Microsoft’s Free OneNote Hints At Its Larger Strategy

Can’t say I’m not a fan. It’s pretty nifty. Just discovered the various templates on my PC. Still want to keep my customized keyboard, so I’ll stick to my Word for course notes. Not sure what I’ll use the OneNote for… maybe org notes, or the like.

TechCrunch

This morning, Microsoft announced that it was making OneNote, its note-taking service that syncs across platforms, free. The PC app, the new Mac app, and a variety of small tools for the service are now available for anyone to use without cost. Paid upgrades and corporate sales as part of Office 365, however, still exist, and that may hint at Microsoft’s overall strategy for Office going forward.

Until today, Microsoft offered a mixed OneNote experience, with most people getting OneNote through their Office subscription or purchase, the free web app or through Microsoft’s free Metro app for Windows 8 and mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Microsoft wants to drive OneDrive usage, an experience that is tied closely to OneNote. So the company lowered friction to entry by increasing its platform support in OneNote and by ending pricing questions. No matter where you want to use the service…

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Online community connects 3D printer owners with people who need prosthetic hands

Haha, this is awesome. Saw it done a year ago on YouTube.

Gigaom

Around the world, there are people who have lost all or part of their hand, or were born without one. There are also people and institutions with 3D printers. Pair the two, and you can print a custom mechanical hand for $20-150 — thousands less than the typical prosthetic.

e-NABLE, which functions through a website, Facebook page and Google+ page, stepped up to connect the two after site founder Jon Schull came across work by American prop maker Ivan Owen, who made a metal mechanical hand for South African carpenter Richard Van As. Van As had lost four of his fingers in a carpentry accident.

Owen was then contacted by a mother whose 5-year-old son needed a hand. He again made a metal hand for the boy. But then he turned to 3D printing. MakerBot gave both Owen and Van As a 3D printer.

The pair developed…

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NSA Protest Day Drives More Than 200K Emails And Calls To Congress

And, yet another reason why I love the US. We can actually change the way out government functions. Long live old glory!

TechCrunch

A planned day of protest against the NSA’s surveillance efforts called “The Day We Fight Back” got off to a strong start. So far, more than 69,000 phone calls have been placed to Congressional representatives, along with more than 140,000 emails as part of the effort. In-person protests are planned, as well, both in the United States and abroad.

The day’s work is also focused on pushing for the passage of the USA Freedom Act, which would curtail the NSA’s surveillance activities. For a quick primer on the USA Freedom Act, TechCrunch has you covered.

Today’s push is somewhat reminiscent of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) protests of two years ago, in which websites big and small blacked out their pages in anger against the proposed legislation. Sustained furor beat the bill back. As TechCrunch pointed out earlier today, while the public does appear to be making noticeable…

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Facebook’s Sandberg And Ebersman Say They’re Not Planning To Flood The News Feed With Ads

And, Ads, one of the main reasons I rarely check Facebook. Uhh, I long for days where society focuses less on money, and more on each other.

TechCrunch

Judging from recent earnings reports, Facebook’s mobile ad strategy is paying off, but CFO David Ebersman said that doesn’t mean you’ll see an ever-increasing number of ads in your News Feed.

Ebersman and COO Sheryl Sandberg spoke this evening at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, where they were asked about the amount of ads that Facebook shows to its users. Ebersman replied that the company saw last year that mobile ads don’t just “continue to perform really well for marketers” but also have “a limited or negligible impact on engagement,” as shown in part by user surveys.

At the same time, he suggested that Facebook won’t increasing the quantity of mobile ads as it did in 2013. Even though “the number of ads in the News Feed is an important variable,” it’s not only one the company focuses on. He said Facebook will also be experimenting with…

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Google Wins Right To Lease Moffett Field, Will Restore Hangar One

Google for President!

TechCrunch

Google has long operated its fleet of private jets out of NASA’s Moffett Field thanks to a long-standing deal with the U.S. government, but it looks like it’s ready to expand its presence at the Silicon Valley airfield. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA today announced that Planetary Ventures LLC, a shell company Google occasionally uses for its real-estate deals, has been selected as the preferred lessee for Moffett Field and Hangar One.

The iconic Hangar One will be rehabilitated under this proposal. Google had previously tried to work with NASA to revamp the hangar, but was rebuffed by NASA at the time. Just a few years ago, the Navy stripped the toxic panels from the structures outside and, currently, only its skeleton remains. Under the new proposal, Google will “rehabilitate and maintain the historic integrity of Hangar One and the Shenandoah Plaza Historic District.” Google will re-skin…

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Democrats Introduce Open Internet Preservation Act To Restore Net Neutrality

Definitely need this restored.

TechCrunch

Democrats in the House and Senate today introduced the Open Internet Preservation Act, a bill that would reinstate now-defunct net neutrality rules that were shot down last month.

Net neutrality, in its most basic form, is the idea that ISPs must treat all Internet data the same. Under its regime, ISPs are not allowed to selectively speed up or slow down information requested by their customers due to their selective gatekeeping of the services impacted. Or, more simply, Comcast can’t decide that a site you want to load, or a video you want to watch, should be slowed, and content that it prefers, accelerated.

With last month’s striking of the FCC’s net neutrality ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has changed the landscape of the Internet.

Those in favor of net neutrality view the regulatory scheme as key to a free, open, and level playing field. Its antagonists decry it…

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Getting Girls Into Programming, One Children’s Book At A Time

TechCrunch

I normally dislike writing about the issue of women in the technology industry. The media either ends up treating female entrepreneurs with kid gloves or the conversation ends up in some emotionally charged place where people feel angry or violated. And then we’ve made little progress.

Are there systematic biases embedded in the industry? Are women not leaning in hard enough? Do we not have enough role models? All of the above?

One thing is clear, however. There are just not enough women in the pipeline starting from as early as K-12 schools. If less than 20 percent of computer science degrees are awarded to women in the first place, how can we expect a proportionate number of women to move forward into entrepreneurship or engineering careers?

So that’s why it’s refreshing to see someone intervene at such an early stage, and in such a playful, delightful way.

Linda Liukas

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