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The Internet

Bufferbloat — the Submarine That's Sinking the Net 525

gottabeme writes "Jim Gettys, one of the original X Window System developers and editor of the HTTP/1.1 spec, has posted a series of articles on his blog detailing his research on the relatively unknown problem of bufferbloat. Bufferbloat is affecting the entire Internet, slowly worsening as RAM prices drop and buffers enlarge, and is causing latency and jitter to spike, especially for home broadband users. Unchecked, this problem may continue to deteriorate the usability of interactive applications like VOIP and gaming, and being so widespread, will take years of engineering and education efforts to resolve. Being like 'frogs in heating water,' few people are even aware of the problem. Can bufferbloat be fixed before the Internet and 3G networks become nearly unusable for interactive apps?"

Angles On Anonymous 383

A number of readers are sending in links related to Anonymous, the Internet phenomenon — don't call them a group — behind the controversial DDoS attacks on commercial entities that fail to support WikiLeaks. The best insight into Anonymous comes from the Economist's Babbage blogger, who hung out in one of their IRC channels. Reader nk497 points out that UK users looking to join Anonymous's DDoS army should be aware they could face a jail term of up to two years; simply downloading the LOIC software used in the DDoSing could suffice to earn a conviction. One 16-year-old has been arrested in The Netherlands and is charged with participating in the DDoS. Reader ancientribe sends in coverage of a claim by one security outfit that several existing criminal botnets have joined forces with Anonymous's Operation: Payback. And reader Stoobalou notes a story on a manifesto of sorts that purports to come from "ANON OPS," even though Anonymous disclaims any central spokesperson or entity (press release here, PDF).

Digging Into the WikiLeaks Cables 810

A number of readers have sent in new WikiLeaks stories today, many of which focus on the content of the leaked diplomatic cables. The documents showed how the US government bullied and manipulated other countries to gain support for its Copenhagen climate treaty (though behavior from the US wasn't all negative), how copyright negotiations largely meet the expectations of critics like Michael Geist, and how Intel threatened to move jobs out of Russia if the Russian government didn't loosen encryption regulations. Perhaps the biggest new piece of information is a list of facilities the US considers 'vital to security.' Meanwhile, the drama surrounding WikiLeaks continues; Julian Assange's Swiss bank account has been frozen and the UK has received an arrest warrant for the man himself; the effort to mirror the site has gained support from Pirate Parties in Australia, in the UK and elsewhere; and PayPal was hit with a DDoS for their decision not to accept donations for WikiLeaks.

Researchers Say Happiness Costs $75K Screenshot-sm 772

SpuriousLogic writes "Does happiness rise with income? In one of the more scientific attempts to answer that question, researchers from Princeton have put a price on happiness. It's about $75,000 in income a year. They found that not having enough money definitely causes emotional pain and unhappiness. But, after reaching an income of about $75,000 per year, money can't buy happiness. More money can, however, help people view their lives as successful or better. The study found that people's evaluations of their lives improved steadily with annual income. But the quality of their everyday experiences — their feelings — did not improve above an income of $75,000 a year. As income decreased from $75,000, people reported decreasing happiness and increasing sadness, as well as stress. The study found that being divorced, being sick and other painful experiences have worse effects on a poor person than on a wealthier one."

Avoiding GM Foods? Monsanto Says You're Overly Fussy 835

blackbeak writes "The BBC today characterized those who avoid GM foods as overly fussy, the very same day that the Wall Street Journal announced that picky eating may be recognized in the 2013 DSM as a psychiatric disorder. The DSM item refers to something completely different, though I'm sure many will confuse the two. Of course, this was not done without subterfuge; the BBC's author, Professor Jonathan Jones, in no way indicates his close ties to Monsanto. Point by point Jones regurgitates the same pro-GM arguments debunked numerous times all over the net for years, while serving up some stale half facts too."
Operating Systems

Multicore Requires OS Rework, Windows Expert Says 631

alphadogg writes "With chip makers continuing to increase the number of cores they include on each new generation of their processors, perhaps it's time to rethink the basic architecture of today's operating systems, suggested Dave Probert, a kernel architect within the Windows core operating systems division at Microsoft. The current approach to harnessing the power of multicore processors is complicated and not entirely successful, he argued. The key may not be in throwing more energy into refining techniques such as parallel programming, but rather rethinking the basic abstractions that make up the operating systems model. Today's computers don't get enough performance out of their multicore chips, Probert said. 'Why should you ever, with all this parallel hardware, ever be waiting for your computer?' he asked. Probert made his presentation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Universal Parallel Computing Research Center."

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"

Tethering Is Exhilarating (With the Nexus One) 211

timothy found this link (hat-tip to Tim O'Reilly) to a paean to the joys of tethering. "In a short post, Steve Souders explores the current state of tethering 3G connections via iPhone (on which he basically gives up, for the perfectly decent reason of not wanting to jailbreak his iPhone) and the Nexus One, with which he has great success. His writeup serves as a micro-tutorial ('use PdaNet's Android app') as well as an endorsement."

Dead Space 2 Announced 56

Electronic Arts announced on Monday that their popular survival-horror game Dead Space is officially getting a sequel. According to the press release, it's being developed for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. There's speculation that Dead Space 2 may include some form of multiplayer, after an EA job opening was spotted on LinkedIn that mentioned multiplayer level design for the franchise.

Microsoft Drops Xbox 360 Pricing 169

Kawahee was one of several readers to tip news of a price cut for the Xbox 360. This comes after Sony dropped PS3 prices and unveiled the Slim model last week. The 360 Elite will now retail for $299, but will no longer ship with HD cables. The 360 Pro has been reduced to $249, but Microsoft is phasing it out. Analysts don't expect this new price point to be a huge boon for sales because the Elite doesn't match the PS3's hardware capabilities and is still more expensive than the Wii. Microsoft has "no plans" for a smaller version of the 360.

Augmenting Reality With Your Mobile Phone 111

blackbearnh writes "With the release of the 3.1 iPhone OS, application developers will finally be able to develop augmented reality (AR) apps. In other words, Terminator Vision is right around the corner. O'Reilly Media recently talked to Chetan Damani, one of the founders of Acrossair, about how they developed their new AR application, Nearest Tube, which displays the closest London Tube stations over a live video overlay on an iPhone 3GS. According to Damani, developing AR applications on the 3GS is dead easy, and the real trick will be developing good augmented reality apps. 'It's all about who's going to have the most amount of data and the most valid data. So there's the obvious types of apps which you're going to launch and those are the find me my nearest bar, find me my nearest event, find me the nearest tube stop, find me the nearest ATM. And those sorts of apps are all going to be around. But they're only going to be useful for when you're trying to look for things. So if we want to get users to use augmented reality a little bit more, we have to start introducing other bits of functionality, things like show me the offers available in a particular high street. Show me when I'm walking down a high street if there's a table available at a particular restaurant. And it's that sort of interactivity and providing that real-time data in this augmented reality view which is going to start getting people to use it a lot more rather than just for show me where the nearest area is.'"
The Media

Wikipedia Bans Church of Scientology 665

El Reg writes "Showing a new-found resolve to crack down on self-serving edits, Wikipedia has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology. According to Wikipedia administrators, this marks the first time such a high-profile organization has been banished for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the 'free encyclopedia anyone can edit.'"

Submission + - Gawker hosts Hubbard himself relaying Xenu story (

FtT writes: As of today Gawker is now among the web sites hosting the OT3/Xenu/Xemu story in L Ron Hubbard's own words, as recorded in a 1968 lecture for 'Class VII Auditors'. This is significant as it was Gawker was the first hit by the Church of Scientology's legal team demands to remove the now infamous Tom Cruise video.

Scientologists are taught that to hear the story before you are ready ('ready' being defined as having taking OTIII at a cumulative cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars) will cause you to die of pneumonia soon after. Millions of views of the material lately online in both transcribed and audio form has thus far failed to cause any reports of a pandemic however.


Submission + - Dreamhost hits customers. ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: It seems are starting out early to pay their christmas party bills. They've billed all their customers up from for more than $7.5 million by mistake, Their customers are now struggling with bank charges and overdraught fees :( Happy 2008, ouch! that has to hurt.

Submission + - InfoWorld's Save Windows XP campaign is under way (

tsamsoniw writes: "Microsoft plans to end most sales of Windows XP on June 30, despite a deep reluctance by many business and individuals about moving to Vista. InfoWorld believes such an expensive, time-consuming, wasteful shift — with questionable benefits — should not be forced on Windows users. Thus IW editors have launched a Save Windows XP campaign in the hopes of rallying XP users to demand that the OS be kept available."

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb