After 40 years, Sony retires Betamax


You'd be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end.

The last recorders were sold in 2002.

ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge] Read the rest

In leaked document, Comcast admits data caps are not about congestion

comcass comcast donkey

A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company's consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims.

The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are required for the public good: to manage traffic, to give everyone fair access to the "road," to stymie abusive or selfish "drivers," you shouldn't be using more than 250 gigabytes of data each month. Read the rest

Upvote this: Teach kids in underserved communities how to code with Minecraft

Camp Minecraft. The goal: Bring it to more kids whose families can't pay.

LA Makerspace co-founder Tara Tiger Brown shares a project that her kid-friendly maker workshop is trying to make a reality.

Read the rest

13 million passwords compromised in webhost hack

The web-hosting service 000Webhost stored user passwords as plain text. We know this because 13 million of them were exposed in a five-month old hack whose consequences are only now becoming clear. Read the rest

Powerful new tool literally blasts mean internet comments to smithereens


Tanner Stokes of Herp Derp fame has done it again. He invented what we have all longed for, since the internet began: an effective way to shut people up.

“Plasma ball destroys the web.”

Yes, friends, Tanner's latest creation is the answer to unfriendly YouTube comments, harassing or abusive Facebook posts, douchey viral ads, you name it. Whatever on the internet is wrong. Read the rest

Sparkle Labs' Amy Parness on "pink girly engineering kits"


I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with "pink girly engineering kits." From Medium: Read the rest

Zero UI will "change design"


Zero UI is the new term for "invisible interfaces"—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: "If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way." [Fast Company] Read the rest

Twitter chief resigns

Dick Costolo. Photo: Stephen Lam, Reuters
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey

Recode joins Vox Media


Recode, the tech news site founded last year by former WSJ journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, is being sold to Vox Media in an all-stock deal.

This is the next big step in our mission to bring you quality tech journalism, because our work will now be amplified and enhanced by Vox Media’s deep and broad skill set. … Re/code will benefit from joining Vox Media by integrating Vox Media’s various capabilities — including marketing, communications, audience development, sales and production. We will also eventually migrate to Vox Media’s beautiful, powerful and flexible proprietary publishing platform, which will give us new ways to present our stories to you.

Growth is the watchword, but it's startling that access to a different content management system is worthy of mention. WordPress just isn't working for publishers, it seems. The Verge, Vox's sprawling gadgets/tech/entertainment hub, will tighten its focus to make way.

Verge Editor Nilay Patel:

…along the way, we made a big decision: The Verge is not a business site. The Verge is for people interested in understanding the exciting and bewildering everyday changes of the future. It's for all of us trying to figure out how we should live and act and behave in this enchanting new world of screens. It's for people wondering what to spend their money on — and for people thinking about how spending that money affects everyone else around them. It's for knowing about trends and ideas across technology and culture first. It's about art and science coming together to spark one of the fastest eras of change in history.

Read the rest

Remixing Taylor Swift to talk about women in tech

Sumana writes, " As Julie Pagano put it: 'So many 'diversity in tech' efforts are about getting young women into the pipeline; ignore the fact that there's a meat grinder at the end.'" Read the rest

CTO Megan Smith explains how women in tech are erased from history


Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith, stopped by the Charlie Rose show recently and revealed a starting fact Read the rest

Help improve diverse accessibility for PDX's Open Source Bridge conference

Sumana writes, "Open Source Bridge is already a leader among tech conferences in diversity-friendliness -- OSB featured a strong code of conduct, accessibility, well-labelled food for all needs, and cheap & free admissions before they became de rigeur, and in 2014 boasted a gender-balanced slate of speakers." Read the rest

Arse Elektronika sex/tech conference starts tomorrow in San Francisco

The theme this year is "trans *" and the event features "Talks, machines, games, workshops and performances;" runs from Oct 2-5 at San Francisco's Chez Poulet (3359 Cesar Chavez St). Read the rest

Kevin's List

Jason Weisberger imagines a near-future where Google gets a little too eager to please.

Online activism and why the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act must die

Courts have appreciated that even distributed denial of service attacks can be legitimate form of public protest. Molly Sauter on the insane U.S. law used to criminalize them and other forms of online activism.

Ello, what's all this then? An ad-free social network

A new social micro-blogging network, Ello, is flooded with users during its beta. Ello is predicated on not selling its users out or selling them stuff. Glenn Fleishman suggests it already needs to be held to the fire.

Security cruft means every exploit lives forever

Security failures will live on forever, because protocols have no sell-by date. Glenn Fleishman exposes the eternity we face with broken software.

More posts