Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

22 Feb 2012 16:17


Tech: Storify comes to the iPad: Full story curation, at your fingertips

  • “Whether you’re at a conference or at home … you now have storytelling at your fingertips.” Storify co-founder & CEO Xavier Damman’s totally psyched about bringing his popular online story-telling tool to the iPad. While Storify, which pulls content from a variety of social networks, does not contain all the functionality of it’s Internet-based counterpart, the team at Storify is confident that they’ve successfully migrated the core Storify experience to iOS. The team also added an additional function not found on the Storify website: The ability to tweet, inside the app, while creating a story. Have you tried it yet? source

18 Feb 2012 13:08


Biz, Tech: Mike D gets respect, opportunity to vote on AT&T’s net neutrality policy

  • They didn’t say anything about cash or jewelry, but the SEC did side with three AT&T investors — including the Beastie Boys’ Michael “Mike D” Diamond — who believed that shareholders should have a vote in the company’s net neutrality policy, because it has become part of the national debate. AT&T argued that the vote would “directly interfere with its network management practices”, but ultimately the SEC ruled that wireless providers must now allow for shareholder votes on net neutrality proposals. Should such proposals pass, providers would be required to “operate a neutral network with neutral routing along the company’s wireless infrastructure.” source

18 Feb 2012 12:07


Tech, World: Audit proves the obvious: Foxconn not a fun place to work

  • Foxconn is cooperating fully with this audit and we will review and act on all findings and recommendations. This is a very professional and thorough review and any deficiencies the FLA might find in the implementation of customer or Foxconn policies will be addressed.
  • Electronic parts manufacturer Foxconn • In an emailed statement to Bloomberg, after reports surfaced that the Fair Labor Association auditors have found “tons of issues” during their investigation of Foxconn’s Shenzhen facility.  FLA Chief Executive Officer Auret van Heerden revealed the discovery during a phone interview, following a multi-day review of the facility, and reportedly while he headed to meet with Foxconn management and present the organization’s findings. A number of corporations, most notably Apple, outsource their manufacturing to Foxconn and a number of similar companies. source

18 Feb 2012 11:10


Tech: Growl creator thinks his notifications are cooler than yours

  • I’m sure that in the next 2-3 years we’ll see it all translated back to the desktop from the mobile devices. I’m sure it won’t be as cool as Growl, but it’ll be interesting.
  • Growl creator Christopher Forsythe • Discussing the nature of desktop notification systems with The Verge. He was a bit off — OSX Mountain Lion’s recently-announced desktop notification system basically does what he said, and it’ll be out by the summer. Forsythe (in reacting to the news) noted that, unlike Apple’s new system, Growl still gives users a multitude of customization options. Is Growl, which has basically had the OSX notification market to itself for years, a goner? Do you use it and dig it? Would you keep using it? Personally, nothing against him, but Growl’s notifications are starting to wear a little thin for us. source

15 Feb 2012 15:23


Tech: Apple affirms that Path violated their terms, issues iOS update fix

  • Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.
  • Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr • In a statement about Apple’s privacy policies, as pertaining to the iPhone. This statement came hot on the heels of the revelation that two Democratic congressman (G.K. Butterfield and Henry A. Waxman) had sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, requesting information about privacy permissions. The inciting incident here was the iPhone app Path, which was revealed to be uploading users’ address books to their company servers without asking permission, or offering any notification. Path tried to curb the controversy by apologizing and offering an opt-out, but  the damage to their credibility (and, by association, Apple’s) had already hit. And amidst word that a number of widely-used apps — most notably Twitterdid the same thing, Apple has affirmed that what Path did was a violation of their privacy practices, and has released an update for iOS that allows users to delete the database by switching off location services. source

14 Feb 2012 15:42


Tech: Lancet report shows stem cells can heal scar tissue from heart attack

  • the problemWhen a person suffers a heart attack, their heart is deprived of oxygen, which causes a portion of the muscle to die. In recovery this becomes scar tissue, which can’t beat and help blood flow like a healthy heart muscle, making repeat issues much more likely.
  • a solution? Though the British Health Foundation qualifies that we’re still in “early days,” trials have taken place showing new, healthy heart muscle being created from a victim’s own stem cells. This is today’s exhibit A on why ongoing stem cell research matters. source

13 Feb 2012 21:17


Tech: To give you an idea of Tumblr’s massive scale, some quick numbers:

  • 500 million page views go through Tumblr every single day
  • 40k requests added each second at Tumblr’s peak usage hours; and it’s growing, too
  • 50GB of posts added each day; follower list updates are roughly another 2.7 terabytes daily
  • 1M number of writes made through the dashboard each second, and 50,000 reads per second source
  • » It’s tough to scale, too: According to Blake Matheny, Tumblr’s Distributed Systems Engineer, the service’s broad distribution makes it different from many other social networks, adding complexity that can stress the servers greatly. “It’s not just one or two users that have millions of followers. The graph for Tumblr users has hundreds of followers,” he writes. “This is different than any other social network and is what makes Tumblr so challenging to scale.” Matheny says that people will go back hundreds of pages on the dashboard to read content. And the network will only grow in complexity over time — the site is growing by 30 percent each month, and requires hundreds of servers to do what it has to do. If you’re technically-inclined, read High Scalability’s entire article — it’s super-fascinating.

11 Feb 2012 15:04


Politics, Tech: The official 3G dead-zone map, courtesy of the FCC

The Official 3G Deadzone Map, Courtesy of the FCC

  • FCC announces creation of mobility fund: In a press release Friday morning, the FCC reaffirmed its commitment to increasing broadband and mobile coverage in rural areas. The agency announced the creation of a new Mobility Fund, a new addition to the Connect America Fund, created to “accelerate our nation’s ongoing efforts to close gaps in mobile wireless service.” Included in the press release was a reminder that the agency will soon host a $300 million reverse auction, with the winner receiving $300 million to provide rural broadband coverage. They also revealed an interactive map of the nation’s worst coverage areas, created with online map-making tool MapBoxsource

10 Feb 2012 09:40


Tech: Three rumors currently circulating Apple’s third-generation iPad

  • release The next version of the iPad is expected to be released in March; the iPad 2 was released around roughly the same time last year.
  • features The device is expected to have a screen similar to the iPhone 4’s “Retina Display,” along with better cameras and a memory boost.
  • speed The device would be 4G LTE capable and have a quad-core processor, making it much faster than the iPad 2 in more ways than one. source

08 Feb 2012 13:56


Tech: Iris, Android’s Siri clone, has a biblical insight about abortion

  • “Is abortion wrong?”: You typically might not think to ask such a heady question of your mobile phone, but if you happen to have Android’s “Iris” (is it good marketing to so obviously reverse the name “Siri?”) you’ll get a strong response. The issue seems to be that Iris is powered by an Ask Jeeves style search engine called ChaCha, which answers user questions with answers from paid freelancers. Meaning that in asking your phone whether abortion is wrong, you’re actually asking an unknown human being – one which might have a strong opinion on the subject. source