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Cellphones

Pre-Orders Start For Neo900 Open Source Phone 134

Posted by timothy
from the hello-operator dept.
New submitter JoSch1337 writes: After a year and a half of development, the Neo900 project now opened its web shop for the down payments of binding pre-orders for either a full Neo900 phone or the bare circuit board to upgrade an existing Nokia N900. The up-front down payment is necessary to now secure expensive "risk parts" like the modem, 1GB RAM and N900 cases. Thus, without pre-ordering now, there might not be enough parts left after the first batch.

The Neo900 is the spritual successor of the Nokia N900. The new circuit board can be placed into an existing N900 for better specs (faster CPU, more RAM, LTE modem) than the original device while still maintaining fremantle (maemo 5) backwards compatibility. Alternatively, a fully assembled phone can be purchased as well. The Neo900 will be fully operational without any binary blob running on the main CPU. While the modem still requires a non-free firmware, it is completely decoupled from the rest of the device (think of a LTE usb stick you put in your laptop) and can reliably be monitored or switched off by the operating system.

You can follow the development of the project in the maemo forum, read about the specs of the device or consult the FAQ

+ - DEA steals life savings of innocent man

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: In another example of civil forfeiture, DEA agents confiscated the life savings of a man heading to California based on no evidence.

There was no evidence of a crime, the man was never charged, but three weeks later he still has not gotten his money back.

Sean Waite, the agent in charge for the DEA in Albuquerque, said he could not comment on the Rivers case because it is ongoing. He disputed allegations that Rivers was targeted because of his race. Waite said that in general DEA agents look for "indicators" such as whether the person bought an expensive one-way ticket with cash, if the person is traveling from or to a city known as a hot spot for drug activity, if the person's story has inconsistencies or if the large sums of money found could have been transported by more conventional means.

"We don't have to prove that the person is guilty," Waite said. "It's that the money is presumed to be guilty."

Read the whole article. This is entirely unconstitutional. The fifth amendment to the Bill of Rights expressly forbids the taking of private property "without just compensation."

Open Source

When Enthusiasm For Free Software Turns Ugly 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Byfield writes for Linux Magazine about the unfortunate side-effect of people being passionate about open source software: discussions about rival projects can get heated and turn ugly. "Why, for example, would I possibly to see OpenOffice humiliated? I prefer LibreOffice's releases, and — with some misgivings — the Free Software Foundation's philosophy and licensing over that of the Apache Foundation. I also question the efficiency of having two office suites so closely related to each other. Yet while exploring such issues may be news, I don't forget that, despite these differences, OpenOffice and the Apache Foundation still have the same general goals as LibreOffice or the Free Software Foundation. The same is true of other famous feuds. Why, because I have a personal preference for KDE, am I supposed to ignore GNOME's outstanding interface designs? Similarly, because I value Debian's stability and efforts at democracy, am I supposed to have a strong distaste for Ubuntu?"
Government

Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the daily-dose-of-cynicism dept.
theodp writes: The NY Times' Eric Lipton was just awarded a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that shed light on how foreign powers buy influence at think tanks. So, it probably bears mentioning that Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy (PDF) to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas — which is on the verge of being codified into laws — was hatched at an influential Microsoft and Gates Foundation-backed think tank mentioned in Lipton's reporting, the Brookings Institution. In 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms, where fabricating a crisis was discussed as a strategy to succeed with Microsoft's agenda after earlier lobbying attempts by Bill Gates and Microsoft had failed. "So, Brad [Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith]," asked the Brookings Institution's Darrell West at the event, "you're the only [one] who mentioned this topic of making the problem bigger. So, we galvanize action by really producing a crisis, I take it?" "Yeah," Smith replied (video). And, with the help of nonprofit organizations like Code.org and FWD.us that were founded shortly thereafter, a national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis was indeed created.

Comment: Re:Too early for criticism. (Score 1) 238

I thought he had simply mis-spoken or was mis-quoted given that the commercials have already run for more than a year.

If the quote is accurate, then it must mean the new tax rules began in 2015.

Still, it's one year of hype leading to a launch that virtually no one showed up for.

Comment: Re:Admirable aspects (Score -1) 74

by mc6809e (#49464299) Attached to: 1980's Soviet Bloc Computing: Printers, Mice, and Cassette Decks

Those industrious few that were repairing and reusing equipment should have been free to start their own enterprises and invent and produce new things. Instead they had to struggle under communism and miss the opportunity to become the next Steve Jobs of Eastern Europe.

Of course by holding them back all were kept equally poor (except party insiders) and so the pride and ego of even the most incapable person was spared any uncomfortable comparison.

+ - China Builds Artificial Islands in South China Sea 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Matthew Fisher reports that to support part of its claim to about 85 per cent of the South China Sea, Beijing is building artificial islands on tiny outcroppings, atolls and reefs in hotly disputed waters in the Spratly Archipelago. Tons of sand, rocks, coral cuttings, and concrete are transforming miniscule Chinese-occupied outcroppings into sizeable islands with harbors, large multi-story buildings, airstrips, and other government facilities. Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet, dubbed Beijing’s island-building project in the South China Sea “a great wall of sand" and says China has created “over four square kilometers of artificial land mass,” adding there were serious questions about Beijing’s intentions. The scale of China's construction in the Spratly Islands is clear in new satellite images. "What's really stunning in these images, every time you see a new set of images come out, is just the speed and scale at which this work is occurring," says Mira Rapp-Hooper. A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry insists the islands are being built to give ships a haven in the typhoon heavy region. “We are building shelters, aids for navigation, search and rescue as well as marine meteorological forecasting services, fishery services and other administrative services” for both China and its neighbors, the spokeswoman said, according to Reuters, though no one was buying that explanation.

Comment: Re:Hawaii (Score 5, Interesting) 228

by mc6809e (#49431517) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

This is more likely an expression of Hawiian nationalism which has been on the rise in recent years.

In some cases it has crossed the line into race hatred as the Southern Poverty Law Center noted a few years back.

And there are several independence groups. China has even offered to arm them.

News

V'Ger Source Code Released 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the build-your-own dept.
One of the biggest hurdles to interstellar domination has always been the prohibitive cost of proprietary software for ships or super-weapons. That is all about to change thanks to a surprise move by a mysterious alien race of living machines who have released V'ger's source code. While you'll still need a way to generate a "twelfth-power energy field," this opens the door to many would-be conquerors and ultimate weapon enthusiasts. The release has been praised in terms of increased security and reduced costs by most, but some worry that cheaper, more secure super weapons aren't what the universe needs at this time. Federation spokesperson Lieutenant Ilia disagrees saying: "This is in the carbon units best interest. Many worlds have been infested, You will listen to me."

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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