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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - OLPC cost rises from $100 to $188 per laptop (cnn.com)

Arathon writes: "Turns out that the amazing "$100" laptop designed by the "One Laptop Per Child" program isn't going to make it out the door for that price. CNN reports that the laptops are now expected to cost $188 apiece when they come out later this fall. This is expected to make the program's appeal potentially much smaller, since the developers were relying on the mind-bogglingly low-price to hook governments into the concept of buying laptops for their people. OLPC's spokesman guarantees that the price won't rise further, to "above $190". The price differential is being blamed on raw materials costs and currency fluctuation.
Is this the end of the OLPC's newsworthiness, or should we continue to hope that it will make the difference that so many have said it will?"

Communications

Submission + - Comcast Needs to Clearly Define their Usage Policy (newsgroupreviews.com)

UsenetJunkie writes: "Comcast is currently in the hot seat with many customers.Causes range from disconnecting users for utilizing too much bandwidth to drastically limiting BitTorrent traffic. What is the answer to the madness? While Comcast denies bandwidth throttling and traffic shaping allegations I wonder what they would do if all the BitTorrent users switched ISP's."
Toys

Company Demos Personal Aircraft, Future Jetpack 98

coondoggie writes "Earlier this week researchers with the company ESG Elektroniksystem in Germany demonstrated a form of 'strap-on jet wing' that lets a user truly fly through the air. The system, called Gryphon, consists of a six-foot wing and hand-held rotary controls for the rudder. The pilot has several different instruments available to him, including onboard oxygen and helmet that features a heads-up display. 'Researchers say the final version of the flying wing will contain an electronic system that will take care of some of the steering for the pilot which today can be a little tricky, researchers say. The company also plans to add small jets to the wing making it a true jetpack in the future.'"
Caldera

SCO Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy 421

Can you say "the SCO, the" in German? writes "Trading of SCO's stock has been halted on news that SCO has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This move just so happens to fall on the eve of SCO's trial with Novell. One would think that their prior boasts were mostly bluster, that they believe they have almost no chance of prevailing at trial, and that they're now desperate to protect their executives from SCO's creditors while seeking yet another delay. From the release: 'The SCO Group intends to maintain all normal business operations throughout the bankruptcy proceedings. Subject to court approval, SCO and its subsidiaries will use the cash flow from their consolidated operations to meet their capital needs during the reorganization process. "We want to assure our customers and partners that they can continue to rely on SCO products, support and services for their business critical operations," said Darl McBride, President and CEO, The SCO Group. "Chapter 11 reorganization provides the Company with an opportunity to protect its assets during this time while focusing on building our future plans."'"
Media (Apple)

Apple Cuts Off Linux iPod Users 854

Will Fisher writes "New iPods will no longer be able to work with Linux. iTunes now writes some kind of hash (SHA1, md5?) to the iPod database which new iPods check against. If this check fails then the iPod reports that it contains 0 songs. This appears to be protection against 3rd party applications writing out their own databases. We haven't found out how to generate our own valid hashes (but we do know the hash includes the database itself, and possibly the iPod serial number), and are looking for help."
Censorship

How To Configure Real PC Parental Controls? 618

Orange Crush writes "As the resident computer geek in an office full of accountants, my boss recently asked me how she could reasonably keep her teenage son from using the family computer to 'access inappropriate sites.' I of course responded 'Give up now. There's nothing in this world that can keep a determined teenager from acquiring porn.' Sadly, she was dissatisfied with this answer. I mentioned that there was in fact software available for this purpose, but that all of it was trivially easy to bypass for a clever young mind. I really can't think of another answer. She could password protect the BIOS to prevent booting a different OS, but that's easily defeated with a screwdriver at most. The only solutions I can think of involve upstream firewalls/proxies/etc to which I gleefully redirected her to her ISPs tech support number. As much as I disagree with her reasoning — and ignoring the obvious 'go to a friend's house' loophole — is there really any other way (on a home budget) to netnanny a household computer?"
Programming

Debating the Linux Process Scheduler 232

An anonymous reader writes "The Linux 2.6.23 kernel is expected around the end of the month, and will be the first to include Ingo Molnar's much debated rewrite of the process scheduler called the Completely Fair Scheduler. In another Linux kernel mailing list thread one more developer is complaining about Molnar and his new code. However, according to KernelTrap a number of other Linux developers have stood up to defend Molnar and call into question the motives of the complaints. It will be interesting to see how the new processor really performs when the 2.6.23 kernel is released."

Gates Successor Says Microsoft Laid Foundation for Google 500

thefickler writes "According to Bill Gates' successor Craig Mundie, there would have been no Google without Microsoft. 'I mean, the fact is: Google's existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers. Now, Microsoft's business is not to control the platform per se, but in fact to allow it to be exploited by the world's developers. The fact that we have it out there gives us a good business, but in some ways it doesn't give us an advantage over any of the other developers in terms of being able to utilize it.' This comment comes from a lengthy interview between Mundie and APC magazine, which talks with the newly installed strategy and R&D head. Other interesting topics discussed include the future of Microsoft and Windows, OOXML, and and the 'rise of Linux' on the desktop."

How the iPod Touch Works 208

starexplorer2001 writes "The iPod Touch isn't in stores yet, but HowStuffWorks has a nice summary of how the 'touch' part of the iPod Touch works. Very similar to how the iPhone works, without those pesky rebates! From the article: 'The iPod touch also has a few other features that iPod enthusiasts had hoped to see on standard iPod models. Some users hoped for a wirelessly enabled iPod so they could synch their music or share files with friends over a Bluetooth or WiFi connection. The iPod touch is the first iPod to have wireless capability, although it doesn't use it to synch with a computer or friends' iPods. Instead, you can use it to browse the Web, watch YouTube videos or download music from a WiFi-specific iTunes Music Store. With its widescreen display and WiFi capability, the iPod touch might sound like a big step up from older iPod models. But the iPod touch isn't for everyone.'"
Intel

DDR3 Isn't Worth The Money - Yet 120

An anonymous reader writes "With Intel's motherboard chipsets supporting both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, the question now is whether DDR3 is worth all that extra cash. Trustedreviews has a lengthy article on the topic, and it looks like (for the moment) the answer is no: 'Not to be too gloomy about this, but the bottom line is that it can only be advised to steer clear of DDR3 at present, as in terms of performance, which is what it's all about, it's a waste of money. Even fast DDR2 is, as we have demonstrated clearly, only worthwhile if you are actually overclocking, as it enables you to raise the front-side bus, without your memory causing a bottleneck. DDR3 will of course come into its own as speeds increase still further, enabling even higher front-side bus speeds to be achieved. For now though, DDR2 does its job, just fine.'"
Space

Japan Launches Lunar Orbiter Mission 121

Sooner Boomer writes "In a historic event, Japan today launched its first lunar probe. The mission is nicknamed Kaguya after a fairy-tale princess from Japanese myth. The news media is calling it the 'latest move in a new race with China, India and the United States' to explore the moon (don't forget Google). From the article: 'The rocket carrying the three-metric ton orbiter took off into blue skies, leaving a huge trail of vapor over the tiny island of Tanegashima, about 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo, at 10:31 a.m. (9:31 p.m. EDT) as it headed out over the Pacific Ocean. The mission consists of a main orbiter and two baby satellites equipped with 14 observation instruments designed to examine surface terrain, gravity and other features for clues on the origin and evolution of the moon. China has plans to launch an orbiter later this year, with unmanned rover lander mission scheduled for 2010. India and the US also have orbiter missions scheduled for next year.'"

Paper Trails Don't Ensure Accurate E-Voting Totals 363

An anonymous reader writes "In an new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation they say that paper trails increase costs and can actually reduce the chances a voters' choices are accurately counted. Congress is considering a 'Voter Confidence and Increased Accountability Act of 2007,' which would mandate 'voter-verified' paper audit trails."
Power

Electric Motorcycle Inventor Crashes at Wired Conference 337

not5150 writes "The inventor of the electric 'KillaCycle" motorcycle was taken to the hospital for x-rays after demonstrating the vehicle to reporters. Bill Dube, a government scientist during the day and bike builder at night, attempted a burnout in front of the Los Angeles Convention Center during the Wired NextFest fair. Fueled by the "most powerful" lithium-ion batteries in the world, the bike accelerated uncontrollably into another car. There's a video interview (thankfully before the crash) and footage of Dube crashing."
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."
United States

Submission + - New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown (nytimes.com)

plaxion writes: Let the Orwellian commentary commence because New York is now planning a London-style Big Brother surveillance system for Downtown. Article Quote: "By the end of this year, police officials say, more than 100 cameras will have begun monitoring cars moving through Lower Manhattan, the beginning phase of a London-style surveillance system that would be the first in the United States...Three thousand surveillance cameras would be installed below Canal Street by the end of 2008, about two-thirds of them owned by downtown companies." But wait, there's more! "Pivoting gates would be installed at critical intersections; they would swing out to block traffic or a suspect car at the push of a button."

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