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Communications

How Killing the Internet Helped Revolutionaries 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the anything-that-gets-people-off-twitter-has-to-help dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a widely circulated American Political Science Association conference paper, Yale scholar Navid Hassanpour argues that shutting down the internet made things difficult for sustaining a centralized revolutionary movement in Egypt. But, he adds, the shutdown actually encouraged the development of smaller revolutionary uprisings at local levels where the face-to-face interaction between activists was more intense and the mobilization of inactive lukewarm dissidents was easier. In other words, closing down the internet made the revolution more diffuse and more difficult for the authorities to contain." As long as we're on the subject, reader lecheiron points out news of research into predicting revolutions by feeding millions of news articles into a supercomputer and using word analysis to chart national sentiment. So far it's pretty good at predicting things that have already happened, but we should probably wait until it finds something new before contacting Hari Seldon.
Image

BMW Working On Laser Headlamps 330 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the hot-high-beams dept.
MrSeb writes "LED headlamps are only just trickling onto the market — mostly on high-end cars — but now it seems a certain German automaker has plans for laser headlamps. 'Laser light is the next logical step in car light development ... for series production within a few years in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid,' says BMW. Lasers have the potential to be simultaneously more powerful, more efficient, and smaller than other headlamp types. Before you get too excited, though: the output of laser headlights will be modulated for safety."
Hardware

Do You Want Best Buy Opening Your New Laptop? 543

Posted by timothy
from the no-you-do-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I went to Best Buy the other day to get a new laptop for a client. I didn't realize till I got it home that they had broken the seal and opened the box. They put a sticker on the box that said, 'Inspected by Best Buy.' I found they had created the user profile, recovery disks, and installed a trial of Trend Antivirus. Seems to me this is more of a marketing agenda than inspection."
Hardware Hacking

Equipping a Small Hackerspace? 174

Posted by timothy
from the vent-hood dept.
andy writes "After gentle prodding for about a year, my company actually agreed to include an electronics/robotics lab in the current build-out of our new office space. As I never really expected this to happen, I was at a bit of a loss when they asked me what sort of workbenches, equipment, etc. I wanted for the lab. The lab will only be approximately 9'x15' but there is a decent amount of vertical space to work with. I was thinking of having 2 workbenches side-by-side, one for 'hardware' and the other for 'software' with a floor-standing cabinet for storage. Semi-mobile workbenches might be a plus. Those of you that work in these sorts of environments, what do you recommend in the way of workbenches, storage, organization, and electronics?"
Google

+ - Google prepares to kill GOOG-411->

Submitted by Smelly Jeffrey
Smelly Jeffrey (583520) writes "After November 11, 2010, Google's free Directory Assistance service, GOOG-411, will be switched off. Since the service launched in 2007, Google has been quietly bettering its various voice-driven systems. When Google launched its own free 4-1-1 service, the company said it planned to use the voice samples captured by the phone system to improve its voice recognition. With the imminent closing of GOOG-411, users calling from landlines have been scrambling to find other free alternatives. While the old standby of 1-800-FREE-411 remains in mediocre homeostasis, and Microsoft's relatively new BING-411 service is sure to pick up when google drops the ball."
Link to Original Source
Cellphones

Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patent Infringement 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-license-for-you dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft has hit up the ITC over a total of nine alleged patent infringements by Motorola in its Android devices, specifically relating to 'synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.' This should be interesting — will it result in a quick cross-licensing agreement, or a protracted court battle spanning multiple years?" The ITC complaint was accompanied by a lawsuit in US District Court. Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez explained the company's reasoning in a blog post.
Image

JavaScript Cookbook 64 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
r3lody writes "I have enjoyed other cookbooks in the O'Reilly library of computer texts, so when I saw JavaScript Cookbook by Shelley Powers in the catalog, I jumped at it. The description mentioned that the book would cover HTML5 and ECMAScript 5, so I really wanted to learn the new capabilities of both. I did get to learn a lot, but I wonder if these new features are too new." Keep reading for the rest of Ray's review.
Australia

Stallman Crashes Talk, Fights 'War On Sharing' 309

Posted by kdawson
from the no-problem dept.
schliz writes "Free software activist Richard Stallman has called for the end of the 'war on sharing' at the World Computer Congress in Brisbane, Australia. He criticized surveillance, censorship, restrictive data formats, and software-as-a-service in a keynote presentation, and asserted that digital society had to be 'free' in order to be a benefit, and not an attack. Earlier in the conference, Stallman had briefly interrupted a European Patent Office presentation with a placard that said: 'Don't get caught in software patent thickets.' He told journalists that the Patent Office was 'here to campaign in favor of software patents in Australia,' arguing that 'there's no problem that requires a solution with anything like software patents.'"
Science

Plants Near Chernobyl Adapt To Contaminated Soil 293

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-what-plants-crave dept.
lbalbalba writes "In April 1986, a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine exploded and sent radioactive particles flying through the air, infiltrating the surrounding soil. Despite the colossal disaster, some plants in the area seem to have adapted well, flourishing in the contaminated soil."
Books

Super Principia Mathematica 325

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This is not an ordinary book and extraordinary would still be an understatement. Robert Louis Kemp has built a plateau of quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D.) in math, physics and logic; defined as his Super Principia Mathematica. Beyond brilliant, Kemp has worked on his book for over two decades, sacrificing personal comfort and financial security to laboriously bring to fruition his textbook style, hardback, expertly illustrated principles to the understanding level prevailed by most people. By 'most people' he means those who have a basic understanding of mathematics, geometry, algebra, calculus, physics and most importantly possessing the curiosity to learn." Read on for the rest of Gary's review.
Space

Astronomers Find Diamond Star 4,000 km Wide 197

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sharon-osborne-summoned dept.
tclas writes "The cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallized carbon, 4,000 km across, some 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It's the compressed heart of an old star that was once bright like our Sun but has since faded and shrunk. Astronomers have decided to call the star 'Lucy,' after the Beatles song 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.'"
Google

37 States Join Investigation of Google Street View 269

Posted by samzenpus
from the loking-into-the-lookers dept.
bonch writes "Attorneys General from 37 states have joined the probe into Google's Street View data collection. The investigation seeks more information behind Google's software testing and data archiving practices after it was discovered that their Street View vans scanned private WLANs and recorded users' MAC addresses. Attorney general Richard Blumenthal said, 'Google's responses continue to generate more questions than they answer. Now the question is how it may have used — and secured — all this private information.'"

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst

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