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Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "For those who don't know, the way Snapchat works is that you send a message—text photo, whatever—to a friend or group of friends. But instead of the message being persistent, it "disappears" rather quickly. The young 'uns like it because it's a superior method of sexting that doesn't leave yourself open to incriminating pictures of yourself circulating online.
The general consensus is that it's a mistake to turn down the offer since Snapchat has no revenue and doesn't seem like a promising ad service... but possibly the 23 year old founder may have felt that a threatening acquisition would ruin the platform (think Flickr and Yahoo).
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "LAS VEGAS — Automakers, hoping to get ahead of the technology curve for once, are opening their dashboards and APIs to outside developers in a bid to ramp up the number of apps you can use behind the wheel.
Each automaker is providing developers with an SDK through an online portal. As part of the Ford Developer Program, the Dearborn-based automaker is offering support from its own mobile app development house as well as other app testing vendors.
The API guidelines are an interesting read, in that GM will “instantly deny” apps that incorporate video, excessive text and gaming in a bid to reduce the risk of distracted driving." Link to Original Source top
Why do you want to kill my pet? Zynga to shut down PetVille and 10 Others
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "Executing the cost-reduction plan CEO Mark Pincus announced in November, Zynga has shut down, pulled from the app stores, or stopped accepting new players to more than 10 games such as PetVille, Mafia Wars 2, FishVille, Vampire Wars, Treasure Isle, Indiana Jones Adventure World, Mafia Wars Shakedown, Forestville, Montopia, Mojitomo, and Word Scramble Challenge.
Comments from gamers on the shutdown notices included things like “my daughter is heartbroken” and “Please don’t remove petville. I been playing for 4 yrs. and I’M going to miss my pet Jaime.why do you want cause depression for me and others. Why do you want to kill my pet?”
For players that have invested a lot of microtransactions and/or time, this comes as a heavy blow. Most readers on/. have become used to game publishers disabling content or shutting servers down with little or no notice-- is this a further sign of things to come, or will this cause enough outrage to reverse the trend?" Link to Original Source top
The history of "Correlation does not equal Causation"
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "The phrase "correlation != causation" goes back to 1880 (according to Google Books). However, the use of the phrase has increased exponentially starting 1990's-200's, and is becoming a quick way to short-circuit certain kinds of arguments.
In the late 19th century the British statistician Karl Pearson introduced a powerful idea in math: that a relationship between two variables could be characterized according to its strength and expressed in numbers. An exciting concept, but it raised a new set of issues-- how to interpret the data in a way that is helpful, rather than misleading.
When we mistake correlation for causation, we find a cause that isn't there, which is a problem...however, as science grows more powerful and government more technocratic, the stakes of correlation—of counterfeit relationships and bogus findings—grow larger." Link to Original Source top
Art School's Expensive Art History Textbook Contains No Actual Art
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "An art history book minus the art! Students at Ontario College of Art and Design were forced to buy a $180 textbook filled with blank squares. Instead of images of paintings and sculpture throughout history (that presumably would fall under fair-use) the textbook for ”Global Visual and Material Culture: Prehistory to 1800“ features placeholders with a link to an online image.
A letter from the school’s dean stated that had they decided to clear all the images for copyright to print, the book would have cost a whopping $800.
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "From the Village Voice "You might not know it, but you're sitting on $117,000. That's basically how much every American is potentially worth in government student aid. Want to attend grad school? Throw in another $114,000."
Between student-aid and GI Bill programs, most for-profit schools receive 90 percent of their revenue from the American taxpayer, which means that even a school with no accreditation has little or no stake in seeing students graduate-- they get paid regardless. Nearly 80 percent of students won't complete their program within six years—almost double the failure rate at traditional schools. You'd think that might be due to the fact that kids today are lazy good-for-nothings-- however, Bridgepoint Education/University of the Rockies (owned by Warburg Pincus, a New York private-equity firm) just 50 full-time faculty members are available to teach 90,000 online students. This is at a school that received its accreditation simply by buying up a Franciscan college in Clinton, Iowa.
Unsurprisingly, three-quarters of all for-profit students are enrolled at schools owned by Wall Street banks and private-equity firms such as Goldman Sachs.
I know I was raised to believe that a college education was key to some measure of financial independence and success-- increasingly it's looking like a predatory scam designed to keep the most vulnerable members of society in a debt spiral without even a degree to show for it." Link to Original Source top
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "20 years ago today, ID software released "Wolfenstein 3D", a remake of a classic Apple II game, "Return to Castle Wolfenstein". To celebrate, Bethesda Softworks on Wednesday released a free, browser-based version of the iconic first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D.
Users can pick which level they wish to play in the browser version, even the secret levels." Link to Original Source top
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "Today is an incredibly sad day for fans of comic books, concept art, and downright anything science fiction. Artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud, who provided some of the most stunning scifi and fantasy art ever to grace a page, has succumbed to illness at the age of 73. It's pretty hard to overstate the impact he had on film, comic books, and illustration in general. You can name most any fantasy or science fiction related piece of culture from the last 30 or 40 years, and chances are he provided concept art for it or was involved in some way. Alien, Dune, Heavy Metal, Tron (original AND the new one), The Abyss, Masters of the Universe, The Fifth Element, Willow... the list goes on.
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "US Congressman and poor-toupee-color-chooser Lamar Smith is the guy who authored the Stop Online Piracy Act. SOPA, as I'm sure you know, is the shady bill that will introduce harsh penalties for companies and individuals caught violating copyright laws online (including making the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a felony). His site uses unattributed images that are restricted under a Creative Commons license. There's also a website devoted to finding other copyright infringement by the authors of SOPA-- to join in the fun, go here: http://www.vice.com/read/find-sopa-cosigners-copyright-violation" Link to Original Source top
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "Bob Kane created Batman, and Bill Finger came up with a lot of the character's look. But without Jerry Robinson, who died today at age 89, the Batman universe would be way less exciting. From the article: "The first thought that I had was to create a villain that was – we didn't use the word supervillain at that time – a larger-than-life villain, one that would be worthy of Batman....I always felt that heroes were essentially dull. Villains were more exotic and could do more interesting things." His contributions to the world of comic book villainy cannot be overstated, and he will be sorely missed." Link to Original Source top
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "Pass the popcorn! From NMA.tv by way of Kotaku comes the animated version of the nailbiter aptly titled "LulzSec goes on hacking rampage for Lolz."
Next Media Animation's army of computer graphic animators churned out a hilarious video neatly encapsulating the week's escalating hacker wars. My favorite? The angry troll-faced 4chan-sters vs. the empty-suited Anonamen." Link to Original Source top
The hacker group Lulzsec, which allegedly was behind other breaches of Sony websites earlier this week, claimed responsibility.
Lulzsec posted a server configuration file as proof of its involvement yet said it wasn't targeting Nintendo. "We just got a config file and made it clear that we didn't mean any harm," the group said this morning via its Twitter. "Nintendo had already fixed it anyway.
The attack comes as Nintendo this week launches its new online service for its 3DS hand-held game machine." Link to Original Source top
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "China is gearing up to road test an eco-friendly 'straddle' super bus, which is high enough to allow a two-lane tunnel beneath it for cars to pass through. Hopefully it will help with some of their most recent gridlock problems. The picture looks like something from some 70's "cars of the future" Omni article." Link to Original Source top
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a monkey controlling an advanced robotic arm by using its thoughts. In the experiments conducted this year two sensors were implanted into the monkey’s brain. One was implanted in the hand area and the second in the arm area of its motor cortex. The sensors monitor the firing of motor neurons and send data to the computer that translates the patterns into commands that control the robotic arm. The monkey does this in order to obtain a "tasty beverage".
"What are you going to do tonight, Chim-Chim?"
"Same thing I do every night-- try to take over the world!"" Link to Original Source top
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "Painter Frank Frazetta, best known for his striking fantasy work with characters like Death Dealer, Conan the Barbarian, and Vampirella, died today at the age of 82.
Frazetta's lush and moody paintings graced album covers, movie posters and dozens of fantasy publications, including numerous Conan book covers, Eerie, Creepy, Vampirella and Heavy Metal magazine. In his later years, he largely avoided the public eye but his influence is undeniable.
I grew up reading Robert E. Howard's "Conan" series-- Frazetta's iconic covers inspired and impressed me as much as the books themselves.
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "A trio of Google engineers have ported id Software's gib-filled first-person shooter Quake II to browsers— you know, for kicks—as a way to show just what HTML5 compatible web browsers are capable of.
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "I've heard of some of these projects but have not been able to put a name with a face until now. I don't really think that what they do falls under "hacking", but they're certainly up to some specifically tech-y brand of hi-jinks. From the article: "... Ubermorgen have done some of the coolest and most subversive things with computers I’ve seen since Captain Crunch or whoever hacked the Jolly Roger back in the usenet days or whatever. They’ve turned Google’s automated advertising system against itself, transformed Amazon’s entire stock into a digital lending library, and freaked a bunch of squares in the mainstream media by setting up a commodities market for votes. We chatted to them while they were in Israel on some digital actionist business about some of the pieces that went into they’re recently released monograph. In efforts to be completely thorough, there are two books–one titled UM.BOOK: MEDIA HACKING VS. CONCEPTUAL ART and the second simply UBERMORGEN.COM. " The source, vice.com (http://www.viceland.com/blogs/en/2010/03/23/ubermorgen-are-our-favorite-hackers/), is more news for hipsters than news for nerds, hence light-on-details and heavy on "ooh-- lulz". But whatevs." Link to Original Source