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Comment: Shooting themselves in the foot (Score 2) 346

by sserendipity (#36966230) Attached to: Amazon App Store 'Rotten To the Core,' Says Dev

They present one deal publicly, then renegotiate every Free App of the Day deal depending on whether or not they feel that the it is to Amazon's advantage. The Angry Birds get paid, the small local guy does not. This is predatory, though not illegal, and shows that they fundamentally misunderstand the ecosystem they need to foster in order for them to do well. If they were the only game in town, this might work for them, but they are not.

I have only anecdotal evidence, but it seems to me that the Amazon Store is used to grab free apps and nothing else. It's not compelling for users or developers.

Medicine

New Imaging Technique Helps Explain Unconsciousness 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the beware-the-unexpected-nap-attack dept.
smitty777 writes "A new imaging technique called fEITER (for functional Electrical Impedance Tomography by Evoked Response) attempts to explain the process of slipping into unconsciousness. The fEITER is a portable device that creates 3D imagery based on evoked potentials measured hundreds of times a second. The interesting finding from these studies is that unconsciousness appears to result from a buildup of inhibitor neurons. From the article: 'Our findings suggest that unconsciousness may be the increase of inhibitory assemblies across the brain's cortex. These findings lend support to Greenfield's hypothesis of neural assemblies forming consciousness.'"
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Web Site Editing Software For the Long Haul? 545

Posted by timothy
from the when-tripods-collapse dept.
MouseR writes "It seems we can't rely on software, in particular Web site editing software, to exist for the long haul. Every time I rely on something, it takes only a couple of years before it gets trashed. I have used GoLive's CyberStudio before it got engulfed as GoLive from Adobe. Both got trashed. I eventually used Apple's .Mac HomePage. It got trashed and replaced with iWeb. I then used iWeb, hosted on MobileMe, and Apple just killed it again, along with the hosting. So, as I'm preparing to move my stuff on various web sites, onto my own hosting server (outsourced), I'm wondering what kind of visual web site editor(s) I could use, for the long haul. I'm rather sick of changing tools every other year and as a software developer, would rather spend my time editing my web site rather than code it. Any suggestions?"
Medicine

US Preserves Smallpox For Defense 248

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it's-not-mine-i-swear dept.
lee1 writes "The US is preserving the last remaining known strains of smallpox in case they are needed to develop bio-warfare 'countermeasures' and as a hedge against possible outbreaks in a population with no natural immunity. 451 specimens are stored in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control, and 120 strains at the Russian Vector laboratory in Siberia. Meanwhile, the government has contracted to pay almost $3 billion to procure 14 million smallpox vaccination doses."
Censorship

The Rise of Filter Bubbles 408 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the sound-of-your-own-voice dept.
eldavojohn writes "Eli Pariser gave a talk at TED which posits that tailoring algorithms are creating 'filter bubbles' around each user, restricting the information that reaches you to be — unsurprisingly — only what you want to see. While you might be happy that your preferred liberal or conservative news hits you, you'll never get to see the converse. This is because Google, Facebook, newspaper sites and even Netflix filter what hits you before you get to see it. And since they give you what you want, you never see the opposing viewpoints or step outside your comfort zone. It amounts to a claim of censorship through personalization, and now that every site does it, it's becoming a problem. Pariser calls for all sites implementing these algorithms to embed in the algorithms 'some sense of public life' and also have transparency so you can understand why your Google search might look different than someone with opposing tastes." Hit the link below to watch a video of Pariser's talk.
Transportation

'Jetman' Rossy Flies Above the Grand Canyon 90

Posted by timothy
from the why-in-my-day-mules-and-snowshoes dept.
cylonlover writes "Yves Rossy, the former Swiss jet fighter pilot better known as Jetman, flew over the Grand Canyon last Saturday (May 7th) using his wearable jet-propelled wing. It was the first time he has flown with the device in North America, having previously used it to cross the English Channel, perform an aerial loop, fly in formation with stunt planes, and to unsuccessfully attempt traversing a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between Morocco and Spain."
Education

Do Geeks Make Better Adults? 335

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-not-you-exactly dept.
mcgrew writes "What makes people unpopular in the hallways of high school, mainly an unwillingness to conform, tends to translate into success as an adult. Robbins lists several companies—including Yahoo!—that prioritize hiring quirky individuals who shun conventional thinking. She also name-checks historical and current celebrities, including director Steven Spielberg (who was taunted for being Jewish in high school) and Lady Gaga (a self-described former theater 'freak'), whose weirdness led to later fame. (Other now-validated former outsiders she touts: Steve Jobs, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen and Angelina Jolie.)"
Technology

Do Gadgets Degrade Our Common Sense? 311

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stay-off-my-lawn dept.
ShelleyPortet writes "In a world where gadgets are growing more sophisticated, human behavior is changing — and not in a good way. That is what Robert Vamosi, author of When Gadgets Betray Us argues in his book, which examines the dangers of our growing dependence on technology. As gadgets develop the ability to multitask seemingly endless functions, Vamosi argues that people are increasingly unable to think for themselves. 'Instead of lifting our heads, looking around and thinking for ourselves,' Vamosi writes, some of us no longer see the world as human beings have for thousands of years and simply accept whatever our gadgets show us."
Government

'Motherlode' of Data Seized At Bin Laden Compound 718

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-saw-an-unclelode-once dept.
itwbennett writes "The raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan Sunday also turned up an 'intelligence harvest' of computer-based data that was described by an anonymous government source as 'the motherlode of intelligence.' The data is being sifted through at a secret site in Afghanistan. An unnamed official was quoted by Politico as saying: 'Hundreds of people are going through it now. It's going to be great even if only 10 percent of it is actionable. They cleaned it out. Can you imagine what's on Osama bin Laden's hard drive?'"
Math

Blue Gene/P Reaches Sixty-Trillionth of Pi Squared 212

Posted by timothy
from the just-warming-it-up dept.
Reader Dr.Who notes that an Australian research team using IBM's Blue Gene/P supercomputer has calculated the sixty-trillionth binary digit of Pi-squared, a task which took several months of processing. Snipping from the article, the Dr. writes: "'A value of Pi to 40 digits would be more than enough to compute the circumference of the Milky Way galaxy to an error less than the size of a proton.' The article goes on to cite use of computationally complex algorithms to detect errors in computer hardware. The article references a blog which has more background. Disclaimers: I attended graduate school at U.C. Berkeley. I am presently employed by a software company that sells an infrastructure product named PI."
Government

Department of Justice: FBI Too Focused On Child Porn 487

Posted by Soulskill
from the perhaps-not-the-wording-they-would-have-chosen dept.
itwbennett writes "The Department of Justice has issued a scathing report (PDF) on the ineffectiveness of the FBI in investigating and countering cyber attacks. The shortcomings are partly attributed to lack of training and lack of communication, but the biggest issue is the allocation of effort. From the report: 'Overall, we determined that in FY 2009 the FBI used 19 percent of its cyber agents on national security intrusion investigations, 31 percent to address criminal-based intrusions, and 41 percent to investigate online child pornography matters."
Social Networks

News Corp. Looking To Sell MySpace 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the betting-wrong dept.
rudy_wayne writes "News Corp. is reportedly trying to sell MySpace for $100 million, a fraction of the $580 million it originally paid for the social network in 2005. Parties interested in acquiring MySpace include private equity firm THL Partners, Redscout Ventures and Criterion Capital, owner of social network Bebo (the company AOL bought for $850 million and then sold for $10 million). Chinese Internet holding company Tencent is also reportedly interested, and so is MySpace co-founder Chris De Wolfe. What's not yet clear is what any of these companies plan to do with MySpace if a sale goes through." This follows news of massive layoffs and a rapidly shrinking userbase in recent months.
Twitter

NY Times Asks Twitter To Shut Down Retweeting Feed 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the stop-repeating-me dept.
WesternActor writes "According to PCMag.com, the New York Times has asked Twitter to shut down the FreeNYT Twitter feed that basically retweets all of the Times' articles. Is this really possible? After all, the feed just points to a list of Times Twitter accounts, all of which can also be found on the Times' website. If the Times succeeds in shutting this down, it could have a chilling effect for Twitter and online free speech in general."
Space

'Most Earth-Like' Exoplanet Gets Major Demotion 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the science-works dept.
audiovideodisco writes "Last month, the team behind NASA's Kepler planet-finding mission announced the discovery of the most Earth-like planetary candidate ever spotted: KOI 326.01, an approximately Earth-sized planet orbiting in the habitable zone of its star. There was much excitement; one astrophysicist even calculated the value of the new planet as exactly $223,099.93. But when an innocent fact-checker's question sent one of the researchers back to look at some figures, she noticed that the star's brightness was listed incorrectly in a reference catalog, throwing the planet's properties into doubt. After jiggering the calculations, the Kepler team now says that KOI 326.01 is neither Earth-sized nor in the habitable zone, and may actually be orbiting a different star. The Kepler researcher says, 'We're seeing the scientific method playing out in real time.' While this news is a bit of a downer, Kepler is just getting going, and it's expected to find many, many more Earth-like planets."

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