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Submission + - Upgrade to Windows 10 and your kids may no longer be safe (

Mark Wilson writes: Parents who are upgrading their computers to Windows 10 are warned that the move from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will obliterate the safety features used to protect children. You may have spent time putting restrictions in place in a bid to keep your offspring safe when using your computer, but Windows 10 will change these child-friendly accounts into standard accounts with no limitations whatsoever.

The upgrade process wipes out website restrictions, game and app age ratings, time limits, and other parental controls and monitoring options. Unless a parent goes to the trouble of reinstating each of these settings individuals, their children will have unfettered computer access. The discovery, revealed by The Register, will come as a surprise to many, but the worry is that many parents will simply be unaware that their children are not protected. And this is far from being the first time Windows 10 has been criticized.

Submission + - Everything you think you know about Republicans and climate change is wrong ( 2

Layzej writes: The popular narrative in the media these days is that the GOP is in denial about the science of climate change. Mark Reynolds of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby says that this perception is largely manufactured by the media that thrives on conflict. After meeting with over 500 House and Senate offices in Washington, his organization found that republicans largely accept the science, but balk at solutions that involve more government, more red tape and more regulations.

Many republicans would like to have a seat at the policy table. They would bring a market-friendly approach that doesn’t dictate which technologies win or how we should conduct our lives. Reynolds suggests that a Carbon Fee and Dividend is one such solution. "By returning all revenue from the carbon fee to households, we accomplish two things: Keep the federal government from getting bigger and add jobs by putting money into the pockets of people who will spend it."

Submission + - Nobel Peace laureate Obama spending billions on US nuclear arsenal 2

ltorvalds11 writes: Barack Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world seems to be unraveling at an alarming rate. In 2009 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment for nuclear disarmament. Five years on, the US’s nuclear arsenal sees a $355 billion investment.
In April 2009, Obama outlined his dream of a planet free from nuclear weapons in a speech in Prague. He claimed it was not just a dream, but a real plan, and said that although the threat of global nuclear war had diminished, the risk of a nuclear attack had gone up.
The plans to upgrade and replace America’s nuclear arsenal are certainly ambitious. Washington is planning to upgrade eight nuclear facilities across the country, which employee 40,000 people, but the costs will run into tens of billions of dollars.
On August 22, veteran Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic party, posted a statement on his party’s website, questioning whether the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner should hand the accolade back. “Usually the Nobel Peace Prize is handed to people who fought for peace for 20, 30, 40 or 50 years, who did prison time. This man has not lifted a finger. And in recent years he has organized wars. Ukraine is in flames, the Mideast is troubled, and there are problems in Afghanistan. Throughout his term in power – not a single peacekeeping operation; we see only death, aggression and refugees. The Peace Prize should be recalled immediately to avoid disgracing the award,” Zhirinovsky said.

Submission + - Break Microsoft Up

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Tom Worstall writes in Forbes that the that the only way to get around the entrenched culture that has made Microsoft a graveyard for the kind of big ideas that have inspired companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon is to split the company up so as to remove conflicts between new and old products and with Ballmer's departure instead of finding someone new to run the company, bring in experts to handle the legal side and find suitable CEOs for the new companies. "The underlying problem for Microsoft is that the computing market has rapidly left behind the company's basic strategy of controlling the machines that people use with operating-system software," says Erik Sherman. "The combination of mobile devices that broke Microsoft's grip on the client end, and cloud computing that didn't necessarily need the company in data centers, shattered this form of control." Anyone can see how easily you could split off the gaming folks, business division, retail stores, and hardware division says John Dvorak. Each entity would have agreements in place for long-term supply of software and services. "This sort of shake up would ferret out all the empire builders and allow for new and more creative structures to emerge. And since everyone will have to be in a semi-startup mode, the dead wood will be eliminated by actual hard work."

Submission + - The World Fair of 2014 according to Asimov (from 1964) ( 2

Esther Schindler writes: If you ever needed evidence that Isaac Asimov was a genius at extrapolating future technology from limited data, you'll enjoy this 1964 article in which he predicts what we'll see at the 2014 world's fair. For instance:

Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The I.B.M. exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English. If machines are that smart today, what may not be in the works 50 years hence? It will be such computers, much miniaturized, that will serve as the "brains" of robots. In fact, the I.B.M. building at the 2014 World's Fair may have, as one of its prime exhibits, a robot housemaid*large, clumsy, slow- moving but capable of general picking-up, arranging, cleaning and manipulation of various appliances. It will undoubtedly amuse the fairgoers to scatter debris over the floor in order to see the robot lumberingly remove it and classify it into "throw away" and "set aside." (Robots for gardening work will also have made their appearance.)

General Electric at the 2014 World's Fair will be showing 3-D movies of its "Robot of the Future," neat and streamlined, its cleaning appliances built in and performing all tasks briskly. (There will be a three-hour wait in line to see the film, for some things never change.)

It's really fun (and sometimes sigh-inducing) to see where he was accurate and where he wasn't. And, of course, the whole notion that we'd have a world's fair is among the inaccurate predictions.

Submission + - The Steve Jobs Story Not Told In 'Jobs'

snydeq writes: While it does well in portraying the founding of Apple, the development of the Mac, and the return of Steve Jobs to a struggling Apple, 'Jobs' the movie falls short of telling the story that should have been made into a movie about Jobs the man. 'The movie portrays the man as a brilliant but difficult visionary who had the cunning and force of will to get what he wanted and to inspire people to deliver beyond their own expectations — which is true, as far as it goes,' writes Galen Gruman. 'Missing are the explosions of abuse he would hurl on friends and coworkers, as well as the utter ruthlessness he would use to hurt his enemies. Instead, the mean scenes in the movie are ultimately used to set up a "why Jobs was ultimately right" segment. ... The most interesting part of the Steve Jobs story occurs after Jobs was fired from Apple, and that's where I wish the movie had focused its attention. It would have provided rich material for a more compelling drama.'

Submission + - iPhone 5S: New photos, full specs point to biggest 'S' upgrade ever (

An anonymous reader writes: As Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5S enters mass production, we’re seeing all of the puzzle pieces fall into place. Photos are leaking, new details are trickling out, and rumors of production issues and possible delays are spreading like wildfire, just like they do every year. Now, a new report may reveal full specs for the iPhone 5S alongside new images of the device’s case assembly seemingly taken inside Foxconn’s factory...

Submission + - Samsung Galaxy S3s Suddenly Dying Due To Possible Hardware Issue 1

An anonymous reader writes: Some Samsung Galaxy S III owners are reporting their devices are suddenly being bricked. The phone simply won’t turn on again after it is charged overnight, or after the screen is turned off. Users are reporting that the mainboards are the root of the problem and that the flash memory is becoming corrupted and failing, though the devices do seem to last somewhere between 150 and 200 days before dying. According to reports, Samsung is replacing them under warranty whether or not people have rooted the devices or installed non-standard firmware, but the company is allegedly using the same revision for the mainboards, suggesting the problem may simply come back in a few months again.

The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite 671

hessian writes "As technology advances, the rewards to cleverness increase. Computers have hugely increased the availability of information, raising the demand for those sharp enough to make sense of it. In 1991 the average wage for a male American worker with a bachelor's degree was 2.5 times that of a high-school drop-out; now the ratio is 3. Cognitive skills are at a premium, and they are unevenly distributed."

Submission + - Google, H.264 and WebM - the mud clears (sort of)

rudy_wayne writes: When it was announced that H.264 was being dropped from Google's Chrome browser I thought it was really weird since Google converted all of YouTube's videos to H.264 just 3 years ago. Now, Charles Arthur, writing for The Guardian says the decision to drop H.264 was made entirely by the Chrome team and did not come from Google's top management. A related article at ZDNet sums it up as "Google is not giving up H.264 on YouTube, H.264 will continue to be supported in Android, and it has nothing to do with YouTube storage issues, H.264 license pricing or Google's desire to be totally open source — it's about Chrome wanting to be disruptive.

Submission + - The Ambiguity of "Open" and VP8 vs. H.264 ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: With all the talk about WebM and H.264, how the move might be a step backwards for openness, and Google's intention to add "plugins" for IE9 and Safari to support WebM, this article attempts to clear misconceptions about the VP8 and H.264 codecs and how browsers render video. Firefox, Opera and Google rely on their own media frameworks to decode video, whereas IE9 and Safari will hand over video processing to the operating system (Windows Media Player or QuickTime), the need for the web to establish a baseline codec for encoding videos, and how the Flash player is proprietary, but implementation and usage remain royalty free.

Submission + - Deferred IT Maintenance Is a Ticking Time Bomb (

snydeq writes: The underfunding of routine hardware replacement purchases and the degradation of aging enterprise apps pose systemic risk for many IT organizations, thanks to a ballooning 'deferred IT maintenance debt' in the decade since Y2K fears pushed enterprises to invest heavily in essential system upgrades, InfoWorld's Bill Snyder reports. And with sysadmins 'scrambling to keep systems up and running with budgets that barely cover the basics,' this 'IT debt' promises only to increase in the coming years, especially as IT continues to defer routine maintenance in favor of new 'cost-saving' initiatives, particularly around the cloud.

Submission + - 'Jives' Create Apple’s Most Memorable Produc

Hugh Pickens writes: "NPR reports that a lot of people don't realize that Steve Jobs has a partner behind the scenes, Jonathon Ive, so close they are called “Jives” around the Cupertino campus for short and that many people credit Ive with changing the way people think about design. "In 1996, when Steve Jobs returned to save a company on the brink of bankruptcy, he began an evaluation of everyone," says Laura Sydell. "He found Jonny Ive in a basement surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of prototypes of all these prototype projects and recognized immediately that he had a talent there that should be put to work." Jobs began by having Ives revamp the Mac computer. The result was the iMac reflecting the Jobs/Ive philosophy. "Plug it in and it works. No separate monitor, no rats nest of power cords, no external hard drives. At the time, it was the best selling computer model in history." The two men seem to agree on a basic philosophy about designing products — make the designs in the software simple and easy to use. "They're creative partners in the fullest sense," says Leander Kahney, author of Inside Steve's Brain "You know, it's not that Steve just sort of rejects stuff or accepts stuff, he gives very detailed feedback about the designs that Jonny creates. You know, they work together as a creative collaboration.""

One picture is worth 128K words.