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Media

+ - Corporate Fight Against Open Source

Submitted by
tomboy
tomboy writes "OSWeekly.com details Wal-Mart and Netflix's attempt at avoiding to support open-source applications, such as Firefox, with their services. The author writes, "The trouble with dictating what your users or customers can and cannot use to buy your products is a very dangerous game. Even iTunes, with all of its success, has made itself a standalone application that honestly couldn't careless which browser choice you have made. It works on two of the three main OS' and the success of iTunes has thus been reflected, I believe."
Science

Building a Silicon Brain 236

Posted by kdawson
from the million-neuromimes dept.
prostoalex tips us to an article in MIT's Technology Review on a Stanford scientist's plan to replicate the processes inside the human brain with silicon. Quoting: "Kwabena Boahen, a neuroengineer at Stanford University, is planning the most ambitious neuromorphic project to date: creating a silicon model of the cortex. The first-generation design will be composed of a circuit board with 16 chips, each containing a 256-by-256 array of silicon neurons. Groups of neurons can be set to have different electrical properties, mimicking different types of cells in the cortex. Engineers can also program specific connections between the cells to model the architecture in different parts of the cortex."
Communications

+ - Pulse Dialing or Touch Tone?

Submitted by highestregards
highestregards (666) writes "20 years ago when I moved into my house and ordered land line phone service from Bell Canada, I opted to go for the pulse line rather than touch tone. The reasoning back then was simple, I only had a rotary phone and the pulse service was cheaper. Flash forward to present day. Although the phone company no longer offers the choice of line for new activations, they haven't disconnected those with pulse service. I'm now the only person that I know who still has a pulse line.

All of the phones in the house are of the push-button variety, so they can be used to respond to interactive prompts, but the phones are set to pulse dial mode. Over the years, I have heard a variety of reasons why I should upgrade to a touch tone line, but I have yet to be convinced. Common arguments are that dial up modems don't work on a pulse line (they do, you usually just preface the dialing string with a "P") and that extra services like 3-way calling and call return don't work (they do, but there's usually a different sequence to dial since rotary phones don't have a "*").

Considering that now, 20 years later, the monthly line charge is still marginally more expensive for a touch tone line than for a pulse one, I have decided to stick with pulse. A couple of questions: do any of you still use a pulse line? For those who choose to pay more for a touch tone line, what are your reasons?"
Businesses

Creating a Business in the US on an H1-B Visa? 103

Posted by Cliff
from the building-the-american-dream dept.
GnaGnaGna asks: "I've lived in the US for almost a year now and have a full time position with a major American company under an H1-B visa (work visa for foreigners). Besides this job, I also run an increasingly popular website generating AdSense revenues. I am not sure if I am allowed to create a US company (most likely an LLC), under my legal status, and transfer the Adsense profits to my personal bank account or a business bank account. Have my fellow readers faced a similar legal situation or know anything about it?"
Biotech

Journal: Alzheimer's and Vasectomies Linked? New Research 2

Journal by cogno64
Northwestern University researchers have discovered men with an unusual form of dementia have a higher rate of vasectomy than men the same age who are cognitively normal. Certain organs including the testes and the brain exist in what is the equivalent of a gated community in the body. Tiny tubes within the testes (in which sperm are produced) are protected by a physical barrier of Sertoli cells. The tight
Security

+ - When malware attacks malware

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "Researchers say that the Storm Trojan/Peacomm worm has been tweaked to spread via IM programs and attack rival malware. Symantec sounded the alarm, and says that the exploit launches in AOL, Google Talk, and Yahoo Messenger windows that are already open, making it appear to be a legitimate message from a known user, according to the article. The worm has modified the code from last year's Nuwar worm, and when activated, enables a distributed denial of service attack against any site, including antispam services and servers supporting rival malware:

Systems hijacked by Peacomm have also conducted DDoS attacks against at least five domains used by the creators of the noted Warezov (or Stration) worm. After a busy September and October, Warezov was credited by some analysts as the genesis of 2006's massive fourth-quarter spike in spam volume.
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