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America Online

Is Mark Zuckerberg the Next Steve Case? 470

theodp writes "With all signs for Facebook pointing up, author Douglas Rushkoff goes contra, arguing that Facebook hype will fade. 'Appearances can be deceiving,' says Rushkoff. 'In fact, as I read the situation, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Facebook. These aren't the symptoms of a company that is winning, but one that is cashing out.' Rushkoff, who made a similar argument about AOL eleven years ago in a quashed NY Times op-ed, reminds us that AOL was also once considered ubiquitous and invincible, and former AOL CEO Steve Case was deemed no less a genius than Mark Zuckerberg. 'So it's not that MySpace lost and Facebook won,' concludes Rushkoff. 'It's that MySpace won first, and Facebook won next. They'll go down in the same order.'"
Power

Harry Reid Pushes Nevada As "Saudi Arabia of Geothermal Energy" 369

An anonymous reader writes "Of all the 'mainstream' forms of renewable energy, it seems that geothermal power is always left in the shadows compared to solar and wind power. However, that looks set to change with news that the US Department of Energy will fund geothermal projects in northwestern Nevada and southeast Oregon. With funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the DOE has stated a 'conditional commitment' to provide a partial guarantee for a rumored $98.5 million loan to the Nevada Geothermal Power Company (NGP). According to US Senator Harry Reid, 'Northern Nevada is the Saudi Arabia of geothermal energy.'"
Communications

New York Times Bans Use of Word "Tweet" 426

An anonymous reader writes "New York Times standards editor Phil Corbett has had enough of his journalists' sloppy writing. Their offense? Using the 'inherently silly' word 'tweet' 18 times in the last month. In an internal memo obtained by theawl.com, he orders his writers to use alternatives, such as '"use Twitter" ... or "a Twitter update."' He admits that ' ... new technology terms sprout and spread faster than ever. And we don't want to seem paleolithic. But we favor established usage and ordinary words ...' After all, he points out, ' ... another service may elbow Twitter aside next year, and "tweet" may fade into oblivion.' Of course, it is also possible that social media sites will elbow paleolithic media into oblivion, and Mr. Corbett will no longer have to worry about word use." While this sounds like it could as well be an Onion story, the memo is being widely reported.
Communications

Skype App Updated, Allows 3G Calling On the iPhone 109

silverpig sends this excerpt from the Wifitalk.ca blog: "Skype has just announced that an updated version of its iPhone app has been released to the App Store and now allows calling over 3G. While this functionality has been available on the iPhone since a January update to the SDK, and while other apps such as Fring have enabled 3G VOIP calling through their apps, Skype has been noticeably absent from the VOIP-over-3G landscape. Until today." A reader adds: "Included in the app update are some UI tweaks and a call quality indicator to help you predict what your VOIP-over-3G call quality will be like. Most interesting in the announcement is the suggestion that while Skype-to-Skype over 3G will be free for 2010, Skype is investigating pricing options and may charge for it in 2011. This could lead to smartphones being sold with data only + Skype plans."
OS X

Valve Confirms Mac Versions of Steam, Valve Games 541

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Gamasutra: "Valve will release a version of its Steam digital distribution service for Mac next month, along with Mac-native versions of its own games, the company confirmed today after days of hints — and owners of Valve games will have access to both platform versions. The Source engine, which Valve uses to develop all its internal titles and also licenses to third-party developers, will incorporate OpenGL in addition to DirectX, to allow Mac support for all Source developers. ... 'We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform, so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360,' said Cook. 'Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates.'"
Android

B&N Nook Successfully Opened 275

garg0yle writes "A team has managed to open the Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader, gaining full access to the operating system. From the article: 'The Nook is now a computer running a full Android operating system, with a built-in, free cellular connection to the internet. It also has a battery that lasts days, not hours.' They are documenting their progress on the Nook Devs wiki."
Science

First Black Hole For Light Created On Earth 244

An anonymous reader writes "An electromagnetic 'black hole' that sucks in surrounding light has been built for the first time. The device, which works at microwave frequencies, may soon be extended to trap visible light, leading to an entirely new way of harvesting solar energy to generate electricity. A theoretical design for a table-top black hole to trap light was proposed in a paper published earlier this year by Evgenii Narimanov and Alexander Kildishev of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Their idea was to mimic the properties of a cosmological black hole, whose intense gravity bends the surrounding space-time, causing any nearby matter or radiation to follow the warped space-time and spiral inwards."

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