Sunday, January 18, 2015

Still a worry. As Russia's oil income drops, will they give this up or push harder?
Ukraine's military says troops retake most of Donetsk airport from rebels
Ukrainian troops launched a "mass operation" overnight retaking almost all the territory of Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine lost to separatists in recent weeks, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said on Sunday.
… With attempts to restart peace talks stalled, pro-Russian rebels have stepped up attacks in the past week, seizing from government troops parts of the airport, which is of strategic value to both sides.

Is this the new “Chicken in every pot?”
Gov. Cuomo Pledges 'Broadband Access For Every New Yorker'
Within the next four years, every New York resident will have access to high-speed Internet, or so that's the promise of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
… To qualify for the funding, ISPs must commit to a 1:1 financial match, which in turn will push the program above the $1 billion mark. They must also provide Internet speeds of at least 100Mbps -- Cuomo's administration will prioritize ISPs that deliver the highest speeds at the lowest cost -- though in some limited cases, providers may offer 25Mbps speeds to extremely remote unserved and underserved areas of the state as long as it's scalable to 100Mbps or more.

Perspective. Access to everything, at any time, cheap.
The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation
… When you own a book, what do you actually own? You don’t own the contents; you don’t own the words written inside. The text itself is generally protected by copyright, and is owned by the creator or publisher. You just own the physical object – the pages that hold the tale, not the tale itself.
What about digital files? Well the situation is the same. You probably own the device you’re reading the ebook on, but you don’t own the content you’re reading. Without the constraints of a physical book, publishers need some way of transferring the information to you without transferring ownership of the file. The way they do that is with a licensing agreement.
… And if owning something tangible has no appeal, why would owning a nebulous license for a digital copy?
This is why services like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited are so great. We get almost all the benefits of piracy — instant access to all the content you could want — without the downsides, all for a reasonable monthly fee. What’s not to love?
Rather than purchasing a one-off license for a single piece of digital content, you subscribe on an ongoing basis to a license that gives you access to a far larger collection of media than you could ever, even in a lifetime, amass on your own.
… Streaming services are getting bigger and bigger. Spotify just passed 60 million users and shows no sign of stopping. Netflix accounts for 35% of US Internet traffic. These services aren’t going away.
… What it means to “own” a piece of intellectual property has always been a bit nebulous – with digital files, it’s even more so. What we think of as ownership really ended with the rise of services like iTunes and the Kindle Store, which explicitly sell licenses. But now it’s truly dead.
Piracy has bred a generation that expect instant digital access to content. We don’t care about having CDs, books or DVDs lying on a shelf – let alone digital files sitting on a hard drive. We don’t want to own a movie, we just want to watch it.

Perspective. I don't look forward to this generation running the world...
One Direction's tweet now more popular than Obama post
A tweet from One Direction's Louis Tomlinson to Harry Styles has become the second most retweeted post of all time.
It's now been shared more than 750,000 times.
… Both still have a long way to go to beat the famous Oscar selfie posted by Ellen DeGeneres. So far that has been retweeted more than three million times.

One of my students was showing this free App to me yesterday. He used it to translate the textbook into Spanish on the fly (scrolling with video rather than one static picture at a time). Very impressive.
Pardon? Testing Google's speedy translation tool
Google has announced a significant upgrade to its Translate app. The search giant says it can now, almost instantaneously, interpret and translate between seven languages.
Google says the app can even translate text - such as on a menu or road sign - without the need for a data connection.
Microsoft recently released its own translation tool for Skype which allows for conversations between people speaking different languages to happen in almost real-time.

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