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Pearson buys a small stake in Nook Media, wants a fast track for digital education

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/28/pearson-buys-a-small-stake-in-nook-media/

Pearson buys a small stake in Nook Media, wants a fast track for educational ebooks

Publishers often want to work closely with e-book outlets — possibly a little too closely — but it’s rare that they involve themselves directly. Pearson is taking that uncommon step by making a 5 percent, $89.5 million investment in Nook Media, the joint venture between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. Some of the reasoning won’t be made public until Barnes & Noble provides holiday sales results on January 3rd, but Pearson is clear that it’s furthering its online education plans: it wants Nook Media’s distribution skills to make a “seamless and effective experience for students.” Just when we’ll see this harmony is still up in the air, though. Nook Media has yet to outline what Microsoft’s partnership means for e-books and e-readers, let alone how Pearson factors in. We’re not expecting a sea change until companies start speaking up.

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Source: PaidContent

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Saturday, December 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Instagram Can Now Use Your Photos in Ads

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5969237/remains-of-the-day-instagram-can-now-use-your-photos-in-ads

Remains of the Day: Instagram Can Now Use Your Photos in AdsInstagram changes its terms of service, Facebook wants a piece of the SnapChat pie, and Rhapsody launches an iPad app.

  • Privacy and Terms of Service Changes on Instagram Effective January 16, 2013, Instagram is updating its Privacy and Terms of Service documents. The new policies, which can be read on their blog, addresses sharing user information as a part of Facebook and new spam/abuse policies. The biggest change, found in the ‘Rights’ section of the new Terms of Service, gives Instagram the right to use your photos and profile information in ads without compensation. [Instagram Blog]
  • Facebook to Launch Its Own Snapchat Competitor App Facebook is prepping to launch a service that will go head-to-head with Snapchat, a popular app that lets users send photos and short videos to one another—which are then automatically deleted after a brief increment of time. Facebook’s as-yet unnamed application will be, much like its Messenger and Camera apps, entirely self-contained and separate from the main Facebook app. Look for its release before the year’s end. [AllThingsD]
  • New Rhapsody for iPad and iPad Mini: the Fastest, Most Visually-Stunning Rhapsody Experience Yet Premium music streaming service Rhapsody has released a new iPad app. Built for the ground up for the tablet with a visual-heavy interface, the Rhapsody app comes with a free 30-day trial for those looking to give it a shot. [Rhapsody Blog]

Photo by photastic (Shutterstock), a2bb5s (Shutterstock), and Feng Yu (Shutterstock).

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Monday, December 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Nielsen teams up with Twitter to create social TV ratings

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/17/nielsen-twitter-tv-rating/

Nielsen teams up with Twitter to create social TV ratings

Nielsen’s long been the gold standard for TV ratings, and as our watching habits change, the firm’s reforming its ways to keep track of what we’re watching. Earlier this year it combined its online and broadcast metrics to give advertisers a more comprehensive look at a show’s reach, and now its going to track how much buzz shows are getting on Twitter. Called the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, it aims to provide a look at real-time social activity during programming, so networks can provide tailored interactive experiences and better engage with their viewers. What kind of interactive experiences, you ask? We aren’t sure just yet, but you can get the full PR spiel touting the nebulous benefits of the forthcoming Twitter tracking after the break.

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Via: TechCrunch

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Monday, December 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Wikipedia Has Figured Out A New Way To Stop Vandals In Their Tracks

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pending-changes-safeguard-on-wikipedia-2012-12

Wikipedia

In a small but fundamental change to Wikipedia, a tool which protects articles from malicious vandalism while simultaneously permitting good-faith edits has gone live on the English Wikipedia.

When a page under ‘pending changes’ protection is edited by a new user or a user without an account, the edit does not go live until it has been reviewed by a more experienced editor.

Edits made to Wikipedia articles are normally visible immediately.

The new tool is in contrast to the typical means of page protection on the online encyclopaedia, which, in the case of a flurry of vandalism to an article, completely locks it from being edited at all by new users.

Pending changes is already used on the second largest Wikimedia Foundation project, the German Wikipedia, but unlike the English one, on which pending changes can be assigned to and removed from pages that are frequently subjected to unconstructive edits, it’s applied to all articles by default.

This is a significant and long-awaited development. Wikipedia cannot remain the resource that it is if its four million-plus articles – the product of enormous amounts of volunteer time – are fair game.

At last, the burden for dealing with problematic edits is being shifted away from good-faith editors constantly having to challenge them, and onto those who make drive-by and contentious edits, who may now find themselves arguing the case for why their changes should even appear, let alone remain once already published, as they otherwise would.

There is already plenty of evidence within the project that suggests this is the only way forward. More and more experienced editors are inserting FAQ sections in the discussion pages of articles to save themselves fro! m consta ntly dealing with the same questions and disputes, and at the top of the dispute resolution ladder, the Arbitration Committee has a large list of sanctions for various articles and topics, which can be applied to editors who don’t follow the rules.

But some might argue it’s much too little, much too late. Wikipedia has regrettably served as an anonymous platform to libel people, one which appealed to Johann Hari when he used it to describe people he didn’t like as alcoholics, anti-Semites, or homophobes.

Pending changes would not only have made it much more difficult for such edits to get through, but might even have diminished the incentive to make them in the first place if they didn’t appear immediately after submission.

And then there’s the matter of simply getting things right. If pending changes was enabled on all articles, would Lord Justice Leveson have inadvertently labelled a 25 year old Californian student as a founder of The Independent newspaper?

The fact that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone is arguably both the site’s best and worst aspect: without it, it wouldn’t be what it is. But with September 2012 seeing the lowest monthly level of new editors since September 2005, a laissez-faire attitude to content is no longer sustainable. Sharing knowledge is a worthy and appealing undertaking; baby-sitting its potentially fleeting presence in a digital no-man’s land, not so much.

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Google’s Search Results Page Looks Different Now

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5958651/googles-search-results-page-looks-different-now

Google's Search Results Page Looks Different NowGoogle search results are like the old beat up recliner of the internet. Your butt’s always there, and if anything changes, you notice. Well, Google changed the way its search results look. It’s a relatively small change, but you’re going to notice.

The biggest difference is that the bar along the left hand side of your searches is gone. This is where you used to break your search down into News, or whatever else. That function is now at the top of your results, along with the also relocated Search Tools. Search Tools moving means you don’t have those two butt ugly calendars with custom dates in your line of sight, which is a plus. This change has been live a day or two, and should only be a negative if you’re running a ton of searches (it’s been killing me).

Google is also featuring information from Google’s Knowledge Graph for popular searches, like “barack obama”, “mitt romney”, and “presidential election”, for example. So! Google’s a little prettier, and it’s rearranged the furniture a bit. Seems like a nice, small change, right? [BuzzFeed]

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Apple may ditch Intel chips in Macs, says Bloomberg

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/05/apple-considering-ditching-intel-in-macs-says-bloomberg/

Apple may ditch Intel chips in Macs says Bloomberg

According to Bloomberg Apple is considering a move away from Intel chips for its cherished Mac line. The move would be the third major CPU shift for the brand which has previously relied on Motorola 68000 and Power PC chips. The move away from Intel could also mean a move away from x86 as Apple has been heavily invested in its own ARM-based chip designs in recent years. Bloomberg’s sources suggest that Cupertino is actively working on a version of its tweaked ARM architecture that would run inside Mac PC, in particular its laptop products could stand to benefit from its battery sipping design.

The change will not happen immediately. In fact, the sources said such a move was years away, potentially not happening till 2017. But, as the gulf between “mobile” and “desktop” products begins to shrink and the boundaries blend, it would only seem to make sense that Apple would look to leverage its high-profile purchase of P.A. Semi to good use and inch ever closer to being a completely self-reliant corporate entity. We don’t think it’s any secret that Apple would, if it could, design and manufacture every component itself.

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Apple may ditch Intel chips in Macs, says Bloomberg originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 16:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

A Quick Reminder About Which Industry Is Really Creating The Jobs Of The Future

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/healthcare-jobs-are-the-jobs-of-the-future-2012-11

As we’ve pointed out in the past, the industry of the future is healthcare.

The following chart is based on Friday’s jobs report, and it shows two things. The blue line is the total number of healthcare jobs. As you can see, it basically never stops going up (regardless sof business cycles) and has now passed 14.3 million.

The red line is the monthly change from month to month, and once again last month, America added over 30K new jobs, a pretty enormous sum, given that only 171K new jobs were created in total.

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Regardless of what happens with government healthcare spending, the demand for more and more healthcare (as the US population ages) seems inexorable. More and more people will be working in this area.

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Sunday, November 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon and Google are undermining mobile pricing, and that may hurt everyone

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/03/editorial-amazon-and-google-are-undermining-mobile-pricing/

Google Nexus 10 and Nexus 7

When Google unveiled the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and a refreshed Nexus 7 in October, the moment was arguably the crescendo of a change in the Android ecosystem that had been building ever since Amazon’s Kindle Fire first braved the marketplace in 2011. Along with a widely expanded Amazon lineup that includes multiple Kindle Fire HD models and a price-cut tweak to the original Fire, two of the largest players in the mobile world now have top-to-bottom device businesses built around selling at break-even prices and recouping their money through content. That might sound good on the surface, but it’s a bad omen for competitors that genuinely can’t respond in kind — and it could erode some of the values of diversity and innovation that we’re supposed to hold dear as technology fans.

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Editorial: Amazon and Google are undermining mobile pricing, and that may hurt everyone originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 03 Nov 2012 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, November 4th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Ten Ways We Can Help Keep NYC From Drowning Under Water

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/clean-energy-sources-to-reduce-effects-of-climate-change-2012-10

Manhattan Future

The best scientific evidence shows that global climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas), which emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

These greenhouse gases act like a bubble around the Earth, trapping heat in, and in turn, causing temperatures to rise on the planet’s surface. This phenomenon can be observed through shrinking glaciers, thawing of permafrost, rising sea levels and, yes stronger storms

See how we can beat climate change >

Superstorm Sandy brought unprecedented levels of flooding to areas across the Eastern seaboard. New York City and the Jersey Shore were particularly hard hit. In Manhattan, a record-breaking storm surge reached 14 feet, shuttering one of the largest transit systems in the world.

Although climate change did not cause the storm, a growing number of researchers say that climate change increases the severity of hurricanes, including stronger storm surges like the one in Manhattan. This on top of rising sea levels, which will leave many cities, including New York, partially underwater, means just one thing: To save our cities, we need to slow climate change. 

To moderate the effects of climate change we must start by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, which involves investing in clean and renewable energies.    

Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat. Unlike oil, these energy sources won’t run out (although some are highly unpredictable) and carbon-neutral, so they d! on’t con tribute to climate change.

We aren’t just talking wind turbines and solar panels, though. People around the world are developing innovative and sometimes strange ways to decrease their dependence on oil and gas.

Wave Snakes 
use the natural up-and-down motion of waves to generate electricity.

Location: Portugal

The 460-foot long, British-made floating tubes represent the world’s first commercial-scale wave-power stations.

The snake-like power farms, which were first launched off the northern coast of Portugal in 2008 from the town of Aguçadoura, are an original concept in clean energy design.

Using the natural up-and-down motion of waves, the stations are able to convert enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.




The Wind Blimp is equipped with spinning blades to catch wind and generate energy.

Magenn Power Inc. developed its first wind blimp prototype in 2008. The MARS (Magenn Air Rotor System) is essentially an extremely lightweight wind turbine that is anchored to the ground by a tether. Helium is used to lift the blimp, which is equipped with spinning blades to catch wind, generating energy. The electricity is then transferred by the tether to either a power grid or batteries.

MARS has several advantages over other wind systems due to its size, weight, and the ability to operate in very light wind speeds. The blimp is transportable, easily deployed, and well-suited for off-site or rem! ote loca tions. The floating wind turbine also has the potential to produce electricity at under $.20 per kWh versus $.50 cents to $.99 cents per kWh for diesel.




Archimede is the first solar power plant to use molten salts as a heat transfer fluid to store energy from the sun.

Location: Syracuse, Sicily.

On July 14, 2010, Italian utility Enel unveiled “Archimede,” the world’s first solar power plant to use molten salts as a heat transfer fluid. The system contains 30,000 square meters (320,000 square feet) of parabolic mirrors that concentrate solar rays onto 5,400 meters of high heat-resistant pipes that carry the fluid molten salt. The fluid is then collected in special tanks and used to produce steam, which eventually contributes to electricity generation.

The salts — a mixture of sodium and potassium nitrate — are an extremely efficient heat transfer mechanism. Unlike synthetic oils used in traditional concentrating solar plants, molten salt can work at much higher temperatures (up to 550°C instead of 390°C). The salts store enough energy to keep the plant generating power at night or on cloudy days, which is a common limitation of many renewable energy sources.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 news No Comments

Apple’s Trying to Wean Itself Off of Samsung’s Chips [Apple]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/8O806JeMPqs/report-apples-trying-to-wean-itself-off-of-samsungs-chips

Report: Apple's Trying to Wean Itself Off of Samsung's Chips While Apple and Samsung have been duking it out over patents, there’s always been the quiet, underlying irony that Samsung makes a whole bunch of the chips Apple relies on. Now, according to reports from CNET and MacRumors, Apple’s trying to change that.

It’s not exactly surprising. Apple already hired a big chip designer out from under Samsung. Now they’re just taking the next steps.

As an industry source put it to CNET:

“The Apple-Samsung relationship has deteriorated to such a poor point that they’re just looking to fill contractual obligations, then make a change.”

That change, it seems, is moving to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company at 20 nanometers, a company that no doubt considers the giant’s business a huge boon. There are also rumors that Apple and Intel have been in talks when it comes to more advanced 14 nanometer production, though that seems further off.

A change like this doesn’t happen in an instant because it’s such a huge shift, but that makes it all the more noteworthy that it’s starting. If you thought Apple and Samsung were just going to kiss and make up, you were probably a bit deluded from the start, but this just goes to show that the rift is ever-widening. [CNET, MacRumors]

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Sunday, October 14th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

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