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Communications

+ - Death of the Greenphone

Submitted by phobos13013
phobos13013 (813040) writes "Trolltech announced this week that they will discontinue development on their Greenphone platform. The Greenphone was advertised to be the first phone with a user-modifiable environment. Trolltech CTO, Benoit Schilling, stated that they are not really a hardware company and so will focus it's efforts on FIC's Neo 1973, now available. However, FTA, a future wifi-enabled endeavor (possibly a VOIP phone) was hinted at by Schilling."
Security

+ - Verizon Wireless To Sell Personal Information

Submitted by
Aaron Kenny
Aaron Kenny writes "Verizon Wireless is changing its privacy policy to allow them to sell "Customer Proprietary Network Information" (CPNI). Basically CPNI is information such as the type of phone you use, places you call, and how long you talk. This is information that is typically protected against sharing by the FCC. However, within 30 days everyone will be opted in unless they opt out by calling 1-800-333-9956. The system is automated and takes just a minute."
Privacy

+ - Mobile Phone as Tracking Device a Reality->

Submitted by
MissingRainbow
MissingRainbow writes "In India, privacy issues are not taken very seriously. Thats why the news, that a big telecommunications company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), is providing a service named 'Target Subscriber Notification', which can be used to track subscribers, did not surprise me much. This is touted as a value added service and is available for both police and common subscribers. There are two problems with this. One is that the procedure for the police to avail this facility against an individual is not very clear. I think it will be available for the asking. Since the news article, doesn't even bother to mention the word privacy anywhere, you know the kind of importance it is given in India. The other problem is in the family. I foresee lot of trouble between husband and wife, parents and children, and between lovers because of this service."
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Software

+ - South Africa adopts ODF as a government standard->

Submitted by ais523
ais523 (1172701) writes "As reported by Tectonic, South Africa's new Mininimum Interoperability Standards for Information Systems in government (MIOS) explain the new rules for which data formats will be used by the government; according to that document, all people working for the South African government must be able to read OpenDocument Format documents by March, and the government aims to use one of its three approved document formats (UTF-8 or ASCII plain text, CSV, or ODF) for all its published documents by the end of 2008. A definition of 'open standard' is also included that appears to rule out OOXML at present (requiring 'multiple implementations', among other things that may also rule it out)."
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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Humanity splitting into 2 (lower+upper) species?->

Submitted by
Dilbert fan
Dilbert fan writes "Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics has told the BBC that he expects humanity may likely split into 2 sub-species in about 100,000 years' time", just as HG Wells predicted. Curry appears to have been quoting the beliefs of the DNRC (Dogbert's New Ruling Class), when he said he expects to see the split being into a "genetic upper class" and a "dim-witted underclass". Interesting an increasing number of people here in the UK actually believe the split has already happened with the emergance of chavs. There are even jokes going around comparing chavs against people in other countries. I wouldn't go as far as describing "chavs" as a new UK species, however there is definately a clear culture split in the UK to the point that the word chav is even now in the Oxford English dictionary. On my travels outside of the UK, I have noted their culture appears to be spreading, however it would seem that some countries are fighting back by banning some of their icons, although Posh and Becks were let in... So is humankind really splitting in this way?"
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Handhelds

+ - Apple admits 1 in 6 iPhones hacked

Submitted by thefickler
thefickler (1030556) writes "Apple has admitted that one in six iPhones sold (that's over a quarter of a million handsets) has been cracked to allow connection to networks other than AT&T, and that's just counting SIM hacks. Including software modifications that allow the use of unauthorized software the number is thought to be twice that."
Space

+ - Naked-eye comet surprise->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Bad Astronomy is reporting that Comet 17P/Holmes, 220 million miles from the Sun, which Monday was a dim magnitude 17 (observable only by a few giant telescopes in remote locations) has overnight become magnitude 3 — easily visible to the naked eye. This is 400,000 times as bright. It's likely due to a sudden breakup of the comet after one too many trips around the sun. Pictures here."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Safari beats IE, Firefox in speed trials->

Submitted by Arashtamere
Arashtamere (1178557) writes "A US web testing firm said Apple's Safari browser is faster than Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox at grabbing pages. "Safari is faster than rival browsers from Microsoft and Mozilla, a US Web testing firm said this week — putting proof to Apple's June boast that its browser was the quickest...Each browser was pointed at the 16 most-trafficked sites as listed by Alexa at the end of August, and the times it took each to render each site recorded. Results over a two-day period, with multiple tests run at different times, were averaged for a final number. The browsers were also timed as they pulled up those sites' saved HTML, which had been placed on a local server." http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;480659220;fp;2;fpid;1"
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Announcements

+ - Demonoid Going Down For Canadians->

Submitted by Looce
Looce (1062620) writes "TorrentFreak.com reports that people outside Canada will now see on the Demonoid.com homepage a news story saying:

We received a letter from a lawyer representing the CRIA, they were threatening with legal action and we need to start blocking Canadian traffic because of this. Thanks for your understanding, and sorry for any inconvenience.
... and people in Canada will see this instead, without the site navigation:

We received a letter from a lawyer represeting the CRIA, they were threatening with legal action and We need to start blocking Canadian traffic because of this. If you reside in Canada, that is the reason you are being redirected to this message. Thanks for your understanding, and sorry for any inconvenience.
The CRIA is the Canadian Recording Industry Association, an equivalent to the RIAA."

Link to Original Source
Communications

+ - 5 Hotspots Where Languages Are Becoming Extinct->

Submitted by
Ant
Ant writes "Anthropology.net shares an alarming report on the rate of extinction of languages . It says, "Every 14 days a language dies. By 2100, more than half of the more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth — many of them never yet recorded — will likely disappear, taking with them a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, the natural environment, and how the human brain works." Seen on Neatorama."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - China Bans TV, Radio Ads for Push-Up Bras

Submitted by
Frosty Piss
Frosty Piss writes "China has banned TV and radio ads for push-up bras and figure-enhancing underwear in the communist government's latest move to purge the nation's airwaves of what it calls social pollution. "They not only seriously mislead consumers, harm the people's health, pollute the social environment, and corrupt social mores, but also directly harm the credibility of public broadcasting and affect the image of the Communist Party and the government," the notice said."

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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