Saturday, October 06, 2012

Stories I Found Of Interest (weekly)

    • Microsoft is probably in talks to buy Rdio, the music streaming service, according to The Next Web. The deal is just a rumor at this point, but one that raises an important point about the future of media: Tech’s biggest players are now deeply interested in streaming music
    • Beyond the purported Microsoft talks, there are older reports about Apple planning an online radio service and Apple and Google talking about buying Spotify, a streaming internet jukebox. After years of ignoring digital music, and years more focused on digital downloads and lockers, it seems the big names in high technology have finally come around to caring about streaming services
    • This novel technique embeds an inaudible digital trace or watermark into the content and this trace survives duplication, filtering, down sampling and conversion into other formats, including non digital ones such as an over the air broadcast. Unlike competing watermarking solutions, it is faster to embed or detect and it is extremely robust without affecting audio quality.  The company is not aware of anything similar and believes this technology has strong commercial value and that this technology could be widely licensed directly outside of other Destiny products
    • Destiny also has a patented locking technology, Digital Media Distribution Method and System (7466823) that is compatible with peer to peer networks, but still locks content to only play on authorized computing devices. These patented solutions give the content owner the choice of locking content, so it can't be copied or allowing copies, but protecting those copies with a watermark to identify unauthorized duplication.
    • An advanced pre-release demo is anticipated later this month
    • A spokesman for the group Americans for Limited Government told The Daily Caller on Wednesday they have contracted with a company to use new truth detecting technology to determine whether either candidate is lying during the debate.


      “For the first time, within a few hours of a political debate, the American people will know if the candidates are telling the truth, and better be able to judge what promises are real, and which ones are nothing more than political pandering,” Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government said.


      The conservative-leaning group says they hope to release the results from Voice Analysis Technology within three hours of the debate.

    • Ryan and Jim have been working with a company called Telkonet to install motion sensing thermostats in every single one of the 1214 rooms in the hotel.  It’s a simple concept, but it is making a huge energy savings impact at the hotel.   Rather than keeping all of the rooms at a comfortable 72 degrees at all times, why not just heat and cool the rooms that are occupied?  This simple change will lower the hotel’s electric bills by more than $150,000 per year.
    • Here’s how it works.  If a room isn’t even reserved for the day, the system allows the room to go on “deep setback.”  Once a guest checks in, the thermostat automatically resets and the room is comfortable by the time the guest reaches it.  When a guest leaves the room for a meeting or sightseeing, the temperature will be allowed to drift just to the point that it could be brought back to that ideal temperature within 15 minutes.  The system is automatically notified when you check out of the room, so that it can go back into deep setback. 


      “It seems so simple, but it’s an enormous improvement in our ability to manage our energy use and costs,” said Egan.   

    • So what do we really know? Obama is doing worse, much worse in some cases, in every swing state than he did in 2008. Consider that he won Colorado in 2008 by nine points, Wisconsin by almost 14 points and Nevada by 12.5 percent.. So it’s not 2008. Obama is doing worse than four years ago. Romney is doing much better than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).


    • There is clearly a lot of interested in facial recognition startups right now.
    • Fewer than 1 percent of in-store sales tied to brand advertising campaigns on Facebook come from people who clicked on an ad
    • Google Inc. (GOOG) has surpassed Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to become the world’s second-largest technology company as computing over the Internet reduces demand for software installed on desktop machines.
    • reflects the ascension of the Internet as the delivery channel for more of the software and computing tasks that were once left to the Microsoft-dominated PC industry
    • Facebook also argued that a "Like" on the social network is free speech and that eliminating teens' access to the button would be a violation of their constitutional rights
    • COPPA requires Web sites obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children younger than 13.
    • desktop-manufacturing company Stratasys pulled the lease on a printer rented out for Wiki Weapon, the internet project lead by Wilson and dedicated to sharing open-source blueprints for 3-D printed guns. Stratasys even sent a team to seize the printer from Wilson’s home.
    • Stratasys’s legal counsel wrote back: “It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes. Therefore, please be advised that your lease of the Stratasys uPrint SE is cancelled at this time and Stratasys is making arrangements to pick up the printer,” stated the lette
    • More and more, tablet computer users are choosing browsers over apps for their digital news delivery
    • Nearly three-quarters of those who favor apps are iPad users
    • that disparity suggests that momentum will continue to swing in favor of the browser
    • Internet media this year became the media industry's second-largest employment sector, according to Ad Age DataCenter's analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data
    • Employment at U.S. internet-media businesses in July passed staffing in broadcast TV. Internet-media employment earlier passed magazines, radio and cable TV. 

       The only U.S. media sector with more employees: newspapers

    • The rise of license-plate tracking is a case study in how storing and studying people's everyday activities, even the seemingly mundane, has become the default rather than the exception. Cellphone-location data, online searches, credit-card purchases, social-network comments and more are gathered, mixed-and-matched, and stored in vast databases.
    • License-plate databases contain revealing information about people's locations. Police can generally obtain it without a judge's approval. By comparison, prosecutors typically get a court order to install GPS trackers on people's cars or to track people's location via cellphone
    • a professor at George Mason University, did a study in 2010 estimating that about 37% of large police departments were using plate readers. "It's one of the most rapidly diffusing technologies that I've ever seen
    • The nation will face a fiscal cliff on January 1, and Obama’s plan if he wins is to force tax hikes that may cover some of the gap in the short term but will hurt everyone in the long term through slow economic growth.
    • A Romney loss also means America will have accepted persistent high unemployment and slow growth as the new normal, creating a lost generation and destroying both our entitlement system and our future prosperity. It means Israel will likely be forced to go to war, and likely on its own, against Iran. It means the Supreme Court will be liberal, for at least a generation, as the far-left fulfills its wish to transform our “living Constitution.
    • An August study by the left-leaning think tank Third Way showed that the Democratic voter registration decline in eight key swing states outnumbered the Republican decline by a 10-to-one ratio
    • Facebook is warning the Federal Trade Commission that its proposed update to children's online privacy rules would infringe constitutionally protected free speech rights.

       The company said that because the proposal would restrict the ability of children to "like," comment on or recommend websites, it would violate the First Amendment

    • The proposal would also ban ads on children's websites from installing tracking files, known as cookies, on users' computers. Advertisers install cookies to track users' browsing history and display targeted ads to them.

       The update would allow sites that are aimed at children and adults to create a log-in page for users to reveal whether they are older than 13. Users younger than 13 would still be able to access the sites, but the sites would face restrictions on the use of the children's information.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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