Weekend tech reading: Firefox OS backed by phone makers, carriers

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Global allies give Mozilla's Firefox OS a mobile foothold Laying the groundwork for its nascent Firefox OS, Mozilla has won over a sizeable list of allies including LG Electronics and China Unicom, and the first phones with the browser-based operating system should arrive in the second quarter of the year. Mozilla announced today at the Mobile World Congress show here that it's persuaded 18 mobile network operators and four mobile phone makers to back its open-source mobile operating system. CNET

More, more, more -- how do you like it? At Wednesday night's "unveiling" of the PlayStation 4 in New York, Sony did not show us the PlayStation 4, which makes this the most postmodern unveiling I’ve ever attended. However, the various Sony honchos who took the stage at the Manhattan Center auditorium did describe the heart of the machine. It's "the gamer," or maybe it's the "consumer" -- same thing, apparently. The word "social" was used as a noun at many points, as it, too, lies at the core of the PlayStation 4. And then there's the "supercharged PC architecture." You want gigabytes? Brother, you can have all the gigabytes you need. Gameological

Six ways pirates can get around the coming 'Six Strikes' Speaking of piracy and the RIAA, the Six Strikes escalated warning system is about to kick in and the idea of Hollywood -- an unelected body of industry-connected officials who get to police the Internet -- being given that power is such a horribly flawed plan that it is nearly inconceivable the Copyright Alert System (CAS) will soon launch. AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have struck Six Strikes deals with the Center for Copyright Information devil (RIAA and MPAA members). Computerworld

Does your camera need a fast SD card? Flash memory cards for digital cameras are now absurdly cheap. A 64GB SD card can be bought online for around £30. That’s enough space to store 5,000 raw files produced by a typical DSLR – or upwards of 30,000 JPEGs. These cut-price cards come with a caveat, though. Their transfer rates are comparatively low, meaning that it can take several seconds to store an image once you’ve pressed the shutter. SD card manufacturers encourage serious photographers to pay more... PC Pro

Kenji Eno, Japan’s maverick game creator, dead at 42 Kenji Eno, creator of offbeat videogames such as D and Enemy Zero, passed away in Tokyo on Wednesday at the age of 42. The cause of death was heart failure, as confirmed on the website of fyto, the game developer of which Eno was president. Born in 1970, Eno (whose last name would usually be transliterated as Iino) started his career in the game industry at a developer called Interlink, working on games for the Famicom, Japan’s version of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Wired

Future of mobile CPUs, part 2: What’s ahead for the major players? In the first part of our series, we explored the major trends that will influence the mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC ) market over the next five to ten years. This sets the backdrop for looking at the architecture for future SoCs and the specific players within this market, both critical IP players as well as the actual SoC vendors. For the most part, this focuses on mid-range to high-end devices, rather than the lowest-end smartphones and tablets. Ars Technica

How to stop the bullies In the annals of middle-school mischief, the Facebook page Let’s Start Drama deserves an entry. The creator of the page -- no one knew her name, but everyone was sure she was a girl -- had a diabolical knack for sowing conflict among students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown, Connecticut. “Drama Queen,” as I came to think of her in the months I spent reporting at the school to write a book about bullying, knew exactly how to use the Internet to rile her audience. The Atlantic

The Internet Archive starts accepting Bitcoin donations Bitcoin is gaining popularity among mainstream sites lately and the latest to adopt the digital currency as a medium of donations and payments is the Internet Archive. Ready to accept donation in the form of Bitcoin, the Internet Archive announced that it wants to do so to pay some part of employees’ salaries, if they choose to, in Bitcoin. The Archive...is looking to start part salary payments in Bitcoin by April 2013 if everything goes well. Parity News

Researchers use ultrasound to improve SSD storage density Data storage is a tough industry to be in right now. Consumers are always looking for more capacity at a lower price point, and now we’re fighting with physics to allow high density storage. Instead of piling more platters or more flash chips in a smaller space, researchers at Oregon State University have found a way to harness high-frequency sound waves to allow for higher density magnetic storage. ExtremeTech

The new Firefox cookie policy The default Firefox cookie policy will, beginning with release 22, more closely reflect user privacy preferences. This mini-FAQ addresses some of the questions that I’ve received from Mozillans, web developers, and users. How does the new Firefox cookie policy work? Roughly: Only websites that you actually visit can use cookies to track you across the web. More precisely: If content has a first-party origin, nothing changes. Web Policy

Latency mitigation strategies Virtual reality (VR) is one of the most demanding human-in-the-loop applications from a latency standpoint.  The latency between the physical movement of a user’s head and updated photons from a head mounted display reaching their eyes is one of the most critical factors in providing a high quality experience. Human sensory systems can detect very small relative delays in parts of the visual or, especially, audio fields... John Carmack

Inside the GIF-industrial complex: how the animated image file took over the Internet One weekend afternoon in September, Mike Konczal sat down at his computer to research a blog post. Another miserable jobs report had restarted the debate about what, if anything, the Federal Reserve should do to help unemployed Americans find a job. Konczal, a Roosevelt Institute think tanker specializing in economics, wanted to write about it. The New Republic

Tech industry sets its sights on gambling Look out Las Vegas, here comes FarmVille. Silicon Valley is betting that online gambling is its next billion-dollar business, with developers across the industry turning casual games into occasions for adults to wager. At the moment these games are aimed overseas, where attitudes toward gambling are more relaxed and online betting is generally legal, and extremely lucrative. The NY Times

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