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Obama Significantly Revises Technology Positions 940

method9455 writes "Barack Obama has edited his official website on many issues, including a huge revision on the technology page. Strangely it seems net neutrality is no longer as important as it was a few months ago, and the swaths of detail have been removed and replaced with fairly vague rhetoric. Many technologists were alarmed with the choice of Joe Biden before, and now it appears their fears might have been well founded." Update: 09/22 18:07 GMT by T : Julian Sanchez of Ars Technica passed on a statement from an Obama campaign representative who points out that the changes in wording highlighted by Versionista aren't the whole story, and that more Obama tech-plan details are now available in a PDF, saying "there is absolutely no substantive change to our policy - folks who want more information can click to get our full plan."
The Military

Submission + - Wireless micro-sensors prevent jet engine failures (

coondoggie writes: "Researchers at Purdue University are teaming with the US Air Force to develop tiny wireless sensors tough enough to survive the harsh conditions inside jet engines to detect when critical bearings are close to failing, shut them down and prevent breakdowns or crashes. The researchers have shown that the new sensors can detect impending temperature-induced bearing failure significantly earlier than conventional sensors. The sensors could be in use in a few years in military aircraft such as fighter jets and helicopters but the technology also has potential applications in commercial products, including aircraft and cars — anything with an engine. In addition, the sensors could be used in aerospace applications to monitor bearings in satellite attitude control wheels to keep the satellites in position."
United States

Submission + - Outsourcing Out Of Control?

An anonymous reader writes: Citing the U.S. Government's upcoming $20 billion contract to revamp the Federal telecommunications infrastructure, InformationWeek has posted tips for managers, under the heading, Outsourcing To Win: 4 Steps To An Effective Strategy. The tips? Things like "pick a head coach," "select team-oriented vendors," "but balance in your lineup." How about: Hire an IT staff and pay them a living wage? Do stories like this indicate that the outsourcing ethos is so embedded in corporate America that programmers now longer have a chance at long-term employment? What's your worst outsourcing experience?
The Internet

Wikipedia May Require Proof of Credentials 317

narramissic writes "According to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, a new policy is currently under discussion by the community of users who regularly write and maintain Wikipedia that would require contributors to the site who claim certain credentials to prove they really have them. The new policy comes after one of Wikipedia's most prolific and respected editors, who went by the pseudonym 'Essjay,' was found not to be the 'tenured professor of theology' he claimed to be but a run-of-the-mill 24 year-old from Kentucky. Said Wales, 'To discover that someone had been deceiving the community for a long time really was a bit of a blow to our trust. Wikipedia is built on the idea of trusting other people and people being honest and we find that in the most part everyone is, so it was a real disappointment.'"

Submission + - Researchers find potential cure for cancer

MECC writes: Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a way to kill cancer cells without radiation or toxic chemicals. From the article: 'A group of researchers claim that they are patenting a possible cure for cancer involving nothing more than sugar and short-chain fatty acid combination.'
Data Storage

Submission + - SanDisk makes full solid state hard drive

Bob_Geldof writes: Apparently Sandisk are trying to beat out Samsung (who have already announced a 32 GB flash drive) by announcing their own 32GB flash drive, to be debuted at CES 2007 (sucks/flash/video/crap). I consider these to still be fairly expensive, ballpark $19/GB. Personally I think this could only be useful when used in tandem with a traditional hard drive and an operating system that intelligently utilizes both drives.

Submission + - Spyware found in Adobe Photoshop CS3!

profit42 writes: "Adobe made the beta version of Photoshop CS3 available on Almost the whole community of photographers downloaded the new version and adopted the new features immediately. One of those new "features" is, according to profit42's article a shocking one: the installer installs, without letting the user know, the Bonjour Service: mDNSResponder. This service is associated with Apple and itunes and sets up a P2P connection without your permission. Removal is possible using Spysweeper or by following the steps described on"
The Internet

Submission + - The fine line between advertising and spam.

gerald626 writes: Before I get flamed, I'm not trying to use this post to advertise my site, so I won't even mention it here. If you do want the URL, PM me.

Here's my basic question — how do you tell people about your site without spamming them?

You'd think this would be easy, but I've discovered that it's not. I'm not talking about e-mail spam, I believe that part is obvious, and I'm definitely not doing that. But what about relevant newsgroups? What about 'deal' or 'freebie' sites? I've tried posting on some of those, only to be accused of spamming. I thought the whole point of these sites was to communicate a good site to the masses.

My site offers a free service that lots of other sites charge money for. I'm trying to be the 'good guy' here, and I feel that I'm being punished, because I can't get past the "free sites are all fakes or spammers" mentality. There are a couple of ads on the site at the top and bottom of every page, but no pop-ups or timeout ads, and nothing that would impede a user from using the site effectively.

So as a follow-up question, how do you get past the stereotype of "free sites are bad"? I even had one guy e-mail me because he demanded to know how I was going to steal his credit card numbers. I wouldn't know what to do with it if I had that info, and I certainly don't want i Nowhere on my site does it ask for any form of payment — although I am considering a 'donations' feature.
The Media

Submission + - Morning Must Read From Our Marines

Jesse writes: "just an astonishing read. please post, it has comments on everything from detaining 26 midgets to living under the constant threat of death.,8599,1543 658-1,00.html

The Secret Letter From Iraq
A Marine's letter home, with its frank description of life in "Dante's inferno," has been circulating through generals' in-boxes. We publish it here with the author's approval."

Submission + - Wal-Mart Pushes Compact Fluorescents

necro81 writes: "The NY Times has a business article on a recent effort by Wal-Mart to get compact fluorescent lightbulbs into 100 million homes this year. CFL's are found in only a fraction ofhouseholds. Wal-Mart is in a unique position to affect change in green technology due to its behemouth size and 200 million U.S. customers. Wal-Mart may even be able to do what hasn't successfully been done in CFL's 25-year history: convince consumers to pay more upfront for vast savings over a product's lifetime."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Why Linux is not an option.

Conor Turton writes: From The Inquirer , an excellent article illustrating why Linux will never be an option for most people. This is a follow on to another story on The Inq showing why Product Activation will kill Microsoft and push people to Linux . As the author points out, the rant against Microsoft's Product Activation completely misses the point — that 90% of PC users will never open their PC and use it until it dies at which point they'll just go buy another so product activation will never be an issue.

It seems to me that this is the massive point that Linux advocates seem to not understand when bleating on about Product Activation.

Submission + - Skype adds lie detector to VoIP service

Roy van Rijn writes: " reports that: Skype has announced that it will be adding an optional lie detector to its popular internet telephony service. The 'KishKish' software attempts to determine whether the caller is telling a whopper by analysing the audio stream and checking for stress levels. Lying evokes the 'fight or flight' response in humans, which makes muscles tense up, altering the pitch and tone of the voice. "This is a really neat application, and the kind of thing we want to see more of," said Paul Amery, director of Skype's developer program. The software was developed by Israeli software house BATM, and is already in use by the US military."

Submission + - Non-geeky gifts for tech geeks

An anonymous reader writes: has just put out another holiday gift guide. What's cool is that they've got a bunch of non-techie toys with a techie slant. With the exception of an mp3 and a digital camera, everything else they recommend is stuff I haven't seen on any list before. They have things ranging from $10 to $7500. My favorite has to be the Blendtec blender. 2 horsepower motor. Turns hockey pucks into mulch.

Submission + - Should Javascript get more respect?

An anonymous reader writes: JavaScript is often ridiculed as the black sheep of programming languages. Nearly every Web developer has cursed JavaScript at one time or another. Until recently, many developers had all but written off JavaScript as a necessary evil at best or a toy at worst. But JavaScript is becoming increasingly important. See why it remains the most broadly available scripting language for Web development and a better choice for developing modern applications.

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