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Cellphones

Is the App Store Broken? 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the honeymoon-is-over dept.
A recent post by Instapaper's Marco Arment suggests that design flaws in Apple's App Store are harming the app ecosystem, and users are suffering because of it. "The dominance and prominence of 'top lists' stratifies the top 0.02% so far above everyone else that the entire ecosystem is encouraged to design for a theoretical top-list placement that, by definition, won’t happen to 99.98% of them." Arment notes that many good app developers are finding continued development to be unsustainable, while scammy apps are encouraged to flood the market.

"As the economics get tighter, it becomes much harder to support the lavish treatment that developers have given apps in the past, such as full-time staffs, offices, pixel-perfect custom designs of every screen, frequent free updates, and completely different iPhone and iPad interfaces. Many will give up and leave for stable, better-paying jobs. (Many already have.)" Brent Simmons points out the indie developers have largely given up the dream of being able to support themselves through iOS development. Yoni Heisler argues that their plight is simply a consequence of ever-increasing competition within the industry, though he acknowledges that more app curation would be a good thing. What strategies could Apple (and the operators of other mobile application stories) do to keep app quality high?
The Military

Hackers Plundered Israeli Defense Firms That Built 'Iron Dome' Missile Defense 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the intercepting-missiles-is-easier-than-learning-not-to-click-on-attachments dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Brian Krebs reports on information from Columbia, Md.-based threat intelligence firm Cyber Engineering Services Inc. that attackers thought to be operating out of China hacked into the corporate networks of three top Israeli defense technology companies. The attackers were seeking technical documents related to Iron Dome, Israel's air defense system. "IAI was initially breached on April 16, 2012 by a series of specially crafted email phishing attacks. ... Once inside the IAI’s network, [the attackers] spent the next four months in 2012 using their access to install various tools and trojan horse programs on systems throughout company’s network and expanding their access to sensitive files, CyberESI said. The actors compromised privileged credentials, dumped password hashes, and gathered system, file, and network information for several systems. The actors also successfully used tools to dump Active Directory data from domain controllers on at least two different domains on the IAI’s network. All told, CyberESI was able to identify and acquire more than 700 files — totaling 762 MB total size — that were exfiltrated from IAI’s network during the compromise. The security firm said most of the data acquired was intellectual property and likely represented only a small portion of the entire data loss by IAI." Most of the stolen material pertained to Arrow III missiles, UAVs, and ballistic rockets.
Medicine

Metamason: Revolutionizing CPAP Masks With 3D Scanning and 3D Printing 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the breathing-easy dept.
First time accepted submitter Leslie Oliver Karpas writes As millions of Americans with Obstructive Sleep Apnea struggle to get a good night's sleep, one company has harnessed 3D technology to revolutionize CPAP therapy. As 3ders.org reported today, "Metamason is working on custom CPAP masks for sleep apnea patients via 3D scanning, smart geometry, and 3D printing." "We're at the crossroads of 3D technology and personalized medicine," says Metamason's founder and CEO. "There are many medical products that would be infinitely more comfortable and effective with a customized fit. CPAP therapy is the perfect example—it's a very effective treatment with a 50% quit rate, because mass-produced masks are uncomfortable and don't fit properly." CPAP is a respiratory device worn during sleep to treat OSA, which affects 1 in 4 men and 1 in 9 women in the US alone. Metamason's "ScanFitPrint" process for creating their custom Respere masks translates a 3D scan of the patient's face into a 3D printed custom mask that is a perfect individual fit. To print the masks in soft, biocompatible silicone, Metamason invented a proprietary 3D printing process called Investment Molding, which creates wholly integrated products that were previously considered "unmoldable."
The Internet

French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review 424

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-your-streisand-effect dept.
An anonymous reader sends an article about another case in which a business who received a negative review online decided to retaliate with legal complaints. In August of last year, a French food blogger posted a review of an Italian restaurant called Il Giardino. The restaurant owners responded with legal threats based on the claim that they lost business from search results which included the review. The blogger deleted the post, but that wasn't enough. She was brought to court, and a fine of €1,500 ($2,040) was imposed. She also had to pay court costs, which added another €1,000 ($1,360). The blogger said, "Recently several writers in France were sentenced in similar proceedings for defamation, invasion of privacy, and so on. ... I don't see the point of criticism if it's only positive. It's clear that online, people are suspicious of places that only get positive reviews."
Media

CMU System Lets You Get To the Good Parts of Video, Fast 32

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the my-videos-are-coming-up-blank dept.
coondoggie (973519) writes "While Video has become ubiquitous thanks mostly to smartphones it doesn't mean you want to actually watch all of it. Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists say they have invented a video highlighting technique called LiveLight that can automatically pick out action in videos shot by smartphones, GoPro cameras, or Google Glass users."
Technology

Don't Want Google In Your House? Here Are a Few Home-Tech Startups To Watch 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-is-my-immersion-blender-tweeting-at-me dept.
curtwoodward writes: Google bought Nest. Then Nest bought Dropcam. Then Nest opened up its platform to tech partners, including... Google. This may not creep everyone out, but for those who don't like the idea of Google's all-seeing eye owning their smart-home devices, there are some small, independent companies developing alternatives. Maybe they'll survive long enough to get acquired by a company that doesn't make 90 percent of its money from advertising — right?
The Courts

Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can't Be Searched Without a Warrant 249

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sanity-outbreak dept.
New submitter CarlThansk (3713681) writes The courts have long debated on if cell phones can be searched during an arrest without a warrant. Today, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest. "Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the court, said the vast amount of data contained on modern cellphones must be protected (PDF) from routine inspection." Phones may still be searched under limited circumstances (imminent threats), but this looks like a clear win for privacy. Quoting the decision: "We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime. Cell phones have become important tools in facilitating coordination and communication among members of criminal enterprises, and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals. Privacy comes at a cost."

Comment: Re:Let's get rid of EU (Score 1) 272

by peppepz (#47240405) Attached to: EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

So when, precisely, in your opinion did the Italian Republic become "fascist," or "military-controlled"?

To sum it up in poor words, the point of Gladio was to replace a left-wing government with a fascist one. This was never needed however, because the Italians were good boys and never elected a left-wing government. This notwithstanding, the Italian military secret service supported right-wing terrorism with money, weapons and judiciary protection.

The people who created Gladio were Italians elected by their countryman. They preferred a world where their country had a secret, Anti-Soviet Army directed partially by the CIA to one where it didn't. When those countrymen realized it was acting up they disbanded it.

Those countrymen were never aware of such activities, precisely because they were kept secret. In those cases when they become aware of them, the few persons identified as responsible for them had to spend the rest of their lives in South America or Africa to flee from Italian justice.

As for "terrorism-ridden," Italy has never had a year in which Gladio bombings made up the majority of terror attacks. There were leftists, and other Fascists active in the same period. Most of the time Gladio was third, behind the various leftists, and the Ordine Nuovo Fascists.

If we want to be precise, no bombing (or targeted murder) was ever set up by "Gladio". They were carried out by right-wing terrorists that were sponsored by "deviated" Italian secret services. But frankly, counting the victims of the "red" terror versus the ones of the "black" terror seems silly to me (others have done it, and in case you're interested, it's "a draw"). I can assure you that I despise the KGB-sponsored killings as much as the CIA ones. The point of this discussion was that the USA's only interest was a peaceful and boring Europe, and in my opinion terrorism is incompatible with peace and boredom.

In fact I think if you consult a dictionary, you'll note that "military control" is generally considered the opposite of having terrorists run around your country, so that Italy in the 70s and 80s was suffering from a distinct lack of military control.

Military control would have been an option of last resort, and it was never put in place. However, in certain times we got pretty close to that. It's not surprising, as the rest of southern Europe was not democratic until the 70s, and something like that went on in America's backyard.

Comment: Re:Let's get rid of EU (Score 1) 272

by peppepz (#47239759) Attached to: EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

Gladio had what to do with private corporations?

It was an emanation of the government of the United States of America, which, as we've already discussed here, is an expression of the private corporations that pay the politicians it's made up of.

It was an anti-soviet guerilla-prep program run by NATO in every country in Europe, wherein later a few groups got infiltrated by right-wingers who tried to use their power in immoral manners.

It wasn't anti-soviet. It was anti-democratic-countries-of-europe should one of them elect a government that wasn't appreciated by the USA. In this aspect, it was very soviet-like if anything.

About the "right-wingers", I don't know if "immoral manners" is the label that best describes turning hundreds of innocent people into jumbled meat, and then derailing the investigations with the support of the local secret services (very tangible stuff, both the bombs and the evidence that emerged during countless investigations, not conspiracy theory).

But that doesn't stop a particlar brand of conspiracy theorist from crediting to Gladio everything under the sun.

Eh, that's what happens when you set up secret organizations to subvert the democratic order of foreign states and end up supporting and funding terrorism. As a side effect, when you get busted, people tend to lose the faith in you.

Censorship

Egyptian Blogger Sentenced to 15 Years For Organizing Protest 70

Posted by timothy
from the very-heaven dept.
The Guardian reports that Alaa Abd El Fattah, "one of the activists most associated with the 2011 uprising that briefly ended 60 years of autocratic rule, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for allegedly organising a protest – an act banned under a law implemented last November, and used to jail several revolutionary leaders. ... Abd El Fattah was also jailed under Mubarak, the military junta that succeeded him, and Adly Mansour, the interim president installed after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi last summer. Under Morsi, Abd El Fattah escaped prison, but was placed under investigation." The EFF points ou that Abd El Fattah "is one of many caught up in the Egyptian government’s attempt to assert powers. Alaa set an example for how the Internet could be used to organize and exercise free speech: Egypt's leaders should not be permitted to make an example of him to silence others." Update: 06/12 20:02 GMT by T : Reader Mostafa Hussein points out that Abd El Fattah took part in a Slashdot interview more than 10 years ago, too; it gives some insight into the tech scene (and a bit of the politics) of Egypt at that time.
Patents

Why United States Patent Reform Has Stalled 139

Posted by timothy
from the buyer's-market dept.
ectoman (594315) writes Proponents of patent reform in the United States glimpsed a potential victory late last year, when the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act, designed to significantly mitigate patent abuse. Just months ago, however, the Senate pulled consideration of the bill. And since then, patent reform has been at a standstill. In a new analysis for Opensource.com, Mark Bohannon, Vice President of Corporate affairs and Global Public Policy at Red Hat, explains three reasons why. "For this year, at least," he writes, "the prospect of addressing abusive patent litigation through Congressional action is on ice"—despite the unavoidable case for reform.
Programming

Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages 309

Posted by timothy
from the ok-make-it-a-1001-flowers dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes Web applications may one day surpass desktop applications in function and usability — if developers have more programming languages to choose from, according to a Google engineer. 'The Web is always available, except when it is not,' said Gilad Bracha, software engineer at Google and one of the authors of Google Dart, speaking to an audience of programmers Wednesday at the QCon developer conference in New York. 'It isn't always available in a way that you can always rely on it. You may have a network that is slow or flaky or someone may want to charge you.' Therefore any Web programming language, and its associated ecosystem, must have some way of storing a program for offline use, Bracha said. The Web programming language of the future must also make it easier for the programmer to build and test applications.
United States

The Government Can No Longer Track Your Cell Phone Without a Warrant 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the doing-the-paperwork dept.
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes The government cannot use cell phone location data as evidence in a criminal proceeding without first obtaining a warrant, an appeals court ruled today, in one of the most important privacy decisions in recent memory. "In short, we hold that cell site location information is within the subscriber's reasonable expectation of privacy," the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled. "The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation."
Businesses

Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-need-to-read-the-fine-print dept.
walterbyrd (182728) writes Last week, it transpired that the big cable companies were bankrolling fake consumer groups like Broadband for America and The American Consumer Institute. These 'independent consumer advocacy groups' are, in truth, nothing of the sort, and instead represent the interests of its benefactors, in the fight against net neutrality. If that wasn't bad enough, VICE is now reporting that several of the real community groups (and an Ohio bed-and-breakfast) that were signed up as supporters of Broadband for America were either duped into joining, or were signed up to the cause without their consent or knowledge.

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