zacharye writes: “Don’t be evil” is an unofficial motto first uttered by a Google executive during a meeting years ago, and while it started as a playful slogan Google used to jab at its rivals, the three little words have come back to haunt the company on countless occasions. The press and users alike often resurrect the credo when discussing the company’s mission to collect as much information about its users as possible, thus allowing it to target advertising more effectively for its clients. Not all Googlers are on board with this mission, however. In an effort to help users protect their privacy, two former Google employees have created a company with the aim of stopping Google and other sites from tracking users...
dgharmon writes: A new study conducted by IDC and mobile-developer platform and services company Appcelerator has determined that as Google's open source Android operating system becomes more and more fragmented, fewer and fewer developers are putting it on their "must-code-for" list.
alphadogg writes: While Google doesn’t have to worry about app developers fleeing Android en masse, they might be concerned that developer interest appears headed in the wrong direction. A new survey of more than 2,100 app developers released jointly by IDC and mobile development platform vendor Appcelerator Tuesday found that 78.6% of developers were interested in creating apps for Android smartphones during the first quarter of 2012, down from the 83.3% in Q4 of 2011 and down from around 87% in Q1 of 2011. “Massive platform fragmentation is a big reason that we’re seeing this decline in interest,” says Mike King, a former Gartner analyst who now works as Appcelerator’s principal mobile strategist.
ananyo writes: By combining spy-satellite photos obtained in the 1960s with modern multispectral images and digital maps of Earth's surface, researchers have created a new method for mapping large-scale patterns of human settlement. The approach was used to map some 14,000 settlement sites spanning eight millennia in 23,000 square kilometres of northeastern Syria — part of the fertile crescent of the Middle East (abstract). Traditional archaeology has focused on the big features such as cities or palaces but the new technique uncovers networks of small settlements, revealing migration patterns and sparking renewed speculation about the importance of water to city development.