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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 10 declined, 3 accepted (13 total, 23.08% accepted)

+ - FCC Starts work on Net Neutrality Rules->

Submitted by Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur (910128) writes "According to the New York Times' Bits Blog, the FCC is starting working on its Net Neutrality rules.

[Chairman] Genachowski, however, offered more questions than answers on what may be the biggest philosophical debate: whether a telecommunications company can give preference to services it offers over those of rivals. Communications companies want to offer services that take advantage of some of the capacity or features of their networks. This might be offering Internet video services, improved voice mail or text messaging, or faster connections to Internet sites that pay for speedy service.

Maybe you'd like to weigh in on the commission's own web site?"
Link to Original Source

Programming

+ - How to use an intranet on a resume?

Submitted by Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur (910128) writes "In my current job, I have built a pretty nice intranet from scratch. I'd like to show this off the next time I go job hunting. With a little work, I can remove all company-specific info, and there is still plenty of functionality to demonstrate. Our company is too new and small to have any rules about this.

If you were hiring, would this look good or bad? Do you think it's ethically questionable? Would it matter whether it were posted online or brought in on a laptop?"
Censorship

+ - Cory Doctorow draws line on net neutrality->

Submitted by Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur (910128) writes "Cory Doctorow has a compelling piece in The Guardian today, arguing that network neutrality is not only crucial for the future of the internet, but is what the ISPs owe to the public.

If the phone companies had to negotiate for every pole, every sewer, every punch-down, every junction box, every road they get to tear up, they'd go broke. All the money in the world couldn't pay for the access they get for free every day... If they don't like it, let them get into another line of work — give them 60 days to get their wires out of our dirt and then sell the franchise to provide network services to a competitor who will promise to give us a solid digital future in exchange for our generosity.

Does anybody else feel like waving a flag after reading this?"
Link to Original Source

Privacy

+ - Wal-Mart to Market Digital Health Records System->

Submitted by Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur (910128) writes "Using the technology from its own health care clinics, Wal-Mart now plans to market patient information systems — installation, training, and maintenance — to clinics nationwide.

"We're a high-volume, low-cost company," said Marcus Osborne, senior director for health care business development at Wal-Mart. "And I would argue that mentality is sorely lacking in the health care industry."

Will this lead to better health care or rock-bottom privacy standards?"
Link to Original Source

Linux Business

+ - Dvorak Likes Linux

Submitted by Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur (910128) writes "John C. Dvorak says he'll be installing Ubuntu on all his machines now. Besides Windows' malware and "never-ending deterioration," he specifically cites Microsoft's anti-piracy measures as a reason.

And of course, the biggest differences between Ubuntu and Windows are the cost and the subsequent headaches, because Microsoft is constantly fretting over bootleg copies. The company monitors machines to make sure they are running legal copies of software. There have already been instances of computers shut down by Microsoft HQ because of some glitch in the cloud. This is simply unacceptable. I don't want to rely on a system like that.

He's not ditching Windows entirely, but he is endorsing Ubuntu. Could this finally be The Year of Linux on the Desktop?"

Cellphones

+ - Senator on antitrust panel questions SMS prices->

Submitted by
Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur writes "Text messaging charges in the U.S. are pretty incredible — byte for byte, four times more expensive than getting data from the Hubble by one estimate.

Apparently the rising costs, implemented across carriers, has drawn the attention of at least one Senator.

The chair of the U.S. Senate's antitrust panel sent a letter to four top cell phone companies on Tuesday asking them to explain what he said were a doubling in the price of text messages in three years..."Also of concern is that it appears that each of companies has changed the price for text messaging at nearly the same time, with identical price increases," he wrote. "This conduct is hardly consistent with the vigorous price competition we hope to see in a competitive marketplace."

What are the chances of the carriers paying attention?"
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Power

+ - More efficient solar- to-fuel-cell conversion?

Submitted by
Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur writes "Could this be a boon for solar energy storage? According to Reuters, an MIT researcher has developed a more efficient, less expensive method for splitting water using electricity.

Nocera's catalyst is made from cobalt, phosphate and an electrode that produces oxygen from water by using 90 percent less electricity than current methods, which use the costly metal platinum.

The system still relies on platinum to produce hydrogen — the other element that makes up water.

"On the hydrogen side, platinum works well," Nocera said. "On the oxygen side ... it doesn't work well and you have to put way more energy in than needed to get the (oxygen) out."

The researcher hopes that this will prove a better way to store energy than chemical batteries."

Software

+ - EU Commissioner Blasts Microsoft, Praises OSS->

Submitted by
Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur writes "European Union competition commissioner Neelie Kroes sided strongly with open source software in a speech yesterday in Brussels, and cited security concerns for groups who use a single software supplier.



Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the last four years, accusing the company of defying her orders and fining it nearly 1.7 billion euros, or $2.7 billion, on the grounds of violating European competition rules. But her comments were the strongest recommendation yet by Ms. Kroes to jettison Microsoft products, which are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run computers.

'I know a smart business decision when I see one — choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed,' Ms. Kroes told a conference in Brussels. 'No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one.'
Could this be the year of Linux on the desktop... in Europe?"

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Wireless Networking

+ - Google, Sprint, Comcast, to build data network->

Submitted by
Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur writes "Google has announced that it will partner with several other companies to build a high-speed mobile data network.



The consortium includes a disparate group of partners: Sprint Nextel, Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner and Clearwire.

The partners have put the value of the deal at $14.5 billion, a figure that includes radio spectrum and equipment provided by Sprint Nextel and Clearwire, and $3.2 billion from the others involved.

They expect the network, which will provide the next generation of high-speed Internet access for cellphone users, to be built in as little as two years, but there is no timetable on when it will be available to users and the price is not determined. The partners are seeking to beat Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless to the market.


In a separate but related deal, Google will become the default search provider for Sprint, including having one-click search access and Google Maps pre-installed on some Sprint phones."

Link to Original Source
Communications

+ - Google Looks to "White Space" Spectrum->

Submitted by
Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur writes "After maneuvering the major carriers into agreeing to open access rules via the recent spectrum auction, Google appears to be looking into a new area of spectrum that could provide internet connectivity.

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Internet leader outlined plans for low-power devices that use local wireless airwaves to access the "white space" between television channels. A Google executive called the plan "Wi-Fi 2.0 or Wi-Fi on steroids."
Interestingly, Google has Microsoft, Intel, and others on their side in this one. Was this spectrum their target all along?"

Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - Scientists create embryonic stem cells from skin->

Submitted by Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur (910128) writes "Scientists from Kyoto University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have independently a method for giving adult human skin cells the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. According to the New Scientist story,

Both teams used viruses to insert four genes comprising the transcription factors into skin cells, and demonstrated that brain, heart and other tissues could be created from cells created this way.
From the NPR story:

If the work holds true to its promise, it would largely bypass ethical issues that have dogged research on human embryonic stem cells. It could also allow scientists to tailor the cells to specific individuals, eliminating the possibility of rejection.
Could this put some of the ethical questions around stem cell research to rest?"

Link to Original Source
Media

+ - Mickey Mouse infringed in 900 A.D.->

Submitted by
Nerdposeur
Nerdposeur writes "Can the Disney copyrights trump this? The Discovery Channel reports on a Mickey Mouse look-alike that dates back to the Iron Age. Oddly enough, this thing is supposed to represent a lion.
From TFA:
"Similar shaped jewelry representing lions originated in France around 700 A.D.," he said. "After 200 years, some French artist, who probably never saw a lion in his entire life, came up with this fantasy version.""

Link to Original Source

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