First Programmable Quantum Computer, Droid Bug Turns Out Mostly Harmless, and More

  • Facebook set to enact its new privacy policy
    Jolie O’Dell has the story at RWW. This is the same draft they published after objections. Apparently not enough users commented to the point where it needed further amendment. Facebook is also claiming much of the feedback was positive.
  • Microsoft official launches Azure
    It won’t be available for general use until early next year according to Ars, but RWW describes the launch event at the Redmond giant’s annual developer gathering. I was surprised to read that Mullenweg of Auttomatic participated though if his claims that Azure runs PHP and MySQL are true, why not?
  • Spain institutes right to broadband
    This will be support apparently through he carrier with the universal service contract. The right would be to a minimum speed service at a regulated price. Spain follows Finland who released announced a similar, though more ambitious, proposal.
  • Rollover bug mistaken for remote control of Droid phones
    I’ve actually professionally encountered this sort of bug in a device, before, similar to what Wired uncovered. I am surprised that this made it into the Droid give its provenance. To counter Gruber’s comments about how the press and public would react differently if this was the iPhone, I’d offer that for quite a bit of the Droid’s software stack, the sources are open for skeptics to audit for themselves.
  • Issues with verifying recovery.gov data
    This post from the Sunlight Foundation is a good basis for tempering enthusiasm for raw or, as Lessig recently put it, naked transparency though for different reasons. Here Hanlon’s Law, the one about incompetence before malice, seems to be in full effect. It does beg the question of how we can improve or establish the checks and audits that would have caught this.
  • First programmable quantum computer
    I hadn’t realized that the prototypes I’ve been reading about for the last few years were so task specific. Casey Johnston has the story at Ars of a new NIST design that is much more directly comparable to the classical, general purpose computers with which most of us are familiar.
  • FCC takes on cable, satellite operators over broadband access
    Cecilia Kang at the Post shares a write up of an FCC presentation taking issue with the lack of innovation and choice with the current cable and satellite operators. My only concern is the focus on television as a network access device, I hope we see this same zeal applied to the lack of choices for traditional broadband, as well.
  • New incubator to help bring technologists, government together
    RWW has an excellent write up of Anil Dash’s newly announced venture. They especially do an excellent job of contrasting Expert Labs to Tim O’Reilly’s similar and perhaps complementary efforts in this space. My only question–Anil, are you hiring?

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