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Communications

More Details On Drug Cartel's Clandestine Communications Network 84

K7DAN writes "The AP reports that Mexico's drug cartels have built their own sophisticated two-way radio communications system using computer-controlled linked and local repeaters on mountain tops, walkie-talkies, mobile transceivers and and base stations. The solar powered system covers vast areas of Mexico that are unserved by cellular phone network and has the advantage of being more difficult to trace." This article adds much more substance about the technology than was included in the report several weeks ago of the seizure of thousands of this network's components; from the description in this article, the earlier headline overstated the case by saying that the network had therefore been "shut down."
Networking

Verizon Announces Pay-Per-Use 'Turbo Boost' For Smartphones 129

renek writes "In one of the most brazen attacks on net neutrality to date, Verizon has announced it will offer a so called 'Turbo Boost' for smart phones that run on its wireless network. 'Verizon will publish an API that could allow consumers to 'turbocharge' the network bandwidth their smartphone apps use for a small fee, executives said Tuesday. Verizon anticipates that a customer running an app on a smartphone will have the option to dynamically snatch more bandwidth for that app, if network congestion slows it down, said Hugh Fletcher, associate director for technology in Verizon's Product Development and Technology team. The app, however, must be running what Verizon referred to as the network optimization API it is currently developing, and hopes to publish by the third quarter of 2012.'"

Comment Re:Sad, actually (Score 5, Insightful) 285

On the other hand, it got them there, but didn't do a whole lot of good. From Wikipedia:

"The descent took almost five hours and the two men spent barely twenty minutes on the ocean floor before undertaking the three-hour-and-fifteen-minute ascent. Their early departure from the ocean floor was due to their concern over a crack in the window caused by the intense pressure of their descent, and also because their landing on the sea bed had stirred up a cloud of silt which reduced visibility to zero and showed no sign of settling." So hopefully the new technology will give us a longer, more interesting time at the bottom...
Music

Submission + - Lala Shutting Down (lala.com)

TheUnFounded writes: The popular music listening site, lala.com, is shutting down. No reason is given, just a description of refunds and credits and that May 31st is the last day. The details are behind a login screen which you have to be a member to get past; unfortunately, no new signups are being accepted. As a result, I've included the entire text below:

"You will be able to access and play all music in your Lala collection through May 31, 2010. Any mp3 songs purchased and downloaded from Lala will continue to play as part of your local music library. You can continue to purchase mp3 songs through May 31st using your wallet balance or other payment methods.

As of today, web songs, wallets, and gift cards are no longer available for purchase on Lala. Uploads have been discontinued, and we are not accepting new users for the service.

Refunds and Credits:

Web songs. In appreciation of your support, you will receive a credit in the amount of your Lala web song purchases for use on Apple's iTunes Store.

Wallet balances. If you have an outstanding wallet balance on May 31st, we will also issue you an iTunes Store credit for that amount. If you prefer to have your wallet balance refunded to you via check, you must make that request by May 31st.

Unredeemed Gift Cards. Gift cards can be redeemed on Lala until May 31st. The gift card amount will be added to your wallet balance, and included as part of your wallet balance refund."

First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.
Data Storage

Synthetic Stone DVD Claimed To Last 1,000 Years 416

Lucas123 writes "A start-up launched a new DVD archive product this week: a disc that it says will hold its data for 1,000 years. The company, Cranberry, says its DiamonDisc product, which can be used in any standard DVD player, is not subject to deterioration from heat, UV rays or material rot due to humidity or other elements because it has no dyes, adhesives or reflective materials like standard DVD discs, and its discs are made from a vastly more durable synthetic stone. Data is laid down on the platter much in the same way as a standard DVD disc, but with DiamonDisc the burner etches much deeper pits. Cranberry said it is also working on producing a Blu-ray version of its 1,000-year disc."
Wireless Networking

Google Gives the Gift of Free Airport Wi-Fi 158

itwbennett writes "Google is giving you something to be thankful for as you travel this holiday season. The company announced today that it is offering free Wi-Fi at 47 airports across the US between now and January 15. If you haven't booked your flights yet, you want to factor this into your plans. Here's a list of the 47 airports, which cover about 35% of all US passengers, according to Google. The Burbank and Seattle airports will continue to offer the free Google Wi-Fi indefinitely." The HuffPo notes another altruistic note in Google's gesture: "As another way to pass on the spirit of the season, once they log on to networks in any of the participating airports, travelers will have the option [of making] a donation to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation, or the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Google will match the donations made across all the networks up to $250,000, and the airport network that generates the highest amount per passenger by January 1, 2010 will receive $15,000 to donate to the local nonprofit of their choice."
Privacy

FBI Bringing Biometric Photo Scanning To North Carolina, Via DMV 221

AHuxley writes "The FBI is getting fast new systems to look at local North Carolina license photos via the DMV. As the FBI is not authorized to collect and store the photos, they use the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. The system takes seconds to look at chin widths and nose sizes. The expanded technology used on millions of motorist could be rolled out across the USA. The FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System is also getting an upgrade to DNA records, 3-D facial imaging, palm prints and voice scans."
The Almighty Buck

Hidden Fees Discovered For "Free" Windows 7 Upgrade 406

An anonymous reader writes 'Thousands of recent computer purchasers who are expecting to receive free upgrades to Windows 7 when it is released on October 22 may be surprised to learn that some big computer makers are quietly tacking on hefty processing fees as high as $17 to mail out those disks to some buyers.' How about they process $0 to click a link and download a file?

Comment Re:containment theory... (Score 4, Insightful) 1032

Say what you will, but Israel is not a country I'd mess with.

Consider their history....there have been countless efforts to wipe them off the face of the planet, from back in Biblical times to the Nazi regime. Yet not only are they still around, but they've managed to get their country re-established, in the same location, after not existing for hundreds of years.

That's one country I want to keep on our side, packing or not...

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