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Portables (Apple)

Submission The freedom to use crap->

Stu Charlton writes: "The FSF has claimed five reasons to avoid the iPhone 3G in favour of the OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner. Is the FSF afraid of the iPhone because it shows that proprietary software development still works? Does the iPhone represent a triumph of the cathedral over the bazaar? This essay discusses whether freedom really is at stake when choosing the iPhone, and whether open source can really claim to be superior to proprietary development."
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Portables (Apple)

Submission FSF: Five Reasons to avoid iPhone 3G->

An anonymous reader writes: The FSF has posted 5 reasons to avoid iPhone 3G, primarily discussing its restrictions on user freedom, including the complete block of free software, support for DRM, exposure of your whereabouts without your knowledge (is this true?), inability to play patent and DRM-free formats like ogg, and the availability of better alternatives that respect user freedom.. The post then suggests alternatives such as FreeRunner / OpenMoko, and provides detailed arguments on these five reasons.
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Submission FSF: iPhone is a "Prison" - touts Neo Free

EMB Numbers writes:

Here's an over the top rant from our friends at the Free Software Foundation:

"We agree. A snake oil salesman not satisfied with his business of pushing proprietary software and Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology into your home, Jobs has set his sights on getting DRM and proprietary software into your pocket as well."

"Apple, through its marketing and visual design techniques, is manufacturing an illusion that merely buying an Apple makes you part of an alternative community."

"The iPhone is an attack on very old and fundamental values...The iPhone is broken, on purpose."

"We know Jobs is afraid of competition...he wants to take as much from you as possible, give you back as little as possible...His customers are fighting back"

"The FreeRunner doesn't yet do as much as the iPhone and it's certainly not as pretty. But in terms of potential, the fact that it's supported by a worldwide community of people rather than a single greedy, dishonest and secretive entity puts it light-years ahead."

Feed Engadget: OpenMoko's Neo FreeRunner is shipping, getting itself unboxed->

Filed under: Cellphones

If you're a Linux fanboy with a hankering for some mobile action, you'll be pleased to know that buyers of the retail, North American version of OpenMoko's Neo FreeRunner have started getting shipments. If you hit the read link, you'll be able to see one lucky owner unboxing his new toy, complete with a spares kit and debug board (this guy is getting into it, okay?). This set of photos should be a nice companion to that in-depth look at the OS we saw recently. Now we're going to be on pins and needles finding out what gets cooked up for that spacious 480 x 640 screen.

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Operating Systems

Should the Linux Desktop Be "Pure?" 665

jammag writes "According to Matt Hartley, many Linux desktop users don't like to admit that there's scads of closed source code commonly used with the Linux desktop. Hartley points to examples like proprietary drivers, the popularity of Skype among Linux users (in preference to the open source Ekiga), and the use of Wine. He concludes that, hey, if the code works, use it — a stance that won't sit well with purists. But his article raises the question: is it better to embrace some closed source fixes, and so create a larger user base, or to remain pure, and keep Linux for the specialists?"
Linux Business

Best Buy Is Selling Ubuntu 656

SirLurksAlot writes "It appears that Best Buy is now selling Ubuntu, both through its Web site and in its brick-and-mortar locations. Going by the release on the product page, Ubuntu has actually been available for the low, low price of $19.99 since May 6th of this year. It is being packaged as the 'Complete Edition.' While they don't specify on the site what version is being offered, a quick call to a local store revealed it to be Hardy Heron, the latest Long Term Support version. How did this development fly under the radar for over two months without anybody noticing?"
The Internet

Time Warner Cable to Test Tiered Bandwidth Caps 591

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "According to a leaked internal memo, Time Warner Cable is testing out tiered bandwidth caps in their Beaumont, TX division as a way to fairly balance the needs of heavy users against the limited amount of shared bandwidth cable can provide. The plan is to offer various service tiers with bandwidth fees for overuse, as well as a bandwidth meter customers can use to help them stay within their allotment. If it works out, they will consider a nation-wide rollout. Interestingly, the memo also claims that 5% of subscribers use over 50% of the total network bandwidth."

Submission Geneticists Discover a Way to Extend Lifespans->

DirectedImpact writes: In an amazing development, scientists at the University of Southern California have announced that they've extended the lifespan of yeast bacteria tenfold — and the recipe they used to do it might easily translate into humans. It involves tinkering with two genes, and cutting down your calorie intake. Tests have already started on people in Ecuador.
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Researchers Create Beating Heart In Lab 258

Sunday Scientist writes "Minnesota researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. In a process called whole organ decellularization, they grew functioning heart tissue by using dead rat and pig hearts as a sort of flesh matrix, and reseeding them with a mixture of live cells. The goal is to grow replacement parts, using their own stem cells, for people born with defective tickers or experiencing heart failure."

Submission Hauppauge To Release Hi-def Hardware Encoder Card->

Nathan F writes: "Today brings great news for those of us with home built HTPC systems such as those running MythTV. Hauppauge will be releasing a high definition hardware based encoding card, capable of converting component video at 1080i to H.264 video with digital audio passthrough. Previously, MythTV users and the like have had to rely on the benevolence of cable companies' encryption schemes in order to record non-downscaled HD content. This card, in combination with a set top box from the cable company, will allow the reliable recording of HD content with negligible quality loss. The card is expected to sell for $250 USD."
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Submission Linux-based home monitoring system? 1

An anonymous reader writes: We joked about the stray bullet hole in our windshield one morning, but after a brand new tire got two knife slashes in it I decided to take one of my old Linux systems and set up a video monitoring device for our home. Get a few cameras, network them together, hopefully pretty inexpensively without sacrificing the ability to give police a decent picture if our house or car gets robbed. I'm loathe to sink more money into it than I have to so I'd love to hear what's worked and what doesn't (hardware and software, even which distro's the best), and also to know if I'm required to post signs notifying that our section of the street is now being filmed. Surely a few of you out there have a pimped out Linux box that's watching your stuff when you're not there: any tips for someone just starting out...with a vengeance?

No Dual-Boot XO Laptop, According to Microsoft 160

Yesterday, we discussed reports of Microsoft and the OLPC project working towards a dual-boot version of the XO laptop. Now, BetaNews tells us that Microsoft has issued statements denying such plans. The software giant has also reaffirmed their intention to develop a Windows-only version of the laptop. Microsoft's statement to BetaNews had this to say: "While we have investigated the possibility in the past, Microsoft is not developing dual-boot Windows XP support for the One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop. As we announced in December, Microsoft plans to publish formal design guidelines early this year that will assist flash-based device manufacturers in designing machines that enable a high-quality Windows experience. Our current goal remains to provide a high-quality Windows experience on the XO device."
The Internet

Submission The Future Of the Internet According to Intel

AndGodSed writes: "The BBC has a story on Intel's take on the future of Mobile Computing.

From the article:

Mobile devices will deliver a more personal internet within five years, using chips with the power of today's desktop internet that is proactive, predictive and context-aware."

Explaining that devices would be location-aware, and would access the internet over Wimax wireless connections, he said: "Instead of going to the internet, the internet comes to us.

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL." -- Dave Bowman, 2001