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Censorship

Irish ISP To Block Access To Pirate Bay 169

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it'll-happen-here-soon dept.
flynn writes "Ireland's oldest and largest ISP will be blocking access to The Pirate Bay from September 1st, while other ISPs have rejected the request to block TPB. From the Irish Times: 'Under an out-of-court agreement with EMI Records, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warners in January, Eircom agreed to cut off customers found to be repeatedly downloading music illegally. The deal also required Eircom to cut off access to Pirate Bay if requested. Yesterday, cable TV operator UPC, which has more than 120,000 broadband subscribers, announced it would not comply with a request to block access to Pirate Bay.'"
Hardware Hacking

Prototype Motherboard Clusters Self-Coordinating Modules 115

Posted by timothy
from the your-mother's-so-modular-she-broke-up-with-herself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A group of hardware hackers has created a motherboard prototype that uses separate modules, each of which has its own processor, memory and storage. Each square cell in this design serves as a mini-motherboard and network node; the cells can allocate power and decide to accept or reject incoming transmissions and programs independently. Together, they form a networked cluster with significantly greater power than the individual modules. The design, called the Illuminato X Machina, is vastly different from the separate processor, memory and storage components that govern computers today."
Networking

Network Adapter Keeps Talking While a PC Is Asleep 188

Posted by timothy
from the would-make-me-feel-better-about-keeping-a-server-on dept.
Al writes "Researchers at Microsoft and the University of California, San Diego have developed a network adapter that lets a computer enter sleep mode without disrupting the network connection. The adapter, dubbed Somniloquy (meaning to talk in one's sleep), consists of a gumstix running embedded Linux, 64MB of RAM and a 2G SD memory card, connected via USB. The adapter keeps the network connection going and the researchers have also developed a simplified IM client and bittorrent client that carry out more complicated tasks autonomously, only waking the computer if, for example, an actualy IM is received or a download is completed."
The Internet

Wikipedia Approaches Its Limits 564

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the time-to-start-over-i-guess dept.
Reservoir Hill writes "The Guardian reports that a study by Ed H Chi demonstrates that the character of Wikipedia has changed significantly since Wikipedia's first burst of activity between 2004 and 2007. While the encyclopedia is still growing overall, the number of articles being added has reduced from an average of 2,200 a day in July 2007 to around 1,300 today while at the same time, the base of highly active editors has remained more or less static. Chi's team discovered that the way the site operates had changed significantly from the early days, when it ran an open-door policy that allowed in anyone with the time and energy to dedicate to the project. Today, they discovered, a stable group of high-level editors has become increasingly responsible for controlling the encyclopedia, while casual contributors and editors are falling away. 'We found that if you were an elite editor, the chance of your edit being reverted was something in the order of 1% — and that's been very consistent over time from around 2003 or 2004,' says Chi. 'For editors that make between two and nine edits a month, the percentage of their edits being reverted had gone from 5% in 2004 all the way up to about 15% by October 2008. And the 'onesies' — people who only make one edit a month — their edits are now being reverted at a 25% rate.' While Chi points out that this does not necessarily imply causation, he suggests it is concrete evidence to back up what many people have been saying: that it is increasingly difficult to enjoy contributing to Wikipedia unless you are part of the site's inner core of editors. Wikipedia's growth pattern suggests that it is becoming like a community where resources have started to run out. 'As you run out of food, people start competing for that food, and that results in a slowdown in population growth and means that the stronger, more well-adapted part of the population starts to have more power.'"
Patents

Encyclopedia Britannica Loses Information-Retrieval Patent Ruling 95

Posted by timothy
from the rent-seeking-behavior-thwarted-for-once dept.
angry tapir writes with a snippet from Good Gear Guide: "A notorious patent case about a technology that allows people to search multimedia content may finally be coming to a close. Earlier this week, a judge ruled that two patents initially awarded to Encyclopedia Britannica are invalid. The patents were built on the infamous 5,241,671 patent first unveiled by Compton's NewMedia in 1993 at the Comdex trade show. That patent, which covered the retrieval of information from multimedia content and is now owned by Britannica, would have been relevant to the many companies selling multimedia CD-ROMs at the time."
Space

Small Asteroid On Collision Course With Earth 397

Posted by kdawson
from the big-kaboom dept.
musatov writes "There's talk on The Minor Planet Mailing List about a small asteroid approaching Earth with a 99.8% probability of colliding. The entrance to the Earth's atmosphere will take place October 7 at 0246 UTC (2:35 after this story goes live) over northern Sudan, releasing the energy of about a kiloton of TNT. The asteroid is assumed to be 3-4 meters in size; it is expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm. As a powerful bolide, it may put on quite a show in the sky. For those advanced enough in astronomy to observe, check the MPEC 2008-T50 and MPEC 2008-T64 circulars. NASA's JPL Small Body Database has a 3D orbit view. The story has been already picked up by CNN and NASA."
The Internet

+ - Facebook Maxes Out Its Data Center Space->

Submitted by
1sockchuck
1sockchuck writes "Facebook is adding 2 million new users a week, and recently maxed out the data center space at its California facilities. The load on the company's servers "continues to increase at a pretty astounding rate," says Facebook engineer Jason Sobel, who said the fast-growing social networking service has added a data center in Virginia, which is now serving 30 percent of its traffic. Sobel also discusses how Facebook sorts out which data gets stored on the East Coast and West Coast, which has meant some fine-tuning of its MySQL code to properly update Memcached."
Link to Original Source
Biotech

Researchers Simulate Building Block of Rat's Brain 224

Posted by kdawson
from the remy-will-be-so-pleased dept.
slick_shoes passes on an article in the Guardian about the Blue Brain project in Switzerland that has developed a computer simulation of the neocortical column — the basic building block of the neocortex, the higher functioning part of our brains — of a two-week-old rat. (Here is the project site.) The model, running on an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer, simulates 10,000 neurons and all their interconnections. It behaves exactly like its biological counterpart. Thousands of such NCCs make up a rat's neocortex, and millions a human's. "Project director Henry Markram believes that with the state of technology today, it is possible to build an entire rat's neocortex. From there, it's cats, then monkeys and finally, a human brain."
Businesses

+ - Bosses push staff to eat right, exercise

Submitted by AnonImass Coward
AnonImass Coward (666) writes "Yahoo reports in a story that "Many companies are starting to sound like moms: They're pushing employees to eat their vegetables and go outside and play. And they're not being gentle about it." The story goes on to describe company mandated fitness regimes at clothier LL Bean, insurance company Hartford, among others.

Employer mandated fitness programs are common in Japanese automotive companies and their overseas subsidiaries. Given the prevalent fitness levels (or the general perception of lack thereof) and prevalence of repetetive strain injuries, would IT workers be open to mandatory practices like this?"
Software

Linux Overclocking Software 30

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the running-hot-or-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes to tell us Phoronix has posted an article that covers the basics of GPU and CPU overclocking utilities available for Linux. From the article: "In 2005 we had featured several articles on the state of NVIDIA graphics card overclocking under Linux. In early 2005 the only option for Linux users was NVClock. The open-source NVClock was started by Roderick Colenbrander in 2001 and since then has been evolving. However, coming out in June of 2005 from the NVIDIA camp was CoolBits support for their alternative operating system drivers."

Windows Chief Suggests Vista Won't Need Antivirus 361

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the steadfastly-bulletproof dept.
LadyDarth writes "During a telephone conference with reporters yesterday, outgoing Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, while touting the new security features of Windows Vista, which was released to manufacturing yesterday, told a reporter that the system's new lockdown features are so capable and thorough that he was comfortable with his own seven-year-old son using Vista without antivirus software installed."

Hacking the Free "La Fonera" Wireless Router 67

Posted by kdawson
from the wisdom-of-crowds dept.
wertarbyte writes, "FON is still giving away their wireless routers for free in Germany and Austria until Wednesday — under the premise that the devices will be connected and used as FON access points. The router, called 'La Fonera,' is a variant of OpenWRT, but locked down to prevent modification, including a signed firmware image to prevent the upload of new software. It is, however, possible to get shell access by connecting to a serial port present on the circuit board. And now two students from Germany have discovered vulnerabilities in the CGI scripts used to configure the device, and successfully activated an SSH daemon on the device by exploiting them, giving owners a root shell on their router. They also provide a detailed description of the procedure and 'ready-to-use' perl scripts to open up your router."

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