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Submission + - First 'habitable' alternative to Earth found

ceros writes: European astronomers yesterday reported the discovery of a habitable planet located nearby in the constellation Libra. The so-called "super-Earth" is the smallest of the 229 planets found beyond our solar system. Moreover, it orbits within the "Goldilocks Zone" where temperatures are "just right" for water — and thus life — to exist.

Submission + - Researchers Break Internet Speed Records

atommota writes: A group of researchers led by the University of Tokyo has broken Internet speed records, twice, in two days. Operators of the high-speed Internet2 network announced Tuesday that the researchers on Dec. 30 sent data at 7.67 gigabits per second, using standard communications protocols.

The next day, using modified protocols, the team broke the record again by sending data over the same 20,000-mile path at 9.08 Gbps.

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Apr24/0,4670,Fast erInternet,00.html

Submission + - Sony Updates PSP, PS3 Firmware, adds rumble?

Guppy06 writes: "Sony released new firmware for both the PSP and the PlayStation 3 today. The releases focuses on support for PlayStation games downloaded from the PlayStation Store, allowing the PS3 to play these games directly without having to transfer them to the PSP, as well as apparently allowing save data for these games to be transferred between the two. Most interesting, though, is that PS3 owners "can now use the vibration function of accessories that are for use with Playstation and Playstation 2 format software." With no USB or Bluetooth accessories for the original PlayStation (at least), this seems to suggest that new hardware is on the horizon for the PS3, but whether it's a new controller or a new adapter to connect PS2 and PS controllers hasn't been announced."

Feed Got A Good Credit Score? Rent It To Someone In Need (techdirt.com)

One of the common consequences for victims of identity theft is that they can see their credit scores get damaged, and because the big credit agencies don't offer much help in monitoring and fixing this, it can be a major hassle to get the problem resolved. Barry Ritholtz to an interesting story about a different kind of fraud, whereby people with good credit scores can sell their credit histories to people who want their own score boosted. Basically, the law states that people are allowed to add an unlimited number of individuals to their credit card accounts; it's mainly intended for parents who want to put their kids on the account. But, various websites have emerged to take advantage of this loophole, enabling people with bad credit histories to improve their score by getting access to a good credit history. It's not clear how widespread this actually is, but it pretty clearly violates the whole point of a credit score, since it's supposed to give the lender some idea of how reliable the borrower is. Fair Isaac, the company that developed the FICO score, says it's currently in talks with the FTC to stop the practice. The question, then, is whether shutting down this loophole will do the trick, or whether credit history brokers will simply find another loophole.
The Internet

Submission + - Goatse up for auction

An anonymous reader writes: The notorious domain goatse.cx is up for auction, current bidding is over $105k ... Could this be the next hot Internet property?

Wal-Mart Begins Massive Push For HD DVD 338

Several readers sent us word of Wal-Mart's ordering 2 million HD DVD players from China. Hans V wrote, "My kids work at Wal-Mart and the manager there has been talking about this. HD-DVD's are selling like mad there so I hear." Another reader sent us a few links in Chinese and summarized them this way: "The first batches of these blue-laser HD DVD players are to land sometime in 2007, with complete fulfillment of the order [from Fuh Yuan] in 2008. The deal could be worth up to $300 million US, which translates to $150 per player. If so, by the time Christmas 2007 rolls around, Wal-Mart could be selling these for less than $200 retail, although some speculate that the initial manufacturer suggested retail pricing might be in the ballpark of $299. Currently the cheapest high-definition player is a Toshiba HD DVD with an MSRP of $399." By comparison Blu-Ray players, manufactured in Japan, are not expected to drop below $1000 until next year. The International Herald Tribune writes about the risk Toshiba is taking by bringing in Chinese manufacturers to trump Sony in the format war.

Boston Bans Boing Boing From City Wi-Fi 215

DrFlounder writes "The city of Boston has apparently blocked access to Boing Boing on the municipal Wi-Fi. This is possibly due to the popular blog's known Mooninite sympathies." Update: 4/22 13:11 GMT by KD : Seth Finkelstein did some research and posted an explanation of the blockage to his blog. "'Arbitrary and capricious' seems the relevant characterization."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Microsoft Admits Vista Failure

mnath77 writes: ""With two overlapping events, Microsoft admitted what we have been saying all along, Vista, aka Windows MeII, is a joke that no one wants. It did two unprecedented things this week that frankly stunned us... "What happened is the OEMs revolted in the background and forced Microsoft's hand. This is a big neon sign above MeII saying 'FAILURE'. Blink blink blink. OK, MeII won't fail, they have OEMs whipped and threatened into a corner, it will sell, but you can almost hear the defectors marching toward Linux. This is a watershed..." http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=39 087"

RMS Protest Song On Gitmo 500

An anonymous reader tipped us to a protest song RMS has written and recorded (while visiting Cuba) and is hosting on stallman.org. It's a sort of parody, although it's too serious really to be called that, in Spanish of the song "Guantanamera," in which a Gitmo prisoner talks about his experiences and mourns his fate. RMS wrote the lyrics in 2006 after learning what "Guantanamera" actually means. The lyrics are moving, and the recording, in Ogg, is competent — RMS sings well and he's got some amateur musicians from Cuba backing him up. Here are the lyrics and an English translation.

Submission + - 65%Americans Spend More Time With Their PC Than SO

Ant writes: "PR Newswire reports that 65 percent of consumers are spending more time with a computer than with their significant other (SO), according to new independent research commissioned by support.com. Conducted by independent research firm Kelton Research, the "Cyber Stress" study confirmed consumers' growing relationship with technology in their everyday lives. In fact, more than 8 out of 10 Americans (84%) say they are more dependent on their home computer now than they were just three years ago. Like any relationship, the test comes not when things are going well but when times are tough. And unfortunately in the case of their computers, things aren't going so well for Americans... Seen on Blue's News. Well, SO is my computer. [grin]"

Submission + - Is Vista Ultimate worth $400?

Deathspawner writes: "It's obvious that no Windows OS is worth $400, but for those who are considering it over another version should read through Techgages comparison with Home Premium. While Home Premium costs $170 less, it contains most of what people would even want from Ultimate. $400 is a lot of money to shell out for a new OS, especially an edition that includes a feature that 95% of people who purchase it will not be able to use."

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