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Submission + - Princeton engineers predict Facebook may lose 80% of users by 2017 (

An anonymous reader writes: According to new research from Princeton, which compared the ”adoption and abandonment dynamics” of social networks by “drawing analogy to the dynamics that govern the spread of infectious disease,” Facebook is beginning to die out. "Like the bubonic plague, Facebook will eventually come to an end," writes Eric Markowitz of Vocativ.
  Ultimately, Princeton's engineers concluded “Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.

Comment Re:Freedom isn't free (Score 1) 116

Believe it or not, I'm still using Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS, and I keep receiving kernel (currently 2.6.32-52-generic) updates along with libc libraries and other basic stuff. Still enjoying Gnome 2--everything stays where I want it and doesn't get in the way. I've been pleasantly surprised for well over a year that it still works fine. Don't need any new stuff, anyway.

(this comment could have been in the EOL XP article under 'refusal to upgrade'!)

Submission + - State Department Demands Takedown of Printable Gun Schematics. (

moeinvt writes: In the latest episode of the 3D-printed gun saga, Forbes reports that the U.S. Department of State has demanded that the plans and blueprints for the 3D-printed gun components be immediately "removed from public access". In a letter sent to Cody Wilson, the feds claim that the plans must be reviewed and approved by the "Directorate of Defense Trade Controls" (DDTC) to ensure that making them publicly available does not violate the "International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)" rules. Full text of the letter published in the Forbes article.

Comment Re:amazon (Score 3, Interesting) 147

In theory, your pronouncement would seem correct. However, I've just tried to set up Amazon Instant Video and it does not work in Firefox 20 on Lucid Lynx 10.04. It throws up a progress bar which ends with an error message that my version of Adobe Flash is not up to date (not true!). I'm glad I tried with a "free" video (I was charged $0.00). Try before you buy.

I had unblocked all scripting, btw. When I tried the help button, it referred me to a page that explained why Chrome (-ium?) won't work on Linux and to try Firefox! Head asplodes...



Submission + - iCloud Deletes Mail Containg Certain Phrase (

An anonymous reader writes: Apple is apparently performing some content-based iCloud e-mail filtering, resulting in e-mails that never arrive to their intended destination. As detailed by Macworld, e-mails that included a particular phrase, even in a zipped PDF file, were prevented from getting to the intended recipient. This was regardless of whether the message was from a known sender, indicating that Apple is placing a pretty judging eye on what passes through its servers.

The issue came to light when users began noticing that e-mails with the words "barely legal teen" were having trouble arriving in their iCloud inboxes from outside senders. E-mails with the phrase in the body, an attached PDF, or a zipped attached PDF were never delivered or even returned to the sender. Instead, they simply disappeared into the ether of a nebulous black box of a filter that Apple has never made known to its iCloud customers. E-mails sent from iCloud accounts with that phrase, however, made it through, as did replies to iCloud-sent e-mails that contained the phrase.


Submission + - Diamonds May Improve IVF Success Rates (

sciencehabit writes: Sperm may be strong swimmers in their, um, "natural habitat," but they become notoriously sluggish when you ask them to do their thing in a petri dish. "Poor sperm performance" is a common problem in in vitro fertilization (IVF), but new research suggests that it might not be all the little guys' fault. It turns out that when your standard polystyrene petri dish gets wet, its surface softens into a toxic goo that might be damaging cells. Coat a quartz petri dish with a nanolayer of diamond, however, and you've created a cellular safe haven. A much higher percentage of sperm survived for 42 hours in diamond-coated petri dishes like the ones pictured above than in the polystyrene containers usually used for IVF, researchers report. Because the sperm cells used in IVF often need all the help they can get, switching to the diamond petri dishes could give them just the boost they need to fulfill their destiny—thus potentially ramping up the notoriously low success rate of IVF.

Submission + - Texas school board searching for another theory besides evolution (

An anonymous reader writes: [Ars Technica] recently reviewed the documentary The Revisionaries, which chronicles the actions of the Texas state school board as it attempted to rewrite the science and history standards that had been prepared by experts in education and the relevant subjects. For biology, the board's revisions meant that textbook publishers were instructed to help teachers and students "analyze all sides of scientific information" about evolution. Given that ideas only reach the status of theory if they have overwhelming evidence supporting them, it isn't at all clear what "all sides" would involve.

Submission + - Instagram has updated its privacy policy giving it the right to sell users' phot (

Bearhouse writes: From the BBC: Unless users delete their Instagram accounts by a deadline of 16 January, they cannot opt out. The changes also mean Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as other affiliates and advertisers.
The move riled social media users, with some likening it to a "suicide note". The new policies follow Facebook's record $1bn (£616m; 758 euro) acquisition of Instagram in April. Facebook's vice-president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson earlier this month had said: "Eventually we'll figure out a way to monetise Instagram."

I'm not sure the many young users of Instagram will be too happy when their pictures start showing up in ads.

Comment Re:Search Bar (Score 1) 282

Fear not. If you don't mind editing about:config, you can change the default from Google to any other you choose. I like www.duckduck.go for the privacy aspect, but it lacks the comprehensiveness of the big G, Y, or B. Like you, I don't want google hoovering up anything I type in the URL bar.

Here's the link:

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