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Comment: Re:Birds (Score 1) 175

by drmarcj (#21635747) Attached to: Picture-Sorting Dogs Show Human-Like Thought
Pigeons have been trained to discriminate all kinds of things, such as cats and cars. Interesting how it is somehow much more interesting when a mammal like a dog can do it even though their brains are much more human-like? Animal cognition research is full of examples where you can train a pigeon to do something, it goes unnoticed, but if you train a dog or a chimp to do it, it's published in Science and all over the New York Times and BBC webpages.
Education

A School District's Education in Free Software 288

Posted by Zonk
from the penguins-in-your-brain dept.
david.jonathan.russe writes "The school district in Kamloops, BC, Canada has been working on a linux-based terminal infrastructure for several years. They now have a system in place district wide and they can not keep up with all of the requests for info. They have a great hybrid system, using diskless workstations all booting from local servers. 'The second-generation system cost the Kamloops district about $47,000 to implement, as well as the cost of training and the release time for personal study and taking exams. However, Ferrie has no doubt of the savings overall. License costs are disappearing as the district phases out its Novell NetWare licenses, and the district no longer needs to purchase productivity software. Ferrie also figures that the increased reliability represents a substantial savings, although he admits that it is hard to quantify. However, perhaps the greatest benefit of switching to free software is that the reliability of the new system frees up technical staff to do more than routine support.'" Linux.com and Slashdot are both owned by SourceForge.
Portables

+ - Asus stuns Computex with $189 laptop->

Submitted by
slashthedot
slashthedot writes "As if Intel's cheap laptop release last month wasn't enough, Asus sprang a surprise during Intel's Computex keynote today with the announcement of a $189 laptop.
The notebook uses a custom-written Linux operating system, measures roughly 120 x 100 x 30mm (WDH) and weighs only 900g, boots in 15 seconds from its solid-state hard disk. Asus chairman Jonney Shih claimed the 3ePC would be available in all areas of the world, not only developing nations.
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/114773/asus-stuns-comp utex-with-100-laptop.html"

Link to Original Source
Sony

Sony Sued for Blu-Ray Patent Violation 153

Posted by Zonk
from the how-shiny-is-too-shiny dept.
Jaidan writes "According to a Gamespot article, a California-based company named Target Technology is suing Sony over patents it allegedly holds for silver based reflective surfaces. The suit claims that products marketed under the Blu-ray name infringe on a patent it owns for reflective layer materials in optical discs. Target is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Sony from violating its patent rights in the future, as well as damages with interest, multiplied due to what it characterizes as deliberate and willful infringement. ' The patent addresses what Target called a need for specific types of silver-based alloys with the advantages (but not the price) of gold. According to the patent, the alloys are also more resistant to corrosion than pure silver. Target does not specify in its suit whether it believes all of Sony's Blu-ray discs infringe on its patent, or the suit applies to just a portion of the discs manufactured. The patent was filed in April of 2004 and granted in March of 2006.'"
Businesses

+ - Best Buy Accused of Overcharging

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has accused Best Buy of overcharging. It is said that, customers would see one price on Best Buy's website, but when they got to the store the salesscum would show them a different internal site from a kiosk. Best Buy denies the charges. Link"
Media

+ - Finnish court rules CSS "ineffective"

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In an unanimous decision released today, Helsinki District Court ruled that Content Scrambling System (CSS) used in DVD movies is "ineffective". The decision is the first in Europe to interpret new copyright law amendments that ban the circumvention of "effective technological measures".

http://www.turre.com/blog/?p=102"
Microsoft

Gates and Jobs to Share A Stage 210

Posted by Zonk
from the no-not-celebrity-death-match dept.
Rob wrote with a link to a Computer Business Review online article, which reports that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Apple chief Steve Jobs will make a joint appearance at a future technologies conference in Carlsbad, California. The event is expected to last a little more than an hour, and the two computer industry magnates are expected to reflect on their pasts - while theorizing on the future. "[WSJ Tech columnist] Walt Mossberg, a co-producer of the conference who will interview the execs on-stage along with colleague Kara Swisher, said they simply invited Gates and Jobs to do the interview ... [Mossberg] declined to give any color about the questions he and Swisher are preparing, or any additional information. Most likely, Gates and Jobs will use the occasion to do some friendly sparring on their polar-opposite philosophies on personal computing. Jobs may bang on about the benefits of a software-hardware approach, while Gates may rattle off the joys of partnering with hardware partners."
Privacy

+ - Hack My Son's Computer, Please

Submitted by SafteyInNumbers
SafteyInNumbers (706315) writes "Can an elderly father give police permission to search a password-protected computer kept in his adult son's bedroom, without probable cause or a warrant? In April, a three judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said yes. This week, the son's attorney, Melissa Harrison, an assistant federal public defender in Kansas City, will ask the court to reconsider the panel's ruling. At stake is whether law enforcement will have any responsibility to respect passwords and other expressions of user privacy when searching devices which contain the most sensitive kinds of private information. In United States v. Andrus (.pdf), agents suspected that the defendant was accessing websites containing child pornography, but after eight months of investigation still did not have sufficient probable cause to get a search warrant. Instead, they decided to drop by the defendant's house for an impromptu conversation. The suspect was not at home. However, his 91-year-old father answered the door in his pajamas, invited the agents in, and eventually gave them permission to enter his son's bedroom and search the hard drive on his son's password-protected computer. The agents used EnCase to perform the search, a common forensic tool programmed to ignore Windows logon passwords. Agents found child pornography on the computer. Without a judge's permission, the search depended on the father's authority to allow police access to his son's computer. On this point, the fact that the son locked his parents out of the computer with a password is critical. http://www.wired.com/politics/law/commentary/circu itcourt/2007/05/circuitcourt_0523 Looks like it's time to dust off those encryption programs."
NASA

NASA World Wind 1.4 Released With Trailer 117

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fun-toys dept.
Bull_UK writes "As many of you probably already know NASA had to shift it's priorities to the upcoming Java version of World Wind, leaving 1.4 effectively orphaned, but the Open Source community came together and with a lot of hard work we were able to finish what Chris Maxwell started. Some of the new things which differentiate the new World Wind from the competition are the amazing new visual effects, including HDR, check out the video for some examples. Remember this virtual globe has never had the same goals as Google Earth, if you just want to see your house stick with GE, although many areas have high resolution as good and sometimes better than GE. World Wind is aimed at education and science, all the default imagery is copyright free, you don't need to purchase a license to redistribute the imagery and there are no pro or expert versions to buy, you can happily use World Wind at work or school without fear of any lawyers confiscating your research."

Windows Vista: the Missing Manual 220

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-it-comes dept.
John Suda writes "It's been over five years in the making and its nearly perfect. No, Im not referring to Microsoft's vast new operating system named Windows Vista, but to the reference book Windows Vista: the Missing Manual, by author David Pogue. The book is the latest, and perhaps best, in the Missing Manual series published by Pogue Press / O'Reilly Media, Inc. The Missing Manual series is the benchmark of quality for computer manuals. Unless youre a system administrator, programmer, or uber-geek, this is probably the only reference source you'll need to learn Microsofts Vista." Read below for the rest of John's review.
Windows

Vista Family Discount Keys Found Not Compatible 394

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fits-a-different-lock dept.
acousticiris writes "Many (if not all) users who took advantage of Microsoft's Vista Family Discount have been issued invalid installation keys and cannot install Windows Vista Home Premium. Microsoft says, 'There is no expected time period for a fix at this time.' According to the article, the keys are valid for something, just not Windows Vista. Perhaps it's just too simple to issue these folks new keys and send them on their way."

Diebold Disks May Have Been For Testers 182

Posted by Zonk
from the concientious-tester dept.
opencity writes "The Washington Post reports on the two Diebold source disks that were anonymously sent to a Maryland election official this past week. Further investigation has lead individuals involved to believe the disks came from a security check demanded by the Maryland legislature sometime in 2003." From the article: "Critics of electronic voting said the most recent incident in Maryland casts doubt on Lamone's claim that Maryland has the nation's most secure voting system. "There now may be numerous copies of the Diebold software floating around in unauthorized hands," said Linda Schade, co-founder of TrueVoteMD, which has pressed for a system that provides a verifiable paper record of each vote."

Compress Wikipedia and Win AI Prize 324

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-does-this-mean dept.
Baldrson writes "If you think you can compress a 100M sample of Wikipedia better than paq8f, then you might want to try winning win some of a (at present) 50,000 Euro purse. Marcus Hutter has announced the Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge the intent of which is to incentivize the advancement of AI through the exploitation of Hutter's theory of optimal universal artificial intelligence. The basic theory, for which Hutter provides a proof, is that after any set of observations the optimal move by an AI is find the smallest program that predicts those observations and then assume its environment is controlled by that program. Think of it as Ockham's Razor on steroids. Matt Mahoney provides a writeup of the rationale for the prize including a description of the equivalence of compression and general intelligence."

How to Become Invisible 336

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the first-paint-yourself-with-invisible-paint dept.
mdm42 writes "Looks like a theoretical physicist at St. Andrews University in Scotland believes that invisibility may be possible. And its not going to be a potion or a cloak, but will come in the form of a device. " Let's just hope that when the invisible woman arrives, she's played more convincingly than Jessica Alba.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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