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Comment Absolutely! (Score 1) 402

Our daughter's school has (though a grant to the school), 'leant' an iPad to every student. All of them are using it for word processing, assignment, presentations etc. They have all adapted to typing on the one surface quickly, and getting eBooks where practical to replace their text books. Our daughter (and most of the kids) now have smaller bags to take to school, and all their work is accessible and never left in their locker. Their assignment and work are on iCloud (so I can just proof read anything she wants proof read), and look at the due dates for assignments.

All the kids are using Pages, Keynote and Calc to do all of their work - and the thing that is quite clear is that these are quite cut down applications - but they have exactly what you need. The danger for Microsoft is, that if they don't jump on this, the students will be graduating from school not knowing office applications - and will carry that forward into the workplace.

Maybe MS and Google should team up - to put it onto Android and Windows 8 before it is too late.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - NSA Is Waiting For A Major Incident To Create New Cyber Law

wiedzmin writes: It appears that the NSA is waiting for a major incident to create new cyber law that would grant them open access to private networks. Hit up the link above for some quotes or check the EFF website for an entire page dedicated to tracking how over the years NSA has been consistently making strides towards expanding warrantless wiretapping provisions under the guise of "prevention" and "cooperation".

Submission + - Next supercontinent will form on North Pole (nature.com)

ananyo writes: In 50 million to 200 million years' time, all of Earth’s current continents will be pushed together into a single landmass around the North Pole. That is the conclusion of an effort to model the slow movements of the continents over the next tens of millions of years. (abstract http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7384/full/nature10800.html)

A supercontinent last formed 300 million years ago, when all the land masses grouped together on the equator as Pangaea, centred about where West Africa is now. After looking at the geology of mountain ranges around the world, geologists had assumed that the next supercontinent would form either in the same place as Pangaea, closing the Atlantic Ocean like an accordion, or on the other side of the world, in the middle of the current Pacific Ocean.

But now researchers have analysed the magnetism of ancient rocks to work out their locations on the globe over time, and measured how the material under Earth's crust, the mantle, moves the continents that float on its surface. They found that instead of staying near the equator, the next supercontinent — dubbed Amasia — should form 90 degrees away from Pangaea, over the Arctic.

Submission + - Selling Used MP3s Found Legal In America (activepolitic.com) 1

bs0d3 writes: After some litigation; ReDigi, a site where people can sell used MP3's has been found legal in America. One of the key decisions the judge had to make was whether MP3's were material objects or not. 'Material objects' are not subject to the distribution right stipulated in "17 USC 106(3)" which protects the sale of intellectual property copies. If MP3's are material objects than the resale of them is guaranteed legal under the first sale' exception in 17 USC 109. Capitol Records tried
to argue that they were material objects under one law and not under the other. Today the judge has sided with the first-sale doctrine, which means he is seeing these as material objects.


Submission + - Surveillance Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress (washingtontimes.com)

suraj.sun writes: Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a drone, and it’s watching you. That’s what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.

The FAA Reauthorization Act, which President Obama is expected to sign, also orders the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015.

Privacy advocates say the measure will lead to widespread use of drones for electronic surveillance by police agencies across the country and eventually by private companies as well.


Submission + - Man claims he invented the internet, sues Google, Yahoo, and others (wired.com) 1

sohmc writes: Michael Doyle claims that he invented the first internet. It was designed to allow doctors to view embryos on a browser window. If the name sounds familiar, it's because back in 1999, his company Eolas successfully sued Microsoft for violating the same patent. Microsoft appealed, but eventually settled. Tim Berners-Lee — father of the early web — is scheduled to testify. As someone who denounces software patents in general, I wonder why Google, et al, would even ask him to testify. Many of these companies (think Amazon's 1-click patent) have used patent laws to their advantage. It will be interesting to see what shakes out.

Submission + - How Online Communication Connects Generations (net-security.org)

Orome1 writes: "AARP and Microsoft released “Connecting Generations,” a research report that examines how people of all ages are using online communication and social networking to enhance their family relationships. 30 percent of grandparents of teens/young adults agree that connecting online has helped them better understand their teen/young adult grandchildren, and 29 percent of teens/young adults say the same about their grandparents. While most respondents wish they knew more about how to keep personal information private, and how to safeguard their devices, the younger generation wants more information than older respondents about using social networks more safely."

Submission + - The Dark Side of Apple's Mobile Dominance (infoworld.com)

GMGruman writes: "Although it sold just 9 percent of mobile phones globally last quarter, Apple made 75 percent of all the mobile phone profits. Android sales stalled, allowing the iPhone 4S to outsell all Android phone sales in the same period. And each iPhone sale costs the carriers more due to higher iPhone subsidies, hurting their bottom lines. It's a nightmare scenario for many not he mobile industry: Apple is sucking the money out of the market, much as we saw with iTunes and iPods. Apple's success is due to its own innovations, as well as to the continual stumbles of others, but the result is nonetheless a discomforting dominance by a company users love but that has a dark side tendency to control and obstinance. The joke "It's Steve Jobs' world and we just live in it" may not turn out to be so funny."

Comment So how many people look at the marks? (Score 1) 612

The one thing that always gets my goat - as an ex lecturer - is that hardly any employees looks as your college marks after the first job. It is all about "who you worked for" - which says pretty much nothing (because it would be "who you got to give you a job", not about how good you are).

Just because someone has got a drivers licence doesn't mean they can drive an F1 or Champ car - why does anyone think that someone who who has a college degree is going to be at home with cutting code in a distributed HA environment.

I can tell you, without exception, everybody that came out of our university course with marks of 80/100 or above was smokin hot. If you looked at those marks even 10 years into their career you would see they are still a reflection of how good they are. Google's grabbing of PhD's is similar to looking at the marks and picking the top students. If you pick someone who has scraped though, you're probably going to get a lemon, but if you take the pick of the litter - you get stars without having to groom them yourself.

It takes 10000 hours to be an expert at anything. Your contact hours in college may be as little as 2500... If you just give people on the job training - it costs your business lost productivity while the mentor helps out for, lets say, the first 2500 hours, so 62 weeks of Full Time Equivalent work for a grad... lets say that comes out to $50k to make it easy. Now lets just say we have about 28k of lost productivity from the mentor. That is a $78k undergrad degree that the business has just funded (and the employee can walk away with that). Now you can top that with things like 'health plans', 'insurance', and 'opportunity cost'. Opportunity cost is the big thing, because that $78k might have been a few fully competent employee which could bring the business in more money. .. hence the existence or tertiary education....

Depending on how much your mentor is paid, you are probably looking at an expense similar to the cost of a college degree (if you add equipment, taxes, opportunity cost, two sets of wages etc). It just that you are getting business to wear the expense - and then the employee walks away with the benefit. Great if you are the employee.... crap if you are the business!

Comment Whiteants at work (Score 1) 412

The world is whiteanting away his empire.

Rupert - stop going on a money grab. You make money from the advertising in newspapers - and the "cost" of the newspapers is the cost of covering raw materials, printing, distribution costs and a small slice for the seller.

You really make your money out of the ads. What you are really bitching about is Google taking some of your advertising share - because you can Google a story and jump off to millions of sites and blogs.

Of course the way to prevent this is to provide quality content. But Newscorp's second line of business is wholesale news provision (al la Reuters). Of course, every blogger, tweeter and facebook poster is working against you.

You are under attack from every side. So all you do is try to protect you empire, rather than recognising the empire is changing.

It is all about social networking now. You own press has been saying this. I am doing it now. Jump on in - you have brilliant people in your IT departments, you have brilliant people in your Business Development units... use them. Build something special. Build the nest generation of news. God knows you have the money to do it - an in doing it you'll help your grandkids grandkids be as wealthy as you are.

Comment Welcome to the digital age, Rupert (Score 3, Interesting) 549

I had the pleasure of cycling for about 4 hours with on of the editors from a large Murdoch owned newspaper back in 2000.

He asked me where the internet was heading, and how they could leverage it to provide content, and get the readers involved. I also highlighted problems like the sourcing of press releases as articles and the conflicting information they will find in other sources. Opportunities also would present themselves like geolocated and profiled advertising. To their credit, they have persued much of this. The problem is that Google is their competition. I can find anything I want, for free, quicker, crowdsourced, discussed in forums and critiqued. The only service newspapers now offer is a stream of aggregation - and that puts them in direct competition with search engines.

This has been a perfect storm for Murdoch. He has concernrated media, driving variety out of the the market, and opening doors for players of new technology to enter into a niche and then expand to take his business.

His papers will evaporate. Unfortunately, with it will go the newsagencies, delivery routes and old paper advertising industry that went with it. The biggest danger Rupert faces is Apple Tablet - if you can read on that, and it works well - newpapers are in for a world of pain.

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