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Submission + - Woz says Australia/NBN story "faulty reporting" (

Daveberstein writes: "One misleading story was picked up by 30 other reporters, none of whom bothered to check with Steve Wozniak. When I did, he emailed. “I am taking the first steps toward my goal of Australian citizenship, which is to apply for an extended visa so that I can reside here. I have desired to find the path to accomplish this for decades. It has nothing to do with NBN (faulty reporting) although I'm always a staunch advocate for technology and bandwidth and sharing and internet freedom. But the two things are not connected. NBN is good in my mind and is a side benefit but that's all.” []"

Submission + - Where To Go For Free Programming Help (

poetwarrior writes: Have you ever been stuck in the middle of a programming project and wasn’t quite sure how to proceed from your current spot? You took a break, thought about it, played around with code for several hours, sought like crazy for free information on the Internet to help you out and then finally had to go buy a book just to get the help you need. Remember that?

Submission + - Microsoft scraps Drive Extender for WHS 2 (

An anonymous reader writes: Windows Home Server ships with the exceptionally useful Drive Extender, but according to AnandTech, Microsoft has decided to scrap this feature in the next version of WHS (codename "Vail"). Since this pretty much also removes any compelling reason to buy WHS 2, an enterprising user has opened a bug on Microsoft's Connect site requesting that the feature be left in Vail. If you want to see this feature in WHS 2 (and you do!), head on over to and once you have logged in, click the link under "Join", then navigate to to vote for the suggestion.

Submission + - ATT Wireless Quietly Meters Smartphone Data Plans

ciscoguy01 writes: ATT formerly had "unlimited data" on their smartphone dataplans, like most other cell carriers. They have quietly changed to a metered data plan. Now, you pay $15 for 200 MB/month, and if you use even 1 mb more it's another $15. I have an android phone and with all the ads the "free" aps are supported by my background data usage is over 100 MB/month, and I hardly use it.

I realize the "free" aps are paid for by the ads and that's fine, but since they are using our data, the aps are not really free, especially with all the stealth data usage.

Should we be charged for loading ads in the background, or should phone carriers not meter that, or should the carrier allow us to block that data leakage, especially since they sold us a phone that leaks data? Ah, heck. I don't think anyone wants metered data at any time. What does /. think?

ACLU Sues To Protect Your Right To Swear Screenshot-sm 698

The ACLU is suing the police in Pennsylvania for issuing tickets to people who swear. They argue that it is every American's constitutional right to drop an F-bomb. From the article: "'Unfortunately, many police departments in the commonwealth do not seem to be getting the message that swearing is not a crime,' said Marieke Tuthill of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. 'The courts have repeatedly found that profanity, unlike obscenity, is protected speech.'" This is a big f*cking deal.
Social Networks

Is Diaspora the Future of Free Software Funding? 146

Glyn Moody writes "Diaspora, the free software project to create a distributed version of Facebook, has been much in the news recently — not least because it has raised $170,000 in just a few weeks. But what's also interesting is the way they've raised that money: through a series of graded rewards for pledges of financial support. This is an approach adopted by some forward-thinking musicians: for example, Jill Sobule funded her last album in the same way, garnering $75,000 in pledges from fans. Is this a model that could be applied to other free software projects, or is it just a one-off?"

California Moves To Block Texas' Textbook Changes 857

eldavojohn writes "Yesterday the Texas textbook controversy was reported internationally but the news today heats up the debate as California, a state on the other side of the political spectrum, introduces legislation that would block these textbook changes inside California. Democrat Senator Leland Yee (you may know him as a senator often tackling ESRB ratings on video games) introduced SB1451, which would require California's school board to review books for any of Texas' changes and block the material if any such are found. The bill's text alleges that said changes would be 'a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings' and 'a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.'"

Google Android Interface For the Chevy Volt 132

jerryjamesstone writes "Earlier this month, General Motors hinted at a partnership with a major tech company to fully overhaul its telematics system, OnStar. While OnStar CEO Chris Preuss was tight-lipped about who that partner was, Motor Trend recently reported that it's Google. If the rumor's true, GM will make the Chevy Volt the first Android-based vehicle to hit the road. The Motor Trend article suggests 'Google would sell its Android operating system for in-car use,' while the Wall Street Journal has a slightly different take: 'The pairing would likely involve a way for users of Android-based smartphones to use OnStar features from their phone while not in their car. ... For instance, a person could find out information about their vehicle's maintenance needs through the Android phone. In the case of the Volt, GM's coming electric car, an owner may be able to keep track of the car's battery charge without being in the car.'"

Salad Spinner Made Into Life-Saving Centrifuge Screenshot-sm 87

lucidkoan writes "Two Rice University students have transformed a simple salad spinner into an electricity-free centrifuge that can be used to diagnose diseases on the cheap. Created by Lauren Theis and Lila Kerr, the ingenious DIY centrifuge is cobbled together using a salad spinner, some plastic lids, combs, yogurt containers, and a hot glue gun. The simple and easily-replicated design could be an invaluable tool for clinics in the developing world, enabling them to separate blood to detect diseases like anemia without electricity."

Mozilla Puts Tiger Out To Pasture 440

Barence writes "Mozilla is ready to exorcise support for Mac OS X 10.4 from Firefox's development code, closing the door on Apple's aging OS. The foundation stopped supporting 10.4, codenamed Tiger, in September 2009, but, according to Josh Aas, a Mozilla platform engineer, 'we left much of the code required to support that platform in the tree in case we wanted to reverse that decision." We had come to a point where we need to make a final decision and either restore 10.4 support or remove this (large) amount of 10.4 specific code,' he notes on the Mozilla developer planning forum."

Graphene Transistors 10x Faster Than Silicon 170

Asadullah Ahmad writes "IBM has created transistors made from carbon atoms, which operate at 100 gigahertz, while using a manufacturing process that is compatible with current semiconductor fabrication. With silicon close to its physical limits, graphene seems like a viable replacement until quantum computing gets to desktop. Quoting: 'Researchers have previously made graphene transistors using laborious mechanical methods, for example by flaking off sheets of graphene from graphite; the fastest transistors made this way have reached speeds of up to 26 gigahertz. Transistors made using similar methods have not equaled these speeds.'" The other day we discussed what sounds like similar research by a group of scientists at Tohoku University; that team did not produce transistors, however.

Craig Mundie Wants "Internet Driver's Licenses" 427

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, called for the creation of an 'Internet Driver's License' at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying, 'If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.' Of course, there are quite a few problems with this. For starters, internet use cannot yet cause death or dismemberment like car accidents can; and this would get rid of most of the good of internet anonymity while retaining all of the bad parts, especially in terms of expanding the market for stolen identities. Even though telephone networks have long been used by scammers and spammers/telemarketers, we've never needed a 'Telephone Driver's License.'"

Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.

Firefox 3.5RC2 Performance In Windows Vs. Linux 240

pizzutz writes "Andy Lawrence has posted a Javascript speed comparison for the recently released Firefox 3.5RC2 between Linux (Ubuntu 9.04) and Windows(XP SP3) using the SunSpider benchmark test. Firefox 3.5 will include the new Tracemonkey Javascript engine. The Windows build edges out Linux by just under 15%, though the Linux build is still twice as fast as the current 3.0.11 version which ships with Jaunty."

How many Bavarian Illuminati does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three: one to screw it in, and one to confuse the issue.