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Comment Re:Open source smart phone (Score 1) 232

In addition to the 'locked firmware' problem, "Telephone" implies that there is a centralized "telephone network" that can be
surveilled and/or attacked, making for a short revolution.

Wireless device have an interesting property. They can communicate with ANY compatible device within range, as long as it is programmed correctly. Why depend on "the man" (who is typically government regulated, or depends on 'retroactive immunity' in the US), if you don't have to.

Just be more decentralized in your thinking. 10 years ago there was a great gadget called a 'Cybiko', which ran on unlicensed
900 Mhz frequencies, but you could program on your own. The device went through several hardware generations, but doesn't exist any more. It even had an interesting 'walking talkie' application, which converted your voice to a digital signal and sent it to other Cybikos within RF range.

No cell network required.

Businesses

Submission + - Popular AVSIM site wiped, backups deleted (wordpress.com)

rhyre417 writes: Popular Flight Simulator site AVSIM was destroyed this week, possibly by a disgruntled employee.
No offsite backups existed, as one server was backed up to the other server, so deleting files on both
servers left no usable backups.

From the BBC article: ...he explained the site's backing up process, although he did not explain why the firm
had no external media storage.

"Some have asked whether or not we had back ups. Yes, we dutifully backed up our servers every day. Unfortunately, we backed up the servers between our two servers.

"The hacker took out both servers, destroying our ability to use one or the other back up to remedy the situation."

Comment Proprietary - quite the opposite Re:Drat you Steve (Score 1) 820

Let's face it:

FireWire is on its way out due to USB's huge dominance... if it's not discontinued now, it will be eventually. It will join the ranks of all the other discontinued proprietary formats like Atari, Commodore, Amiga, VHS, Betamax, DivX, HD DVD, and so on.

Firewire (aka IEEE 1394) is not proprietary. And it meets needs that USB does not.
It is isochronous, and supports high-end digital camera and camcorders better, with higher stability (less 'jitter' than USB).
It also doesn't force you to think about hosts and targets, and worry about whether the connector will fit. USB forces you to worry about which device is the host, and which is the target.
For example:
Connect PDA to PC - works OK.
Connect Scanner to PC - works OK.
Connect PDA to scanner - Hmm..

With firewire, this isn't an issue. As a result, I've been advocating firewire for interconnecting software-defined radio components for some time.

Programming

Using AI With GCC to Speed Up Mobile Design 173

Atlasite writes "The WSJ is reporting on a EU project called Milepost aimed at integrating AI inside GCC. The team partners, which include include IBM, the University of Edinburgh and the French research institute, INRIA, announced their preliminary results at the recent GCC Summit, being able to increase the performance of GCC by 10% in just one month's work. GCC Summit paper is provided [PDF]."
Software

AI Researchers Say 'Rascals' Might Pass Turing Test 337

An anonymous reader writes "Passing the Turing test is the holy grail of artificial intelligence (AI) and now researchers claim it may be possible using the world's fastest supercomputer (IBM's Blue Gene). This version of the Turing test pits a human conversing with a synthetic character powered by Rascals software crafted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RPI is aiming to pass AI's final exam this fall, by pairing the most powerful university-based supercomputing system in the world with its new multimedia group which is designing a holodeck, a la Star Trek."
PC Games (Games)

Orbiter Sim Gets You Spaced 24

stinky wizzleteats writes "Ever wondered why a space flight simulator never really got off the ground in the PC simulation scene? The answer is that it needed to be free. Dr. Martin Schweiger started the ball rolling a few years ago with Orbiter, a freeware Win32 DirectX based space flight simulator, in which you can fly orbital rendezvous, lunar landing, and even interplanetary missions. The current version has excellent graphics, including atmospheric descent and re-entry effects. There's also a burgeoning community of add-on developers, creating everything from sound add-ons and interplanetary navigation aids to complete working Apollo/Saturn 5 spacecraft. Virtual space agencies have even sprung up, using Roger Wilco and remote telemetry software (virtual mission control) to do Orbiter missions online. You can find the basic Orbiter files at Avsim or Sourceforge."
Programming

Hackers 129

Hackers is probably the first book I read that made me think of computers as the substrate of a social world rather than just boxes with lights. The book came out in 1984, though, and a lot's changed since then. Read on, as topeka lets you know how well Levy's techno opus has aged.

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