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Upgrades

iOS 6 Adoption Tops 25% After Just 48 Hours 513

Posted by timothy
from the must've-hated-the-last-version dept.
An anonymous reader writes "iOS 6 has seen rapid adoption among iPhone and iPad users, reports developer David Smith. Smith's applications like Audiobooks get around 100k downloads weekly and he's taken to mapping the adoption of Apple's software releases over the last couple of years. This update's data shows a 35.4% adoption of iOS 6, with iOS 5.x holding court at 71.5% adoption. That's a pretty rapid pace, eclipsing Android Jelly Bean's 2-month adoption levels of 1.2% easily."
Privacy

W3C Group Proposed To Safeguard User Agent State Privacy 76

Posted by timothy
from the dry-title-but-juicy-facts dept.
First time accepted submitter FredAndrews writes "A Private User Agent W3C Community Group has been proposed to tackle the privacy of the web browser by developing technical solutions to close the leaks. Current Javascript APIs are capable of leaking a lot of information as we browse the Internet, such as details of our browser that can be used to identify and track our online presence, and the content on the page (including any private customizations and the effects of extensions), and can monitor and leak our usage on the page such a mouse movements and interactions on the page. This problem is compounded by the increased use of the web browser as a platform for delivering software. While the community ignores the issue, solutions are being developed commercially and patented — we run the risk of ending up unable to have privacy because the solutions are patented. The proposed W3C PUA CG proposes to address the problem with technical solutions at the web browser, such as restricting the back channels available to Javascript, and also by proposing HTML extensions to mitigate lost functionality. Note, this work cannot address the privacy of information that we overtly share, and there are other current W3C initiatives working on this, such as DNT."
Australia

Australian Smart Meter Data Shared Far and Wide 172

Posted by timothy
from the all-in-best-interest dept.
New submitter ferrisoxide.com writes "In Victoria (Australia), detailed information about electricity customers' power usage, which gives insights into when a house is occupied, is being shared with third parties including mail houses, debt collectors, data processing analysts and government agencies."
Twitter

New Twitter Policies Put the Kibosh On Mashup Services 82

Posted by timothy
from the controlling-the-world dept.
dburr writes "If This Then That (IFTTT) is a web mashup service that lets you connect together multiple services in unique and powerful ways. For example, you can automatically bookmark Favorited tweets using a social bookmarking service such as Delicious. Or even notify you by SMS when your server goes down. Unfortunately, Twitter has just announced policy changes that will in effect neuter it. Starting next Thursday, August 27, IFTTT will be disabling all Twitter "triggers" (the real power of IFTTT and its defining feature). (You will still be able to post Tweets through IFTTT) This has upset many long time Twitter users and members of the technorati. I have created a petition in a valiant (and perhaps vain) attempt to express our displeasure at their decision."
Earth

Has Plant Life Reached Its Limits? 209

Posted by timothy
from the just-give-it-more-plant-food dept.
hessian writes with this news from the New York Times: "Since 2000, Dr. [Steven] Running and his colleagues have monitored how much plant growth covers terra firma, using two NASA satellites in the agency's Earth Observing System. After they crunched the numbers, combining the current monitoring system's data with satellite observations dating back to 1982, they noticed that terrestrial plant growth, also known as net primary production, remained relatively constant. Over the course of three decades, the observed plant growth on dry land has been about 53.6 petagrams of carbon each year, Dr. Running writes in the article. This suggests that plants' overall productivity — including the corn that humans grow and the trees people log for paper products — is changing little now, no matter how mankind tries to boost it, he said."
Government

Medicare Bills Rise As Records Turn Electronic 294

Posted by timothy
from the wealthy-donors-doing-just-fine dept.
theodp writes "As part of the economic stimulus program, the Obama administration put into effect a Bush-era incentive program that provides tens of billions of dollars for physicians and hospitals that make the switch to electronic records, using systems like Athenahealth [note: video advertisement] (which made U.S. CTO Todd Park a wealthy man). The goal was not only to improve efficiency and patient safety, but also to reduce health care costs. But, in reality, the move to electronic health records may be contributing to billions of dollars in higher costs for Medicare, private insurers and patients by making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care. Hospitals received $1 billion more in Medicare reimbursements in 2010 than they did five years earlier, at least in part by changing the billing codes they assign to patients in emergency rooms, according to a NY Times analysis. There are also fears that features which can be used to automatically generate detailed patient histories and clone examination findings for multiple patients make it too easy to give the appearance that more thorough exams were conducted than perhaps were. Critics say the abuses are widespread. 'It's like doping and bicycling,' said Dr. Donald W. Simborg. 'Everybody knows it's going on.'"
Input Devices

Ask Slashdot: Gaming With Only One Hand? 221

Posted by timothy
from the obvious-witticisms-are-obvious dept.
Hork_Monkey writes "I recently sustained a severe injury to one of my arms, and am lucky not to be an amputee. I'm an avid gamer (primarily PC, but also XBox) and looking for advice one how to adapt to the challenge now presented of enjoying one of my favorite pastimes. My google-fu has led me to some devices and tips, but I wanted to tap the collective while experimenting. I know there have to be some readers in similar positions who could provide some guidance. I'm figuring a few things out, and also hope to share what I find for others in a similar situation."
China

Google Stops Offering Free Music Service In China 67

Posted by timothy
from the cows-go-begging-milk-is-free dept.
SquarePixel writes "Google has yanked its free music service in China after being unable to make it popular enough. The service offered Chinese people free licensed music downloads and was launched in 2009 to compete with the rival search engine Baidu. 'Once China's second largest search provider, Google has now fallen to fourth place, overtaken by other local companies. — Google's popularity in the country has waned ever since 2010, when the company pulled the plug on its China-based search engine following disputes with the government over censorship and hacking concerns. Google's market share is at 5 percent, while Baidu's is 74 percent.'"
Businesses

Can Microsoft Really Convince People To Subscribe To Software? 297

Posted by timothy
from the file-formats-are-what-matter dept.
curtwoodward writes "For most consumers, monthly subscriptions are still something for magazines and cable TV. With Office 365, Microsoft is about to embark on a huge social experiment to see if they'll also pay that way for basic software. But in doing so, Microsoft has jacked up prices on its old fee structure to make subscriptions seem like a better deal. And that could really leave a bad impression with financially struggling consumers."
Cellphones

Verizon-Branded iPhone 5 Ships Unlocked, Works With Other Networks 100

Posted by timothy
from the tab-a-slots-b-through-q dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from Geek.com: "If you're planning to get a new Verizon iPhone 5, there might be a little bonus feature included that neither Apple nor Verizon are keen to admit. As units have started making it out of the stores, it appears that the Verizon version of the device is fully unlocked out of the box and able to connect to any GSM network. Verizon support is apparently confirming to customers that the device is unlocked. At the very least, this doesn't appear to be a mistake. It likely has to do with the way the iPhone's radios are designed along with the implementation of LTE on Verizon. This might make the device a little more palatable to those on the fence about upgrading, especially for anyone that travels."
Government

Federal Judge Says No Right To Secret Ballot, OKs Barcoded Ballots 584

Posted by timothy
from the it's-the-little-things dept.
doug141 writes "A Colorado county put bar codes on printed ballots in a last minute effort to comply with a rule about eliminating identifying markings. Citizens sued, because the bar codes can still be traced back to individual voters. In a surprise ruling, Denver U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello said the U.S. Constitution did not contain a 'fundamental right' to secret ballots, and that the citizens could not show their voting rights had been violated, nor that they might suffer any specific injury from the bar codes."
Privacy

Ubuntu Will Now Have Amazon Ads Pre-Installed 646

Posted by timothy
from the not-what-I-want-by-default dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scheduled to be released next month, Ubuntu 12.10 now includes both Amazon ads in the user's dash and by default an Amazon store in the user's launcher. The reason for these 'features'? Affiliate revenue. Despite previous controversies with Banshee and Yahoo, Canonical is 'confident it will be an interesting and useful feature for our 12.10 users.' But are the 'users' becoming products?" Update: 09/22 19:35 GMT by T : Reader bkerensa scoffs, calling the Amazon integration unobtrusive, and says objections to its inclusion in the OS should be ignored, "because in reality ads will not be found in 12.10 unless you are seeing them on a third party website you go to in a web browser." He's got screenshots.
NASA

Space Shuttle Items For Sale Soon VIa GSA Auction 59

Posted by timothy
from the prepare-the-sniping-software dept.
shortyadamk writes "According to the Government Services Administration auction page: 'Attention GSA Auctions bidders and interested participants. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Space Shuttle Program has retired and NASA has partnered with GSA Auctions to sell the many shuttle related items through a series of auctions in 2012.' The only catch is that you must be a U.S. Citizen and schedule a visit 48 hours ahead of time to pick up your item. I'm not really sure which piece of the shuttle I'd want the most... Those robotic arms are pretty sweet."
Firefox

Mozilla OS Looking Grown Up On Its Own Developer Phone 114

Posted by timothy
from the fox-in-your-pocket dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It's no secret that Mozilla has been working on a mobile OS. Previously codenamed Boot2Gecko, the project focused on a purely HTML5 based system that worked in many ways like current mobile devices. As the project grew into Mozilla OS, the company has laid out a partnership with ZTE that will have real world devices in certain markets early next year. Testing for this OS had previously consisted of a compiled ROM that would be flashed over a handful of Android devices. Now, Mozilla has moved into full fledged product evaluation mode with their own custom developer phone."
Earth

Spectacular Fireball Lights Up UK Sky 68

Posted by timothy
from the see-something-say-something dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "An extremely bright meteor burned up over Ireland and the northern UK around 22:00 UTC on Friday night, and was apparently witnessed by thousands of people. It traveled east to west, and was moving relatively slowly. It may have been an actual rock, or it may have been some human-made space debris — a satellite or rocket booster — burning up. Space junk tends to move more slowly, so that's a potential suspect, though orbiting debris usually moves in the opposite direction. I'm collecting pictures and images on my Bad Astronomy blog."

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