Social networking sites: a postmortem
: One articulate users' decision to abandon social network sites, as "officially useless to me.. [Their] messaging functionality offers nothing but an extra spam channel .. What this indicates to me, incidentally, is something wonderful: that people are so manifold and multiple that the mere fact of friendship with someone is a remarkably poor predictor of affinity for that person's own friends. At least the people I seem to know. Walt Whitman would be delighted" 10:15:35 PM
3D Holograms Detect Fake Signatures
: Scanning handwritten text with lasers can measure the 3D structure of the writing. From that it's possible to infer the pressure and direction of the writing. With those attributes, identification of the author is much better than 2D analysis, approaching 100%. Ancient manuscripts could be easier to identify; and maybe there's new life in the signature as a biometric ID? [Thanks again Roland
! I'm catching up on a whole summer's worth of your excellent work!] 10:08:12 PM
Microsoft OS for third world: "Microsoft is set to roll-out a 'no-frills', low-cost version of its Windows XP operating system for third world markets. The new OS, Windows XP Starter Edition, offers lower-resolution graphics and restricts the ability to connect computers via a network. Also, the OS can only run three programmes at any one time. The stripped-down edition of the operating system is an attempt to undercut the spread of Linux in developing countries."
Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and 2 other countries are in the rollout. "As part of the program, certain schools in 67 developing nations can qualify for free upgrades to the regular Windows software and for copies of Microsoft Office that cost $2.50. "
Gartner released a report on it, approving the concept, but criticizing certain limitations and the lack of an upgrade path to the full XP editions. "Microsoft would continue to gather feedback from consumers over the next 12 months." 2:02:26 PM