plastick writes: ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley is now reporting that the upcoming Windows Blue, also known as Windows 8.1, may be backtracking on some of these user interface decisions. According to her sources, the update may restore the Start button to the Windows desktop, as well as give users the ability to bypass the Start screen entirely at boot.
plastick writes: "You can think Windows 8 will evolve into something better, but the numbers show that Windows is coming to a dead end."
ZDNet is known to take the side of Microsoft in the past. ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols explains "The very day the debate came to an end, this headline appeared: IDC: Global PC shipments plunge in worst drop in a generation. Sure, a lot of that was due to the growth of tablets and smartphones and the rise of the cloud, but Windows 8 gets to take a lot of the blame too. After all, the debate wasn't whether or not Windows 8 was any good. It's not. The debate was over whether it could be saved."
Oh, all families are awful, aren't they? They insist on imposing emotional control upon you. They tell you what to do, what to think, what to believe, and which lover to toss down the chute of despair. And what do you get in return? Food, that's what. Yet Facebook wants you to believe that your Facebook friends are your real family. Yes, those people whom you hardly talk to, hardly remember, or hardly even know.
Called Facedeals, the camera uses photos uploaded to Facebook to recognise people as they walk in. Shoppers who agree to use the system, which has not been developed with Facebook, will be offered special deals.
The system is already being trialled in Nashville shops and bars. Is this the next level of Facebook's invasion of privacy?
plastick writes: Blizzard (the makers of World of Warcraft) has decided to ban anyone running Diablo III on Linux using Wine and is classing the practice as gaining an unfair advantage by running unapproved third party software.
plastick writes: Senate Bill 978, a bipartisan measure introduced last month by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), is backed by supporters who say it closes glaring loopholes in current copyright infringement law created by the realities of the digital age.
“As technology rapidly evolves, our laws must be updated to protect creativity and innovation,” said a statement by Cornyn.
But critics say a section of the bill provides for steep penalties — up to five years in prison — for “publicly performing” copyrighted material and embedding the video to sites like YouTube.
“It seems like (the bill) is attacking the core of the Internet itself, which is to promote communication amongst people all over the world,” said Hemanshu “Hemu” Nigam, a former White House counsel for online protection and the founder of the online safety advisory firm SSP Blue.
plastick writes: It’s taken a while, but Google has finally caved in to pressure from the entertainment industries including the MPAA and RIAA. The search engine now actively censors terms including BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload from its instant and autocomplete services. The reactions from affected companies and services are not mild, with BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare and Vodo all speaking out against this act of commercial censorship.
plastick writes: Many of the most popular applications, or "apps," on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information, in effect, providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.
"Apps" are pieces of software that let Facebook's 500 million users play games or share common interests with one another. The Journal found that all of the 10 most popular apps on Facebook were transmitting users' IDs to outside companies. The apps, ranked by research company Inside Network Inc. (based on monthly users), include Zynga Game Network Inc.'s FarmVille, with 59 million users, and Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille. Three of the top 10 apps, including FarmVille, also have been transmitting personal information about a user's friends to outside companies.
plastick writes: In their experiments, researchers employed human embryonic stem cells, which possess the extraordinary ability to become any other cell. To simulate microgravity on Earth, the scientists used a NASA-designed machine which kept the cells nourished with oxygen and nutrients while constantly spinning to keep the cells in a state of freefall for 28 days.
After this experiment, the cells showed vast differences on the molecular level, with 64 percent of their proteins differing from those grown under normal gravity. Specifically, these microgravity-exposed cells generated more proteins that degrade bone and fewer proteins with antioxidant effects. Antioxidants protect against reactive oxidants that can damage DNA.
Microgravity also influenced levels of a broad range of other proteins. These include those involved in cell division, the immune system, the muscle and skeletal systems, calcium levels within cells, and cell motility.
plastick writes: "Biomedical research could someday look a lot like playing video games thanks to a new device that allows users to manipulate cells with the swerve of a joystick. A team of physicists and engineers at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio developed the device from a tiny piece of square-centimeter silicon inlaid with rows of zigzagging magnetic wires."