news

Google News Badges And The Decline Of Western Civilization

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When I opened Google News today, I was greeted by this screen, asking me to “collect private badges for [my] favorite topics”:

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Here’s the way it was described in the Google Blog:

“On Google News, the average reader of political news has read 20 articles about politics in the last six months.

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Tech Tips And Tricks From David Pogue

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Everyone might get something useful out of David Pogue’s column today for the New York Times, a collection of tips and tricks for cellphones and computers. Some of them are basic, some won’t apply, but I’ll bet you find a pearl or two that give you an “A Ha!” moment. […] continued

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Microsoft Delivers A Great iPad App

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The iPad was not the first tablet on the market. Microsoft was one of the first companies to deliver a tablet, with the first prototype demonstrated more than ten years ago. No one cared.

Apple created the demand for the iPad more or less from scratch, leaving Microsoft looking completely helpless. […] continued

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The Dark Side Of Search Engine Optimization

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Previously:
Google Spam
Google Spam – Google Responds

If you are interested in Search Engine Optimization and the business of running web sites, the New York Times has published a must-read article, “The Dirty Little Secrets Of Search.” The paper launched an investigation to discover why JC Penney was ranking number one in Google search results for dozens of words or phrases – “dresses,” “bedding,” “area rugs,” and many more. […] continued

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How The Egyptian Government Turned Off The Internet

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As internal unrest in Egypt worsens, the government has cut off nearly all Internet traffic into and out of the country.

A few days ago the government cut off access to social networking websites, including Facebook and Twitter. Today the entire country is offline after the four companies that handle virtually all traffic were ordered to shut down. […] continued

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First Rumbling Of The Coming IPv6 Transition

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You’re looking at a graph that will get an inordinate amount of attention in the global technical community and cause tremendous disruption for the next few years. Let me give you a very broad overview of an issue that you hope will be solved long before you ever have to know much about it. […] continued

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Surprisingly Restrained Reaction From Technology Leaders As Bruceb News Passes 2000 Articles

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Ooh! A milestone! I’m sure you’re as excited as I am! This is article number 2000 in the never-ending series of Bruceb News posts!

I get such joy out of writing these articles for you, using too many words to describe things that normal people find uninteresting. There’s such a reward when I’m in the zone, able to combine being condescending on the one hand and inaccurate on the other, selflessly trying to serve my devoted audience of fifteen readers. […] continued

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REDACTION DANGER

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In December the Transportation Security Administration released its airport security screening procedure guidelines with redactions that failed to remove the underlying text. (Boing Boing: “Unfortunately, the security geniuses at the DHS don’t know that drawing black blocks over the words you want to eliminate from your PDF doesn’t actually make the words go away, and can be defeated by nefarious al Qaeda operatives through a complex technique known as ctrl-a/ctrl-c/ctrl-v.”) It has happened over and over in lawsuits and releases by high profile government agencies. […] continued

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MORE HACKING ATTACKS

malwareThe Wall Street Journal reports today: “Hackers in Europe and China successfully broke into computers at nearly 2,500 companies and government agencies over the last 18 months in a coordinated global attack that exposed vast amounts of personal and corporate secrets to theft, according to a computer-security company that discovered the breach.”

This is apparently not related to the attacks from China that caused Google to make noises last month about closing its operations in that country.  In fact, the New York Times calmly notes that this is a relatively small blip in the world of compromised computers and botnets. […] continued

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UPDATES TO NEW YORK TIMES, GOOGLE

Two recent announcements.

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The New York Times officially added “Times Skimmer” to its family of web sites, with an attractive interface for browsing through news stories without scrolling. Here’s the announcement, and here’s more information about Times Skimmer. Make sure you’re also familiar with the standalone New York Times Reader, an even better way to read the news on a computer. […] continued

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FREEWAY COLLAPSE – WEB RESOURCES

This article has a nice collection of links to online information about the Bay Area freeway collapse – newspaper articles, Google satellite images, suggestions for alternate routes, and more.

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PEARLS BEFORE BREAKFAST

This has nothing to do with technology – it’s just a fascinating, thought-provoking story.

The Washington Post arranged for violin virtuoso Joshua Bell to play in a DC subway station during the morning rush hour, like any other street musician, and filmed the reaction. Joshua Bell is considered one of the best classical musicians in the world; he played beautiful (and difficult) music that morning on one of the most valuable Stradivarius violins ever made. […] continued

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NSL GAG ORDERS

On March 9 the Justice Department’s inspector general revealed that the FBI has been systematically abusing its expanded power to issue “national security letters” and obtain private information about US citizens and residents from telephone companies, Internet service providers, banks, credit providers, and other businesses.

Between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands, without a showing of probable cause or prior judicial approval, to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S. […] continued

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BETTING ON TERRORISM

The Pentagon’s plan to allow betting on terrorist acts through a quasi-stock-market will likely die an early death. Before it’s gone, take a look at the Policy Analysis Market web site set up for the program. Despite your instincts and the appearance of the site, this is not a joke. (According to the New York Times, some specific descriptions of potential betting events – hijackings, assassinations, and the like – were removed from the site yesterday morning.)

Admiral Poindexter, the director of the Terrorism Information Awareness Office and proponent of the Policy Analysis Market, has, umm, interesting ideas. […] continued

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SLATE – TODAY’S PAPERS

Every day the online magazine Slate presents a wonderful selection of articles on politics, news, and culture. It’s one of my daily stops. One of its best features is Today’s Papers, which analyzes and compares the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. […] continued

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