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Education

OLPC 2.0 — One Laptop Foundation Reboots 187

Greg Huang writes "In early January, the One Laptop Per Child Foundation laid off half its staff and shed work on the Sugar graphical interface. Now, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte and president Chuck Kane for the first time detail the foundation's new plans, describe how the XO laptop will do what netbooks can't do, and share their hope to keep working with Sugar developer Walter Bender, who left OLPC last year."
Mozilla

EU Could Force Bundling Firefox With Windows 650

Barence writes "The European Commission could force Microsoft to bundle Firefox with future versions of Windows. The revelation came as part of Microsoft's quarterly filing with the Security and Exchange Commission. Among the statements is a clause outlining the penalties being considered by the European watchdog, which recently ruled that Microsoft is harming competition by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. The most interesting situation outlined in the filing would see either Microsoft or computer manufacturers forced to install Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari by default alongside Internet Explorer on new Windows-based PCs."
Privacy

Fraudsters Abusing Canada's Do-Not-Call List 229

J ROC writes "Phone numbers on Canada's Do-Not-Call registry have apparently been sold to off-shore telemarketers, scam artists, and other ne'er-do-wells, according to reports in the Globe & Mail and CBC News. The CRTC, which runs the registry, sells lists of phone numbers online for a small fee; making it available to anybody who might be interested in buying it, including con artists. I guess this explains why, ever since I added my number to the registry, I've been getting phone calls from 000-000-0000 trying to interest me in some free vacation scam. Canada's Privacy Commissioner is currently investigating."
Transportation

Scientists Teleport Information Between Ions a Meter Apart 220

erickhill writes with word that scientists from the University of Maryland have successfully transferred information from one charged atom to another without having it cross the intervening space of about one meter. The academic paper is available in the journal Science, though it requires a subscription to see more than the abstract. Scientists have previously teleported unmolested qubits between photons of light, and between photons and clouds of atoms. But researchers have long sought to teleport qubits between distant atoms. Light's high speed of travel makes photons good transporters of information, but for storing quantum information, atoms are a much better choice because they're easier to hold on to. 'This is a big deal,' comments Myungshik Kim, a quantum physicist at Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom. 'To store information as it is in quantum form, you have to have a teleportation scheme available between two stationary qubits. Then you can store them and manipulate them later on.'"
Transportation

Boat Moves Without an Engine Or Sails 234

coondoggie writes "Researchers say technology they have developed would let boats or small aquatic robots glide through the water without the need for an engine, sails or paddles. A University of Pittsburgh research team has designed a propulsion system that uses the natural surface tension that is present on the water's surface and an electric pulse to move the boat or robot, researchers said. The Pitt system has no moving parts and the low-energy electrode that emits the pulse could be powered by batteries, radio waves, or solar power, researchers said in a statement."

Comment Re:Freeze the CPU (Score 3, Insightful) 260

SRAM uses circuits that resemble a flip-flop, e.g. a latch, which would be what GPP was referring to. You are correct though that SRAM preserves state for some time after removing power, again especially at colder temperatures. However, I don't imagine it will be too much trouble, as getting a CPU to dump latent data from its cache after a power cycle is probably quite difficult -- it's small enough and fast enough that I would be surprised if the CPU didn't just zero the entire thing on boot. Certainly you wouldn't be able to get it back out the same way it went in as retrieving cache lines that are not really there would be a bug.
Games

Valve Takes Optimistic View of Piracy 509

GameDaily recently spoke with Jason Holtman, director of business development and legal affairs for Valve, about online sales and piracy. Holtman took a surprising stance on the latter, effectively taking responsibility for at least a portion of pirated games. Quoting: "'There's a big business feeling that there's piracy,' he says. But the truth is: 'Pirates are underserved customers. When you think about it that way, you think, "Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it." We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia,' Holtman says of Valve. 'The reason people pirated things in Russia,' he explains, 'is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television — they say "Man, I want to play that game so bad," but the publishers respond "you can play that game in six months...maybe." We found that our piracy rates dropped off significantly,' Holtman says." Attitudes like this seem to be prevalent at Valve; last month we talked about founder Gabe Newell's comments that "most DRM strategies are just dumb."
Space

Soyuz 4/5 Made History 40 Years Ago Today 166

dj writes in with a reminder that forty years ago, on January 16, 1969, the two Russian spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 carried out the first docking between two manned spacecraft and transfer of crew between the craft. Wired's piece gives a gripping account of "one of the roughest re-entries in the history of space flight": "Soyuz 5's service module failed to detach at retrofire, causing the vehicle to assume an aerodynamic position that left the heat shield pointed the wrong way as it re-entered the atmosphere. The only thing standing between Volynov and a fiery death was the command module's thin hatch cover. The interior of Volynov's capsule filled with noxious fumes as the gaskets sealing the hatch started to burn, and it got very hot in there (which, a short time later was something he probably missed). ... But wait. There's more."
Wireless Networking

How Best To Deal With WiFi Interference? 451

marciot writes "I live in a condominium where I get interference from my neighbors' WiFi. I understand that 1, 6 and 11 are the only non-overlapping WiFi channels, but how does this translate into real-life best practices? When you must overlap, is there a 'good' way to do it? With nine access points, for example, is it better to have three APs each on 1, 6 and 11, so that each completely overlaps with only two others? Or is it best to distribute those APs across nine channels such that they only partially overlap others (but potentially overlap more APs in total)? Do use patterns affect interference? For example, is it best to overlap a channel with multiple APs that rarely transfers data, or to share a channel with one person who downloads torrents 24/7? Does maximum data rate affect interference or robustness to interference? I found out by accident that setting my access point to '802.11b only' mode appeared to give me a vastly more reliable connection that leaving it in 'mixed 802.11b/g.' Is this a fluke? Or does transmitting at 10 Mbps when everyone else is using 54 Mbps (for their 3 Mbps DSL pipes!) give you a true advantage?"
Networking

Ubuntu Download Speeds Beat Windows XP's 515

narramissic writes "Doing a download speed test of his Time Warner cable connection, James Gaskin discovered something odd, something that he is quick to note isn't a rigorous benchmarked lab test. The discovery: His Ubuntu machine 'returned a rating from the Bandwidth.com test of 22-25mbps over several tests' while the same test done from a Windows XP PC returned a rating of 12-14mbps. The two computers used in the test are 'almost identical: both off-lease Compaq small form factor D515s, part of the very popular corporate desktop D500 family. Both have Pentium 4 processors running at 2GHz. The Ubuntu machine has 768MB of RAM, while the XP box has only 512MB of RAM. Both run Firefox 3 as their browser.' Gaskin's question: Can a little extra RAM make that much difference in Internet download speeds or does Ubuntu handles networking that much faster than Windows XP?"

GPUs Used To Crack WiFi Passwords Faster 189

MojoKid writes "Russian-based ElcomSoft has just released ElcomSoft Wireless Security Auditor 1.0, which can take advantage of both Nvidia and ATI GPUs. ElcomSoft claims that the software uses a 'proprietary GPU acceleration technology,' which implies that neither CUDA, Stream, nor OpenCL are being utilized in this instance. At its heart, what ElcomSoft Wireless Security Auditor does is perform brute-force dictionary attacks of WPA and WPA2 passwords. If an access point is set up using a fairly insecure password that is based on dictionary words, there is a higher likelihood that a password can be guessed. ElcomSoft positions the software as a way to 'audit' wireless network security."

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