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United States

Lenovo Building Manufacturing Plant in North Carolina 120

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the unknown-lamer-sent-to-the-factories dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the major themes of the ongoing presidential election in the United States has been the perceived need to bring product manufacturing back to the United States. A recent announcement from Lenovo is going to play to this point; the PC manufacturer said today that it's building a U.S. location in Whitsett, North Carolina. The new facility is small, with just over 100 people and is being built for a modest $2M, but Lenovo states that it's merely the beginning of a larger initiative." It makes sense: their U.S. HQ is a stone's throw away in RTP.
Privacy

EU About To Grant US Unlimited Access To Banking Data 277

Posted by kdawson
from the not-too-swift dept.
An anonymous reader points out a blog post reporting that on Monday The EU Council is set to give US intelligence services full access to SWIFT banking data, despite a unanimous call by the European Parliament not to do so. "The move of SWIFT the data server to Switzerland would be an excellent opportunity to stop the nearly unlimited access of US authorities on EU bank transactions. But EU justice and interior ministers are apparently keen [on agreeing to] a deal as soon as possible, on 30 November. Why 30 November? Because one day later, on 1 December 2009, the EU’s Lisbon Treaty will be in force and would allow the European Parliament to play a major role in the negotiations of the deal with the US. A deal one day before will be a slap in the face to democracy in the EU. ... [W]hile the US will be able to access EU banking data, no access to US banking data by EU [authorities] is being foreseen."
NASA

Stuck Knob Causes Serious Window Damage To Atlantis 291

Posted by timothy
from the for-want-of-a-nail dept.
FTL writes "While in orbit a metal knob floated between a window and the dashboard of Atlantis. Once back on Earth, the shuttle contracted, wedging the knob firmly in place and damaging the window. Initial attempts to free the knob have failed and engineers may need six months to disassemble that section of the orbiter. Given that the shuttle program will probably end next year anyway, such a delay might mean scrapping Atlantis early rather than repairing it. Efforts to remove the knob using less invasive techniques continue."
Books

Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle 539

Posted by timothy
from the is-it-just-me-or-does-guild-sound-medieval? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The president of the Authors Guild has launched a rant in the NY Times about how the Kindle 2 provides Text-to-Speech capabilities that, oh the horror, allow the user to have any text on the Kindle read to her. Roy Blunt, Jr. moans that this is copyright infringement of audio books, and that Kindle users should be forced to pay royalties on audio even though they've already paid for the text version of a book! Amazingly he harps on about how TTS technology has become so good that it may replace humans — and then uses this to argue that it's unfair for Kindle to provide TTS! I think the Authors Guild need a new president — someone less of a Luddite, and more familiar with copyright law." (See also the Guild's executive director's similar claims that reading aloud, royalty-free, is an illegal function of software.)
Businesses

Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple 532

Posted by Soulskill
from the outside-looking-in dept.
mjasay writes "At the Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer took aim at Apple's closed iPhone ecosystem with an ironic plea for openness: 'Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice.' Ballmer has apparently forgotten his company's own efforts to vertically integrate hardware and software (Zune, XBox), its history of vertically integrating software (tying SharePoint into Office, IE, SQL Server, Active Directory, etc.), as well as years of illegally tying Windows to Internet Explorer that only the US Justice Department could undo. Indeed, Microsoft's effect on the browser market has pushed Mozilla to get involved in a recent European Commission action against the software giant, with Mozilla's Mitchell Baker recently declaring that 'A number of illegal activities were also involved in creating IE's market dominance,' now requiring government intervention to open up the browser market to fair competition. Putting aside Microsoft's own tainted reputation in the field of openness, is Ballmer right? Should Apple open up its iPhone platform to outside competition, both in terms of hardware and software?"
Cellphones

Competition For the App Store Is Mounting 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the playing-catch-up dept.
MojoKid writes "Right now the only real 'competition' to Apple's App Store is the Android Market. Presently, anyone using an Android-based phone can download applications from the Android Market, which first started offering free applications in October '08. A drawback to Android application developers, however, is the fact that the potential Android Market user base is fairly small right now, as there is presently only one Android phone available, the T-Mobile G1. However, in the coming months we're also going to see more app stores come online for additional smartphone platforms. Nokia will officially launch an app store for its Symbian OS-based smartphones at Mobile World Congress on Monday. Microsoft is also getting in the game for smartphones that run the Windows Mobile OS, with Steve Ballmer delivering the keynote speech at Mobile World Congress as well."
Google

Google Unofficially Announces GDrive By Leaked Code 342

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-than-speculation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has unofficially announced the GDrive by source code. In an in-direct way, Google has publicly advertised the new, much-anticipated online storage drive called the GDrive. If you take a look at the source code of some javascript within the Google Pack, you will clearly see the GDrive referenced. The code categorizes the GDrive as an 'Online file backup and storage' device. It also provides the following descriptions; 'GDrive provides reliable storage for all of your files, including photos, music and documents' and 'GDrive allows you to access your files from anywhere, anytime, and from any device — be it from your desktop, web browser or cellular phone.'"
Businesses

Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell 600

Posted by kdawson
from the touchy-touchy dept.
theodp writes "At the World Economic Forum, Michael Dell's pitch to help Russia with its computers got the cold-as-Siberia shoulder from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. 'We don't need help,' shot back Putin. 'We are not invalids. We don't have limited mental capacity' (video — rant starts at 1:24). 'Our programmers are some of the best in the world,' Putin continued. 'No one would contest that here — not even our Indian colleagues.'"
Television

Octopuses Have No Personalities and Enjoy HDTV 482

Posted by kdawson
from the or-was-that-redundant dept.
Whiteox writes about an Australian researcher named Renata Pronk, who has discovered that octopuses prefer HDTV. She recruited 32 gloomy octopuses from the waters of Chowder Bay. Previously, researchers have reported little success when showing video to octopuses. Miss Pronk's insight was that the octopus eye is so refined that it might see standard PAL video, at 25 fps, as a series of stills. She tried HDTV (50 fps) and her subjects reacted to the videos of a crab, another octopus, or a swinging bottle on the end of a string. A further discovery is that octopuses show no trait of individual personalities, even though they exhibit a high level of intelligence. It would certainly be possible to quibble about the definition of "personality" employed, and whether Miss Pronk had successfully measured it.
The Almighty Buck

Knights Templar Sue the Pope 675

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the trade-ya-for-the-grail dept.
pdragon04 writes "According to The Register, "the Knights Templar are demanding that the Vatican give them back their good name and, possibly, billions in assets into the bargain, 700 years after the order was brutally suppressed by a joint venture between the Pope and the King of France..."." I wonder what a holy grail goes for with 700 years of compound interest.
Power

The Texas Petawatt Laser 174

Posted by kdawson
from the you-can-pet-a-dog-or-you-can-pet-a-cat dept.
Roland Piquepaille notes the hype surrounding what the University of Texas at Austin is calling the world's most powerful laser. During a tenth of a femtosecond this laser is 2,000 times more powerful than all the power plants in the US, and is brighter than sunlight on the surface of the Sun. On his own blog Roland points out that UT's is not the first petawatt laser; that distinction belongs to a system installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1996.

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