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The Internet

Italy Wants to Restrict Blogs 242

nx writes "Italy wants to restrict bloggers' rights by forcing everyone to register their blogs, pay a tax and have a journalist as a "responsible director". This law is clearly designed to curb critical voices and free speech, although it has yet to be approved by parliament."

Feed Engadget: Greenpeace dismantles iPhone, discovers "hazardous chemicals" (engadget.com)

Filed under: Cellphones

Apple's no stranger to being slammed by Greenpeace, and while Steve certainly spoke of a "Greener Apple," it seems that the iPhone wasn't included. According to tests arranged by the entity, it was found that the iPhone contained "toxic brominated compounds (indicating the presence of brominated flame retardants) and hazardous PVC," which are said to be disallowed across the pond due to RoHS requirements. More specifically, the independent testing found "brominated compounds in half the samples, including in the phone's antenna, in which they made up 10-percent of the total weight of the flexible circuit board." As expected, Greenpeace wasted no time pointing to rival firms that have received pats on the back for their green efforts, and subsequently shook a finger at Apple while murmuring "tsk tsk" -- but we'll leave the actual politicking to you all in comments, cool?

[Via Switched, thanks Laura]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Networking

Submission + - Terrorists are like Starfish (?) (washingtontimes.com)

Mark D. Drapeau writes: "Could biological metaphors about networking and systems shed light on one of the most difficult issues of our time — terrorism? According to a new op-ed in the 31 July 2007 Washington Times, and a new book entitled The Starfish and the Spider, the answer is a resounding "Yes". An excerpt from the op-ed reads: *** Most large institutions are organized hierarchically with centralized leadership. Corporations have CEOs, armies have generals, countries have presidents. When competing against centralized organizations, promoting diffusion and disrupting cohesion are considered progressive. However, al Qaeda has a constantly mutating, horizontal structure composed of an inspirational catalyst in the form of Osama bin Laden and other central figures joined with numerous small groups brought together not by orders but ideology. Here, lack of structure is a strength. Little thought is given, however, to how such a decentralized terrorist network structure affects the strategy for combating it. "The Starfish and the Spider," a new book about corporate strategy written for a business audience, has a wider application — combating terrorism — and sheds light on this issue.*** Read more here: http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070731/COMMEN TARY/107310009/1012 And here: http://www.starfishandspider.com/"
Biotech

Submission + - Plastic artificial bone (rutgers.edu)

pnosker writes: "Researchers at Rutgers University have found a way to create artificial bone using a blend of usually immiscible plastics, both bio-compatible, where one plastic is dissolved and excreted creating an empty sponge-like region for natural bone to grow and a lattice of PMMA plastic for the growth to occur. The new material is undergoing further study and testing."
AMD

Submission + - AMD 690 Chipset Updated, Performance Boost (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Earlier this year, AMD launched its 690 series motherboard chipset and it was relatively well accepted for its affordability, power efficiency, and performance versus competitive chipsets. AMD has since taken the 690 series chipset and optimized it further through BIOS and software level enhancements that result in marked performance gains in a number of situations and also introduces new features. This article showcases a motherboard from Gigabyte that features the latest updates and compares its performance to the unaltered board from when the chipset was first introduced, to see just how much the platform's performance has matured. The majority of the performance enhancements were targeted toward better HD DVD and Blu-ray playback at 1080p."
Programming

Submission + - Moonfall: Lua + CSS (moonfalll.org)

An anonymous reader writes: CSS Purist might hate this: Simple to use CSS with variables, combining LUA and CSS. A simple LUA domain specific language that generates CSS dynamically as a cgi script or statically for maximum performance.

Feed Engadget: Video game addiction "not a mental disorder" (engadget.com)

Filed under: Gaming

If you've been thinking lately that your video game habit is getting a bit excessive, don't worry. According to reports this week, doctors backed away from a proposal that would have designated certain types of video gaming as a mental disorder (similar to alcoholism or gambling addiction) -- so you can rest easy knowing that whatever it is that you're doing to yourself probably isn't that big of a deal. We attempted to speak to two avid gamers concerning the decision, but one was busy fighting Razorgore the Untamed in WoW, and the other claimed that he didn't have a problem and could quit whenever he wanted.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


The Internet

Submission + - Xerox Debuts Semantic Search Engine (xerox.com)

Television

NBC Believes They Own Political Discourse 259

PoliSciASU writes "MSNBC has established draconian rules regarding the use of the Presidential Primary Debates on the internet. Some examples: '5. No excerpts may be aired after 8:30 pm on Saturday, May 26th. Excerpts may not be archived. Any further use of excerpts is by express permission of MSNBC only. 6. All debate excerpts must be taped directly from MSNBC's cablecast or obtained directly from MSNBC and may not be obtained from other sources, such as satellite or other forms of transmission. No portions of the live event not aired by MSNBC may be used.' Kevin Bondelli talks about why this is 'shameful and wrong'. Voters are missing out on the ability to actually have an engaged conversation about the candidates and their debate performances because of NBC's greed." Alexander Wolfe at InformationWeek and Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine share similar sentiments, and discuss the matter in different ways.
Media

Submission + - Neuros Solicits help from AppleTV Hackers

JoeBorn writes: "Highlighting the fact that Neuros officially encourages contributions to its open source device (GPL), it has published an open letter soliciting the help of AppleTV hackers. "the transition to IPTV creates a golden opportunity to ensure that the gateway to the TV set becomes open to all." Neuros draws a connection between open source and free media, and attempts to articulate why an open box can extend the freedom of the internet to the TV set."
Biotech

Submission + - Bacteria to protect against quakes

Roland Piquepaille writes: "If you live near the sea, chances are high that your home is built over sandy soil. And if an earthquake strikes, deep and sandy soils can turn to liquid, with some disastrous consequences for the buildings sitting on them. But now, U.S. researchers have found a way to use bacteria to steady buildings against earthquakes by turning these sandy soils into rocks. Today, it is possible to inject chemicals in the ground to reinforce it, but this can have toxic effects on soil and water. On the contrary, this use of common bacteria to 'cement' sands has no harmful effects on the environment. But so far, this method is limited to labs and the researchers are working on scaling their technique. Here are more references and a picture showing how unstable ground can aggravate the consequences of an earthquake."

First Blu-ray Drives Won't play Blu-ray Movies 329

aapold writes "Sony officially announced its BWU-100A product at its "Experience More 2006" event in Sydney yesterday, all the while acknowledging that there's significant room for improvement before the product is viable for integration into media centre PCs. Sony's product manager for data storage, told CNET.com.au that due to copy protection issues and lagging software development, the drive will only play user-recorded high-definition content from a digital camcorder, and not commercial movies released under the BD format." All this hullabaloo makes me want neither side to win. If only I didn't desperately crave HD content on my TV!

Parts of French 'iPod Law' Struck Down 49

idobi writes "Parts of the French 'iPod law' have been struck down. The French Constitutional Council found certain aspects of the law to be troubling and a violation of copyright... not the copyright of artists, but companies' copyright of their DRM software." From the article: "In particular, the council eliminated reduced fines for file sharing and said companies could not be forced, without compensation, to make music sold online compatible with any music device. The law, which had been approved by the French Senate and National Assembly last month, was brought for review by the council following the demand of more than 100 members of the National Assembly. The council's review of whether the law fits within the French Constitution's framework is one of the final steps before a law is promulgated. Now it could take effect as altered by the council, or the government could bring it once more before the Parliament."

Microsoft Locking Out Anti-Virus Makers? 135

twitter writes "Anti-virus makers have more to fear than stonewalling by Microsoft if a report by Agnitum, maker of Outpost Personal Firewall, is right about recent trusted computing changes. All the problems were summarized in a choice Register quote, 'In addressing the potential problem of not being able to install Outpost on new versions of Windows, we have discovered that it is possible to drill past the new security measures introduced by Microsoft - if we use the same techniques used by hackers.'"

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