Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Valve Software Launches Linux Blog, Confirms Work On Steam Client for Linux

July 16th, 2012 07:18 admin View Comments


New submitter oakgrove writes “Valve Software confirmed today in a new blog devoted specifically to Steam on Linux (called Steam’d Penguins) that for more than a year, a Steam client has been in the works for Ubuntu Linux 12.04. ‘We’ve made good progress this year and now have the Steam client running on Ubuntu with all major features available. We’re still giving attention and effort to minor features but it’s a good experience at the moment. In the near future, we will be setting up an internal beta focusing on the auto-update experience and compatibility testing.’ The blog post also says that a working port of Left 4 Dead 2 is currently playable, and that their goal is to bring performance in line with the Windows version.”

Source: Valve Software Launches Linux Blog, Confirms Work On Steam Client for Linux

SNESDev-RPi: a SNES Adapter For the Raspberry Pi

July 5th, 2012 07:14 admin View Comments

Hardware Hacking

New submitter Blinky0815 writes “I just found what’s quite possibly the world’s very first SNES-Adapter for the Raspberry Pi. Florian’s design helps create what he calls the ‘universal console.’ His blog explains everything in detail to create your very own ‘universal console’ at home. His blog has instructions, videos and even a github repository for downloading his software.”

Source: SNESDev-RPi: a SNES Adapter For the Raspberry Pi

Mechanized ?JS

June 27th, 2012 06:28 admin View Comments

Mechanized ?JS

The Brown PLT Blog, 2012-06-04

In an earlier post, we introduced ?JS, our operational semantics for JavaScript. Unlike many other operational semantics, ?JS is no toy, but strives to correctly model JavaScript’s messy details. To validate these claims, we test ?JS with randomly generated tests and with portions of the Mozilla JavaScript test suite.

Testing is not enough. Despite our work, other researchers found a missing case in ?JS. Today, we’re introducing Mechanized ?JS, which comes with a machine-checked proof of correctness, using the Coq proof assistant.

More work on mechanizing the actual, implemented semantics of a real language, rather than a toy.

Source: Mechanized ?JS

Land Grab! Google & Amazon Stake Claims to .blog, .search, .book

June 26th, 2012 06:11 admin View Comments

Amazon, Google, L’Oréal and Gucci have applied for basic Internet domain names like .blog, .book, .music and .beauty. In some cases, they don’t intend to share. Unless you use Google’s Blogger service, for instance, you won’t be able to get Google aims to own that domain and every address in it. 

Prime Internet Real Estate

Internet domain names are controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This U.S. company gets to decide which unique, top-level addresses (like .com, .net and .org) will take you somewhere when you type them into your browser. And it can invent new ones and sell them to whomever it wants. Last year, it decided to do so to the tune of $185,000 a pop.

ICANN’s monopoly limits the market for generic top-level domains (gTLDs, in the unwieldy acronym) to a rarefied crowd. While some of these top-level domains went to registrars that let anyone use them, much of the prime real estate will go to companies that plan to use them to boost their businesses.

Tech Titans Stake Claims

Google and Amazon are making big land grabs. Google applied for 101 new domains, Amazon for 76. Many of them are brands owned by those companies, and that’s understandable. Google should be allowed to own .gmail, .youtube and .google, and Amazon should have .kindle.

Tellingly, as reported by Paul Sloan at CNET, Google and Amazon have applied for around 20 of the same domains (depending on how you count similar ones like .kid and .kids), and they’re rather important ones. Both Amazon and Google want .app, .book, .cloud, .game, .music, .search, .shop, .you and more.

These conflicts will be worked out behind closed doors, but one way or another, a single giant tech company will own invaluable Internet property that its competitors want, to say nothing of private individuals or small businesses.

Some words fall into a gray area. Google has an application called Google Earth. Does that mean it should own .earth?

Google’s application for the .earth domain makes for a revealing example. The applicant is listed as Charleston Road Registry Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Google. It contains no mention of the product Google Earth. Rather, Google says it wants to use .earth to “provide a dedicated domain space in which registrants can enact second-level domains that extend the amount of information available on the Internet about Earth.” Google wants to dispense domains for campaigns like “,” according to its application to ICANN.

Similarly, Amazon’s application for .book says its proposed “.BOOK registry will be run in line with current industry standards of good registry practice.” If that means it’s open to the public for registration, there’s no harm there.

But not all applications for generic top-level domains are so innocuous. As Dave Winer, one of the pioneers of blogging itself, has pointed out, Google’s application for .blog makes clear how the company intends to use it:

“The purpose of the proposed gTLD, .blog, is to provide a dedicated Internet space where Google can continue to innovate on its Blogger offerings… The mission of the proposed gTLD is to simplify the Blogger user experience. Users will be able to publish content on a unique .blog domain (e.g., which will serve as a short and memorable URL for a particular Blogger account.”

If you want for your WordPress blog, you’re out of luck.

A Beautiful Domain 

As noted in a comprehensive post by Michele Neylon, tech is far from the only industry implicated here. L’Oréal has applied for .beauty. Unlike Google and .earth, L’Oréal gave special attention to its own products and “select licensees and partners” before saying it would “evaluate expanding the operations of the .BEAUTY gTLD” to outside registrants.

While taking pains to avoid saying that L’Oréal wants to own the Internet’s concept of .beauty, the company’s application makes clear that it wants to control the namespace. If you run a beauty parlor and want the coolest website address on the block, don’t hold your breath for the chance to register

Naming locations in the Internet’s expanding universe is a tricky problem. For now, domain names are the most important way for people to remember and access sites and apps on the Web. We don’t want to be confined to .com forever, since we can theoretically have whatever kinds of memorable names we want. But creating new TLDs can have nasty side effects.

When ICM Registry opened up the .xxx domain for registrations, businesses large and small complained of a “shakedown.” Companies felt they shouldn’t have to register just to protect themselves from bad publicity.

And now we have the opposite problem, in which big companies are buying up valuable domains and refusing to let competitors or even users register their addresses there. Some of the big ones, like .book, will be opened for public registrations, but they’ll still be under the control of companies with a vested interest in boxing out competitors.

And with others, like .blog and .search, the business opportunities for the applicants are just too great to open up the domains to competitors. Google would have a whale of an antitrust case on its hands if it privileged .blog sites over WordPress blogs in search results. But the next most important index for website addresses is in people’s memories. That’s where these companies want their expensive, new top-level domains to stick.

Source: Land Grab! Google & Amazon Stake Claims to .blog, .search, .book

Primary School Girl Told To Stop Photographing and Blogging School Meals

June 15th, 2012 06:51 admin View Comments

United Kingdom

JamieKitson writes “British primary school (elementary to those of you in the U.S.) pupil Martha/’Veg’ has been taking photographs of her school dinners and writing about them at her blog Never Seconds since April. The blog has become popular, and Martha decided to do something with the popularity: namely, raising money for an international school dinners charity. Unfortunately, the local council, Argyll and Bute, having apparently not heard of the Streisand effect, didn’t like the publicity that her blog was generating and have shut her down. They said the blog made the catering staff fear for their jobs. There is a happy ending though: donations have gone through the roof and she has already passed her target.”

Source: Primary School Girl Told To Stop Photographing and Blogging School Meals

The Art of Elections Forecasting

June 7th, 2012 06:02 admin View Comments


ideonexus writes “Years ago Nate Silver of, a blog seeking to educate the public about elections forecasting, established his model as one of the most accurate in existence, rising from a fairly unknown statistician working in baseball to one of the most respected names in election forecasting. In this article he describes all the factors that go into his predictions. A fascinating overview of the process of modeling a chaotic system.”

Source: The Art of Elections Forecasting

Can Machine Learning Replace Focus Groups?

May 31st, 2012 05:40 admin View Comments


itwbennett writes “In a blog post, Steve Hanov explains how 20 lines of code can outperform A/B testing. Using an example from one of his own sites, Hanov reports a green button outperformed orange and white buttons. Why don’t people use this method? Because most don’t understand or trust machine learning algorithms, mainstream tools don’t support it, and maybe because bad design will sometimes win.”

Source: Can Machine Learning Replace Focus Groups?

Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn’t Only For Piracy

May 16th, 2012 05:35 admin View Comments


itwbennett writes “Geek advocate Wil Wheaton has written a blog post on the (legal) usefulness of BitTorrent, saying that the speed of his recent download of Ubuntu 12.04 should serve as a reminder that BitTorrent fills an important niche. Wheaton compares blocking BitTorrent to closing freeways because bank robbers could get away.”

Source: Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn’t Only For Piracy

NY Times: Microsoft Tried To Unload Bing On Facebook

April 26th, 2012 04:32 admin View Comments


benfrog writes “According to a blog posting on the New York Times site, Microsoft tried to sell the perpetual money-losing Bing to Facebook ‘over a year ago’ (the article cites ‘several people with knowledge of the discussions who didn’t want to be identified talking about internal deliberations’). Steve Ballmer, apparently, was not involved or consulted. Facebook politely declined. Neither Microsoft or Facebook would comment on the rumors.”

Source: NY Times: Microsoft Tried To Unload Bing On Facebook

Ask Slashdot: Why Aren’t Schools Connected?

April 2nd, 2012 04:02 admin View Comments


rtobyr writes “We use the Internet — E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to communicate with colleagues, friends, and family. When I was in Iraq with the Marine Corps, we used e-mail (secured with encryption and stuff, but e-mail nonetheless) to communicate the commanding officer’s order that a combat mission should be carried out. My third grade daughter produces her own YouTube videos, and can create public servers for her games with virtual private network technology. Yet here I am trusting a third grade girl to deliver memos to me about her educational requirements in an age in which I can’t remember the last time I used paper. Teachers could have distribution lists of the parents. The kids’ homework is printed. Therefore, it must have started as a computer file (I hope they’re not still using mimeograph machines). Teachers could e-mail a summary of what’s going on, and attach the homework files along with other notices about field trips or conferences that parents should be aware of. Teachers could have an easy way to post all these files to the Internet on blogs. With RSS, parents could subscribe to receive everything that teachers put online. If teachers want to add to the blog their own personal comments about how the school year is going, then all the parents would see that also, and perhaps have the opportunity to comment on the blog. It seems to me that with the right processes, the cost and additional workload would be insignificant. For example, instead of developing a syllabus in MS Word, use WordPress. Have schools simply not paid attention to the past decade of technology, or is there a reason that these things aren’t in place?” It seems odd that primary schools in at least the U.S. don’t use technology to communicate with students much. My younger sister went to a private school that made reasonable use of Blackboard, but that seems to be the exception.

Source: Ask Slashdot: Why Aren’t Schools Connected?