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Education

Sesame Street DVD Deemed Adult-Only Entertainment 665

theodp writes "The earliest episodes of Sesame Street are being made available on DVD, but the NYT notes Volumes 1 and 2 carry a rather strange warning: 'These early 'Sesame Street' episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today's preschool child.' So why are they unsuitable for toddlers in 2007? Well, in the parody 'Monsterpiece Theater,' Alistair Cookie — played by Cookie Monster — used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. 'That modeled the wrong behavior,' explained a Sesame Street executive producer, adding that 'we might not be able to create a character like Oscar [the Grouch] now.'"
Portables

Submission + - Solid-State Notebook has Full Linux OS Detailed (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: "The Asus Eee PC 701 is a solid-state hard drive notebook computer that uses a custom Linux operating system that boots in about 15 seconds. Though the hard drive is only 4GB, thanks to not relying on any Windows OS there is more than enough space for the applications necessary for most mobile users. The hardware features a small 7" LCD screen with an 800x480 resolution, Celeron-M 900 MHz CPU, 512MB of system memory and an integrated webcam and microphone all at just about 2 lbs. A full review of the Eee PC 701 is now available that details the functionality of the hardware in general as well as showing 100+ screenshots of the custom Linux OS."
Networking

What Does the 'Next Internet' Look Like? 283

Kraisch writes with a link to the Guardian website, which again revisits the subject of reconstructing the internet. This time the question isn't whether it should be done, but what should the goals of a redesign be? From the article: "'There's a real need to have better identity management, to declare your age and to know that when you're talking to, say, Barclays bank, that you're really doing so,' said Jonathan Zittrain, professor of internet governance and regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute. At the moment we are still using very clumsy methods to approach such problems. The result: last year alone, identity theft and online fraud cost British victims an estimated £414m, while one recent report claimed 93% of all email sent from the UK was spam ... Many ideas revolve around so-called "mesh networks", which link many computers to create more powerful, reliable connections to the internet. By using small meshes of many machines that share a pipeline to the net instead of relying on lots of parallel connections, experts say they can create a system that is more intelligent and less prone to attack."
Security

Submission + - Experts find vulnerabilities from voting machines

Jari Arkko writes: "A security analysis of voting machines used in California reveals that the machines from all tested vendors have significant vulnerabilities. A team of outside security experts analyzed the machines. As their report states: "security of all three systems could be compromised." They found that voting machine firmware could be overwritten, test mode and election day made to produce different results, some vendors use well-known static keys for cryptographic operations, etc. The experts also say that an even larger number of vulnerabilities would have been discovered, had there been more time and if all the requested tools had been delivered."
Television

Star Trek "DeMastered" Video Service to Launch 84

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slashdottit! tm
lopy writes "The Star Trek franchise has partnered with the little known DuroSport Corporation to launch a new video download service. The service will offer 'DeMastered' versions of classic Trek episodes. The new releases roll-back the quality enhancements of recent years and attempt to replicate the experience viewers had while watching the original series on TV in the 1960's. Medialoper was given a preview, and they've just posted a scathing review of this odd new service."
Education

Submission + - UK teachers will be able to discipline pupils

moranar writes: "The BBC and others report on a new law that will give teachers in UK schools the power to use force to break fights, and to sequester cellphones if they've been used to bully other students. It also allows them to punish students with Saturday detention without consulting the school board or the parents."
Windows

Vista Can Run Without Activation for a Year 357

An anonymous reader gave us a heads up on this article for people who like putting things off. It begins: "Windows Vista can be run for at least a year without being activated, a serious end-run around one of Microsoft's key anti-piracy measures, Windows expert Brian Livingston said today. Livingston, who publishes the Windows Secrets newsletter, said that a single change to Vista's registry lets users put off the operating system's product activation requirement an additional eight times beyond the three disclosed last month. With more research, said Livingston, it may even be possible to find a way to postpone activation indefinitely."
Patents

Microsoft Getting Paid for Patents in Linux? 377

kripkenstein noted an Interview with Jeremy Allison where the interviewer asks 'One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.' and Jeremy responds "Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record."
Microsoft

Submission + - DirectX10 drops Hardware Acceleration for Audio.

shrewd writes: ""Imagine your surprise when you fire up one of your favourite games in Vista — say World of Warcraft or Prey — only to find your fancy EAX-endowed soundcard and 5.1 surround speakers are dribbling out flat, unenhanced stereo sound. Then, in a vain attempt to spruce up the audio by enabling EAX, you get a nice taut error message saying EAX is not detected on your hardware. What's going on? Welcome to the world of Vista audio. And a brave new world it is.""
Books

Jonathan Lethem On Plagiarism 186

tmalone writes "This month's Harper's Magazine includes an excellent essay by the novelist Jonathan Lethem titled 'The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism,' in which he discusses the public commons of ideas and the absurdity of restricting other peoples' right of second use. 'Artists and their surrogates who fall into the trap of seeking recompense for every possible second use end up attacking their own best audience members for the crime of exalting and enshrining their work.' Taking issue with the idea that any work is 'untainted' by others' ideas, he declares, 'Any text is woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony.' Later on he argues that 'Contemporary copyright, trademark, and patent law is presently corrupted. The case for perpetual copyright is a denial of the essential gift-aspect of the creative act.' Lethem finishes up with simple request: 'Don't pirate my editions; do plunder my visions.' The best part of the essay is at the end when he provides a key to all of the sources he stole his ideas from."
United States

US Visitor Fingerprints To Be (Perhaps) Stored by FBI 503

stair69 writes "Since 2004 many visitors to the United States have had 2 fingerprints taken under the US-VISIT scheme. Now there are new plans to extend this scheme — under the proposal all 10 fingerprints will be taken, and they will be stored permanently on the FBI's criminal fingerprint database. The fingerprints will also be made available to police forces in other countries. The scheme is due to be introduced by the end of 2008, but it will be trialled in 10 of the bigger airports initially." Of course, it is worth pointing out that given the recent change in Congress, I suspect that a number of countries will get a "bye" on this round,

Why Microsoft's Zune Scares Apple to the Core 574

BoredStiff writes "Computerworld has an article examining Microsoft's plans to launch a competitor to the Apple iPod, the wireless media player called Zune. The article lists five reasons why Apple may fear the Zune, and why it won't be as easily smacked down as the dozens of mp3 players before it have been. The Zune isn't just a music player, the article argues. Think of it as a portable, wireless, hardware version of MySpace. With the Zune, Microsoft is trying to launch a consumer media 'perfect storm.'" From the article: "Microsoft will make the movement of media between Windows, Soapbox and the Zune natural and seamless. The Zune interface is just like a miniature version of the Windows Media Center user interface and is very similar to some elements of Vista. Apple fans are overconfident in the iPod because Apple once commanded 92% of music player market share, a number that has since fallen to around 70%. About 30 million people own iPods. But Microsoft owns more than 90% of the worldwide operating systems market (compared with Apple's roughly 5%), representing some 300 million people. The company expects to have 200 million Vista users within two years."

Do Not Flush Your iPod 510

realjordanna writes "Clearly the bar for what is deemed as a security threat has had to be lowered — but should it be this low? When a rather embarrassed passenger loses his iPod in the lavatory — even admits to the crew his mistake, the plane is diverted to Ottawa and a bomb squad is brought in to investigate. Read the iPod owner's story and take one lesson from this kid's plight — clearly the iPod is not flushable."

Planning the Future of Privacy at Microsoft 138

Tony writes "Peter Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy strategist, found himself in the front line in the wake of the software giant's recent antipiracy controversy. He talks about his role at the company, and what's in store for the future." From the interview: "Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy strategist, has been very involved with the issue and readily admits that the software maker dropped the ball on WGA Notifications. The flap puts him on the front line, rather than his usual role behind the scenes. For the most part, Cullen, who joined Microsoft three years ago from the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto, is happy with his role at the software giant. He works on things such as guidelines for developers and privacy policies."
The Internet

How The Internet Works - With Tubes 664

Chardish writes "In an attempt to explain his reasons for voting against a Net Neutrality bill this past Thursday, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens delivered a jaw-dropping attempt to explain how the Internet works. Said Stevens: 'They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.'"

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