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Businesses

Microsoft Makes Another "Nearly Sold Out" Claim For the Surface Line 262

Microsoft made some confident sounding claims about sales of its first-generation Surface tablets before it became clear that the tablets weren't actually selling very well. So make what you will of the company's claim that the second version is "close to selling out." As the linked article points out, the company has "fallen short of offering any real explanation as to just how “close” to selling out the Surface 2 and Pro 2 really are – nor have they indicated how many were on hand to order in the first place."
Privacy

Sorm: Russia Intends To Monitor "All Communications" At Sochi Olympics 193

dryriver writes with this excerpt from The Guardian: "Athletes and spectators attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February will face some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games, documents shared with the Guardian show. Russia's powerful FSB security service plans to ensure that no communication by competitors or spectators goes unmonitored during the event, according to a dossier compiled by a team of Russian investigative journalists looking into preparations for the 2014 Games. The journalists ... found that major amendments have been made to telephone and Wi-Fi networks in the Black Sea resort to ensure extensive and all-permeating monitoring and filtering of all traffic, using Sorm, Russia's system for intercepting phone and internet communications. Ron Deibert, a professor at the University of Toronto and director of Citizen Lab, which co-operated with the Sochi research, describes the Sorm amendments as "Prism on steroids", referring to the programme used by the NSA in the US and revealed to the Guardian by the whistleblower Edward Snowden."
Input Devices

Xbox One's HDMI Pass-Through Can Connect PS4, PCs and More 171

MojoKid writes "The Xbox One has both HDMI-in and HDMI-out capability. The point of HDMI-in is to allow you to hook up a cable box, with output then running from the Xbox One to your television. As it turns out, however, that's not the only thing the Xbox One can do. Since the HDMI-in port is a standard option, it can accept video input from a PS4 and also accept a video stream from a PC. According to Xbox senior director of product management, Albert Panello, "any application can be snapped to a game... this could be the live TV feed, so if you wanted to play Ryse and Killzone (a PS4 exclusive), you could snap that." Keep in mind, snapping a title to the Xbox One doesn't mean that you can actually keep using Xbox One controllers in the game. If you want to snap in a PS4 game, you still need PS4 controllers. If you want to hook a PC into the Xbox One's video output, you still need mouse and keyboard, though if the Xbox One's controllers are eventually PC compatible, then you might be able to use the same controller on both platforms without doing much more than flipping a switch."
IOS

Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7 663

beltsbear writes "Your formerly working clone Lightning cable could stop working with the latest iOS update. Previously the beta version allowed these cables to charge with a warning message but the final release actually stops many cables from working. Apples Lightning connector system is locked with authentication chips that can verify if a cable is authorized by Apple. Many users with clone cables are now without the ability to charge their iPhones."
Google

Google May Replace Cookies With Unique AdIDs 147

markjhood2003 writes "According to a story published in USA Today, an anonymous source at Google familiar with the plan has revealed that Google is developing an anonymous identifier for advertising tracking, replacing the function of third party cookies currently used by most major advertisers. The new AdID supposedly gives consumers more privacy and control over their web browsing, but the ad industry is worried about putting more power in the hands of large technology companies. Sounds like the idea could have some promise, but at this point the proposal is not public so we will probably have to wait until Google reaches out to the industry, government and consumers to provide the details."
GNOME

GNOME 3.10 Is Now Properly Supported On Wayland 128

An anonymous reader writes "One week ahead of the GNOME 3.10 release, all of the basic Wayland support for GNOME has been merged. With today's GNOME Shell 3.9.92 release the Wayland branch was merged and there was also an updated Mutter Wayland release, besides earlier GNOME 3.9.x packages fostering the Wayland support. Fedora 20 is expected to ship with GNOME on Wayland as a technology preview. Additional details about the current GNOME Wayland support are available from the GNOME Wiki."
Google

Doctorow: Rivalry Keeps Google From Doing Evil 113

An anonymous reader writes "Writer and activist Cory Doctorow says competition keeps Google behaving ethically because it believes there are benefits to be had. However, as it moves into sectors where it faces fewer rivals this may not always be the case. 'It actually seems to be a quality metric. They believe they can attract customers, independent software vendors, resellers and an ecosystem around them by not being evil,' he says. 'Where they operate in narrower, less competitive markets — like where they’ve become an Internet service provider, for example — they abandon those commitments.'"
Open Source

Open Source, Open World 76

New submitter Ian Grant writes "This article takes a brief look at open source software in Brazil and how it's transforming tech use in South America: Bringing free software to Brazil, however, is not just a matter of copying North American practices. The idea of free software has also been substantially transformed through contact with Brazilian politics. In the United States, the open source software community has long had libertarian leanings, which have only strengthened over time. The core tenet of free software, after all, is giving the users freedom to do what they want. ... And when free software was finally embraced by business, many members of the movement welcomed it as a validation of their ideas. The business-friendly side of free software is easily visible in Brazil, too. Many Brazilian companies, for example, use Linux. At the forum in Porto Alegre, commercial free software was well represented by large foreign companies, many of which appeared to be there primarily for recruiting. Yet the forum also showcased another side of Brazil’s place in the world of free software — a key meeting place of free software and leftist politics. "
Music

How Amateurs Destroyed the Professional Music Business 617

David Gerard writes "Here in the future, musicians and record companies complain they can't make a living any more. The problem isn't piracy — it's competition. There is too much music and too many musicians, and the amateurs are often good enough for the public. This is healthy for culture, not so much for aesthetics, and terrible for musicians. There are bands who would have trouble playing a police siren in tune, who download a cracked copy of Cubase — you know how much musicians pirate their software, VSTs and sample packs, right? — and tap in every note. There are people like me who do this. A two-hundred-quid laptop with LMMS and I suddenly have better studio equipment than I could have hired for $100/hour thirty years ago. You can do better with a proper engineer in a proper studio, but you don’t have to. And whenever quality competes with convenience, convenience wins every time. You can protest that your music is a finely-prepared steak cooked by sheer genius, and be quite correct in this, and you have trouble paying for your kitchen, your restaurant, your cow."
Programming

Google Releases Raspberry Pi Web Dev Teaching Tool 68

judgecorp writes "Google has released 'Coder,' described as a simple way to make web stuff on Raspberry Pi. The idea is to make the Pi into a simple web server and web development environment on which kids can learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript. They provide an image for the Raspberry Pi, and they've open-sourced Coder as well. 'We thought about all the stuff we could do to make Coder a more complete package, but we have a hunch that the sooner this gets into the open source and maker communities, the more we’ll learn about how it might be used. Hopefully, a few more folks will pitch in and help us make this even more accessible and helpful for new coders.'"

Comment Re:Java modern? (Score 1) 189

I for one hope that it never happens! To me Scala is a puzzler generator. I prefer complex, but readable code instead of shorter code whose complexity - and bugs, and unforeseen interactions - have been hidden away by the pantagruelic grammatical structure of a programming language.

Java generics, by the same author of Scala IIRC, were supposed to make our lives only simpler. They usually do. But then they also brought in type erasure; they introduced compiler warnings, their suppression mechanisms, and the concept of "unsafe" code into the language; we started to see confusing signatures such as Enum<E extends Enum<E>> ...

BSD

FreeBSD Removes GCC From Default Base System 333

An anonymous reader writes "With the LLVM/Clang migration, FreeBSD developers have now disabled building GCC and the GNU C++ standard library (libstdc++) as part of the FreeBSD base system. GCC and libstdc++ have been superseded by LLVM's Clang and libc++, respectively, on primary architectures for FreeBSD 10.0." You can still flip a few switches to get GCC, but the system compiler will still be clang. Update: 09/11 14:50 GMT by U L : Reader Noryungi noted that the What's Cooking for FreeBSD 10 page is also worth a look, adding "I have to say, this is shaping up to be a very interesting release. Bhyve [the BSD hypervisor], in particular, sounds very promising."

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