05 March 2012

Zynga and the Perils of Becoming a Platform

Zynga and the Perils of Becoming a Platform
By Ryan Lawler on March 02, 2012 I will give Zynga (ZNGA) this much: The company has some serious stones for setting up Zynga.com as a place for its own games and those of third parties to live outside Facebook. You can't really blame it for doing so.

Google's Chrome drops share for second straight month
By Gregg Keizer Computerworld - The browser battle returned to a kind of normalcy last month as Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), which had posted its largest-ever share increase in January, declined slightly in February. And Google's Chrome fell for ...


Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 Arrives With New HUD
Tom's Hardware Guide
Canonical has just released the first beta of Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise Pangolin," and will follow up with beta 2 next month and the final release possibly within the next eight weeks. Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 is a long-term support release (LTS) that ...

GM to Halt Production of Slow-Selling Chevrolet Volt Plug-in for 5 Weeks
General Motors Co. (GM), missing sales goals for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, plans to halt production of the sedan for five weeks beginning later this month rather than discount the high-technology cars. GM will stop making Volts at its ...

Google planning Siri-like 'Assistant' for later this year, says report
Google will release a voice-enabled application for Android that is similar to Apple's popular Siri by the fourth quarter of 2012, according a report by TechCrunch. While some view Siri as a gimmick, Apple touted its voice assistant heavily in several ...


Terrafugia preps flying car for New York auto show
TG Daily
Flying cars have been the stuff of dreams for decades, and thus far, remains limited to the realm of science fiction. Yes, many people have tried to make the dream of flying cars a reality for the masses, yet the only company that appears to have some ...

NASA Reveals Litany of Security Breaches
Escapist Magazine
Highlights include the loss of the International Space Station's control codes to laptop theft. Whoops. A lifelong diet of sci-fi movies and space-based novels has inculcated a certain sense of NASA's invulnerability in various regions of our dear ...

Does A 'Steam Box' Console From Valve Make Sense?
Setting off a rumor firestorm, The Verge reported that game developer Valve might be developing a 'Steam Box' console, bringing its Steam gaming service into the living room. The maker of Half-Life 2 and Portal 2 has traditionally published games for ...


Will Apple create the all-iPad classroom?
San Jose Mercury News
By Sharon Noguchi Apple hopes its foray into digital textbooks for the iPad will impress educators and corner a huge, lucrative K-12 book market. But the high costs of the plan and the challenges of mobile technology could ensure that hardback books ...

Apple's App Store hits 25bn downloads
Financial Times
By Chris Nuttall in San Francisco More than 25bn apps have been downloaded from Apple's App Store, the company has announced in a milestone that highlights the shift to a new model for computing, digital content, software and the web.

Financial Times

Game-changing Lytro camera changes focus after you shoot
Arizona Daily Star
The Lytro introduces the concept of a "living photo" that can be adjusted by photographer or viewer. Unlike a traditional digital camera, the Lytro captures all the light traveling in any direction - enough information to allow the focus to be ...

Cassini spacecraft discovers oxygen around Saturn's moon: NASA
The State Column
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected molecular oxygen ions around Saturn's moon Dione, according to a NASA press release Friday. Scientists posit that this discovery confirms the presence of a very thin atmosphere. In fact, scientists reveal that the ...

Tutoring Software, AutoTutor, Responds to Student's Emotions
By Janice Wood Associate News Editor Emotion-sensing computer software that responds to students' cognitive and emotional states, including frustration and boredom, has been developed by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, University of ...

AT&T sets new limits for 'unlimited' data plans
AT&T yesterday clarified when and how it will slow down the connection speed of smartphone users who still have an unlimited data plan. Starting immediately, those with unlimited data will be warned via text message when their billing cycle consumption ...

iPads using iOS 6, high-res displays showing up in Ars server logs
Ars Technica
By Jacqui Cheng | Published March 2, 2012 11:15 AM Are employees at Apple already using the so-called iPad 3—possibly running iOS 6—to surf the Web ahead of its expected announcement on March 7? We're not sure, but the Ars magic 8-ball says "signs ...

Playstation Network Maintenance Today
As you may recall, we had postponed our scheduled PlayStation Network maintenance session from last Thursday to a time to be announced. It is now determined that maintenance will take place tomorrow (Sunday, March 4). This significant PSN maintenance ...

Frenchman sues over Google Views urination photo
| NANTES, France (Reuters) - A Frenchman took Google to court on Thursday over a photo published online by its Street View application showing him urinating in his front yard which he believes has made him the laughing stock of his village in rural ...

New speech-jamming gun hints at dystopian Big Brother future
By Sebastian Anthony on March 1, 2012 at 6:37 am Japanese researchers have created a hand-held gun (pictured above) that can jam the words of speakers who are more than 30 meters (100ft) away. The gun has two purposes, according to the researchers: At ...


Ocean acidification may be worst in 300 million years: study
WASHINGTON — High levels of pollution may be turning the planet's oceans acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the past 300 million years, with unknown consequences for future sea life, researchers said Thursday. The acidification may be worse ...


If you're using 'Password1,' change it. Now.
By Stacy Cowley @CNNMoneyTech March 1, 2012: 1:04 PM ET SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney) -- The number one way hackers get into protected systems isn't through a fancy technical exploit. It's by guessing the password. That's not too hard when the most common ...

Anonymous supporters attacked, their bank data vulnerable
Anonymous supporters who willingly enlisted their personal computers to launch denial-of-service attacks against the groups' enemies may have unwillingly donated their personal banking information in the process. After the Jan. 20 raid on Megaupload, ...

Invasion of the flying robots
By Richard Galant, CNN Long Beach, California (CNN) -- It was after the robotic hummingbird flew around the auditorium -- and after a speaker talked about the hypersonic plane that could fly from New York to the West Coast in 11 minutes -- that things ...

Observers of Colorado skies to be treated to celestial wanderers
The Coloradoan
For millennia, stargazers around the world have recognized tha,t in addition to the sun and moon, five star-like objects are able to move about the heavens relative to the background stars and constellations. Because of this unusual characteristic, ...

Galactic collision creates mysterious 'dark core'
Christian Science Monitor
Images captured by the Hubble telescope reveal a mysterious clump of dark matter thought to be left behind after a massive galactic collision. But this dark matter isn't behaving in the way scientists expect dark matter to behave.

Christian Science Monitor

New privacy policy lets Google watch you — everywhere
Washington Post
Several weeks ago, I bought some exercise videos online. Then I noticed that whenever I did an Internet search about anything, an ad for that same video package and other similar workout videos kept popping up. It was spooky. The whole thing reminded ...

FBI: Cyber attacks may soon be top threat to USA
GMA News
Cyber-attacks loom as the top threat to the United States in the near future, officials of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said. A report on PC World quoted FBI Director Robert Mueller as citing threats from hackers, including state-sponsored ...

Windows Server 8 Beta: 10 Big Feature Boosts
PC Magazine
Microsoft has tweaked and tuned up Windows Server 8 since the Developer's Preview. Here are the biggest updates in the latest version. By Samara Lynn Microsoft made available March 1 the beta version of the Windows Server 8 operating system, ...

Nokia To Issue Lumia 800 Battery Fix
By Paul McDougall InformationWeek Nokia is distributing a firmware patch designed to fix a number of bugs and boost performance in the Lumia 800 in several key areas, including battery life--a widely criticized feature of the otherwise well-received ...

Sea otter that inspired legislation to protect species dies
Los Angeles Times
Toola, the female sea otter who inspired state legislation to better protect her species and was a pioneer in surrogate motherhood for stranded pups, died Saturday of natural causes and age-related ill-health, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium ...

Hadoop jumps through hoops, becomes mainstream — Tech News ...
By Matt Howard, Norwest Venture Partners
In 2012 and 2013, we will see a growing body of case studies and the emergence of best practices as Hadoop technology matures and gets deployed in traditional enterprise environments. In short, Hadoop's momentum will grow ...

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