1) Not all developers have credit cards. My country is a perfect example. Since online payment is (sadly) still a relatively new term for our local banks, you need to go through a lot of hoops to get an "internet-capable" debit card (some require security deposits even though it is a debit card, others require additional paperwork, etc). By default you just get a Visa Electron card which doesn't work online.
2) There are some young developers who just want to play around and might produce some very creative things, but will be repelled by the fact that they need to ask their parents for CC. They'll just go ahead and make some cool stuff for Firefox instead.
3) Why $5 and not just $1 or.5? I bet that there are some third world countries where paying $5 just to be able to submit your non-commercial web browser extension is a lot. If they wanted this as an authenticity tool, any (lower) value would work as well.
6000 extensions * $5 = I don't see the point of this in, terms of income
On the other hand, I know that in some countries (my included), obtaining an online payment credit card is a frustrating process. Most (IT-oriented) people around me don't have CCs, and that is, simply put, a major loss of potential Chrome Extension developers.
The signup fee is a one-time payment of $5. Supposedly, it's purpose is to "create better safeguards against fraudulent extensions in the gallery and limit the activity of malicious developer accounts". Developers who already registered with the gallery can continue to update their extensions and publish new items without paying the fee.
iTunes is generally a pain to work with. You can, however, disable automatic updating.
I would recommend using some alternative software, such as CopyTrans Manager or similar. You still need iTunes installed because of iPod/iPhone drivers, but there are ways of extracting drivers from iTunes installer, without actually installing iTunes itself (a short tutorial can be found here)
from the number-you've-reached-has-been-changed dept.
suraj.sun writes with this news from CNET: "A security researcher involved with the Wikileaks Web site — Jacob Appelbaum, a Seattle-based programmer for the online privacy protection project called Tor — was detained by US agents at the border for three hours and questioned about the controversial whistleblower project as he entered the country on Thursday to attend a hacker conference. He was also approached by two FBI agents at the Defcon conference after his presentation on Saturday afternoon about the Tor Project. Appelbaum, a US citizen, arrived at the Newark, New Jersey, airport from Holland Thursday morning, was taken into a room, frisked and his bag was searched. Officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Army then told him he was not under arrest but was being detained. They asked questions about Wikileaks, asked for his opinions about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and asked where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is, but he declined to comment without a lawyer present, according to the sources. He was not permitted to make a phone call, they said." Appelbaum told me that he just spoke at length with The New York Times, and quipped that his Defcon talk about Tor was "just fine, until the FBI showed up"; this post will likely be updated with more details.
Update: 08/02 03:59 GMT by T: Here's the NYT's coverage.
from the if-you-call-that-early dept.
Perl 6 may have been "finally coming within reach" in 2004, but now it's even closer. Reader rnddim writes "The Perl 6 implementation Rakudo Star has been released todayfor 'early adopters.' This release of Rakudo is different from the normal monthly compiler releases in that it is bundled with a draft of a Perl 6 book, and several modules. It's not complete, and it's not as fast as it should be, but Rakudo in its current state is proving to be usable and useful. Rakudo Star releases will come monthly or as major features or bugfixes are made. It is available for download at github.com."
from the thought-experiments-welcome dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired about another entry in the ongoing quest for low-tech-high-tech educational tools to take advantage of distributed knowledge: "The Humane Reader, a device designed by computer consultant Braddock Gaskill, takes two 8-bit microcontrollers and packages them in a 'classic style console' that connects to a TV. The device includes an optional keyboard, a micro-SD Card reader and a composite video output. It uses a standard micro-USB cellphone charger for power. In all, it can hold the equivalent of 5,000 books, including an offline version of Wikipedia, and requires no internet connection. The Reader will cost $20 when 10,000 or more of it are manufactured. Without that kind of volume, each Reader will cost about $35."
from the they-can't-fool-pudge dept.
BergZ writes "Scientists from around the world are providing even more evidence of global warming. 'A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record,' the annual State of the Climate report declares. Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, including Canada, the report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its analysis of 10 indicators that are 'clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable.'"