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Government

Senator Applauds Pirate Bay Trial, Chides Canada 526

Posted by timothy
from the speaking-metaphorically-of-course dept.
eldavojohn writes "Republican Senator Orrin Hatch spoke Tuesday at the World Copyright Summit in Washington DC and hailed the Pirate Bay guilty verdict as an important victory. He expressed severe disappointment in Canada for showing up on our watch list for piracy next to China and Russia. Senator Hatch also said, 'In fact, one study reports that each year, copyright piracy from motion pictures, sound recordings, business and entertainment software, and video games costs the US economy $58 billion in total output, costs American workers 373,375 jobs and $16.3 billion in earnings, and costs federal, state, and local governments $2.6 billion in tax revenue. During this time of economic turmoil, we must ensure that all copyrighted works, both here and abroad, are protected from online theft and traditional physical piracy. After all, US copyright-based industries continue to be one of America's largest and fastest-growing economic sectors.' GamePolitics notes that for his 2006 campaign, Hatch was rented for $7,000 by the RIAA and also got on his knees for $12,640 from the MPAA."
The Military

Scientists Closer To Invisibility Cloak 308

Posted by timothy
from the excellent-for-parties dept.
Aviran was one of many readers to submit news of a just-announced development in the ongoing quest to develop a working invisibility cloak, writing: "Scientists say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people and objects invisible. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects. Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects" Reader bensafrickingenius adds a link to coverage at the Times Online, and notes that "the world's two leading scientific journals, Science and Nature, are expected to report the results this week." Tjeerd adds a link to a Reuters' story carried by Scientific American.
Portables (Apple)

Apple Can Remotely Disable iPhone Apps 550

Posted by Soulskill
from the they're-making-a-list dept.
mikesd81 writes "Engadget reports Apple has readied a blacklisting system which allows the company to remotely disable applications on your device. It seems the new 2.x firmware contains a URL which points to a page containing a list of 'unauthorized' apps — a move which suggests that the device makes occasional contact with Apple's servers to see if anything is amiss on your phone. Jonathan Zdziarski, the man who discovered this, explains, 'This suggests that the iPhone calls home once in a while to find out what applications it should turn off. At the moment, no apps have been blacklisted, but by all appearances, this has been added to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down. I discovered this doing a forensic examination of an iPhone 3G. It appears to be tucked away in a configuration file deep inside CoreLocation.'" Update: 08/11 13:07 GMT by T : Reader gadgetopia writes with a small story at IT Wire, citing an interview in the Wall Street Journal, in which this remote kill-switch is "confirmed by Steve Jobs himself."
Communications

Using My PC For Plain Old Telephone Service? 248

Posted by Soulskill
from the pots-and-plans dept.
TheJerbear79 writes "I recently accepted a work-from-home job that will involve using my landline to talk to customers. When I log into the phone queue, my landline will ring, I'll put in a three digit code, and then calls are routed to the phone line I'm on. It essentially turns my landline into a softphone. Rather than using a regular handset or obtaining a nice business phone with a headset and speakerphone, I would like to use my PC's modem in conjunction with a normal PC headset and soundcard. I know the hardware is capable, but the modem didn't come with appropriate software. Has anyone found anything cheap/free that would suit this kind of usage? Just for clarity, I don't want to use a VOIP solution; I need to use my plain old landline. My reason is this: if I'm watching a movie or listening to an MP3 while I'm waiting for a call, I don't want it to ever be apparent to the person who is on the phone with me, and I want to route all the audio I use through a single headset. I've scoured Google for anything close to this application, and all I've managed to find is information on VOIP software or programs that turn my PC into an answering machine, neither of which will work."
PHP

Official Support For PHP 4 Ends 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-actually-knew-ye-pretty-well dept.
Da Massive writes with this excerpt from ComputerWorld: "For a technology that has been in stable release since May 22, 2000, PHP 4 has finally reached the end of its official life. With the release of PHP 4.4.9, official support has ended and the final security patch for the platform issued. ...With eight years of legacy code out there, it is likely that there are going to be a fairly large number of systems that will not migrate to PHP 5 in the near future, and a reasonable proportion of those that will not make the migration at all. For those who are not able to migrate their systems to the new version of PHP, noted PHP security expert Stefan Esser will continue to provide third party security patching for the PHP 4 line through his Suhosin product."
Technology

Researchers Pave Way For Compressor-Free Refrigeration 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the cool-science dept.
Hugh Pickens brings news that scientists from Penn State have developed a new method for heat-transfer that may replace the common compressor-based system used in household appliances. Quoting: "Zhang's approach uses the change from disorganized to organized that occurs in some polarpolymers when placed in an electric field. The natural state of these materials is disorganized with the various molecules randomly positioned. When electricity is applied, the molecules become highly ordered and the material gives off heat and becomes colder. When the electricity is turned off, the material reverts to its disordered state and absorbs heat. The researchers report a change in temperature for the material of about 22.6 degrees Fahrenheit... Repeated randomizing and ordering of the material combined with an appropriate heat exchanger could provide a wide range of heating and cooling temperatures."
Earth

Robot Submarine To Dive Deep In the Caribbean 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-don't-we-make-robot-sharks-instead dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "According to BBC News, a new UK autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Autosub6000, will soon start to explore the world's deepest undersea volcanoes, located in the Caribbean. Autosub6000 has a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and has a maximum operating depth of 6,000 meters. It is 5.5 meters long, has a diameter of 0.9 meters, and is equipped with a high-performance GPS unit. For these two expeditions, each close to a month long, Autosub6000 will be joined by the Isis remotely operated vehicle, which is able to operate at a depth of 6,000 meters and grab animal specimens. Researchers from the National Oceanography Center in Southampton will lead these missions. They expect that 'one in every two animals they come across will be a species new to science' once the robots reach a depth of 3,000 meters." Specifications for the submarine (PDF) are also available.
Networking

Defcon "Warballoon" Finds 1/3 of Wireless Networks Unsecured 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the floating-point-operation dept.
avatar4d writes "Networkworld is reporting about a warballooning operation (similar to wardriving) that was disallowed by the management at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, but was covertly launched anyway. The team found approximately 370 networks, and about a third of those were unsecured. In addition to that, the project managed to show how trusting the local law enforcement agencies really were: 'Near the end of the operation, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police cruiser drove by the parking lot to see what was going on. Hill and his team waved. The police officers waved back and drove off.'"
The Internet

Adobe Makes Flash Crawlable 232

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-about-cut-and-paste dept.
nickull wrote in his journal that "Today Adobe systems made an announcement that it has provided technology and information to Google and Yahoo! to help the two search engine rivals index Shockwave Flash (SWF) file formats. According to the company, this will provide more relevant search rankings of the millions pieces of Flash content. Until now, developers had to implement workarounds for exposing text content used in Flash to search-engine spiders and other bots such as using XHTML data providers. While the Flash content is exposed, it is not yet clear how it will be utilized by the search engines, as they have not revealed their algorithms. The SWF specification is openly published."
Linux Business

Xandros Reportedly Buys Out Linspire 153

Posted by kdawson
from the surely-somebody's-making-money-here dept.
2muchcoffeeman writes "Former Linspire president and CEO Kevin Carmony — whose relationship with his former employer has turned acrimonious, to say the least — reported on his blog that Xandros and Linspire signed an agreement in principle for Xandros to buy Linspire June 19. Carmony includes a scan of the memo to Linspire shareholders announcing the deal, which requires the former Linspire company to change its name. According to the memo, the stockholders voted to change the company's name to Digital Cornerstone, Inc. Despite the wording of the Linspire memo to stockholders, this deal apparently came as a surprise to Carmony and other stockholders. Some here may remember that both Xandros and Linspire signed patent protection deals with Microsoft in 2007."
Google

Some Developers Leaving Google For Microsoft 685

Posted by kdawson
from the turning-tide-or-momentary-reversal dept.
recoiledsnake writes "We have heard about lots of talented developers jumping ship from Microsoft to Google, but is the trend beginning to turn? Dare Obasanjo (a Microsoft employee) writes about a few high-profile people picking Microsoft over Google — either making the jump directly, or choosing Microsoft after receiving offers at both. Sergey Solyanik is back to Microsoft and he primarily gripes about the culture and lack of career development at Google. He writes, 'Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] — PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process. Google as an organization is not geared — culturally — to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications.' Danny Thorpe, who was the key architect of Google Gears, is back at Microsoft for his second stint working on developer technologies related to Windows Live."
Government

Algorithm Names Powell 'Ideal' Vice President Candidate 543

Posted by timothy
from the moldable-like-tofu dept.
CWmike writes "Turns out the ideal vice presidential candidate for Sen. John McCain is the same person as the ideal vice presidential candidate for Sen. Barack Obama, according to a sophisticated online survey based on technology developed at MIT. Mr. Ideal? Colin Powell, a former U.S. Army general and former secretary of state. Affinnova's survey methods doesn't use the typical polling method of asking respondents to pick a name from a list. Instead, it gives respondents larger concepts, including photos, biographical information and possible first-term priorities. Affinnova calls this algorithm 'evolutionary optimization.' Steve Lamoureaux, the company's chief innovation officer, said of the VP finding: 'We never imagined that the same candidate would show up for both parties.'"
Microsoft

Bill Gates Reveals Secret of Microsoft's Success 584

Posted by kdawson
from the polishing-the-legacy dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Bill Gates, in a interview with the BBC, revealed the secret of Microsoft's success: 'Most of our competitors were very poorly run. They did not understand how to bring in people with business experience and people with engineering experience and put them together,' said Gates. 'They did not think about software in this broad way. They did not think about tools or efficiency. They would therefore do one product, but would not renew it to get it to the next generation.' Mitch Kapor, founder of the Lotus Corporation, has a different view: 'Claims by Microsoft that people were buying the software because it was good are pretty self-serving. I'd like to smoke what he's smoking.' Gates also said that he took a 'conservative balance sheet approach' to running Microsoft explaining that he wanted 'great financial strength so we would have the flexibility to do software in the new way, or whatever we wanted to do.'"

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