Monthly Archives: April 2010

US Airways Gives a Unique Perspective on the Three Hour Delay Rule

Shared by felix

Ugh. This doesn’t sound good at all.
Yesterday was US Airways media day, and I made my way to Phoenix to attend. As usual, it was a good day but there wasn’t any big news to announce. (I think they were hoping to announce a merge…

Dear Aliens, please ignore Dr. Stephen Hawking. You are very welcome here anytime.

Shared by felix

Heh. Of they’re so much more advanced than us it’s more apt to look at our treatment of animals for reference than other humans. And if they wanted our resources why would they trade rather than simply take? All in all I’m more in ha…

Today’s Edition of WTF ARIZONA?

Shared by felix

WHAT? What the hell is going on over there these days??
Arizona’s Legislators Say Barack Obama Must Prove His Citizenship.

The Arizona House of Representatives recently approved a provision requiring President Barack Obama to pro…

AT&T Continues Not to Offer iPhone Tethering; Generalissimo Francisco Franco Still Dead

Shared by felix

sigh
Engadget’s Chris Ziegler got an answer out of AT&T:

“iPhone tethering has the potential to exponentially increase
traffic, and we need to ensure that we’re able to deliver
excellent performance for the feature …

BREAKING: HP Buying Palm For $1.2 Billion (PALM, HPQ)

Shared by felix

Whoa, that’s kinda out of nowhere. Interesting, though. HP does have a nice engineering background and they did have HP/UX. I’m not overly optimistic, but it’s certainly a better shot than the 0% chance that they had on their own at …

Google's Andy Rubin: 'I'd Be Happy' If Someone Left Prototype Android Phone In A Bar 'And Someone Wrote About It' (GOOG, AAPL)

Shared by felix

Oh, really? Things don’t have to be left in a bar to be explained. You could be blogging, putting out press releases, inviting journalists to document early stage items too! Imagine how open that would be!
With some negative stories …

No, Android Did NOT Just Pass iPhone In Mobile Web Traffic (GOOG, AAPL)

Shared by felix

This explains it – I found that Android stat very odd and difficult to swallow.
Google’s Android platform is gaining ground on its rivals in the U.S., such as Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry.
But Android did just NOT pass the iP…

QUOTE: Speed is the most important feature. If your

Shared by felix

The other 9 suggestions are thought provoking as well (in the original item).
Speed is the most important feature. If your application is slow, people won’t use it. I see this more with mainstream users than I do with power users. …

justinsheehy: You needed a new local key/value store, right? We did. It's called Bitcask: http://bit.ly/czIMjQ

Shared by felix

Huh, interesting. A low level store for your NoSQL love.
justinsheehy: You needed a new local key/value store, right? We did. It’s called Bitcask: http://bit.ly/czIMjQ

I Want a New Data Store

Shared by felix

Some of the comments here are very good.
While there is a dizzying array of technologies that have the “NoSQL” label applied to them, I’m looking for one to replace a MySQL cluster. This particular cluster has roughly a billion…

Google Cloud SQL: Your database in the cloud

Cross-posted from the Google Code Blog

One of App Engine’s most requested features has been a simple way to develop traditional database-driven applications. In response to your feedback, we’re happy to announce the limited preview of Google Cloud…

Amazon may acquire remnants of Palm and webOS from HP

Amazon is reportedly a front runner among multiple companies currently in talks with Hewlett-Packard to purchase its struggling webOS business. VentureBeat cites an anonymous “well-placed source” in reporting the HP is looking to dump what’s lef…

Monsanto Wins Patent Dispute Against Farmer Who Bought Legal Seeds

We’ve had numerous stories of Monsanto’s rather aggressive patent enforcement efforts, and unfortunately it appears the company has chalked up another victory in the courts. Glyn Moody points us to the story of CAFC (the nation’s patent appeals court) siding with Monsanto against yet another farmer.

The details of this story are really quite incredible. The farmer, Vernan Bowman, bought official Monsanto seeds and planted his crops. Yet, Monsanto has rules that say you can’t re-use “Roundup Ready” seeds, but you can apparently sell “second-generation” seeds to grain elevators for use as “commodity seeds,” and doesn’t require that there be any restriction on the sale. Bowman later bought a bunch of such “commodity seeds,” which included some Roundup Ready seeds, and some that weren’t. Bowman was able to determine which of the plants came from Roundup Ready seeds… and then saved those seeds for replanting. Monsanto claimed this was infringement, even though the seeds were legally sold to the grain elevator and then from the elevator to Bowman without restrictions. On top of that, while Bowman had signed an agreement for his original seeds, he did not with this batch (and, indeed, even Monsanto admits he didn’t break the user agreement — just patent infringement for using the seeds).

It’s difficult to see how this is possibly infringement. In common patent law terms, the patent issue should be “exhausted.” Setting aside the insanity of using patents to tell farmers they can’t re-use their own seeds, once Monsanto has given farmers the rights to sell second-generation seeds to the grain elevators for resale with no restrictions, it’s hard to see how Monsanto should have any subsequent patent claim on any further use of those seeds or their progeny. In fact, Bowman was so sure that he was doing absolutely nothing wrong, that he freely shared the details of what he did with people from Monsanto. But the court, as it seems to do with alarming frequency, seems to see no trouble with granting a patent holder significantly extended control.

Patent exhaustion is supposed to cover these situations. A few years ago, the Supreme Court, in the Quanta case, made it clear (or so we thought) that a legal sale of a licensed component “exhausts” the patent holder’s rights to go after later buyers in the supply chain for infringement. Bowman correctly pointed out that if this isn’t a clear cut case of patent exhaustion, then the concept is pretty useless.

Monsanto’s bizarre argument is that while it agrees to let farmers sell the seeds as a commodity without restriction, it still doesn’t want anyone to plant with them, so anyone who does so did not make an authorized purchase, and thus no exhaustion has occurred. I can’t see how that makes any sense at all. First of all, no restrictions were placed on the sale, so later claiming restrictions makes no sense. Furthermore, retroactively declaring a sale by two separate independent parties “unauthorized,” after the fact, based on what the buyer does, is flat out crazy.

The court here says that exhaustion is meaningless, because the seeds Bowman planted are new seeds, and thus newly infringing — yes, despite the legal purchase:


Patent exhaustion does not bar an infringement action. Even if Monsanto’s patent rights in the commodity seeds are exhausted, such a conclusion would be of no consequence because once a grower, like Bowman, plants the commodity seeds containing Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology and the next generation of seed develops, the grower has created a newly infringing article.

It’s hard to read decisions like this and not realize how horribly broken the patent system is, aided by courts like CAFC and a Congress that fails to fix such clear abuses.

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Guy Who Created The TSA Says It’s Failed, And It’s Time To Dismantle It

One of the politicians instrumental in creating the TSA, Rep. John Mica, who wrote the legislation that established the TSA, has apparently decided that the whole thing has been a failure and should be dismantled. He notes that “the whole program has been hijacked by bureaucrats.”


“It mushroomed into an army,” Mica said. “It’s gone from a couple-billion-dollar enterprise to close to $9 billion.”

As for keeping the American public safe, Mica says, “They’ve failed to actually detect any threat in 10 years.”

“Everything they have done has been reactive. They take shoes off because of [shoe-bomber] Richard Reid, passengers are patted down because of the diaper bomber, and you can’t pack liquids because the British uncovered a plot using liquids,” Mica said.

“It’s an agency that is always one step out of step,” Mica said.

It cost $1 billion just to train workers, which now number more than 62,000, and “they actually trained more workers than they have on the job,” Mica said.

“The whole thing is a complete fiasco,” Mica said.

There’s a lot more at that link. Now, one could (and perhaps should) note that when Mica wrote the legislation, his particular political party was in power, and now it’s not. So the cynical voice might say that his words are somewhat politically motivated. And one can (and probably should) ask how it was that Mica didn’t expect this kind of result. This is what the government does. It creates agencies that are then “hijacked by bureaucrats.” While it’s nice to see him realizing this now, it’s too bad he didn’t see it back then.

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Forged Google Certificate

There’s been a forged Google certificate out in the wild for the past month and a half. Whoever has it — evidence points to the Iranian government — can, if they’re in the right place, launch man-in-the-middle attacks against Gmail users and read their mail. This isn’t Google’s mistake; the certificate was issued by a Dutch CA that has nothing to do with Google.

This attack illustrates one of the many security problems with SSL: there are too many single points of trust.

EDITED TO ADD (9/1): It seems that 200 forged certificates were generated, not just for Google.

Will Wash. Times Editor Correct These Egregious Climate Falsehoods?

The new editor of the Washington Times vowed to ensure accuracy at the paper; however, a recent column by the Times‘ Jeffrey Kuhner contained several significant falsehoods about climate change, which Kuhner claims is “the greatest hoax of our time.”

Incoming
Wash. Times Editor Vowed To Ensure Accuracy

Ed Kelley Said He
Would “Tackle” Errors And Distortions.
Ed Kelley, the new editor of the Washington
Times
told Media Matters in June:

"Certainly
on a case by case basis, if I come in and there is an individual or a group
that complains that this editorial says something out of context, that it is
just a flat-out error, or to use your term … a distortion, you know we're
going to take a look at it," said [Ed] Kelley, who takes over the Times
on July 1. "We want the editorials to be strong, to be
persuasive, but to do so they both have to be grounded in accuracy. So, if these
things are brought forth, I want people to contact me. Whether it's you or
whether it's the public or any other organization if there are examples of
these things occurring. I'm not there yet, won't be there for another 10 or 11
days. But certainly if this is an issue, I'm going to tackle it." [Media
Matters
, 6/27/11]

Wash. Times Column Butchers
Climate Facts

An August 25 Washington
Times
column by Jeffrey Kuhner claimed that “the greenhouse-gas theory is
evaporating into thin air. Climate Change has been the greatest hoax of our
time.” To support this assertion, the column made the following claims:

  • “Earth’s atmospheric temperatures have cooled during the past
    decade”
  • “The polar bear population is growing”
  • “The Arctic ice caps are not melting”
  • “Sea levels have remained relatively stable” [Washington
    Times
    , 8/25/11]

Past Decade Was The
Warmest On Record

Wash. Times Claimed “Earth’s
Atmospheric Temperatures Have Cooled During The Past Decade.”
[Washington
Times
, 8/25/11]

NOAA: “2001-2010 Was
The Warmest Decade On Record For The Globe.”
In its 2010 State of the Climate
report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that "2010
tied with 2005 as the warmest year since record began in 1880" and "the decadal
global land and ocean average temperature anomaly for 2001-2010 was the warmest
decade on record for the globe, with a surface global temperature of 0.56°C
(1.01°F) above the 20th century average. This surpassed the previous
decadal record (1991-2000) value of 0.36°C (0.65°F)." [NOAA, 1/14/11]

[NOAA, accessed 8/26/11]

Claims Of Cooling
Require Cherry-Picking Of The Data.
In December 2009, the Associated Press noted
that claims of global cooling are often based “on an unusually hot year in
1998.” AP “gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked
them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented.”
They concluded:

Statisticians
who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the
numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years in either
data set. The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in
data as far back as 1880.

Saying there’s a downward trend since 1998 is not scientifically legitimate,
said David Peterson, a retired Duke University statistics professor and one of
those analyzing the numbers.

[...]

Statisticians
say that in sizing up climate change, it’s important to look at moving averages
of about 10 years. They compare the average of 1999-2008 to the average of
2000-2009. In all data sets, 10-year moving averages have been higher in the
last five years than in any previous years. [Associated Press, 12/1/09]

No Evidence Of
Cooling In Past Decade.
Scientists say it’s important to look at several decades
of data to distinguish the long-term trend from short-term variations.
However, even just the past 10 years of data refutes the Washington Times’ claim
of cooling. The following chart shows monthly global temperature anomalies
derived from satellites from 2001-2011:

[WoodForTrees.org, accessed
8/26/11]

Data Show Declining
Polar Bear Subpopulations

Wash.
Times
Claimed “The Polar Bear Population Is Growing.”
[Washington
Times
, 8/25/11]

IUCN: Polar Bears Are
Not A Single Population, “But Rather Occur In 19 Relatively Discrete
Subpopulations.”
The
IUCN’s Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG), which compiles information on polar
bear populations, stated:

Polar
bears are not evenly distributed throughout the Arctic, nor do they comprise a
single nomadic cosmopolitan population, but rather occur in 19 relatively
discrete subpopulations. There is however an uncertainty about the discreteness
of the less studied subpopulations, particularly in the Russian Arctic and
neighbouring areas, due to very restricted data on live capture and tagging.
[International Union for Conservation of Nature, 2/10/09]

Eight Polar Bear
Subpopulations Are Listed As “Declining.”
As of 2010, the PBSG states that of
the 19 subpopulations, 8 are declining, 3 are stable, 1 is increasing, and
there is not enough data for the other 7. [International Union for Conservation
of Nature, 5/11/10]

The following chart
from Polar Bears International displays the PBSG designations:

[Polar Bears
International, accessed 8/1/11]

Polar Bear Scientist:
It Is “Simply Dishonest” To Say The Polar Bear Population Is Booming.
In an email
responding to previous right-wing media claims that the number of polar bears
is “booming”, polar bear expert Dr. Ian Stirling wrote:

There
are 19 recognized subpopulations of polar bears in the circumpolar
Arctic. For several, we have no reliable information, particularly those
in Russia but in some cases, estimates for Canadian populations are out of
date. So, one cannot say whether, on a circumpolar basis, the total number of
bears is declining but it probably is. The data are quite clear for some
populations, such as western Hudson Bay or the southern Beaufort Sea, and they
are declining seriously. There are other populations that are likely declining,
in part or largely because of climate warming but usually you don't have long
enough data series to say this with confidence. Polar bear research in general
and population estimation in particular are expensive so it is not surprising
that we don't have information over a long enough span of time to answer some
of the questions.

However,
declines are happening for sure with some populations, and very likely in
several others but we simply don’t have the data to say one way or the other
with certainly. Such scientific honestly is seized upon and misinterpreted
freely by the deniers, as you can see from the small sample of comments you
list below. The basic approach of most is quite similar though.

But,
the total polar bear population is definitely not “booming”. Just
saying so many, many times, and ignoring the factual, peer-reviewed, scientific
data, is simply dishonest. [Email to Media Matters, 8/1/11]

Arctic
Summer Sea Ice Is Expected To Disappear By Mid-Century

Wash. Times
Claimed “The Arctic Ice Caps Are Not Melting.”
[Washington
Times
, 8/25/11]

Arctic Sea Ice Has Been
Declining For Decades.
From the National Snow and Ice Data
Center:

[NSIDC, 10/4/10]

National
Research Council: Thickness Of Arctic Sea Ice Has Also “Declined
Substantially.”
A National Research Council report reviewing the state of
climate science said that evidence shows declining thickness of Arctic sea ice and that scientists expect the Arctic “to become permanently ice-free during
summers by the middle of the 21st century”:

[T]here is general scientific consensus that the Arctic,
which is systematically losing summer sea ice thickness and extent on an annual
basis, is expected to become permanently ice-free during summers by the middle
of the 21st century, regardless of how future emissions change. This change to
an ice-free summer Arctic is expected, in part, because of the positive
feedback between warming and sea ice melting.

[...]

Analyses of recently declassified data from naval submarines
(as well as more recent data from satellites) show that the average thickness
of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has declined substantially over the past
half-century, which is yet another indicator of a long-term warming trend (Kwok
and Rothrock, 2009). [National Academy Of Sciences, National Research Council, 2010]

Sea Levels Are Rising
At An Accelerated Pace

Wash. Times Claimed “Sea Levels Have Remained Relatively Stable.” [Washington
Times
, 8/25/11]

National Research
Council: “The Rate Of Sea Level Rise Has Accelerated Since The Mid-19th Century.”
The
National Research Council states in its “most comprehensive study of climate
change to date”:

Sea
level has been systematically measured by tide gauges for more than 100 years.
Other direct and indirect observations have allowed oceanographers to estimate
(with lower precision) past sea levels going back many thousands of years. We
know that sea level has risen more than 400 feet (120 meters) since the peak of
the last ice age 26,000 years ago, with periods of rapid rise predating a
relatively steady level over the past 6,000 years. During the past few decades,
tide gauge records augmented by satellite measurements have been used to
produce precise sea level maps across the entire globe. These modern records
indicate that the rate of sea level rise has accelerated since the mid-19th
century, with possibly greater acceleration over the past two decades (Figure
2.6).

[...]

Because
of the huge capacity of the oceans to absorb heat, 80 to 90 percent of the
heating associated with human GHG emissions over the past 50 years has gone
into raising the temperature of the oceans. The subsequent thermal expansion of
the oceans is responsible for an estimated 50 percent of the observed sea level
rise since the late 19th century. Even if GHG concentrations are stabilized,
ocean warming and the accompanying sea level rise will continue until the
oceans reach a new thermal equilibrium with the atmosphere. Ice in the world’s
glaciers and ice sheets contributes directly to sea level rise through melt or
the flow of ice into the sea.

The report included
this graph (Figure 2.6) depicting “annual global mean sea level as determined
by records of tide gauges (red and blue curves) and satellite altimetry (black
curve)”:

[National Research
Council, 2010]

Recent
Study Finds “Greenland And Antarctic Ice Sheets Are Losing Mass At An
Accelerating Pace.”
From
the American Geophysical Union:

The
Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace,
according to a new study. The findings of the study – the longest to date of
changes in polar ice sheet mass – suggest these ice sheets are overtaking ice
loss from Earth’s mountain glaciers and ice caps to become the dominant
contributor to global sea level rise, much sooner than model forecasts have
predicted. The results of the study will be published this month in Geophysical
Research Letters
, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

[...]

“That
ice sheets will dominate future sea level rise is not surprising — they hold a
lot more ice mass than mountain glaciers,” said lead author Eric Rignot,
of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and the University
of California, Irvine. “What is surprising is this increased contribution
by the ice sheets is already happening. If present trends continue, sea level
is likely to be significantly higher than levels projected by the United
Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007. Our study helps
reduce uncertainties in near-term projections of sea level rise.”
[American Geophysical Union, 3/8/11]

New TouchPad Owners: HP Offers Six Pack of TouchPad Apps for Free

Shared by felix

This is pretty hysterical.

For to those of you who have cashed in on the best tablet buy we’ve seen to date, HP just made a move to sweeten the already ridiculous deal: a six-pack of paid webOS apps at no-cost. The apps retail from…

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

Shared by felix

End of an era. Damn.
After 14 years and over 15,000 stories posted, it’s finally time for me to say Good-Bye to Slashdot. I created
this place with my best friends in a run down house while still in college. Since then it has grown t…

More Schools Go To 4-Day Week To Cut Costs

Shared by felix

WHAT?
Hugh Pickens writes “As schools return to session in South Dakota, more than one-fourth of students in the state will only be in class from Monday through Thursday as budget constraints lead school districts to hack off a day f…

Lytro’s Ren Ng sheds some light on the company’s ambitions

Lytro’s announcement that it will be launching a plenoptic ‘light field’ camera that allows images to be re-focused after they’ve been taken, was met with equal amounts of interest and skepticism. Interested to find out more, we spoke to the company’s founder and CEO, Ren Ng, to hear just what he has planned and how far towards a product the company has got.

New Attack on AES

Biclique Cryptanalysis of the Full AES,” by Andrey Bogdanov, Dmitry Khovratovich, and Christian Rechberger.

Abstract. Since Rijndael was chosen as the Advanced Encryption Standard, improving upon 7-round attacks on the 128-bit key variant or upon 8-round attacks on the 192/256-bit key variants has been one of the most difficult challenges in the cryptanalysis of block ciphers for more than a decade. In this paper we present a novel technique of block cipher cryptanalysis with bicliques, which leads to the following results:

  • The first key recovery attack on the full AES-128 with computational complexity 2126.1.

  • The first key recovery attack on the full AES-192 with computational complexity 2189.7.
  • The first key recovery attack on the full AES-256 with computational complexity 2254.4.
  • Attacks with lower complexity on the reduced-round versions of AES not considered before, including an attack on 8-round AES-128 with complexity 2124.9.
  • Preimage attacks on compression functions based on the full AES versions.

In contrast to most shortcut attacks on AES variants, we do not need to assume related-keys. Most of our attacks only need a very small part of the codebook and have small memory requirements, and are practically verified to a large extent. As our attacks are of high computational complexity, they do not threaten the practical use of AES in any way.

This is what I wrote about AES in 2009. I still agree with my advice:

Cryptography is all about safety margins. If you can break n round of a cipher, you design it with 2n or 3n rounds. What we’re learning is that the safety margin of AES is much less than previously believed. And while there is no reason to scrap AES in favor of another algorithm, NST should increase the number of rounds of all three AES variants. At this point, I suggest AES-128 at 16 rounds, AES-192 at 20 rounds, and AES-256 at 28 rounds. Or maybe even more; we don’t want to be revising the standard again and again.

And for new applications I suggest that people don’t use AES-256. AES-128 provides more than enough security margin for the forseeable future. But if you’re already using AES-256, there’s no reason to change.

The advice about AES-256 was because of a 2009 attack, not this result.

Again, I repeat the saying I’ve heard came from inside the NSA: “Attacks always get better; they never get worse.”

Google’s Android Press Release Generator

Convenient.

 ? 

JEFF JARVIS: The Google-Motorola Deal Is A Tragic By-Product Of Our Screwed-Up Patent System (GOOG)

Shared by felix

Really? All three identical tepid statements from the big Android partners show how great this is going to be for the whole ecosystem?

The Google/Motorola deal is lawyer repellent. Or rat poison, if you prefer. It is a tragic and w…

Update to Sessions in Google Analytics

икониShared by felix

This is interesting.
Beginning today, there will be a small change in how sessions are calculated in Google Analytics. We think this update will lead to a clearer understanding of website interactions. We also want to explain how these changes might impact your reports.
What’s changing?Currently, Google Analytics ends a session when: More [...]

Fox’s History Of Mainstreaming Hate

Fox & Friends recently hosted Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled an anti-gay “hate group.” Lafferty, who has described SPLC’s designation of her group as a “badge of honor,” is the latest member of an organization that SPLC has designated as a hate group or otherwise criticized for propagating hateful rhetoric to be invited to speak on Fox News.

Fox Hosts TVC President Andrea Lafferty

Fox & Friends Hosts TVC
President Andrea Lafferty.
On the August 4 edition of Fox
News’ Fox & Friends, the co-hosts interviewed Andrea
Lafferty, head of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), about TVC’s
report criticizing grants funded by the National Institute of Health. [Fox
News, Fox & Friends, 8/4/11]

Southern Poverty Law Center: TVC Is An Anti-Gay “Hate Group”

SPLC Labels TVC An Anti-Gay “Hate Group.” According
to the SPLC, TVC will be listed as an anti-gay hate group as of
2011. SPLC elevates anti-gay groups to hate group status “based on their
propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that
have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and
repeated, groundless name-calling.” From SPLC:

The group has at times enjoyed remarkable
access to the halls of power — during the
George W. Bush Administration, Sheldon and Lafferty visited the White House a
combined 69 times, meeting personally with Bush in eight of the visits. But
that does not mean that it has not long had a record of extreme gay-bashing.

In 1985, [TVC founder Lou] Sheldon suggested
forcing AIDS victims into “cities of refuge.” In 1992, columnist Jimmy Breslin
said that Sheldon told him that “homosexuals are dangerous. They proselytize.
They come to the door, and if your son answers and nobody is there to stop it,
they grab the son and run off with him. They steal him. They take him away and
turn him into a homosexual.” Sheldon later denied that he made the comments,
but his website today includes strikingly similar language: “[S]ince homosexuals
can’t reproduce, they will simply go after your children for seduction and
conversion to homosexuality.” Elsewhere, it claims that “[t]he effort to push
adult/child sex … is part of the overall homosexual movement.”

The TVC also asserts that "it is evident that
homosexuals molest children at a far greater rate than do their heterosexual
counterparts" — a falsehood based
on conflating male-male molestation with homosexuality. Gays, it says, molest
children at "epidemic rates," adding: "As homosexuals continue to make inroads
into public schools, more children will be molested and indoctrinated into the
world of homosexuality. Many of them will die in that world." With regard to
LGBT teen suicides, TVC, under the headline "Homosexual Urban Legends," claims
that "[t]he cold, hard fact is that teens who are struggling with homosexual
feelings are more likely to be sexually molested by a homosexual school
counselor or teacher than to commit suicide over their feelings of despair."

The TVC also makes assertions on its website
about disproportionate homosexual pedophilia and attacks the idea that people
are born gay and the claim that gays want the right to marry for the same
reasons that heterosexuals do — the TVC
suggests the real purpose of marriage equality is to destroy the concept of
marriage and ultimately replace it altogether with group sex and polygamy. [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 3/30/11;
Media Matters, 3/30/11]

Beck
Hosted Author Who Was Member Of League Of The South Hate Group.
On the June 8, 2010,
edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck, Beck hosted author Thomas Woods, who has been a member of League of the South,
which SPLC describes as:

[A] neo-Confederate group that advocates for
a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European
Americans.” The league believes the “godly” nation it wants to
form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that
would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks
and other minorities. Originally founded by a group that included many Southern
university professors, the group lost its Ph.D.s as it became more explicitly
racist. The league denounces the federal government and northern and coastal states
as part of “the Empire,” a materialist and anti-religious society.
[SPLC, accessed 8/4/11; Media Matters, 6/8/10]

Beck
Promoted Book By “One Man Hate Group” Eustace Mullins.
On the September 22,
2010, edition of his Fox News show, Beck attacked 20th
century diplomat Edward House by promoting a book by Eustace Mullins called Secrets
of the Federal Reserve
. Mullins was described as a “nationally known white
supremacist and anti-Semite” in his obituary and was “described in 2000 by the
SPLC as a one-man organization of hate.” From the Daily News Leader in
his hometown of Staunton, VA:

Nationally known white supremacist and
anti-Semite Eustace Mullins of Staunton, described in 2000 by the Southern
Poverty Law Center as a one-man organization of hate, died Wednesday in Waller
County, Texas, at age 86.

[...]

Besides controversial writings in his own
name, he was widely believed to have concocted propaganda hoaxes by authoring
improbably self-damaging writings attributed to others but supporting Mullins’
extremist views. At one point he also adopted the title of “reverend”
and saying he represented what he called the “American Humane
Church.”

Besides his church, he also took credit for
or appeared on letterhead of several other organizations, usually operating at
his home address at the time.

In 1955 he listed himself as Executive
Director of the “Aryan League of America” at a Springhill Road,
Staunton, address.

In 1960, his name was one of two listed on
the letterhead for the policy committee of the Institute for Biopolitics in
Chicago. One memo warned, “The Whiteman’s very existence is in
danger.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 9/22/10,
via Media Matters; Daily News Leader, 2/5/10, via Nexis]

Fox
Pushed Attack On Jennings Based On Claims Made
By Anti-Gay Hate Group Mass Resistance.
Fox advanced numerous attacks on former Education Department official Kevin Jennings which
originated from the anti-gay hate group Mass
Resistance. The group was listed in SPLC’s list of “Active U.S. Hate Groups in
2008.” [Media Matters, 12/10/09]

Fox
& Friends

Hosted Columnist For “White Nationalist” Website VDARE.
On the May 24, 2010, edition of Fox
& Friends
, co-host Steve Doocy hosted Allan Wall to discuss Arizona’s
anti-immigration legislation. After the interview, Doocy revealed that Wall is
a columnist for VDARE.com, which publishes the
works of “white nationalists.” According to SPLC, VDARE is a hate group that
“regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists
and anti-Semites.” [Media Matters, 5/24/10;
SPLC, accessed 8/5/11]

Fox
& Friends

Hosted Official From AIC And AICF, Which SPLC Lists
As Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups.
On May 14, 2010, Fox
& Friends
hosted Phil Kent of the Americans for Immigration Control
(AIC) and the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF). According to
SPLC, both organizations are anti-immigrant hate groups. From the SPLC:

Founded in 1983, the American Immigration
Control Foundation (AICF) is an anti-immigration group that has grown more
shrill in recent years. AICF’s web site suggests that immigrants have
“sown the seeds of ethnic strife in America” and that large-scale
immigration into America, especially Third World immigration, is “a policy
rooted in humanistic pride and the worship of Mammon [a Biblical reference to
anti-Christian materialism].”

AICF has been headed by John Vinson since
1990. In the mid-1990s, Sam Francis, who was fired from the conservative Washington
Times
 after penning a racially inflammatory column, was AICF chairman.

Today, Francis is editor of the racist
Council of Conservative Citizens’ (CCC) monthly tabloid, Citizens Informer. Vinson,
who is also editor of the anti-immigration publication Border Watch, often
speaks at CCC meetings and is a founding member of the white supremacist League
of the South. [Media Matters, 5/18/10;
SPLC, accessed 8/5/11]

Fox Has Repeatedly Hosted Pam Geller, Subject Of SPLC
“Hatewatch” Post.
Fox
News has repeatedly hosted anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller, even after she was the subject of an August 25,
2010, “Hatewatch” post by SPLC titled, “White
Supremacists Find Common Cause With Pam Geller’s Anti-Islam Campaign.” From the
SPLC’s description of Geller:

Pamela Geller is the anti-Muslim movement’s
most visible and flamboyant figurehead. She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in
her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims, such as
that President Obama is the “love child” of Malcolm X. She makes no
pretense of being learned in Islamic studies, leaving the argumentative heavy
lifting to her Stop Islamization of America partner Robert Spencer. Geller has
mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South
African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the
existence of Serbian concentration camps. She has taken a strong pro-Israel
stance to the point of being sharply critical of Jewish liberals. [SPLC, 8/25/10; SPLC, accessed 8/5/11; Media Matters,
7/25/11]

Fox Hosted Head Of Anti-Gay Hate Group Family
Research Council To Attack Gender Diversity Education.
On the
May 26 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum
hosted Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to attack a school in
California that was teaching a gender diversity class. The Family Research
Council has been labeled by the SPLC as an anti-gay hate group. From the
SPLC:

The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as “the leading
voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” but its real specialty is
defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT
community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to
denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes
laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” policy.

To make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American
society, FRC employs a number of "policy experts" whose "research" has allowed
FRC to be extremely active politically in shaping public debate. Its research
fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream
media. It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in
an effort to "transform the culture."  [SPLC, accessed 8/5/11; Fox News, America's
Newsroom
, 5/26/11, via Equality
Matters
]

“Healthy Meal”: The Right-Wing Media Rages Against Healthier Happy Meals

Following McDonald’s decision to offer “more nutritionally-balanced” Happy Meals and First Lady Michelle Obama’s praise of its move, the right-wing media jumped to attack McDonald’s for supposedly bending to the will of the “fat police” and making Happy Meals “less happy.” However, numerous studies show that childhood obesity leads to significant health problems, and moreover, McDonald’s reportedly made their decision in part so that parents could feel “less guilty” about buying their kids Happy Meals.

McDonald’s
Makes Apple Slices A Regular Part Of “Happy Meal”

McDonald’s
“Announces Commitments To Offer Improved Nutrition Choices.”
From a July 26
McDonald’s press release:

Today,
McDonald’s USA president Jan Fields announced the company’s “Commitments to
Offer Improved Nutrition Choices.” The comprehensive plan aims to help
customers — especially families and children — make nutrition-minded choices
whether visiting McDonald’s or eating elsewhere.

Menu
changes underway include the addition of more nutritionally-balanced choices
that meet McDonald’s reputation for great taste and affordability, along with
an increased focus on providing nutrition information that enable customers and
employees to make simple, informed menu decisions.

"McDonald's
will always try to do the right thing, and we know we can help make a
difference in our communities," said Jan Fields, president, McDonald's USA.
"The commitments we're announcing today will guide the future evolution of our
menu and marketing." [McDonald's,

2

3

4

5

[MichelleMalkin.com,

2007--2009 County Obesity
Prevalence Among
Low-Income Children Aged 2 to 4 Years

counties 

[CDC,
accessed 7/27/11]

Overweight
And Obese Children Are More Likely To Become Obese Adults.
From First Lady
Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign’s website:

Obese children may experience immediate
health consequences which can lead to weight-related health problems in
adulthood. Obese children and teens have been found to have risk factors for
cardiovascular disease (CVD), including high cholesterol levels, high blood
pressure, and abnormal glucose tolerance. In a sample of 5-to 17-year-olds,
almost 60% of overweight children had at least one CVD risk factor and 25% of
overweight children had two or more CVD risk factors. In addition, studies have
shown that obese children and teens are more likely to become obese as adults.
[Let's Move, accessed 7/27/11]

And McDonald’s Happy Meal Change Was The
Result Of A Business Decision

LA
Times:

“Business Strategy For McDonald’s Is To Make Parents Feel Less Guilty” About
Buying Happy Meals.

From a July 25 Los Angeles Times
article:

The business strategy for McDonald’s is to
make parents feel less guilty about feeding fast food to their children, so
they’ll become more frequent customers.

“People tell us they want to feel good about
visiting us regularly, about the food options that we serve, and want to visit
us even more often,” [President of McDonald's
USA Jan] Fields said. [LA Times, 7/25/11]

New OpenSocial Community Groups on Facebook

Shared by felix

Seriously?
Hello Everyone,This will be a quick update for the OpenSocial community. I wanted to let everyone know that we have two new upcoming avenues for people to reach out to us on Facebook. This will allow us to build more com…

For Texas Textbooks, a Victory For Evolution

Shared by felix

Thank god. :)
An anonymous reader writes “The Texas Board of Education has unanimously come down on the side of evolution. In an 8-0 vote, the board today approved scientifically accurate high school biology textbook supplements from…

RIM said to be prepping Apple TV competitor for fall launch (Zach Epstein/BGR)

Shared by felix

God I hope this is not true.

Zach Epstein / BGR:
RIM said to be prepping Apple TV competitor for fall launch  —  Research In Motion is currently working on a media box codenamed “BlackBerry Cyclone” that will launch later t…

EXCLUSIVE: Apple Store Sets Secret Service on Spy Camera Artist (Sarah Kessler/Mashable!)

Shared by felix

I’m vaguely surprised this kind of stuff doesn’t happen more often.

Sarah Kessler / Mashable!:
EXCLUSIVE: Apple Store Sets Secret Service on Spy Camera Artist  —  Artist Kyle McDonald installed a program on computers in two New…

Morgan Stanley data breach hits investors

Shared by felix

ARE YOU SERIOUS?
“Personal information belonging to 34,000 investment clients of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has been lost, and possibly stolen, in a data breach. According to two letters sent to clients, and obtained by Credit.com, …

Developer Calls Amazon Appstore a 'Disaster'

An anonymous reader writes “The developer of the current #2 Top App on Android Market has written a very interesting article giving six reasons why they decided to pull their game from Amazon Appstore. From the article: ‘If you are a small indie development team, or possibly even alone, don’t bother with Amazon Appstore. Create a great app, publish it on Android Market, and provide great customer support. You will never succeed on Amazon Appstore without a big wallet, or at least an established reputation so that Amazon puts value behind their promises.’”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

LinkedIn Cuts Off API Access To BranchOut, Monster’s BeKnown And Others For TOS Violations

Shared by felix

Brutal.
Exclusive: Professional social network LinkedIn has shut down API access to a number of developers for terms of service violations, according to the company. The six developers whose access to LinkedIn’s API include Faceboo…

Showtime’s Got Balls!

My friends at OrdrIn just snapped this execution to promote Showtime’s The Franchise. A simple and fun use of real life Foursquare integration, check in to the experience, get a baseball! Considering the placement of the ball chute, i am hoping those b…

RIM bows to pressure, plans committee to examine leadership structure (Matt Hartley/Financial Post)

Shared by felix

Wow, bold moves. Create a committee to figure out what is up with their committee run executives. Isn’t there already a committee to do that? They call it… the board of directors?

Matt Hartley / Financial Post:
RIM bows to pressu…

Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World

Shared by felix

Did he really say that “scripting languages are good but limited”? Did we suddenly tinewarp back to the late 90s?
ErichTheRed writes "This Computerworld piece actually got me thinking — it basically says that there are few goo…

Tesla Will Discontinue the Roadster

Shared by felix

Well, that seems like a crazy harsh interpretation of the news…
Attila Dimedici writes “Tesla has announced that their business model has failed. Their basic idea was to sell a boutique electric car to fund the development of a reg…

Kind of Screwed

Shared by felix

That is so messed up.
TL;DR version: Last year, I was threatened with a lawsuit over the pixel art album cover for Kind of Bloop. Despite my firm belief that I was legally in the right, I settled out of court to cut my losses. This o…

Here's Proof That Any Ridiculous Idea Can Get Funding Right Now

Shared by felix

So, it’s ridiculous to invest in a social media site that is growing to a million uniques a month and is profitable? CRAZY!

People with naturally curly hair spend a lot of time figuring out how to tame it.Naturally Curly Network ho…

Violent Games Credited With Reducing Crime Levels

maroberts writes “According to a research paper produced from a collaboration between the University of Texas and the Centre for European Economic Research, violent video games may induce aggressive behavior, but the incapacitation effect outweighs this and produces a genuine reduction in violent crime. This paper was referenced in a BBC news story giving reasons why the US crime rates are falling (at least outside the prisons!)”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google 1,000,000,000 (GOOG)

Shared by felix

There a billions of people online? Really? Like… at least 1 out of every 3 people in the world is online?

Google just had one billion unique visitors in May, according to comScore. 
Wow. 
By the way, this is one for the "b…

Are Rising Gas Prices a Cure For Obesity? [Economy]

Shared by felix

No.

There may be one benefit to the rising cost of gas. It could make Americans less fat. More »

Nokia N9 first hands-on!

Shared by felix

Huh, seems like a good looking device at least. Curious to read more about the OS.

The N9 has arrived. Functional units of Nokia’s long-awaited MeeGo smartphone have finally landed into our eager hands and we’ve got a gallery of i…

Dropbox is in for another round of user anger thanks to Dropbox Reader

Shared by felix

I’m not sure how I feel about this – but the question in my mind that determines this is that how many services out there remain secure if the attacker has access to your local box?

It wasn’t that long ago, even by Internet time, …

RIM reports Q1 earnings: misses analyst estimates, Q2 outlook misses, layoffs coming

Shared by felix

Remember when everyone said that RIMM could never be assaulted in it’s enterprise fortress? Word.

Research In Motion on Thursday reported earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2012. After cutting its first-quarter outlook at the …

Hit the deck: LulzSec and Anonymous start trading blows (Matthew Lynley/VentureBeat)

Shared by felix

not going to end well….

Matthew Lynley / VentureBeat:
Hit the deck: LulzSec and Anonymous start trading blows  —  Hacker group LulzSec has begun publicly attacking hacker group Anonymous, an action that could lead to a civil …

Project Spartan: Facebook’s Hush-Hush Plan To Take On Apple On Their Own Turf: iOS

Shared by felix

Wow, well this would explain the complete lack of attention FB’s given their iOS app.
Given the news that has already come out about Facebook, you’re probably thinking there is no way that anything else leaks out today. They’re …

IE9 adoption is painfully slow. Google to the rescue?

Shared by felix

This is just awful. And depressing.
Internet Explorer 9 launched on March 14 this year, a full three months ago. It’s free software. It’s clearly a better web browser than previous IE versions. Yet only 13% of IE users have adopt…

Tim Bray on ‘Web’ vs. ‘Native’ Apps

Shared by felix

This is a silly distinction. HTTP as a transport is convenient but not definitive in the way that HTML/CSS/JS is vs Object-C/Java.
Tim Bray:

I’m pedantic enough to be a little irritated by the common
“Web vs Native” usage. …

HP's NEW PROBOOK: Taking Aim At The MacBook Pro [REVIEW] (HPQ)

Shared by felix

Even when they’re copying Apple they get it wrong. The fit and finish is all wrong, lines all over the place, tiny trackpad, that wierd sunken area surrounding the keyboard and pad. I mean. Y’know?

Introducing the HP ProBook 5330m….

? It’s All Software

Shared by felix

An unusual number of weird/wrong/straw man problems in Gruber’s piece. Weird.
Here’s Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, writing about iCloud:

Here’s how Google and Apple’s vision of the cloud differ: for
Google, the cloud means cloud +…

Why did Apple choose Twitter over Facebook? (Joe Wilcox/BetaNews)

Shared by felix

I’d guess one reason is that they couldn’t even agree on how they would work together superficially with Ping?

Joe Wilcox / BetaNews:
Why did Apple choose Twitter over Facebook?  —  Apple will deeply integrate Twitter into iOS …

Citigroup hacked, 200,000 accounts compromised

Shared by felix

Is it me or is there a rising number of high profile hacks happening these days?

On Thursday Citigroup announced that hackers had breached its systems in May and accessed personal data from 200,000 accounts — about 1% of its custo…

Morons Commit Arborcide To Steal Bike

Watch as a group of not so smart people in Brooklyn chop down a ginkgo tree to swipe what the person who uploaded this YouTube video describes as a “fucking department store bike chained with a thin cable lock.” Mensa members they’re not.

Speck’s New HandyShell iPad 2 Case – Hooray For Handles!

Shared by felix

I find this strangely compelling.

By Andrew Liszewski
For whatever reason, these days you really only see handles built into electronics designed for kids and toddlers. I understand that their tiny hands can use a bit of extra help …

No, Seriously, It’s Not Safe to Ride in the Bike Lane

(Video Link)
Casey Neistat got a ticket for riding his bicycle outside of a bike lane in New York City. He argued with the police officer that sometimes he does so because there are obstructions that make it unsafe to use the designated lane. The cop …

TIME FOR PEOPLE TO EAT CROW: The New York Times’ Paywall Is Working!


Arthur Sulzberger

Two years ago, when the New York Times announced its plans to implement a paywall, most of the digerati guffawed.

Dumb old media company, they snickered. Still too thickheaded and backward to see that in the new world news would always be free.

Many of the digerati followed up their verdicts with super-detailed analyses of exactly why the paywall would fail. But here’s one thing that most of those analyses ignored:

The paywall’s impact on the legacy print business.

Shortly after the paywall went up, the New York Times announced that it already had 100,000 subscribers, which seemed like a good start. But there has been another benefit to the paywall that no one is focusing on.

One of the reasons the New York Times’ circulation numbers have declined in recent years is the discrepancy between the cost of a print paper (~$600 a year) versus the cost of the web site (free).

Even people who love their newsprint had to give serious thought to why they were blowing $600 for nothing. But now that the paywall is in place, they at least don’t have to feel like idiots anymore.

And that, a senior New York Times Company executive told us on background this morning, is leading to an uptick in print subscriptions.

Another executive confirmed this, saying the company is “seeing an uptick in new print orders in all frequencies–7 days, Weekender, and Sunday.”

(We’d heard about folks jumping on the Weekender as a the cheapest way to get unlimited web access and a Sunday paper to boot. But this was the first we’d heard of the other subscriptions increasing as well.)

In other words, the New York Times' digital paywall is not only helping the digital business develop a meaningful new revenue stream (without crippling the existing one–because the NYT has way more digital ad inventory than it can sell).  It's helping to sustain the paper's core print business.

(By the way, not to gloat, but we thought the paywall was a good idea…)

 

For the latest media news, visit The Wire. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

See Also:


Just Months After Jeopardy!, Watson Wows Doctors

Shared by felix

This frightens me.
kkleiner writes “Following its resounding victory on Jeopardy!, IBM’s Watson has been working hard to learn as much about medicine as it can with a steady diet of medical textbooks and healthcare journals. In a rec…

Introducing schema.org: Search engines come together for a richer web

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)

Today we’re announcing schema.org, a new initiative from Google, Bing and Yahoo! to create and support a common vocabulary for structured data markup on web pages. With schema.org, site owners and developers …

Apple Is Building Twitter Into Your iPhone And It's A Game-Changer

Shared by felix

Wow, Apple must really be angry at Facebook – if only FB had worked more closely with Apple, systemwide integration with FB could have been much fuller experience than with Twitter. Still, maybe another year before Apple just buys Tw…

? Why Windows 8 Is Fundamentally Flawed as a Response to the iPad

The new Windows 8 touch-based UI, revealed earlier today at the D9 Conference, looks good. It’s clearly drawn from the same inspiration as Windows Phone 7, and shows some seriously innovative UI thinking. The idea of tiles rather than icons is rich, …

The Latest out of Supertouch Labs – Coverflow Media Control

Shared by felix

Sooo cool.
Here is some of the latest out of Supertouch Labs. It utilizes a kinect, spacial recognition and activation, remote iPad control and gesture based media control.
The user, once in our Coverflow application can control medi…

*Neuromancer* Movie Deal Moving Forward

Shared by felix

Avatar was “hard science fiction”? Floating rocks? Networked trees? Really?
chill writes “After years in development, a film adaptation of William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer is finally moving forward. According to a…

Amazon Now Selling More Kindle Books Than Print Books

Amazon:

By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book
sales, and six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books
to become the most popular format on Amazon.com. Today, less than
four years after introducing Kindle books, Ama…

Righthaven Hit With Class Action Counterclaim

Shared by felix

Hellz yeah.
Hugh Pickens writes writes “Steve Green reports that oneof the website operators accused of copyright infringement by Righthaven has retaliated, hitting the Las Vegas company with a class-action counterclaim charging that…