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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 16 declined, 8 accepted (24 total, 33.33% accepted)

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Submission + - The Rise and Fall of Australia's $44 Billion Broadband Project (

Garabito writes: "In April 2009, Australia’s then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, dropped a bombshell on the press and the global technology community: His social democrat Labor administration was going to deliver broadband Internet to every single resident of Australia. It was an audacious goal, not least of all because Australia is one of the most sparsely populated countries on Earth.
So now, after three years of planning and construction, during which workers connected some 210 000 premises (out of an anticipated 13.2 million), Australia’s visionary and trailblazing initiative is at a crossroads. The new government plans to deploy fiber only to the premises of new housing developments. For the remaining homes and businesses—about 71 percent—it will bring fiber only as far as curbside cabinets, called nodes. Existing copper-wire pairs will cover the so-called last mile to individual buildings."

Submission + - Gov't Contractor Uses Copyright, Fear Of Hackers To Get Restraining Order Agains (

Garabito writes: A recent copyright infringement (+ "threat to national security") lawsuit filed by a government contractor against its former employee highlights two terms the government frequently fears: open source and hacking.

Andreas Schou brought this restraining order granted by an Idaho judge to many people's attention. It's an ultra-rare "no notice" restraining order that resulted from a wholly ex parte process involving only the plaintiff, government contractor Battelle Energy Alliance. The restraining order allowed Battelle to seize its former employee's computer, as well as prevent him from releasing the allegedly copied software as open source.

  What this looks like is a government contractor hoping to shut down a competitor by deploying two "chilling" favorites: copyright infringement and "threats to national security." It also hurts itself by falling for government FUD — "open source is dangerous" and "hackers are bad" — both of which contributed to the general level of failure contained in its complaint.


Submission + - Outlawed by Amazon DRM ( 1

Garabito writes: Imagine one day you grab your Kindle and find out that it has been wiped. You contact Amazon's customer service to find that your account has been permanently disabled and all your digital purchases are now gone. And they won't even tell you why exactly, nor give you a chance to dispute their decision. This may seem like a dystopia, but it has already happened: Martin Bekkelund tells in his blog about this situation happening to a friend: "Amazon just closed her account and wiped her Kindle. Without notice. Without explanation. This is DRM at it’s worst."

Submission + - RMS on Jobs: "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad (

Garabito writes: Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, has posted on his personal site: "As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, 'I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone.' Nobody deserves to have to die — not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing." His statement has spurred reaction from the community; some even asking to the Free Software movement to find a new voice.

Submission + - Boeing halts 787 test flights after cabin smoke (

Garabito writes: Boeing halted test flights of its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner on Wednesday, a day after smoke in the main cabin forced an emergency landing in Texas. Boeing Co halted test flights of its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner on Wednesday, a day after smoke in the main cabin forced an emergency landing in Texas.
The aircraft, carrying 42 crew and test technicians on a test flight from Yuma, Arizona, remained in Laredo on Wednesday while Boeing planned to evaluate data from the aircraft at its facilities in Seattle.


Submission + - Nicaragua Raids Costa Rica, Blames Google Maps (

Garabito writes: An error on Google Maps has caused an international conflict in Central America.

A Nicaraguan military commander, relying on Google Maps, moved troops into an area near San Juan Lake along the border between his country and Costa Rica. The troops are accused of setting up camp there, taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag, doing work to clean up a nearby river, and dumping the sediment in Costa Rican territory.


Submission + - Apple Engineer Told Jobs About iPhone Antenna ( 1

Garabito writes: An anonymous source inside Apple told Bloomberg that Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple’s management the device’s design may hurt reception. A carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before the device’s June 24 release, according to another person familiar with the situation.

Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment. Apple plans to hold a press conference tomorrow about the device. Dowling declined to elaborate on what will be discussed. A separate person familiar with the matter said Apple doesn’t plan to announce a recall of the phone.


Submission + - Microsoft’s Creative Destruction ( 1

Garabito writes: Dick Brass, former vice-president at Microsoft, published an op-ed in The New York TImes , where he states that 'Microsoft has become a clumsy, uncompetitive innovator' and how 'it has lost share in Web browsers, high-end laptops and smartphones.'

He attributes this situation to the lack of a true system for innovation at Microsoft. Some former employees argue that Microsoft has a system to thwart innovation. He tells how promising and innovative technologies like ClearType and the original TabletPC concept become crippled and sabotaged internally, by groups and divisions that feel threated by them.

Brass states that internal competition at Microsoft has created a dysfunctional corporate culture and questions whether the company has much of a future if it doesn't regain its creative spark.

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - 25 Microchips That Shook the World

Garabito writes: IEEE Spectrum made a list of 'some of the most innovative, intriguing, and inspiring integrated circuits'. The list includes the Signetics 555 timer, the Fairchild 741 operational amplifier, and the MOS 6502, which, according to the article, powers Bender, the alcoholic, chain-smoking, morally reprehensible robot in Futurama.

As this list is very subjective, there's a complementary article, where famous technologists, like Gordon Moore and Vint Cerf pick their favorite chip.

Submission + - Spider Missing after trip to space station (

Garabito writes: A spider that had been sent to the International Space Station for a school science program was lost. The arachnid was sent in order to know if spiders can survive and makes webs in space, but now only one spider can be seen in the container. NASA isn't sure where the spider could have gone.

I for one, welcome our new arachnid overlords.


Submission + - Software update shuts down nuclear power plant

Garabito writes: "Hatch Nuclear Power Plant near Baxley, Georgia, was forced into a 48 hours emergency shutdown when a computer on the plant's corporate network was rebooted after an engineer installed a software update.

The computer was used to monitor process data from the primary control systems network, and the software update was designed to synchronize data on both systems. When the computer rebooted, it reset the data on the control system, causing the system to (erroneusly) interpret that the water reservoirs used for cooling the nuclear fuel rods were empty, so the plant's automated safety devices triggered an emergency shutdown.

Personally, I don't think letting devices on a critical process control network to accept data values from the corporate network to be a good idea."

Submission + - Ars Technica reviews Leopard

Garabito writes: Ars Technica's John Siracusa wrote a in deep review of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, both its internals and eye-candy. The new UI theme is consistent and well received, Finder has improved a lot (but still, it has not been fixed). The reviewer has a negative opinion about the semi-transparent menu bar, the new folder icons, and the new dock; but praises Time-Machine, Spaces and Leopard's internals in general.

Despise his usability issues with the UI, Siracusa's opinion about Leopard is positive. In his own words:

What's emerged is quite a strange beast: beautiful on the inside and, well, a bit unlovely on the outside.

Submission + - Notebook batteries could become standard

Garabito writes: "Notebook manufacturers had a meeting to discuss a new standard for Li-ion laptop batteries, according to Ars Technica. The new standard could be ready as soon as the second quarter of 2007 and may be the end of proprietary battery designs that will only fit one brand or model of machine; making the process of replacing one's notebook battery way less expensive.

The new standard would also include safety specifications to prevent further issues like overheating batteries that caused the recent recalls.

Among the attendants to the meeting were Dell, Toshiba and Lenovo. Missing from it was Apple. Sony was not invited."

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