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Data Storage

How To Use a Terabyte of RAM 424

Spuddly writes with links to Daniel Philips and his work on the Ramback patch, and an analysis of it by Jonathan Corbet up on LWN. The experimental new design for Linux's virtual memory system would turn a large amount of system RAM into a fast RAM disk with automatic sync to magnetic media. We haven't yet reached a point where systems, even high-end boxes, come with a terabyte of installed memory, but perhaps it's not too soon to start thinking about how to handle that much memory.
Social Networks

Aboriginal Archive Uses New DRM 182

ianare writes "An application that gives fresh new meaning to 'digital rights management' has been pioneered by Aboriginal Australians. It relies on a user's profile to control access to a multimedia archive. The need to create profiles based on a user's name, age, sex and standing within their community comes from traditions over what can and cannot be viewed. For example, men cannot view women's rituals, and people from one community cannot view material from another without first seeking permission. Images of the deceased cannot be viewed by their families. These requirements threw up issues surrounding how the material could be archived, as it was not only about preserving the information into a database in a traditional sense, but also about how people would access it depending on their gender, their relationship to other people, and where they were situated."

Spies In the Phishing Underground 87

An anonymous reader sends us to for an interview with security researchers Nitesh Dhanjani and Billy Rios, who recently managed to infiltrate the phishing underground. What started as a simple examination of phishing sites turned into an extraordinary tour through the ecosystem that supports the business of phishing. In the interview they expose the tactics and tools that phishers use, illustrate what happens when your confidential information gets stolen, and discuss how phishers communicate and how they phish each other.

Math on iPhones Just Doesn't Add Up? 289

Tech Dirt is reporting that recently announced numbers by Apple and AT&T suggest that there is a large gap (1.7 million) between the number of iPhones being sold and those being activated. Taking into account factors like the iPhone launching outside the US and a 20% estimate of people buying the iPhone just for the purposes of unlocking, there are still 700,000 iPhones unaccounted for. "[...] suggesting that they're sitting on store shelves, piling up as unsold inventory. That number suggests at least some gap between perceived demand and actual demand -- while also raising questions about how much effort it will take to eat through that inventory."

The iPhone Meets the Fourth Amendment 505

background image writes "According to Alan M Gershowitz, the doctrine of "search incident to arrest" may allow devices such as mobile phones, PDAs and laptops to be thoroughly searched without either probable cause or warrants [PDF download below abstract]. Incriminating evidence found in such searches may be used against you whether or not it is germane to the reason for the original arrest. He notes, 'Obviously, the framers of the Fourth Amendment could not have conceived of a handheld technological device like the iPhone, and courts have not yet been called upon to answer most of the difficult questions posed by such devices.' We've discussed similar search issues recently, as well as other privacy concerns related to modern technology.

Edward Tufte Weighs In on Apple's iPhone 170

An anonymous reader writes "Via Daring Fireball, a post from design guru Edward Tufte's site discusses his views on the interface used by the Apple iPhone. The post includes a video presentation by Tufte on the subject of video resolution on the phone. His argument is primarily that while the iPhone does a lot of things very well, Apple hasn't quite realized the platform's full potential by making screen real estate all it could be. "
The Internet

The Curious Histories of Generic Domain Names 208

cheezitmike writes " uses the Wayback Machine to document the histories of five generic domain names:,,,, and 'In this brave new Web 2.0 world, it's almost a badge of honor to have a Web site name that only hints at what the user will find there (see Flickr) or is so opaque as to offer no clue at all as to what the Web site is about (see It's easy to forget the first Internet gold rush of the mid-to-late '90s, when dot-com domain names based on ordinary (and, investors hoped, marketable) nouns and verbs were snapped up by hopeful companies from the humble geeks who had purchased them (often ironically) in the early '90s.'"

Saving in OOXML Format Now Probably A Bad Idea 150

orlando writes "Much drama is unfolding prior to the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, currently schedule for the end of February. After that there's a subsequent 30 day period while countries can still change their vote. As a result, Bob Sutor is recommending that saving your documents in OOXML format right now is probably about the riskiest thing you can do, if you are concerned with long term interoperability. At this point nobody has the vaguest idea what OOXML will look like in February, or even whether it will be in any sort of stable condition by the end of March. 'While we are talking about interoperability, who else do you think is going to provide long term complete support for this already-dead OOXML format that Microsoft Office 2007 uses today? Interoperability means that other applications can process the files fully and not just products from Microsoft. I would even go so far as to go back to those few OOXML files you have already created and create .doc, .ppt, and .xls versions of them for future use, if you want to make sure you can read them and you don't want to commit yourself to Microsoft's products for the rest of their lives.'"

KDE Goes Cross-Platform, Supports Windows and OS X 513

klblastone writes "The KDE desktop environment is going cross-platform with support for the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. In addition to porting the core KDE libraries and applications, developers are also porting popular KDE-based software like the Amarok audio player and the KOffice productivity suite. New KDE binaries for Windows were released yesterday and are now available from KDE mirrors through an automated installer program. The Mac OS X port is made available via BitTorrent in universal binary format."
Wireless Networking

700 MHz Auction Begins Tomorrow 187

necro81 writes "On Thursday, after much speculation and wrangling, the FCC will begin auctioning licenses to the coveted 700 MHz band that will be vacated by analog TV in 2009. The NY Times has a good summary of the players (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Google, et al.), how the auction will work, how Google has already scored an open networks victory, and what it could all mean for consumers. The auction will go on for several months, but you can keep tabs on the bids at this FCC site."

Wiimote Turns TV into Touchless MS Surface 104

RemyBR writes "User interface project allows you to control objects on a display using gestures, working like Microsoft's Surface but without touching the screen at all. Inspired by Johnny Chung Lee's work, the system requires you to wear Minority Report-style gloves equipped with infrared emitters on your fingertips. A Wiimote on top of the display keeps track of these IR LEDs, while the software can read the motion down to two-finger pinching gestures for image zooming."

Privacy Commissioner Criticizes Canadian DMCA 72

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, has criticized the proposed Canadian DMCA in a public letter to Jim Prentice, the Canadian Minister of Industry. Specifically, she's asking them not to protect any DRM from circumvention that gathers and transmits personal data, because that would give abusive DRM makers a legal cudgel to use against anyone who exposes them. The proposed bill, which was recently delayed due to heavy opposition, is thought to contain DMCA-style anti-circumvention provisions that would make it illegal to investigate or remove intrusive DRM, even if that DRM was violating Canadian privacy laws."

Online Crime Seen as Growing Threat to Business, Politics 89

BobB passed us a link to a NetworkWorld article, exploring the ongoing realization in business circles of the dangers online criminals pose. The piece raises the possibility that criminal elements are gaining access to US research labs in an effort to ferret out corporate and governmental information. One institute referred to in the article states: "Economic espionage will be increasingly common as nation-states use cyber theft of data to gain economic advantage in multinational deals. The attack of choice involves targeted spear phishing with attachments, using well-researched social engineering methods to make the victim believe that an attachment comes from a trusted source." We just recently discussed possible hacker involvement in several municipal blackouts.

What Was Your First Gaming Experience? 718

Stephen Totilo, at the MTV Multiplayer blog, recently put up a piece that asked a number of notable games industry folks all about their first time gaming. Several had some unique answers, with Peter Molyneux (Black and White, Fable) probably taking the cake: "It would have to be the original Pong. I can clearly remember seeing it in a shop window on Guildford High Street and being utterly transfixed - I had never wanted anything so much - in fact I stole money from my grandmother's purse to buy it. I got it home, took it apart, and never got it to work again - but from that moment on I was hooked on all things to do with computer games." What was your first experience with gaming? d20s on a kitchen table? A Nintendo Entertainment System under the Christmas tree?

OLPC To Be Distributed To US Students 338

eldavojohn writes "The One Laptop Per Child Project plans to launch OLPC America in 2008 , to distribute the low-cost laptop computers originally intended for developing nations to needy students here in the United States. Nicholas Negroponte is quoted as saying, 'We are doing something patriotic, if you will, after all we are and there are poor children in America. The second thing we're doing is building a critical mass. The numbers are going to go up, people will make more software, it will steer a larger development community.'"

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye