I'm not sure which of these is a more compelling criticism of the Apple iPad: "They named it what?" or "Where's the Flash?"
It's no secret that Apple harbors no love for Adobe's Flash architecture. John Gruber over at Daring Fireball recently wrote up a wonderful treatise as to why this is the case. If you have a spare hour or so, I recommend giving it a look-see. I'll spoil the ending for the sake of continuing on with this column: Flash is a proprietary architecture that Apple has no control over. Thus, when Flash-based elements wreak havoc on the stability of Apple platforms, Apple can't do much to fix the issue--nor can the company convert the 32-bit Flash binary over to Apple's goal of a system-wide, 64-bit experience.
The enemy of Apple's proprietary enemy might be the company's friend, but it's no friend to the Internet.
According to a Bloomberg report, Acer will try to boost its profitability to the highest it's been since 2004 by tossing its hat into the online app store biz, which will coincide with the launch of its first e-book reader later this year.
Acer's Jim Wong, president of IT Products division, said the app store will contain hundreds of downloads, "otherwise you can't call it an app store." In other words, the company doesn't plan to go at it half-cocked, and is instead serious about trying to (eventually) take on the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google.
"If they can find a way to sell applications, then the margins can be very lucrative," said Vincent Chen, an analyst with Yuanta Financial Holding Co. in Taipei.
Acer's app store is expected to go live by the middle of the year and include software to support Google's Android platform, which the company currently installs on some of its netbooks and smartphones. It will also offer up support for Windows and Windows Mobile systems, with Chrome OS software to be added sometime down the line, Wong said.
According to market research firm comScore, Facebook now has more than twice as many U.S. users (111.9 million) than it did in 2008 (54.5 million). To put that into perspective, no other Web company since Google has been as successful as Facebook, which now earns about $2 billion in profit every quarter.
"Ever since it opened registration to the general public back in the fall of 2006, Facebook has seen considerable growth, so it's not like this story is new by any stretch of the imagination," comScore noted. "And yet, even in its native market, Facebook continues to add to its audience at an incredible rate... It now accounts for 7 percent of all time spent online in the U.S."
And it's not just the number of users that so impressed comScore, either. The research firm noted that Facebook manged to "grow substantially across nearly every performance metric," including total pages viewed, average visits per visitor, average minutes per visitor, and several more.
Before you fill out that loan application, you may want to take a peek at your Facebook profile, because even if you don't, there's a pretty good chance your lender will, a new report suggests.
According to CreditCards.com, creditors are tapping into your social networking circle to help determine your creditworthiness. One reason they do this is to look for discrepancies in the info you provide on the credit app versus what your online profile says.
"We use social chatter as a way to bring risk down. It's a wealth of information about a person," says Rob Garcia, senior director of product strategy, The Lending Club. "If a person says he lives in a different area than the one on the application, it could be a flag. But if it matches, it greatly increases confidence."
But what's scary is that lenders aren't just using your social networking profiles to verify information, they're also making a credit decision based, in part, on what you're doing online and who you're doing it with.
"When people have large networks, they get funded two to three times faster than without," says Garcia. "We notice that good credit people invite good credit people, bad invite bad."
Sorry Baidu users, your search engine is down for the count (in parts of the world, anyway), at least for the time being. No, a late night watchman didn't trip over the power cord in a data center, and instead the outage appears to be the work of Iranian hackers.
Baidu, China's most popular search engine with a market share exceeding 77 percent, now shows a page saying "This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army." These are the same dudes who also attacked and defaced Twitter just a few weeks ago using the same method: DSN cache poisoning.
Sounds toxic, but rest assured, no chemicals were used. DNS cache poisoning involves corrupting a DNS table by replacing an IP with a malicious address, which in this case is the Iranian Cyber Army page.
It's tough being a geek. Remember when MySpace was cool? Neither do we at this point, and who knows, we might be saying the same about Twitter sometime down the line. Things were looking pretty good when Miley Cyrus up and quit the social networking service (feel free to follow suit, Ashton Kutcher), and now this happens.
Apparently, it takes 140 characters (or less) to drive someone to murder. Such is the case when 22-year-old Jameg Blake allegedly gunned down Kwame Dancy, his neighbor of the same age, following a verbal back-and-forth on Twitter.
"That's not a reason to shoot somebody," said Madeline Smith, Dancy's mother. "That's crazy. I don't know what's going on with that Twitter thing."
According to the police report, just hours before the shooting, Dancy may have provoked Blake by tweeting "N----s is lookin for u don't think i won't give up ya address for a price betta chill asap!"
Blake's account is also ripe with insults, but the only one that mentions Dancy by name reads "R.I.P. Kwame," posted on December 3, 2009.
According to the New York Daily Times, a police source said the messages may be subpoenaed to help prove there was bad blood between Blake and Dancy, who grew up together. But as for the shooting itself, authorities say they have a witness who identified Blake as the shooter, as well as video showing Blake leaving the area around the time of the incident carrying a bag large enough to hold a shotgun, the weapon used in the murder.
To everyone who donated to Wikimedia and helped the non-profit organization reach its goal to raise $7.5 million, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has a message for you: "Thank you." After you're finished patting yourself on the back, go ahead and reach back into your pocket, because Wales isn't finished soliciting donations.
"As of December 31, 2009, we have reached our campaign goal of $7.5 million USD," Wales wrote on Wikimedia's donation page. "Thank you to all who have donated! Your continued donations will support Wikimedia's long-term operations and growth, cover contingencies, and allow us to fund new projects and activities"
"Today, I am asking you to make a donation to support Wikipedia," Wales continues.
As is often the case with those soliciting donations, Wales' appeal is difficult to avoid. If you've been to Wikipedia lately (and let's face it, the site shows up on just about every Google search), then you've undoubtedly noticed the banner on top of every entry that reads in big, bold letters "Please Read: A personal appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales."
The donations, says Wales, are necessary to keep the social encyclopedia free of charge and devoid of advertising, though this time around he doesn't mention how much he'd like to raise. Nor does he say if he'll go on to ask for handouts for Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikispecies, and every other Wikimedia project.
Facebook continues to make inroads in the Japanese market and now has four times as many visitors as it did last year, but surprisingly, that still isn't enough to propel the social networking site into the top spot. and dethrone Mixi from its perch.
In November 2008, Facebook recorded around 355,000 unique hits in Japan. That number ballooned to 1.39 million visitors in November 2009, said NetRatings, who added that growth has been trending upwards all year long.
Even still, Facebook remains a distant second. The No. 1 social networking site in Japan claimed more than 9.2 million unique visitors per month, and what's more, users are spending more time on Mixi. According to NetRatings, Mixi users spent four-and-a-half hours on the social networking site, compared to just 36 minutes on Facebook.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that 13 more social sites, including those owned by Google, Yahoo, and AOL, have all agreed to purge sex offenders from their sites. The agreement comes just a week after Cuomo announced that Facebook and MySpace had removed over 3.500 New York sex offenders.
"It is no secret that sexual predators abuse social networking websites to find and manipulate victims and to insinuate themselves into their victims' lives," said Cuomo. "e-STOP allows social networking websites to identify these sex predators and help prevent them from harming again."
Cuomo was referring to New York's Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP), of which 15 major social networking companies have now agreed to use. The law makes it mandatory for sex offenders to register their email accounts, screen names, and any other online identifiers with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. That information is then passed along to social networking sites.
The future of online media is very much up in the air as news conglomerates look for new ways to generate revenue. But instead of going at it alone, several of the magazine industry's biggest players have been considering joining forces to create a new mega-company.
If it happens, the alliance would be huge and include Time Inc., Conde Nast, and Hearst, which together publishes more than 50 magazines, such as The New Yorker, Time, People, Sports illustrated, The Oprah Magazine, and many more.
The goal is to create a company that will prepare magazines for multiple digital platforms. Those close to the plans have described it as an iTunes for news and magazines.
"It's pretty complicated stuff," said a source. "Thre really, really hard part is that you've got so many different kinds of devices running on different operating systems. And how do you handle that? The consortium provides one point of contact for the consumer. When you come to the main store, you can get the content any way you want."