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Handhelds

Submission + - Blackberry mail down again!

_damnit_ writes: RIM has had another "severe event" which has taken down users across North America. The problem apparently started around 3:30PM EST. RIM has not given an expected resolution time.
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Ticketed for using a hands-free device with my cel (tidbits.com)

scooteristi writes: "Full story at: http://db.tidbits.com/article/9180 ...Officer Wright turned his lights on and signaled me to pull over, which I did. "License and registration." Mindful that I had two officers tailing me, I couldn't think of any traffic laws that I had violated: "Officer, why did you pull me over?" "Under Virginia State Law it is illegal to wear headphones," he replied. "I'm wearing the hands-free device that came with my iPhone," I said, and I showed him my iPhone.... ...Now considering that in jurisdictions like Washington, D.C., and New York, it is mandatory that one use a hands-free device with a cell phone, it struck me as very odd that here I am in Virginia being pulled over for using one. Yet...using a hands-free device in the State of Virginia can be legally problematic."
Space

Photonic Laser Thruster Promises Earth to Mars in a Week 413

serutan writes "Using lasers to drive spaceships has been a subject of interest for many years, but making a photonic engine powerful enough for practical use has been elusive. Dr. Young Bae, a California physicist, has built a demonstration photonic laser thruster that produces enough thrust to micro-maneuver a satellite. This would be useful in high-precision formation flying, such as using a fleet of satellites to form a space telescope with a large virtual aperture. Scaled up, a similar engine could speed a spacecraft to Mars in less than a week."
Communications

Submission + - Tmobile DATA Centers Down? (hauntedcincinnati.com) 1

Randy M. Karshner writes: "Tmobiles Data Centers from the Mississippi East all seem to have went down around 7pm EST, With millions of customers they have managed to keep this rather quiet so far wouldn't you say? I first noticed about 7 when all text messages stopped, even those sent to my own hand set. A quick call to Tmobile confimed this and that the first ETA they had was hopeful to have it fixed by 10pm EST. Looks like they are two plus hours over and still climbing. Why no coverage on this?"
Music

Submission + - Led Zepplin Effect (guardian.co.uk)

jd writes: "According to the web administrators handling the upcoming Led Zepplin reunion concert in tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, over twenty million people attempted to log onto the site to buy tickets. Those familiar with the Slashdot Effect can guess what happened next. The entire Pipex backbone, which supplied the website with connectivity, disintegrated. Not just one upstream pipe, mind you, the entire backbone frazzled under the impact. At the time of writing this, the site for booking the tickets is reachable. Geeks are warned in advance that there are no usage statistics or bandwidth consumption monitors on the websites."
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun changes stock symbol to JAVA

_damnit_ writes: The wounded ship that was once SUNW is now JAVA. CEO Jonathan Schwartz announced on his blog that they will change their NASDAQ stock symbol to try and capitalize on the success (?) of Java. For a long time people have been waiting for Sun to monetize Java. Having JAVA as one of NASDAQ's most active doesn't really address that issue but Jonathan is thinking outside the box I guess. Now if they could just gain revenue they could stop laying off staff.
Data Storage

Toshiba Touts 51GB HD DVD 236

srizah writes to mention that Toshiba plans to launch a 51 GB HD DVD, with a 1 GB advantage over Sony's Blu-ray disc. From the article: Toshiba has submitted a triple-layer, 51GB HD DVD-ROM disc to the standard's overseer in the hope the technology will be adopted as a standard by the end of the year. If approved, it allow the format to exceed the 50GB storage capacity of rival medium Blu-ray Disc. The HD DVD standard currently defines single- and dual-layer discs capable of holding 15GB and 30GB of data, respectively."
Privacy

Bush Claims Mail Can Be Opened Without Warrant 714

don_combatant writes to note that President Bush claimed new powers to search US mail without a warrant. He made this claim in a "signing statement" at the time he signed a postal overhaul bill into law on December 20. The signing statement directly contradicts part of the bill he signed, which explicitly reinforces protections of first-class mail from searches without a court's approval. According to the article, "A top Senate Intelligence Committee aide promised a review of Bush's move."

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