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Communications

Sprint To Shut Down Nextel iDEN Network Next Year 53

Stephenmg writes "Sprint will be shutting down their iDEN network from its merger with Nextel and will migrate users to Push to Talk over CDMA. It will then use the 800mhz frequency to build out its LTE network. From the article: 'Sprint has been decommissioning iDEN base stations as part of its methodical transition to Network Vision, a flexible infrastructure intended to accommodate both the carrier's 3G CDMA technology and its emerging 4G LTE system. About one-third of the iDEN radios are scheduled to be removed by the end of this year. The iDEN system only offers downstream speeds below 100K bps (bits per second), a trickle compared with the multiple megabits per second available from LTE and from WiMax, Sprint's current 4G technology, which is provided by Clearwire. One major benefit to Sprint from shutting down iDEN will be the ability to reuse its 800MHz frequencies for the Sprint LTE network, which a U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruling last week made possible. The LTE service is scheduled to launch in the middle of this year on another spectrum band and later expand to 800MHz.'"
Chrome

Adobe Releases Last Linux Version of Flash Player 426

dartttt writes "Adobe has released Flash Player version 11.2 with many new features. This is the final Flash Player release for Linux platform and now onward there will be only security and bug fix updates. Last month Adobe announced that it is withdrawing Flash Player support for Linux platform. All the future newer Flash releases will be bundled with Google Chrome using its Pepper API and for everything else, 11.2 will be the last release."
Microsoft

Microsoft Killing Silverlight? 324

SharkLaser writes "Silverlight 5 might be last version released by Microsoft. Several industry insiders and partners for the last few weeks have heard from their own Microsoft sources that there won't be new versions released after Silverlight 5. Status on service packs and support for Silverlight is unclear, as Microsoft haven't yet released lifecycle support end date even for the previous Silverlight 4. By their support page they will give full year head-up before ending support. With Adobe ending development of Flash for mobile browsers and Microsoft ending development of Silverlight, HTML5 video looks a lot more promising. But will content providers be able to give out their material without DRM and how does HTML5 perform with non-video side of Flash and Silverlight?"
Businesses

Adobe Ends Development of Flash On Mobile Browsers 485

larry bagina writes "Jason Perlow of ZDNet is reporting that Adobe will stop developing Flash for mobile browsers and focus on AIR and HTML5 tools. I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if 750 voices screamed out in terror and were laid off. But that noise was overshadowed by everybody else celebrating."
Encryption

Thawte Will End "Web of Trust" On November 16 127

An anonymous reader writes "Thawte is ending their Web of Trust, including their free Personal Email Certificates, in less than 2 weeks' time. This hasn't been picked up by the media yet. Seems to me a lot of people, including myself, are hurt by this." Thawte is offering a 1-year free VeriSign cert to those holding valid Personal Email Certificates; after that you pay.
Communications

Cursive Writing Is a Fading Skill — Does It Matter? 857

antdude sends along an AP piece on the decline of the teaching of cursive writing in schools — ramifications of which we've discussed a few times before. "The decline of cursive is happening as students are doing more and more work on computers, including writing. In 2011, the writing test of the National Assessment of Educational Progress will require 8th and 11th graders to compose on computers, with 4th graders following in 2019. ... Handwriting is increasingly something people do only when they need to make a note to themselves rather than communicate with others, [an educator] said. Students accustomed to using computers to write at home have a hard time seeing the relevance of hours of practicing cursive handwriting. 'I am not sure students have a sense of any reason why they should vest their time and effort in writing a message out manually when it can be sent electronically in seconds.'"
Social Networks

Twitter Offline Due To DDoS 398

The elusive Precision dropped a submission in my lap about a DDoS taking down Twitter running on CNet. It's been down for several hours, no doubt wreaking havoc on the latest hawtness in social networking. Won't someone please think of the tweeters? Word is that both Facebook & LiveJournal have been having problems this AM as well.
Communications

26 Years Old and Can't Write In Cursive 921

theodp writes "Back in 1942, Chicago mail-order house Spiegel's looked to handwriting analysis to identify inconsistent, unreliable, poorly adjusted people. Ah, those were the days. TIME reports we are witnessing the death of handwriting, noting that Gen Y struggles with cursive and the group following them has even less of a need for good penmanship. And while the knee-jerk explanation is that computers are to blame for our increasingly illegible scrawl, literacy prof Steve Graham explains that kids haven't learned to write neatly because no one has forced them to. 'Writing is just not part of the national agenda anymore,' he says. So much for 100 Years of Handwriting Success!"
Role Playing (Games)

Aliens RPG Cancelled 31

Giant Bomb notes that Obsidian Entertainment has officially stopped work on the Aliens RPG they had been working on. In a post on their forums, an Obsidian employee confirmed rumors that development was no longer underway, and Sega later indicated that they were looking do so something else with the IP. "The Aliens franchise offers us so much content to choose from that we feel it important to take a step back and carefully consider the type of game we want to release." Aliens: Colonial Marines appears to still be in development, though it won't be out this year.
Social Networks

Twitter "Twitpocalypse" Snags Mac, iPhone Apps 160

awarrenfells notes coverage in Macworld of what is being called "the Twitpocalypse" — Twitter applications breaking as the number of tweets exceeds 32 bits. "The first apparent victim of the Twitpocalypse was The Iconfactory's Twitterrific for iPhone, which stopped working immediately following the event. ... Atebits Software's Tweetie has also been affected by the Twitpocalypse. The program continues to function for browsing and posting tweets, but searches no longer work in the Mac version and results appear one at a time in the iPhone version."
Security

Xbox Live Players Targeted In Denial-of-Service Attacks 77

The BBC reports on a growing trend where some Xbox Live players are launching denial-of-service attacks against those who beat them or otherwise irritate them in games. Quoting: "'The smart thing about these Xbox tools is that they do not attack the Xbox Live network itself,' [Chris Boyd, director of malware research at Facetime Communications said.] He said the tools work by exploiting the way that the Xbox Live network is set up. Game consoles connecting to the Xbox network send data via the net, and for that it needs an IP address. Even better, said Mr Boyd, games played via Xbox Live are not hosted on private servers. The tools mean anyone with a few dollars can boot rivals off Xbox Live. 'Instead,' he said, 'a lot of games on Xbox Live are hosted by players.' ... For $20 (£13) some Xbox Live hackers will remotely access a customer's PC and set up the whole system so it can be run any time they need it. Some offer low rates to add compromised machines to a botnet and increase the amount of data flooding a particular IP address."
Handhelds

Palm Pulls the Plug On Palm OS 300

BobB-nw writes to tell us that Palm has decided to kill their PalmOS operating system and is instead betting their future on a still mostly unknown Palm webOS. Very little is known about the new Palm webOS, but it will supposedly support HTML5 and enable a local data store so that applications can be used both online and off. All of this is rolled into a Linux framework with a message bus based on JSON. Will be interesting to see where they take it.
Portables

OLPC Downsizes Half of Its Staff, Cuts Sugar 379

One Laptop Per Chewbacca writes "Nicholas Negroponte, the leader of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, has announced that the organization will be laying off half of its staff, cutting salaries of the remaining employees, and ending its involvement in Sugar development. The organization has had serious problems with production and deployment and has been fragmented by ideological debates as Negroponte shifts the agenda away from software freedom and towards Windows. Ars Technica concludes: 'The OLPC project's extreme dependence on economy of scale has proven to be a fatal error. The organization was not able to secure the large bulk orders that it had originally anticipated and fell short of meeting its target $100 per unit price. The worldwide economic slowdown has made it even more difficult for OLPC to find developing countries that have cash to spare on education technology.'"
Software

Michael Meeks Says OO.o Project is "Profoundly Sick" 676

unassimilatible writes "Michael Meeks, who works full time developing OpenOffice, writes in his blog that the project is 'profoundly sick.' 'In a healthy project we would expect to see a large number of volunteer developers involved, in addition — we would expect to see a large number of peer companies contributing to the common code pool; we do not see this in OpenOffice.org. Indeed, quite the opposite we appear to have the lowest number of active developers on OO.o since records began: 24, this contrasts negatively with Linux's recent low of 160+. Even spun in the most positive way, OO.o is at best stagnating from a development perspective.'"
Games

Survival-Horror Genre Going Extinct? 166

Destructoid is running an opinion piece looking at the state of the survival-horror genre in games, suggesting that the way it has developed over the past several years has been detrimental to its own future. "During the nineties, horror games were all the rage, with Resident Evil and Silent Hill using the negative aspects of other games to an advantage. While fixed camera angles, dodgy controls and clunky combat were seen as problematic in most games, the traditional survival horror took them as a positive boon. A seemingly less demanding public ate up these games with a big spoon, overlooking glaring faults in favor of videogames that could be genuinely terrifying." The Guardian's Games Blog has posted a response downplaying the decline of the genre, looking forward to Ubisoft's upcoming I Am Alive and wondering if independent game developers will pick up where major publishers have left off.

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