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Communications

Arranging Electronic Access For Your Survivors? 335

smee2 writes "In the past, when a family member died, you could look through their files and address books to find all the people and businesses that should be notified that the person is deceased. Now the hard-copy address book is becoming a thing of the past. I keep some contact information in a spreadsheet, but I have many online friends that I only have contact with through web sites such as Flickr. My email accounts have many more people listed than my address book spreadsheet. I have no interest in collecting real world info from all my online contacts. The sites where I have social contact with people from around the world (obviously) require user names and passwords. Two questions: 1. How do you intend to let the executors of your estate or family members know which online sites/people you'd like them to notify of your demise? 2. How are you going to give access to the passwords, etc. needed to access those sites in a way that doesn't cause a security concern while you're still alive?"
Robotics

Submission + - Biped walking robots that walk like man (tudelft.nl)

ErrorBase writes: "Since the start of the Delft Biorobotics Laboratory research has been done on the development of walking bipeds, based on the principle of passive dynamic walking. Flame is our first fully 3D walking robot with electric actuation. Similar as in the previous model, Maxon DC motors are used to actuate several joints: two sagittal ankle joints, two sagittal knee joints, two sagittal hip joints and one lateral hip joint (for sideways foot placement)."
Security

Submission + - Software patent defendant seeks support of FOSS

ErrorBase writes: "Linux.com writes : Barracuda Networks is actively seeking the support of the free and open source software (FOSS) community in its battle against a patent suit brought against it by Trend Micro. The suit revolves around Barracuda's distribution of Clam Antivirus (ClamAV), the well-known FOSS security software, with its firewall and Web filter hardware appliances. Story ia also here and here.
Is it again a clear case of "If you can't win, then sue". Or is Barracuda pulling FOSS in the water for pure self interest.
There are already calls to Boycott Trend Micro, complete with fancy artwork."
Patents

Submission + - Barracuda Networks seeks help in definding ClamAV 3

taoman1 writes: Trend Micro has accused ClamAV of infringing a patent it owns, #5,623,600. It specifically has named Barracuda Spam Firewall, the Barracuda Web Filter, and the Barracuda IM Firewall as infringing. Trend Micro has been trying to get Barracuda to either pay license royalties for including ClamAV or stop using ClamAV in its products. Barracuda is an Open Invention Network licensee, and it decided to stand up and defend ClamAV against what it views as a bogus claim. Barracuda believes the patent is questionable, at best, and believes there is prior art to be found and is seeking assistance to find it.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Nortel's Edholm on the future of work

Tinkel writes: Nortel's enterprise CTO — Phil Edholm (he of 'Edholm's law') — has been discussing the company's work with university students — specifically learning how they use social networks and virtual worlds such as Second Life. The future workplace is likely to involve a lot more of these technologies, according to Edholm who looks forward to a time when bandwidth across all types of networks enables "true mobile broadband"...

From the article:
"Information and interaction are coming together and it's not going to be information technology it's going to be information and interaction technology in a few years."
Television

Submission + - BBC iPlayer spinal tap Easter Egg? (imageshack.us)

mr-mafoo writes: I noticed, whilst watching some of auntie's best through the online iPlayer, a potential easter egg. The volume slider on the BBC's browser-based flash version of its viewing service doesn't cap at the standard arbitrary 10, its goes all the way up to 11. Thats what makes its special.

To those of you who are currently scratching their heads in confusion, this is a reference to the classic sequence in the 80's Parody-Rockumentary Spinal Tap, and a certain guitar amp that went up to 11.

The character Nigel Tufnel justified it as follows: "Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where? "

Sadly I don't know if people outside of the UK can view the player.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Top 10 funniest jokes to play on a Smoker

Jason writes: Have you ever wondered how to play a hilarious joke on a Smoker? Look no further! Now you can be the #1 joker and impress all of your friends. NicotineIsland.com has compiled and published a user submitted list of the funniest jokes to play on Smokers. Try not to go overboard with some of them, and please remember that Smokers are people too. Click here for the jokes
Windows

Submission + - Microsoft Forces you to use UAC

An anonymous reader writes: It's not enough for Microsoft to make UAC the most user-protection implementation on the planet, now they're also forcing Administrators to use it. Windows Vista makes it impossible for Administrators to add network printers to a local machine if UAC is disabled. Instead: "The only workaround available to date is to re-enable UAC, restart the PC, add the printer, go through the UAC prompts, disable UAC, and then restart once more."
The Courts

Submission + - Pirate Bay to buy its own copyright-free country

paulraps writes: Notorious Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay is planning to buy its own nation in an attempt to get around troublesome international copyright laws. The organisation, the world's largest bit torrent tracker, has set its sights on Sealand, a former British naval platform in the North Sea that has been designated a 'micronation' and claims to be outside UK jurisdiction. With a target price of £500m it won't be cheap, but Pirate Bay says contributors will become honorary citizens.
Movies

Submission + - Blu-ray says NO to porn, porn says NO to Blu-ray

Sarusa writes: If this is true, it's Beta vs VHS all over again and HD-DVD may be the foregone winner of the format wars. First, Heise reports (summarized from the German by sgknox.com) that Digital Playground (NSFW), who were committed to Blu-ray last year, are now producing HD-DVD titles instead. No Blu-ray disk manufacturer would make their disks because Sony doesn't want porn on Blu-ray (just as with Betamax). Second, as reported by tgdaily, the porn industry at CES overwhelmingly favors HD-DVD because it's much cheaper and easier to produce. As noted in the tgdaily article, porn was a huge factor in VHS winning the VHS/Beta format wars even though most people don't like to acknowledge it. Porn, like gaming, pushes tech adoption.
The Internet

Submission + - Firefox 3 Plans and IE8 Speculation

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Information about the next versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer suggest that the two biggest browsers are heading in different directions. Mozilla has published a wiki page detailing its plans for the next version of Firefox, codenamed "Gran Paradiso". Among the mandatory requirements listed for FF3 are improving the add-on experience, providing an extensible bookmarks back-end platform, adding more support for web services "to act as content handlers" — all of which show that Firefox wants to be an independent information broker rather than a simple HTML renderer in its next version. Also in the works is Microsoft's IE8. According to ActiveWin.com, a Microsoft official at CES told them that work has already begun for IE 8 and it may be released as a final product "within 18-24 months". Looking ahead, it's obvious that IE will continue to hook into the advanced functionality that Vista offers.

So while IE7 and Firefox 2 were more alike than different (feature-wise they're practically identical!), with IE8 and FF3 we will likely see the two biggest browsers head off into different directions."
Patents

Submission + - IBM breaks patent record, wants patent reform

An anonymous reader writes: IBM set the record for most patents granted in a year for 2006. At the same time, IBM points out that small companies earn more patents per capita than larger enterprises and pushes for reform to address shortcomings in the process of patenting business methods: "The prevalence of patent applications that are of low quality or poorly written have led to backlogs of historic proportions, and the granting of patents protecting ideas that are not new, are overly broad, or obvious." And it's been committing itself to a new patent policy: "Key tenets of the policy are that patent quality is the responsibility of the applicant; that patent applications should be open to public examination and that patent ownership should be transparent; and that business methods without technical content should not be patentable."

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