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Government

The Most Important Meeting You've Never Heard of 171

Posted by timothy
from the but-only-if-you-use-the-internet dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In December the nations of the world will gather in Dubai for the UN-convened World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT – pronounced 'wicket'). The topic of the meeting is nothing less than the regulation of the Internet. Under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union the governments of the world will review the international treaty known as the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR). The last review of the ITR was in 1988 when the Internet was just aborning. The remarkable and reshaping growth of the Internet provides the excuse for the new review. What's really afoot, however, is an effort by some nations to rebalance the Internet in their favor by reinstituting telecom regulatory concepts from the last century." At least it's being held in a hotbed of unfettered online communication.
Music

+ - Rights to Songs Possibly Shifting in 2013-> 1

Submitted by wduffee
wduffee (192668) writes "According to this NYTimes article discussion Springsteen, Billy Joel and more, a "a little-noted provision in United States copyright law, those artists — and thousands more — now have the right to reclaim ownership of their recordings"

The labels are preparing to fight this and it should be an interesting test of how much money they are willing to spend to change long-existing laws."

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Transportation

China Defends Its IP Practices, Says 'We Paid Up' 214

Posted by kdawson
from the one-man's-theft dept.
hackingbear writes "Countering accusations that China's high-speed rail technologies are knockoffs, the head of China's Intellectual Property Administration in a conference said (paraphrasing): "We bought technologies from German, Japan, France, and Canada. We paid up. It is perfectly legal. We then innovate on top of them like most other inventions in the world. Why is that pirating?' (Link is to a Google translation; here is the original.) He cited China's ability, the world's first, to build high-speed rail in a high mountain area as an example of additional innovation."
Google

+ - Tech bullies: Tech pioneers gone bad->

Submitted by JimLynch
JimLynch (666) writes "In 1976, Bill Gates, the 20-year-old head of a company that was still spelling its name "Micro-Soft," wrote an "open letter to hobbyists" decrying their copying of his company's Altair BASIC code, a landmark in the transition of computing from hobby to industry. It was also an instance of Microsoft, in its infancy, flexing its muscle to impose its will on an industry of free-wheeling free-spirits."
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IT

+ - Cloud Adoption Still Faces The Trust Issue->

Submitted by geek4
geek4 (1735644) writes "Despite concerted efforts to set out the benefits of moving IT to cloud-based services, users still stop short of completely trusting those services, according to a web seminar chaired by eWEEK Europe.

“The cloud promises a lot for small and medium enterprises: it lets them cut the cost and compete with big companies,” said Julien Ardisson, COO at German provfider Strato AG, opening The Factors behind Cloud Adoption — part of BrightTalk’s Cloud Summit, a virtual event held on 25 May."

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Cellphones

+ - HP Could Kill Off Palm Smartphones->

Submitted by Stoobalou
Stoobalou (1774024) writes "Hewlett Packard boss Mark Hurd has revealed that he has no plans to make any new Palm smartphones.

HP snapped up the PDA pioneer at the end of April for $1.28 billion and the common consensus was that the computer giant wanted to get into the smartphone market.

Now it has emerged that HP has no interest in Palm's hardware business at all, but that the company was acquired for its intellectual property alone."

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Music

Apple To Shut Down Lala On May 31 438

Posted by kdawson
from the so-much-for-competition dept.
dirk and a large number of other distressed readers let us know that Apple is shuttering Lala, the music service they bought last December, on May 31. "Apple will transfer any remaining money in a user's account to iTunes, and will credit users (via iTunes) for any web songs that were purchased. It's a real shame, as Lala was a much better music service, offering songs in straight MP3 format. Its web service was innovative and ahead of its time. And it was one of the few places that would let you listen to an entire song to sample it (after one complete listen, you then could only hear a 30-second sample)." Reader Dhandforth adds: "10-cent favorites will now cost 9.9x more. What's worse, a community of music fans (followers and followees) will disappear on May 31. Evil. Sigh."
Earth

Cows On Treadmills Produce Clean Power For Farms 640

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the mooves-you-to-tears dept.
separsons writes "William Taylor, a farmer in Northern Ireland, recently developed the Livestock Power Mill, a treadmill for cows. Taylor uses the device to generate clean, renewable power for his farm. Cows are locked into a pen on top of a non-powered, inclined belt. The cows' walking turns the belt, which spins a gearbox to drive a generator. One cow can produce about two kilowatts of electricity, enough energy to power four milking machines. It may seem like a kooky idea, but Taylor could be onto something: According to his calculations, if the world's 1.3 billion cattle used treadmills for eight hours a day, they could provide six percent of the world's power!"
Games

The $8,500 Gaming Table You Want 260

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-gonna-need-a-raise dept.
Recently I stumbled upon The Sultan Gaming Table. With a price tag of over $8K, it would have to be awesome: but it has little compartments for the players and DM as well as a drop-down playing surface. If you find the pricetag daunting then you are a sane person, and might instead want to look at the Emissary which starts at a "mere" $1,500 and has many of the same features. Honestly I just love the idea of having my minis on a playing surface underneath the dinner table. I ought to be allowed to expense one of these. I also wish they had more pictures and fewer renderings on the site.
Programming

What Tools Do FLOSS Developers Need? 310

Posted by Soulskill
from the does-soda-count-as-a-tool dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am a free software developer; I maintain one relatively simple project written in C, targeted at end users, but I feel that I could contribute something more to the FLOSS community than my project. Instead of focusing on another project targeted at end users, I thought that I could spend my time working on something FLOSS developers need ('Developers, developers, developers, developers!'). The question is: what more do FLOSS developers need from existing development tools? What would attract new developers to existing FLOSS development tools? Which existing development tools need more attention? I can contribute code in C, Python and bash, but I can also write documentation, do testing and translate to my native language. Any hints?"

+ - Newegg goes public with IPO->

Submitted by
SoupGuru
SoupGuru writes "In a sign that maybe the economy is turning around, Newegg, which has grown to be the second-largest online-only retailer in the United States and one with a specialty in IT parts and consumer electronics, is going public.

Newegg was founded in 2001, and is aptly enough located in Industry, California. The company distributes over 30,000 products, has 12.6 million customers (about 4.1 million of them are active currently), and is known for decent prices and fast shipping among techies who build their own PCs and servers or who want software licenses for boxes or various electronic gadgets."

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Portables

+ - Pocketsurfer : A mobile Internet Device->

Submitted by
DominionSurfer
DominionSurfer writes "Pocketsurfer: A Mobile Internet Device Mobility to go online is in your pocket and that's true with the pocketsurfer, what amazes me is the speed to load web pages, yet giving the real web which I haven't experienced with n number of PDAs that I have tried so far. Its uniqueness is portability, speed and it's very affordable, you don't have to think of any contracts with service providers with the pocketsurfer, internet is as good as free with it. I found all the info at http://www.pocketsurferweb.com/ great site!"
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Data Storage

+ - All Solid State Drives Suffer Performance Drop-off-> 1

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "The recent revelation that Intel's consumer X25-M solid state drive had a firmware bug that drastically affected its performance lead Computerworld to question whether all SSDs can suffer performance degradation due to fragmentation issues. It seems vendors are well aware that the specifications they list on drive packaging represent burst speeds when only sequential writes are being recorded, but after use performance drops markedly over time. The drives with better controllers tend to level out, but others appear to be able to suffer performance problems. Still not fully baked are benchmarking standards that are expected out later this year from several industry organizations that will eventually compel manufacturers to list actual performance with regard to sequential and random reads and writes as well as the drive's expected lifespan under typical conditions."
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