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Canada

Canadian Firm Plans 78-Satellite Net Service 143 143

matty619 writes "A CNET article is reporting on another try at low earth orbit satellites for internet access, reminiscent of Teledesic, an ill fated $9 billion Bill Gates/Paul Allen et al venture originally consisting of 840 low earth orbit satellites (LEO-SAT). From the article: 'MSCI, which stands for Microsat Systems Canada Inc., is trying to be a bit of a maverick with its project, called CommStellation. The company said today that its approach of using small, inexpensive satellites in low orbit — about 620 miles above the Earth — means better coverage of the world's population, quicker launch, and better network capacity.' Each MSCI satellite has a data-transfer capacity of 12 gigabits per second. The expected lifespan of each is 10 years, and they can be sent back into the atmosphere at the end of their lives to avoid more orbital clutter."
Cellphones

Android Passes iPhone In US Market Share 550 550

Adrian writes "61.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in November 2010, up 10 percent from the preceding three-month period. For the first time, more Americans are using phones running Google's Android operating system than Apple's iPhone, but RIM's BlackBerry is still in first place, according to comScore. RIM fell from 37.6 percent to 33.5 percent market share of smartphones, Google captured second place among smartphone platforms by moving from 19.6 percent to 26.0 percent of US smartphone subscribers, and Apple slipped to third despite its growth from 24.2 percent to 25.0 percent of the market. Microsoft, in fourth place, fell into single digits from 10.8 percent to 9.0 percent while Palm was still last and further slipped from 4.6 percent to 3.9 percent." This is not unexpected, since Android sales have been outpacing iPhone sales for some time, but it happened significantly earlier than Gartner's prediction: Q4 2012.
Security

Passwords Are the Weakest Link In Online Security 277 277

Orome1 writes "It's not surprising to find that 79% of consumers use risky password construction practices, such as including personal information and words. The recent Gawker breach and a detailed analysis of breached passwords show undeniably that passwords continue to be the Achilles' heel of the average Internet user. This insecure trend sadly doesn't shift as 26% of users reuse the same password for important accounts such as email, banking or shopping and social networking sites while 29% had their own email or social network account hacked, and over half (52%) know someone who has had a similar problem."
Government

CIA Launches WTF To Investigate Wikileaks 402 402

krou writes "In an effort to investigate the impact of the leaked diplomatic cables, the CIA have launched the Wikileaks Task Force, commonly referred to at CIA headquarters as 'WTF.' 'The Washington Post said the panel was being led by the CIA's counter-intelligence centre, although it has drawn in two dozen members from departments across the agency.' Although the agency has not seen much of its own information leaked in the cables, some revelations (such as spying at the UN) originated from direct requests by the CIA. The Guardian notes that, 'WTF is more commonly associated with the Facebook and Twitter profiles of teenagers than secret agency committees. Given that its expanded version is usually an expression of extreme disbelief, perhaps the term is apt for the CIA's investigation.'"
Censorship

DHS Seized Domains Based On Bad Evidence 235 235

An anonymous reader writes "Back over Thanksgiving, the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit (ICE) made a lot of news by seizing over 80 domain names. While many of these involved sites that sold counterfeit products, five of the domains involved copyright issues. Four of them involved hiphop-related blogs — including ones that hiphop stars like Kanye West and others used to promote their own works, and the last one was a meta search engine that simply aggregated other search engines. Weeks went by without the owners of those sites even being told why their domains were seized, but the affidavit for the seizure of those five sites has recently come out, and it's full of all sorts of problems. Not only was it put together by a recent college graduate, who claimed that merely linking to news and blog posts about file sharing constituted evidence of copyright infringement, it listed as evidence of infringement songs that labels specifically sent these blogs to promote. Also, what becomes clear is that the MPAA was instrumental in 'guiding' ICE's rookie agent in going after these sites, as that appeared to be the only outside expertise relied on in determining if these sites should be seized."
The Military

How Will Contemporary War Games Affect Veterans? 288 288

An anonymous reader writes "Recently, video game developers have begun to make games about current conflicts the world over. Many veterans and current military personnel now take an active role in the video game community. Are game companies running the risk of walking into a public relations disaster when making games about current wars? More importantly, how will veterans react to playing games about a conflict in which they have participated? From the article: 'To portray conflict in a way that not only accurately depicts the acts of war, but does so in a manner that takes into account the sacrifices of soldiers within some sort of moral framing is a complicated matter. Now add to this the idea that such depictions are essentially created as entertainment and to make money. It is certainly mind numbing when looked at from a social perspective. ... Now try and apply this dynamic to a more recent conflict such as the Vietnam War or the current conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Considering that the latter wars are still in progress, the ability for a game developer to accurately gauge the morality of such a conflict is limited at best. To make a game that takes these factors into account while trying to create something that is both entertaining and capable of mass appeal among the gaming community is near impossible.'" We caught a glimpse of this last year with the reactions to Six Days In Fallujah.
Image

Prince Says Internet Is Over 450 450

the_arrow writes "According to the artist currently known as Prince, 'The internet's completely over.' At least that what he says in an interview with the British newspaper Mirror. Quoting Prince: 'The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you.'"

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