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Submission + - The Myth of Apple's Great Design (theatlantic.com)

glowend writes: "If Apple designs at its best when attending closely to details like those revealed in the construction of its spaceship headquarters, then presumably the details of its products would stand out as worthy precedents. Yet, when this premise is tested, it comes up wanting. In truth, Apple’s products hide a shambles of bad design under the perfection of sleek exteriors."

Submission + - Are Student-Written College Textbooks the Future? (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: No one seems to want old-fashioned textbooks from publishers at the college level anymore. Students and professors are sick of $200 per book price tags (in many cases), and even when students buy the books, they often don't do much of the reading. And a dirty secret is that even high-priced textbooks have errors.

A growing project started by a UC Davis professor is resetting the model. He has students crowdsource the writing of textbooks — in a similar model to Wikipedia. The info can be more up to date and relevant. Some still worry about accuracy, of course, but students can be part of the solution to that, too. “If you give students extra credit for finding errors,” says one professors, “it’s remarkable how persistent they can be.”

Submission + - SPAM: Social Media And The 2017 Elections

Presto Vivace writes: DownWithTyranny

Create news alerts on the names of every local politician you wish to track, and then share those links on social media whenever you think appropriate. If you are on your neighborhood or civic association's email list, that is a good place to share news articles. You could share press releases of your favorite politician on such lists, but I would advise caution in that regard. The same people who might be interested in a news article might not be receptive to a politician's press release. ... Don't worry if your link doesn't receive any clicks or shares. The power of precinct work is in its cumulative effect. It is sufficient to make your point, it is not necessary to “win the internet.” What you are attempting here is to draw the connection between your elected official's actions and what is happening in your community.

Submission + - Google quietly makes "optional" web DRM mandatory in Chrome 2

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: The World Wide Web Consortium's Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) is a DRM system for web video, being pushed by Netflix, movie studios, and a few broadcasters. It's been hugely controversial within the W3C and outside of it, but one argument that DRM defenders have made throughout the debate is that the DRM is optional, and if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. That's not true any more. Some time in the past few days, Google quietly updated Chrome (and derivative browsers like Chromium) so that Widevine (Google's version of EME) can no longer be disabled; it comes switched on and installed in every Chrome instance. Because of laws like section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (and Canada's Bill C11, and EU implementations of Article 6 of the EUCD), browsers that have DRM in them are risky for security researchers to audit. These laws provide both criminal and civil penalties for those who tamper with DRM, even for legal, legitimate purposes, and courts and companies have interpreted this to mean that companies can punish security researchers who reveal defects in their products.

Submission + - US Government Employees Banned from Sharing Publicly Funded Science (popsci.com) 1

Layzej writes: Popular Science reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now barred from communicating with the public and The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees from sharing the results of its taxpayer-funded research with the broader public.
The memo outlining these new rules has not been made public, but the ban reportedly includes everything from summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets. Scientists are still able to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals, but they are unable to talk about that research without prior consent from their agency.
This is not the first time that public science has been hamstrung by a gag order. To this day, the quantity of oil spewed into the ocean during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill remains something of a mystery. Many of the scientists who worked on the spill were hired by BP and barred from speaking on it. But gag orders—while always troublesome—have usually been limited to one specific issue. Right now, the EPA and USDA have been forbidden to speak about all of their scientific research. It means that many of the kinds of stories we now cover will never see the light of day.

Submission + - Should You Work for Trump? (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Many leaders in the tech community are facing a moral dilemma: They're being asked to lend their valuable skills to an administration that opposes much of what they stand for. The government still needs the skills of techies to be better able to serve the people, and at Backchannel, Jessi Hempel argues that if you are asked and you are able, you should step up: " when you accept an appointment in the government, you don’t work for Trump. You work for the American people, upholding the values outlined in the Constitution. We need thoughtful, progressive techies to continue to put American people first."

Submission + - Pwn2Own 2017 Takes Aim at Linux (eweek.com)

darthcamaro writes: For the first time in its ten year history, the annual Pwn2Own hacking competition is taking direct aim at Linux. Pwn2Own in the past has typically focused mostly on web browsers, running on Windows and macOS. There is a $15,000 reward for security researchers that are able to get a local user kernel exploit on Ubuntu 16.10. The bigger prize though is a massive $200,000 award for exploiting Apache Web Server running on Ubuntu.

Submission + - Apple removes Finder for Airpods app from its store

Ecuador writes: There was a $3.99 app that helped you find your Airpod if it was within bluetooth range. Even though it had a limited range, it might have been useful for some people to avoid Apple's $69 replacement fee. But Apple has apparently pulled the app with no explanation. According to the developer's reddit post:
"Yeah, just got off the phone with them. They didn't find anything wrong with the app itself, but rather they they didn't like the 'concept' of people finding their Airpods and hence was deemed 'not appropriate for the App Store'."
What is interesting, if what the developer is saying is true (it is a Reddit post after all), is that Apple does allow similar apps (from the same developer) for finding other devices (Fitbit, Jawbone), so they don't like the concept specifically as it applies to the Airpods. The speculation is that they either have similar functionality planned, or they really like that $69 replacement fee.

Submission + - Trump's Treasury pick appears to be part of a federal investigation (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: Trump's transition strategy of picking some of the shadiest people on earth is still going strong. The latest: According to the FBI, his Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin is involved with an "ongoing investigation", as reported by Mike Best over at the FOIA site MuckRock. Best requested Mnuchin's FBI files, but the request was rejected under the grounds of an open investigation, likely related to Mnuchin's superbly-timed exit from Relativity Media — right before it cratered.

Comment Re:So Android DOESN'T have an Apple Pay equivalent (Score -1, Troll) 122

It's also shared with your vendor and your credit card company. Same holds true if you use ISIS wallet - someone who is not either your vendor or your credit card provider has access to your credit and purchase information. Guess what - if you use Apple's wallet app, Apple will have access to your purchase data - or did you think Apple just hired all of the world's best psychics and decided to take 'em on faith?

But don't worry - you just go ahead and enjoy your applesauce.

Submission + - Will ultrasound-on-a-chip make medical imaging so cheap that anyone can do it?

catchblue22 writes: MIT Technology Review has an article describing a potentially groundbreaking invention:

A scanner the size of an iPhone that you could hold up to a person’s chest and see a vivid, moving, 3-D image of what’s inside is being developed by entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg.

Rothberg says he has raised $100 million to create a medical imaging device that’s nearly “as cheap as a stethoscope” and will “make doctors 100 times as effective.” The technology, which according to patent documents relies on a new kind of ultrasound chip, could eventually lead to new ways to destroy cancer cells with heat, or deliver information to brain cells.

Submission + - Drones could 3D-map scores of hectares of land in just a few hours (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Unmanned drones aren’t just for warfare. In recent years, they’ve been used to map wildlife and monitor crop growth. But current software can’t always handle the vast volume of images they gather. Now, researchers have developed an algorithm that will allow drones to 3D-map scores of hectares of land in less than a day—an advance that is important for cost-effective farming, disaster relief, and surveillance operations.

Their computer program directly projects the points from each photo onto a 3D space without knowing the exact shape of the land or the camera positions. As a result, the tie points don’t necessarily match up, which means the same corn plant can have two projections on the model. When that happens, the algorithm automatically takes the middle point between the two projections as the more accurate location and adjusts the camera position accordingly, one image at a time. Because the algorithm tweaks far fewer things at each step, the shortcut drastically speeds up calculations. Once the software has adjusted the camera positions for all the photos, the software repeats the entire process—starting from projecting the points to the 3D space—to correct for any errors.

Submission + - The Oracle v. Google Appeals Court Ruling Could Break 1

rjmarvin writes: The long-running lawsuit and countersuit between Google and Oracle resulted in a ruling last month that, in no uncertain terms, could break much of the software in use today.http://sdt.bz/71372.The decision insinuates that a developer who implements a standard or specification can now be open to lawsuit by the specification's creator. The federal circuit court did leave room for fair use to be found in Google's replication of the Java APIs. This fair use will be decided by Judge William Alsup, but may not matter in the end if the Supreme Court gets involved. If it sounds like this type of ruling would break the entire foundation of software development, that's because it does.

Comment So sad. (Score 1) 521

You're still just a poor, abused child. Please get help soon - from a therapist, a priest, someone - or were you abused by priests too?

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