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Movies

Ray Kurzweil's Vision of the Singularity, In Movie Form 366

Posted by timothy
from the seems-to-invite-some-polite-skepticism dept.
destinyland writes "AI researcher Ben Goertzel peeks at the new Ray Kurzweil movie (Transcendent Man), and gives it 'two nano-enhanced cyberthumbs way, way up!' But in an exchange with Kurzweil after the screening, Goertzel debates the post-human future, asking whether individuality can survive in a machine-augmented brain. The documentary covers radical futurism, but also includes alternate viewpoints. 'Would I build these machines, if I knew there was a strong chance they would destroy humanity?' asks evolvable hardware researcher Hugo de Garis. His answer? 'Yeah.'" Note, the movie is about Kurzweil and futurism, not by Kurzweil. Update: 05/06 20:57 GMT by T : Note, Singularity Hub has a review up, too.

Fonera 2 To Launch With Extended Functionality 119

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the real-community-sharing dept.
The next installment in the Fonera router family is set to make its debut in a couple of weeks, and the additions to the hardware are relatively impressive. Promising full support for networked storage, automatic downloads, sharing of a USB 3G connection, and a few other perks in addition to the normal range of functionality found in the Fonera routers this package packs quite a punch. "Like the original Fonera and Fonera+ routers, the principals of this hippie-love-in-styled product still apply. You buy the router and hook it up to your internet connection as normal. The trick is that the router shares a part of your bandwidth on a public-facing connection. Other Fon owners can log in and use this public network for free. In turn, you — as a Fonera owner — can travel the world and use other Fon hotspots. It's a neat idea and everybody wins, except the money-grabbing telcos."
Social Networks

Twitter Leads Social Networks In Downtime 175

Posted by timothy
from the great-to-be-top-of-the-list dept.
illectro writes "A study on site availability by monitoring service Pingdom shows that in 2008 Twitter greeted users with the 'Fail Whale' for more than 84 hours, almost twice as much as any other site. At the other end of the scale imeem and Xanga managed less than 4 hours of downtime for 99.95% uptime. Myspace, Facebook and Classmates.com were the only other sites studied which managed to stay up more than 99.9% of the time."
Programming

What Programming Language For Linux Development? 997

Posted by kdawson
from the let-slip-the-dogs dept.
k33l0r writes "Recently I've been thinking about developing (or learning to develop) for Linux. I'm an IT university student but my degree program focuses almost exclusively on Microsoft tools (Visual Studio, C#, ASP.NET, etc.) which is why I would like to expand my repertoire on my own. Personally I'm quite comfortable in a Linux environment, but have never programmed for it. Over the years I've developed a healthy fear of everything Java and I'm not too sure of what I think of Python's use of indentation to delimit blocks. The question that remains is: what language and tools should I be using?"
Yahoo!

Yahoo Interested In a Microsoft Buyout, But Microsoft Isn't 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the baby-come-back dept.
Linux Blog writes "The Google-Yahoo advertising deal has been rejected by the Department of Justice, and Google has pulled the plug on a search-ad partnership with Yahoo that would have given Yahoo major new revenue, but that raised antitrust concerns. Now, Yahoo has said the 'For Sale' sign is still on its front lawn and that Microsoft should buy the company. The internet portal's co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang made this comment despite the fact Yahoo rejected a $33 a share offer from Microsoft back in May. What a huge loss for the share holders. Microsoft was quick to respond that their buyout efforts were a thing of the past, but left the door open to a search partnership."
Privacy

Anonymous Anger Rampant On the Web 399

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-now-this-too dept.
the4thdimension writes "In a story that may bring out the 'duh' in you, CNN has a story about how anonymous anger is rampant on the Internet. Citing various reasons, it attempts to explain why sites like MyBiggestComplaint and Just Rage exist and why anger via the web seems to be everywhere. Various reasons include: anonymity, lack of rules, and lack of immediate consequences. Whatever the reason, they describe that online anger has resulted in real-life violence and suggest methods for parents and teens to cope with e-aggression and to learn to be aware of it." I can't figure out what makes me angrier: my habit of anonymously trolling web forums, or my video game playing.
The Courts

Yoko Ono/EMI Suit Exposes Fair Use Flaw 409

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-hope-someday-you'll-sue-us dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Yoko Ono and EMI Records have backed down from their suit against the makers of a documentary film who used a 15-second fragment of a John Lennon song — but only after a Stanford Law School group got involved. Even though the use of the clip was clearly Fair Use, the case exposed a huge problem with the doctrine: It's becoming too expensive for people to actually take advantage of what is supposed to be a guaranteed right. Ironically, the song in question was Imagine."
Software

How To Kill an Open Source Project With New Funding 187

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the money-still-the-root-of-all-evil dept.
mir42 writes "The OpenSource multimedia authorware project Sophie, formerly hosted by USC Los Angeles, may just have been killed by new funding. The original funding organization, Mellon Foundation, approved a grant to redevelop the four year project from scratch in Java. The grant was awarded to a Bulgarian company based on their proposal, which is simply an exact description, including the UI and the artwork, of the current Sophie. Being an OpenSource project, this isn't strictly illegal, but let's say, not nice and definitely not innovative, coming from a former sub-sub-contractor on the project. Some of the original, now laid-off developers started OpenSophie.org trying to salvage the project. As the current version is still somewhat buggy and slow, it might just be enough to alienate all potential users of Sophie to the point that nobody will even try to use the next version. Have others faced similar situations? How would you deal with a situation like this?"
Windows

Seinfeld-Windows TV Ad Anything But 'Delicious' 893

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the a-whole-lotta-meh dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft's $300-million ad campaign for Windows starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld launched Thursday with a long TV commercial almost entirely devoid of any talk of Windows, Microsoft or anything, really. With co-star Bill Gates, the scene is set in a shopping mall. Seinfeld, who did most of the talking, helps Gates buy a pair of shoes called the Conquistador. The commercial ends with Seinfeld asking Gates if Microsoft will "come out with something that makes our computers moist and chewy like cake so we can just eat them while we're working." Gates wiggles his rear to answer in the affirmative. The commercial ends (see video inside the story) with the Windows logo and the phrase 'Delicious.' Preston Gralla writes, 'I just saw Microsoft's much ballyhooed Jerry Seinfeld ad, and can say without equivocation it's one of the worst, most pointless ads in history. If this is Microsoft's response to the 'I'm a Mac' ads, it should fold up its tent and tell the world to switch to Apple."
The Almighty Buck

Should IT Unionize? 1141

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the working-great-in-detroit dept.
snydeq writes "Sixty-hour work weeks with no overtime or comp time, a BlackBerry hitched to your belt 24/7, mandates from managers who have no clue what you actually do — all for a job that could be outsourced tomorrow. 'Is it finally time for technology workers to form a union and demand better working conditions?' InfoWorld's Dan Tynan asks. To some, the odds against IT unions are long, in large part because the 'lone gunman' culture is pervasive. Diversity of skills and job objectives is another hurdle for rallying around common goals. But that has not dissuaded several union-minded groups from cropping up across the industry as of late, Tynan reports. In the end, the best bet for IT may be a professional organization modeled after the American Bar Association or the American Medical Association, one that could give IT professionals a single voice for speaking out on issues that affect everyone — such as H-1B visa limits or tax incentives to keep IT jobs onshore."

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