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Submission + - Firefox Overtakes IE Usage In Europe (statcounter.com)

krou writes: According to StatCounter, the month of December saw the first time where IE usage in Europe was knocked off the top spot by Firefox. Firefox usage sat at 38.11%, with IE sitting at 37.52%. Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, stated that "This appears to be happening because Google's Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share." Google Chrome was in 3rd place with 14.58% of market share.

Submission + - UK Government launches "Your Freedom" website (newstatesman.com)

Firefalcon writes: The UK Government today launched the "Your Freedom" website, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, to "identify laws that should be repealed" (read more on the BBC).

In a recent tweet, Police State UK pointed out an article in the New Statesman which appeals for people to call on the Government to repeal the ill thought out Digital Economy Act that was rushed through Parliament without sufficient scrutiny.

While part of the Act is regarding the digital TV switchover, other sections allow for users to be restricted or disconnected from the Internet at the behest of copyright owners, which goes against the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" that has been in place since the Magna Carta.


Submission + - Illusion Cloak Makes One Object Look Like Another (technologyreview.com)

KentuckyFC writes: "Metamaterials are synthetic substances that can steer light in any way imaginable. Their most famous incarnation is in invisibility cloaks which work by steering light around a region of space making any object inside that region invisible. But invisibility is just the start. A team of physicists in Hong Kong (the same guys who recently worked out how to cloak objects at a distance) have worked out how create a cloak that makes one object look like another. Instead of steering light to make a region of space look empty, the illusion cloak manipulates light in a way that makes a region of space look as if it contains a specific object, such as an elephant. So any object within that region of space, a mouse say, takes on the appearance of an elephant."

Submission + - free or cheap network measuring tools

lyberth writes: I want to make some measurements of networks. Currently i know of the excelent but very expensive tools from Ixia or Codima. It should be able to measure things like throughput, jitter, packetloss so that it will be easy to agree with a customer that there is or is not a problem with the network before implementing VoIP. If the tools can find causes of network flaws its fine, but main issue is to document a networks readines for VoIP. What tools do you recommend?

Submission + - Swine Flu May Be Human Error.

Tom DBA writes: The swine flu could have been accidentally made in a lab, says the World Health Organization in Bloomberg.com News. Swine Flu May Be Human Error, Scientist Says; WHO Probes Claim. "The World Health Organization is investigating an Australian researcher's claim that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error. Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG's Tamiflu drug, said in an interview today that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Gibbs said that he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus's origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint."

Time to drag out the conspiracy theories about how HIV/AIDS came into the world?

Submission + - Ecommerce with Catalyst - a post-project analysis

Denny writes: "Perl is Alive has published a 'six months later' analysis of a Perl ecommerce project which used the popular Catalyst framework at its core. It's a well-written look at how, by choosing various components from CPAN, you can build up a complex custom-tailored system without having to write everything end-to-end yourself. The author concludes that they would "undoubtedly" make the same technology decisions again, given the success of this project, and the quality of 'modern' Perl libraries and frameworks which are now available from CPAN."

Submission + - The tech of Star Trek: here today, or on its way (technologizer.com)

Harry writes: "J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie is only a month away, and while it may be a promising reimagining of the the Trek universe, there are plenty of ways in which the old Trek universe is reminiscent of our own 21st century. Abrams' film is the eleventh Star Trek movie, so we've compiled a look at eleven technologies from Star Trek that foreshadowed stuff that's actually happening today."

Submission + - SPAM: Flickr/Facebook/Google changes prompt big backlash 1

destinyland writes: "How should web services respond when their users are revolting over unannounced changes to their web services? One analyst explains it this way. "There is backlash to change, simple as that." (Thursday's upgrade to Flickr's "Recent Activity" page has already prompted over 3,700 angry posts.) And his solution? Giving users a way to opt out. "You can dismiss it," Yahoo's Tapan Bhatt tells the New York Times, "which is stupid. Or you can try to understand what it is that users are telegraphing." One Facebook user has even launched a group just to protest forced web page designs, and angry activists have even tried swamping Google's headquarters with phone calls and emails to the developers and executives behind recent changes to the iGoogle homepages."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Computers Causing 2nd Hump in Peak Power Demand

Hugh Pickens writes: "Traditional peak power hours — the time during the day when power demand shoots up — run from 4 pm to 7 pm when air conditioning begins to ramp up and people start heading for malls and home but utilities are now seeing another peak power problem evolve with a second surge that runs from about 8 pm to 9 pm when people head toward their big screen TVs and home computers. "It is [not] so much a peak as it is a plateau," says Andrew Tang, senior director of the smart energy web at Pacific Gas & Electric. "8 pm is kind of a recent phenomenon." Providing power during the peak hours is already a costly proposition because approximately 10 percent of the existing generating capacity only gets used about 50 hours a year: Most of the time, that expensive capital equipment sits idle waiting for a crisis. Efforts to reduce demand are already underway with TV manufacturers working to reduce the power consumption in LCD and plasma while Intel and PC manufacturers are cranking down computer power consumption. "Without a doubt, there's demand," for green PC's says Rick Chernick, CEO of HP partner Connecting Point adding that the need to be green is especially noticeable among medical industry enterprise customers."

Submission + - What is Your Opinion on Federated Login? (google.com)

anomalous cohort writes: "Federated login, or the ability to sign in to many services using the same credentials, has been brewing for quite some time. Microsoft has had their passport. Sun Microsystems has had their Liberty Alliance compliant Sun ONE Identity server. I'm starting to see more and more sites adopt Six Apart's OpenID project. Last month, Google published their usability research on how best to employ federated login from the end user perspective.

My question is this. Has federated login's time finally come? How many here use federated login? How many here are planning to add federated login to their web sites? Is this a good thing or yet another annoying nuisance?"


Submission + - What to do with a good idea?

Claire writes: "I've been working as a software engineer for close to the past decade, and occasionally i come up with a great idea for a gadget that would make my life easier (I've had the idea for couple of gadgets that I can actually say I didn't pursue, and companies are selling in volume now). I've not acted on them because, typically, after pitching the ideas, the companies i've worked for would shoot these ideas down as not being part of their 'core business' rather than on merit... My question for all of you is how would you go about pursuing these ideas while still working a 9 to when-its-done job? Is it just a matter of working your butt off until you have something to sell to VC's, or are there other ways to birth an idea, sell it, maintain some semblance of a personal life, and still get paid for it?"

Submission + - Particle accelerator = awesome spectroscopy 1

Seki Kowa writes: After a long and painful wait, Australia finally has a proper particle accelerator, the Synchrotron located in Melbourne near Monash University. Frustrated by your inability to do high resolution x-ray crystallography on proteins? Now you can. Always wanted to measure reaction kinetics down to minuscule timescales? Now you can. Spectroscopy is now free from the tyranny of atomic emission.

ZDNet.com.au did a photogallery of it, check it out.

Oh and what software do you use to run a Synchrotron? Linux of course, the system is built on top of both Debian and CentOS.

Submission + - cancer cure from immune system cells 1

quixote9 writes: "We're getting closer to real cures for cancer. Via the BBC, research reported in the New England Journal of Medicine:

The 52-year-old man had advanced melanoma which had spread to the lungs and lymph nodes. Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle concentrated on a type of white blood cell called a CD4+ T cell. From a sample of the man's white blood cells, they were able to select CD4+ T cells which had been specifically primed to attack a chemical found on the surface of melanoma cells. These were then multiplied in the laboratory, and put back in their billions to see if they could mount an effective attack on the tumours. Two months later, scans showed the tumours had disappeared, and after two years, the man remained disease-free.
The BBC makes sure to say that this is a very narrowly targeted cure that wouldn't work for most cancers. But cancers generally appear to be very idiosyncratic, and real cures are likely going to have to be quite individual, just as this one is. This doesn't go with the drug industry's one-size-fits-all profit model, but it does seem to be the right direction for curing the disease."

Submission + - IE7 Alters Gmail Contents (mosspod.com) 1

Caleb writes: A friend sent out the latest clip for Ghost Humpers, our episodic mockumentary. Downloading the quicktime movie from Gmail gave me a compressed version. I thought that was odd. After a little searching, I found an option to download attachments as a zip file. Simply replace "disp=attd" with "disp=zip" in the attachment URL. IE7 was changing this to "disp=indzip" for the same result; on its own. This piqued my curiosity. I searched Gmail for more attachments. A WMV file gave me an unmodified URL. A DOC file gave me an unmodified URL. Files with Apple specific extensions of MOV, MOVIE, MOOV, MOVIEPROJ, QT, and QTCH gave the modified URL. What was going on? Firefox, Safari, and Opera all gave me the unmodified URLs for every file. Therefore, there are only two options: either Google is giving IE7 a modified URL or Microsoft has coded IE7 to look for a list of extensions within Gmail and modify the attachment URL. The first option seemed highly unlikely. Changing the user agent of Firefox to IE7 and testing pointed directly at Microsoft. Sending 14037 files to myself showed me what IE7 was looking for.

This restaurant was advertising breakfast any time. So I ordered french toast in the renaissance. - Steven Wright, comedian