Okay, then, you asked for it: Someone who claims Apple has ripped him off by not giving him enough episodes of “Breaking Bad” has filed a putative class action suit against the company.
The details are too banal to repeat here, but in short: A bunch of iTunes users thought they had bought 16 episodes of AMC’s awesome show last summer. It turns out Apple only intended to credit them for the 8 episodes that ran last year, and wants to charge them to watch the eight that started running last month (and are awesome).
In a rational world, Apple’s complainers would realize that someone at the company’s iTunes store did a bad job of labeling the offer. But they would also realize that the offer they thought they were getting was too good to be true — if Apple really was going to give them 16 episodes for $21.99, that would have represented a 50 percent discount on the single-episode price, which Apple never offers.
via Apple Faces Lawsuit Over Breaking Bad iTunes Episodes – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD.
Culinary experimentation with microbes has gotten super trendy. Celebrity chef David Chang of Momofuku has opened a fermentation lab in New York that’s engineering things like pistachio miso and chickenbushi (chicken prepared in the style of Japanese katsuobushi, which is made from fish that is boiled, smoked, and then fermented). At Copenhagen’s NOMA, which has topped several lists of the world’s best restaurants in recent years, chef René Redzepi is playing around with fermenting everything from plums (mmm) to puréed grasshoppers (hmm).
via These Funky Microbes Make Your Favorite Foods More Delicious – Wired Science.
The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in “Metcalfe’s law”–which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants–becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.
via The Red Herring – Economics – June 1998.
Slime mold is a very curious substance. Lab experiments have found that some types of the organisms exhibit signs of “intelligence” — in the form of being able to learn and remember — even though they’re “no more than a bag of amoebae encased in a thin slime sheath,” as slime mold expert John Tyler Bonner put it.
The robot face acts out happy slime mold.
(Credit: Video screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
Ella Gale, who researches memristors and brain-like computers at the University of the West of England, has translated some of a particular slime mold’s more interesting behaviors into human emotion — as expressed by a robot face.
via This is what it looks like when slime mold smiles | Crave – CNET.
In 2012, the average length of time a local, state or federal CIO in North America (including Canada) stayed in that post was 4.2 years, the same as 2011. But in 2013 that number declined to 3.4 years.
Private sector CIO tenure, by contrast, is nearly a year or more longer than the public sector.
There is no one explanation for the shrinking tenure of public sector CIOs. The recent election may have played a role, but the federal sequester, salary freezes, and public sector bankruptcies may be responsible as well. Another contributing factor may be CIOs who put off retirement during the downturn, and are now leaving.
Whatever the reasons, Gartner analyst Rick Howard said, “Government CIO tenure is shrinking at a time when dependence on information and data in government is increasing.”
via Public Sector CIOs Head to the Exits – CIO.com.
A Houston couple on Tuesday revealed to ABC News that earlier this month, the baby monitor they use for their daughter was hacked. Upon taking control over the monitor, the hacker reportedly shouted obscenities at their sleeping 2-year-old daughter. Before the parents could unplug the monitor, the hacker also shouted at them.
via Attention, parents: Baby monitor hacked; default password to blame? | Security & Privacy – CNET News.
If the bug is critical and being widely used by hackers, Microsoft will go “out-of-cycle,” meaning it will issue a security update outside its usual monthly Patch Tuesday schedule.
But after April 8, 2014, Microsoft has said it will retire Windows XP and stop serving security updates. The only exceptions: Companies and other organizations, such as government agencies, that pay exorbitant fees for custom support, which provides critical security updates for an operating system that’s officially been declared dead.
Because Microsoft will stop patching XP, hackers will hold zero-days they uncover between now and April, then sell them to criminals or loose them themselves on unprotected PCs after the deadline.
“When someone discovers a very reliable, remotely executable XP vulnerability, and publishes it today, Microsoft will patch it in a few weeks,” said Fossen. “But if they sit on a vulnerability, the price for it could very well double.”
via Windows XP’s Retirement Will be Hacker Heaven – CIO.com.
“Microsoft says that with so many licensing choices comes more complexity,” said Michael Silver, an analyst at Gartner who also fields clients’ questions about Microsoft’s policies. “That might be true, but the complexity is getting ridiculous.”
The analysts were talking about Office 365 Add-ons, an off-shoot of a promotion Microsoft ended June 30 that let enterprise customers add Office 365 to their existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) at a sharp discount.
According to Microsoft marketing materials, the new licensing add-ons, which launched Aug. 1, “Give you a simple, low-cost way to add Office 365 services at any time, while maintaining your current Enterprise Agreement and Software Assurance benefits.”
via Microsoft’s Office 365 Add-ons Muddy Licensing and Make Customers Pay Twice – CIO.com.
The 12-course meal in a can was created by Chris Godfrey, a student at Kingston University in London, as part of a dissertation on today’s bombastic consumerism. Fascinated with the extravagant gimmicks companies use to get us to buy their products, Godfrey got to wondering what the competing trends driving contemporary consumer culture–our love of “quality” products, and our even greater love of utter, braindead convenience–might look like at their obvious, revolting conclusion. And thus the “All in One” was born.
via The Ultimate Apocalypse Cuisine: A 12-Course Meal in a Can | Wired Design | Wired.com.
The project was renamed West Ford, for the neighboring town of Westford, Massachusetts. It wasn’t the first, or even the strangest plan to build a global radio reflector. In 1945, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke suggested that Germany’s V2 rocket arsenal could be repurposed to deploy an array of antennas into geostationary orbit around the Earth. So prescient was Clarke’s vision, today’s communications satellites, residing at these fixed points above the planet, are said to reside in “Clarke Orbit”.
via The Forgotten Cold War Plan That Put a Ring of Copper Around the Earth – Wired Science.