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[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 07:28:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Update --- No DRM In New IPod Shuffle

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An anonymous reader writes "BoingBoing Gadgets has updated their story from yesterday on DRM contained in the new iPod Shuffle. (We also discussed this rumor last week.) It's a false alarm. There is a chip in the headphone controls but it is just an encoder chip. There is no DRM and no reason to believe that third party headphones wouldn't work with the new Shuffle. (Apple would still prefer you to license the encoder under the Made for iPod program, but with no DRM, there is no DCMA risk to a manufacturer reverse engineering it.) The money quote: 'For the record, we do not believe that the new iPod headphones with in-line remote use DRM that affects audio playback in any way.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/6_81YaxzGhw/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 07:28:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Update --- No DRM In New iPod Shuffle

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An anonymous reader writes "BoingBoing Gadgets has updated their story from yesterday on DRM contained in the new iPod Shuffle. (We also discussed this rumor last week.) It's a false alarm. There is a chip in the headphone controls but it is just an encoder chip. There is no DRM and no reason to believe that third party headphones wouldn't work with the new Shuffle. (Apple would still prefer you to license the encoder under the Made for iPod program, but with no DRM, there is no DMCA risk to a manufacturer reverse engineering it.) The money quote: 'For the record, we do not believe that the new iPod headphones with in-line remote use DRM that affects audio playback in any way.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/6_81YaxzGhw/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 10:22:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Office Depot Employee --- "We Changed Prices Too"

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Avram Piltch writes "Last week, LAPTOP reported that Office Depot employees were routinely lying to customers about notebook inventory, telling them that systems were out of stock if they didn't want to buy extended warranties or tech services. Now LAPTOP has spoken to more Office Depot associates, one of whom goes by the name Alex and reports widespread altering of prices in his region. He says he even Photoshops higher price tags on clearance notebooks so that associates can tell customers that they're getting a free warranty or tech service, when the price has been raised to cover it. LAPTOP also talked to a representative from the FTC, who would not comment on Office Depot specifically, but said that the sales practices described by LAPTOP clearly violate federal law."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/rSfHZ-wP-Us/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 13:11:00 EDT from rss

Subject: EFF Unveils Search Tool for FOIA Results

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The EFF has released a beta version of a new search tool that lets you mine the documents the EFF has unearthed using FOIA requests and lawsuits over the years. Quoting: "In celebration of Sunshine Week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched a sophisticated search tool that allows the public to closely examine thousands of pages of documents the organization has pried loose from secretive government agencies. The documents relate to a wide range of cutting-edge technology issues and government policies that affect civil liberties and personal privacy." I tried a search for "border" among the documents relating to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and turned up 21 results and fascinating reading.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/mHbldpl-nbc/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 13:57:00 EDT from rss

Subject: UV-Resistant Micro-Organisms Discovered In the Stratosphere

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junglee_iitk writes "Three new species of bacteria, which are not found on earth and highly resistant to ultraviolet radiation, have been discovered in the upper stratosphere by some Indian scientists. These bacteria, which do not match any species on earth, were found in samples collected through a balloon sent up to the stratosphere in April 2005. The payload consisted of a cryosampler containing 16 evacuated and sterilised stainless steel probes. Throughout the flight, the probes remained immersed in the liquid neon to create a 'cryopump effect.' These cylinders after collecting air samples from different heights ranging from 20 to 41 km were parachuted down and safely retrieved, it said." Here's the Indian Space research Organisation's press release on the discovery. Adds an anonymous reader: "This paper in International Journal of Astrobiology [PDF] speculates how microorganisms reach the stratosphere."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/omP33Zb2FlE/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 14:41:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Wikileaks Pages Added To Australian Internet Blacklist

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cpudney writes "The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has added several Wikileaks pages to its controversial blacklist. The blacklisted pages contain Denmark's list of banned websites. Simply linking to addresses in ACMA's blacklist attracts an $11,000 per-day fine as the hosts of the popular Australian broadband forum, Whirlpool, discovered last week when they published a forum post that linked to an anti-abortion web-site recently added to ACMA's blacklist. The blacklist is secret, immune to FOI requests and forms the basis of the Australian government's proposed mandatory ISP-level Internet censorship legislation. Wikileaks' response to notification of the blacklisting states: 'The first rule of censorship is that you cannot talk about censorship.'" So Australians aren't allowed to see what it is that the Danes aren't allowed to see?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/vFaKF3XUuOg/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 15:22:00 EDT from rss

Subject: World-First VDSL2 Demo Gets 500Mbps Data Transfers

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pnorth writes "Ericsson has achieved data transfer rates of more than 500Mbps in what it said is the world's first live demonstration of a new VDSL2-based technology. The demonstration achieved data rates of more than 0.5 Gbps over twisted copper pairs using 'vectorized' VDSL2. Vectoring decouples the lines in a cable (from an interference point of view), substantially improving power management, and reduces noise originating from the other copper pairs in the same cable bundle."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/OjITL7xNapU/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 16:01:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Brain Decline Begins At Age 27

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krou writes "The BBC is reporting that a new study suggests that our mental abilities start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, and 27 could be seen as the 'start of old age.' The seven-year study, by Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia, looked at 2,000 healthy people aged 18-60, and used a number of mental agility tests already used to spot signs of dementia. 'The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability. Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/I4QYTPVU97Y/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 16:48:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Python-Based Server Lets Eye-Fi Users Skip Company's Software

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gollito writes "Coder Jeff Tchang has developed a software written with python that allows users to download pictures from the Eye-Fi card rather than having to use the eye-fi manager software. Running the script at intervals would allow for real time updates to an online gallery." At least one user has responded to the release of this software by getting it (after a bit of tweaking) to run on Ubuntu Linux, and another says it works with BSD. I hope the people at Eye-Fi see this as a good thing, rather than reason for a knee-jerk cease-and-desist letter; when I asked about Linux support at the most recent CES, I was given a good-natured shrug and a reasonable hand-wave: approximately, "We just don't have the developer time for that when most of our users are on other platforms."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/lsIZksReb7c/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 16:21:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Cities View Red Light Cameras As Profit Centers

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Houston 2600 writes "Chicago could rake in 'at least $200 million' a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today. The system pitched to the City Council's Transportation Committee by Michigan-based InsureNet would work only if insurance companies were somehow compelled to report the names and license plates of insured motorists. That's already happening daily in 13 states, but not here."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/wuf_bhuy10M/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 17:33:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Homebrew Microcontroller Laptop, Made of Wood

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Brietech writes "This is a homebrew laptop project based on a Picaxe microcontroller. It has 16kb of RAM, 256kb of storage, sound and a self-hosted development environment! It has a simple CLI, file-system, 'EMAXE' text editor and a programming language called 'Chris#.' Oh, and yes, it runs Linaxe."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/qlx04Q8dKDc/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 18:20:00 EDT from rss

Subject: What Filters Are Right For Kids?

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WaywardGeek writes "My daughter is using phrases like 'hot guys,' and soon will have a chat about the birds and the bees. I believe in letting kids discover the world as it is, and have no Internet controls on any of our systems, which are mostly Linux based. However, it's not fair for aggressive porn advertisers to splash sex in her face without her permission. My question is: What Linux-based Internet filtering solution do Slashdot dads favor, and do they hinder a child's efforts to learn about the world?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/WncF66WmVC8/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 19:08:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Computer Science Major Is Cool Again

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netbuzz sends along a piece from Network World reporting that the number of computer science majors enrolled at US universities increased for the first time in six years, according to new survey data out this morning. The Taulbee Study found that the number of undergraduates signed up as computer science majors rose 8% last year. The survey was conducted last fall, just as the economic downturn started to bite. The article notes the daunting competition for positions at top universities: Carnegie Mellon University received 2,600 applications for 130 undergrad spots, and 1,400 for 26 PhD slots. "...the popularity of computer science majors among college freshmen and sophomores is because IT has better job prospects than other specialties, especially in light of the global economic downturn. ... The latest unemployment numbers for 2008 for computer software engineers is 1.6%... That's beyond full employment. ... The demand for tech jobs may rise further thanks to the Obama Administration's stimulus package, which could create nearly 1 million new tech jobs."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/YPwxBG7vbZ8/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 19:54:00 EDT from rss

Subject: iPhone 3.0 Software Announced

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Apple unveiled the iPhone 3.0 software just now in Cupertino. Here's MacWorld's live-action blow-by-blow coverage. The announcement included new features for developers and users. For developers, the big items were in-app purchasing (for example for game upgrades, map content, and subscriptions) for paid apps only; peer-to-peer connectivity via Bluetooth; giving apps access to hardware via the dock connector or Bluetooth; maps embeddable in apps; and push notifications. For users, there's finally cut-copy-paste available in all apps; search across everything in the iPhone; landscape keyboard; MMS messaging; and voice memos. Developer beta starts today and 3.0 will be available in the summer — free for all 3G phones, $10 for iPod Touch.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/15YAmM4Wmyc/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 20:41:00 EDT from rss

Subject: 95M-Year-Old Octopus Fossils Discovered

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mmmscience writes "A new study published in Paleontology is a truly terrific find. Not only did a group of European scientists find a fossilized octopus, they found five complete fossils that show all eight legs in great detail, including a ghost of the characteristic suckers. The discovery of the 95-million-year-old specimens was made in Lebanon. 'What is truly astonishing to the scientists is how similar these ancient creatures are to their modern-day counterparts. Dirk Fuchs, lead author on the study stated, "These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species."'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/jlUkeZgRyZ8/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 21:26:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Auto Safety Tech May Encourage Dangerous Driving

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longacre writes "Modern highway planning schemes designed to make roads safer combined with the comfort and safety technology found in the modern automobile may actually be putting us in danger, according to a compelling piece in Popular Mechanics. Citing studies and anecdotal evidence, the article points out that a driver on a narrow mountain road will probably drive as if their life depends on it; but the same driver on an eight-lane freeway with gradual curves and little traffic may be lulled into speeding while chatting on his cellphone. Quoting: 'Modern cars are quiet, powerful and capable of astonishing grip in curves, even on wet pavement. That's swell, of course, until you suddenly lose traction at 75 mph. The sense of confidence bred by all this capability makes us feel safe, which causes us to drive faster than we probably should. We don't want to make cars with poor response, but perhaps we could design cues — steering-wheel vibration devices, as in video games? — that make us feel less safe at speed and encourage more care. ... In college I drove an Austin-Healey 3000 that somehow felt faster at 45 mph than my Mazda RX-8 (or even my Toyota Highlander Hybrid) feels at 75 mph. That was a good thing.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/4SuTy5oU7kM/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 22:10:00 EDT from rss

Subject: ESA Launches GOCE To Map Earth's Gravity

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DSG2 sends in an ESA press release which reads in part: "This afternoon, the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite developed by the European Space Agency was lofted into a near-Sun-synchronous, low Earth orbit by a Rockot launcher lifting off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. GOCE is the first of a new family of ESA satellites designed to study our planet and its environment in order to enhance our knowledge and understanding of Earth-system processes and their evolution, to enable us to address the challenges of global climate change. In particular, GOCE will measure the minute differences in the Earth's gravity field around the globe." One consequence of mapping the planet's geoid in finer detail is that ocean currents can be limned more accurately. This BBC article from 2007 goes into some detail about this application.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/3CWsI9GGgAM/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 21:04:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Spider Bite Allows Man To Walk Again

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Manastorm writes "A man who was wheelchair bound due to a motorcycle accident twenty years ago gained the ability to walk again after being bitten by a recluse spider. 'I can't wait to start dancing,' he said as he looks forward to a full recovery after experiencing what some call a 'true miracle.'" I think we all know how this story is going to end. I hope The Sinister Six have been practicing.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/nb-Tbarxjw4/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 22:58:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Maker Faire Storms Newcastle

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krou writes "The BBC is reporting on the first Maker Faire in the UK, in Newcastle. The event saw an incredible gathering of tech DIY enthusiasts showing off their robotic wares. Maker Faire is firmly established in the US; the 4th annual running in the Bay Area begins on May 30. The BBC video shows the fire-breathing horse, Rusty, and Titan, an eight-foot tall fully-animated robot that likes scaring kids. Elsewhere, the Faire also had Ian Sharp's physical realization of the Lunar Lander computer game, low-cost multi-touch displays, and one of the oldest-ever case mods, made by veteran computer enthusiast John Honnibal, who also showed off his old over-clocked kit computer. Pictures from the Faire are also on Flickr, and videos on YouTube."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/VNo8G4lrrNg/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 17 2009 23:45:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Dell's Adamo Goes After MacBook Air

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MojoKid writes "Adamo, pronounced 'A-dahm-o,' means 'to fall in love with' in Latin. Dell is certainly hoping you'll fall in love with this notebook's looks as well as its functionality. The Adamo's chassis is milled from a single piece of aluminum and features precision detailing with a scalloped backlit keyboard. Even the fan holes, which are punched out squares, have an attractive modern design. The Adamo features a thin 0.65-inch profile and weighs four pounds. The new ultra-portable will also offer Intel Core 2 Duo processors and DDR3 memory (up to 4GB), a 13.4-inch 16:9 HD display and a 128GB SSD hard drive. Pricing starts at $1,999 with Vista Ultimate 64." The Dell infomercial spokesmodel (video at the bottom of the link) concludes, "Adamo resulted from the union of technology with pleasure for the style-conscious individualist." OK, so he's no Steve Jobs.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/m8Bssre10so/article.pl

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