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Cellphones

+ - Hands-on look at the BlackBerry Storm 2->

Submitted by Barence
Barence (1228440) writes "PC Pro has had time to play with the new BlackBerry Storm 2, and came away impressed. The new touch system garners the most praise, doing away with the mechanical click screen of the original Storm — the new screen gives a kind of localised haptic feedback which "feels just like clicking a button". The phone, announced today, also includes Wi-Fi, BlackBerry OS 5 and increased storage, so it's looking an enticing prospect. After the disappointment of the Palm Pre, could this be the smartphone to beat?"
Link to Original Source

+ - UK copyright group tells cinemas: ban laptops->

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "According to a recent blog post, cinema chain Cineworld now has a policy banning anyone from carrying a laptop into a theatre, even if it is not used. The management claims that this is an anti-piracy move on the advice of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the much-mocked source of all kinds of dubious anti-piracy statements. When it was pointed out that the laptop had no camera, the management made a temporary exception. For customers, the message is clear: leave your laptop in the car. For pirates, the message is clear: there is more money to be made slinking around cinema car parks looking for laptop bags."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Meds in the drinking water (Score 1) 458

by SamMichaels (#27798387) Attached to: Lithium In Water "Curbs Suicide"

I don't remember which site had the story (I didn't see it in a quick search of /.), but in some cities drinking water contains trace elements of various pharmaceuticals. Since our waste water is processed and used again for drinking water, it's not being filtered out.

So we don't need to add in the meds....everyone else is already on so many meds that it's finding its way into the drinking water on its own.

Comment: What's the actual problem? (Score 4, Interesting) 224

by SamMichaels (#27722947) Attached to: What We Can Do About Massive Solar Flares

Unless I missed it, TFA left out the technical details of the problem and was filled with FUD language instead.

From what I saw on wiki, it's a quasi-DC current. Why can't we just install massive inductors that give high impedance to 60hz and pass DC? Wouldn't that cost less than $45k? Don't we already have static drain chokes? How does this affect current lightning protection shunts (or when they say the protection circuits pop, is that to what they're referring)?

Linemen chime in!

Comment: Up, up and away (Score 5, Insightful) 58

by SamMichaels (#27640877) Attached to: Cornell Grad Students Go Ballooning (Again)

What would be really neat is an ATV downlink on UHF so we could watch it. I've always wanted to see the transition where the blue sky disappears.

FYI, APRS is pretty much text messaging for amateur radio. The most popular use is reporting your position (which is what the balloon does), but it's an easy way to pass short digital messages....or even send an email if you're near one of the gateways.

Off topic, but semi-related because of APRS: AT Golden Packet Event. An APRS packet is relayed up the entire Appalachian Trail.

Disclaimer: IAAH (I Am A Ham). dit-dit.

Security

Zombie Macs Launch DoS Attack 757

Posted by timothy
from the but-wait-you-told-me dept.
Cludge writes "ZDNet has a story (and several related articles) about how Symantec has discovered evidence of an all-Mac based botnet that is actively involved in a DOS attack. Apparently, security on the exploited Macs (call them iBots?) was compromised when unwary users bit-torrented pirated copies of iWork 09 and Photoshop CS4 that contained malware. From the article: 'They describe this as the "first real attempt to create a Mac botnet" and note that the zombie Macs are already being used for nefarious purposes.'"

Comment: Antenna size (Score 1) 135

by SamMichaels (#27459985) Attached to: Verizon Promises 4G Wireless For Rural America

It's important to recognize that the size of the antenna is bigger at 700mhz. Remember the old phones with the antenna you extend? 1/4 wave at 700mhz is 4.2 inches. Compared to the 1.2 inches at 2.4ghz, I don't think manufacturers would be able to conceal it within the device and still get good performance.

Security

FAA Network Hacked 110

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the in-good-company dept.
coondoggie writes "The Federal Aviation Administration has joined the growing list of government agencies that have had their supposedly safe systems hacked. The agency this week notified about 45,000 employees that one of its servers was hacked into and employee personal identity information was stolen. The FAA was quick to say the server that was accessed was not connected to the operation of the air traffic control system or any other FAA operational system. It did say two of the 48 files on the breached computer server contained personal information about more than 45,000 FAA employees and retirees who were on the FAA's rolls as of the first week of February 2006."
NASA

NASA Releases Columbia Crew Survival Report 223

Posted by timothy
from the sacred-cow dept.
Migraineman writes "NASA has released a 400-page Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report [16MB PDF.] If you're interested in a detailed examination and timeline of the events leading to the destruction of Columbia, this is well worth the time. The report includes a number of recommendations to increase survivability of future missions." Reader bezking points out CNN's story on the report, which says that problems with the astronauts' restraint systems were the ultimate cause of death for the seven astronauts on board.
The Courts

Psystar Claims Apple Forgot To Copyright Mac OS 648

Posted by kdawson
from the that-would-be-an-oopsie dept.
Preedit writes "Mac cloner Psystar is claiming in new court papers that Apple's copyright suit against it should be dismissed, because Apple has never filed for copyright protection on Mac OS X 10.5 with the US Copyright Office. Infoweek is reporting that the claim, if it holds up, could open the door for third-parties to enter the Mac market without fear of legal action from Apple. In its latest set of allegations, Psystar is also accusing Apple of bricking Macs that don't run on genuine Apple hardware." We've been following the Psystar-Apple imbroglio since the beginning.
Communications

Mediterranean Undersea Cables Cut, Again 329

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the cut-me-twice-shame-on-you dept.
miller60 writes "Three undersea cables in the Mediterranean Sea have failed within minutes of each other in an incident that is eerily similar to a series of cable cuts in the region in early 2008. The cable cuts are already causing serious service problems in the Middle East and Asia. See coverage at the Internet Storm Center, Data Center Knowledge and Bloomberg. The February 2008 cable cuts triggered rampant speculation about sabotage, but were later attributed to ships that dropped anchor in the wrong place."
Biotech

Oldest Nuclear Family Found Murdered In Germany 186

Posted by kdawson
from the calling-csi-stone-age dept.
Pickens writes "The oldest genetically identifiable nuclear family met a violent death, according to analysis of remains from 4,600-year-old burials in Germany where the broken bones of these stone age people show they were killed in a struggle. Comparisons of DNA from one grave confirm it contained a mother, father, and their two children. 'We're really sure, based on hard biological facts not just supposing or assuming,' says Dr. Wolfgang Haak, from The Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. The stone-age people are thought to belong to a group known as the Corded Ware Culture, signified by their pots decorated with impressions from twisted cords. The children and adult males had the same type of strontium in their teeth — which was also found locally, but the nearest match to the women's teeth was at least 50km away, suggesting they had moved to the area. 'They were definitely murdered, there are big holes in their heads, fingers and wrists are broken,' says Dr. Alistair Pike from Bristol University. He noted that one victim even had the tip of a stone weapon embedded in a vertebra. 'You feel some kind of sympathy for them, it's a human thing, somebody must have really cared for them. ... We don't know how hard daily life was back there and if there was any space for love,' added Dr. Haak."

Oil-Immersion Cooled PC Goes To Retail 210

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the next-up-hot-grits dept.
notthatwillsmith writes "Everyone's seen mods where someone super-cools a PC by submersing it in a non-conductive oil. It's a neat idea, but most components aren't designed to withstand a hot oil bath; after prolonged exposure materials break down and components begin to fail. Maximum PC has an exclusive hands-on, first look at the new Hardcore Computer Reactor, the first oil-cooled PC available for sale. Hardcore engineered the Reactor to withstand the oil, using space-age materials and proprietary oil. The Reactor's custom-manufactured motherboard, videocards, memory, and SSD drives are submersed in the oil, while the dry components sit outside the bulletproof tank. The motherboard lifts out of the oil bath on rails, giving you relatively easy access to components, and the overall design is simply jaw-dropping. Of course, we'd expect nothing less for a machine with a base price of $4000 that goes all the way up to $11k for a fully maxed out config."
Censorship

+ - T-Mobile enforces trademark on Magenta

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On March 31, 2008, Engadget Mobile received a nice letter requesting that the magenta in Engadget's logo be changed. Today being April Fools Day, several sites have gone magenta in a show of solidarity. There's no more an appropriate time to whip up the OMG Ponies theme. Or perhaps Slashdot missed the boat on this one."

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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