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Wireless Networking

Submission + - Keeping a Cellphone system going in a war (

dogsbreath writes: An Al Jazeera article provides fascinating insight about how engineers for one of the Libyan cell providers in the rebel held East have kept the system going in the middle of a civil insurrection. Administering a now free cellular system in a war zone brings new meaning to the term BOFH as the engineers deal with bandwidth hogs and prioritize international traffic.

A technical decision to keep a copy of the user database (the HLR) in Benghazi was crucial to keeping peoples phones on line. There are reasons besides earthquakes and Tsunamis to keep your data backed up in geographically diverse locations.

The report expands and corrects the WSJ article covered on slashdot before.

Submission + - Disney trademarks "Seal Team 6" (

The Grim Reefer2 writes: MediaBistro has learned that the Walt Disney Company has taken out a trademark on the phrase "Seal Team 6," the name of the special forces unit that killed the world's most wanted man. Disney now owns the exclusive rights to put Seal Team 6 on "clothing, footwear, headwear, toys, games and entertainment and education services." Disney made the move only two days after bin Laden's death was announced.

Submission + - Taliban begin tweeting in English, add followers (

suraj.sun writes: The Taliban have long been known as haters of modern technology, certainly the kind that comes out of the Western world they revile.

Now, they're on Twitter, and as of this week, even tweeting in English.

The account, @alemarahweb, links back to the Taliban's website, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which is the name they use for themselves.

Most of the tweets on the account, which was created on December 19, are written in Pashto, the native language in parts of Afghanistan.

As The Guardian, the UK publication, noted, the feed had fewer than 1,000 followers as of Thursday. The addition of English, as well as the media reports about it, have more than tripled that total to over 3,000 as of Friday morning.


Submission + - 'Leap seconds' may be eliminated from UTC (

angry tapir writes: "Sparking a fresh round of debate over an ongoing issue in time-keeping circles, the International Telecommunications Union is considering eliminating leap seconds from the time scale used by most computer systems, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Since their introduction in 1971, leap seconds have proved problematic for at least a few software programs. The leap second added on to the end of 2008, for instance, caused Oracle cluster software to reboot unexpectedly in some cases."

Submission + - The strange case of solar flares and radioactive e (

DarkKnightRadick writes: "The case for radioactive decay has been challenged, by of all sources, the sun itself. According to the article:
"On Dec 13, 2006, the sun itself provided a crucial clue, when a solar flare sent a stream of particles and radiation toward Earth. Purdue nuclear engineer Jere Jenkins, while measuring the decay rate of manganese-54, a short-lived isotope used in medical diagnostics, noticed that the rate dropped slightly during the flare, a decrease that started about a day and a half before the flare."
This is important because the rate of decay is very important not just for antique dating, but also for cancer treatment, time keeping, and the generation of random numbers. This isn't a one time measurement, either.
"Checking data collected at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island and the Federal Physical and Technical Institute in Germany, they came across something even more surprising: long-term observation of the decay rate of silicon-32 and radium-226 seemed to show a small seasonal variation. The decay rate was ever so slightly faster in winter than in summer.""

Open Source

Submission + - Caanoo Released - Open Source Homebrew Console

An anonymous reader writes: Gamepark have released their update to the GP2X Wiz, which is a Linux based homebrew handheld console. The Caanoo is a CPU ARM9 533MHz + 3D GPU powered console with 128megs of ram (full specs) which should be good for Playstation and Nintendo 64 Emulation on the handheld. The File Archive for the Caanoo is open and taking homebrew submissions and already the likes of Quake and more are being ported to the console. Sites like DCEmu carry the latest news on the console for those interested.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Pay the builder every time you sell your house ( 5

innocent_white_lamb writes: "You don't pay your builder every time you sell your house" comes up in almost every discussion of intellectual property, royalties and the like.

New houses are now being sold with a condition that you must pay the builder 1% of the purchase price every time the house is sold over the next 99 years.


Submission + - Intel Releases First Mobile, Dual-Core Atom 1

adeelarshad82 writes: Netbooks have been in the market and thriving well for over two years, and yet the Atom processor, the brains behind your average netbook, has been running on a single core. However this has changed now. Intel announced ts first dual core Atom processor, the 1.5-GHz N550, which at least has the same number of physical cores as the Core i3s, the Core i5s, and Core i7s. But that doesn't mean performance is going to be as fierce. Some netbook makers are already claiming up to a 20 percent improvement in performance over the single core Atom, while battery life differential is around 15 to 20 minutes.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg