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Portables

Arrington's CrunchPad Dies 175

adeelarshad82 writes "Michael Arrington announced the death of the CrunchPad on Monday morning in a blog post heavily spiced with angst and drama. According to Arrington, the Crunchpad, a 12-inch Web tablet expected to be priced at about $300, was just days away from launch. At the last minute, however, Arrington received an email from Chandra Rathakrishnan, the chief executive of manufacturing partner Fusion Garage, apparently trying to cut Arrington out of the product on the eve of the launch. Fusion Garage, according to Arrington, wanted to market the device itself under its own name; which obviously was the deal breaker. Arrington claims that the company had overcome obstacles at every stage in the business such as deals with Intel, retail launch, securing venture capital and angel investments. Interesting bit is that some were already speculating that the Crunchpad was not real."
Microsoft

Microsoft Takes Responsibility For GPL Violation 364

An anonymous reader writes with an update to the news we discussed last weekend that a Windows 7 utility seemed to contain GPL code: "Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool did, in fact, use GPL code, and they have agreed to release the tool's source code under the terms of GPLv2. In a statement, Microsoft said creation of the tool had been contracted out to a third party and apologized for not noticing the GPL code during a code review."

Comment Re:The #1 Lesson (Score 1) 316

Then when your email gets to google, it's stored unencrypted, google reads the contents of the email and displays advertising based on those contents. (Aside: that bit of the OP was funny. Because while google's customer service reps don't read email themselves, the system does, and you often get ads on your gmail pages that say "you could be doing better than ...") At that point a rule in your intended recipient's gmail configuration could, accidentally or intentionally, forward that message to another server, to which google will make an unencrypted connection and where the message will, a second time, be stored unencrypted.

Though they're improvements over the old status quo, https and POP/IMAP/SMTP-TLS are not substitutes for encrypted email.

Security

Comcast's War On Infected PCs (Or All Customers) 304

thadmiller writes "Comcast is launching a trial on Thursday of a new automated service that will warn broadband customers of possible virus infections if the computers are behaving as if they have been compromised by malware. For instance, a significant overnight spike in traffic being sent from a particular Internet Protocol address could signal that a computer is infected with a virus, taking control of the system and using it to send spam as part of a botnet." Update: Jason Livingood of Comcast's Internet Systems Engineering group sent to Dave Farber's "Interesting People" mailing list a more detailed explanation of what this trial will involve.
Biotech

E. Coli Can Be Used To Clean Up Nuclear Waste 102

jerryjamesstone writes "Researchers have found that E. coli can be used to recover uranium from tainted waters and can even be used to clean up nuclear waste. Using the bacteria along with inositol phosphate, the bacteria breaks down the phosphate — also called phytic acid — to free the phosphate molecules. The phosphate then binds to the uranium forming a uranium-phosphate precipitate on the cells of the bacteria. Those cells can then be harvested to recover the uranium." What has made this 14-year-old process economically feasible is the use of inositol phosphate, which is a cheap waste material from the production feedstock from plant material.
Censorship

TI vs. Calculator Hackers 463

Nyall writes "So a bunch of TI calculator programming enthusiasts got together to factor the keys Texas Instruments uses to sign the operating system binaries for the ti83+ (a z80 architecture) and the ti89/v200 (a 68k architecture) series of calculators. Now Texas Instruments is sending out DMCA notices to take them down."
Businesses

Apple Rumored To Want To Buy Twitter 325

OSXGlitch writes "A post on TechCrunch this morning extends the rumor that Apple wants to buy Twitter with part of their massive cash reserve (estimated at nearly $29B). The Twitterverse is alive with speculation that the price being discussed is $700 million. This goes against reports that Twitter's founders aren't interested in selling, and that they estimate the value of the company at around $250 million. Two questions: How do we all feel about the possibility of Apple owning Twitter? And, can Twitter decline an offer that is nearly three times their estimated worth?"
Books

Authors Guild President Wants To End Royalty-Free TTS On Kindle 539

An anonymous reader writes "The president of the Authors Guild has launched a rant in the NY Times about how the Kindle 2 provides Text-to-Speech capabilities that, oh the horror, allow the user to have any text on the Kindle read to her. Roy Blunt, Jr. moans that this is copyright infringement of audio books, and that Kindle users should be forced to pay royalties on audio even though they've already paid for the text version of a book! Amazingly he harps on about how TTS technology has become so good that it may replace humans — and then uses this to argue that it's unfair for Kindle to provide TTS! I think the Authors Guild need a new president — someone less of a Luddite, and more familiar with copyright law." (See also the Guild's executive director's similar claims that reading aloud, royalty-free, is an illegal function of software.)
Security

Do We Need a New Internet? 690

Richard.Tao and a number of other readers sent in a NYTimes piece by John Markoff asking whether the Internet is so broken it needs to be replaced. "...[T]here is a growing belief among engineers and security experts that Internet security and privacy have become so maddeningly elusive that the only way to fix the problem is to start over. What a new Internet might look like is still widely debated, but one alternative would, in effect, create a 'gated community' where users would give up their anonymity and certain freedoms in return for safety. Today that is already the case for many corporate and government Internet users. As a new and more secure network becomes widely adopted, the current Internet might end up as the bad neighborhood of cyberspace. You would enter at your own risk and keep an eye over your shoulder while you were there." A less alarmist reaction to the question was blogged by David Akin: "If you build a new Internet and you want me to get a license to drive on it, sorry. I'm hanging out here in v.1."
Image

Sniping Could Be the Next Killer iPod App Screenshot-sm 461

An anonymous Coward writes "Knights Armament Corp. who supply sniper rifles to the US military have developed a iPod Touch mounting system and software for the US Army M110 sniper rifle system. The use of off the shelf hardware no doubt cut costs and allowed rapid development of this system." If it automatically played a theme song after every head shot, this would be the coolest rifle accessory ever.
Spam

Lexus To Start Spamming Car Buyers In Their Cars 317

techmuse writes "Lexus has announced plans to send targeted messages to buyers of its cars based on the buyer's zip code and vehicle type. Unlike regular spam, these messages will be delivered directly to the buyer's vehicle, and will play to the vehicle's occupants as audio. Lexus has promised to make the messages relevant to the car buyers." Imagine the fun that some targeted malware could do — not that such a thing could happen to a Lexus.

Comment Bullshit. (Score 2, Informative) 136

The driver is not specifically for the wind. That's the same chip used in cheap USB wireless adapters like this one and RealTek has been providing their OS X driver for some time. The driver and associated utility do not work very well, FWIW, and I don't suggest trying to use them with a Mac unless you really have no other option.

Portables (Apple)

Realtek's Wireless Driver Drives Thoughts of an Apple Netbook 136

Slatterz writes "With Macworld 2009 mere weeks away, one rumour that seemingly won't die is the idea of a Mac OS X Netbook PC. Asking a company to provide OS X drivers for their netbooks has, up until now, been met with silence, and probably a little quaking on the vendor side as they wait for the heavy footsteps of Apple's army of lawyers. It seems, however, that Realtek, who provide the WiFi chip found in the MSI Wind U100, are dipping their toes into the legally iffy world of the Hackintosh. Forum users at MSIWind.Net asked politely for drivers, and after a lot of patience, Beta drivers were provided."
Image

Ender in Exile Screenshot-sm 507

stoolpigeon writes "Orson Scott Card's work Ender's Game began as a novelette, which he says he wrote as a means of leading up to the full story he had developed, Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game was published as a full novel in 1985, and won the Hugo and Nebula awards (as did Speaker for the Dead in '86 and '87). I think it is safe to say that Ender's Game is ensconced in its position as a science fiction classic. Now, 23 years later, Card has finished the first direct sequel to Ender's Game in his new novel Ender in Exile." Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.

Comment Re:Too long (Score 3, Interesting) 178

If people are too stupid and like to listen to their SALESman instead of forking over $200 to a real-estate lawyer (that's what it costed my parents 2 years ago) to review and make clear the paperwork to them then that's their own fault.

I'm not arguing with this; you're right on. I was simply disputing the notion put forth by the post I was responding to. geekmux said that if these legal agreements had teeth, people would read them and offered as an example the notion that people generally read the paperwork that they have to sign when they purchase a home. I maintain that the current financial mess is due, in part, to the fact that people don't read legalese even when not doing so can have dire consequences. So giving these agreements more teeth would be of little help in getting people to read and adhere to them :-/

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