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Europe is free to roam, and guaranteed neutral. The BBC reports the European Parliament voted 534 to 25 in favor of a package of telecom reforms called Connected Continent, championed by EC Vice President Neelie Kroes. Among other things, the new regulations would get rid of roaming fees as of December 15th 2015. The package also included provisions protecting Net Neutrality and making it easier to build networking infrastructure. EU member states now must review and approve the regulations. The Commission expects final agreement by the end of the year.
Apple announced the dates for this years WorldWide Developers Conference at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. The highly-anticipated show will run from June 2 until June 6. Ars Technica reports tickets will be issued at random to any registered developer who signs up at Apple’s site by Monday April 7 at 10 AM Pacific Time. If selected, you get to spend $1,599 on a ticket by April 14th, or lose your spot. Tickets cannot be resold or given away.
Recode reports Mozilla confirmed in a blog post that CEO Brendan Eich is resigning from his position and from the Mozilla foundation board. Eich had contributed to a campaign to make gay marriage illegal in California. Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker told Recode that Eich’s ability to lead the company had been damaged by the continued scrutiny over the hot-button issue. The blog post from Mozilla stated “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”
TechCrunch passed along a report from The Information that Google executives met with Verizon officials in January to discuss creating a wireless network in locations where Google offers its fiber Internet. The idea apparently, was to make WiFi access points carry mobile traffic, but provide cellular data as a backup. Google could buy that data wholesale from a partner like Verizon, or become a virtual network operator, AKA an MVNO. Google ALSO met with Sprint in early 2012, before that company was bought by SoftBank.
Reuters reports Pavel Durov, founder of Russia’s largest social network, ВКонтакте, withdrew his resignation Thursday, two days after announcing he would leave his post as CEO. Durov at first said he was stepping down because his freedom in running the company had been reduced by shareholder changes. Durov said “my resignation at this difficult time would have been a betrayal of all that we have been defending for the last seven years.”
Reuters reports TIB, the Turkish telecom authority has lifted the two-week-long ban on Twitter as of Thursday afternoon, in response to an order from the constitutional court. A block against YouTube remains in place. Legal challenges against the YouTube block are pending.
Ars Technica reports researchers have demonstrated that computers can use algorithms to teach each other unfamiliar tasks, like how to play Pac-Man or StarCraft. Before you shout SkyNet, Matt Taylor, the lead author on the published research, says the method only works on sequential decision-making tasks. Other general machine learning methods would not benefit from these techniques.
News From You:
MrAnthropology submitted the CNET story about Intel’s new 24-nanometer ‘Braswell’ system-on-a-chip unveiled at IDF in China. Braswell will follow in the footsteps of the Bay Trail chip used in low-cost PCs like Chromebooks. Intel also unveiled a 64-bit Android 4.4 KitKat kernel optimized for Intel Architecture devices. As well as a media box from QVOD running on a Bay Trail chip, arriving later this year. Oh and Intel is working with Xiaomi on a Widi-enabled set-top box.
LifeDownloaded passed along the AP story about the US Agency for International Development, AKA USAID, secretly developing a microblogging system over text messaging in Cuba called ZunZuneo, which is slang for the sound a hummingbird makes. Documents show the US planned to build up users through non-controversial content, then try to get things to turn political. At its peak the company had 40,000 users. When USAID felt it could no longer hid its involvement, they tried to find new managers, then eventually the service shut down in 2012.
metalfreak sent us the muktware article the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has issued “a directive to local government departments asking them to switch over to open source software, in the wake of Microsoft’s decision to end support for Windows XP this month. The government claims hardware upgrades would make it too expensive to switch to Windows 8. IN its place computers will run “BOSS” a custom Linux distro that the government designed themselves.
And MikePKennedy sent us the Wired story that Tesla and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers called for the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to allow cameras to replace rearview mirrors in cars. This follows a new US rule requiring all new vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds to be equipped with back-up cameras beginning May 1, 2018.
Discussion Section Links: Google WiFi?
Pick of the Day: alternativeto.net via Komei from Lovely Fremont
My favorite tool is a website that helps me find my favorite tools 🙂 It is called alternativeto.net
When you have questions such as “Is there a tool like WinZip on the Mac?”, “What was the name of that free program that works like Photoshop?” or “Is everyone still using ACDSee?”, then you can enter the name of the tool you have in mind, and the website will list all similar programs by popularity. You can also narrow the search by platform or by license type (free, open source, or commercial). I use both Mac and Windows and this site helped me populate my machines with nice tools.
Cheers, Komei from Lovely Fremont
Friday’s Guest: Darren Kitchen & Len Peralta