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

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.

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

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.

Submission + - iCloud Deletes Mail Containg Certain Phrase (arstechnica.com)

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 (sciencemag.org)

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 (arstechnica.com)

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 (bbc.co.uk)

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.

Submission + - ICANN Approves .XXX (pcworld.com)

lothos writes: "Pornography will have its own top-level domain, dot-XXX, the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided today."

Submission + - Unpublished Iraq War Docs Trigger WikiLeaks Revolt (wired.com)

Tootech writes: A domino chain of resignations at the secret-spilling site WikiLeaks followed a unilateral decision by autocratic founder Julian Assange to schedule an October release of 392,000 classified U.S. documents from the war in Iraq, according to former WikiLeaks staffers.

Key members of WikiLeaks were angered to learn last month that Assange had secretly provided media outlets with embargoed access to the vast database, under an arrangement similar to the one WikiLeaks made with three newspapers that released documents from the Afghanistan war in July. WikiLeaks is set to release the Iraq trove on Oct. 18, according to ex-staffers — far too early, in the view of some of them, to properly redact the names of U.S. collaborators and informants in Iraq.

“The release date which was established was completely unrealistic,” says 25-year-old Herbert Snorrason, an Icelandic university student who until recently helped manage WikiLeaks’ secure chat room. “We found out that the level of redactions performed on the Afghanistan documents was not sufficient. I announced that if the next batch did not receive full attention, I would not be willing to cooperate.”

At least half a dozen WikiLeaks staffers have tendered their resignations in recent weeks, the most prominent of them being Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who, under the name Daniel Schmitt, served as WikiLeaks’ German spokesman.


Submission + - Assange Rape Case Reopened -- Wikileakileaks.org (bloomberg.com)

eldavojohn writes: Wikileaks' Julian Assange had a warrant issued for his arrest in Sweden on the charges of rape. But it was withdrawn shortly thereafter. Now the case has been reopened to investigate 'molestation charges.' On top of that, a new site (parody?) called wikileakileaks.org has been launched by the chief editor of Gawker to give Wikileaks a taste of its own medicine. You can find links to details on the molestation charges there.

Submission + - Sweden to reopen rape case involving WikiLeaks (cnn.com)

johnhp writes: Looks like Julian Assange is not out of the woods yet. The investigation against him will continue, and Sweden's top prosecutor seems confident that he's guilty. Is it really just PR, or was a crime committed after all?

Comment Re:Certainly not light (Score 1) 646

Ugh.. I'm sure there's lots of people that love their "highly customizable" UI's, and they would need to be pried from their cold, dead, stinking, rotting hands... but I move from machine to machine a lot, and have new versions of OS's all the time, taking the time to customize the UI would mean i would never get anything done.. so I need a good, solid, usable default UI so that I don't have to worry about customizing it, other than very slight tweaks.

Comment Re:can't see the forest for the trees... (Score 1) 272

As someone who's been gaming for 20+ years, there's never been a better time to be gaming.

That's only the case if you are fine with an endless series of sequels. If you want to see something new every now and then your are kind of out of luck today when it comes to mainstream titles. What is especially shocking is that many of those franchises have been around for a good 5 to 10 years and sometimes even longer. Instead of moving on, every franchise is milked to the extreme and even when you find something fresh, you be sure as hell that it will be recycled for years to come.

Now given, sequels are nothing new, they have been happening even 20 years ago, but 20 years ago I couldn't name you a single title that had a "4" or "5" in its title, today on the other side they make up a good portion of the top titles.

Comment Re:Technical schools? (Score 0) 1138

So something magically happens to them when they turn 17/18? I know a few kids in high school that can actually make decisions and take care of them self. I know other kids in college that cannot.

The only was to actually educate people is to treat them like adults. Increasingly, colleges treat students like they are "too stupid to be in charge of what they'll do in their life". If high schools would go back to treating students like they ARE adults, maybe they could possibly become adults by the time they are 18.

/rant off

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]