By manishs from Slashdot's squashing-bugs,-bringing-happiness department
An anonymous reader writes: Apple, on Thursday, rolled out a minor update to iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices. The update, dubbed iOS 9.3.1, brings with it a fix for a software glitch that caused many apps -- including Safari, and Chrome -- to freeze and crash when trying to open a link. The issue was related to Universal Link, a feature Apple first introduced with iOS 9. Many reported that some apps including Booking.com were abusing this capability, causing the Universal Link database to overload.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department
An anonymous reader quotes an article on The New York Times about the death of Zaha Hadid: Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-British architect whose curving, elongated structures left a mark on skylines around the world, and who was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, her profession's highest honor, died on Thursday in Miami. She was 65. Ms. Hadid "contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital," her office, Zaha Hadid Architects in London, said in a statement. [...] She was also a role model and inspiration for generations of young architects, men and women, who wanted to become Ms. Hadid: an architect of boundless ambition, a celebrity, and an artist with big ideas who won commissions for some of the world's big, flashiest projects by the sheer force of her intelligence, creativity and personality. Ms. Hadid epitomized an era when architects became global brands. Her brand promised buildings of extravagant sculptural invention, spectacles of curving, swooping, unprecedented forms. She represented the epitome of the art of so-called parametric design, by which architects, aided by sophisticated computer programs, could animate buildings into new shapes. You will want to read her profile on The Guardian.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's to-each-his-own department
HughPickens.com writes: Sophie Kleeman writes at Gizmodo that according to a study at the University of Michigan people who are more sensitive to written typos and grammatical errors are indeed the kinds of 'Type A assholes' everyone already suspects them to be. Researchers gathered 83 people and had them read emails that either contained typos ("mkae" or "abuot"), grammar errors (to/too, it's/its or your/you're), or no spelling mistakes at all. Participants were asked at the end of the experiment whether or not they'd spotted any grammatical errors or typos in the emails, and, if so, how much it had bothered them. The researchers then asked the participants to complete a Big Five personality assessment -- which rates where they are on a scale of openness, agreeableness, extraversion/introversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness -- as well as answer questions about their age, background, and attitude towards language. People who tested as being more conscientious but less open were more sensitive to typos, while those with less agreeable personalities got more upset by grammatical errors. "Less agreeable participants showed more sensitivity to 'grammos' than participants high in agreeability," the researchers said, "perhaps because less agreeable people are less tolerant of deviations from convention."Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's ripe-for-tech-change department
An anonymous readers links to an article on ComputerWorld: For many California business groups, the state's decision to gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 by 2022 is a terrible thing. But for its technology industry, it may be a plus. Higher wages, says the California Restaurant Association, will force businesses to face "undesirable" options, including cutting staff, raising prices and adopting automation. But a higher minimum wage will "signal to tech companies and entrepreneurs" to look at the restaurant industry, said Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, a research group focused on the restaurant industry. The state's governor and legislators reached an agreement Monday to raise the wages. "I think there are a lot of tech companies that are looking at the restaurant industry to accelerate their growth," said Tristano. The restaurant industry is primed for change, said Tristano, "Many of the routines that take place in restaurants are not very different from 30 to 40 years ago," he said.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's Netflix-vs-Hollywood-studios department
An anonymous reader writes: From Q1 of 2012 to Q1 of 2016, Netflix has added an incredible 111 original series and films. The numbers translate to an average quarterly growth rate of 34.22% and an average annual growth rate of 185.41%. And there is reason to believe that future growth rates could be even higher -- with competition coming from all sides, Netflix is likely to keep pushing more and more cash into original content. Those wondering why Netflix has grown increasingly interested in owning the shows it airs, you have to realize that not long ago the streaming company was struggling to snap any good TV show from cable channels. The New York Times' profile of House of Cards' Beau Willimon, from 2014, sheds more light into this : Around three years ago, Netflix realized it had a problem: It was paying large sums to license other people's content -- TV shows and movies produced by other companies -- in order to then show them to you, the Netflix subscriber, at home. This initially proved successful, but there were two troubling aspects to this model: 1) It left Netflix very vulnerable to competition, since the shows and movies it licensed could, theoretically, be licensed by anyone willing to outbid them, and 2) the most popular TV shows, episodic dramas like "CSI" and sitcoms like "The Big Bang Theory," were already being sold for huge deals into syndication at basic cable channels like TBS and USA. What was left to Netflix were the kind of serialized shows that don't typically play well in syndication, like "Lost" and "Breaking Bad," which have complicated story arcs that compel a viewer to watch all the episodes in order. Traditionally, while these kinds of serialized shows could be big hits in their initial broadcast runs, they proved tough sells to aftermarkets, precisely because of the demands they placed on the audience.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's putting-my-skeptical-hat-on department
An anonymous reader shares a report on SiliconBeat: An industry group representing major tech firms including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter, Uber and eBay has endorsed the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact plan "The TPP recognizes the Internet as an essential American export," Internet Association CEO Michael Beckerman said in a statement. "Historically, pro-Internet policies have been absent from trade agreements, which is why the TPP is an important step forward for the Internet sector that accounts for 6 percent of the GDP and nearly 3 million American jobs. "It will be critical that the TPP is implemented in a way that supports the Internet economy." While President Barack Obama backs the trade deal, it has met with strong opposition from critics including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who attacked secrecy around the pact's drafting and has said the deal could weaken U.S. regulations that are good for Americans but might threaten foreign companies' profits.Brier Dudley, Seattle Times Columnist, tweeted, "TPP "taken a 180" since TPA, when there was confidence of passage, Rep @davereichert says. Issues incl. biologic protections, tobacco lobby."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's never-ending-dispute department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from THE INQUIRER: Now-defunct Unix vendor, which claimed that Linux infringed its intellectual property and sought as much as $5 billion in compensation from IBM, has filed notice of yet another appeal in the 13-year-old dispute. The appeal comes after a ruling at the end of February when SCO's arguments claiming intellectual property ownership over parts of Unix were rejected by a U.S. district court. That judgment noted that SCO had minimal resources to defend counter-claims filed by IBM due to SCO's bankruptcy.
"It is ordered and adjudged that pursuant to the orders of the court entered on July 10, 2013, February 5, 2016, and February 8, 2016, judgement is entered in favor of the defendant and plaintiff's causes of action are dismissed with prejudice," stated the document. Now, though, SCO has filed yet again to appeal that judgement, although the precise grounds it is claiming haven't yet been disclosed.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's constitutional-rights department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Using Adblock Plus to block ads on websites is legal, a German regional court has ruled. The suit, brought by the company behind the leading German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, is the fifth such case to be decided in favor of the makers of the software, who are based in Germany. The court in Munich also ruled that the "Acceptable Ads initiative," a scheme that requires larger companies to pay for their ads to be whitelisted by Adblock Plus, is acceptable under German law. "To the contrary, said the court, users have the right to block those or any ads, because no such contract exists," Adblock Plus's Ben Williams writes. "Additionally, the judge ruled that by offering publishers a way to serve ads that ad-blocking users will accept, the Acceptable Ad initiative provides them an avenue to monetize their content, and therefore is favorable, not disadvantageous, to them."
Previously, Adblock Plus's parent company Eyeo has won court cases against the German publishing giant Axel Springer, Germany television companies Pro 7/Sat 1 and RTL Interactive, and against the companies operating the Zeit Online and Handelsblatt websites.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's so-much-for-that-idea department
McGruber writes: The Associated Press is reporting that TSA's PreCheck program is causing maddening long security lines at U.S. airports. TSA's PreCheck security lanes can screen 300 passengers an hour, twice that of its standard security lanes. Based on that and other increased efficiencies, the TSA's front-line screeners were cut from 47,147 three years ago to 42,525 currently. At the same time, the number of annual fliers passing through checkpoints has grown from 643 million to more than 700 million. The TSA told Congress its goal was to have 25 million fliers enrolled in the PreCheck registration program, but as of March 1, only 9.3 million people had registered for PreCheck. TSA first tried to make up for that shortfall by randomly placing passengers into the express Precheck lanes, but scaled back that effort for fear dangerous passengers were being let through. That's when the regular security lines started growing -- up to 90 minutes in some cases. The TSA is now shifting some resources to tackle lines at the nation's biggest airports, but it claims there is no easy solution to the problem with a record number of fliers expected this summer. To enroll in TSA's Precheck registration program, travelers must pay $85 to $100 every five years, then submit to a background check, in-person interview at an airport, and to being fingerprinted. Unsurprisingly, getting once-a-year fliers to spend the time or the money to register has been a challenge. While 250,000 to 300,000 people are registering for Precheck every month, it will take more than four years at that pace to reach the TSA's target enrollment.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's personal-voice-assistant department
An anonymous reader writes: During its Build conference, Microsoft demoed how Skype users would be able to book trips, shop, and plan their schedule, just by chatting with Cortana. "Cortana is brokering the conversation with a third-party bot," says Lilian Rincon, Skype's program manager. Essentially, Skype will know which company or service you want to talk to, bring a new bot into your chat to help out, and then get rid of the bot when you're done. Video bots may also be in the works as Rincon mentioned, "We will also be bringing intelligence into real-time video."
The new features are very similar to Facebook's "Messenger Bot Store," which the company announced at F8. Facebook's AI-powered assistant, called M, would enable Messenger users to make purchases, restaurant reservations, and travel bookings within the messaging interface, similar to Cortana but with more human input.Read Replies (0)