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Comment Fact v. Fiction ... (Score 1) 194

Most of the people who will see the film can tell the difference between fact and fiction, including being able to generally identify the wide swath in between. This is not going to be a "Batman" blockbuster. It's not even going to be a "The Social Network" blockbuster.

Anyone who had an opinion on whether or not Mark Zuckerberg was sort of a sleaze did not have their opinion changed by seeing "The Social Network."

Submission + - Verizon accused of intentionally slowing Netflix video streaming (

colinneagle writes: A recent GigaOm report discusses Verizon's "peering" practices, which involves the exchange of traffic between two bandwidth providers. When peering with bandwidth provider Cogent starts to reach capacity, Verizon reportedly isn't adding any ports to meet the demand, Cogent CEO Dave Schaffer told GigaOm.

"They are allowing the peer connections to degrade," Schaffer said. "Today some of the ports are at 100 percent capacity."

Why would Verizon intentionally disrupt Netflix video streaming for its customers? Many are pointing to the fact that Verizon owns a 50% stake in Redbox, the video rental service that contributed to the demise of Blockbuster. If anything threatens the future of Redbox, whose business model requires customers to visit its vending machines to rent and return DVDs, its Netflix's instant streaming service, which delivers the same content directly to their screens.

Submission + - The National Surveillance State, founded 1917

guanxi writes: The NSA programs may be new, but in the United States government surveillance of its citizens is not. The Surveillance State's origins are in 1917, as Woodrow Wilson looked to rally support (and suppress dissent) for World War I: "Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson read mail and revoked publications’ mailable status that was then used by prosecutors as proof that those publishers were seditious in court cases. ... Soldiers went undercover, such as one who broke into the National Civil Liberties Bureau’s offices ... Prosecutors convicted Eugene V. Debs for seditious speech when he offered praise to three socialists recently convicted under the Espionage Act. ... some 20,000 civilian volunteers of the vigilante American Protective League ... detained about 60,000 men for possible draft dodging, even though they had no legal authority to do so. This same organization investigated their fellow Americans for most of the major intelligence agencies, barging into peoples’ homes and offices. ..." With modern networks, data collection and analysis, we won't need as many vigilantes or to physically break into offices and homes.

Submission + - Google's crazy lack of focus: Is it really serious about enterprise? (

curtwoodward writes: Driverless cars. Balloon-based wireless networks. Face-mounted computers. Gigabit broadband networks. In recent months, Google has been unveiling a series of transformative side projects that paint a picture of the search pioneer expanding far beyond an online advertising company. At the same time, Google has been trying to convince enterprise software buyers that it's finally, really, truly serious about competing with Microsoft for their business. Which version of Google's future should you believe?

Submission + - Google Tests Balloons to Bring Internet to Rural Areas

jones_supa writes: Google is running an experiment called Project Loon in New Zealand which involves launching balloons into near space to provide internet access to buildings below on the ground. The balloons will drift around the world on a controlled path and the attached equipment will offer 3G-like speeds to 50 testers in the country. Access will be intermittent, but in time the fleet can be expanded to offer reliable links to people living in remote areas. The balloons could one day be diverted to disaster-hit areas to aid rescue efforts in situations where ground communication equipment has been damaged. Each balloon is 15 m in diameter and filled with lifting gases. Equipment hangs underneath including radio antennae, a flight computer, an altitude control system and solar panels to power the gear. The ballons shall be flown in the stratosphere, 20 km or more above the ground (above controlled airspace). Each should stay aloft for about 100 days and provide connectivity to an area stretching 40 km in diameter below as they travel in a west-to-east direction.

Submission + - Legislators Introduce Bill To Stop Set Top Boxes From Watching You (

An anonymous reader writes: For a few years now, we've been hearing about TV-related devices that have built-in cameras and microphones. Their stated purpose is to monitor consumers and ;gather data; — often to target advertising. (We'll set aside any unstated purposes — the uses they tell us about are bad enough.) Now, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have submitted legislation to regulate this sort of technology. '[They] said they want to get out ahead of the release of this new technology and pass legislation that ensures it would include beefed up privacy protections for consumers. They added that this legislation is particularly relevant given the recent revelations about the National Security Agency's Internet surveillance programs. ... Additionally, the bill requires a cable box or set-top device to notify consumers when the monitoring technology is activated and in use by posting the phrase "We are watching you" across their TV screens. '

Submission + - Don't Panic, But We've Passed Peak Apple. And Google. And Facebook. (

waderoush writes: Over the last decade, just three companies — Google, Apple, and Facebook — have generated most of the new ideas and most of the business momentum in the world of computing. (Add in Amazon, if you're feeling generous.) But it's been a long time since any of these companies introduced anything indisputably new — and there are good reasons to think they never will again. This Xconomy essay argues that the innovation engines at Google, Apple, and Facebook are out of gas (the most surprising thing about OS X Mavericks is that it's not named after a cat) and that other players will have to come up with the underpinnings for the next big cycle of advances in computing. Granted, it's not as if any of these companies will disappear. But the idea that they'll go on generating ideas as groundbreaking as the ones that landed them in the spotlight defies common sense, statistics, and the lessons of history, which show that real innovation almost always comes from small companies. Apple, Google, and Facebook aren't too big to fail — but they may be too big to keep succeeding.

Comment Companies like Gartner ... (Score 2) 170

... make forecasts of technological advancements, market adoption rates, production scale and resultant pricing all the time. Quite often, they come up with them pretty much the same way you would: By asking around.

McKinsey, same product, often the same methodology.

And it is *astonishing* how many of those reports you cannot find on the Internet later, when you want to make fun of them.

Comment Did anyone bother to click through? (Score 1, Insightful) 192

Yes, the search page say 86,700 results, or whatever. But you only get 13 results, and then the:

"In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 13 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."

Asking for omitted results gives you a grand total of 73 results, no matter WHAT the top of the results page says ...

So ... nothing to see here, at all. Bullsh*t.

Comment The Library's Mission Statement is ... (Score 1) 88

"The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people." (from its website.) No, I don't see how archiving Twits and tweets furthers this mission *at all.*

It's not much of a step from there to archiving all the phone conversations of all Americans ... oh, wait, sorry. That's in the FBI's mission statement.

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