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Latest Revelations on the FBI's Data Mining of America 446

An anonymous reader writes "You probably already knew that the FBI was data mining Americans in the "search" for potential terrorists, but did you know that they're also supposed to be looking for people in the U.S. engaged in criminal activity that is not really supposed to be the province of the federal government? Now the feds are alleged to be data mining for insurance fraudsters, identity thieves, and questionable online pharmacists. That's what they're telling us now. What else could they be looking for that they are not telling us about?"
Announcements

Submission + - Superconducting heat spreader to obsolete CPU fans

vinsci writes: R&D company Novel Concepts, Inc. has announced its new IsoSkin heat spreader material that dissipates heat 20 times more effectively than copper, according to the company. The thin (down to 500 microns) IsoSkin spreaders could eventually be used to replace the outer "skin" of portable electronics, thereby eliminating the need for heat sinks and fans that cool notebooks and PCs, ExtremeTech reports.
Windows

Vista Family Discount Keys Found Not Compatible 394

acousticiris writes "Many (if not all) users who took advantage of Microsoft's Vista Family Discount have been issued invalid installation keys and cannot install Windows Vista Home Premium. Microsoft says, 'There is no expected time period for a fix at this time.' According to the article, the keys are valid for something, just not Windows Vista. Perhaps it's just too simple to issue these folks new keys and send them on their way."
AMD

AMD Says Barcelona Will Outperform Clovertown 153

Dysfnctnl85 points out a ZDNet Blog posting in which AMD claims that its upcoming quad-core "Barcelona" chipset should be 40% faster than "Clovertown," Intel's quad-core Xeon 5300 line. AMD says that the introduction of Barcelona marks a shift in their strategy from emphasizing price to performance. The post goes on: "Intel is eager to claw back some of the server market share from AMD, and this is where Clovertown comes in... The Xeon 5300 line will represent excellent value for money since Intel plans on pricing them the same as its dual core Xeon 5100 processors. That could make things tough for AMD."
Google

Google's Sinister(?) Plans 287

puppetman writes "This week, Robert X. Cringely makes some interesting observations as to what Google's up to next. He theorizes that Google is looking to create a bandwidth shortage that will drive ISP/cable/telephone customers into it's open arms (often with the blessing of the ISP/cable/telephone company). The evidence: leasing massive amounts of network capacity, and huge data centers in rural areas (close to power-generation facilities). The shortage will only occur if the average bandwidth consumption by individual consumers skyrockets; think mainstream BitTorrent, streaming moves from NetFlix, tv episodes from iTunes, video games on demand, etc, etc. Spooky and sinister, or sublime and smart?"
User Journal

Journal Journal: "Think of the Internet as a highway."

"Think of the Internet as a highway."

There it is again. Some clueless fool talking about the "Information Superhighway." They don't know didley about the net. It's nothing like a superhighway. That's a rotten metaphor.

Suppose the metaphor ran in the other direction. Suppose the highways were like the net. . .
Movies

Netflix Now Offers Instant Online Movie Streaming 247

An anonymous reader writes "If you're the owner of a video rental store, it may be time to start thinking about getting into a different business, according to ZDNet. Netflix, the online movie rental service, is offering a new feature that allows its subscribers to instantly view movies and TV shows on their PC. From the article: 'Following a one-time, under-60-second installation of a simple browser applet, most subscribers' movie selections will begin playing in their Web browser in as little as 10 to 15 seconds. Movies can be paused and a position bar gives viewers the ability to immediately jump to any point in the movie. In all, the instant watching feature requires only Internet connectivity with a minimum of one megabit per second of bandwidth.' These movies are in addition to the standard DVDs you can have at home, it should be pointed out. You can see a demonstration of the service at the Hacking Netflix blog." Only a small percentage of customers have it available at the moment, but they hope to roll it out to everyone within six months.
Games

Blizzard Hints At New StarCraft, Launches Burning Crusade 319

Game Developer Blizzard Entertainment's long-anticipated expansion to World of Warcraft has gone live. Initial impressions are ... not available, since all 8 million players are currently in the Outlands. I'll take that to mean the servers for the most part have not melted yet. At a Burning Crusade launch party, a Blizzard exec revealed we may see a new StarCraft game very soon. But today is all about WoW. If you're not playing, and want to live vicariously, check out WarCry's extensive preview of the expansion. You could read designer Jeff Kaplan's comments on new features at FiringSquad, or Shane Dibiri's talk of inspiration at Next Generation. One new expansion a year, eh? Some folks are already looking to the future, where we probably won't see WoW on consoles, but may see it with security dongles. 0.1% of the Earth's population can't all be wrong.
Media

Fluendo To Sell Proprietary Codecs For Linux 276

Several readers wrote in to tell us that the open source media software development company Fluendo has announced plans to sell native Linux implementations of proprietary video codecs such as Windows Media, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4. (Press release here.) From the article: "Currently, many Linux video applications facilitate Windows Media video playback using Windows DLL files and Wine, which provides suboptimal performance, particularly with streaming video. Fluendo's codecs could potentially provide better integration for streaming Windows Media playback in Linux web browsers as well as through GStreamer-based desktop applications like Totem."

Core 2-Compatible Chipsets Compared 145

theraindog writes "Intel's Core 2 Duo is clearly the most attractive processor on the market, but which motherboard chipset is it best paired with? The Tech Report has rounded up four of the most common Core 2-compatible chipsets on the market to find out. The chipsets' features are compared and their performance is tested in a wide range of application, peripheral, and even power consumption tests. One emerges as a lemon, two as solid options, and the other as a clear winner." From the article: "Some fanboys still stubbornly cling to their favorite underdog, but most enthusiasts have seen the light and are looking at Core 2 for their next upgrade or system build. The prospect of a Core 2 system build can seem a bit daunting for enthusiasts who have spent years focused solely on the Athlon 64. Core 2 processors need new motherboards for those switching from the Athlon 64, and that requires navigating a whole new world of core logic chipsets. Since the Core 2 processor relies on the chipset for its memory controller, one's chipset choice can also have a much more profound impact on performance. "
User Journal

Journal Journal: We will not be responsible for damage

Many of the circuits have been reverse engineered - traced from various schematics or actual hardware. There may be errors in transcription, interpretation, analysis, or voltage or current values listed. They are provided solely as the basis for your own designs and are not guaranteed to be 'plans' that will work for your needs without some tweaking. We will not be responsible for damage to equipment, your ego, county wide power outages, spontaneously generated mini (or larger) black holes, pla
User Journal

Journal Journal: Dear Stephen

Dear Stephen,

I don't know anything about physics but dude, I will get you laid. And you're probably all like, "but I'm paralyzed." Dude, you don't even know. The bitches I know don't give a fuck. I'm tellin' you man they're crazy!
User Journal

Journal Journal: You are not the networks' customer.

It's kind of like television. You are not the networks' customer. The ad companies are the customer; you are the product that is sold to them. Everything else is just flim-flam designed to keep you in front of the tube.
User Journal

Journal Journal: There's no way to rule innocent men.

'There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers -

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