Kindle Fire HD 8.9 vs. iPad 3: Is the Apple Experience really worth $200? On paper, the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 blows the iPad 3 out of the water. The Fire HD is thinner, lighter, and smaller than the iPad 3. The Fire HD has dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, while the iPad has a single mono speaker. Where the iPad 3 is capable of 22Mbps 802.11n WiFi, the Fire HD has a MIMO antenna capable of 31Mbps. But most importantly, the 16GB Fire HD -- with its 1920×1200 (254 PPI) Retina-equivalent screen! -- is a full 200 dollars cheaper than the 16GB iPad 3. ExtremeTech
The one hundred dollar question The last two days have been most enlightening, in ways I had not anticipated. It all began when Valve announced that Greenlight, the vote-based submission system for Steam, would now come with a $100 price tag for developers. The money wouldn’t go to Valve, but to a popular (with gamers) charity called Child's Play; the point of the fee was not to enrich Valve, but to stop all the bogus and unprofessional submissions that were flooding the system. A few developers said "$100 is a lot for some people." Then all hell broke lose, and my understanding of the indie scene was permanently altered. Jonas Kyratzes
An open letter to Wikipedia Dear Wikipedia, I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel "The Human Stain." The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip -- there is no truth in it at all. Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the "English Wikipedia Administrator" that I, Roth, was not a credible source. The New Yorker
This letter from PayPal's President might just make you believe in the company again It began in May with a frustrated customer, Andy McMillan, discovering his PayPal had been locked. Nothing new. Frustrating, but usually remediable with a phone call or a couple of emails. Over the course of several months however, McMillan, organiser of the popular Build Conference, attempted to work with PayPal to remove limitation after limitation on his now two PayPal accounts (PayPal requested he create another). The final straw came after waiting months for PayPal’s Executive Escalations department to respond. The Next Web
Game maker without a rule book This is no Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Every way I look, the scene shifts, the battle unfolds. I have a crazy contraption strapped to my head: a boxy set of goggles that looks like a 22nd-century version of a View-Master. It immerses me in a virtual world. I whirl one way and see zombies preparing to snack on my flesh. I turn another and wonder what fresh hell awaits. Behold the future of video games. Or at least the future as envisioned by a bunch of gamers, programmers, tinkers and dreamers at the Valve Corporation here. The NY Times
Sleuths trace new zero-day attacks to hackers who hit Google It's been more than two years since Google broke corporate protocol by revealing that it had been the victim of a persistent and sophisticated hack, traced to intruders in China that the company all but said were working for the government. And it turns out the hacker gang that hit the search giant hasn’t been resting on its reputation; it’s been busy targeting other companies and organizations, using some of the same methods of attack, as well as a remarkable menu of valuable zero-day vulnerabilities. Wired
FBI launches $1 billion face recognition project "FACE recognition is 'now'," declared Alessandro Acquisti of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in a testimony before the US Senate in July. It certainly seems that way. As part of an update to the national fingerprint database, the FBI has begun rolling out facial recognition to identify criminals. It will form part of the bureau's long-awaited, $1 billion Next Generation Identification (NGI) programme, which will also add biometrics such as iris scans, DNA analysis and voice identification to the toolkit. New Scientist
Why Johnny can't stream: How video copyright went insane Suppose I could offer you a choice of two technologies for watching TV online. Behind Door Number One sits a free-to-watch service that uses off-the-shelf technology and that buffers just enough of each show to put the live stream on the Internet. Behind Door Number Two lies a subscription service that requires custom-designed hardware and makes dozens of copies of each show. Which sounds easier to build—and to use? More importantly, which is more likely to be legal? Ars Technica
How Google builds its maps -- and what it means for the future of everything Behind every Google Map, there is a much more complex map that's the key to your queries but hidden from your view. The deep map contains the logic of places: their no-left-turns and freeway on-ramps, speed limits and traffic conditions. This is the data that you're drawing from when you ask Google to navigate you from point A to point B -- and last week, Google showed me the internal map and demonstrated how it was built. The Atlantic
New images of Apple's Campus 2 building show amazing detail A reliable source provided us with the official Apple Campus 2 blueprints yesterday, and these are just a few of the confidential images, which illustrate the mammoth building currently in development. The spaceship-like building, called "Campus 2″, is nearly a mile in circumference. Apple bought the campus' land from HP and other neighbors in Cupertino, Calif., for around $300 million. 9to5Mac
5 tips for making great animations for 2D games In this era dominated by 3D games, when even the latest versions of Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros. are made up of polygonized characters, quality sprite-based 2D games are rare. Many now consider the process behind making beautifully animated productions like Metal Slug or Aladdin to be a lost art, forgotten and undervalued as developers chased the excitement and economy of 3D graphics. Gamasutra
Should bogus copyright takedown senders be punished? Every week copyright holders send out millions of takedown notices to websites all across the Internet. While the majority of these claims are legitimate, a healthy percentage are not. These “errors” can cause serious harm to the public, but the senders are never held responsible for their mistakes. Perhaps it’s time to punish repeat senders of bogus takedown notices? TorrentFreak
The state of Internet Explorer after installing the top 20 downloads from Download.com Does this sound familiar? You get a call from your parents. There's some problem with their computer. The printer isn't working, the computer won't connect to the wireless network or something like that. You go there and fix the problem, but while troubleshooting you also notice that there are some new toolbars in their web browser. FreeFixer
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
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