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Comment: Re:Up next (Score 4, Interesting) 382

by syrion (#27552685) Attached to: Time Warner Transfer Caps May Inspire Fair-Price Legislation
Data is more unlimited than water because we completely control its distribution. Water is plentiful in Chicago, for example, because it's directly next to a huge freshwater lake. In Los Angeles or Phoenix it's a much more complicated story. The middle of the US relies almost entirely on the Ogallala Aquifer, with attendant problems. Even the U.S. Southeast, which is a traditionally wet "humid subtropical" climate zone, has had a decade or so of rather severe drought-related problems. Water requires treatment; it requires physical plant; it requires nontrivial connections to every single portion of a city; it's a necessity; and a single point of failure can cause pressure loss over a wide area resulting in a very expensive repair. Bandwidth has none of these issues. It's limited only by the amount of cable the ISP is willing to run, and their hardware. Nothing as complex as aquifer physics is involved.

Comment: Re:People just don't understand PROGRAM NAMES (Score 2, Funny) 833

by syrion (#27539081) Attached to: Linux On Netbooks — a Complicated Story
Nah. Your standard end user doesn't even understand the concept of software, really. I know people who think Windows is Office, and so on. These aren't people who are totally ignorant—they work with computers every day—they're just not very good at reading. Their excuse is usually "I don't want to think about that stuff, I want to get my work done," never realizing that thirty minutes of thinking about "that stuff" could save them hours of frustration. When I heard someone who's worked in a white-collar environment for fifteen years refer to Office 2007 as "Windows Word 2007," I nearly lost it.

Comment: Re:Cue the following: (Score 5, Insightful) 1306

by syrion (#27316867) Attached to: Texas Vote May Challenge Teaching of Evolution
This is not an attempt to falsify the teaching of evolution. These backwards magical-thinking buffoons have no evidence, no tests, nothing to point to a different theory; they have a book. A book they believe trumps the evidence of our own eyes and our most advanced scientific methods. These people aren't asking for ID to be taught because they don't think evolution explains the evidence; they are asking for ID to be taught because they don't think.
Image

Ultrasound Machine Ages Wine 448

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'll-take-the-cheap-stuff dept.
Inventor Casey Jones says his creation uses ultrasound technology to recreate the effects of decades of aging by colliding alcohol molecules inside the bottle. Mr. Jones said, "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds. It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt." The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like a Dr. Who ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker. I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.
Security

Skype Messages Monitored In China 223

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the privacy-in-stereo dept.
Pickens writes "Human-rights activists have discovered a huge surveillance system in China that monitors and archives Internet text conversations sent by customers of Tom-Skype, a joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and eBay. Researchers say the system monitors a list of politically charged words that includes words related to the religious group Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, the Chinese Communist Party and also words like democracy, earthquake and milk powder. The encrypted list of words inside the Tom-Skype software blocks the transmission of these words and records personal information about the customers who send the messages. Researchers say their discovery contradicts a public statement made by Skype executives in 2006 that 'full end-to-end security is preserved and there is no compromise of people's privacy.' The Chinese government is not alone in its Internet surveillance efforts. In 2005, The New York Times reported that the National Security Agency was monitoring large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of an eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11 attacks. 'This is the worst nightmares of the conspiracy theorists around surveillance coming true,' says Ronald J. Deibert, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto. 'It's "X-Files" without the aliens.'"
Portables (Apple)

+ - Steve Jobs announces DRM-free iTunes

Submitted by Fjan11
Fjan11 (649654) writes "Steve jobs just announced that starting next month on you can buy higher quality 256Kbps AAC encoded DRM-free versions of iTunes songs for $1.29. Upgrades to songs you've already bought will be available at the $0.30 price difference. Currently EMI is the only publisher participating, accounting for about 20% of the songs available."
Biotech

+ - Possibly convert all transfusion blood Type O

Submitted by UnanimousCoward
UnanimousCoward (9841) writes "The BBC has an article that talks about a submission to Nature Biotechnology (not the current issue) in which scientists claim to have discovered a technique to convert all blood into Type O with the discovery of an enzyme that can strip the A and B antigens. This has implications to transform the stored blood supply into transfusable blood for all. It does not address the RH negative issue, though."
Announcements

+ - E-Voting Bill That Works? Stop the Presses!

Submitted by
JeremyDuffy
JeremyDuffy writes "So they're finally going to try and do something about the e-voting disaster.

HR 811 features several requirements that will warm the hearts of geek activists. It bans the use of computerized voting machines that lack a voter-verified paper trail. It mandates that the paper records be the authoritative source in any recounts, and requires prominent notices reminding voters to double-check the paper record before leaving the polling place. It mandates automatic audits of at least three percent of all votes cast to detect discrepancies between the paper and electronic records. It bans voting machines that contain wireless networking hardware and prohibits connecting voting machines to the Internet. Finally, it requires that the source code for e-voting machines be made publicly available.
Holly Clap! There's not one thing in there that's wrong! If they actually implemented all those provisions, e-voting might actually work!

The proposal wasn't without its detractors, however. Several state election officials testified about the practical challenges of implementing the new requirements. Chris Nelson, South Dakota's secretary of state, warned that many of the requirements in the legislation would conflict with the states' own election procedures.
Oh BOO HOO HOO! Cry me a freaking river. "Oh it's too HARD to implement security! We need to have less restrictions so we can do this cheaper!" Idiots. The law allows flexibility in how some of the auditing is done as long as it's NIST approved and the states always have the option of keeping the optical current methods if they decide that the regulations for e-voting are too strict or too expensive to implement at this time. Of course, this almost sounds too good to be true. I'll have to read the law later, but I'm betting it has some terrible hidden catch like it legalizes eating little puppies or provides millions of pork dollars for human RFID implantations."
Windows

+ - An answer to Gates' Vista exploit dare

Submitted by
bl8n8r
bl8n8r writes "As uncrackable as Mr. Gates thinks Vista to be, it seems an answer to his exploit dare has come forth in the form of an animated cursor exploit. Alexander Sotirov of Determina Security Research has uncovered an eye-candy exploit that allows, among other things, remote code execution. "The exploitation of this vulnerability is interesting in light of the protection features built in the latest versions of Windows XP, 2003 and Vista." All this comes shortly after some OSX finger pointing and claims that "We made it way harder for guys to do exploits (in Vista)"."
Space

Space Debris Narrowly Misses Airliner 297

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-why-i-wear-a-hat dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An airliner jet traveling from Chile to New Zealand early today was in for an interesting ride. Flaming space debris — the remains of a Russian satellite — came hurtling back to Earth not far from a commercial jet on its way to Auckland, New Zealand. Here's further justification for the growing concern of the increasing amounts of space garbage orbiting our planet. From the article: 'The pilot of a Lan Chile Airbus A340 ... notified air traffic controllers at Auckland Oceanic Centre after seeing flaming space junk hurtling across the sky just five nautical miles in front of and behind his plane...'"
Software

+ - GPL v3 Release Timetable Set

Submitted by
mrbluze
mrbluze writes "Linux.com has an article by Bruce Byfield regarding the timeline for the GPLv3 drafting and release. Despite many delays it now appears that the Free Software Foundation has a plan for the coming months and expects the third draft GPLv3 to be released on "Wednesday, March 27" (although that date is really last Tuesday .. are we talking about 2007?), with a final draft 60 days later. The FSF will be having a telephone hot-line available to answer questions and, according to the article, they seem to be quite open to comment and debate on what should go into the license. One could expect GPLv3 to be released sometime in June/July this year."

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