Adobe Flash—that insecure, ubiquitous resource hog everyone hates to need—is under siege, again, and hopefully for the last time. The latest calls for its retirement come from some of the Internet’s most powerful players, but if the combined clattering of Facebook, Firefox, and a legion of unsatisfied users isn’t enough finally to put it in the ground, scroll down to see how to axe it from your devices yourself.
Source: Flash. Must. Die. | WIRED
On Thursday, four US senators led by Bernie Sanders (I-Va.) asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate how cable and broadband providers are charging their customers.
Source: Senators ask FCC to investigate cable and broadband prices | Ars Technica
From killer new productivity apps, to some of the most addicting games to ever land on the iPhone, you’d be forgiven for not being able to choose the best new offerings.
12 best iPhone apps of 2014 ~ Stuff.co.nz
A solar powered glowing bicycle path in Netherlands inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
More photos and video of this at: Solar-Powered Glowing Bicycle Path | Bored Panda
This animation distils hundreds of years of culture into just five minutes. A team of historians and scientists wanted to map cultural mobility, so they tracked the births and deaths of notable individuals like David, King of Israel, and Leonardo da Vinci, from 600 BC to the present day. Using them as a proxy for skills and ideas, their map reveals intellectual hotspots and tracks how empires rise and crumble. The information comes from Freebase, a Google-owned database of well-known people and places, and other catalogues of notable individuals. The team is based at the University of Texas at Dallas.
A little bit of humor on a hot summer day…
The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26.
*The Creative Commons-licensed version of The Internet’s Own Boy.
The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.
Even hardcore hackers like former Google engineer and open source developer Jeff Pickhardt have trouble remembering commands they don’t use that often. That’s why Pickhardt created Betty, a tool that translates plain English into Unix commands, the commands that popped up on the UNIX operating system in the ’70s and are still used by Apple’s OS X operating system, the open source Linux OS, and even Microsoft’s PowerShell environment.
Meet Betty, the Siri-Like App That Turns Plain English Into Code | WIRED
Today Microsoft released four security updates for Windows and Microsoft Office. These will be the last publicly-released updates for Windows XP and Office 2003.
Microsoft issues final Windows XP, Office 2003 patches | ZDNet
According to Saatchi, around 1,600 trees are felled and 170,000 litres of petrol are burned annually to meet the demand in Hong Kong for wrapping paper during Chinese New Year. To raise awareness of the issue, and encourage Hong Kong residents to recycle, the agency installed its Instant Newspaper Recycler at Sun Hung Kai’s East Point City shopping centre last weekend.
Creative Review – Saatchi & Saatchi turn newspapers into wrapping paper.
Light Table is an open source programming tool that lets programmers see the results of their code as their write it.
Out in the Open: These Hackers Want to Give You Coding Superpowers | Wired.com
Copyblogger calls this practice digital sharecropping, and it works in a similar fashion to the the feudal system, where the landlords reap the rewards, and the peasants do all the work.
We don’t know which empires will stand strong in the future. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn change their terms and conditions on a regular basis, and as tenants, we don’t know what they have in store for us.
Why you should consider investing in digital real estate – The Next Web
A Ukrainian startup launches an online service that lets people converse as they peruse a photo gallery together.
Live.pics.io lets you narrate online slideshows in the moment | Webware – CNET
Website Magazine has put together and will continue to update an Acronym Guide for the digital professional.
The Digital Professional's Acronym Guide – Website Magazine
There are new interception hurdles everywhere you look. Even plain old SSL encryption is becoming more difficult to snoop on. Previously, governments could rely on complicit or compromised certificate authorities to provide them with the means to intercept encrypted traffic. Thanks to the Iranian government’s overly enthusiastic use of this technique, Google made changes to the Chrome browser to neuter the practice. Similar updates are expected soon in Internet Explorer. There goes another interception technique for law enforcement!
Tech Companies and Government May Soon Go to War Over Surveillance | Wired Opinion | Wired.com
A 2012 report from the New America Foundation found that residents of major American cities pay more money for slower Internet service than their counterparts in major cities around the world. Case in point: in Hong Kong, roughly $35 gets you access to a fiber-optics network with 500 Mbps download speed; in New York or Washington, it gets you a cable network at 25 Mbps.
Why the US should build a national internet system – Quartz