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Submission + - Canonical crowdsources to make Ubuntu smartphone called Edge ( 1

nk497 writes: Canonical has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $32 million in 30 days to make its own smartphone, called Ubuntu Edge, that can also hook up to a monitor and be used as a PC. If it meets its funding target on Indiegogo, the Ubuntu Edge is scheduled to arrive in May 2014. To get one, backers must contribute $600 (£394) on the first day or $810 (£532) thereafter. Canonical will only make 40,000 of the devices.

Submission + - 'Female' Chromosome May Leave a Mark on Male Fertility (

sciencehabit writes: Behind every great man, the saying goes, there's a great woman. And behind every sperm, there may be an X chromosome gene. In humans, the Y chromosome makes men, men, or so researchers have thought: It contains genes that are responsible for sex determination, male development, and male fertility. But now a team has discovered that X—"the female chromosome"—could also play a significant role in maleness. It contains scores of genes that are active only in tissue destined to become sperm. The finding shakes up our ideas about how sex chromosomes influence gender and also suggests that at least some parts of the X chromosome are playing an unexpectedly dynamic role in evolution.

Submission + - Image Comics' DRM-Free Comic Bok Store is Now Live (

ectoman writes: At its annual press event a few weeks ago, Image Comics announced it would begin selling its comic books directly to consumers through a new online store—DRM-free. The move makes Image the first major comic book publisher to offer content without DRM. In an interview with Wired, publisher Eric Stephenson argues that the solution to comic book piracy is not more restrictions, but rather better comics:

"My stance on piracy is that piracy is bad for bad entertainment. There's a pretty strong correlation with things that suck not being greatly pirated, while things that are successful have a higher piracy rate. If you put out a good comic book—even if somebody does download it illegally—if they enjoy it, then the likelihood of them purchasing the book is pretty high. Obviously we don't want everybody giving a copy to a hundred friends, but this argument has been around since home taping was supposedly killing music back in the '70s, and that didn't happen. And I don't think it's happening now."

Submission + - Blacklisting Child Porn Search Terms Will Not Protect the Victims (

DavidGilbert99 writes: UK prime minister David Cameron has vowed to force the likes of Google, Facebook and Yahoo to block search terms related to child pornography in what seems like a direct response to a media war waged by the Daily Mail in recent weeks. But, as David Gilbert points out on IBTimes UK, this is just window dressing and will do nothing to stop the abuse of children and the trade of child porn images on the deep web.

Comment Sprint (Score 2) 286

I have Sprint, they've never given me a problem about tethering. As far as I can tell, there's no data cap on my unlimited plan (2 Epic 4G phones, $150 /mo unlimited everything family with the 4G premium, both phones are rooted and running Froyo

My wife is a heavy media consumer with Pandora and Netflix. Occasionally my AT&T home internet goes out, and I stay online for work and play by using Wired Tether ( because my desktop doesn't have 802.11. I frequently use the Wireless Tether ( when I'm out and about with my laptop, as my "4G" (San Francisco bay area) is generally faster than free WiFi and I don't have to deal with a gateway.

All told, it's rare for us to be under 4 gigs per month, and I haven't received any communication from Sprint other than the occasional text advertisement and our monthly statement, but YMMV.

Comment Apple 1984 commercial (Score 4, Insightful) 331

"My friends, each of you is a single cell in the great body of the State. And today, that great body has purged itself of parasites. We have triumphed over the unprincipled dissemination of facts. The thugs and wreckers have been cast out. -- And the poisonous weeds of disinformation have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Let each and every cell rejoice! For today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directive! We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of Thought is a more powerful weapon than any fleet or army on Earth. We are one people. With one will. One resolve. One cause. -- Our enemies shall talk themselves to death. And we will bury them with their own confusion. -- We shall prevail!" -- Apple, 1984. That's the copy from the famous Apple ad with the guy speaking to an audience of people in grey from a big screen.

The Apple fanboys hate that paragraph (and will mod it down to "Troll" in about 30 minutes). But that's a clear statement of Apple's "walled garden" approach. They even use the same terminology: "A garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of contradictory and confusing truths". As for the "Information Purification Directive", see the the EFF's analysis of the Apple iPhone Developer Agreement. Apple tries to keep the Developer Agreement secret, but they accepted a NASA app, which made it subject to a FOIA request, and now anyone can read it.

Comment Re:Locked Down (Score 4, Insightful) 331


It's a false dichotomy to discuss "streamlined user experience" versus "user freedom" as if one is completely at odds with the other. To provide a streamlined experience simply requires good design and sensible defaults. You don't have to lock-out the user from changing those defaults, accessing the full capabilities of the device, or repurposing the device entirely.

Of course it makes sense that vendors of locked-down solutions would spread this misunderstanding. They want to enforce consumer lock-in to their product/services stack. By convincing customers that the lock-in is actually to their benefit, they now have people effectively begging to give up their user freedoms. What bothers me is that media outlets seem not to have generally caught on to this lie. Instead they repeat the false dichotomy, as if it were a fact of nature. I guess it is because computers are still fairly misunderstood by the public at large. (By comparison, most people would not buy it if they hired an electrician who installed locks on their fusebox, telling them that they'll have to call/pay him when the fuses blow... because only then can he guarantee a proper "electrical user experience"...)

Comment Re:Need some Libertarian clarification (Score 1) 799

... Without that juicy legislation by Congress, they would have been damn sure their stuff was safe, because they would be on the hook for the entire damages otherwise...

Right. BP's corporate misfeasance is Congresses fault, because we know corporation always act in an optimal way to preserve their long-term self-interest and would never cut corners otherwise to risk horribly expensive disasters.

Let's look at something that BP was responsible for less than four years ago: the Alaska oil pipeline shutdown (

Set aside the environmental aspects of the spill entirely and just focus on how BP managed that pipeline which delivered 8% of U.S. oil consumption and $30 million of revenue a day. Obviously in possession of such a cash cow, BP's enlightened self-interest ensured that they would keep that pipeline in good condition so that that billion-dollar-a-month gusher would never dry up. But did they? Nooo... they cut corners on maintenance and suffered an entirely avoidable shutdown.

The Libertarian notion, taken up by many non-Libertarian right wingers also -- that regulation is unnecessary since the discipline of the marketplace guarantees good corporate behavior and citizenship (And maximizes economic performance in the short and long terms! Really, no downside at all it seems!) -- is a quaint bit of Nineteenth Century economic utopianism.

Although pointing in a different direction, this "perfect free market" notion is strikingly similar to the character of Marxist thought - another bit of economic fantasy literature harkening back to the 1800s. Both are elegant theoretical structures, so pleasing to its adherents, that the naked evidence of its disastrous failures (and thus the falsity of their premises) in the real world go entirely unacknowledged.

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