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

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.)

+ - Rosetta team proposes landing on comet to finish mission

schwit1 writes: Rather than simply turn off the spacecraft when its funding runs out at the end of 2015, Rosetta's science team have proposed that the mission get a nine month extension, during which they will slowly spiral into the comet and gently land.

Their proposal is similar to what American scientists did with their NEAR spacecraft, which hadn't been designed to land on an asteroid but was successfully eased onto the surface of Eros, where it operated for a very short time.

Comment: Re:Life (Score 2) 117 117

The four Galilean moons are interesting from an evolutionary POV. Io - Molten sulphur on the surface, purple volcanoes all over it. Europa - Deep water ocean, thin crust, very active plate tectonics. Ganymede - Europa with a deep dish crust and cooler core. Callisto - A rock.

Yes, I imagine the birds will have quite different types of beaks.

Comment: Re:The roads are designed for flooding in Iceland (Score 3, Interesting) 69 69

... all of the many small bridges in the region are specifically designed to be washed away easily. It's simply cheaper to build them new ones after every serious flood.

The Icelandic director of transport states in this mornings paper that "bridges are expensive". Just rebuilding two particular bridges that are candidates for being washed away would cost roughly 25 million USD. In addition there's the disruption and inconvenience until some rudimentary bridges have been put in place.

The plan is therefore to try to save the bridges. If necessary, heavy machinery will be used to dig the roads apart the allow the flood to go that way. Rebuilding roads is a comparatively quick and painless process.

Comment: Re:There isn't any... (Score 2) 81 81

I must disagree. A 20% error rate rarely completely changes the meaning of a particular sentence or article.

I can use automatic translation to read foreign web sites. I notice when the translation is weird and most probably wrong, but still I more or or less understand what is being discussed. How on earth can that be worse than absolutely nothing?

Comment: Re:Java 7 and prime time (Score 1) 115 115

I updated parts of our production to make it Java 7 ready earlier this year. Then came Java 7u21 in April that started to break things with its changes to security. We could to use slightly older versions, but Java -really- wants us to update to the most recent version.

All in all, Java isn't very enterprise friendly for us. We have some systems that rely on applets and browser plugins working correctly, there is no way around that. As far as I see it, for security reasons we would like to block applets by default, but we would also like to be able to white-list a specific set of servers from which applets are accepted. Any solution for this? We mostly use IE.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146 146

Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!