In his early 20s, Apple's Steve Jobs became the face of the personal computer revolution, And in his early 20s, Mark Zuckerberg became the name most associated with the popularization of social networking.
So much for computer history nostalgia. It turns out that these two poster boys for their respective generations are having a difficult time finding a way to get along.
In the aftermath of this week's 's announcement by Apple that was entering social networking with the iTunes music social network Ping, the transom has been dominated by background stories of disagreements between Apple and Facebook. Miguel Helft posed the right question in his blog today: Why did Apple choose to build Ping "rather than, say, build services on top of Facebook, as other music sites have done."
That might have been the earlier intention. For users of iTunes software, Ping is designed to let them see what songs their friends are buying and where their favorite bands might next appear. On the surface, at least, the benefit of a connection to Facebook, the world's largest social network, seems obvious. But after his Wednesday keynote in San Francisco, when he announced Ping as well as a refresh of the iPod line, Jobs dropped a hint that disagreements with Facebook were to blame.
During the course of a walk through the press room, Jobs complained that Facebook had demanded "onerous" terms during discussions between the companies.
The next day, some programming interfaces designed to help Ping users find their Facebook friends got shut down suddenly. Facebook's only comment so far: ""We're working with Apple to resolve this issue. We've worked together successfully in the past, and we look forward to doing so in the future."
But Kara Swisher from AllThingsD, quoted unnamed sources recounting that "Apple went ahead with a plan to access the Facebook APIs freely, but Facebook blocked it since it violated its terms of service. When that happened, it seems Apple pulled the plug on the connection with Facebook friends."
The two companies reportedly are trying to hash things out. But with 12 million songs and 250,000 apps on the iTunes store, Ping's not starting from scratch. The intriguing question is how Apple's plans for building out that social network will develop - with or without Facebook.
To be continued.
We know it's hot up there but NASA wants to know a bit more about the Sun and its environs. And so sometime before 2018, the agency intends to send a spacecraft into the solar atmosphere.
The decision to chart a mission to the Sun also realizes a dream that astronomers almost realized a half century ago, when the National Academy of Science's "Simpson Committee" in 1958 recommended a probe to investigate. Several studies were subsequently carried out testing the feasibility of the project. But nothing came of them.
Since NASA has never sent any vehicle this close to Earth's Sun, the craft will have to be outfitted with a special shield designed to withstand radiation and temperatures exceeding 2550 degrees Fahrenheit. A spokesman for NASA said scientists will depend on simulations to guarantee that the probe can cope with that sort of intense heat.
Dick Fisher, who directs NASA's Heliophysics Division in Washington, said that the planned experiments would help resolve two key questions of solar physics. One is to explain why the sun's outer atmosphere is so much hotter than the sun's visible surface. (In the 1940s researchers discovered the corona's million-degree temperature.) The other is to find out more about how the solar wind that affects Earth and our solar system gets accelerated.
"We've been struggling with these questions for decades and this mission should finally provide those answers," according to Fisher.
Until now, observations of the Sun were recorded from flybys millions of miles away. But the Solar Probe Plus, as it's called, will get close enough so that scientists hope to learn more about the solar corona and the solar wind. In a recent report on a Sun probe, NASA scientists noted that while they may know more about the corona and solar wind than ever before, "the answers to these questions can be obtained only through in-situ measurements of the solar wind down in the corona."
For fans of world football - still "soccer" to most Americans - it ranks as one of the most amazing goals ever. In a 1997 match against France during the Tournoi de France, Brazil's Roberto Carlos lined up for a free kick. But his shot veered so far to the right of the net that France's goalkeeper hardly moved a muscle trying to block it. That's when the ball took a bizarre turn back to the left, winding up inside the goal.
Where to place Carlos' goal on the all-time list is fodder for countless bar arguments. In fact, the game's aftermath spawned disbelief among supports both of Brazil and France, leading some to wonder whether the shot may even have defied the laws of physics. Hyperbole and sports arguments go hand-in-hand, but after finishing a study of spiral trajectories, researchers say there was nothing unworldly about Carlos' goal. What they found was that in certain sports like soccer, where both gravity and aerodynamics play a comparable role, ball velocity and spin sometimes can produce surprising trajectories.
Writing in the New Journal of Physics Christophe Clanet and David Quere from the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau describe how they tested different trajectories taken by plastic balls as they traveled through water. While the findings confirmed previous research about how a spinning ball assumes a curved trajectory, the research also offers tips for would-be footballers who might find themselves in a similar situation as Carlos. (who was about 115 feet away from the goal when he kicked the ball.) While gravity will affect the ideal spiral, they found that force and distance can help counter its effects.
Six Ohio state senators have introduced a bill that would compel media organizations to erase stories from the Internet about former convicts whose case records are sealed by the courts.
The bill in question, Senate Bill 291, would also penalize organizations to the tune of $250,000 - with a maximum fine of up to $1 million - for failing to delete the information and then knowingly publishing it on their websites. Under Ohio law, only first-time non-violent offenders would be able to get the courts to expunge their records. The bill being pushed by the senators would also extend that privilege to people convicted of multiple offenses. In order to be eligible to seek court approval, a convict would need to maintain a clean record and the crime in question would need to be more than five years old.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the bill "would require individuals and private businesses to erase the historical record by destroying "records" they hold about the convictions of those whose cases are sealed."
The relevant provision in the proposal reads: "Whoever violates division (C)(2) of this section by knowingly releasing or otherwise disseminating or making available information over the internet is guilty of releasing sealed records and shall be fined one million dollars."
"The stigma of criminal records makes it difficult for reformed offenders to fully integrate back into society. I believe that expanding the opportunity to seal certain offenses will help ex-offenders find employment, allow them to support themselves and their families, and increase the economic productivity of the state."
(Ohio still suffers from high unemployment. Smith has also pushed to ban the box on a job application asking prospective employees whether they have ever been convicted of a felony. The idea, according to a recent piece in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, would be to give ex-cons an opportunity to make a good impression in an interview that might outweigh their criminal conviction.)
But critics have attacked the bill as posing a threat to freedom of speech. In Wheeling, W.V., for instance., the The Wheeling News-Register, wrote in an editorial that the bill simply was unworkable. "Here at the newspaper, for example, we have computerized records of criminal reports dating back more than five years. It would be very difficult to find and erase them all. Smith's bill clearly is unconstitutional. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, even when those guilty of old crimes would prefer their offenses be forgotten."
Smith has since clarified her remarks denying that she favors news censorship or seeks to delete stories from the Internet. She represents the 21st district in Cleveland and has been a state senator since 2007. Her bio also lists her as a consultant for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
Her office was not immediately available for comment.
Apple made a series of major announcements about its digital music players and iTunes music store Wednesday.
At a media briefing in San Francisco on Wednesday, CEO Steve Jobs said that Apple had entirely revamped its iPod line and made improvements both to its music store as well as the iOS operating system powering its mobile devices.
As expected, Apple also announced 99-cent rentals of TV shows through iTunes. The shows will be available from News Corp.'s Fox and Walt Disney's ABC starting today. Not all studios wanted to do this, he said. "We think the rest will see the light and get on board with us," Jobs noted. Users also will be able to stream Netflix to the device if they are already customers.
Jobs acknowledged that Apple TV, which came out four years ago, has "never been a huge hit." He said a new version of the device would be a quarter of the size of the older unit with a built-in power supply , an HDMI connector and Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi. The price was cut from $229 to $99.
Dressed in faded jeans and a black sweater, Jobs spent the first few minutes of his presentation showing pictures of Apple's new stores in Shanghai and Paris. He also used the occasion to tout the popularity of Apple retail stores, which he says now draw 1 million visitors on some days.
Apple has sold 275 million iPods, Jobs said. Jobs said Apple was releasing an "all-new design for every single model of iPod. it's the biggest change in the iPod lineup - ever."
iPod Shuffle: A new $49 iPod shuffle that's smaller than the earlier generation model. This one is a square with the old button navigation back, as well as a playlist. It will run for 15 hours.
iPod Nano: This sixth-generation music player eliminates the click wheel and instead features a multi-touch user interface. That allowed Apple to reduce the size of the device by 46% - Jobs said that it's 42% lighter - and now is wearable with a clip. The battery life lasts 24 hours. It also includes FM radio, a built-in clock, as well as photos. There's also an accelerometer that rotates the screen if you turn the unit upside down. The unit will retail for $149 for the 8 gigabyte version and $179 for the 16 GB model.Continue »
Turns out that humans have a taste for barbecues that go back a while. Quite a while.
Scientists have found the remains of a 12,000 year-old burial site in Israel that contains the remains of butchered cattle and 71 tortoises. Though feasting went on during the early agricultural societies of the Neolithic era, scientists have been unable to find convincing evidence that it went on in pre-Neolithic times. Until now.
A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports on evidence left over by the locals at a site called Hilazon Tachtit in Israel's Lower Galilee. Archeologists working at Hilazon Tachtit found remains of a feast where the main dishes included wild cattle and tortoises. They also uncovered structures that were apparently used for burial and feasting activities. The meat remains came from aurochs, which were ancestors of domestic cattle. Back then, aurochs also qualified as one of the bigger and more dangerous animals for hunters. Many of the tortoise remains found placed within the grave of a woman thought to be a shaman, according to co-author Natalie D. Munro, an archeologist who teaches at the University of Connecticut.Continue »
In the last few years, some scientists have put forward a controversial hypothesis arguing that one or more comets slammed into North America some 12,900 years ago, causing the mass extinction of wooly mammoth elephants and other large mammals.
That theory has come under fire from other scientists, who have since put forward refutations of most of the evidence in support of the killer comet theory - except one - the presence of nano-scale diamond crystals. The comet school pointed to that as evidence of a cataclysm since the crystals could only have been formed under the extreme pressure of a comet impact.
Now an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) makes the case against the nanodiamond crystal theory as well. A team of researchers, led by nuclear chemist Richard Firestone from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, examined carbon-rich materials isolated from sediments from more than 15,000 years ago to the present. Their conclusion: No nanodiamonds were found. "Instead, graphene- and graphene/graphane-oxide aggregates are ubiquitous in all specimens examined. We demonstrate that previous studies misidentified graphene/graphane-oxide aggregates as hexagonal diamond and likely misidentified graphene as cubic diamond. Our results cast doubt upon one of the last widely discussed pieces of evidence supporting the YD impact hypothesis.
Boeing said early Friday that it was postponing delivery of its 787 Dreamliner until the middle of 2011's first quarter.
Boeing first planned a summer 2007 launch but the project has been hampered by setbacks that have already forced delivery setbacks of the aircraft for more than a couple of years. The company blamed the latest revision to its timetable on engine availability troubles.
Boeing said it was working with engine supplier Rolls-Royce to speed up the deliveries. Last week an aviation trade magazine reported that a test engine had blown apart internally while being run on a ground-test stand. In an interview with the Seattle Times Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx said the company was forced to push back the delivery date.
"That engine was one of the engines scheduled to support testing later in the program," Proulx said. "The corrective action associated with that failure has contributed to the engine challenges that we now assess are affecting the flight test program."
Technologists have eagerly awaited the arrival of the Dreamliner, which is made of lightweight carbon composite instead of aluminum. It also marks a departure from the way commercial aircraft are traditionally put together with Boeing outsourcing much of the engineering and design to third parties.
The timing of the announcement came just after the company gave reporters a close-up view of the 787 simulator and training facility.
It was probably a day like many others for the inhabitants of the Italian cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum near the Bay of Naples. They were accustomed to the periodic belching of the great Vesuvius volcano, which was again acting up. But unlike past occasions, this time Vesuvius would erupt in earnest. The date was Aug. 24, 79. The ensuing ash storm destroyed the, killing thousands who failed to flee in time, killing thousands and burying the two cities beneath mounds of ash and pumice.
The Roman writer, Pliny the Younger, was in the region when Vesuvius erupted. In the account he left, Pliny says that the ash storm lasted some 18 hours.
He probably wasn't exaggerating. Scientists who have sampled local lava deposits note that Vesuvius's volcanic activity dates back at much as 400,000 years.
At ceremonies around the country on Friday, Britain celebrated the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill's famous speech, "The Few," his homage to the Royal Air Force pilots who beat back the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain.
The "battle" actually encompassed a series of aerial engagements between mid-July and the end of October 1940 as the Germans attempted to establish air superiority in advance of a planned land invasion.
Germany's air force commander, Hermann Goering had promised Hitler that Adlertag or "Eagle Day" would result in the defeat of the Royal Air Force. He almost made good on that prediction before a grave miscalculation. Instead of pressing their heavy attacks on English airfields, the Luftwaffe decided shift its attention and attack London. That mistake allowed the RAF to catch its breath and by mid-September, operational pilot strength was the highest it had been since the start of the Battle.
The English proceeded to inflict heavy damage on the attackers.According to the RAF's official account, it soon became obvious to both sides that Goering's tactics had backfired. Even though sporadic fighting continued - including some fierce engagements - for several more weeks into October, the German juggernaut had suffered its first significant defeat.
So it was that Churchill would tell his nation that:
The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
This is the fourth year running for software security firm McAfee's "Most Dangerous Celebrity" listing of the most likely search terms to generate malware-ridden results. A couple of trends are clear: You have a higher chance of encountering an infecting website or file searching for actors and models than for politicians. That reflects the calculation by virus writers that people are more likely to search for videos and pictures of entertainment celebrities on the Internet than their favorite Harry Reid YouTube appearance.
"This year, the search results for celebrities are safer than they've been in previous years, but there are still dangers when searching online," said Dave Marcus, security researcher for McAfee Labs. He added that while consumers are getting smarter about searching online, "cybercriminals are getting sneakier in their techniques. Now they're hiding malicious content in 'tiny' places like shortened URLs that can spread virally in social networking sites and Twitter, instead of on websites and downloads."
This year's Numero Uno: Actress Cameron Diaz. As coincidence would have it, Diaz, formerly romantically linked with Justin Timberlake, knocked her ex's current gal pal, Jessica Biel, to number 3. Last year, Biel was number 1. (This can get confusing.)
You'll find a gallery of the top ten in the image gallery here. Happy searching.
On Tuesday, U.S. Energy Secretary Steve Chu made it official with a ceremony for the cameras. But work at Stanford University's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park has been underway for several months already. The university calls the SLAC the world's most powerful X-ray laser and the only one of its kind in the world.
As the Associated Press noted in its dispatch, the device can view "matter on a scale of individual atoms and enables scientists to take stop-motion pictures of moving atoms and molecules. Researchers plan to use the X-ray laser for experiments that they say may lead to new discoveries in drug development, energy production and computer science."
Geoscientists working in southern Australia say they have discovered the remains of primitive sponge-like creatures that lived in ocean reefs about 650 million years ago. If it holds up, the finding would mark the oldest animal fossils ever found. It also would be older than a couple of reef-dwelling organisms that date back 550 million years.
The findings by Adam Maloof and Catherine Rose were published in the August 17 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. In a statement, Maloof said the pair came upon the discovery during the course of another project focused on the end of an ice age 635 million years ago.
"We were accustomed to finding rocks with embedded mud chips, and at first this is what we thought we were seeing," Maloof said. "But then we noticed these repeated shapes that we were finding everywhere--wishbones, rings, perforated slabs and anvils. We realized we had stumbled upon some sort of organism, and we decided to analyze the fossils. No one was expecting that we would find animals that lived before the ice age, and since animals probably did not evolve twice, we are suddenly confronted with the question of how a relative of these reef-dwelling animals survived the 'snowball Earth."
A new study finds that aggressive behavior often associated with Type A personalities may land them in an early grave.
Medical researchers found that these so-called antagonistic personalities tend to develop a progressive thickening of their neck arteries, a development that puts them at higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
The study focused on more than 5,600 men and women residing in four villages in Italy's Lanusei Valley were studied over a three-year period. Researchers used a 48-item agreeableness scale comprised of traits such as straightforwardness or modesty.
The paper, published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, examined the long-held observation by clinicians that people given to displays of anger and hostility toward others often develop cardiovascular trouble. What the researchers discovered was that study participants who were judged to be more antagonistic and quicker to express their anger experienced greater thickening of the neck arteries than others found to be more socially agreeable.
Antagonistic individuals tend to have a more competitive and conflictual style of social interaction that undermines interpersonal relations. Even when social support systems are in place, they do not benefit physiologically from such support. Over time, deficits in social support may culminate in greater cardiovascular risk. In addition to social isolation, their attitudes may also increase risk. Antagonistic individuals tend to hold negative beliefs about groups other than their own and are thus more prone to stereotyping.The challenge for doctors will be to zero in on the personality traits which most contribute to arterial thickening and the help patients modify their lifestyles and find ways to better cope with daily stresses.
But that promises to be a full-time job by itself. In a statement accompanying the study, lead author Angelina Sutin noted that study participants who scored high on the antagonism meter were also found to be "distrustful, skeptical and at the extreme cynical, manipulative, self-centered, arrogant and quick to express anger."
Over 20 million Americans have more than a single social security number associated with their names.
How did that happen? Chalk it up to a combination of fraud and human errors.
"The majority of these cases are likely due to data entry errors which occur somewhere along the food chain of these credit applications and then they propagate in the system," according to Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer, ID Analytics, the consumer risk management company, which published a recent study disclosing its findings. Among other things, ID Analytics found the following:
- 6.1 percent of Americans have at least two SSNs
- More than 100,000 Americans have five or more SSNs
- More than 15 percent of SSNs are associated with two or more people
- More than 140,000 SSNs are associated with five or more people
- More than 27,000 SSNs are associated with 10 or more people
Update: A spokesman for the Social Security Administration emailed a prepared statement to CBSNews.com, noting that "as other entities use the SSN for purposes beyond what it was created for, problems like those indicated in the report are going to happen.??"