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Comment Plastic is the past (Score 1) 118

To borrow from the Graduate, plastic has no future - is it really necessary to possess physical plastic cards and scan them? Not at all, the future is biometric/electronic/e-wallets and in at least one large retailer's case, regular customers will be able to walk out of the door without ever approaching a cash register.

Submission + - Apple Devices to Reach Parity with Windows PCs in 2014

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Horace Dediu writes at Aymco that in 2013 there were 18.8 times more Windows PCs sold than Macs, a reduction in the Windows advantage from about 19.8x in 2012. But the bigger story is how Apple’s mobile platform including iOS devices has nearly reached the sales volume of Windows. In 2013 there were only 1.18 more Windows PCs than Apple devices sold. Odds are that in 2014 Apple and Windows will be at parity. Dediu says that the Windows advantage itself came from the way computing was purchased in the period of its ascent in the 1980s and 1990s "when computing platform decisions were made first by companies then by developers and later by individuals who took their cues from what standards were already established. As these decisions created network effects, the cycle repeated and the majority platform strengthened." There was concentration in decision making in the 80s so a platform could win by convincing 500 individuals who had the authority (as CIOs) to impose through fiat a standard on the centers of gravity of purchasing power. Today, with mobile products there are billions of decision makers. and the decision making process for buying computers, which began with large companies IT departments making decisions with multi-year horizons, has changed to billions of individuals making decisions with no horizons. Companies have become the laggards and individuals the early adopters of technology. "Ultimately, it was the removal of the intermediary between buyer and beneficiary which dissolved Microsoft’s power over the purchase decision," concludes Dediu. "The computer has become personal not just in the sense of how it’s used but in the sense of how it’s owned." Finally, all the above is almost moot, given the rise of Android, something that is beating both Cupertino and Redmond alike.

Submission + - OpenBSD In Financial Survival Crisis

Freshly Exhumed writes: Today the OpenBSD mailing list carried a plea from Theo de Raadt for much needed financial aid: 'I am resending this request for funding our electricity bills because it is not yet resolved. We really need even more funding beyond that, because otherwise all of this is simply unsustainable. This request is the smallest we can make.' Bob Beck, of the OpenBSD Foundation, added: 'the fact is right now, OpenBSD will shut down if we do not have the funding to keep the lights on.'

Submission + - Snowden joins Daniel Ellsberg on board of Freedom of the Press Foundation (pressfreedomfoundation.org)

sunbird writes: Edward Snowden is joining the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a nonprofit committed to defending public-interest journalism which exposes law-breaking in government. The foundation is presently raising money and awareness for a variety of open-source encryption tools. Please consider donating to my favorite: the LEAP Encryption Access Project.

Submission + - Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new budget deal reached today by the U.S. Congress walks back the energy efficiency standards that would have forced the phase out of incandescent bulbs. 'These ideas were first enacted during the Bush administration, via the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Incandescent bulbs were unable to meet the standards, so they would eventually be forced off the market in favor of LEDs and compact fluorescent bulbs. But Republicans have since soured on the bill, viewing it as an intrusion on the market and attempting to identify it with President Obama. Recent Congresses have tried many times to repeal the standards, but these have all been blocked. However, U.S. budgets are often used as a vehicle to get policies enacted that couldn't pass otherwise, since having an actual budget is considered too valuable to hold up over relatively minor disputes. The repeal of these standards got attached to the budget and will be passed into law with it.'

Submission + - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Announce 2014 position of Doomsday Clock (thebulletin.org) 1

Lasrick writes: The Science and Security Board explains their decision on today's announcement of the position of the Doomsday Clock. In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and members of the UN Security Council, the Bulletin announced its decision and how it was made.The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin's Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains.

Comment Re:Those aren't the same. (Score 0) 263

That slot on a Polaroid camera was actually an edge connector. The flash bar was printed on a PCB and had gold trace "fingers" on a protruding section, like an ISA card. These are very cheap, as only one side of the connector even is a connector at all, the other is just a PCB. But they also aren't physically very strong and aren't good for a lot of insertion/removal cycles.

The iPod 30-pin has a metal shelled connector on both mating pieces. These are more precise, last longer and with the a latch system (present on some iPod cables, not others) physically strong. You can hang an iPod Mini easily from a latched 30-pin connector while the Polaroid flash bars fell out without even putting weight on them.

Also note Steve Jobs didn't design Apple's 30-pin connector, Donald J Novotney did.

Interesting update - thanks very much for the info


Submission + - B&N Yanks DC Titles After Exclusive Amazon Dea

theodp writes: In response to DC Entertainment's agreement to exclusively offer digital versions of certain titles in Amazon Kindle format, Nook maker Barnes & Noble has begun pulling DC Entertainment's graphic novels off its shelves. Confirming the decision, B&N said in a statement, 'To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.' Nice to see the pair is still able to keep their feud fresh on the 11th anniversary of the 1-Click patent infringement lawsuit.

Submission + - Google admits H.264 is more popular than WebM (networkworld.com)

jbrodkin writes: Amid controversy over Google's decision to strip H.264 support from its Chrome browser, a Google official has acknowledged H.264 is more popular than the WebM video codec, but said restrictive licensing will ultimately doom H.264. "We acknowledge that H.264 has broader support in the publisher, developer, and hardware community today (though support across the ecosystem for WebM is growing rapidly)," Google Product Manager Mike Jazayeri wrote in the Chromium blog. However, Jazayeri predicted that licensing fees would stifle innovation and lead to H.264's downfall. Although H.264 has greater support today, "There will not be agreement to make it the baseline in the HTML video standard due to its licensing requirements," Jazayeri writes. "To use and distribute H.264, browser and OS vendors, hardware manufacturers, and publishers who charge for content must pay significant royalties — with no guarantee the fees won't increase in the future. To companies like Google, the license fees may not be material, but to the next great video startup and those in emerging markets these fees stifle innovation."
The H.264 license agreement can be found at the Web site of MPEG LA, which administers patent-licensing programs. According to the site, H.264 patent holders include Apple, Cisco, HP, LG, Microsoft, Polycom, Sony, Toshiba and many other companies.


Submission + - Dominos' Pizza India site hacked (uppercrust.co.in) 2

aacool writes: "The Domino's Pizza India site was hacked into during an upgrade and customers' information stolen. While this can happen to anyone, the company's transparency, as evidenced in the letter posted on their site, is admirable. They write:

We have come to know that someone has hacked our website with malicious intent and with the help of a script, managed to extract some information on customer phone numbers, email id and delivery address of some customers. Although the data is not classified information about our customers, still as a responsible corporate we thought it's important to inform you about this.

The letter goes on to list the measures being taken and the security of the overall ordering process. If only all corporates hacked in this manner were so transparent and forthcoming."

Submission + - Silicon Valley's new favorite: a /. competitor? (technologyreview.com)

holy_calamity writes: Question and answer site Quora is a mix of Yahoo Answers and Twitter that is, allegedly, exploding in popularity thanks to an early userbase drawn from the top engineering ranks of firms like Facebook and Google. They've been happily swapping inside information on tech news and topics like how Google image search searches by color or what Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz thought of the social network. But the attention that small-scale success has attracted may endanger its high quality content.

Submission + - Glamorous lifestyles of WP7 jailbreakers (engadget.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Cellphones, Mobile Software
Visualized: the glamorous lifestyles of WP7 jailbreakers (update: Geohot crashes the party)
By Vlad Savov posted Jan 18th 2011 3:29AM
To be a jailbreaker means different things depending on the device that you're busy hacking preinstalled walls from. If you're fiddling with consoles, a legal team would come highly recommended, but if you're tweaking mobile code, at least Windows Phone mobile code, you're in for a much sweeter ride. The ChevronWP7 guys that brought us the first jailbreak of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 are currently in Redmond having a sitdown and a frank exchange of views with WP7 dev experience director Brandon Watson, and the amicable nature of their discourse has been evidenced by the image above. Microsoft is clearly taking a light-hearted and community-friendly approach to handling the (now inevitable) efforts at disabling limitations to its software and we can only congratulate its mobile team for doing so.

Submission + - In-Depth Look at HTML5 Data Storage (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner takes an in-depth look at HTML5's data storage capabilities, providing insights and caveats for HTML5 Web Storage, Web Database, FileReader, FileWriter, and AppCaching APIs. 'There is no conclusion to this section of APIs. We're not even far into the beginning of the beginning of what local persistence will do to the Web. There are many, many edge conditions to work out regarding who gets access to the data, how much data will be stored, and how long the data will live,' Wayner writes. 'Apart from the sessionStorage and localStorage objects, which all of the current leading browsers implement to some extent, browser support for the other APIs discussed here is sketchy.'"

Submission + - Spokeo: A Definitive Guide to the Privacy Fiasco (foxnews.com)

Velcroman1 writes: Slashdotters are well aware of information trolling site Spokeo, which pretty much every security expert calls ridiculous. Larry Ponemon, the chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, an organization that researches Internet privacy and security, said that sharing personal information about you is “grossly unethical” — and barely legal. He goes so far as to call Ponemon "evil." Here's the definitive story of what's available on Spokeo, what the government is doing about it, and how to keep your self safe (hint: you can't).

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