Bearhouse writes "Researchers have identified the most-edited pages in Wikipedia — the subject of so-called 'Wikiwars'. It's interesting to see how these differ by country; in the USA, GWB tops the list. For the Czech republic, it's homosexuality. Regarding Germany, 9/11 conspiracy theories are in third place, after Croatia and Scientology. Just as weird and interesting as Wikipedia itself." Link to Original Source top
What do you buy a 90 year old, tech-savy Dad who has everything?
Bearhouse writes "My Dad amazes me with (a) his longevity & energy, and (b) his continued ability to mess around with electronics stuff. Since he already has things ranging from valve amps made from war-surplus, via an original IBM PC kit to an Android tablet, I was going to buy him a Raspberry Pi for Christmas. Turns out he's already got one. I saw nothing that really got me excited in the attached link, so your ideas would be appreciated, thanks." Link to Original Source top
Bearhouse writes "From the BBC: Unless users delete their Instagram accounts by a deadline of 16 January, they cannot opt out. The changes also mean Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as other affiliates and advertisers. The move riled social media users, with some likening it to a "suicide note". The new policies follow Facebook's record $1bn (£616m; 758 euro) acquisition of Instagram in April. Facebook's vice-president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson earlier this month had said: "Eventually we'll figure out a way to monetise Instagram."
I'm not sure the many young users of Instagram will be too happy when their pictures start showing up in ads." Link to Original Source top
Bearhouse writes "Won't be a surprise for regular readers, but there's a good summary from Gartner here of how IT VPs should be wary of, amongst other things, SAP's rather opaque pricing and Oracle's poor interoperability. Also, how IBM is more interested in taking over your company's IT strategy than it is in delivering solutions.
Bearhouse writes "The Guardian reports: '..a 12-year-old satellite belonging to the US company Iridium and a defunct Russian Cosmos satellite that was put into orbit in 1993...which weighed 560kg and 950kg respectively, apparently smashed into each other at a speed of 420 miles per minute (25,000mph).' 'Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Les Kodlick of the US strategic command, said: "We believe it's the first time that two satellites have collided in orbit." The command's joint space operations centre was tracking 500 to 600 new bits of debris, some as small as 10cm (3.9 inches) across, in addition to the 18,000 or so other man-made objects it has catalogued, he said.' Read more here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/12/nasa-alert-as-satellites-collide" Link to Original Source top
Bearhouse writes "The BBC has an update on the story that provoked a lot of comment here a while back. It's rather more thorough than the usual BBC article, so interesting.
"Now experts say the event challenges conventional theories about meteorites. The object which came down in the Puno region of Peru was a relatively fragile stony meteorite. During the fiery descent through Earth's atmosphere, these are thought to fragment into smaller pieces which then scatter over a wide area. Yet pieces of the estimated 1m-wide meteorite are thought to have stayed together during entry, hitting the ground as one.
There was a lot of discussion here about reporting toxic side-effects of the strike. FTA: "Reports about arsenic, bubbling [of water in the crater] and sickness were probably overblown. People were frightened, but some were also afraid they were under attack from a nearby country."
A bull's horn was, however, confirmed as ripped off...
For more, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7292863.stm" top
Bearhouse writes "The BBC reports that "A tiny chemical "brain" which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented." See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7288426.stm.
"The machine is made from 17 molecules of the chemical duroquinone. Each one is known as a "logic device". They each resemble a ring with four protruding spokes that can be independently rotated to represent four different states.
The molecular device — just two billionths of a metre across — was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously.
Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say it could also be used to boost the processing power of future computers."" top
Bearhouse writes "The BBC reports that "The European Commission has fined US computer giant Microsoft for defying sanctions imposed on it for anti-competitive behaviour. Microsoft must now pay 899 million euros ($1.4bn; £680.9m) after it failed to comply with a 2004 ruling that it took part in monopolistic practices. The ruling said that Microsoft was guilty of not providing vital information to rival software makers. EU regulators said the firm was the first to break an EU antitrust ruling."
What — if anything — do you think this will further ruling will change? What 'vital information' would you want?" top
Bearhouse writes "Picidae, http://picidae.net/, is the latest in the cat-and-mouse game of censors and hole finders / makers.
The inventors have tested it for three weeks in China, and so far claim to have gotten round the 'great firewall'.
If you invoke a pici-server a form field appears to fill in a web address. The pici-server then creates an image of that website and sends this back. Works as advertised, (until it gets/.ed, I guess). You can added your own pici-server to help out.
It's been nominated for a Transmediale prize: http://www.transmediale.de/site/award/nominated-works/
From the nomination:
Christoph Wachter / Mathias Jud (de/ch): picidae
(Community Network, Installation, 2007)
"picidae" creates a server community which breaks national firewalls by redelivering complete, readable and hyperlinked images of blocked web sites.
How long before it gets blocked, and how?" Link to Original Source top
Following on from earlier posts here about the legality of unlocking your iPhone, what's your opinion on the legality of Apple bricking it for you with an upgrade? Do you think this is a bad way for Apple to build customer loyalty with an increasingly tech-savy user base, who like to add applications to their personal devices? Or do you think it's good, bearing in mind that mobile phones are being hyped as the next payment method, and so need to be secure?" Link to Original Source top
Bearhouse writes "One of my clients, a major international, wants to get control over its email. IT support is outsourced, and poor.
At the moment, they've launched a small project to deal with 'excessive' volumes of mails — some people receive over 300 per day!
Although many of the users are engineers, they typically are not well-trained in Notes, and do not tend to use its advanced features.
The in-house team they've put together has come up with suggestions like, "let's force people to click on confirmation dialogs when they hit 'reply to all', or have big attachments". I'm not sure this is the way to go. Anybody here have any ideas to help, please?
Also, what tools would readers suggest to structure and 'mine' the vast quantity of mails that are generated each year?
At the moment, this information goes totally unused..." top
Bearhouse writes "Picked this up via doggdot, so sorry if dupe. Anyways, there's been some discussion here about Automatix, with some liking it, and others (predictably) not. Interesting — if rather brief — critique here:
So, do people agree? What are the better alternatives?" top
Bearhouse writes "ars technica reports that the planned tripling of royalties for US-based net radios may be postponed, but at a price. From the article, "SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for webcasters who agree to provide more detailed reporting of the music that they play and work to stop users from engaging in 'streamripping' — turning Internet radio performances into a digital music library,". Could this mean a return to 'pirate radio', with sites moving offshore?" Link to Original Source top
Bearhouse writes "The folks over at Wired publish the results of surveying some popular US-based ISPs. The results are patchy. Some ISPs only responded to a few questions, and others not at all. Of those that did respond, some keep record of IPs allocated, and URLs visited, for up to six months. Seems a tempting target for both black hats and law enforcers. Who'll get your browsing history first?
Read more at http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/20 07/05/isp_privacy" top
Bearhouse writes "The original report, regarding the loss of the ashes of the late Star Trek actor James Doohan, (Scotty), got a lot of press here.
Well, the BBC is reporting that they've been found, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6671887.s tm
From the article, 'before his death — at the age of 85 — two years ago, he had asked for his remains to be sent into space....Wende Doohan, James Doohan's widow, told the Associated Press news agency her late husband "probably wished he could have stayed".'
How long before we have the option of being 'buried in space'? Would you advocate / go for it?" top
Bearhouse writes "The BBC reports, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6574175.stm, that Google has seen quarterly profits soar by 69%, boosted by strong advertising revenue. From the article, "[Google] net income climbed to $1bn (£499m) in the first three months of 2007, up from $592m on a year earlier. Google's results contrast sharply with Yahoo, whose sales fell 11% in the first three months of this year.
Yahoo's net profit fell to $142m (£71m) for the three months to March 31, compared with $160m a year earlier." Looks like the ultimate 'geeks' are also winning out on the commercial front. Are the 'don't be evil boys' going to challenge the 'evil empire' with, among other things, Google apps? Having crushed the other search apps, and bought out DoubleClick, what's next?"