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[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 14:34:00 EDT from rss

Subject: American Airlines To Offer Wi-Fi In Planes

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Firmafest writes "In USA Today there's a scoop that American Airlines will offer Wi-Fi on domestic flights. Price is approx. $10 to get connected. Being a frequent international flyer I hope this will catch on. The LA Times reports that the cost is about $100,000 to equip a plane. While that number seems high, it will probably be worth it. If I had a choice between two flights both equally good, I'd pick the Wi-Fi enabled one." The article also says that JetBlue and Southwest Airlines are at least experimenting with Wi-Fi access aboard, while Delta already offers it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/qeO6dwPjgpk/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 13:47:00 EDT from rss

Subject: NASA Shows Off Mock-Up of Mars-Capable Spacecraft

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N!NJA writes with this snippet of a report from Reuters: "NASA gave visitors to the National Mall in Washington a peek at a full-size mock-up of the spacecraft designed to carry US astronauts back to the moon and then on to Mars one day. The design of Orion was based on the Apollo spacecraft, which first took Americans to the moon. Although similar in shape, Orion is larger, able to carry six crew members rather than three, and builds on 1960s technology to make it safer." They're still working on the parachute.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/QPk6OE740N8/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 15:20:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

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Hugh Pickens writes "The International Space Station, once a place where astronauts would share food and facilities, is said to be embroiled in a Cold War-like stand-off after a Russian cosmonaut complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet or the US gym machine. Gennady Padalka, a veteran Russian cosmonaut, says that space officials from Russia, the United States and other countries now require cosmonauts and astronauts to eat their own food and follow stringent rules on access to other facilities, including lavatories. Padalka, who will be the station's next commander, says the arguments date back to 2003, when Russia started charging other space agencies for the resources used by their astronauts and other partners in space station responded in kind. 'Cosmonauts are above the ongoing squabble, no matter what officials decide,' says Padalka. 'We are grown-up, well-educated and good-mannered people and can use our own brains to create normal relationship. It's politicians and bureaucrats who can't reach agreement, not us, cosmonauts and astronauts.' While sharing food in the past helped the crew feel like a team, the new rules oblige Russian cosmonauts and US astronauts to eat their own food. 'They also recommend us to only use national toilets,' says Padalka. 'What is going on has an adverse effect on our work.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/r5NmaeBVWlk/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 15:59:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Ubuntu vs. Windows In OpenOffice.org Benchmark

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ahziem writes "Ubuntu's Intrepid Ibex and Redmond's Windows XP go head-to-head in an OpenOffice.org 3.0 performance smackdown measuring vanilla OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, Go-oo, and Portable OpenOffice.org 3.0. Each platform and edition does well in different tests. Go-oo is known for its proud slogan "Better, Faster, Freer," but last time with OpenOffice.org 2.4 on Fedora, Go-oo came in fourth place out of four. Slashdot has previously reported Ubuntu beating Vista and Windows 7 in benchmarks, so either XP is faster or this benchmark carries a different weight."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 16:41:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Honda Develops Brain Interface For Robot Control

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narramissic writes "Honda has released a video of experiments showing a person wearing a large hemispheric scanner on his head and controlling Honda's Asimo robot by visualizing movement. Back in 2006, Honda and ATR researchers managed to get a robotic hand to move by analyzing brain activity using a large MRI scanner. This latest work uses EEG to measure the electrical activity in a person's brain and blood flow within the brain using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to produce data that is then interpreted into control information. While both the EEG and NIRS techniques are established, the analyzing process for the data is new. Honda said the system uses statistical processing of the complex information to distinguish brain activities with high precision without any physical motion."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9FsFyETw6Eo/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 17:29:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Should Google Be Forced To Pay For News?

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Barence writes "The Guardian Media group is asking the British government to investigate Google News and other aggregators, claiming they reap the benefit of content from news sites without contributing anything towards their costs. The Guardian claims the old argument that 'search engines and aggregators provide players like guardian.co.uk with traffic in return for the use of our content' doesn't hold water any more, and that it's 'heavily skewed' in Google's favour. It wants the government to explore new models that 'require fair acknowledgement of the value that our content creates, both on our own site (through advertising) and "at the edges" in the world of search and aggregation.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/DiDH41cBXdc/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 15:59:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Ubuntu Vs. Windows In OpenOffice.org Benchmark

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ahziem writes "Ubuntu's Intrepid Ibex and Redmond's Windows XP go head-to-head in an OpenOffice.org 3.0 performance smackdown measuring vanilla OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, Go-oo, and Portable OpenOffice.org 3.0. Each platform and edition does well in different tests. Go-oo is known for its proud slogan "Better, Faster, Freer," but last time with OpenOffice.org 2.4 on Fedora, Go-oo came in fourth place out of four. Slashdot has previously reported Ubuntu beating Vista and Windows 7 in benchmarks, so either XP is faster or this benchmark carries a different weight."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 18:18:00 EDT from rss

Subject: NYU Researchers Create Cheap, Flexible Presssure-Based Interface

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Al writes "A super-cheap, thin and flexible touch interface developed by researchers at New York University and could be used to add touch sensing to all sorts of gadgets and devices. It measures a change in electrical resistance when a person or object applies different pressure. The "Inexpensive Multi-Touch Pressure Acquisition Devices (IMPAD)" consists of two sheets of plastic containing parallel lines of electrodes. The sheets are arranged so that the electrodes cross, creating a grid and each intersection acts as a pressure sensor. The sheets are also covered with a layer of force-sensitive resistor (FSR) ink, a type of ink that has microscopic bumps on its surface. So, when something coated in the ink is pressed, the bumps move together and touch, conducting electricity."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 19:04:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Mac Tax, Dell Tax, HP Tax

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Harry writes "Microsoft's new Windows ad, with shopper Lauren buying a cheap 17-inch HP laptop instead of a $,2800 MacBook Pro, has unleashed the whole 'Are Macs Expensive?' debate again. I'm diving in with a pretty exhaustive comparison of the MacBook Pro against machines from Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Sony that were as comparably configured as I could manage. The conclusion: High-end laptops tend to carry high-end prices, whether their operating system hails from Cupertino or Redmond. And the MacBook Pro wasn't the priciest of the systems I compared." We looked at this question, not in as much depth, a couple of years back.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 19:52:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Shouldn't Every Developer Understand English?

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Pickens writes "Jeff Atwood has an interesting post that begins by noting that with the Internet, whatever country you live in or language you speak, a growing percentage of the accumulated knowledge of the world can and should be available in your native language; but that the rules are different for programmers. 'So much so that I'm going to ask the unthinkable: shouldn't every software developer understand English?' Atwood argues that 'It's nothing more than great hackers collectively realizing that sticking to English for technical discussion makes it easier to get stuff done. It's a meritocracy of code, not language, and nobody (or at least nobody who is sane, anyway) localizes programming languages.' Eric Raymond in his essay 'How to be a Hacker' says that functional English is required for true hackers and notes that 'Linus Torvalds, a Finn, comments his code in English (it apparently never occurred to him to do otherwise). His fluency in English has been an important factor in his ability to recruit a worldwide community of developers for Linux. It's an example worth following.' Although it may sound like The Ugly American and be taken as a sort of cultural imperialism, 'advocating the adoption of English as the de-facto standard language of software development is simple pragmatism, the most virtuous of all hacker traits,' writes Atwood. 'If that makes me an ugly American programmer, so be it.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ZHY6x-p2MAo/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 18:18:00 EDT from rss

Subject: NYU Researchers Create Cheap, Flexible Pressure-Based Interface

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print]

Al writes "A super-cheap, thin and flexible touch interface developed by researchers at New York University and could be used to add touch sensing to all sorts of gadgets and devices. It measures a change in electrical resistance when a person or object applies different pressure. The "Inexpensive Multi-Touch Pressure Acquisition Devices (IMPAD)" consists of two sheets of plastic containing parallel lines of electrodes. The sheets are arranged so that the electrodes cross, creating a grid and each intersection acts as a pressure sensor. The sheets are also covered with a layer of force-sensitive resistor (FSR) ink, a type of ink that has microscopic bumps on its surface. So, when something coated in the ink is pressed, the bumps move together and touch, conducting electricity."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 20:40:00 EDT from rss

Subject: EA Releases DRM License Deactivation Tool

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Dr_Barnowl writes "Electronic Arts has posted a SecuROM de-authorization management tool. Once downloaded, the tool will search your drives for EA games infested with the draconian online DRM system, and help you download their respective individual de-activation tools. This isn't a perfect solution, since it's still possible to run out of activations in the event of hardware failure or other source of data loss, but since the announcement that this particular DRM system will be dropped for The Sims 3 , it would seem that EA has had a minor epiphany about DRM." I'm sure EA's hand was forced in part by the FTC's recent warning against deceptive DRM practices. Hal Halpin of the Entertainment Consumers Association commented further on the issue, suggesting to developers that such measures need to be displayed on game boxes, and that standardization of EULAs could be next on the list.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ZF83HogxfTY/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 21:28:00 EDT from rss

Subject: IE 8.1 Supports Firefox Plugins, Rendering Engine

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KermodeBear writes in to note that according to Smashing Magazine, the newest version of Internet Explorer, codenamed "Eagle Eyes," supports Firefox plugins, the Gecko and Webkit rendering engines, and has scored a 71 / 100 on the Acid3 test. The article is pretty gee-whiz, and I don't entirely believe the claims that IE's JavaScript performance will trounce the others. (And note that the current Firefox, 3.0.8, scores 71 on Acid3, and Safari 3.1.2 hits 75.) No definitive date from Microsoft, but "sources" say that an IE 8.1 beta will be released in the summer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 22:19:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Spam Back Up To 94% of All Email

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Thelasko writes "A NYTimes blog reports that the volume of spam has returned to is previous levels, as seen before the McColo was shut down. Here is the report on Google's enterprise blog. Adam Swidler, of Postini Services, says: 'It's unlikely we are going to see another event like McColo where taking out an ISP has that kind of dramatic impact on global spam volumes,' because the spammers' control systems are evolving. This is sad news for us all."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 23:06:00 EDT from rss

Subject: ACLU Wins, No Sexting Charges For NJ Teens

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Following up on the "sexting" case we've discussed in recent days, oliphaunt sends word from the Times-Tribune that a New Jersey federal judge has ordered the prosecutor not to file charges in the cases of three teenage girls whose cell phones were confiscated. "Wyoming [NJ] County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. cannot charge three teenage girls who appeared in photographs seminude traded by classmates last year, a judge ruled Monday. US District Judge James M. Munley granted a request by the American Civil Liberties Union to temporarily stop Mr. Skumanick from filing felony charges against the Tunkhannock Area School District students."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/vyn_T6D5UJY/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 23:57:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Cellular Repo Man

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LateNiteTV sends in news of a "kill pill" from LM Ericsson AB that a wireless carrier could use to remotely disable a subsidized netbook if the customer doesn't pay the monthly bill or cancels their credit card. "...the Swedish company that makes many of the modems that go into laptops announced Tuesday that its new modem will deal with [the nonpayment] issue by including a feature that's virtually a wireless repo man. If the carrier has the stomach to do so, it can send a signal that completely disables the computer, making it impossible to turn on. ... Laptop makers that use Ericsson modules include LG Electronics Inc., Dell Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Lenovo." The feature could also be used to lock thieves out of the data on a stolen laptop.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/fdD4X_CYDC8/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 00:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Irish Domain Registry Banning Adult Domains

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Karate Sid writes "An Irish adult website has blogged about the Irish domain registry banning adult domain names, including porn.ie and pornography.ie. The IEDR's reasoning is that the words 'porn' and 'pornography' are offensive and immoral. Of interest is how Sex.ie took legal action against the IEDR — and proved that neither word is offensive — yet still lost the case, as the IEDR are the highest authority in Ireland when it comes to deciding what is and isn't an offensive domain."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Nihn-LoHE-U/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 00:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Irish Domain Registry Banning Adult Domains

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Karate Sid writes "An Irish adult website has blogged about the Irish domain registry banning adult domain names, including porn.ie and pornography.ie. The IEDR's reasoning is that the words 'porn' and 'pornography' are offensive and immoral. Of interest is how Sex.ie took legal action against the IEDR — and proved that neither word is offensive — yet still lost the case, as the IEDR are the highest authority in Ireland when it comes to deciding what is and isn't an offensive domain."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Nihn-LoHE-U/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 23:57:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Cellular Repo Man

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print]

LateNiteTV sends in news of a "kill pill" from LM Ericsson AB that a wireless carrier could use to remotely disable a subsidized netbook if the customer doesn't pay the monthly bill or cancels their credit card. "...the Swedish company that makes many of the modems that go into laptops announced Tuesday that its new modem will deal with [the nonpayment] issue by including a feature that's virtually a wireless repo man. If the carrier has the stomach to do so, it can send a signal that completely disables the computer, making it impossible to turn on. ... Laptop makers that use Ericsson modules include LG Electronics Inc., Dell Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Lenovo." The feature could also be used to lock thieves out of the data on a stolen laptop.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/fdD4X_CYDC8/article.pl

[#] Tue Mar 31 2009 23:06:00 EDT from rss

Subject: ACLU Wins, No Sexting Charges For NJ Teens

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print]

Following up on the "sexting" case we've discussed in recent days, oliphaunt sends word from the Times-Tribune that a New Jersey federal judge has ordered the prosecutor not to file charges in the cases of three teenage girls whose cell phones were confiscated. "Wyoming [NJ] County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. cannot charge three teenage girls who appeared in photographs seminude traded by classmates last year, a judge ruled Monday. US District Judge James M. Munley granted a request by the American Civil Liberties Union to temporarily stop Mr. Skumanick from filing felony charges against the Tunkhannock Area School District students."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/vyn_T6D5UJY/article.pl

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