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The Internet

North Korea Blocks Data Access For Foreigners 28

According to Reuters, foreigners in North Korea who formerly had online access via the country's 3G network have now been blocked from using it, in the wake of a fire at Pyongyang's Koryo Hotel, though it was not immediately clear whether the two events are related. has an interesting look into what internet access is like for North Koreans, but as the linked Reuters report explains, access is in general much freer for residents as well as visiting foreigners.

Microsoft's Skype Drops Modern App In Favour of Old-Fashioned Win32 App 186

mikejuk writes: Microsoft, after putting a lot of effort into persuading us that Universal Apps are the way of the future, pulls the plug on Skype modern app, to leave just the desktop version. Skype is one of Microsoft's flagship products and it has been available as a desktop Win32 app and as a Modern/Metro/WinRT app for some time. You would think that Skype would support Universal Apps, there are few enough of them — but no. According to the Skype blog: 'Starting on July 7, we're updating PC users of the Windows modern application to the Windows desktop application, and retiring the modern application.' Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 Universal Apps as the development platform for now and the future, but its Skype team have just disagreed big time. If Microsoft can't get behind the plan why should developers? (Also at Windows Central and VentureBeat.)

South Korean Activist To Drop "The Interview" In North Korea Using Balloons Screenshot-sm 146

Siddharth Srinivas writes Park Sang Hak, a North Korean democracy activist, said he will start dropping 100,000 DVDs and USBs with Sony's The Interview by balloon in North Korea as early as late January. He's partnering with the U.S.-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation, which is financing the making of the DVDs and USB memory sticks of the movie with Korean subtitles.
Open Source

Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer 641

alphadogg writes: "An argument between developers of some of the most basic parts of Linux turned heated this week, resulting in a prominent Red Hat employee and code contributor being banned from working on the Linux kernel. Kay Sievers, a well-known open-source software engineer, is a key developer of systemd, a system management framework for Linux-based operating systems. Systemd is currently used by several prominent Linux distributions, including two of the most prominent enterprise distros, Red Hat and SUSE. It was recently announced that Ubuntu would adopt systemd in future versions as well. Sievers was banned by kernel maintainer Linus Torvalds on Wednesday for failing to address an issue that caused systemd to interact with the Linux kernel in negative ways."
The Military

Military Drone Lost Over Lake Ontario 258

First time accepted submitter slipped_bit writes "An MQ-9 Reaper drone has gone down over Lake Ontario during a practice mission. The flight, being operated by the New York Air National Guard's 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse, NY, was going well for about three hours before contact with the aircraft was lost. A search was started but had to be postponed due to weather."
Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars City Doomed By Sand Dunes 166

An anonymous reader writes "The buildings and set of the fictional city Mos Espa are set to be swallowed by migrating sand dunes in the Tunisian desert. From the article: 'Ralph Lorenz, from Johns Hopkins University, US, together with Jason Barnes, from the University of Idaho, and Nabil Gasmi, of the University of Sousse, Tunisia, visited the Mos Espa site in 2009, and noted that part of a nearby set used in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope had already been overrun. Using satellite images of the site, they were able to determine the speed of dune movement, which is approaching the buildings once inhabited by such luminaries as Anakin, his slave owner Watto, and rival podracer Sebulba.'"

Gnome Founder Miguel de Icaza Moves To Mac 815

TrueSatan writes "Miguel de Icaza, via his blog, has explained his gradual move to the Apple Mac platform. 'While I missed the comprehensive Linux toolchain and userland, I did not miss having to chase the proper package for my current version of Linux, or beg someone to package something. Binaries just worked.' Here is one of his main reasons: 'To me, the fragmentation of Linux as a platform, the multiple incompatible distros, and the incompatibilities across versions of the same distro were my Three Mile Island/Chernobyl.' Reaction to his announcement includes a blog post from Jonathan Riddell of Blue Systems/Kubuntu. Given de Icaza's past association with Microsoft (CodePlex Foundation) and the Free Software Foundation's founder Richard Stallman's description of de Icaza as a 'traitor to the free software community,' this might be seen as more of a blow to Microsoft than to GNU/Linux."

Microsoft Phases Out XNA and DirectX? 256

mikejuk writes "It is reported that Microsoft has sent an email to DirectX/XNA MVPs which informs them that they are no longer needed because XNA and DirectX are no longer evolving. What does this mean? If you don't need MVPs then presumably you anticipate nothing to support in the future."

Current Radio Rules Mean Sinclair ZX Spectrum Wouldn't Fly Today 64

First time accepted submitter wisewellies writes "Ben clearly has way too much spare time on his hands, but he decided to see just how well an antiquated ZX Spectrum would hold up to modern EMC requirements. His blog is a good read if you're looking for something to do while pretending to work! From the blog: 'This year is the 30th anniversary of one of my favourite inventions of all time, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. A few weeks ago, I finally bought one: a non-working one on eBay that I nursed back to health. Fortunately there was very little wrong with it. Unfortunately it's a 16K model, and a fairly early one at that, which won't run much software in its native state. This probably accounts for its unusually pristine condition. We took half an hour in the chamber to perform an approximate series of EN55022 measurements, to check its radiated emissions against today's standard. The question is, what have we learned as an industry since 1982?'"

Notch Won't Certify Minecraft For Windows 8 303

MojoKid writes "The backlash against Windows 8 from various developers continues, but this time a game's creator isn't just expressing discontent. Notch, the developer behind smash hit Minecraft, has declared that he won't be working with Microsoft to certify Minecraft for Windows 8. Note that this doesn't mean Minecraft won't run on Windows 8. The certification process in question is Microsoft's mandatory rules for submitting content to the Windows game store. In order to be listed there, an application must be Metro-compatible and conform to a laundry list of other conditions. The real problem with Windows 8 is that it locks ARM users into a second class experience. If you buy an x86 tablet, you can download programs from SourceForge, GitHub, or any file mirror. If you're an ARM user, you can download programs from the Microsoft store and that's it. The bifurcated permission structure is the problem, and it makes WinRT tablets categorically impossible to recommend for anyone who values the ability to install whatever software they please."

Mono Abandons Open Source Silverlight 336

mikejuk writes "The Mono project is about the only group of people actively talking up .NET and developing it, but in an interview Miguel de Icaza has admitted that Moonlight, the Mono version of Silverlight, isn't worth the effort any more. He said, 'Silverlight has not gained much adoption on the web, so it did not become the must-have technology that I thought [it] would have to become. And Microsoft added artificial restrictions to Silverlight that made it useless for desktop programming. These days we no longer believe that Silverlight is a suitable platform for write-once-run-anywhere technology, there are just too many limitations for it to be useful.'"

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Won't Fit On a CD 488

gbl08ma writes "According to various sources, the ISO image size for the upcoming Long-Term Support Ubuntu version 'Precise Pangolin' will not fit on a regular CD, since the image size is expected to weigh around 750MB instead of the usual ~700MB. The idea is that users should either flash the image to a USB flash drive or burn it to a DVD. The extra room on the disc image could allow for integration of more GNOME3 components and Canonical applications. There was also a proposal to use a 1.5GB DVD image as the default download for Ubuntu 12.04."

Google Incrementally Dropping Support For Older Browsers 353

AmiMoJo writes "Google announced on its blog that it is dropping support for Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7 and Safari 3 from the 1st of August. In these older browsers you may have trouble using certain features in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites, and eventually these apps may stop working entirely."

Voice of America Site Forced Offline By 'Iranian Cyber Army' 93

angry tapir writes with this excerpt from TechWorld: "The pro-Iran hacktivist group that defaced the Baidu and Twitter Web sites a year ago has hit another target: the US Government's Voice of America news site. Voice of America was knocked offline temporarily after hackers were able to change the organization's DNS (Domain Name System) settings, redirecting Web traffic hitting Voice of America sites to another site controlled by the hackers."

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead