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Music

Submission + - Napster: The Day The Music Was Set Free 1

theodp writes: Before iTunes, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook, and the Kindle, 17-year-old Shawn Fanning and 18-year-old Sean Parker gave the world Napster. And it very was very good. The Observer's Tom Lamont reports on VH1's soon-to-premiere Downloaded , a documentary that tells the story of the rise and fall of the file-sharing software that started the digital music revolution, and shares remembrances of how Napster rocked his world. 'I was 17,' writes Lamont, 'and the owner of an irregular music collection that numbered about 20 albums, most of them a real shame (OMC's How Bizarre, the Grease 2 soundtrack). One day I had unsupervised access to the family PC and, for reasons forgotten, an urge to hear the campy orchestral number from the film Austin Powers. I was a model Napster user: internet-equipped, impatient and mostly ignorant of the ethical and legal particulars of peer-to-peer file-sharing. I installed the software, searched Napster's vast list of MP3 files, and soon had Soul Bossa Nova plinking kilobyte by kilobyte on to my hard drive.' Sound familiar?
Hardware

Submission + - Is it worth paying extra for fast SD cards? (pcpro.co.uk) 1

Barence writes: "Are faster grades of SD memory card worth the extra cash? PC Pro has conducted in-depth speed tests on different grades of SD card to find out if they're worth the premium. In camera tests, two top-end SD cards outshone the rest by far, while class 4 cards dawdled for more than a second between shots. However, with the buffer on modern DSLRs able to handle 20 full-res shots or more, it's unlikely an expensive card will make any difference to anyone other than professionals shooting bursts of fast-action shots.

What about for expanding tablet or laptop memory? A regular class 4 or 6 card that’s capable of recording HD video will also be fast enough to play it back on a tablet. The only advantage of a faster card for media is that syncing with your PC will be quicker. However, a faster card is recommended if you're using it to supplement the memory of an Ultrabook or MacBook Air."

Privacy

Submission + - Tracking school children using GPS (www.rtp.pt)

ruigominho writes: Matosinhos council authorities (in Portugal) started distributing GPS tracking devices to be concealed in school children's backpacks. Parents will be able to define a "virtual fence" — for example delimiting the normal home-school itinerary — and will receive a text message whenever the device goes outside this perimeter. This initiative is publicly supported by parents of missing children.
Where do parent's protection instincts start conflicting with children privacy rights? Should children have any privacy rights at all, and if so, can those rights be surrendered to their parents? Being a parent and at the same time considering myself a privacy advocate I find this to be a very sensitive matter.
Would Tom Sawyer have any chance of getting a kiss from Becky Thatcher if they carried a parent-imposed GPS tracking device with them? Or would we rather trade some marbles for a GPS carry service from Huckleberry Finn, or even hack their way into the tracking server?
What are slashdot readers views on the subject?

Science

Submission + - Wood Pulp Extract Stronger Than Carbon Fiber or Kevlar (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: The Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service has opened a US$1.7 million pilot plant for the production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood by-products materials such as wood chips and sawdust. Prepared properly, CNCs are stronger and stiffer than Kevlar or carbon fibers, so that putting CNC into composite materials results in high strength, low weight products. In addition, the cost of CNCs is less than ten percent of the cost of Kevlar fiber or carbon fiber. These qualities have attracted the interest of the military for use in lightweight armor and ballistic glass (CNCs are transparent), as well as companies in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, and medical industries.
Google

Submission + - Jill Stein campaign accuses Google of illegally censoring campaign ads (jillstein.org)

imortate writes: U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's campaign says that Google has informed them, the day before their campaign ads are set to run, that they will be censored due to "inappropriate language."

Google has served as the ad broker for placement of the campaign's satellite and cable television ad placements.

According to the campaign, "What Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office."

This is called the "no censorship rule," and is designed to protect broadcasters from liability for the content of campaign ads by forbidding them to censor campaign ads.

Has Google, in setting themselves up as a major ad broker, failed to understand and follow the laws that govern advertising and broadcasting?

Bug

Submission + - Crucial M4 SSDs fail after 5200 powered on hours (crucial.com)

An anonymous reader writes: FYI, after losing several of these in the past two days I figured it would be helpful for others to realize that this bug may be causing problems.

Crucial M4 drives will just "go away" after their internal SMART counter hits 5200 hours, after a reboot they will function for about one hour before going away again.

They claim to have firmware in the pipeline but that will do little for you until they release it in the next few weeks.

Programming

Submission + - Learn to code, it's fun and easy! (cnn.com)

Doofus writes: In another of an increasing number of opinion pieces I've seen in many places, an author is citing Bloomberg's promise to "learn to code" as a reason why everyone and his or her sibling should learn to write software.

Anyone else afraid of the rush of the unskilled masses into the coding trenches? Anyone else remember the flood of wanna-bes several years ago who were incapable of doing real programming but wanted the $ real coders were making?

Iphone

Submission + - Shazam Player iPhone Apps Brings Lyrics Support (ihelplounge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Shazam Player iPhone Apps Brings Lyrics Support. Shazam already well known among iPhone owners and iPod touch now offers Shazam Player (available on the U.S. store)
Technology

Submission + - New at CES: Augmented Reality Sunglasses by Vuzix (ecouterre.com)

fangmcgee writes: Augmented reality—the ability to superimpose virtual data onto real-world environments—is appealing in theory, but typical head-mounted displays have the subtlety of a sledgehammer to your forehead. Vusix, a video-eyewear company from Rochester, NY, has invented an electronic headset that looks—and works—like a pair of designer sunglasses. Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, the Internet-connected “Smart” device uses holographic film to serve interactive content right before your eyes. Besides changing the way you work and play, not to mention interact with your assorted gadgets, the Smart also has potential applications in military ops, emergency response, and disaster management.

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