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Bill Gates: Bitcoin Is 'Better Than Currency' 130

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Entrepreneur.com: After long remaining mostly mum on Bitcoin, Microsoft's legendary co-founder Bill Gates has spoken. At the Sibos 2014 financial-services industry conference in Boston, America's richest man just threw his weight behind the controversial cryptocash. Well, at least as a low-cost payments solution. ... "Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be," he told Erik Schatzker during a Bloomberg TV's Smart Street show interview yesterday (video). "Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don't have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient." ... While he seems relatively bullish on how inexpensive transacting in Bitcoin can be, Gates isn't singing the praises of its anonymity. The billionaire alluded in an oblique, somewhat rambling fashion to some of the more nefarious anonymous uses associated with Bitcoin.
Open Source

Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer 641

alphadogg writes: "An argument between developers of some of the most basic parts of Linux turned heated this week, resulting in a prominent Red Hat employee and code contributor being banned from working on the Linux kernel. Kay Sievers, a well-known open-source software engineer, is a key developer of systemd, a system management framework for Linux-based operating systems. Systemd is currently used by several prominent Linux distributions, including two of the most prominent enterprise distros, Red Hat and SUSE. It was recently announced that Ubuntu would adopt systemd in future versions as well. Sievers was banned by kernel maintainer Linus Torvalds on Wednesday for failing to address an issue that caused systemd to interact with the Linux kernel in negative ways."

The $45 Windows Laptop 299

YokimaSun writes "The search for a cheap laptop has brought us news from India of a $10 laptop (which later turned out to be a hundred dollars). Today PC Gaming News has details of a laptop which is selling for a measly 45 dollars, what do you get for that, you get a netbook running windows embedded compact 7, 128 megs of ram, a via8505 processor and a 7 inch screen capable of 800x480 pixels resolution." I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook.

New Study Suggests Wind Farms Can Cause Climate Change 384

nachiketas writes "A study led by Liming Zhou, Research Associate Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of New York concludes that large wind farms could noticeably impact local weather patterns. According to Professor Zhou: 'While converting wind's kinetic energy into electricity, wind turbines modify surface-atmosphere exchanges and transfer of energy, momentum, mass and moisture within the atmosphere. These changes, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional weather and climate.'"

Quantum Experiment Shows Effect Before Cause 465

steveb3210 writes "Physicists have demonstrated that making a decision about whether or not to entangle two photons can be made after you've already measured the states of the photons." Here's the article's description of the experiment: 'Two independent sources (labeled I and II) produce pairs of photons such that their polarization states are entangled. One photon from I goes to Alice, while one photon from II is sent to Bob. The second photon from each source goes to Victor. Alice and Bob independently perform polarization measurements; no communication passes between them during the experiment—they set the orientation of their polarization filters without knowing what the other is doing. At some time after Alice and Bob perform their measurements, Victor makes a choice (the "delayed choice" in the name). He either allows his two photons from I and II to travel on without doing anything, or he combines them so that their polarization states are entangled. A final measurement determines the polarization state of those two photons. ... Ma et al. found to a high degree of confidence that when Victor selected entanglement, Alice and Bob found correlated photon polarizations. This didn't happen when Victor left the photons alone.'

Linux Mint Developer Forks Gnome 3 314

An anonymous reader writes "Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint founder, has forked Gnome 3 and named it Cinnamon. Mint has experimented with extensions to Gnome in the latest release of their operating system, but in order to make the experience they are aiming for really work, they needed an actual fork. The goal of this fork is to use the improved Gnome 3 internals and put a more familiar Gnome 2 interface on it."

Power Demand From US Homes Expected To Fall For a Decade 261

We hear all the time that household energy consumption is rising, both in the U.S. and around the world. That's been true in the big picture for several decades at least, but reader captainkoloth, with his first accepted submission, points to an Associated Press article with some encouraging news on this front: the rate of growth in U.S. household energy use, and household energy use itself, is expected to decline slightly over the next 10 years. Take it for what you will, but that conclusion is drawn by the Electric Power Research Institute, "a nonprofit group funded by the utility industry."

Third Blast At Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant 691

iamrmani was one of several people reporting updates on the Fukushima Nuclear plant that has been struggling following last Friday's disaster. A third explosion (Japanese) has been reported, along with other earlier information. MSNBC has a story about similiar reactors in the US. We also ran into a story which predicts that there won't be significant radiation. But already Japan is facing rolling blackouts, electricity rationing, evacuating the area around the plant, and thousands dead already.

WikiLeaks Calls For Assange To Step Down 565

Stoobalou writes "A member of Iceland's parliament and prominent organizer for whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has turned on the site's spokesman, Julian Assange, urging him to step down over rape allegations made against him in Sweden. Birgitta Jonsdottir told news site The Daily Beast that she did not believe Assange's repeated assertion that the allegations of rape and molestation made against him were part of a US-backed smear campaign to distract attention from documents posted on the site laying bare US involvement in the war in Afghanistan and further promised revelations."

Google Phasing Out Gears For HTML5 35

Kelson writes "Have you noticed that there haven't been many updates to Gears in a while? That's because Google has decided to focus instead on similar capabilities in the emerging HTML5 standard: local storage, database, workers and location cover similar functionality, but natively in the web browser. Of course, since Gears and HTML APIs aren't exactly the same, it's not a simple drop-in replacement, so they'll continue supporting the current version of Gears in Firefox and Internet Explorer. I guess this means the long-anticipated Gears support for 64-bit Firefox on Linux and Opera are moot."

Moblin 2.0 Released, Intel's Linux For Netbooks 142

eldavojohn writes "Yesterday, Moblin, the joint OS project between Novell and Intel, was released as V2.0 Beta for netbooks with the image available for download. We've talked about Moblin before, but Computer World has an article speculating this is Intel's direct affront to Microsoft's Windows 7 by pointing out that Moblin is designed to optimally use Intel's Atom Processor and smaller screens so popular with netbooks. Windows 7's netbook competition doesn't stop there, as GoodOS's gOS3 Gadgets and Canonical's Ubuntu Netbook Remix are being designed to also take advantage of Intel's Atom, especially from a UI perspective. Ars has a look at Moblin's rich new UI as well. Back in April, Intel said it would support Windows 7 on the Atom later this year, and Intel also says Windows 7 is a good choice for Intel's netbooks, so it doesn't look like they're intentionally burning any bridges between them and Redmond."

Microsoft To Kill Windows 7 Beta Februrary 10th 216

mamaphoenix writes "Paul McDougall of InformationWeek reports Computer enthusiasts who want to get their hands on the trial version of Microsoft's next operating system have just two more weeks to do so. The company says it will end availability of Windows 7 Beta on Feb. 10. There are a couple of loopholes, however. Users who started to download the OS before that date will have until Feb. 12 to complete the process. Also, Microsoft will continue to distribute product keys beyond Feb. 12 to users who have previously downloaded Windows 7 Beta but have yet to obtain a key. 'We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs, so we are beginning to plan the end of general availability for Windows 7 Beta,' said Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post Friday. Microsoft will post warnings on its Web site that the download program for Windows 7 is about to end starting Tuesday. A final version of Windows 7, Microsoft's follow-up to Windows Vista, is expected to be available in late 2009 or early 2010."

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.