After a lot of speculation, Arvisp writes "Skype has released an official Android version. It allows calling via 3G and WiFi." One step closer to the carriers being just... carriers.
m2pc writes "PayPal has just announced the availability of their Open API under the 'PayPal X Program.' This enables developers to integrate PayPal payment processing services without forcing users to redirect to PayPal's website to enter payment information. This new initiative is designed to allow the company to better compete with the likes of Google and Amazon, which offer similar services. I wonder how much they paid for their domain: x.com?"
Professor_Quail writes with this interesting excerpt: "Oxford scientists have created a transparent form of aluminum by bombarding the metal with the world's most powerful soft X-ray laser. 'Transparent aluminum' previously only existed in science fiction, featuring in the movie Star Trek IV, but the real material is an exotic new state of matter with implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion."
eldavojohn writes "Certainly one of the most important steps in adopting a protocol is a working open source example of it. Well, google has open sourced an implementation of the wave protocol for those of you curious about Google's new collaboration and conversation platform. It's been reviewed, skewered and called 'Anti-Web' but now's your chance to see a Java implementation of it. The article lists it as still rapidly evolving so it might not be prudent to buy into it yet. Any thumbs up or thumbs down from actual users of the new protocol?"
CWmike writes "More than 9 out of every 10 Windows users are vulnerable to the Flash zero-day vulnerability that Adobe won't patch until Thursday, Danish security company Secunia says. According to Secunia, 92% of the 900,000 users who have recently run the company's Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility have Flash Player 10 on their PCs, while 31% have Flash Player 9. (The total exceeds 100% because some users have installed both.) The most-current versions of Flash Player — 220.127.116.11 and 10.0.22.87) — are vulnerable to hackers conducting drive-by attacks hosted on malicious and legitimate-but-compromised sites. Antivirus vendors have reported hundreds, in some cases thousands, of sites launching drive-bys against Flash."
schliz writes "Researchers behind the world's largest quantum encrypted network said the technology could secure business networks inside six years. The prototype Quantum Key Distribution network was built by the Secure Communication Based On Quantum Cryptography (SECOQC) group last year. It is described in a journal paper published by the Institute of Physics this week, which includes details on how it is based on the trusted-repeater paradigm."
Rand Huck writes "Amazon.com has now added Rhode Island to its blacklist of affiliates in response to its proposed budget changes to enforce a tax on Internet sales, which includes commissions on their affiliate program by content providers based in Rhode Island. The first state to be blacklisted was North Carolina, for the same reason. If you go to a Rhode Island-based or North Carolina-based website that advertises Amazon.com goods as an affiliate, that website will no longer have the goods available because otherwise Amazon.com would be forced to pay sales tax to the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations or the State of North Carolina. The state's rationale is, if someone clicks to buy a good from Amazon.com via a site based in Rhode Island, it's equivalent to buying a good from a brick and mortar chain store located in Rhode Island."
Sudheer writes "The PHP development team is proud to announce the immediate release of PHP 5.3.0. This release is a major improvement in the 5.X series, which includes a large number of new features and bug fixes. Some of the key new features include: namespaces, late static binding, closures, optional garbage collection for cyclic references, new extensions (like ext/phar, ext/intl and ext/fileinfo), over 140 bug fixes and much more."
paulraps writes "The Pirate Bay is to be bought for $7.8 million by Global Gaming Factory X, a Swedish company specializing in internet café management software, the company has announced. As well as taking over the controversial brand, GGF has also bought Peerialism, a small IT company with roots at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology, which has developed a new file sharing technology. The acquisitions mean that GGF will be at the heart of 'the international digital distribution market,' allowing it to introduce a new pay model for file sharing." Reader pyzondar adds "However, the press statement also states that the deal will only go through 'if GGF and its Board of Directors can use the asset in a legal and appropriate way.'"
Hugh Pickens writes "Cosmologist Adrian Mellott has an article in Seed Magazine discussing his search for the mechanism behind the mass extinctions in earth's history that seem to occur with a period of about 62 million years. Scientists have identified nearly 20 mass extinctions throughout the fossil record, including the end-Permian event about 250 million years ago that killed off about 95 percent of life on Earth. Mellott notes that as our solar system orbits the Milky Way's center, it oscillates through the galactic plane with a period of around 65 million years. 'The space between galaxies is not empty. It's actually full of rarefied hot gas,' says Mellott. 'As our galaxy falls into the Local Supercluster, it should disturb this gas and create a shock wave, like the bow shock of a jet plane,' generating cascades of high-energy subatomic particles and radiation called 'cosmic rays.' These effects could cause enhanced cloud formation and depletion of the ozone layer, killing off many small organisms at the base of the food chain and potentially leading to a population crash. So where is the earth now in the 62-million year extinction cycle? '[W]e are on the downside of biodiversity, a few million years from hitting bottom,' writes Mellott."
AI writes with a story from the NY Times about a 7-month-long effort, largely successful, to keep news of a Times reporter's kidnapping off of Wikipedia. The Christian Science Monitor, the reporter David Rohde's previous employer, takes a harder look at the issues of censorship and news blackout, linking to several blogs critical of Wikipedia's actions. Rohde escaped from a Taliban compound, along with his translator, on Saturday. "For seven months, The New York Times managed to keep out of the news the fact that one of its reporters, David Rohde, had been kidnapped by the Taliban. But that was pretty straightforward compared with keeping it off Wikipedia. ... A dozen times, user-editors posted word of the kidnapping on Wikipedia's page on Mr. Rohde, only to have it erased. Several times the page was frozen, preventing further editing — a convoluted game of cat-and-mouse that clearly angered the people who were trying to spread the information of the kidnapping... The sanitizing was a team effort, led by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, along with Wikipedia administrators and people at The Times."