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Australia

+ - Australia's National Broadband Network to go ahead->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "After weeks of a hung parliament following the Australian federal election, the incumbent Labor Party has garnered enough support among independent MPs to form a minority government. Broadband was central to clinching the independents' support. Labor's victory means the $43 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) will push ahead. The policy has generally been popular among ISPs and telcos — though some rebel operators preferred a policy that emphasised wireless technologies, similar to the proposals put forward by Labor's opponents. The primarily fibre-based NBN is set to offer Australians 1Gbps broadband."
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Businesses

+ - 100 Best Places To Work in IT 2009->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "Don't let the growing talent pool fool you. Though unemployment levels are at an all-time high, the war for talent still rages on. Competition in the IT industry for highly skilled workers is as fierce as ever. Companies realize that 'A' players are now, more than ever, critical to the ongoing success of their operations. Computerworld's top-rated IT workplaces of 2009 — viewable by filtered list or interactive map — highlights the employers firing on all cylinders despite the economic woes. See how your company fares in the employer scorecard, find out what employees say matter most in terms of ranking and give them your own rating in Shark Bait. How do you keep a leg up on the competition? Become one of the Best Places to Work in IT."
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Cellphones

+ - Using Nokia cellphones for rural education->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "Nokia plans to roll out its Life Tools group of services to more emerging markets following a pilot program in India. Life Tools includes a range of services aimed at rural mobile users in emerging markets, where agriculture remains a mainstay of local economies. Agriculture-related offerings on Life Tools include local weather forecasts, information on crop prices at local markets, advice on growing crops, as well as pricing information for pesticides, seeds and fertilizer. Educational services include English lessons and advice on taking exams, while sports scores and music are available for entertainment."
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The Courts

+ - Accused Facebook spammer could face jail time->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "An alleged spammer could face jail time in connection with a Facebook lawsuit after a judge referred him to the U.S. Attorney General's Office for criminal proceedings. Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California referred Sanford Wallace to the U.S. Attorney General's Office for criminal proceedings for allegedly violating an injunction that prohibited him from accessing Facebook."
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Space

+ - SkyMapper Telescope: new windows of exploration->

Submitted by
Sharky2009
Sharky2009 writes "SkyMapper, a newly-launched telescope is playing a key role in the Southern Sky Survey, a five-year initiative to map and study the observable universe from the southern hemisphere. Yet while Skymapper has the potential to find objects as large as Pluto drifting in our outer solar system and quasi-stellar objects on the far edge of the universe, scientists say the project is equally important because it heralds the arrival of a new era in astronomy — one where researchers can draw on freely available online data about the universe instead of having to wait months, or even years, for a chance to observe the night sky through a billion-dollar physical telescope. The project is also powered by some serious IT and relies heavily on the open source community to run. It will also create one of Australia's largest databases at around 470 terabytes. Stefan Keller, SkyMapper scientist and research fellow at the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics says mapping about a billion objects, the survey will provide a fundamental resource for future astronomical studies in the near and distant universe. "The southern sky has traditionally not been as observed as the northern sky, as there are fewer people, so there is the potential to find objects the size of Pluto drifting around out there [in our solar system] and as yet unseen," Keller says. "SkyMapper is really about finding the needles in the haystacks — the incredibly rare objects. That's really the power of SkyMapper; by drawing in that many objects you can spot all the oddball ones." Slideshow of the telescope and supercomputer gear here: here."
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Government

+ - CIA Officers are Warming to Intellipedia

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The CIA is adopting Web 2.0 tools like collaborative wikis but not without a struggle in an agency with an ingrained culture of secrecy. "We're still kind of in this early adoptive stage," says Sean Dennehy, a CIA analyst and self-described "evangelist" for Intellipedia, the US intelligence community's version of the popular user-curated online encyclopedia Wikipedia adding that "trying to implement these tools in the intelligence community is basically like telling people that their parents raised them wrong. It is a huge cultural change." Dennehy says Intellipedia, which runs on secure government intranets and is used by 16 US intelligence agencies, was started as a pilot project in 2005 and now has approximately 100,000 user accounts and gets about 4,000 edits a day. "Some people have (supported it) but there's still a lot of other folks kind of sitting on the fence." Dennehy says wikis are "a challenge to our culture because we grew up in this kind of 'need to know' culture and now we need a balance between 'need to know' and 'need to share.'" A desire to compartamentalize information is another problem. "Inevitably, every person, the first question we were asked is 'How do I lock down a page?' or 'How do I lock down a page so that just my five colleagues can access that?'" The growth of Intellipedia has so far largely been fueled by early adopters and enthusiasts says Chris Rasmussen, a social-software knowledge manager and trainer at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. ""We are struggling to take it to the next level.""
Privacy

+ - Pirate Bay judge is also copyright protectionist

Submitted by
barklund
barklund writes "Following the verdict against the Pirate Bay a complete retrial might be relevant: "Peter Althin, the lawyer who represents Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde, has announced that he plans to demand a retrial. The judge in the Pirate Bay case, Tomas Norström, has been a member of several of the same copyright protection organisations as several of the main entertainment industry representatives", which of course constitutes a large conflict of interest as also confirmed by independent expert and high profile attorney Leif Silbersky."
Software

+ - Ubuntu 9.04 hits mirrors

Submitted by
AdeBaumann
AdeBaumann writes "Although the Ubuntu home page doesn't reflect it yet, the final version of Jaunty Jackalope (9.04) seems to have hit the mirrors. Happy downloading!"
Media

+ - RubyOnRails.org Domain Registration Lost 1

Submitted by
Tyler Larson
Tyler Larson writes "It seems that official Ruby On Rails website (rubyonrails.org) has turned into a parked advertising page. The WHOIS record for the domain lists the registrant as "Next Angle", administered by "BuyDomains.dk LLC". David Heinemeier Hansson filed two years ago for a trademark on the phrase "ruby on rails," and he may or may not be able to use it to reclaim the associated domain name. It seems clear, however, that if BuyDomains has legitimately taken ownership of the domain--which currently has a Google PageRank of 7/10--they will not let it go without either a drawn-out fight or a very large payment.

For many organizations, their domain name has become their identity. What precautions do you take to make sure it doesn't get taken from you? What sort of contingency plan can you implement in the case that it does?"
Nintendo

+ - How Nintendo killed hardcore gaming->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "Chris Jager from the GoodGearGuide argues that the rise of casual gaming means near-certain death for hardcore gaming. The sales of casual "party-friendly" games are massively outstripping the sales of classic hardcore games, and the makers of other consoles are taking note of Nintendo's success in attracting non-traditional gamers to the Wii and DS. There is evidence that Sony and Microsoft are both trying to tap into the casual market, and it's only a matter of time before hardcore gaming goes the way of the Nintendo PowerGlove."
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Microsoft

+ - Europe charges Microsoft with abuse of monopoly ag->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has been formally charged with monopoly abuse by Europe's top antitrust authority, the European Commission, over the way it bundles the Internet Explorer browser with Windows. The move follows an unsuccessful attempt by U.S. authorities nine years ago to strip Internet Explorer (IE) of its unfair advantage over competing browsers. European authorities were more successful in their prosecution of Microsoft over similar antitrust offenses five years ago, fining the company over EUR1.6 billion and ordering it to change the way it does business. (MS is also being sued by Wisconsin small business for allegedly misrepresenting the capabilities of its Live Communications Server, so not such a great week.)"
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Social Networks

+ - Wikia: Too much hype around malicious wiki edits

Submitted by Da Massive
Da Massive (559116) writes "Malicious wiki edits are "incredibly small", despite what you read in the press, according to Wikia co-founder Angela Beesley. She says it can seem larger for two groups of people. "Firstly, those external to the wiki who know of it via news articles often think maliciousness is a bigger problem than it really is. People hear a lot of bad news about Wikipedia in particular. It seems that journalists prefer to write about the negative aspects of wiki projects, or to highlight amusing or insulting vandalism than to write about the thousands of positive edits being made each day. Secondly, it can seem a larger problem to those who are very internal to the wiki — the wiki administrators on the "frontline" of defending the wiki for those edits. This is particularly the case on large projects as the administrators use tools that help to highlight potentially bad edits, so that ends up being all they see of the wiki! In general, there are far more good people than bad, so the beneficial contributions far outweigh the malicious ones, which is why openly editable wikis can work so well.""
IBM

+ - IBM nanotechnology might improve cell phones->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Nanotechnology may someday expand your cell phone's range while improving its battery life if a prototype transistor from IBM gets to market. IBM researchers are using nanotechnology to build a future generation of wireless transceivers that are much more sensitive than the ones found in phones today. The catch is that the new chips probably won't make it into consumers' hands for another five or ten years. The scientists, sponsored by DARPA (the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), have built prototype transistors with the new material, called graphene. It is a form of graphite that consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb pattern. The project is part of DARPA's CERA (Carbon Electronics for radio-frequency applications) program."
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Businesses

+ - Cisco Shareholders Vote Against Human Rights ->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "The world's biggest networking vendor — Cisco — does alot of business in China. Some have argued that Cisco's technology is actually helping China to restrict human rights and free speech in that country. So at Cisco's annual general meeting two seperate shareholder groups put forward motions for more oversight and transparency into Cisco's dealings in China. Shareholders however overwhelmingly voted the motions down. Cisco management argued that they are already helping out the chinese people
"We're in central China and western China changing education, encouraging job creation, and we're putting $45 million of our own money into corporate social responsibility because we can make a difference to the people there in a way that no one else can," Cisco CEO John Chambers said."

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