Via Burrito Justice, Eric Fischer uses only Flickr and Picassa APIs, OpenStreetMap, Perl and Ghostscript to recreate maps of 50 major cities from geotagging data. What’s this good for? Well, for one, I didn’t know Vancouver looked like a duck, and now I do.
Have you tried Duck Duck Go yet? No? You should. It’s a search engine run by one guy, and in my experience, for most searches I’ve done, the results aren’t that far behind what you’d get from Google or Bing. There are also some nice distinguishing features, like a prominent “zero-click info” box at the top of the search results that gives an overview for the search term. Check out their about page for more.
You should bookmark grellas Hacker News comment page, it’s pure gold for free. His take on the Zuckerberg securities fraud story makes it clear that the real issue isn’t “securities fraud”, it’s that the settlement as enforced might be overturned on appeal:
When disputes arose about the detailed terms, FB filed a motion with the court to enforce the settlement. In doing so, it asked the court to enforce the terms it had put form in the complex documentation and not as set forth in the 2-pager. The court, on hearing the motion, ordered that the settlement agreement be enforced but did so based on the terms set forth in the 2-pager. The ConnectU parties were then forced to deliver the ConnectU stock to Facebook, which (given that it then controlled the company) promptly fired the attorneys who had been representing ConnectU and its founders. This left the founders scrambling to appeal and to do so under circumstances where the only party with standing to appeal (ConnectU) was controlled by FB as an adverse party. This led to a logistical nightmare, from a litigation perspective, but it eventually got sorted out when the court let the ConnectU founders “intervene” and make their case on appeal. The brief filed before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (discussed in this article) is the opening shot on an appeal seeking to overturn the lower court’s order enforcing the settlement.
I hope it’s not hopelessly naive to suggest that ramming a disputed settlement through court and then firing your opponent’s lawyers sounds deliciously evil.
Yet another Facebook privacy flaw, this one allowing an attacker to change any other user’s privacy settings or profile information.
Facebook said it was “not aware of any cases in which it was used maliciously”, which is weasel-speak for “everyone who used it to change their ex-girlfriend’s interests to ‘being a dirty whore’ was j/k, so no worries.”
Microsoft continues to compete by pursuing excellence in all they do. In this case, the excellence they’re pursuing is in being litigious assholes, but that counts, right?
The more obvious inversion of Square is finally here: Visa announces an iPhone case that turns your phone into a credit card (motto: because forgetting your phone in a cab wasn’t quite tragic enough). More interesting, though: PayPal’s new iPhone app uses the Bump API to fill both roles.
A nice set of graphs showing Microsoft, Apple, and Google financials since 1985. It always blows my mind to see how profitable Microsoft is, given how irrelevant they seem these days.
What business is Wall Street in?, asks Mark Cuban. His previous two posts on the subject are worth the read, as well.
The New York Times reports that BP is using a dispersant that’s more toxic and less effective than other available alternatives, but just happens to be sold by a company with close ties to BP.
Critics say Nalco, a joint partnership with Exxon Chemical that was spun off in the 1990s, boasts oil-industry insiders on its board of directors and among its executives, including an 11-year board member at BP and a top Exxon executive who spent 43 years with the oil giant.
Drill, baby, drill.
Square is here (you pay or get paid with it). Their latest promo video makes me want to both plug a plastic cube into my iPhone and fly to San Francisco for a decent burrito.