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Apple

+ - "Apple's innovation is sputtering"->

Submitted by brocket66
brocket66 (2712505) writes "Apple is the most profitable consumer electronics company in the world by a healthy margin but according to one industry watcher, the company has stopped innovating. Apple’s record-breaking iPhone 5 launch helped the company pull in $36 billion last quarter, and its high margins yielded a net profit of $8.2 billion. According to Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdry however, the record demand for Apple products at present has nothing to do with innovation, which the Cupertino, California-based company has been lacking lately."
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Chrome

+ - Firefox Falls Below 20%, Chrome Loses Users Second Month In A Row

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "October 2012 was quite a month in browser land. Microsoft shipped IE10 with Windows 8 last week. Google lost share for the second month in a row. Mozilla had to pull Firefox 16 due to a security hole, but recovered rather quickly. After all that, the latest market share numbers from Net Applications show that IE was the only big winner last month."
Cloud

+ - Amazon EBS failure brings down Reddit, Imgur, others -> 1

Submitted by
BButlerNWW
BButlerNWW writes "Amazon Web Services has confirmed that its Elastic Block Storage (EBS) service is experiencing degraded service, leading sites across the Internet to experience downtime, including Reddit, Imgur and many others.

AWS confirmed on its status page at 2:11 p.m. ET that it is experiencing "degraded performance for a small number of EBS volumes." It says the issue is restricted to a single Availability Zone within the US-East-1 Region, which is in Northern Virginia. AWS later reported that its Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and its Elastic Beanstalk application plaform also experienced failures on Monday afternoon."

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+ - Indian Superbug gene found in American cat->

Submitted by dywolf
dywolf (2673597) writes "The NDM-1 story has been long and contentious (my archive of posts is here), but from the first, two things have been clear. However the political battles fall out, medicine views the emergence of this gene as a catastrophe, because it edges organisms to the brink of being completely non-responsive to antibiotics, as untreatable as if the infections were contracted before the antibiotic era began. And because the gene resides in organisms that happily live in the gut without causing symptoms, NDM-1 has been a hidden catastrophe, crossing borders and entering hospitals without ever being detected."
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+ - Dinosaur extinction may have been caused by two major events

Submitted by ACXNew
ACXNew (2639799) writes "The most-studied mass extinction in Earth history happened 65 million years ago and is widely thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. New University of Washington research indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.
The well-known second event is believed to have been triggered by an asteroid at least 6 miles in diameter slamming into Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. But new evidence shows that by the time of the asteroid impact, life on the seafloor – mostly species of clams and snails – was already perishing because of the effects of huge volcanic eruptions on the Deccan Plateau in what is now India.."
The Almighty Buck

+ - why is it so difficult to transfer money->

Submitted by
frankadama
frankadama writes "A few weeks ago, at a dinner with a dozen or so friends, the check arrived and the usual payment scrum ensued, with cash being passed back and forth across the table.

Except for one person, who whipped out the little plastic device made by Square, plugged it into her phone and offered to swipe the credit card of anyone who wanted to give her exact change for their portion of the bill."

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Apple

+ - Apple Says "No" to Releasing new Dock Connector Specs->

Submitted by sl4shd0rk
sl4shd0rk (755837) writes "According to sources Apple hasn't offered any specs to developers for the new "9-pin Connector" to be used on the next version of the iphone. Apple has also said it may use "licensing agreements and threats of lawsuits" to prevent third-party adapters from hitting the market through at least 2012. There have been suggestions that this tactic is to allow Apple time to leverage competition and reap in revenues of $100 million for every 10 million Dock Connector Adpaters it sells for $10. It remains unclear whether Apple will allow third-party developers to release competing alternatives after 2012."
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Education

+ - Khan Academy Pilot Educators on Khan Academy

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "In what may surprise Khan Academy backers Google and Bill Gates, educators from the Los Altos School District where KA was initially piloted and implemented have responded to some recent KA critiques with a blog entry which notes, 'Teachers in our district have determined that the greatest value of the Khan Academy lies, not in the videos, but in the exercise modules and data generated as students work practice problems.' Not too surprisingly, when it comes to revolutionizing student learning, teachers are bullish on teachers. 'Key to this revolution are the Los Altos teachers,' the educators conclude. 'Teachers in our district are highly valued for their pedagogical perspective, content knowledge, experience, and creative abilities. When district administrators put tools in the hands of teachers and give them room to work, amazing things happen for students. Tools will come and go, but it's the teachers who create meaningful learning experiences that challenge students to grow.'"
Apple

+ - Siri Is The New Clippy

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "In perhaps the unkindest cut of all to Apple, TechCrunch's Alexia Tsotsis likens Siri to Clippy. 'Despite whatever Samuel L. Jackson says,' writes Tsotsis, 'Siri in its current incarnation simply doesn’t work. In fact, it’s actually starting to remind us of Microsoft’s Mr.Clippy, that cloying MS Office "assistant" that would pop up upon start and say stuff like, "It looks like you’re writing a letter, can I help you?" Tsotsis adds: 'What bugs people the most about these ill-thought-out products is that they’re like that annoying person at work who’s always all, "Can I do anything to help?" when they can’t actually do anything, don’t know shit, and are actually neglecting their real job while they take the time to ask you that question.' Ouch."
Twitter

+ - Obama has 13 million fake followers->

Submitted by
KrisJon
KrisJon writes "Multiple sources are reporting that forty-one percent of the commander in chief's 18.6 million Twitter followers are fake, 35 percent are inactive and 25 percent are "good," or likely to be authentic, according to Fake Follower Check, which scours the messaging service specifically for phony adherents."
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Google

+ - Google Starts Punishing Pirate Sites In Search Results->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google constantly tweaks how its search engine delivers results to people, but it's rolling out a major new change next week: it'll start generally downranking sites that receive a high volume of copyright infringement notices from copyright holders. Google says the move is designed to "help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily" — meaning that it's trying to direct people who search for movies, TV shows, and music to sites like Hulu and Spotify, not torrent sites or data lockers like the infamous MegaUpload. It's a clear concession to the movie and music industries, who have long complained that Google facilitates piracy — and Google needs to curry favor with media companies as it tries to build an ecosystem around Google Play. Google says it feels confident making the change because because its existing copyright infringement reporting system generates a massive amount of data about which sites are most frequently reported — the company received and processed over 4.3 million URL removal requests in the past 30 days alone, more than all of 2009 combined. Importantly, Google says the search tweaks will not remove sites from search results entirely, just rank them lower in listings."
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+ - Bill Would Require Patent Trolls to Pay Legal Costs->

Submitted by sgent
sgent (874402) writes "Rep. Trent Franks (R) has introduce a bill which would require a loser pays system for patent trolls. It would only require loser pays for companies which aren't actively producing their own technology, and is only effective for hardware and software patents. Apparently it faces little opposition, and hopefully this congress will pass it."
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Google

+ - Scientists Uncover the Seasonal Variations of Internet Porn

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "For everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose, under heaven as Megan Garber reports that according to a paper just published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, internet pornography — like planting, reaping and harvesting — is seasonal. Porn's peak seasons? Winter and late summer. Researchers at Villanova examined the Google trends for such commonly-searched-for terms as "porn," "xxx," "xxvideos" ... and other, more descriptive phrases and uncovered a defined cycle featuring clear peaks and valleys — recurring at discernible six-month intervals. The researchers also ran a control group consisting of Google searches for non-sexual terms and those terms demonstrated no such cyclical pattern. The researchers then looked at search terms associated with a relatively purpose-driven category of sexytime — prostitution and dating websites — and found that, for those terms ... the six-month cycle showed up again. "The findings are striking. And they suggest, above all, the power of the Internet to reveal the patterns of human emotion in a new scope, from a new angle," writes Garber. The authors note that a six-month sexual cycle has been reported before. It crops up in everything from abortion rates, to condom sales, and diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections. But why? One possibility is that it's purely a social construction driven by the fact that in Western cultures, Christmas and summer are the main holiday seasons; but it could reflect a more primitive biological cycle. "The Internet knows what we want," concludes Garber. "It knows what we do when we are alone, or think we are. And it knows all of us with the same totality of intimacy.""
Education

+ - Khan Academy: The Teachers Strike Back 2

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "With his Khan Academy: The Hype and the Reality screed in the Washington Post, Mathalicious founder Karim Kai Ani — a former middle school teacher and math coach — throws some cold water on the Summer of Khan Love Hippies, starting with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. From the article: "When asked why so many teachers have such adverse reactions to Khan Academy, Khan suggests it’s because they’re jealous. 'It’d piss me off, too, if I had been teaching for 30 years and suddenly this ex-hedge-fund guy is hailed as the world’s teacher.' Of course, teachers aren’t 'pissed off' because Sal Khan is the world’s teacher. They’re concerned that he’s a bad teacher who people think is great; that the guy who’s delivered over 170 million lessons to students around the world openly brags about being unprepared and considers the precise explanation of mathematical concepts to be mere 'nitpicking.' Experienced educators are concerned that when bad teaching happens in the classroom, it’s a crisis; but that when it happens on YouTube, it’s a 'revolution.'""

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