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[H] Enthusiast Archives: September 2013Archive Listing


Sunday September 29, 2013

Executive Infighting Reportedly Led to BlackBerry's Downfall

I believe Lincoln said it first: A house divided against itself cannot stand, which pretty much sums up the crumbling Blackberry empire. Independent investigations conducted to find the main reason Blackberry failed so miserably put the blame squarely on the company executive’s inability to cooperate with each other.

Once the preferred handset maker among the corporate elite, BlackBerry was hurt by its inability to move past the legacy operating system that got it into the smartphone game and quickly fell behind Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating system.

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Debt-Ceiling Shutdown Will Close Some Gov’t Websites

If Congress doesn’t act before the Tuesday deadline, some of the government’s websites will go dark due to a lack of funding. The websites will remain dark until Congress passes legislation to allocate refunding of government operations.

"Many of the services offered through our websites, such as reference services and cataloging queries, require staffing," Osterberg told Ars by e-mail. "Those activities and corresponding expenditures are not allowed in the event of a shutdown."

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Apple Pays $40 per iPad User to Settle Class Action Suit

This week, the US District Court in California OK’d a proposal for Apple and AT&T; to settle the long running class action suit over termination of unlimited data plans.

The deal is subject to final approval, which is expected in February of 2014. At that point, Apple will begin contacting all eligible customers to inform them of their pending settlement check.

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DOJ Calls for Drone Privacy Policy

The wheels of justice move slowly and government bureaucracy moves even slower to address policy. Such is the case with the Department of Justice and the use of drone surveillance by law enforcement agencies.

Right now, federal agencies essentially can make up their own standard operating procedures when it comes to drones and apply their own appropriate privacy policies as they see fit.

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Netflix Opens the Gates to 'Super HD' Video for All

Netflix has announced that all subscribers to its service will now be able to share in the Super HD streaming options which is a high quality version of 1080p HD.

But it added that "members who subscribe to an ISP with a direct Netflix connection will get the best experience." The site uses adaptive streaming to adjust video quality based on available bandwidth, so users will receive "Super HD" picture quality if their service can handle it.

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Microsoft Releases Out-of-Band Outlook 2013 Update

Slowly but surely, Microsoft is fixing the mess left by the Patch Tuesday updates earlier this month. Microsoft has issued an update to address stability and performance issues with Outlook 2013 only.

But within a few days Microsoft acknowledged problems caused by the update and pulled it from their distribution systems.

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Xbox Fitness for Xbox One Unveiled

Microsoft announced the Xbox One Fitness program this week which utilizes the new Kinect for monitoring vitals during exercising with the professional trainers on the Xbox One. If you are a Gold member, there is a special promotion just for you. cool

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NSA Admits Employees Spied on Loved Ones

Boy, this just keeps on getting better and better. The unmasking of the NSA has had some rather unsuspected revelations and the latest is use of the NSA’s eavesdropping surveillance equipment to keep tabs on significant others. I feel safer already. big grin

The Wall Street Journal reported in August that NSA officers had used the agency's "enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests." But General Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, on Thursday described the "claimed evidence of thousands of privacy violations" as false and misleading.

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The Peachy Printer: First $100 3D Printer & Scanner!

Rylan Grayston is an inventor and entrepreneur with a dream of making the 3D printer as cheaply and as common in the home as a standard ink jet printer. His KickStarter project is half way to its financial goal and manufacturing should start in about two months. Thanks to forum member Wine for the link. cool

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Hefty Price Premium Awaits Early DDR4 Memory Adopters

For the Avant-garde of DDR4, prepare yourself for sticker shock when the first of the new memory finally comes off the line sometime next year, mainly for servers. The consumer memory will follow in 2015, but still with a premium price attached.

The DDR4 bus clock speed will top out at 3200MHz, an improvement from 2400MHz for DDR3.

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16-Year-Old Arrested for 'Biggest Cyberattack Ever'

The massive sustained attack last spring on Spamhaus, the Dutch anti-spam group, has netted several arrests. In reports leaked this week, one of them being a 16 year old from London who was arrested along with the main suspect back in April. The attacks actually slowed down the Internet in Europe.

The teenager, whose name is unknown at this point, was arrested by British police in April, but details of his arrest were just leaked to British press on Thursday. He was arrested at the same time as the main suspect of the attack, Sven Olaf Kamphuis.

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Forget Foreign Languages and Music.Teach Our Kids to Code

How early is too early to begin teaching programming skills to kids? This has been a topic of discussion with educators for a while now and one educator feels the younger the child the better.

"Children aged from 5-11 have so much potential for learning about algorithms and computation that it would be a shame to wait until they are teenagers before we teach them the foundations." That notion is still too radical for most educators.

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