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Submission + - Robert Vamosi: Gadgets degrade our common sense (

ShelleyPortet writes: "In a world where gadgets are growing more sophisticated, human behaviour is changing — and not in a good way.

That is what Robert Vamosi, author of When Gadgets Betray Us argues in his book, which examines the dangers of our growing dependence on technology.

As gadgets develop the ability to multitask seemingly endless functions, Vamosi argues that people are increasingly unable to think for themselves.

"Instead of lifting our heads, looking around and thinking for ourselves," Vamosi writes, some of us no longer see the world as human beings have for thousands of years and simply accept whatever our gadgets show us."


Submission + - iOS 5 rumored to bring over-the-air iOS updates (

An anonymous reader writes: A new report suggests that Apple has plans to eventually include within iOS 5 the ability for users to download iOS updates over the air. As it stands now, iOS updates can only be downloaded via iTunes on a tethered connection. While the feature isn’t expected to be available when iOS 5 launches this Fall, sources relay that Apple is planning to add that functionality in subsequent iOS 5.x updates.

Submission + - UN Supports WikiLeaks' Right To Publish ( 6

geek4 writes: A UN statement argues the human right to publish in the public interest, but restraint should be exercised
Following a bad few weeks for WikiLeaks, Santa seems to have arrived early to deliver a surprise gift in the form of backing from the United Nations.

In a joint statement by two UN officials, member states have been reminded of their duty to observe citizen rights to access information held by national authorities.

The rebuke from Frank LaRue, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Catalina Botero Marino, the inter-American commission on human rights special rapporteur for freedom of expression, will upset the right wing faction in the US government and provide support for WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange as court proceedings are ranged against him.


Submission + - Thousands sign up for Turing apology petition (

Slatterz writes: Regarded as one of the most fascinating figures in computing history, Alan Turing's influence on modern day computing covers WWII code breaking, the Colossus machine, and his milestone suggestion for how we might determine whether a computer was sentient, using the Turing Test. While Turing is revered today, at the time he was persecuted for his homosexuality, and eventually committed suicide. Nearly five thousand people have now signed an online petition to the British government calling for an official apology to be issued over the treatment of Alan Turing. Any petitions which collect over 500 signatures will receive an official statement from British authorities.

Journal Journal: Yesterday's socialism today's 'socialism'

In an era where many even try to apply "new meaning" to the term "is", today's use of the word "socialism" isn't at all what it was in the year that cartoon came out. Socialism was almost a synonym to communism in those years; the 'socialism' term's use even predated 'communism' (look at 'communist' country names for a why of this).


Submission + - We Rent Movies, So Why Not Textbooks? 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that using Netflix as a business model, Osman Rashid and Aayush Phumbhra founded Chegg, shorthand for "chicken and egg," to gather books from sellers at the end of a semester and renting — or sometimes selling — them to other students at the start of a new one. Chegg began renting books in 2007 before it owned any, so when an order came in, its employees would surf the Web to find a cheap copy. They would buy the book using Rashid's American Express card and have it shipped to the student. Eventually, Chegg automated the system. "People thought we were crazy," Rashid said. Now, as Chegg prepares for its third academic year in the textbook rental business, the business is growing rapidly. Jim Safka, a former chief executive of and who was recently recruited to run Chegg, said the company's revenue in 2008 was more than $10 million and this year, Chegg surpassed that in January alone. "The model is clever," says Yannis Bakos, associate professor of management at the Stern School of Business at New York University. "If they execute well, it will be an accomplishment." Savings can vary from book to book. A macroeconomics textbook that retails for $122 was available on Chegg for $65 for one semester; an organic chemistry title retailing for $123 was offered for $33. Those kinds of savings are turning students into fans. "Word of mouth," says Safka, "has put wind in the company's sails.""

Submission + - RAID trust issues: Windows or cheap controller? 1

NicApicella writes: My new system has two sparklin' SATA drives which I would like to mirror. After having been burned by a not-so-cheap, dedicated RAID controller, I have been pointed to software RAID solutions. I now stand in front of two choices two choices for setting up my RAID: A Windows 7 RC software RAID or a hardware RAID done by the cheap integrated RAID controller of my motherboard.
Based on past experiences I have decided that only my data is worth saving (setting up a system is easier on the soul than loosing years worth of basically everything) — that's why the RAID should mirror two disks (FAT32) that are not the boot disk (= do not contain an OS or any fancy stuff). Of course, such a setup should secure my data: Should a drive crash, I want the system up and running in no time. But that's not enough: Even more importantly, I want any drive and its data to be as safe and portable as possible (that's the reason for choosing FAT32), no matter whether the OS (it wouldn't be the first time Windows fiddled with some part of a hard disk it shouldn't have) or the controller (of the "cheap motherboard integrated"-type) screw up big time.
So, which should I choose? Who should I trust more? Microsoft's Windows 7 or the probably cheapest RAID controller on the market? Any other (decent) solution simply isn't in my budget...

A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection.