The new Google Maps for iPhone

I’m quite glad Google maps is back on the iPhone. I find its accuracy and ability to give me transit directions most useful.

Here are a couple of screenshots of Google doing what it does best.

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God, why won’t you just sign in already? We’ve creeped on you as much as we can from the outside, now we want to be inside. Come on. Let us in. We’re you’re friends! We won’t hurt you.

Good job Google, I can feel the slime oozing all the way from Mountain View.

Allergy bullying: When food is a weapon | CNN

(CNN) – In kindergarten, Owen Kellogg came home sobbing one day because another boy at school had told him that he had a peanut, and that he was going to force Owen to eat it.

CNN was never a good news source – but the combination of Piers Morgan pontificating on the superiority of the British system of non-freedom and now this?

Yep, CNN is down the shitter.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/05/health/bullying-food-allergies/index.html

Microsoft inks $617 million deal to bring Windows 8 to 330,000 Department of Defense employees | GeekWire

“[The agreement] recognizes the shift to mobility,” said David G. Simpson, DISA’s vice director and senior procurement executive. “Microsoft is committed to making sure that the technology within the agreement has a mobile-first focus, and we expect to begin to take advantage of Microsoft’s mobile offerings as part of our enterprise mobility ecosystem.”

Make no mistake – there can be no shift to mobility. You cannot productively work with a computer unless you are sitting down and focusing on the task at hand. That means table and chair, or laptop at the very least.

You most certainly can’t get anything done on a device with an App Store. It is, in its very essence, not a tool for creativity.

Almost not worth linking to, for fear of feeding the troll.

ADDENDUM: There are some big benefits outside of the schlock about mobility. Sharepoint 2013 provides ‘Skydrive Pro’ which enables internal cloud storage of documents (think Dropbox). This is a far more flexible and reliable way to work collaboratively than simple file sharing and can scale up to far bigger and more complex scenarios – Windows 8 and Office 2013 (and hopefully other business applications will) natively support this.

To my knowledge, Microsoft is the first company to strongly emphasize private cloud storage and that’s a pretty big leap forward.

My concern about Microsoft’s propaganda war against desktop software (in favor of Metro – yes I’m going to call it Metro) continues to run strong.

If consumer editions of Windows force us all into the App Store’s shackles, we’re doomed.

Read more: http://www.geekwire.com/2013/score-microsoft-defense-department-windows/

I Do Not Support the Troops | Common Dreams (Michael Moore)

Striking piece by Michael Moore on the hypocrisy of saying “I support our troops”.

I don’t yet know what the stats are for Canadian troops, though it’s common knowledge that we participate in the same cash/land/resource grabbing operations to our own ethical detriment.

I don’t “support the troops” or any of those other hollow and hypocritical platitudes uttered by Republicans and frightened Democrats. Here’s what I do support: I support them coming home. I support them being treated well. I support peace, and I beg any young person reading this who’s thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider. Our war department has done little to show you they won’t recklessly put your young life in harm’s way for a cause that has nothing to do with what you signed up for. They will not help you once they’ve used you and spit you back into society. If you’re a woman, they will not protect you from rapists in their ranks. And because you have a conscience and you know right from wrong, you do not want yourself being used to kill civilians in other countries who never did anything to hurt us. We are currently involved in at least a half-dozen military actions around the world. Don’t become the next statistic so that General Electric can post another record profit — while paying no taxes — taxes that otherwise would be paying for the artificial leg that they’ve kept you waiting for months to receive.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/03-6

Ubuntu Phone will likely get nowhere.

When consumers buy a smartphone they expect that there will be a suite of online services run by its vendor – they’ll be told to use these services, and they’ll happily obey.

If you ask people to buy a phone and choose their own services and products they’ll freak.

No one likes freedom – when they’re beset by it they throw off its shackles with all due haste.

Linux also lacks any semblance of a good CalDAV/CardDAV or ActiveSync implementation, which is the foundation of a smartphone’s usefulness as a synchronized e-mail, calendar and contact manager.

This is a non-starter.

Activists protest Microsoft deal | Egypt Independent

The main contention with the deal, the activists say, is that Microsoft products bought by the government are imported, expensive and their code source is usually closed and protected by rigid copyright rules which do not allow for knowledge sharing and generation. Meanwhile, an alternative lies with locally conceived, less expensive software, whose open code source enables copying, sharing and building more software.

I spent a good deal of my time off trying to generate some enthusiasm and appreciation for Windows 8 – surely there had to be wisdom of some kind behind its radical, schizoid redesign.

That’s right, I party hard.

Unfortunately all I encounter in my attempts is the death rattle of a hegemony in harsh and rapid decline – a harsh decline being pushed along by an influx of those who see the power and profitability of open source development – from the boardroom to the protestor on the street.

Read more: http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/activists-protest-microsoft-deal

Shrill backlash to men’s rights advocate | Toronto SUN

I’m firmly in the men’s rights camp at this point, especially because I’ve seen the way women can profit immensely from crying rape, or winning a man’s hard earned money in a divorce settlement forcing him to work until death or flee to a non-treaty country, simply because she has to leave the marriage to find herself yet can’t bear the thought of pulling her socks up and getting a job.

The law particularly in Ontario creates a blind bureaucracy that automatically robs men of power and security – even a relationship with a woman can end your freedom. Cohabit for 6 months and she wants a free ride? Common-law marriage. Your money is hers now.

Object to all this? You’re a dinosaur, a throwback who hates women.

The protesters in this article don’t surprise me in the least.

Read more: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/12/07/shrill-backlash-to-mens-rights-advocate

Samsung and TeliaSonera drop the set-top box with launch of world’s first IPTV solution for Smart TVs | The Next Web

The new technology allows Samsung’s Smart TVs — including Series 7 and Series 8 sets — to display IPTV services provided by Elion (part of the TeliaSonera group) in Estonia. The solution comes with full support for key linear, recording, catch-up and on-demand features.

From a technical point of view this is stupid. Swearing off set top boxes without a standard way to deliver to an IPTV means vendor lock-in at a time when competition is key.

Read more: http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2012/12/06/samsung-and-teliasonera-drop-the-set-top-box-with-launch-of-worlds-first-iptv-solution-for-smart-tvs/

European Telcos Feebly Try to Justify ITU Cash Grab | DSLReports

I’ve noted that while a lot of the talk of the UN “taking over the Internet” is American business interest hyperbole, international telcos have been using the upcoming talks about Internet governance to push the international telco dream of forcing content companies to subsidize network builds. It’s a cash grab by government-pampered monopolists, plain and simple.

Right now a secretive organization is meeting in private to make this and other decisions that could have a disastrous impact on the economic potential of the Internet and your freedom to use it.

Arab nations are pushing for regulation against blasphemy. To them, everything is blasphemy.

Though the United States has vowed to vigorously oppose regulation affecting freedoms, they do not have a vested interest in protecting all Internet freedom. Thus, they will have to abide by whatever is decided. All governments will.

Google is operating a site intended to educate people and call for them to speak up about this outrage. They have it here: https://www.google.com/intl/en/takeaction/whats-at-stake/

Read the original DSLReports article: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/European-Telcos-Feebly-Try-to-Justify-ITU-Cash-Grab-122259