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Your Rights Online

+ - Amazon wipes Kindle account of Norwegian customer and refuses to tell why->

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "Martin Bekkelund writes about his friend Linn, who had her Kindle wiped and account closed by Amazon, with Amazon refusing to say why. The only thing Amazon is saying seems to be that 'We have found your account is directly related to another which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies. As such, your Amazon.co.uk account has been closed and any open orders have been cancelled.' According to the blog post, Linn has only ever had a single Amazon account and has no idea how she could have done somethwing wrong.

Can we really trust corporations to wield this much power, while providing no transparency at all?"

Link to Original Source
Media

+ - Revolutionary MF-401 Auto De-tune fixes music->

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "Moog Music has released the MF-401 Auto De-tune, a revolutionary new DSP-device that promises to undo the clinical results of Auto-Tune. According to Moog Music, "even a T-Pain vocal can be restored to its complete original character, scrubbing the pitch correction and leaving the untreated vocal in all its wavering sharp or flat glory." I for one welcome the return of our imperfect out-of-pitch-singing overlords."
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Security

+ - Apple gives out user's ID without verification->

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "Marko Karppinen just had his Apple ID password stolen (Coral Cache link), by someone who sent a ridiculously poorly crafted social engineering attack to Apple saying:

am forget my password of mac,did you give me password on new email marko.[redacted]@yahoo.com

While Marko was able to regain control of his account using his security question, all information stored in his account has now been compromised. Apple seems to be doing OK financially these days, so can't they afford even basic training to their support staff? Apple has yet to respond."
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Government

+ - Why Vladimir Putin is Time's Person of the Year->

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "When I first heard that Time had chosen Vladimir Putin as their Person of the Year 2007 I was rather surprised. OK, let's face it, I thought the editors at Time were smoking crack. It seems Time anticipated such a reaction, and put up a rather compelling argument explaining: Why We Chose Putin. And despite the fact that Russian democracy is beginning to look very different from what we would label as democracy in the west, I'm surprised to find myself siding with Time. Maybe choosing order over freedom really makes sense some times?"
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Power

+ - Paper-thin Carbon Nanotube Battery on the Horizon->

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "As reported by the Inquirer: "Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have nanoengineered a flexible paper thin battery. According to Physorg, the battery is lightweight, ultra thin and completely bendy." This should have interesting applications... I already want to wrap it around my bicycle frame to power my lighting setup. Or how about combining it with flexible electronics and e-paper? As mentioned, there's more on the nano-paper battery at Physorg."
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Input Devices

+ - InfiniTouch: Rugged and Simple Touch Screens?

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "A new touch screen technology from QSI corporation called InfiniTouch looks like it could have real potential. Labeled as "force panel technology", it employs simple force sensors attached to the corners of any rigid surface. By calculating the force difference amongst the sensors the origin of the touch input can be determined, on both the X, Y and Z axis. There's a neat video demonstration showing the tech in action, including a touch sensitive panel with water running over it. Note: The site unfortunately requires Flash."
Music

+ - An open letter to Steve Jobs: Drop DRM in iTunes.

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "In the wake of the recent EU stance on digital music and consumer lock-in, political pressure finally seems to be building up against DRM. Steve Jobs even claimed that he prefers DRM-free music. The EFF's DefectiveByDesign.org campaign has written an open letter to Steve Jobs. This excerpt pretty much sums it up: "It has been three weeks now since you published your pledge to drop DRM, and there have been many responses from commentators who have outlined actions you could take to back up your words. The fact that you have not taken any action leads us to ask the question: How genuine is your pledge?"

Help the EFF fight DRM. Sign the letter and let Mr Reality Distortion Field know that you care about DRM-free music."
Programming

+ - Auto-parallelizing compiler from Codeplay

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "Parallelization of code is a very tricky thing. We've all heard of the challeges with Cell, and with dual and quad core pocessors this is becoming an ever more important issue to deal with. The Inquirer writes about a new auto-parallelizing compiler called Sieve from Codeplay: What Sieve is is a C++ compiler that will take a section of code and parallelize it for you with a minimum hassle. All you really need to do is take the code you want to run across multiple CPUs and put beginning and end tags on the parts you want to run in parallel.

Is this the Silver Bullet of parallelization? There's more info on Sieve on Codeplay's site."
Programming

+ - Automagic parallelization with Codeplay Sieve C++

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "From an article in the Inquirer:

What Sieve is is a C++ compiler that will take a section of code and parallelize it for you with a minimum hassle. All you really need to do is take the code you want to run across multiple CPUs and put beginning and end tags on the parts you want to run in parallel.
Is this the Silver Bullet of parallelization? There's more info on Sieve on Codeplay's site."
Graphics

+ - Prospects of the CPU+GPU combo?

Submitted by
Max Romantschuk
Max Romantschuk writes "NVIDIA has apparently confirmed they are working on an x86 CPU with integrated graphics. The target market seems to be OEM:s, but what other prospects could a solution like this have? Given recent development with projects like Folding@Home's GPU client it can't help but make you wonder about the possibilities of a CPU with an integrated GPU. Things like video encoding and decoding, audio processing and other applications could benefit a lot from a low latency CPU+GPU combo. What if you could put multiple chips like these in one machine? With AMD+ATI and Intel's own integrated graphics, will basic GPU functionality be integrated in all CPU's eventually? Will dedicated graphics cards become a niche product for enthusiasts and pros, like audio cards already largely have?"

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