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US House Democrats Unveil a Health Care Plan 925 925

gollum123 sends in this piece from a political blog in the NY Times. Here is the text of the bill in question (PDF). "House Democrats on Friday answered President Obama's call for a sweeping overhaul of the health care system by putting forward [an] 852-page draft bill that would require all Americans to obtain health insurance, force employers to provide benefits or help pay for them, and create a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers — a move that Republicans will bitterly oppose. ... But the chairmen said they still did not know how much the plan would cost, even as they pledged to pay for it by cutting Medicare spending and imposing new, unspecified taxes. The three chairmen described their bill as a starting point in a weeks-long legislative endeavor that they said would dominate Congress for the summer and ultimately involve the full panorama of stakeholders in the health care industry, which accounts for about one-sixth of the nation's economy. ... House Republicans, who have had no involvement in the development of the health legislation so far, quickly denounced the Democrats' proposal as a thinly disguised plan for an eventual government takeover of the health care system. ... The House Democrats' plan is one of three distinct efforts underway on Capitol Hill to draft the health overhaul legislation. In the Senate, both the Finance Committee and the health committee have separate bills in the works, and in recent days those efforts seem to have stumbled."

Comment Growing up (Score 1) 186 186

As we age, we realize that two completely different foods, peas and carrots, AMD and NVIDIA, can't be eaten together anymore as baby food mush.

Most people who use SLI, namely gamers and workstation users, use Intel processors anyway. Intel has Core i7, with lower-end versions (i3, i5) coming out later this year and next year, and has the publicity power to appeal to the aforementioned parties. AMD just doesn't impress much anymore.

SLI On Life Support For the AMD Platform 186 186

JoshMST writes "For years AMD and Nvidia were like peas and carrots, and their SNAP partnership proved to be quite successful for both companies. Things changed dramatically when AMD bought up ATI, and now it seems like Nvidia is pulling the plug on SLI support for the AMD platform. While the chipset division at AMD may be a bitter rival to Nvidia, the CPU guys there have had a long and prosperous relationship with the Green Machine. While declining chipset margins on the AMD side was attributed to AMD's lackluster processor offerings for the past several years, the Phenom II chips have reawakened interest in the platform and they have found a place in enthusiasts' hearts again. Unfortunately for Nvidia, they are seemingly missing out on a significant revenue stream by not offering new chipsets to go with these processors. They have also curtailed SLI adoption on the AMD platform as well, which couldn't be happening at a worse time."

NVIDIA Launches Five New Mobile GPUs 67 67

Engadget is reporting that NVIDIA has released five new mobile GPUs to fill some imagined gap in the 200M series lineup. These new chips supposedly double the performance and halve the power consumption of the older chips, but still no word on why they think we need eight different GPU options. "The cards are SLI, HybridPower, CUDA, Windows 7 and DirectX 10.1 compatible, and all support PhysX other than the low-end G210M. Of course, with integrated graphics like the 9400M starting to obviate discrete graphics in the mid range -- even including Apple's latest low-end 15-inch MacBook Pro -- we're not sure what we'll do with eight different GPU options, but we suppose NVIDIA's yet-to-be-announced price sheet for these cards will make it all clear in time."
The Almighty Buck

Should Wikipedians Edit Stories For Pay? 168 168

Hugh Pickens writes "The Register reports that a longtime Wikipedia admin has been caught offering to edit the online encyclopedia in exchange for cash. Someone noticed a post to an online job marketplace where he was advertising his services: 'Besides technical writing, I also am an accomplished senior Wikipedia administrator with several featured articles to my name,' read the post, which has since been changed. 'If you need a good profile on Wikipedia, I can help you out there too through my rich experience.' Wikipedia promptly opened a discussion page to try to reach consensus on the community view of 'paid editing.' So far opinion seems to be divided between those who say it's ok as long as full disclosure is made and 'edits are compliant with WP:NPOV, WP:RS, WP:BLP, WP:N,' and others who believe that paid editing automatically creates a conflict of interest. Back in 2006, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales shot down a company known as MyWikiBiz, which promised that you could 'author your legacy on the Internet.' The company subsequently had to reinvent itself with no reference to Wikipedia. 'It is not ok with me that anyone ever set up a service selling their services as a Wikipedia editor, administrator, bureaucrat, etc., I will personally block any cases that I am shown,' wrote Wales."

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial? 803 803

The LA Times is running a story about Earth Speaks, a companion project to SETI, which focuses on how we would communicate with intelligent extraterrestrial life, should we happen to discover it. Far more effort has been devoted to searching for signals or a means to communicate than the question of what we might say once contact is established, and the folks at SETI have set up a website to gather opinions on what the best questions and statements are. "So far, the messages break down into a few distinct categories. Some people want to throw a block party to welcome the aliens to the neighborhood. Others, less trusting, would warn the aliens that we've got guns and know how to use them. Another group, possibly influenced by having seen too many movies, would have us hide under the bed until they go away. 'If we discover intelligent life beyond Earth, we should not reply — we should freeze and play dead,' wrote one contributor." What would you say first to an alien?
The Courts

Submission + - Problems Collecting Pirate Bay Funds To Pay Fine

digithed writes: The Svenska Dagbladet newspaper in Sweden has an article (which I have summarised since I speak Swedish) reporting that the Swedish national debt collection agency (Kronofogdemyndigheten, or the Bailiffs in UK English) are saying that, after initial investigations, the record labels' chances of getting any of the 30 million kronor ($4 million) they were awarded in the Pirate Bay trial is slim to none. Three of the accused (Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg) have virtually no funds whatsoever. Peter Sunde has shares in his own publicly traded company which in theory could be confiscated, but the company is doing so badly at the moment that the chances of raising any funds this way is small. The fourth accused (Carl Lundström) is the only one of the four with any substantial funds (mostly due to his family inheritance of the Wasa bread empire). But, it turns out that, he is actually registered for tax purposes in Switzerland where his bank account is also located. This means these funds are off-limits to the Swedish debt collection agency. He does own property in Sweden but this is only worth approximately 1.7 million kronor ($230,000) according to the Swedish tax agency (Skatteverket or Inland Revenue) with whom Lundström is still involved in a long term disagreement on exactly how much wealth tax he is required to pay. It is also suspected that the property that he owns in Sweden has an outstanding mortgage financed outside of Sweden, making it even more difficult to confiscate the property which is effectively owned by a foreign financial institution.

EU Wants Multiple Browser Bundling On New PCs 464 464

An anonymous reader writes with a link to Ars Technica's report that "the EU is considering forcing Windows users to choose a browser to download and install before they can first browse the Internet, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required). While the latest Windows 7 builds let you uninstall IE8, 'third-party browser makers like Opera, Mozilla and Google are pushing for tough sanctions against Microsoft. The EU would rather have a "ballot screen" for users to choose which browsers to download and install as well as which one to set as default. The bundling requirement might end up becoming a responsibility for manufacturers.'"

Submission + - Celeron overclocked to 8.1GHz->

Slatterz writes: Intel's Netburst might have become a retrospective embarrassment for the firm, but CPUs based on the best-forgotten architecture are apparently still hitting sky-high clock speeds. This weekend, the extreme overclockers at Madshrimps managed to overclock a Celeron all the way up to 8.1GHz, which is the second highest clock speed recorded in the HWBot CPU-Z rankings . The Celeron 352 was based on Intel's Cedar Mill core, which represented NetBurst's last gasp before it was swallowed up by the superior Core architecture.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Windows Vista Service Pack 2 released

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has finally released the final build of Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. "The installers will work on English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish versions of either Vista or Server 2008. Other language versions will arrive later. Those interested in slipstreamed versions of Vista and Server 2008 with SP2 will need to get an MSDN or TechNet subscription. There are a few significant additions that are included in SP2: Windows Search 4.0, Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack, the ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Vista, Windows Connect Now (WCN) is now in the Wi-Fi Configuration, and exFAT file system supports UTC timestamps. The service pack contains about 800 hotfixes." Download links included below,

Social Networks

Submission + - 1.96% of Facebook Sold for $200 Million-> 1 1

eldavojohn writes: "How much would you pay for Facebook? Well for less than 2% of the online social networking site, Digital Sky Technologies of London & Moscow has paid $200 million reinforcing the total value of Facebook at $10 billion. This is almost exactly the same rate at which Microsoft bought a 5% chunk at back in 2007."
Link to Original Source
The Military

North Korea Conducts Nuclear Test 573 573

viyh writes "North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Monday, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a ruling party official as saying. A magnitude 4.7 earthquake was recorded by the USGS in North Korea. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has called an emergency meeting of cabinet ministers over the test, Yonhap said."

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.