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Networking

Submission + - Will Network Neutrality kill Web 2.0? And how?

An anonymous reader writes: Looking at el reg, there's this hack piece from Andrew Orlowski with lots of words but no meat arguing that network neutrality is bad:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/16/packetexch ange_net_futures

OK, forgetting whether Web 2.0 should be killed off or not, there's still several questions begged. How will NN kill Web2 being the main one.

The accusation is made that upload speeds are what's killing Web2. But that is nothing to do with NN. Choke your download bandwidth to the same as your upload and the web goes suprisingly slowly under the "Web 1.0" method.

Time-sensitive data being delayed is a problem stated but this again isn't NN related. It may be badly-worded-NN-law related but this relates to traffic shaping, whereas AT&T want to traffic shape based on source or destination, not protocol. And anyway, the problem isn't QoS and provisioning, it's that contention ratios for advertised bandwidth is massive (included numbers as high as 50 to 1!).

Anyone else got ideas on what he may be on about?
Windows

Submission + - Upgrading to Vista: Gotchas and Good News

jcatcw writes: "Computerworld's Scot Finnie has some advice for those considering an upgrade to Vista. He praises the work Microsoft has done on the installation program, but thinks it still presents problems for those who wish to upgrade. He recommends the free Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. Then, be sure to pick the best edition for your use. From the article:

Don't bother wiping your hard disk. Just run the in-place upgrade from your previous installation. You'll be given the option to perform either an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) installation. Opt for the Custom install to clean-install Vista, and Windows Vista Setup does something smart: It creates a folder called Windows.old in your root directory that contains your old Documents and Settings, Program Files and Windows folders. (Note that on my test machine, this added step used an additional 7GB of disk storage.)
"
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Engineer Creates Playstation 3 Computing Cluster

An anonymous reader writes: The Sony Playstation 3 (PS3), Xbox and Nintendo Wii have captivated a generation of computer gamers with bold graphics and rapid-fire animation. But these high-tech toys can do a lot more than just play games. At North Carolina State University, Dr. Frank Mueller imagined using the power of the new PS3 to create a high-powered computing environment for a fraction of the cost of the supercomputers on the market, Science Daily reports.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - PS3 Firmware v1.60 Detailed, with Folding@Home

drunk pandas writes: "Loot Ninja reports that Sony of Japan dropped a press release to date the upcoming PS3 Firmware Update v1.60. It'll be released March 22, and include Folding@Home access, background downloading, full size on-screen keyboard for text input, internet browser zoom and resolution settings, and Remote Play via any wireless access point.

The big news here is Folding@Home being included in the PS3. You'll be access it directly from the Cross Media Bar (XMB). This should finally put the PS3 to some good use."
Math

Submission + - 248 Dimensional Object Mapped

xaositects writes: Looks like a lot of researchers with a lot of single-minded focus have broken the E8 problem.
From the article: 'A total of 18 mathematicians and computer scientists from several countries worked for four years to successfully map the inner working of E8 — one of the most complicated structures in math, a 248-dimensional object. The findings were reported today by the American Institute of Mathematics.'

I don't know about you, but the thought of 248 dimensions makes my brain hurt. Apparently the solution to the problem 'would ink an area the size of Manhattan if written out in small print.'
Programming

Submission + - Agents learning to talk to each other

bbc writes: "When programs talk to each other, they need to share a common language before they can initiate the conversation. PhD student Jurriaan van Diggelen developed a system called Anemone that will let agents learn each other's languages during the conversation. The problems that he foresees for such a system are words that an agent doesn't understand, and concepts that an agent doesn't understand.

Van Diggelen will defend his thesis called Achieving Semantic Interoperability in Multi-Agent Systems on March 21 in Utrecht."
Microsoft

Submission + - Activate Windows Vista in 30 days... or never!

jorgeleon writes: When you install windows Vista you need to activate it in 30 days... no, wait! in 60 days... no, in 90 days... no in... never mind.

Looks like it can be postponed forever as it is explained in: http://www.windowssecrets.com/comp/070315/#story1

From the article:

The feature that I've revealing today shows that Microsoft has built into Vista a function that allows anyone to extend the operating system's activation deadline not just three times, but many times. The same one-line command that postpones Vista's activation deadline to 120 days can be used an indefinite number of times by first changing a Registry key from 0 to 1.
Mozilla

Submission + - Open Source Race Car

zerk writes: The folks at Spread Firefox are talking about their next marketing campaign. One of the more interesting ideas is a Firefox sponsored car in the Indianapolis 500. It's worth taking a look just to see the gorgeous 3d rendering!
Biotech

Submission + - GM Mosquito "Could Fight Malaria"

qw0ntum writes: The BBC is reporting that a genetically modified (GM) variety of mosquitoes could be effective in combating the spread of malaria to humans. These GM insects carry a gene that prevents them from being infected by the malaria parasite and that has the added benefit (?) of providing a "fitness advantage" to the mosquitoes. From the article:

"In the laboratory, equal numbers of genetically modified and ordinary "wild-type" mosquitoes were allowed to feed on malaria-infected mice. As they reproduced, more of the GM, or transgenic, mosquitoes survived. According to the researchers, whose results appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, after nine generations, 70% of the insects belonged to the malaria-resistant strain. [...] The modified mosquitoes had a higher survival rate and laid more eggs."

This has major implications for the billions of people living in areas with endemic malaria. The question in my mind, though, is what effects on the ecosystems of these areas will replacing an organism low on the food chain with a GM version? Between the news we saw last week and biomagnification, could this wind up substituting one problem for another?

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