10 years rendering laughable the paltry predictions of future electric car sales being made today. Present projections assume that electric car sales will slowly increase as the technology gets marginally better, and as more and more customers choose to forsake a better product (the gasoline car) for a worse, yet "greener" version. According to Ralston this view of the future is, simply, wrong. — electric cars will take over our roads because consumers will demand them. "Electric cars will be better than any alternative, including the loud, inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy," says Ralston. "The Tesla Model S has demonstrated that a well made, well designed electric car is far superior to anything else on the road. This has changed everything."

The Tesla Model S has sold so well because, compared to old-fashioned gasoline cars it is more fun to drive, quieter, always "full" every morning, more roomy, and it continuously gets better with automatic updates and software improvements. According to Ralston the tipping point will come when gas stations, not a massively profitable business, start to go out of business as many more electric cars are sold, making gasoline powered vehicles even more inconvenient. When that happens even more gasoline car owners will be convinced to switch. Rapidly a tipping point will be reached, at which point finding a convenient gas station will be nearly impossible and owning a gasoline powered car will positively suck. "Elon Musk has ushered in the age of the electric car, and whether or not it, too, was inevitable, it has certainly begun," concludes Ralston. "The future of automotive transportation is an electric one and you can expect that future to be here soon."
The Courts

Judge Tosses Jury's $533M Patent Verdict Against Apple, Orders New Trial 55

An anonymous reader writes: US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has thrown out a $532.9 million damages award against Apple after a jury found that its iTunes software infringed three patents owned by a Texas company. Gilstrap ruled (pdf) that the damages verdict must be thrown out because of faulty jury instructions and has ordered a new trial to be held solely on the issue of damages.
The Courts

Apple Loses Ebook Price Fixing Appeal, Must Pay $450 Million 97

An anonymous reader writes: A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 today that Apple indeed conspired with publishers to increase ebook prices. The ruling puts Apple on the hook for the $450 million settlement reached in 2014 with lawyers and attorneys general from 33 states. The Justice Dept. contended that the price-fixing conspiracy raised the price of some e-books from the $10 standard set by Amazon to $13-$15. The one dissenting judge argued that Apple's efforts weren't anti-competitive because Amazon held 90% of the market at the time. Apple is unhappy with the ruling, but they haven't announced plans to take the case further. They said, "While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values. We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps."
Social Networks

Facebook Has a New Private Mobile Photo-Sharing App, and They Built It In C++ 173

jfruh writes: Facebook [on Monday] announced Moments, a new mobile app that uses Facebook's facial recognition technology to let you sync up photos only with friends who are in those photos with you. Somewhat unusually for a new app, the bulk of it is built in the venerable C++ language, which turned out to be easier for building a cross-platform mobile app than other more "modern" languages.
Facebook

Top Publishers To Post News Stories Directly To Facebook Timelines 50

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC, BuzzFeed, NBC, The New York Times and National Geographic are among some of the publishers which will post news items directly to a Facebook user's timeline thanks to a new feature called Instant Articles. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, says the program will allow publishers to “deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.” Under the terms of the plan, publishers can sell and embed ads in the articles and keep the revenue, or allow Facebook to sell ads. Publishers will also be allowed to track data and traffic with their own analytics tools.
Cellphones

Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough 445

jfruh (300774) writes At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, handset manufacturers are making all the right noises about support for Windows 10, which will run on both ARM- and Intel-based phones and provide an experience very much like the desktop. But much of the same buzz surrounded Windows 8 and Windows 7 Phone. In fact, Microsoft has tried and repeatedly failed to take the mobile space by storm.
Displays

Apple Patents Head-Mounted iPhone 55

mpicpp sends word of a patent newly awarded to Apple, #8,957,835, which describes a head-mounted apparatus that uses an iPhone (or iPod) as a display. The device "temporarily integrates or merges both mechanically and electronically a head-mounted device with a portable electronic device." It sounds a bit like Samsung's Gear VR headset, and many outlets are reporting it as being a virtual reality device. However, the patent itself doesn't mention VR, and it was filed in 2008, long before the VR rush of the past few years. That said, Apple has recently been trying to hire engineers with experience developing VR-related software, so it's something they could be evaluating.
Movies

"Star Trek 3" To Be Helmed By "Fast & Furious" Franchise Director Justin Lin 332

Dave Knott writes Although J.J. Abrams directed the first two films in the popular revamped Star Trek series, his new job masterminding the Star Wars sequels had left Star Trek 3 as one of the most prestigious unfilled directing assignments in Hollywood. No longer. It is now known that Justin Lin will direct the third Star Trek film. Lin is best known for revitalizing the long-running Fast & Furious series, helming the third through sixth films in that franchise. Several top-flight directors were under consideration for Star Trek 3, but Lin was the only one actually offered the job, following the postponement of the Bourne Legacy sequel that he had previously been set to direct.
Books

Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement 91

An anonymous reader writes: Last year, a U.S. District Judge ruled that Apple conspired with publishers to control ebook prices in violation of antitrust laws. Apple launched an appeal which has yet to conclude, but they've now agreed to a settlement. If the appeal verdict goes against Apple, they will be on the hook for $450 million, most of which will go to consumers. If they win the appeal, they'll still have to pay $70 million. $450 million is much more than the other publishers had to pay, but much less than the expected penalty from a damages trial set for August (and still only about one percent of Apple's annual profit).
Software

Docker 1.0 Released 88

Graculus writes: "Docker, the company that sponsors the Docker.org open source project, is gaining allies in making its commercially supported Linux container format a de facto standard. Linux containers are a way of packaging up applications and related software for movement over the network or Internet. Once at their destination, they launch in a standard way and enable multiple containers to run under a single host operating system. 15 months and 8,741 commits after the earliest version was made public, Docker 1.0 has been released."
Apple

Apple WWDC 2014: Tim Cook Unveils Yosemite 411

An anonymous reader writes "Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has started, and OS X 10.10, officially named Yosemite, and iOS 8 have been officially unveiled. Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, also highlighted iCloud Drive. Although a little late to the party, Apple hopes to compete with the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive."
Cellphones

Apple Demands $40 Per Samsung Phone For 5 Software Patents 406

An anonymous reader writes "Apple and Samsung couldn't agree on a patent cross-license even though their CEOs met recently. What could be the reason (or one of the reasons) is that Apple is asking for obscenely high patent royalties. At the March 31 trial an Apple-hired expert will present to a California jury (already the third jury trial in this dispute) a damages claim of $40 per device (phone or tablet) for just a handful of software patents. The patents are related to, but don't cover all aspects and elements of, functionalities like slide-to-unlock, autocorrect, data synchronization, unified search and the famous tap-on-phone-number-to-dial feature. Google says there are 250,000 patentable inventions in a smartphone. On average, Apple wants $8 per patent per device. That would add a patent licensing bill of $2 million to each gadget. So Apple and Samsung will be back to court again later this month."
Security

New iOS Keylogging Vulnerability Discovered 72

exomondo writes "Following hot on the heels of the iOS (and OS X) SSL security bug comes the latest vulnerability in Apple's mobile operating system. It is a security bug that can be used as a vector for malware to capture touch screen, volume rocker, home button and (on supported devices) TouchID sensor presses, information that could be sent to a remote server to re-create the user's actions. The vulnerability exists in even the most recent versions of iOS and the authors claim that they delivered a proof-of-concept monitoring app through the App Store."
Earth

Massive Storm Buries US East Coast In Snow and Ice 290

First time accepted submitter anthonycarlson writes "The second wintry storm in two weeks to hit the normally balmy south U.S. has encrusted highways, trees and power lines in ice, knocking out electricity to nearly a half-million homes and businesses." Kids are out of school, and houses are out of power, in much of a region that normally gets much rarer and lighter snowfall. If you're socked in, or if you're in the East Coast storm zone but have to venture out anyhow, what's been your experience? Some of the pictures are pretty impressive. Update: 02/13 17:24 GMT by T : Google Maps has a handy guide to weather alerts, shelters, and traffic info for those affected by the storm. (Hat tip to Chris DiBona.)

Submission + - iOS has 93% of mobile vulnerabilities, Android has 95% of the Malware. Why?->

chicksdaddy writes: Symantec Corp.’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) for 2012 was released on Tuesday (http://www.symantec.com/security_response/publications/threatreport.jsp). Buried among the data on targeted attacks and data breaches is some very interesting data on mobile vulnerabilities and malware. Of 108 new malicious programs for mobile devices identified in 2012, Symantec found, 103 – more than 95%)- targeted Android devices. Just one mobile threat targeted Apple’s iOS operating system during the same period.

If you assumed that was because Android was the operating system with the most exploitable vulnerabilities, you would be wrong. In fact, just the opposite is true. It’s Apple’s iOS that was the source of almost all the documented mobile application vulnerabilities among the mobile platforms Symantec monitored, including Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and the like. iOS accounted for 387 of 415 documented vulnerabilities across all mobile platforms – a bit more than 93 percent, found.

What gives? A blog over at Veracode suggests that Google may have something of a "broken windows" problem, much like the problems experienced by urban areas in the U.S. during the 1960s and 70s.

"Google is making the mistakes of urban police forces and politicians in the 1960s and 70s, when crime rates took off," the blog post argues: failing to create barriers to crime and turning a blind eye to what perceive as small and inconsequential security incidents, infractions and abuses. That lax security is attracting the attention of those inclined to do ill, but wary of getting caught."

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