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Technology (Apple)

Apple Platform Lock-Ins, A 3rd Party Dev's Opinion 411

Iftekhar writes "Wil Shipley, of Delicious Monster fame, has written a very candid essay on what he perceives as Apple's growing trend toward platform lock-ins. He writes: 'Why is the iPhone locked to a single carrier, so I can't travel internationally with it? There's really only one viable reason: Apple wanted a share of the carrier's profits, which meant giving AT&T an exclusive deal. Which meant, we get screwed so Apple can make more money. It's that simple. [...] As Apple gets more and more of its revenue from non-Mac devices, they are also getting more and more of their revenue from devices that simply exclude third parties. Consumers suffer from this. We suffer from increased prices and decreased competition and innovation. We suffer so Apple can make a few more bucks, when Apple is clearly not hurting for money.'"

The Journey of Radios From Hardware to Software 114

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times is carrying a story all about the process of replacing radios with software. The article tells the tale of Vanu Bose, son of the man who started the Bose company, and his quest to bring software to what was previously a hardware-only enterprise. He met a lot of resistance in the 90s to his ideas, because processor technology was not up to the task. Now that technology has caught up with Vanu, his software (and other products like it) are increasingly replacing now-outdated hardware components. 'Well-established companies like Motorola and Ericsson now use elements of software-defined radio for their base stations. But Mr. Bose was the first to come to market with software that could handle multiple networks with the same equipment. Software radio appears to offer an elegant solution to what has been a vexing problem: how to have a single handset, like a cellphone, communicate across multiple networks. For instance, the G.S.M. standard, for global system for mobile communications, is used broadly in Europe, and most notably in the United States by AT&T.'"

RIAA Targets New Colleges, Still Avoids Harvard 159

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Billboard reports that the RIAA has filed its eighth round of 'early settlement' letters to twenty-two colleges. Continuing its practice of avoiding Harvard, the RIAA's new round does not include any letters to that institution, where certain law professors have counseled resistance to the RIAA and told the RIAA to 'take a hike'. The unlucky institutions on the receiving end of the 403 new letters include Arizona State University (35 pre-litigation settlement letters), Carnegie Mellon University (13), Cornell University (19), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (30), Michigan State University (16), North Dakota State University (17), Purdue University — West Lafayette and Calumet campuses (49), University of California — Santa Barbara (13), University of Connecticut (17), University of Maryland — College Park (23), University of Massachusetts — Amherst and Boston campuses (52), University of Nebraska — Lincoln (13), University of Pennsylvania (31), University of Pittsburgh (14), University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Stout and Whitewater campuses (62)."

Telecom Companies Seek Retroactive Immunity 177

kidcharles writes "Newsweek reports that a secretive lobbying campaign has been launched by telecommunications companies who are seeking retroactive immunity from private lawsuits over their cooperation with the NSA in the so-called 'terrorist surveillance program.' Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has claimed that lawsuits could 'bankrupt these companies.' The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over their cooperation in the domestic spying program. EFF legal director Cindy Cohen said of the lobbying campaign, 'They are trying to completely immunize this [the surveillance program] from any kind of judicial review. I find it a little shocking that Congress would participate in the covering up of what has been going on.'"

The Pirate Bay Files Suit Against Big Media 422

Join the Pirate Party writes "Having found the necessary proof via the leaked MediaDefenders documents, the Pirate Bay is filing suit against the big record and movie labels operating in Sweden who have allegedly been paying professional hackers, saboteurs and DDoSers to destroy their trackers. They also claim to have filed a police report."

802.11n May Never Happen Due to Patent Concerns 174

afabbro writes "The Register is reporting that the 802.11n standard is imperiled because the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization has refused to submit a Letter of Assurance, promising not to sue those who implement the standard. '...the realization that CSIRO holds essential patents, and has failed to provide a Letter of Assurance as required by the IEEE, could prevent the standard ever being finalized ... 802.11n promises to deliver a fivefold increase in speed, and double the range of 802.11g. Indeed in many cases it's already delivering something approximating that, as pre-standard kit has been available for almost a year. In May the Wi-Fi Alliance got so bored waiting for the IEEE to complete the standard that they started certifying kit as conforming to the draft, even though the final version isn't expected until 2008."
The Internet

NSA Tasked With 'Policing' Government Networks 93

Novus Ordo Seclorum writes "The NSA has a new assignment. No longer merely responsible for signals intelligence, the NSA now has the task of defending against cyber attacks on government and private networks. 'The plan calls for the NSA to work with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to monitor such networks to prevent unauthorized intrusion, according to those with knowledge of what is known internally as the 'Cyber Initiative.' Details of the project are highly classified. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, a former NSA chief, is coordinating the initiative. It will be run by the Department of Homeland Security, which has primary responsibility for protecting domestic infrastructure, including the Internet, current and former officials said. At the outset, up to 2,000 people -- from the Department of Homeland Security, the NSA and other agencies -- could be assigned to the initiative, said a senior intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.'"

Submission + - Electrical shock treatment still used on students! ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: This is sick considering it's 2007 and happening in the US. 'The Judge Rotenberg Education Center, a private radical behavior-modification school based in Canton, Mass. The school is run by a rogue behaviorist who uses discredited "punishment" techniques — electroshock — on children as young as nine to change their personalities.' reports Mother Jones in a chilling feature.

Submission + - French Threat to ID Secret US Satellites (

SkiifGeek writes: " has reported that the French have identified numerous objects in orbit that do not appear in the ephemeris data reported by the US Space Surveillance Network. Since the US has claimed that if it doesn't appear in the ephemeris data, then it doesn't exist, and the French claim that at least some of the objects have solar arrays, it seems that the French have found secret US satellites.

While the French don't plan to release the information publicly, they are planning to use it as leverage to get the US to suppress reporting of sensitive French satellites in their published ephemeris.

The Graves surveillance radar (the French system) and a comparable German system may form the basis of a pan-European Space Surveillance network — another system that the Europeans don't want to rely on the US for."


No More TV Listings For MythTV Users 346

Ryan Brown writes "As of September 1, the free XML TV guide service at zap2it labs has shut its doors due to misuse issues, as well as internal business issues. Now that Linux users, and most PVR users for that matter, are nearing the end of their last fetched TV guide, what free alternatives exist that can replace this much-needed service?"

Submission + - Northwest Passage Now Open

An anonymous reader writes: The Guardian is reporting that the Northwest Passage is now navigable due to arctic sea ice melting much faster than previously. This will only continue to get worse next year as the additional open water absorbs more heat and delays the refreezing of the water this winter.

Submission + - UK gets its own dedicated anime channel (

The_Rift writes: From this Monday at 21:00 BST Animecentral will officially start broadcasting free and unencrypted to the UK (and a significant part of Northern Europe) from the Astra 2 satellites used by Sky. The initial line-up is chock-full of quality titles like Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist and Planetes with other classics such as Cowboy Bebop and witch Hunter Robin lined up for later. Broadcasts will be every evening 7 days a week from then on Sky channel 199.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Police Busted When Tracking Device Found On Car 367

uh oh notes a story from Down Under where a police investigation came to a screeching halt as a man being investigated by the police found tracking devices in two of his cars, ripped them out, and listed them on an auction site. "Ralph Williams, of Cromwell, said he found the devices last week in his daughter's car, which he uses, and in his flatmate's car after the cars were seized by police and taken away for investigation."

Submission + - Samba 4 has reached Alpha Stage (

DaMattster writes: Samba4 alpha1 is the culmination of 4.5 years of development under our belt since Tridge first proposed a new Virtual File System (VFS) layer for Samba3 (a project which eventually lead to our Active Directory efforts), and 1.5 years since we first released a Technology Preview. We wish to allow users, managers and developers to see how we have progressed, and to invite feedback and support.

Submission + - Creative Commons Already Out of Touch?

PostThis writes: This article (which Magnatune's and Creative Commons' Board of Directors member John Buckman seems to agree with) explains that Creative Commons (CC) music is not all that suitable for videographers. Apparently, only about 5% of CC compositions (the ones licensed only under the "By" attribution clause) can be 'synched' with video without imposing license alterations to the actual video footage or its publishing rights on web sites (even if the video is non-commercial or also published under the CC "By" license). Are CC licenses bound for some changes in the future just to keep up with the YouTube times, or it will prove as inflexible and complex to change as copyright law has become?

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills. -- Ambrose Bierce