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Facebook announced it will be using user feedback to cut down the prevalence of news feed items that are hoaxes or misleading news. The news feed algorithm will downgrade Stories that are deleted by their posters in large numbers or identified in comments as hoaxes or with links to hoax-busting sites like snopes. A new option to report a story as false has also been added. Facebook does not believe this will adversely affect sites like The Onion. Area man agrees.
Microsoft will hold Windows 10 day tomorrow starting with a keynote presentation at 12 Noon. Expect to hear about unified apps on the unified OneCore, Cortana everywhere, the new Spartan browser, touch-first version of Office, PC gaming, new perceptive pixel large touchscreen, and possibly a phone-laptop hybrid and a VR Helmet code-named Project B. Mary Jo Foley writes that some of the mobile announcements will be held for later, possibly for Mobile World Congress, including the Windows 10 preview for phones. Microsoft will live stream the announcement at http://news.microsoft.com/windows10story/
GigaOm reports Ubuntu has a minimal version of Linux for the Internet of Things. “Snappy” Ubuntu Core already has the Open Source Robits Foundation, drone-maker Erle Robotics and connected hub maker NinjaBlocks on board. Core keeps each part of the OS isolated making it perfect for containerized apps like Docker. It will also have an app store.
Wired has an excellent long read about a telecommunications nonprofit called Rhizomatica, which is trying to bring cellular service to small towns in Mexico that have been passed over by the country’s dominant telecom Telmex. Founder Peter Bloom uses Open BSC, an open source cell network developed by a German developer named Harald Welte. Here’s how it works: Communities pay 120,000 pesos (about $8,000 USD) for equipment and installation. Subscribers pay 30 pesos (about $2) a month for local calls and texts, and the town keeps any profit left over after paying for electricity and maintenance. Rhizomatica can also hook up the town’s network to a voice-over-IP connection, which allows users to make very cheap long-distance calls to Mexico City and even the US. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a great article. Go read it!
PC World reports on HP’s announcement of several new tablets for professionals. The ProSlate 12 is a 12.-3 inch display, the new Concore Gorilla Glass and the Duet Pen that can digitize notes on paper as well as take them on the tablet. Prices start at $569. HP also announced the Pro Slate 8 a 7.9-inch tablet with a 2048 x 1536 screen and support for the Duet Pen for $449. The Pro Slate 10 EE has a 10.1-inch screen, and a micro-HDMI port, targeted at educational uses for $279. There was also the 10.1-inch ElitePad 1000 G2 Rugged Tablet, which starts at $1,599.
“Flashing” or “sinpa” is the practice of calling and hanging up as a way to indicate a message. Sort of like the app Yo. This practice in some parts of the world has become so prevalant that companies like ZipDial have started making money by sending texts and accepting hang-ups as responses. This makes for low-cost or no cost business communications. ZipDial has used it for things like Cricket Scores, political campaigns, market research and more. GigaOM reports Twitter is acquiring Zipdial for what Bloomberg estimates is around US$30 million.
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Quantum memory is hard since any interaction with the environment can erase the data. Cottage reports Ars Technica has a story on research conceived by Matthew J Sellars from The Australian National University and Jevin J. Longdell at the University of Otago in New Zealand. they along with several colleagues published a paper in Nature describing a nuclear spin that can be written to with radiofrequency radiation and insulated well enough to store quantum states for as along as six hours. To get your 6 hours of memory though, you’ll need an intense magnetic field at 2 Kelvin. So not so much the desktop memory yet.
Habichuelacondulce posted the USA Today report that at least 50 US law enforcement agencies have deployed radar device called a RANGE-R that uses radio waves to detect motion, even breathing and and can tell if individuals are within a house. The device costs about $6,000. The use of the device came to light in December during a case in Federal Appeals Court in Denver. It’s use was not material to the decision. U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.
Sunbun passed along a Verge report that Nintendo will close its customer loyalty program Club Nintendo. US and Canadian members will have until the end of March to collect “coins” and until the end of June to redeem them. Nintendo will also add extra merchandise to help people spend their coins. The rewards program never caught on in the US or Europe, although it was apparently successful in Japan. Nintendo of America will relaunch a new rewards program in the future.
iSting sent along a report from Tech Hive that Marriott is testing in-room access to Netflix, Hulu and Pandora, as well as other online streaming services. It’s unclear whether the service would allow users to access their own Netflix account or whether they would pay for it as part of a larger “premium internet package”. Bloomberg reports that several other hotel chains are looking at whether to make Neflix available in-room as well.
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Pick of the Day: Bitcoin Billionaire via Sachin Bahal in Toronto
Hello Tom & the DTNS Crew,
Tap … Tap… Tap… That is all you have to do in the game, Bitcoin Billionaire.
The premise of the game is that you are are a Bitcoin miner (but you aren’t not mining actual Bitcoins). It is a very simple to play game and yes the game does have in-app purchases to buy “gems” but you earn them ever so often that you won’t need to buy some. The game came out on iOS a few months ago and most recently came to Android. Caution this game can be highly addictive.
Below are the links to the game on the App Store and Google Play.
Tomorrow’s guest: Lamarr Wilson