The Facebook experiment has failed. Let’s go back.

Sign Success and FailureI am signed into Facebook right now. At a quick glance, the entire list of posts on the first screen are irrelevant to me. If I scrolled down I can find 4 stories I actually care about, from a list of about 30. The most important page on Facebook has more than three-fourths of absolutely useless content.

Surprising. Facebook is a company with a very large number of talented people. They know a lot about me. Yet, their product looks like one of those spam filled mailboxes from the nineties.

The problem is Sharing. It is the most fundamental feature of Facebook, and it’s completely broken.

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Sony’s Bread and Butter? It’s Not Electronics

Money Man 3TOKYO — Sony is best known as a consumer electronics company, making PlayStation game consoles and televisions. And it loses money on almost every gadget it sells.

Sony has made money making Hollywood movies and selling music. That profitable part of the business is what Daniel S. Loeb, an American investor and manager of the hedge fund Third Point, wants Sony to spin off to raise cash to resuscitate its electronics business.

But as Mr. Loeb pressures Sony executives to do more to revive the company’s ailing electronics arm, some analysts are asking, Why bother?

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Dell’s experimental ‘computer-on-a-stick’ shipping to developers in July

USB Data KeyOne of the most intriguing concepts for the future of the PC industry we’ve heard lately has been Dell’s Project Ophelia, a USB thumb drive-sized “computer-on-a-stick” that can plug into any monitor’s USB port to transform it into a makeshift computer capable of running multiple operating systems. PCWorld reports that an early version of Ophelia that will only run Android will ship out to developers starting in July and could ship out to consumers as soon as August. The first version of Ophelia “will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities and is aimed at users who do most of their computing on the Web,” says PCWorld, which means that monitors using Ophelia will be more like Chromebooks than traditional PCs.

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SAP to bring in autistic workers as software testers and programmers

digital dreamsFollowing successful pilots, SAP will step up its hiring of people on the autistic spectrum, the German business software firm announced. Working with an outfit called Specialisterne, the company will bring in hundreds of autistic staff around the world to work in fields such as software testing, programming and data quality assurance.

This is the latest move in what appears to be an interesting new trend. Plano, Texas-based CRM firm Alliance Data recently started seeking out workers on the autistic spectrum, as have other IT-related businesses such as the Berlin-based consultancy Auticon. SAP is the first major multinational to adopt similar hiring policies.

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Smart dust: Computers as small as a grain of sand

PowderSmartphones have shown that complex computing can be done on a very small scale but the next generation of computing will see devices shrinking even more dramatically. What is known as smart dust in computing parlance, these nano computers will be used to monitor and control infrastructure such as bridges and buildings and could even be implanted into the human body to monitor biological functions (not too dissimilar from the concept of nanorobots as discussed by Sharp Laboratories’ of Europe scientists).

At Michigan University they have recently created prototypes of these miniature computers which they are calling Michigan Micro Motes. Professor Prabal Dutta tells Humans Invent, “We take things that are on traditional computers like the processor, the ability to store data, the ability to communicate and the ability to sense the environment and you really just miniaturise them.”

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Conference Room“We have study hall at the beginning of our meetings.” says Jeff Bezos.

Staff meetings at Amazon begin with 30 minutes of silent reading.

Powerpoint is easy for presenter, hard for audience

“The traditional kind of corporate meeting starts with a presentation. Somebody gets up in front of the room and presents with a powerpoint presentation, some type of slide show.  In our view you get very little information, you get bullet points.  This is easy for the presenter, but difficult for the audience.  And so instead, all of our meetings are structured around a 6 page narrative memo.”

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Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years

A quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages has been running at Los Alamos National Labs for the last two and a half years, say researchers

 One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics.

The basic idea here is that the act of measuring a quantum object, such as a photon, always changes it. So any attempt to eavesdrop on a quantum message cannot fail to leave telltale signs of snooping that the receiver can detect. That allows anybody to send a “one-time pad” over a quantum network which can then be used for secure communication using conventional classical communication.

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Microsoft prepares U-turn on Windows 8

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Microsoft is preparing to reverse course over key elements of its Windows 8 operating system, marking one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago.

“Key aspects” of how the software is used will be changed when Microsoft releases an updated version of the operating system this year, Tami Reller, head of marketing and finance for the Windows business, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Referring to difficulties many users have had with mastering the software, she added: “The learning curve is definitely real.”

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‘Honeywords’ to trigger alarm when hackers compromise passwords

Security experts have proposed a simple way for websites to better secure highly sensitive databases used to store user passwords: the creation of false “honeyword” passcodes that when entered would trigger alarms that account hijacking attacks are underway.

The suggestion builds on the already established practice of creating dummy accounts known as honeypot accounts. It comes as dozens of high-profile sites watched user data become jeopardised — including LivingSocial,  dating site Zoosk,  Evernote,  Twitter,  LinkedIn, and eHarmony to name just a few from the past year. Because these dummy accounts don’t belong to legitimate users of the service and are normally never accessed, they can be used to send a warning to site administrators when attackers are able to log in to them. The new, complementary honeyword measure — proposed in a research paper titled “Honeywords: Making Password-Cracking Detectable — was devised by RSA Labs researcher Ari Juels and MIT cryptography professor Ronald Rivest, the latter who is the “R” in the RSA cryptography scheme.

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