Competition for listeners among digital music companies is tough (and getting tougher). But while each builds a business that it hopes will stand out enough from the rest of the pack, a new startup called Bop.fm, incubated at Y-Combinator this past summer, is blurring those distinctions a bit, with a platform that meshes all the services together on a universal platform -- a "canonical home for music on the internet," as Bop.fm's co-founder and CEO Shehzad Daredia puts it.
Bop works like this: You can search for and listen to any song on Bop.fm: Bop.fm detects what music subscriptions you may have and provides tracks from those services first -- currently it catalogues streaming services Spotify and Rdio, as well as free services like YouTube and SoundCloud, and paid-for download services like iTunes, Amazon and Google Play; it plans to add more. In cases where you do not subscribe to Spotify or Rdio, or the track is not available on either, a user is given a YouTube link, or a SoundCloud link. You also get options to buy and download tracks. In each case, what Bop.fm has done is use the digital "fingerprint" of each track effectively to map each of these services on top of each other so that you get just one option for listening to it, and one for purchasing.
Then, you can create a link to that song to share with others. That link comes back to Bop.fm, and as with your original listening experience, Bop.fm detects which services you use before serving a result.
This is a service that has been built with users in mind: it can be annoying when something is shared by someone that you cannot access. Living in London but connected to a lot of people in the U.S., I know this frustration firsthand. (I've lost count of the number of times that Twitter links to interesting video clips have taken me to static screens with a "sorry, not accessible in your region" message.) As Daredia tells me, "You don't have to use the same JPEG viewer when you look at a picture, so why should I have to use the same music service?" (Note to Bop.fm: please do this for video next.)
There is also a B2B2C relevance here: publishers or site operators who want to make sure that links that they are publishing, or allowing others to publish, work for everyone who sees them, not just those in a particular region.
As Geoff Ralston of Y-Combinator describes it, "The ongoing proliferation of music services such as these make a service like Bop a near inevitability." Indeed, without any obvious promotion, Bop.fm, in private beta, is already streaming 100,000 songs per day from consumer traffic and sites like RapGenius.com, one of Bop's first partners, where it powers music playback.
(And now, for a little music break to demonstrate the service, a hat-tip to music services working together harmoniously:)
When I first heard about Bop.fm, I was very intrigued. It reminds me a bit of another startup called Soundrop, which also integrating track playback across different music services; the difference is that it does so in communal "listening rooms" while Bop.fm offers the experience on a single-track basis, with options to purchase tracks alongside listening. Like Soundrop, Bop.fm has piqued the interest of music portals, as well as labels. For the former, it's a way of potentially bringing in more users to their platforms longer-term (free links can lead to paid subscriptions or paid downloads). For the latter, it will be yet another way of making sure that the marketing effort expended on an artist gets the biggest bang. In a digital music world that seems to have had fragmentation built into it, Bop.fm is providing a consumer- and business-friendly way out of that.
Between them, the two co-founders, Daredia and Stefan Gomez, know a thing or two about how to leverage the concept of aggregation to build successful, consumer-focused businesses. Daredia tells me that collectively they have worked at 11 sites built on search, including the travel juggernaut Kayak (where Daredia led user acquisition), Billshrink (eventually sold to MasterCard) and Foodily.
Longer term, you can see a lot of potential of Bop.fm, with the addition of playlists, more siloed music services, advertising, other merchandising and special pages dedicated to particular artists, and Bop getting used to power music on platforms that, like Bop.fm itself, want to see less friction and more grooving.
Utility player Willie Bloomquist has officially signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Mariners, bringing him back to the team he started his major league career with.
Duke's David Cutcliffe has been selected coach of the year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Since landing on Mars in August 2012, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has fired the laser on its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument more than 100,000 times at rock and soil targets up to about 23 feet (7 meters) away. This ...
Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark.
The Kennedy Center says it has raised an additional $40 million in gifts and pledges to fund the first major expansion of the memorial to President John F. Kennedy.
The Falcons don't know if they'll be facing Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS (8-4) at CINCINNATI (8-4)
Instagram has invited members of the media to an event in NYC on December 12 to "share a moment" with Kevin Systrom and the Instagram team.
It's unclear what this event is in reference to, but considering that the invitation was sent in the mail, on paper, the photo-sharing app could be hinting at a future in print. Other invites were a block of wood, another huge point toward the idea of a printing business.
It sounds ridiculous, considering the digital revolution is in full swing and paper is on its way out, but there is an entire ecosystem of applications, services, etc. that piggy backs off of Instagram's success.
A number of services print Instagram photos on wood, canvas, glass, and even marshmallows so that users can enjoy the physical incarnation of their digital obsession.
With Christmas around the corner, the introduction of a photo printing business could mean big bucks for the photo-sharing app, which has just recently introduced a revenue stream in Instagram ads.
So far, the roll out is slow and small, while reaction is unclear. Printing could be a strong way to bring in revenue with behemoth Facebook as a backup resource.
Of course, we'll have to wait until December 12 to find out.
As 2013 comes to a close, gun advocates can count up their impressive string of victories this year. They defeated the strongest push for new federal gun laws in a generation, handing President Obama an embarrassing defeat and defying the will of 90 percent of the American public. They saw Illinois,
The New Year is approaching quickly and that often provides a tangible cue for job seekers who may be looking for a new start. It even prompts some of us happily at work to consider other options out there, even if only briefly. That's just what the rekindling of a calendar turn is all about. So in that vein, what is 2014 going to bring us as it relates to job opportunities, work/life satisfaction and how companies are employing workers? One leading workplace trend will be the continued increase of choices around alternative ways to work. We saw huge strides made in 2013 with regard to the level of dialogue around workplace flexibility. There were new books and articles espousing ways for jobs and lives to work together (Anne Marie Slaughter and Sheryl Sandberg among the biggest), social leaders taking initiative (Arianna Huffington and Working Mother magazine among the many), and companies making headlines (Yahoo! and Best Buy to name a couple). Some were beneficial to the cause, some were not, and some offered a little of both. Here are my three forecasts for the upcoming year that will be important considerations should a job search be in your future. Use these insights for awareness and benefit as you plan to land a position in the New Year that meets both lifestyle needs and professional goals and aspirations. 1. Workplace flexibility will gain more footing as a social issue, both in terms of employee demand and public policy. It will be more and more difficult for companies to ignore the task of implementing at least some element of alternative work options since a growing number of organizations are doing just that. To be and stay competitive, flexibility is a valuable recruiting tool. San Francisco recently became the first city to enact legislation for working parents and caretakers, but the demographics of employees wanting flexibility aren't just those with kids. This will be an employee retention advantage for companies, and an opportunity for job seekers to ask for a more accommodating work situation.2. Staffing companies will become less transactional and more like long-term "agents" for job seekers. Most professionals realize the value of working with a recruiter when they need a job -- that certainly makes sense. But as the employment landscape shifts to focus on filling major gaps in skills and worker availability, staffing firms will want to keep tabs on the very best talent. Building an ongoing relationship and discussing ideal job prospects periodically with recruiters -- even when you aren't looking for a job -- will keep a professional top of mind should an opportunity come available. This will be a win/win/win for future job seekers, recruiters and the companies they serve. 3. Changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act will lead companies to staff in more non-traditional ways. Aside from whether or not a company will offer health benefits with a job, it might not be obvious how this is an important consideration for the job seeker. But here it is. There are endless unknowns around the long-term effects of the Affordable Care Act which is making companies wary of how they structure their employment model. I don't think it will reduce the rate at which companies hire as much as how they do it. Job seekers interested in working non-traditional jobs (whether related to time, place or duration) will have more doors opened by companies looking for different ways to employ. This will allow companies to fill their ranks, and offer more broad-minded professionals a chance to work. The main message here: Keep an open mind to the options. There are all kinds of opportunities for company and job seeker alike -- small organizations and large companies, the employed and unemployed, Millennials and Boomers, working parents and those wanting to "opt in" -- by just looking at the way we work a little differently. Our recent Mom Corps survey found that nearly half (48 percent) of all working adults surveyed agree that they would consider alternative work options like temping, contracting, part-time or a consulting gig instead of a full-time job. And there are all kinds of reasons for this, both personally and professionally motivated -- flexibility needs, a desire to vary expertise, making a career change, wanting to get back into a professional environment, etc. Professionals can work on a project basis to gain a varied skill set, or they can work in a temporary role with the mindset to position themselves for permanent employment with the company. Leveraging the natural movement of workforce and economic trends is one of the best ways to make the most of your job search. What do you predict for 2014? Do you have plans to expand your skill set or make a more work/life friendly move? Let's keep the dialogue going.This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power" which will take place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.
Urbanspoon today released its list of "10 Things Restaurants Won't Tell You," a list of restaurant practices that (surprise!) some might be shocked to learn.
Though I've never worked at a restaurant, I suspect some of the observations on the list to be true (especially No. 3).
It's an interesting list nonetheless. Here are the "10 Things Restaurants Won't Tell You," according to "restaurant staffers":
Lana Del Rey debuted her short film, "Tropico," this week, and made a major announcement at the premiere. After months of anticipation, Del Rey revealed that she will release a new album called "Ultra-Violence." The only detail Del Rey divulged on the upcoming project is the title. No word as of yet as to when fans can expect "Ultra-Violence." She made the album title public before the screening of "Tropico" at its Hollywood premiere. "I really just wanted us all to be together so I could try and visually close out my chapter before I release the new record, 'Ultra-Violence,'" Del Rey told the audience. This summer, multiple songs from the 27-year-old singer leaked, with one in particular making major waves. In August a track called "So Legit" hit the web, dissing Lady Gaga in the lyrics. Del Rey was asked about the progress of her album after the leaks, telling Nylon, "When people ask me about it, I just have to be honest, I really don't know. I don't want to say, 'Yeah, definitely, the next one's better than this one,' because I don't really hear a next one. My muse is very fickle. She only comes to me sometimes, which is annoying." Watch Del Rey's full 27-minute "Tropico" video below and keep an eye out for "Ultra-Violence" in the coming months.
As I wandered around the massive Orange County Convention Center in Orlando recently, I knew I was in for a different kind of experience than I previously had attending business conferences. For starters, I was surrounded by people speaking French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic, among others. I have to admit, I love the sound of other languages. If I close my eyes, I can take myself back to a country I'd once visited and revel in my traveler's memories. But being surrounded by so many fluent speakers in one place in the United States is a bit intimidating -- not to mention unusual. I'm not a language teacher -- and I don't speak another language with any degree of proficiency -- but I have great admiration for those who do. I have even greater admiration for the educators with whom I was to spend the next three days. Almost 6,000 foreign language teachers and administrators descended on Orlando for the annual American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Convention. They were there to make connections, learn from each other, and pick up practical ideas and applications they could then bring back to their own classrooms. There were hundreds of sessions taking place over the course of three days covering topics such as using new technologies in the classroom, identifying innovative tools and philosophies to enhance teaching, and advocacy initiatives on both the state and national levels. Advocacy was my reason for being at the convention. I was invited by ACTFL to lead a panel discussion on "Developing a Global Mindset in Children," and I was joined by Dr. Liesl Riddle, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, George Washington University School of Business; Steve Miranda, Managing Director, Cornell University Center for Advanced HR Studies, and Founder and Managing Director, Four Forces Consulting, LLC; and Angela Jackson, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Language Project. Our panel offered a strategic approach and practical perspectives on the value of raising global children as a means to ensure the next generation's ability to succeed professionally in the global marketplace. Teachers -- especially foreign languages teachers -- are one of the best conduits to communicate the beauty of the world and the richness of other cultures to our children. They can also help parents understand the need for students to continue studying languages, and the value of their involvement both at home in encouraging students, and at the community and school levels by advocating for language learning. "In our world today the ability to communicate in more than one language is an essential skill not only to be a productive member of the global economy, but also to be a collaborative citizen," said Toni Theisen, ACTFL president. Foreign language teachers are also a lot of fun. I'm not sure why I was surprised by the dancing, singing and colorful laughter floating in and out of meeting rooms and down the halls. Foreign language teachers live the beauty and color of other cultures every day in their jobs, in theory, but in practice of course every classroom has its "challenges". But these teachers have "a second soul" as Charlemagne is reputed to have said, and they show it. "The energy, enthusiasm and opportunities to network with people face-to-face re-energizes teachers who are excited to return to their classrooms and try new things," said Rita Oleksak, Director of Foreign Language Learning and Early Language Learning for Glastonbury Public Schools in Connecticut, and who was awarded "Supervisor of the Year" at the convention. "Teachers return to their classrooms reaffirmed that they are doing the right thing to help students become global citizens." Foreign language teachers are often the unsung heroes in our schools. Many live under the constant threat of budget cuts, and they have to teach a subject that is not widely accepted as important. They are often challenged by people who don't speak another language, yet want to know why their child isn't "fluent" after a few years. But they persevere because they know that what they are doing can change a child's life, which in turn can change the world. We need more foreign language learning in our schools, not less, so take the time to reach out and thank the foreign language teacher in your child's life. And if you don't have one -- yet! -- work with ACTFL and others in your community to get one. It will make a world of difference. Stacie Nevadomski Berdan is the coauthor, most recently, of Raising Global Children: Ways Parents Can Help Our Children Grow Up Ready to Succeed in a Multicultural Global Economy (ACTFL, November 2013).
With a possible final nuclear deal in the works, Ottawa should be carefully weighing the implications of its current rhetoric
In recent months, I have been pushing myself to think more critically and with a broader lens about some of the challenges and realities we see unfolding within, and related to, public education today. I wanted to begin to share some of the work of people and groups that I find particularly meaningful. I have been reading the writings of a few people in particular whose thinking has helped me to recognize, even more deeply, how the two-tiered, corporatized education system we have today can not be separated from an understanding of public education historically. Two of the people whose works have particularly informed my thinking are Damien M. Sojoyner (formerly Schnyder) (CA) and Ujju Aggarwal (NY). In his article, "Criminals, Planters, and Corporate Capitalists: The Case Of Public Education In Los Angeles," in Black California Dreamin, Damien M. Sojoyner, who looks at Black resistance historically in relation to what is happening to public education today, points out that
Much more than the structure of public education is in peril; rather, it is the philosophical ethos of freedom that has undergirded black resistance that is the true threat to corporate and plantation forms of governance.
He writes that,
Harking back to the insight of Du Bois, it is key to remember that the current regime is not at all interested in the development of an educated black population, but rather control over the ideological and material resources that are provided within education. Key to their quest is the attempted destruction of public education.
Sojoyner stresses the importance of recognizing and building upon the history of Black resistance (in this case, in Los Angeles) in the process of determining policy and action for the future. Ujju Aggarwal's work, growing out of her organizing in uptown Manhattan, has focused on what the struggles over access to public schools reveal about race, class and gender as well as urban space. In her work, Aggarwal looks at how low-income and middle-income mothers gain access to public elementary schools for their children in New York City's segregated and unequal Community School District Three. She "traces the production of a normative cultural logic of inequality that narrates inequality in education as resulting from 'bad' yet 'fair' choices that are qualified by a lack of individual initiative, informed decisions, and capacities of parental care." Rather than these explanations, she argues, inequality in education can better be understood as resulting from the ways that "choice" as a key principle of "reform" since Brown v. Board of Education became critical to "how rights, freedom, and citizenship were imagined, structured and constrained." (Ujju Aggarwal, Public Education in the United States: The Production of a Normative Cultural Logic of Inequality Through Choice) I have also been following the work of Edwin Mayorga (NY). Part of Mayorga's work and research is rooted in the Education in our Barrios project, a research study on public education reform in New York City Latino core neighborhoods (neighborhoods that are, or have historically been, majority Latino). The project -- which, in addition to Mayorga, has two co-researchers from East Harlem, Mariely Mena, a college student and Honory Pena, a recent college graduate -- has as its goal providing "concerned community members, local politicians and researchers an opportunity to identify and learn more about what educational issues are most pressing for the local community now and in the past." They also "help to document what kinds of action residents have taken to advocate for their own educational needs, and explore how these tactics and strategies may be useful for present and future organizing." Mayorga's work is deeply rooted in community, and his recommendations grow out of an interactive process among educators, students, community members and academics. Finally, I have recently become connected to a group, Justice by the Pen, that also combines theory and action at every stage of its work. JBP's work is devoted to encouraging communities toward self-determination through the engagement of young people in social justice and community activism. As its mission statement notes:
Far too often youth are left out of the discussion on issues that affect their lives; we want to not only ensure they are being included, but ensure they are in leadership roles inspiring their mothers, fathers, families and communities to direct action.
The group's founders, Hany Massoud and Ayesha Hoda, recognize the great value of their work being rooted in history, and their wide-ranging curriculum reflects that understanding. I have highlighted these individuals and groups -- and there are certainly many more who deserve attention -- because I believe their contributions and work are valuable for any movement that strives for educational justice, for self-determination, and for true transformation.
Workers want the federal minimum wage raised to $15 (U.S.) from $7.25, saying the current rate is not enough to live on
ROME | Tim Tebow has been offered a four-month contract by the Italian federation for American football, and the Milano Seamen are hoping to sign the free agent quarterback.
Excerpts of an offer sent by federation president Leoluca Orlando to Tebow's representatives were posted on the federation's website Thursday.
"The offer has been made to his agent and now we're waiting for a response," Seamen president Marco Mutti told The Associated Press. "We would be more than happy to have him."
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelans have been scrambling for dollars for weeks, taking refuge in the greenback as their own currency is in free fall. Rather than address the economic imbalances behind the bolivar's plunge, the government is going after the bearers of the bad news -- it's blocking websites people use to track exchange rates on the black market. Cyber-activists say the crackdown goes to absurd lengths, even targeting Bitly, the popular site for shortening Web addresses to make it easier to send them as links via Twitter and other social media. For more than two weeks, access to the service has been partially censored by several Internet service providers in Venezuela, apparently because Bitly was being used to evade blocks put on currency-tracking websites. The New York company says such restrictions have only previously been seen in China, which has one of the worst records for Internet freedom, and even then not for such an extended period. Opponents of Venezuela's socialist government say the controls are designed to obscure reporting of the nation's mounting economic woes. "We help connect people with information and insight about their world," Bitly CEO Mark Josephson said. "When someone is standing in the way of that mission, that's not something we feel good about." Bitly got caught in the crossfire of Venezuela's polarized politics a month ago, shortly after President Nicolas Maduro decided to block access to sites such as www.dolartoday.com that publish the black market rate for the bolivar, which is now 10 times the official rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar. Maduro accuses the sites of fueling an "economic war" against his government, which is facing municipal elections this weekend that will be its first political test since he narrowly won the presidency in April following Hugo Chavez's death. Many are also openly critical of the government. But with the blocks in place, many sites managed to skirt the controls by migrating to Twitter, keeping hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans informed of the black market rate by using Bitly to direct traffic to newly created websites. In response, telecommunications regulator Conatel sent a letter to Twitter on Nov. 19 asking it to immediately shut all accounts used to violate Venezuela's currency controls, warning that its failure to do so would be "highly damaging to the Venezuelan economy." Twitter has ignored the request but declines to comment on the matter. Around the same time, Bitly vanished without notice -- a least for the vast majority of Venezuelans who are subscribers to the state-run service provider, CANTV. As a result, the average number of clicks on Bitly-generated links has fallen by half to about 1.5 million a day in Venezuela, Josephson said. "It's like shutting down all the highways in the country because there was an accident on one street," said Luis Carlos Diaz, a cyber-activist and tech columnist for the Caracas newspaper Tal Cual. The government hasn't said how it intends to stem the bolivar's decline, a major factor fueling inflation that hit a two-decade high of 54 percent in October. Economists say the only way to stabilize the currency is by devaluing the bolivar and unwinding decade-old controls that restrict the amount of foreign currency Venezuelans can purchase. Maduro vigorously insists he will never adopt such policies. Meanwhile, the currency market's cat and mouse game continues, because while Bitly remains offline, other URL-shortening services haven't been touched. And Bitly can be used by the increasing number of Venezuelans who access the Internet through more-secure private networks. Every 12 hours or so, the DolarToday website tweets a message to its 350,000-plus followers directing them to a new Web address using a shortener tool provided by Google, the website's owner told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he could be arrested for publishing the illegal rate. Igor Molina, a high-ranking official for Conatel, defends the agency's actions to limit some websites. The more than 100 sites ordered blocked "don't reflect the real economy and assign an arbitrary value to the dollar," he said. Despite one of the slowest download speeds in the world, Venezuela's online population is the fourth-most active user of Twitter in the world, according to a study this year by PeerReach, a social media research firm. Partly fueling the craze is the nation's politics. The harassment of journalists, arbitrary licensing of the airwaves and the takeover of private broadcast media by pro-government owners have made the Internet the last bastion for criticism of the government. And many fear it could be the next battleground. "Today it's Bitly, but tomorrow it could be the opposition websites," said Diaz, the columnist. ___ Associated Press writer Fabiola Sanchez contributed to this report. ___ Joshua Goodman on Twitter: @APjoshgoodman
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -- Ten people were killed Wednesday in a confrontation between police and an armed group in northern Nicaragua, officials said. According to a National Police statement, the shooting broke out when officers came upon an armed band robbing a grocery store in the town of Bocas de Ayapal in Jinotega state. Six gunmen and four officers died, and two people were wounded, police said. Such a mass killing is unusual in the country, which has had one of the lowest crime rates in Central America since armed political conflicts in the 1980s. Local officials contradicted the police version of the shootout in interviews with Nicaraguan television Channel 12. Janeth Sobalvarro, mayor of nearby San Jose de Bocay, said there was no robbery, but rather was solely a confrontation between police and the gunmen. Many people in the northern province of Esteli, including Roman Catholic Bishop Juan Abelardo, have said the armed group has organized to fight the leftist government of President Daniel Ortega. "I think they are minimizing the situation and making a mistake," Abelardo told Channel 12. "These are armed people and you have to meet their demands." Police and Nicaraguan troops, which were also involved in Wednesday's clash, have described the armed band as common criminals. Ortega's government has not spoken about the group. The area of the shootout was a stronghold for the Contra rebels who fought the Ortega-led Sandinista movement in the 1980s. Sandinistas overthrew dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979 and Ortega's new government withstood a concerted effort by the U.S.-supported Contras to oust him. Ortega was elected president in 1984 but was defeated after one term. Since returning to power in a 2007 election, he has boosted his popularity and now is seeking to remove an article in Nicaragua's constitution intended to ban consecutive presidential terms. Ortega's critics say that he wants to become president for life and that his government has become authoritarian and opaque.
Don't panic, but for 15 years during the Cold War, the code meant to prevent unauthorized launching of the United States' arsenal of Minuteman nuclear missiles was apparently "00000000." The alarmingly insecure "Permissive Action Link" (PAL) code first came to light in 2004, after Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman missile launch control officer, disclosed it in a column for the Center for Defense Information. Last week, the story gained new life after being picked up by "Today I Found Out," followed by Gizmodo, ArsTechnica, The Daily Mail, and other outlets. According to Blair, the White House ordered the codes be installed in 1962 despite objections from the U.S. Strategic Air Command, which worried the extra layer of security would delay launching missiles in the event of an emergency. Nonetheless, officials followed orders and began phasing in the locks, all the while setting the "secret unlock code" to eight zeroes. "The locks had been installed," recalled Blair, "but everyone knew the combination." However, amid the renewed hype over the easily cracked code, a crucial element has been largely overlooked: Though the physical code preventing an unauthorized missile launch may have been all zeroes, the process of arming the actual nuclear warhead was much more involved, according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This is the seemingly made-for-Hollywood process involving the simultaneous turning of keys, "Emergency War Order" safes and verified launch codes, which presumably were not all zeros. So while rogue officers or Soviet spies could have gained access to a missile by dialing "00000000" -- which certainly may have led to disastrous consequences on its own -- actually launching a nuclear weapon would have required significantly more work. According to Steven Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia who has studied the matter, the PAL code was initially meant to safeguard missiles in non-U.S. NATO countries, like Turkey and Greece, that were hosting the bombs. In a 2004 email to The Guardian, Bellovin explained the codes mainly existed only to thwart a launch in the event of "physical capture of the devices." In any case, writes Blair in his original column, the locks were activated in 1977 and have likely since graduated to a far more complex -- and far more confidential -- unlocking system. Either way, now we have other problems to deal with.
Regulators ban bank trading in virtual currency and stamp down enthusiasm among private buyers with limits on anonymity
A top customer service official for Metro defended an ad in its rail system Thursday that many have called sexist and offensive. The ad shows two women talking, with one woman mentioning the breakdown rate of Metrobuses, while the other woman responds, "Can't we just talk about shoes?" The ad created a flurry of online comments after [...]
A Washington state woman who regularly monitors police scanner traffic unknowingly live-tweeted about her husband's death in a freeway crash.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly says that despite the ongoing Rob Ford saga, changes made at Toronto council allows city business to go on unaffected. New allegations say Ford may have tried to buy the "crack video" with $5,000 and a car.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- A sit-in by police seeking pay raises in Argentina's second-largest city prompted hours of looting, robberies, injuries and vigilante mobs trying to protect their neighborhoods before the provincial government agreed to the officers' demands and peace returned to the streets Wednesday. Three deaths were reported amid the violence in Cordoba and a copycat effort to loot a store outside the nation's capital. The accord brings steep pay hikes for Cordoba police. Gov. Jose Manuel de la Sota said they will now be the best-paid in the nation. But the violence suggests how easily social conflicts can erupt in Argentina, where most cities are surrounded by slums known as "misery villages," and street protests by activists demanding more handouts to keep up with inflation are a daily fact of life. De la Sota, a political rival of President Cristina Fernandez who says she starves Cordoba of federal support, said her administration could have easily prevented the violence by sending national police in earlier. "It's like we have to burn our national identity document because there are some who don't consider us part of the Argentine Republic," de la Sota complained in a fiery speech Wednesday after resolving the strike. The president's Cabinet chief, Jorge Capitanich, denied this and accused de la Sota of trying to shift the blame for a problem that was entirely his responsibility. Still, 2,000 border police were dispatched to Cordoba by Wednesday afternoon to help restore order. The violence began Tuesday evening after police abandoned their posts while the governor was traveling outside Argentina, and continued through the night, with storefronts shattered, mobs stealing merchandise, robbers attacking people in the streets and vigilantes arming themselves to protect their homes. Banks and schools were closed and people huddled inside Wednesday as more supermarkets and a mobile television van recording the violence were attacked, even as officers and provincial authorities negotiated the deal. Hospital authorities reported two deaths: a young motorcyclist was shot in the chest and an 85-year-old man collapsed while his home was being robbed, according to Cordoba's Voz del Interior newspaper. More than 100 were injured, mostly from shattered glass. At least 56 people were arrested, and both the governor and police chief said after signing the deal that anyone responsible for looting will go to jail. The deal raises most officers' monthly take-home pay to more than 10,000 pesos, said the governor's Cabinet chief, Oscar Gonzalez. That amounts to $1,612 at the official exchange rate, or $1,075 at the black market rate many Argentines consider a more reliable measure. Not all officers were happy with the deal, but many were seen chanting and cheering at their success before returning to work. De la Sota also described darker motives behind the strike: He called it a response to his decision to close 140 brothels that provide income to corrupt officers. "We know that this, which is a terrible business, horrible, is linked to drug trafficking and that it would bring us problems sooner or later," he said. While the streets returned to normal in Cordoba, about 50 people tried to loot a supermarket in Glew, a poor neighborhood in southern Buenos Aires province, authorities said. The owner tried to fend them off with gunfire early Wednesday and his body was found after the building was set on fire, Cesar Orlando Mateo, a volunteer firefighter who responded to the scene, told Radio La Red.
Caltrain's Holiday Train, brightened by 60,000 lights, will make stops at nine stations between San Francisco and Santa Clara on Saturday and Sunday, bringing entertainment and collecting toys.