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What Brings Users to Blogs? 143

Billosaur writes "The Center for Citizen Media Blog has an interesting overview of the Collaborative News Survey 'Hype versus Reality', detailing the results of a study done by Hsing Wei from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government on why users are attracted to collaborative news, commenting and blogging sites. Among the conclusions of the study are that people who use these sites are 'mostly young and male, especially those who visit technology-related sites, looking for 'a fix of unique, informative fun,' and 'filling in the blanks' left by traditional news sources. Or is it just because it beats working?"

Indian Satellite Lost in Launch Explosion 208

An anonymous reader writes "BBC News is reporting that the recent communications satellite launch in India has met with disaster. The satellite, designed to enhance India's telephone and communications network, was lost when the rocket carrying it veered off course and exploded. This is the second disappointment in recent launch attempts, coming just one day after the failed long-range ballistic missile test launch."

Bacterial DVD Holds 50TB 268

CAMags writes to tell us that a Harvard Professor is claiming to have developed a new variant of a protein called bacteriorhodopsin (bR) that, when layered on a DVD, can store up to 50TB of data. From the article: "The light-activated protein is found in the membrane of a salt marsh microbe Halobacterium salinarum and is also known as bacteriorhodopsin (bR). It captures and stores sunlight to convert it to chemical energy. When light shines on bR, it is converted to a series of intermediate molecules each with a unique shape and color before returning to its 'ground state.'"

How Washington Will Shape the Internet 373

WebHostingGuy writes "As reported by MSNBC, 'The most potent force shaping the future of the Internet is neither Mountain View's Googleplex nor the Microsoft campus in Redmond. It's rather a small army of Gucci-shod lobbyists on Washington's K Street and the powerful legislators whose favor they curry.' The article examines several pieces of legislation and lobbying initiatives which are poised to affect you and your rights online. Topics covered include Net Neutrality, fiber to the home, the Universal Service Fund, codecs, and WiFi bandwidth usage." From the article: "After years of benign neglect, the Federal government is finally involved in the Internet — big time. And the decisions being made over the next few months will impact not just the future of the Web, but that of mass media and consumer electronics as well. Yet it's safe to say that far more Americans have heard about flag burning than the laws that may soon reshape cyberspace."

Mice Produced Using Artificial Sperm 435

vasanth writes to tell us scientists have successfully grown mice from artificial sperm. The sperm was created from embryonic stem cells and implanted into female mice. There were a few problems, including that some of the mice showed abnormal patterns of growth and difficulty breathing. The hope here is to assist couples who are having difficulties with conception.

Athens Breeding "Super Mosquitoes" 458

Chemisor writes "Air pollution and cramped housing conditions in Athens, Greece, are creating a new breed of mosquitoes which are bigger, faster, and can smell humans from farther away. The super insects have color vision and detect humans from 25-30 meters, which is about 50% farther than the ordinary mosquitoe. Beating their wing 500 times a second provides them with extra speed, and the larger bodies (by 0.3ug) presumably allow larger bloodsucking capacity." And in a similar vein (har har) New Scientist had a piece about what mosquitoes like or hate about people.

Baby Meets Big Brother For Science 188

dylanduck writes "A baby is to be monitored by a network of microphones and video cameras for 14 hours a day, 365 days a year, in an effort to unravel the seemingly miraculous process by which children acquire language. I guess that's what happens when your pop works at MIT's Media Lab. Thankfully his parents can switch off the surveillance for 'private' moments and delete short scenes. All the footage is being classified by algorithms."

Microsoft Unveils Online Advertising Service 180

jwb4273 writes "Microsoft has released another weapon in its battle against Google. Steve Ballmer has announced today that Microsoft's web properties (MSN, Live, etc.) will no longer use Yahoo!'s advertising services, and will instead use Microsoft's new advertising platform 'adCenter'. For wanting to go in together with Yahoo, this seems like the wrong start for a good relationship."

How Vista Disappoints 731

MCSEBear writes "Writer Paul Thurrott has given Microsoft a verbal dressing down for what has become of Windows Vista. He details Microsoft's broken promises over the years since Longhorn/Vista was first previewed back in 2003. He demonstrates where current Vista builds fail to live up to Microsoft's current hype of the much reduced feature set. From the article: 'I don't hate Windows Vista, and I certainly don't hate Microsoft for disappointing me and countless other customers with a product that doesn't even come close to meeting its original promises. I'm sure the company learned something from this debacle, and hopefully it will be more open and honest about what it can and cannot do in the future ... It some ways, Windows Vista actually will exceed Mac OS X and Linux, but not to the depth we were promised. Instead, Windows Vista will do what so many other Windows releases have done, and simply offer consumers and business users a few major changes and many subtle or minor updates. That's not horrible. It's just not what was promised.'"

Working at Microsoft, the Inside Scoop 437

bariswheel writes "Responding to the public interest, a long-time Apple and UNIX user/programmer, and a JPL/Caltech veteran, writes an insightful, articulate essay on the good, the bad, and the in-between experiences of working at Microsoft; concentrating on focus, unreality, company leadership, managers, source code, benefits and compensation, free soft drinks, work/life balance, Microsoft's not evil, and influence."

8 Myths of Software-as-a-Service 169

abb_road writes "BusinessWeek looks at the current state of software-as-a-service, arguing that the model is well established and is distinct from failed ASP/Hosting models of the dot-com era. Far from a passing fad, the model is starting to see large-scale adoption, and traditional vendors are having trouble revamping their applications and financials to get in on the action. From the article, 'As SaaS gains mainstream acceptance, it is becoming an important disruptive force in the software industry. And as long as the quality and reliability of SaaS solutions continues to improve, the appeal of SaaS isn't going to go away.'"

Star Trek's Synthehol Now Possible? 509

[TheBORG] writes "Professor David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Bristol in the UK, believes that there is no scientific reason why 'synthehol' (a science-fictional substitute for alcohol that appears in Star Trek:The Next Generation television series) cannot be created now. It will allow drinkers to experience all of the enjoyable, intoxicating effects of alcohol without unpleasant side-effects like hangovers." Of course, there's still the real deal, Romulan Ale, for when you want a splitting headache in the morning.

When Telecom Mergers Hit Home 131

netbuzz writes "A telecom manager submitted an essay to Network World that paints a sadly humorous picture of what the mega-telecom mergers really mean on the ground." From the article: "Well, when I heard that these companies were about to combine forces, it made my blood run cold. How would they be able to take, in each case, two companies with already broken processes and mediocre customer support and successfully merge them? How could they continue to provide me with the support I need to keep my company's networks functioning as they need to in this age of the bandwidth junkie? The answer ... at this moment, is they can't!"

Pentium Computers Vulnerable to Attack? 227

An anonymous reader writes "One of the latest security scares is coming from security experts at CanSecWest/core '06 in the form of a possible hardware-specific attack. The attack is based on the built-in procedure that Pentium based chips use when they overheat. From the article: 'When the processor begins to overheat or encounters other conditions that could threaten the motherboard, the computer interrupts its normal operation, momentarily freezes and stores its activity, said Loïc Duflot, a computer security specialist for the French government's Secretary General for National Defense information technology laboratory. Cyberattackers can take over a computer by appropriating that safeguard to make the machine interrupt operations and enter System Management Mode, Duflot said. Attackers then enter the System Management RAM and replace the default emergency-response software with custom software that, when run, will give them full administrative privileges.'"

Microsoft To Appeal EU Decision 237

An anonymous reader writes "News.com has an article on Microsoft's upcoming appeal of the EU antitrust decision. Their argument is essentially that they shouldn't be penalized for becoming successful in a marketplace." From the article: "Microsoft relies on the fact that its communication protocols are technologically innovative and are covered by intellectual-property rights ... [the company] had designed its Windows server operating systems from the outset to interoperate with non-Microsoft server operating systems"

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