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The Internet

1Mb Broadband Access Becomes Legal Right In Finland 875

An anonymous reader writes "Starting next July, every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Finland is the world's first country to create laws guaranteeing broadband access. The Finnish people are also legally guaranteed a 100Mb broadband connection by the end of 2015."
Bug

Major Snow Leopard Bug Said To Delete User Data 353

inglishmayjer was one of several readers to send in the news of a major bug in Apple's new OS, 10.6 Snow Leopard, that can wipe out all user data for the administrator account. It is said to be triggered — not every time — by logging in to the Guest account and then back in to the admin account. Some users are reporting that all settings have been reset and most data is gone. The article links to a number of Apple forum threads up to a month old bemoaning the problem. MacFixIt suggests disabling login on the Guest account and, if you need that functionality, creating a non-administrative account named something like Visitor. (The Guest account is special in that its settings are wiped clean after logout.) CNet reports that Apple has acknowledged the bug and is working on a fix.
Microsoft

Microsoft Leaks Details of 128-bit Windows 8 581

Barence writes "Microsoft is planning to make Windows 8 a 128-bit operating system, according to details leaked from the software giant's Research department. The discovery came to light after Microsoft Research employee Robert Morgan carelessly left details of his work on the social-networking site LinkedIn. His page read: 'Working in high-security department for research and development involving strategic planning for medium and long-term projects. Research & Development projects including 128-bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan. Forming relationships with major partners: Intel, AMD, HP and IBM.' It has since been removed."
XBox (Games)

What To Do With a Free Xbox 360 Pro? 416

OzPeter writes "Last week I won an Xbox 360 Pro. However, I am not a gamer, and after looking at the current MS offerings, I am not tempted to become one. But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying video through the HDMI port. With that in mind, I again looked at MS and saw they seemed to have positioned the Xbox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So, once again, I did some more research into the Xbox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site, it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers, and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path. So my question is: how should I re-purpose my Xbox? Is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favorite nephew?"
Transportation

Synthetic Sebum Makes Slippery Sailboats 128

sonnejw0 writes "Sea-faring vessels are a major contributor of greenhouse gas production due to a deficit in international laws and inherent inefficiencies at sea, such as barnacle build-up on hulls. Many marine animals avoid the build-up of drag-inducing barnacles through secreting oily residues from their pores or through the nano-molecular arrangement of their skin. Sailors regularly defoul their hulls, removing the barnacles at dry-dock, which requires them to reduce the amount of time they have at sea. Some synthetic chemicals in paints have been used to prevent barnacle build-up but have been found to be toxic to marine animals and thus outlawed by several nations. Now, engineers are trying to replicate the skin of marine animals to produce a slippery hull to which marine bacteria cannot attach, saving fuel costs and improving speeds."
Networking

Large-Scale Mac Deployment? 460

UncleRage writes "I've been asked to research and ultimately recommend a deployment procedure for Macs across a rather large network. I'm not a stranger to OS X; however, the last time I worked on deployment NetRestore was still king of the mountain. Considering the current options, what methodologies do admins adhere to? Given the current selection of tools available, what would you recommend when planning, prototyping, and rolling out a robust, modular deployment scenario? For the record, I'm not asking for a spoon-fed solution; I'm more interested in a discussion concerning the current tools and what may (or may not) have worked for you. There are a lot of options available for modular system deployment... what are your opinions?"
Communications

GMail Experiences Serious Outage 408

JacobSteelsmith was one of many readers to note an ongoing problem with Gmail: "As I type this, GMail is experiencing a major outage. The application status page says there is a problem with GMail affecting a majority of its users. It states a resolution is expected within the next 1.2 hours (no, not a typo on my part). However, email can still be accessed via POP or IMAP, but not, it appears, through an Android device such as the G1." It's also affecting corporate users: Reader David Lechnyr writes "We run a hosted Google Apps system and have been receiving 502 Server Error responses for the past hour. The unusual thing about this is that our Google phone support rep (which paid accounts get) indicated that this outage is also affecting Google employees as well, making it difficult to coordinate."
Cellphones

Apple Blames 'External Forces' For Exploding iPhones 383

Shome writes "Apple has stated that there is no evidence that recent iPhone explosions reported by users are connected to overheating of batteries. It may be stated that French consumer affairs authorities have started their own investigation on the reported explosions, some of which have caused minor injuries to the users, and are studying the phone's safety features. The Inquirer runs a piece that blames Apple for blaming its customers. 'This mysterious force is not God, or a rival religion, nor does it require any metaphysics to understand. An "external force" is just Apple's term for the black shirted people who believe that everything that Apple makes is wonderful. It is what other companies call their "customers," writes Nick Farrell.'"
Media (Apple)

Spotify Wins iPhone App Store Approval 114

angry tapir writes "Apple has approved a streaming music application from Spotify for use on the iPhone, even though the program will compete with Apple's own iTunes service. Spotify is an advertising-supported music service that lets end-users stream music to their computers free of charge. The service is available in the U.K. and by invitation in countries including Sweden, Norway, Finland, France and Spain. Users can opt to pay for a version of the service without ads." The BBC also has a story on the app's acceptance.
Security

Twitter Used To Control Botnet Machines 127

DikSeaCup writes "Arbor Network's Jose Nazario, an expert on botnets, discovered what looks to be the first reported case of hackers using Twitter to control botnets. 'Hackers have long used IRC chat rooms to control botnets, and have continually used clever technologies, such as peer-to-peer strategies, to counter efforts to track, disrupt and sometimes decapitate the bots. Perhaps what's surprising then is that it's taken so long for hackers to take Twitter to the dark side.' The next step, of course, is to code the tweets in such a way that they aren't so suspicious."
Businesses

Are Information Technology's Glory Days Over? 333

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that computer science students with the entrepreneurial spirit may want to look for a different major, because if Thomas M. Siebel, founder of Siebel Systems, is right, IT is a mature industry that will grow no faster than the larger economy, its glory days having ended in 2000. Addressing Stanford students in February as a guest of the engineering school, Siebel called attention to 20 sweet years from 1980 to 2000, when worldwide IT spending grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 percent. 'All you had to do was show up and not goof it up,' Siebel says. 'All ships were rising.' Since 2000, however, that rate has averaged only 3 percent. His explanation for the sharp decline is that 'the promise of the post-industrial society has been realized.' In Siebel's view, far larger opportunities are to be found in businesses that address needs in food, water, health care and energy. Though Silicon Valley was 'where the action was' when he finished graduate school, he says, 'if I were graduating today, I would get on a boat and I would get off in Shanghai.'"
Portables (Apple)

Windows Drains MacBook's Battery; Who's To Blame? 396

ericatcw writes "Users hoping that Windows 7's arrival will mean less power drain on their MacBook laptops may be disappointed, writes Computerworld's Eric Lai. Running Windows 7 in Boot Camp caused one CNET reviewer's battery life to fall by more than two-thirds. But virtualization software such as VMware Fusion suffer from the same complaints. Some blame Apple's Boot Camp drivers (the last ones were released in April 2008); others lay the blame at Windows' bloated codebase. With Apple and Microsoft both trying to avoid responsibility for improving the experience, Windows 7's reported improvements in power management will be moot for MacBook users for a while."
Hardware Hacking

California Student Arrested For Console Hacking 1016

jhoger writes "Matthew Crippen was arrested yesterday for hacking game consoles (for profit) in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He was released on a $5,000 bond, but faces up to 10 years in prison. This is terribly disturbing to me; a man could lose 10 years of his freedom for providing the service of altering hardware. He could well lose much of his freedom for providing a modicum of it to others. There is no piracy going on, necessarily — the games a modified console could run may simply not be signed by the vendor. It's much like jailbreaking an iPhone. But it seems because he is disabling a 'circumvention device' it is a criminal issue. Guess it's time to kick a few dollars over to the EFF."

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