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Comment: I assume the truth is an absolute defense ... (Score 1) 223

by Sparrowhawk7 (#42111497) Attached to: Google Found Guilty of Libel For Search Results In Australia
"I assume the truth is an absolute defense even in the Soviet Republic of Australia" Whilst IANAL, my understanding for both libel & defamation that truth is NOT previously considered a valid defence everywhere. Truth (from Truth (which is also called justification) is probably the best defence. Formerly in some states (such as NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT) truth was only a defence if you could prove that a ‘public interest’ was served by publishing the defamatory words. This requirement has been dropped from the Uniform Defamation Law and now there is a defence if the defendant can prove that the defamatory imputations are substantially true.

Comment: Re:x86 port (Score 2) 149

by Sparrowhawk7 (#41771517) Attached to: Android Will Surpass Windows By 2016, Say Gartner Stats
Android already had partial multi user support built in, and this will be complete soon, maybe even as early as 4.2 Remember the underlying OS kernel and filesystem support is linux. a quick google search returns over 2.5 M matches. The x86 support is already surprisingly complete and functional, and is being given direct development assistance from Intel itself.

Tapping the Earth For Home Heating and Cooling 215

Posted by kdawson
from the geo-exchange dept.
suraj.sun recommends a CNet post giving details of a still little-known energy technology: the ground source heat pump or geo-exchange system. This is distinct from so-called geothermal energy, which taps the heat in the earth to provide energy. Geo-exchange is suitable in scale for small industry — the article describes one commercial re-development of an old mill into apartment and commercial space that put in a geo-exchange at about half the cost of traditional fossil fuel-based alternatives. Even some individual homeowners are opting for this green method of heating and cooling, at a premium in price of about 50 percent (but costs are very much per-project, largely because drilling is involved). "Rather than use underground heat, geothermal heat pumps attached to buildings capitalize on the steady temperature of the ground or deep water wells. In effect, they treat the Earth like a giant energy savings bank, depositing or withdrawing heat depending on the time of year. "

The Best Robots of 2008 57

Posted by Soulskill
from the fully-functional dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Robot innovation continued its relentless advances during 2008. SingularityHub has a showcase of the best robot videos of the past year. These robot videos are really amazing, and they show just how far we have come in the field of robotics in recent years." The videos include toy robots, robot musicians (which we've discussed in the past), modular robots that work together to move around, robots doing synchronized martial arts, the BigDog robot that can walk on almost any type of terrain, and robot soccer. We've also recently talked about a couple of robots that will bring you beer.

Google Terminates Six Services 195

Posted by Soulskill
from the hasta-la-vista,-baby dept.
Jonah Bomber writes with this excerpt from Information Week: "In addition to Google's announcements about the elimination of 100 recruiting positions and the shutdown of offices in Austin, Texas; Trondheim, Norway; and Lulea, Sweden, the company said it would close Dodgeball, Google Catalog Search, Google Mashup Editor, Google Notebook, and Jaiku. It also said it's discontinuing the ability to upload videos to Google Video. ... Jaiku, however, will live on as an open source project. Gundotra said that Google engineers have been porting the microblogging service to Google App Engine and that when the migration is completed, the company plans to make the code available under the Apache license."
The Courts

RIAA Walks Away From Another "Discovery" Case 164

Posted by kdawson
from the seeking-the-light-switch dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "You may recall that the RIAA walked away last week from one of their 'discovery' cases seeking the identities of 'John Does' who attended Rhode Island College. We have just learned that they walked away from another one, BMG Music v. Does 1-14, in Greensboro, North Carolina. 2 of the 14 John Does had settled, but the other 12 — who hung tough — will never be identified to the RIAA lawyers and will not have to pay any 'settlement.' This adds fuel to the debate over whether the RIAA has finally seen the light or is still sneaking around in the dark."

Electronic Medical Records, the Story So Far 136

Posted by kdawson
from the work-in-progress dept.
StupidPeopleTrick writes "After the executive order signed in 2006, states are making strides with privacy breach notification but are struggling with enacting privacy laws and finding funding.
With looming deadlines to move to e-records and e-prescribing, where will the money and the privacy standards come from?"

Comment: Re:Install Ubuntu (Score 1) 823

by Sparrowhawk7 (#26221603) Attached to: Configuring a Windows PC For a Senior Citizen?
Also highly recommend Ubuntu especially Xubuntu for seniors, for its simpler menu structure and less cluttered interface. Whilst placing icons for all commonly used applications in the launcher and sensible preconfiguration of the browser bookmark toolbar is good. A little basic training goes a long way. For older folks, care with fonts selection and colours can help greatly (esp for men). I have performed eleven Xubuntu installs for over sixties and they have required minimal post install support. I always get a kick out seeing the confidence and new lease of life that accompanies it, when they start receiving and sending email / photos etc from their family who previously did not have time to write. The mental, emotional and self esteem benefits of a well setup Xubuntu system for a senior can change lives. If its a friend or relative, the world you will open up for them, will enhance your life as well. I have had many attempts at configuring Windows for the same job, but eventually the virii & malware inevitably take them down. The last of those eleven was a Vista install that had become fatally infested after only being connected to the net for two days. The elderly lady owner was not only delighted with Xubuntu (prev Win98 user) but was amazed at how fast her new computer was compared to when it ran Vista.

Comment: Ubiquity & Age of control software (Score 1) 190

by Sparrowhawk7 (#24956665) Attached to: Researcher Publishes Industrial Complex Hack
Relying on a firewall is a very poor security policy indeed, The nature of industrial control equipment is modularised / multi vendor/ and generally and integrated by barely adequate software. In most cases the software is not audited, uses no transport level encryption, and have simple (reliable) often human readable protocols and is rarely updated. In my over two decade experience in this field, little has changed security wise. The software mentioned in the article is almost ubiquitious in large control centres, sometimes sharing the same subnet as Windows based workstations. Documented breeches are uncommon, but everyone with any time in industry could tell you stories which could keep you awake at night. The problems that exist in normal IT are magnified greatly in an industrial environment due to huge pressure to continue production and minimise testing, as well as the large variety of disparate equipment engineers are expected to maintain.

Time sharing: The use of many people by the computer.