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Math

Happy Pi Day 351

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375 dept.
Jonathan writes "Today, the 14th of March, is Pi Day 2008. Pi Day is internationally celebrated in honor of the mathematical constant "Pi," who's actual value will — now and forever — remain unknown. NeoSmart Technologies has a run-down on the history of Pi, Pi Day, and the significance of Pi and other such "magical numbers" to science and technology. 'Pi isn't just a number that you can use to calculate circle-related mathematics, it's a symbol of something by far greater. Pi is one of many "magic" numbers that are found everywhere — if you know where to look. These magic numbers can't be explained, they just are. And if you use them right, they make it a lot easier to do a lot of really complicated things... In a way, they're a testimony to technology and computers (or vice-versa, depending on how you look at it).'"
Censorship

Wikileaks Calls For Global Boycott Against eNom 137

Posted by kdawson
from the all-their-heirs-and-assigns dept.
souls writes "The folks at Wikileaks are calling for a boycott against eNom, Inc., one of the top internet domain registrars, which WikiLeaks claims is involved in systematic domain censoring. On Feb 28th eNom shut down wikileaks.info, one of the many Wikileaks mirrors held by a volunteer as a side-effect of the court proceedings around wikileaks.org. In addition, eNom was the registrar that shut off access to a Spanish travel agent who showed up on a US Treasury watch list. Wikileaks calls for a 'global boycott of eNom and its parent Demand Media, its owners, executives and their affiliated companies, interests and holdings, to make clear such behavior can and will not be tolerated within the boundaries of the Internet and its global community.'"
Graphics

+ - NVIDIA buys Ageia PhysX ->

Submitted by
Vigile
Vigile writes "Though rumors have swirled about AGEIA's possible buy-out chances since the company was first founded, today NVIDIA dropped the news that they are acquiring AGEIA PhysX hardware and software technology for an undisclosed amount. PC Perspective has some analysis on the announcement and discusses how this move could benefit integrated chipset graphics, why Intel's purchase of Havok finally pushed NVIDIA's hand and how once again AMD is left out in the cold."
Link to Original Source
Sony

Sony Sues Rootkit Maker 334

Posted by kdawson
from the still-trying-to-recover dept.
flyboy974 writes "Sony BMG Music Entertainment is suing the company that developed anti-piracy software for its CDs, claiming the technology was defective and cost the record company millions of dollars to settle consumer complaints and government investigations. The software in question is the MediaMax CD protection system, widely derided as a rootkit. Sony BMG is seeking to recover some $12 million in damages from the Phoenix-based technology company, according to court papers filed July 3."
Music

Music Industry Shaking Down Coffee Shops 541

Posted by kdawson
from the pay-us-or-something-might-happen dept.
realjd writes with news out of Florida that music licensing companies are now hitting small bars and coffee shops that offer live music, even if only occasionally and even if the musicians don't get paid. One coffee-shop owner told musicians they can only perform their own songs from now on. "A restaurant owner who doesn't even offer live music was approached for payment for having the TV on while the Monday Night Football theme played. And if the owners pay up to one licensing company, all of the others start harassing them, calling four times a day, demanding payment too. It sounds like they don't even check whether any copyright violations occurred, they're just sending bills to any business that may or may not have live music."
Portables

A "Bill of Lights" to Restrict LEDs on Gadgets? 729

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the palm-flower dept.
PetManimal writes "Mike Elgan has had it with useless lights on gadgets and computers. He singles out the Palm Treo and the Dell XPS gaming laptops as being particularly bad with the use of unnecessary lights, and also cites the plethora of LEDs on desktop PCs and peripherals. 'My PC and other computing equipment make my office look like a jet cockpit. I have two LCD monitors, each of which has two indicator lights that flash even when the PC is turned off. The attached sound control has a light on it. My keyboard has multiple lights. The power cord has lights, the printer has lights, and the power button is illuminated. My cable modem and Linksys router flash like crazy all the time. Together, these useless lights create a visual cacophony of blinking, multicolored lights that make me feel like I'm taking part in a NASA stress test for astronaut candidates.' Elgan calls on manufacturers to respect his 'Gadget Bill of Lights' to restrict the use of nag lights and allow users to turn them off. He also says the industry should pay more attention to industrial design when creating new products."
Debian

Debian 4.0 'Etch' Released 245

Posted by Zonk
from the etch-up-me-harties dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today we discussed the possibility that Debian Etch might be released soon. Well, according to debian.org, it has already happened. Etch has been released: 'The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0, codenamed etch, after 21 months of constant development. Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which supports a total of eleven processor architectures and includes the KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktop environments. It also features cryptographic software and compatibility with the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.1 of the LSB.'"
The Internet

ICANN Wants Immunity 235

Posted by kdawson
from the divine-right-of-the-Commerce-Department dept.
rprins writes "In what is perhaps a reaction to recent Homeland Security demands, a strategic report by ICANN suggests that it should take on the model of a private international organization (PDF). That would make ICANN immune from US law and regulations. However, it's unlikely that the Bush administration would grant ICANN these privileges. So the organization might opt to relocate to Switzerland where such privileges are easier to attain."
Data Storage

Samsung's 64-GB Solid-State Drive 249

Posted by kdawson
from the we-don't-need-no-steenkin-RPMs dept.
Anonymous Howard writes "Just a couple of weeks ago Sandisk introduced a 32-GB solid-state drive. Now Samsung has one-upped them, unveiling a 64-GB solid-state drive. They are expecting to begin shipping in the second quarter of this year. Samsung says the device can read 64 MB/s, write 45 MB/s, and uses just 0.5 W when operating (0.1 W when idle). In comparison, an 80-GB 1.8-inch hard drive reads at 15 MB/s, writes at 7 MB/s, and consumes 1.5 W when either operating or idle. No pricing yet."
Handhelds

Camera Phones Read Hidden Messages in Print 126

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the go-go-gadget-decoder dept.
pikine writes "As reported by BBC News, Fujitsu has developed a technology that encodes 12-bytes of information in a printed picture by skewing yellow hue, which is difficult to discern by human eye but fairly easy for camera phones to decode using software written in Java." The first target uses are promotional contests and competitions, not entirely unlike those game pieces that need to be viewed through a colored filter.
Communications

No Third-party Apps on iPhone Says Jobs 778

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the hack-something-else dept.
wyldeone writes "In an interview with the New York Times, Steve Jobs confirms reports that the recently-announced iPhone will not allow third party applications to be installed. According to Jobs, 'These are devices that need to work, and you can't do that if you load any software on them.' In a similar vein, Jobs said in a MSNBC article that, 'Cingular doesn't want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.'"
Space

Seeing the Earth Almost Live 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the smile-for-the-satellite dept.
arobic writes "European Space Agency (ESA) is putting recent pictures of the Earth (taken 2 hours before) online using Envisat. To avoid filling up their disks too quickly, only the bmp of the last 30 days are available but jpg are kept. Also, only region receiving light can be seen, which explains why no recent pictures of Thailand are available."

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