Ok, another day - another round-up of shit worth reading around the internet. Got a few emails from people saying they've enjoyed this portion of my blog, and seeing as that not everything I write can be pissing off band members ... it's been a nice way to break up my day when I'm posting news.
With Microsoft having killed off the development of any future Zune hardware, the Zune brand is a bit… tarnished. It makes sense, then, that they’d be looking for something to replace their “Zune Pass” music subscription service. According to the latest whispers out of the rumor mill, Microsoft will show off a new, Xbox-branded music service at this year’s E3. Currently running under the codename “Woodstock”, the service is said to look and act quite a bit like Spotify, with a heavy focus on social interaction and collaborative playlists.
Tip: MSFT -- do less "me too" shit and do more innovative shit. Win8 looks gimmicky and oddly like traffic signs, Windows Phone looks 5 years too late. Do something new. - JT
After flops like the Google Buzz and +1 buttons, and plenty of competition, it’s going to be a tough sell. In the end, it could backfire, sidestepping the bullshit registered user counts Google cites as awesome growth and exposing the social network as a place few people spend time. And it’s all kind of sad because the G+ Share button could be the answer to the Google+ content drought.
So on the one hand, we can consider that 11.8 million iPads sold is an increase of 151 percent year-over-year. 151 percent growth in a product segment in which every major player in the industry — from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Intel to Samsung — is racing to gain as big a foothold as they can.
But on the other hand, we can compare 11.8 million iPads sold to the guesses of a bunch of Wall Street analysts. Let’s do it that way.
Skype 1.0 for Windows Phone lets you make Skype video and voice calls over 3G and WiFi, search for and add contacts, and make calls to landlines. However, no one can call you via Skype unless you have the app open and running on your phone. Unlike Android and iOS, Skype needs to be your active app in order to receive calls as there is no background functionality at all in the app.
It’s a very common user mindset: they tolerate a lot of limitations, ads, and nags to avoid paying. It’s not that they’re cheap, per se: they just really don’t believe that apps are worth paying for, and they feel cheated or defeated if they end up needing to pay for one.
It’s not worth trying to appeal to them with a paid app. In most cases, the conversion rate will be so poor that it’s not worth the cost of maintaining two apps and supporting the free users.
Even if you’ve never heard of a “Favicon”, you’ve almost certainly seen one. When you bookmark a site, and that bookmark has a little custom icon? Bam! That’s the favicon. Following a trend started by Google Chrome, Firefox will no longer show favicons in the address bar beginning in a few weeks. Why? Because big jerk hackers have learned to use the favicon to display a padlock, misleading even the more technically savvy users into thinking they’re on a secured website.
Dear Microsoft and Google employees, it’s great that you hate each other. Really, it is. I don’t give a shit. All I care about is writing something that in 5 years will be looked back upon as being right.
Your opinion on the matter does not matter at this point. Maybe a dick thing to say, but it’s true. Just keep quiet, or write your own post, putting your own thoughts on the line. Just don’t be a cowardly tweeter casually pretending that you have no skin in the game.
The notion of legalizing gay marriage is working its way steadily through the federal courts and, so far so good. The courts continue to like the idea of ending discrimination against homosexuals under the same constitutional clauses that helped the civil rights movement in the last century.
The question's fair. A few weeks ago, when I was in Sanford, George Zimmerman hadn't been arrested yet. C.J. Williams was one of many black Sanfordians worrying that the town would blow up if something wasn't done. He also wondered if Sharpton had done much good by coming down. "I’d like to see Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson do this, do their hoopla, when a white kid got shot," he said. "If Al Sharpton did that, his image would improve, you know?"
Since January 2010, the economy has, on net, created 3.5 million jobs. Real disposable income has increased by 1.8 percent in 2010, and 1.3 percent in 2011. The net private savings rate is up. Housing prices have continued to fall. Gas prices have risen by about $1.20.
So, to Romney’s list, it is easier to get a job, most workers are making more money, and most people are saving more. But the housing market has remained soft, and gas prices have risen.
It would be nice to stop there. That’s clean. It’s easy. But the unsatisfying truth is that you can’t just draw a graph from the beginning of 2009, or the beginning of 2010, and judge Obama based on whether the line went up or down. Believe me: If you could do that, I would have drawn the graph.
Political scientists have long known that you can predict most of what will happen in a presidential election with just a few key pieces of information: how the economy does, for instance, and the incumbent’s approval ratings in the summer. If you have those two numbers — even before you know the opponent, the campaign strategies or the issues — you can usually call the winner.
Americans watch about 147 hours of cable, satellite and broadcast television a month, a figure that hasn’t changed much in recent years, according to Nielsen, a media metrics firm. Now they are supplementing that with about 4.5 hours of online video each month, double the amount of three years ago. Younger viewers are watching even more hours online.
Net migration from Mexico has plummeted to zero thanks to changing demographic and economic conditions on both sides of the border, a new study says, even as political battles over illegal immigration heat up and the issue heads to the U.S. Supreme Court...The standstill, according to the report, results from declining immigration from Mexico paired with a rising number of people returning south from the U.S.
The share of pre-tax income accruing to the top 1% of earners in the U.S. has more than doubled to about 20% in 2010 from less than 10% in the 1970s. At the same time, the average federal income tax rate on top earners has declined significantly. Given the large current and projected deficits, should the top 1% be taxed more? Because U.S. income concentration is now so high, the potential tax revenue at stake is large...Will raising top tax rates significantly lower economic growth? In the postwar U.S., higher top tax rates tend to go with higher economic growth--not lower. Indeed, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP annual growth per capita (to adjust for population growth) averaged 1.68% between 1980 and 2010 when top tax rates were relatively low, while growth averaged 2.23% between 1950 and 1980 when top tax rates were at or above 70%.
So, agreement: China's ambition has to be watched and checked, somehow. But Rubio takes a more empathetic tack on Russia. "Putin might talk tough, but he knows he is weak," he says, "Everywhere he looks, he sees threats to his rule, real and imagined. And so he uses state-owned media to preach paranoia and anti-Western sentiments to Russians. He faces a rising China to the east and hostile Islamic forces to the South, but he tells his people the biggest threat they face is from NATO." Romney puts it in a Cold War context. Rubio, 25 years younger, puts it in a pathetic context.