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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Michael Tsai on Siri Reliability





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'The Simpsons' are heading to 'Minecraft' on Xbox, too

Pairing a popular game with a popular television show seems like a sure winner. Doctor Who arrived on Minecraft for Xbox 360 back in August, and next month, another well-liked TV franchise will make a cameo in the game. The Simpsons pack will arrive ...



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Global Warming Linked To More Extreme Weather And Weaker Jet Stream

The Northern Hemisphere has recently seen a big jump in extreme weather events. A growing body of research ties that jump to “more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns” (as a new 2015 study puts it) -- linked directly to global warming.


The post Global Warming Linked To More Extreme Weather And Weaker Jet Stream appeared first on ThinkProgress.






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On OS X 10.10 DNS Problems





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Google To Roll Out Project Ara Modular Phone in Puerto Rico

A mass-produced, do-it-yourself smartphone? The attitude at Google: why not? The company figures that since users are accustomed to customizing applications and software, maybe they�EU�d like to do the same with the internal workings of their phones.

The company on Wednesday said it will start a market pilot in Puerto Rico later this year to test phones that let people mix, match and snap on hardware parts, including cameras and screens. The project, nicknamed Ara, is Google's attempt to create phones with interchangeable parts.


Ideally, a user could put together a phone that has a camera, a display and a processor all from different manufacturers. That way, if the processor becomes outdated, it can be replaced with a new one. Google would make the frame holding the parts together. It would also provide software that would ensure compatibility among the parts from various manufacturers. Google hopes Ara can speed up development and innovation of the separate components that make up a phone.


When we reached Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Austin, Tex.-based Moor Insights & Strategy, he told us Ara can be compared to Google Glass in that it�EU�s something new and different -- and it�EU�s speculative.


"I believe Ara could be attractive to a few different kinds of consumers. The first are consumers with a low amount of disposable income who value their phone over every other technology device," he said.


"They can fine tune exactly what they want in terms of features and price and also upgrade different pieces as they get more money or want to improve their experience," he noted. "This notion is very similar to a desktop PC, where choice and upgradability are paramount." Moorhead added that Ara might also appeal to consumers who use their phones as status symbols.


Project...



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Your keys to safer, even more secure healthcare cloud ...

In my last HealthBlog post, I made the case that we need to focus more on simplicity in healthcare and health IT. Simplicity should be the watchword for ...



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Blogs | The ASP.NET Site

ASP.NET Community Blogs. Recent Blog Posts. Subscribe via rss. RSS Feed. Recent Popular Tags.NET ActiveDirectory AngularJS ASP.NET ...



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All Blog Posts - Blogs : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

Read or subscribe to IIS blogs. Bill Staple's blog and other Microsoft IIS team blogs.



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MSDN Blogs - MSDN Blogs

Learn more about the MSDN Blog Platform at the MSDN Blogs - Help blog! Provide Site Feedback on MSDN Blogs. Check on the status of the MSDN blogs at MSDN and TechNet ...



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The Old New Thing - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Suppose you have a value in an XMM register and you want to limit the bottom byte to a particular value and set all the other bytes to zero. (Yes, I needed to do this.)



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Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Official Microsoft Developer Network blog providing the latest news and information about the operating system.



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IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

To help web developers test versions of Internet Explorer more easily, we’ve had a suite of virtual machines available on modern.IE since January of 2013.



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Azure Virtual Machine Images for Visual Studio - The ...

MSDN Blogs > The Visual Studio Blog > Azure Virtual Machine Images for Visual Studio. Server & Tools Blogs > Developer Tools Blogs > The Visual Studio Blog.



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DirectX 12 - DirectX Developer Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

What's the big deal? DirectX 12 introduces the next version of Direct3D, the graphics API at the heart of DirectX. Direct3D is one of the most critical ...



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Developer Tools Blogs - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

MSDN Blogs > Developer Tools Blogs. Server & Tools Blogs > Developer Tools Blogs. Executive Bloggers. Scott Guthrie; S. Somasegar; Brian Harry; Steve Guggenheimer ...



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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog - MSDN Blogs - MSDN Blogs

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, each time you sign in to the system you’ll see the dashboard, which gives you easy-to-read charts and graphs that help you see how you ...



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Somasegar's blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

When we launched the new Visual Studio Community 2013 edition last year, we talked about students being one the audiences this product is really great for.



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The NBA's first 4K broadcast unfortunately involves the Knicks

The good news is that what might be the first Ultra HD broadcast for a game from one of the major US sports leagues is happening right now. The bad news? That 4K game involves the currently 5 - 35 New York Knicks playing the Milwaukee Bucks in the UK...



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Saygus V2 Smartphone: Top 3 Business Features





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Why Blackberry (BBRY) Buyout Rumors Could Spark Bidding War Among Tech Giants





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Why Penn Station Sucks

Why Penn Station Sucks


New Yorkers are known to disagree about a lot of things. Who's got the best pizza? What's the fastest subway route? Yankees or Mets? But all 8.5 million New Yorkers are likely to agree on one thing: Penn Station sucks.


There is nothing joyful about Penn Station. It is windowless, airless, and crowded. 650,000 people suffer through Penn Station on a their daily commute—more traffic than all of three the New York area's major airport hubs combined.



Though Penn Station is a drab, low-ceilinged rat maze of a station, it used to be the opposite. It was vast, light-filled, and gorgeous.


Why Penn Station Sucks


A postcard of


Penn Station's exterior.

The building was the fourth largest building in the world when it was finished.


The original Penn Station in New York City opened in 1910. It was majestic. Travelers would enter through an exterior façade of massive Doric columns. Inside was a grand staircase into a waiting room not unlike a Roman temple. It was a Parthenon for trains.


Why Penn Station Sucks


The Penn Station


waiting room in 1911.

The old Penn Station was the brainchild of Alexander Cassatt, head of the Pennsylvania Railroad. For Cassatt, Penn Station would fix a problem that had plagued New York for years—getting between Manhattan from New Jersey. At the time, passengers could only get across the Hudson River via ferry. Cassatt built the first ever train tunnel to run underneath the Hudson River, which was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of all time.


The grandeur of Penn Station would thus crown his monumental achievement.


Why Penn Station Sucks


Penn Station's interior. Courtesy of the


New York Public Library.

Newspapers called Penn Station the 8th wonder of the world. Everyone loved it.


Why Penn Station Sucks


Courtesy of


New York Architecture.

Everyone, that is, except for one other railroad family that owned another station across town.


Why Penn Station Sucks


The


old Grand Central in 1880.

The Vanderbilt family owned Grand Central Station, which was not anywhere near as "grand" as it is now. Not wanting to be outdone by the beauty and grandiosity of Penn Station, the Vanderbilts tore down their Grand Central and built a newer, shiner, Beaux Arts-style Grand Central Terminal. This is the one we know today.


Why Penn Station Sucks


Credit:


Eric Baetscher.

Penn Station was only 40 years old at this point, but already its days were already numbered. After World War II, passenger trains just weren't as popular anymore. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company couldn't afford the upkeep of Penn Station's grandeur. Its glory gave way to grime.


Pennsylvania Railroad executives knew that they could profit if they could rent out the space above the station to a big, tall building. There were proposals to build parking garages, amphitheaters, and a 40-story office tower. But the one that won out was the futuristic sports and entertainment palace—Madison Square Garden.


A deal was struck: Pennsylvania Railroad would keep the train tracks in place, and sell the air rights above them. Penn Station would be demolished in the process.


Why Penn Station Sucks


Courtesy of


New York Architecture.

The only New Yorkers who seemed to care about the destruction of Penn Station was a small group of activist architects who called themselves AGBANY—the "Action Group for Better Architecture in New York."


On August 2, 1962, two hundred architects marched up and down 7th Avenue shouting slogans like "Polish don't demolish!" and "Save our Heritage!" The men wore suits, the women wore white gloves and pearl, the lettering on their signs was impeccable. But demolition continued on schedule.


A year later, on October 28, 1963, jackhammers tore into Penn Station's granite slabs. The demolition took about three years. By 1966, most of Penn Station's remains—the Doric columns, the granite and travertine details—had been dumped in a New Jersey swamp.


Why Penn Station Sucks


Credit:


Rickyrab.

The new Penn Station was summarily hated by everyone. In 1968, architectural historian Vincent J. Scully famously remarked that where as before, "One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat."


After the destruction of Penn Station, Mayor Robert Wagner created the first Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 1965, the group helped pass the city's first ever Landmarks laws so that something as drastic as the destruction of Penn Station, never happened again. The Landmarks Laws passed unanimously.


But the Landmark Laws didn't have teeth. They didn't protect anything inside a building, or scenic parks. Most problematically, they didn't meet very often—they gathered only six months per three-year period. When they were out of session, the bull dozer and wrecking ball operated at will.


Many historic buildings continued to fall even after the Landmark Laws were passed. Among the victims were the Singer Building, once the tallest building in the world; the old Metropolitan Opera House; and Radio Row, an entire business district which was razed to make way for World Trade Center.


And in 1968, Penn Station's old rival, Grand Central Terminal was slated to join this list.


Why Penn Station Sucks


Grand Central. Credit:


Diliff.

But then it got a celebrity endorsement: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


Why Penn Station Sucks


With Jackie O. so prominently involved, the fight went from a New York battle to a national one. The case went to the Supreme Court, and on June 26, 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New York City's Landmark Law.


Justice William Brennen wrote of Grand Central's architecture: "Such examples are not so plentiful in New York City that we can afford to lose any of the few we have. And we must preserve them in a meaningful way."


Why Penn Station Sucks


Credit: Lloyd Trufelman.


Reporter Ann Heppermann spoke with


Jill Jonnes, author of Conquering Gotham; Peter Samton, one-time architecture activist withAGBANY; reporter Roberta Gratz; and preservationist Kent Barwick.

Editorial assistance on this story was provided by


Julia Barton.


99% Invisible, the greatest podcast of all time, is a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. You can Like them on Facebook here or follow them on Twitter here. To subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, head over here.This post has been republished with permission from Roman Mars. It was originally published on 99% Invisible's blog, which accompanies each podcast.



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This iPod prototype will set you back $4,495

Prices on classic iPods saw a bit of a spike once Apple silently put an axe in the beloved media player but you might need to take out a loan if you're hoping to bring home this particular piece of Apple history. Currently up for bids on eBay is a su...



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2 Dead, 1 Injured in Anti-Terrorism Raid in Belgium: Officials

Officials said Thursday there were two casualties in Verviers, Belgium, during a counter-terrorism raid. Several people were also detained.

















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Mormon Church Moves to Excommunicate Progressive

John Dehlin hosts a podcast that tackles hot-button issues and he supports gay rights and women's ordination.

















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Elon Musk Boosts Hyperloop With Talk of Texas Track

Billionaire Elon Musk says he'll build a Hyperloop test track, "most likely in Texas," that can be used to try out rapid-transit pod designs.





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The Rule That Could Trip Christie in 2016

The rules bar many state officials from receiving substantial political contributions from financial advisers interested in state contracts





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Robocallers Are Coming After Your Cellphone

Businesses are lobbying the government to make change the law so they can robocall your cellphone, even without your prior permission.





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Mobile Malware Jumped 75 Percent in 2014: Report

In the U.S. mobile malware rates jumped 75 percent in 2014 from 2013, according to a report published Thursday by the mobile security firm Lookout.





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Swift’s Remarkable Rise in the RedMonk Programming Language Rankings





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Bidding On Super-Rare NES Game Hits $32,000

Just days after it came online, an eBay auction for ultra-rare NES game Stadium Events has reached about the price of a new car. Bidding opened on January 5 at $5,000 and quickly rose to where it sits today at $22,100. A total of nine people have submitted bids so far.



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A Restaurant With A Waiting List Of 60,000

Imagine a pop-up restaurant that holds 56 people, has two daily seatings and a reservation waiting list of 60,000. Now imagine being the last person on that list. That may be the very definition of optimism.



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This Guy's Truck Might Not Contain Enough Guns

We don't know who this man feels so threatened by, but he's obviously prepared for any scenario that could be solved using firearms. On second thought, he could use a few more handguns. And just a couple dozen rocket launchers. Maybe a tank or two.



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Has Google figured out the future of Google Glass?

At one point, a consumer version of Google Glass was expected to launch in early 2014. That’s what Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said in April 2013, anyway, adding that the model that consumers would purchase would likely see some changes from the Explorer Edition. We’re […]

Has Google figured out the future of Google Glass? originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.


Continue reading…






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Cities cheer Obama's push for municipal broadband

Southeast Orlando residents to fight Lake Nona's Voxx project

New York vehicle equipment maker Voxx International Corp. will build a new 125,000-square-foot office and manufacturing center in the planned Lake Nona Airport Business Park. Most of Orlando's business community is excited about a New York electronic car equipment maker's plans to relocate its headquarters from New York to Lake Nona and hundreds of jobs it will bring with it - but a group of neighboring residents isn't having it.






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Yelp passes 100K registered developers for its API, plans ‘off the shelf’ tools so anyone can use its data

Its extensive store of detailed restaurant and retail information makes Yelp a valuable source for an application that wants to make consumer recommendations.




















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Comcast Sued For Unauthorized Credit Checks -



A new class action lawsuit against Comcast accuses the cable giant of performing unauthorized credit checks on new customers. The lawsuit claims a new customer paid Comcast the $50 fee necessary to waive and refuse the credit check, but that Comcast proceeded to perform the check anyway. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits companies from obtaining consumer reports without authorization.



The suit claims this is a fairly common practice, citing "numerous reports of customers experiencing a credit inquiry from Comcast after deposit to avoid said inquiry." In several instances the lawsuit claims Comcast conducted "hard pull" credit checks (checks that can harm your credit score) without authorization.



This certainly wouldn't be the only instance of Comcast's left hand no knowing what the right hand was doing. A frequent complaint in our Comcast forum over the years is that the company likes to bill customers for modem rental -- even after users make it repeatedly clear they've purchased their own modems. There's a long standing Comcast customer debate over whether these errors are intentional -- or the result of Comcast's well-known internal dysfunction.



Comcast Credit Check Lawsuit








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Your keys to safer, even more secure healthcare cloud ...

In my last HealthBlog post, I made the case that we need to focus more on simplicity in healthcare and health IT. Simplicity should be the watchword for ...



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Blogs | The ASP.NET Site

ASP.NET Community Blogs. Recent Blog Posts. Subscribe via rss. RSS Feed. Recent Popular Tags.NET ActiveDirectory AngularJS ASP.NET ...



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All Blog Posts - Blogs : The Official Microsoft IIS Site

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MSDN Blogs - MSDN Blogs

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The Old New Thing - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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Azure Virtual Machine Images for Visual Studio - The ...

MSDN Blogs > The Visual Studio Blog > Azure Virtual Machine Images for Visual Studio. Server & Tools Blogs > Developer Tools Blogs > The Visual Studio Blog.



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DirectX 12 - DirectX Developer Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

What's the big deal? DirectX 12 introduces the next version of Direct3D, the graphics API at the heart of DirectX. Direct3D is one of the most critical ...



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Developer Tools Blogs - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

MSDN Blogs > Developer Tools Blogs. Server & Tools Blogs > Developer Tools Blogs. Executive Bloggers. Scott Guthrie; S. Somasegar; Brian Harry; Steve Guggenheimer ...



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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog - MSDN Blogs - MSDN Blogs

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Somasegar's blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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.NET Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

The .NET blog (AKA: dotnet blog) discusses new features in the .NET Framework and important issues for .NET developers.



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