Is there price discrimination among iPhone apps that translate between languages?
Is there price discrimination among iPhone apps that translate between languages?
By now, the financial woes of Lehman, Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual, and the many other troubled banks is old news.
But we may need to start preparing for another round of bank failures … in the virtual world.
If indeed it happens, a character named Ricdic will likely be to blame. Ricdic is part of Eve Online, which I have never heard of, but according to this BBC news report “has about 300,000 players all of whom inhabit the same online universe. The game revolves around trade, mining asteroids, and the efforts of different player-controlled corporations to take control of swathes of virtual space.”
A while back we wrote about Adeona, a free tracking program that could help police locate and recover a stolen laptop. As a bonus, we figured, thieves might be less inclined to steal any laptop, since every laptop they stole could potentially lead police to their doors. Enter Find My iPhone, a new service by Apple that does the same thing for your iPhone. After losing his phone in Chicago, one man recently tracked his phone down personally and confronted the thief, who, shocked at having been found, handed it back with a handshake.
Take a look at the final vote tally in Time magazine’s online poll of the most influential people.
It doesn’t take long to come to the conclusion that things didn’t turn out quite as one would expect; I’d never even heard of a handful of the folks who ended up near the top of the list, including the winner, Moot, who both has way more votes than anyone else and a much higher average rating.
You’ve probably already forgotten about Conficker, the computer worm, since it declined to wreak havoc as feared on April 1. Rest assured, Conficker has not forgotten about you. It’s currently operating on millions of computers around the world, and it’s still spreading and changing. Nobody knows what it will do next. As Bruce Schneier points out, the worm isn’t any . . .
This may sound like a chorus of goblins, but it’s really the sound of the internet — of two thousand people, each paid to make just one tone, synthesized into a rendition of the song “Daisy Bell.” Why this song? When scientists used a computer to synthesize music for the first time, in 1962, they used “Daisy.” A few years . . .
| On the one hand, URL shorteners are handy tools that shrink long, clumsy internet addresses into cute linklets that can fit into a Twitter message. On the other hand, writes Joshua Schachter, they needlessly slow internet traffic, pose a security risk, and can deprive site owners of valuable visitor information or even revenue. Shorteners can be helpful for individual . . .
| A California pornography company that owns the trademark Virtual Sex lost its bid to take over ownership of the domain name virtualsex.com from another company. The World Intellectual Property Organization ruled that Network Telephone Services, the current owner of the domain, “offered all the appropriate merchandise to match its namesake.” Might “Freakonomics” one day face a similar challenge from . . .
| It’s been a year since the American Journal of Psychiatry tried to have the internet committed — O.K., well, since it published an editorial arguing for the classification of internet addiction as a certifiable mental illness. The editorial isn’t clear about what exactly constitutes “excessive” internet use, but it points to a number of internet-related deaths in South Korea. . . .
Here’s an e-mail I received the other day: I own a manufacturing company and have been a successful investor and equity trader for 20 years. I have an in-depth understanding of the current O.T.C. derivative crisis that is infecting the global financial system. This led me to the acquisition of [REDACTED]-nomics.com as I saw the developing theme. I currently do . . .
Just one, as we learned a few weeks ago in Congressional Quarterly, which reported that Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, regularly Twittered details of his congressional delegation’s visit to Iraq, details that were supposed to be kept secret. With Twittering politicians on the rise, should we be worried about more national-security threats? . . .
Despite charges that it simply wants to grab web traffic, Time.com has bravely gone ahead with its second annual list of the Top 25 blogs on the web. And guess who made the list? Yep. For the second straight year. We’d like to thank the Academy … Seriously, we are flattered and thankful. Thanks especially to our excellent contributors and . . .
That’s how PMSBuddy.com pitches itself. To wit: PMSBuddy.com is a free service created with a single goal in mind: to keep you aware of when your wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, daughter, or any other women in your life are closing in on “that time of the month” – when things can get intense for what may seem to be no . . .
The Powerball lottery jackpot, which now stands at $20 million, is tough to win — and sometimes, nobody wins it. It’s incredibly hard to match all six numbers drawn for the game. To get an idea of just how long the odds are, software engineer Andrew Arrow built a clever little program that randomly generates six lottery numbers (including, naturally, . . .
It may be a gag, but from the looks of this eBay page, someone just sold the naming rights for her unborn baby — and two pairs of Nike Air baby booties — for $4,050. She doesn’t care what name the buyer chooses, but hopes it’s not one that will get her child’s “butt kicked.” The seller writes she did . . .
The one question I ask most often about the internet is the following: why do people make such great stuff and then give it away for free? The website Poptropica is a perfect example. Poptropica is a virtual online world in which children take part in adventures that require creativity, persistence, logic, and coordination to solve. If you have kids . . .
One of the coolest things about posting at Freakonomics is the chance to be educated by your high-quality comments, which add to our posts and sometimes correct our mistakes. But to be honest, every once in a while I have been depressed by the harsh general tone of criticism. (For example, the comments here got me down. To be specific, . . .
Sorry, moms: it turns out that reading in low light won’t make you go blind; going hatless in the winter won’t make you freeze to death; and you could eat poinsettias all day and not be poisoned. All this holiday medical myth-busting and more is courtesy of our somber friends at the British Medical Journal (part one and part two). . . .
Last week I did something that felt very 1990’s: I purchased a compact disc. The CD wasn’t for me; it was a Christmas present.
As I wrapped the CD, I pondered the silliness of the whole enterprise. After all, the recipient — like most of us these days — listens almost exclusively to MP3 files. In fact, I’m not even sure if he has a CD player beyond his laptop, which he will use to convert his disc-shaped gift into a more useful set of MP3 files.
Since last Wednesday, the torrent of junk e-mail coursing through the internet has been slowed dramatically, with 40 percent or more of it cut off at the source. The source of all that spam? San Jose, California. That’s where a group of servers responsible for much of the world’s spam had been operating until they were severed from the internet . . .
Do you ever feel the guilt-stare from a barista as you’re sitting in a cafe enjoying its free wireless? The cheapest patrons will nurse a coffee for three hours, while many will cave at the rate of roughly one beverage (or baked good) per hour. Rather than guilting e-freeloaders (which puts strain on customer-barista relations), some cafes ban laptops or . . .
Many of us spend a lot of time giving away our creative and intellectual labor for free: editing Wikipedia entries, putting our music on MySpace, blogging, micro-blogging, uploading photos to Flickr, putting videos on YouTube, and pasting goofy phrases onto cat pictures. Plenty of web sites make a living from the content that people provide for free. But Andrew Keen . . .
From airbedandbreakfast.com Social networking websites have changed the way we view our reputations, the way we organize protests, and now the way we … couch surf? AirBed&Breakfast lets travelers meet locals in 20 countries and book a few nights in their guest rooms, as an alternative to sleeping in a hotel. They are hoping to fill the gap as hotels . . .
From the department of curious legal precautions: Apple’s iTunes licensing agreement — which you have already agreed to if you’ve installed the latest version of the popular music software — contains a clause which prohibits anyone from using the program … … for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture, or production of . . .
In case you didn’t get your fill from our previous post, the e-mail guide Send — by The Times‘s OpEd editor, David Shipley, and former Hyperion Books editor-in-chief, Will Schwalbe — has a lot to say about e-mail mistakes. If you just made your own e-flub, visit their Web site, Thinkbeforeyousend.com — a collection of the worst e-mail mistakes. You’ll . . .
Several years ago I watched a particularly memorable “Law Revue” skit night at Yale. One of the skits had a group of students sitting at desks, facing the audience, listening to a professor drone on. All of the students were looking at laptops except for one, who had a deck of cards and was playing solitaire. The professor was outraged . . .
The other day, I received an e-mail that I shouldn’t have. While my name was indeed in the list of addressees, and while I knew some of the other addressees (as well as the sender), my name was plainly included by mistake. It took me about three seconds to figure this out, since the topic under discussion had nothing to . . .
Daniel Solove is amazed by what people will divulge about themselves (and others) online — usually unaware of consequences which can range from stardom to job loss. But in his recent book The Future of Reputation, Solove, an associate professor of law at George Washington University, explains why even someone with virtually no online footprint can suffer a similar fate . . .
Back when I worked as an editor at the Times Magazine, we held weekly or twice-weekly editorial meetings at which you’d go around the table and suggest story ideas. There were many varieties of ideas, including: Dutiful but Dull; Dutiful and Worthwhile; Sexy but Substance-Free; Just Not Interesting; and everyone’s favorite: Interesting — if True. Into this final category falls . . .