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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

Wireless Networking

Journal: 802.11n Good Enough to Replace Ethernet for Enterprise

Journal by anaesthetica
A new report says that the increased speeds and other features of 802.11n should be enough to replace Ethernet on any companies' WANs in the next two to three years. While 802.11n speeds still fall far short of those of gigabit Ethernet, The Burton Group believes that they should be good enough for most uses. In fact, in its list of recommendations on when to deploy 802.11n, one of the criteria listed is "when fast Ethernet (100Mbps) throughput is good enough."
United States

Journal: Presidential Candidates' Tech Records

Journal by anaesthetica
Technology Daily features an overview of each major U.S. Presidential candidate's record on technology issues. The information was "compiled from the Congressional Record, speeches and statements on campaign Web sites." Third party candidates are ignored, but eight Democrats and eight Republicans are covered. This information is an important jumping-off point for the informed Slashdot voter.

Journal: James Madison on Intellectual Property

Journal by anaesthetica
The Volokh Conspiracy, a legal blog, writes about James Madison and his opinion on intellectual property. Madison, "Father of the Constitution" and author of the Bill of Rights, disliked the idea of intellectual "property," viewing it as a dangerous grant of monopoly. While he stressed that such grants ought to be strictly limited, he apparently went further saying that the government ought to be able to buy back the grant of monopoly to protect the public from being fleeced or placed under inconvenient restrictions.

Journal: Camino 1.5 Released

Journal by anaesthetica
It's been a long time coming, but the Camino browser for Mac OS X has reached a new milestone. Camino 1.5 is based on Gecko 1.8.1, and includes a slew of new features including spell checking, session saving, improved pop-up blocking, enhanced plug-in control, and window zooming, among others. All this comes wrapped in a website redesigned by Jon Hicks. You can read more about the release at Camino Planet.

Journal: The State of Mozilla as a Platform

Journal by anaesthetica

A number of stories have recently surfaced asking where Mozilla is going as a platform and whether it risks being outflanked by proprietary rivals. Chris Messina, a former Flock developer and SpreadFirefox volunteer, posted a 50-minute vlog enumerating his concerns about Mozilla. His discussion centered around Mozilla 2 potentially missing the forest for the trees, becoming overly focused on the short-term successes that Firefox has enjoyed, while failing to outrun the proprietary flanking actions being undertaken by Adobe and Microsoft for the next generation internet technologies.

Richard McManus at Read/WriteWeb expands the discussion of Mozilla's direction. His central concern is the adoption of microformats and what that will mean for Mozilla's position. He comments that microformats are already a step in the direction that Messina is pointing toward--a web that remains open.

Mike Shaver, technology strategist for Mozilla, has posted his own discussion of Adobe and Microsoft's proprietary tools intended to close off the web--Apollo and Silverlight--and what this means for Mozilla, if anything.

Finally, concerning Mozilla missing the forest for the trees, Ben Goodger, lead Firefox developer, reports on a Mozilla Corp board member, Brendan Eich, essentially writing off the non-Firefox products offered by Mozilla. Goodger wonders whether it would be a better strategic move for non-Firefox developers to begin seeking greater autonomy from Mozilla Corp, a speculation that Mike Pinkerton, lead developer of Camino, caught flack for a couple months ago when he opened the possibility of dropping Gecko for WebKit.

Linux Business

Journal: Siracusa: Linux Fails to Think "Across Layers" 521

Journal by anaesthetica
John Siracusa writes a brief article at Ars Technica pointing out an exchange between Andrew Morton, a lead developer of the Linux kernel, and a ZFS developer. Morton accused ZFS of being a "rampant layering violation." Siracusa states that this attitude of refusing to think holistically ("across layers") is responsible for all the current failings of Linux--desktop adoption, user-friendliness, consumer software, and gaming. ZFS is effective because it crosses the lines set by conventional wisdom. Siracusa ultimately believes that the ability to achieve such a break lies more with an authoritative, top-down corporate capacity, rather than with the grass roots, fractious Linux community.

Journal: Schools Ending Laptop Programs 308

Journal by anaesthetica
The New York Times reports that schools are abandoning their laptops-for-students programs. It turns out that the expense of providing laptops, expense of repairing laptops, difficulties of school network management, and discipline problems stemming from pornography, cheating, and cracking more than outweighed the educational benefits. Indeed, a number of schools have concluded that far from improving student achievement, laptops either had no effect or actively hindered academic performance. Apparently, politicians embracing technology as a quick fix for social problems doesn't always work out.

Journal: Digg Users Revolt Over HD-DVD Key

Journal by anaesthetica
Social news site Digg has been flooded with stories reprinting the HD DVD processing key covered earlier here. At one point, the entire front page was comprised of stories which in one way or another were related to the hex numbers that were removed by Digg administrators. Digg users quickly pointed to the HD DVD sponsorship of Diggnation, the Digg podcast show. Is this outburst a hissy fit thrown by immature users acting without regard to Digg's legal liability, or is it a legitimate act of civil disobedience?
Star Wars Prequels

Journal: Lucas: 'Empire' Was the Worst of the Trilogy

Journal by anaesthetica
Entertainment blogger David Poland recently attended a Publicists' Guild luncheon which George Lucas attended. Lucas was present to give an award to Sid Ganis, the in-house publicist for Empire. Lucas credits Sid for creating the aura around Empire as the best of the three original Star Wars films, when, according to Lucas, "it was actually the worst one."

Journal: Germany Quits Google-Rival "Quaero" 135

Journal by anaesthetica

The Quaero project, a French initiative to build a European rival to Google, has lost the backing of the German government. The search engine was announced in 2005 by Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder, but the German government under Merkel has decided that Quaero isn't worth the $1.3-2.6 billion commitment that development would require. Germany will instead focus on a smaller search engine project called Theseus. From the article:

According to one French participant, organizers disagreed over the fundamental design of Quaero, with French participants favoring a sophisticated search engine that could sift audio, video and other multimedia data, while German participants favored a next- generation text-based search engine.

The Internet

Journal: Video Broadcast Sites Newest Threat to Our Children 3

Journal by anaesthetica

The New York Times is breathlessly reporting on the rising danger facing our nation's children: video broadcast sites. Unlike video-upload sites, like the previous banes-of-our-children YouTube and Google Video, these new websites offer live video broadcasts and chats between their users. The kicker: these websites promise no monitoring by their staff for conduct or misbehavior. Will Stickam and PalTalk become the next MySpace, or will they finally succeed in destroying our cam-kids? From the article:

"The only thing you get from the combination of Web cams and young people are problems," said Parry Aftab, executive director of the child protection organization

Serving coffee on aircraft causes turbulence.