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The Internet

Submission + - News Sites Slammed by Michael Jackson Traffic (datacenterknowledge.com) 1

miller60 writes: "Major news sites struggled to remain online this evening, as news of Michael Jackson's death triggered huge waves of Internet traffic. TMZ.com broke the news and was quickly overwhelmed, while Twitter turned off features to handle its load. They weren't alone. Keynote Systems reports that ABC, AOL, CBS, CNN Money, MSNBC, NBC and Yahoo! News all experienced performance problems between 6:15 and 9 pm Eastern time, when the average availability of news sites tracked by Keynote dropped from almost 100% to 86%. The cloud computing crowd immediately jumped on the traffic jams to argue their case. "Not have a cloud bursting strategy in the age of cloud computing isn't just wrong — it's idiotic," wrote one cloud blogger."
Space

Submission + - First solar eclipse recorded from moon

dazza101 writes: "For the first time ever, we have witnessed a solar eclipse from the moon. On 10 February 2009 Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter captured the sight of the Earth eclipsing the sun. The spacecraft also recorded this video showing the Earth surrounded by a glowing ring and briefly forming the classic diamond ring that often occurs during a solar eclipse, as seen from down here on Earth."
Networking

Submission + - One broken router takes out half the internet? (merit.edu)

Silent Stephus writes: "I work for a smallish hosting provider, and this morning we experienced a networking event with one of our upstreams. What is interesting about this, is it's being caused by a mis-configured router in Europe-- and it appears to be affecting a significant portion of the transit providers across the internet. In other words, a single mis-configured router is apparently able to cause a DOS for a huge chunk of the internet. And people don't believe me when I tell them all this new-fangled technology is held together by duct-tape and bailing wire!"
Censorship

Malaysia Frees "Anti-Islamic" Blogger 53

quarterbuck writes "The Malaysian blogger who was under arrest on sedition charges has been freed by the courts. Raja Petra Kamarudin's comments were interpreted by the government as being anti-Islam and anti-government; he was arrested under Malaysia's Internal Security Act. Now, a court has ruled that the government was overstepping its limits in what is being called a landmark ruling."
Censorship

Blogger.com Banned In Turkey 262

petermp writes "A Turkish court has blocked access to the popular blog hosting service Blogger (Blogger.com and Blogspot.com, owned by Google), since Friday, October 24th, 2008. According to BasBasBas.com, a Dutch blogger based in Istanbul, who alerted readers about the issue: 'It is suspected that the reason for this has something to do with Adnan Oktar, by some considered the leading Muslim advocate for creationism, who has in the past managed to get Wordpress, Google Groups, as well as Richard Dawkins' website [banned].'"
Government

Cloud Computing May Draw Government Action 119

snydeq brings us this excerpt from InfoWorld: "Cloud computing will soon become an area of hot debate in Washington, as the increasing popularity of cloud-based services is putting pressure on policy makers to answer tough questions on the privacy and security of data in the cloud. For example: Who owns the data that consumers store on the network? Should law enforcement agencies have easier access to personal information in the cloud than data on a personal computer? Do government procurement regulations need to change to allow agencies to embrace cloud computing? So far, US courts have generally ruled that private data stored in the cloud doesn't enjoy the same level of protection from law enforcement searches that data stored on a personal computer does, said Ari Schwartz, COO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. 'I do think government has an almost infinite ability to screw up things when they can't see the future,' former Bill Clinton tech policy adviser Mike Nelson added. 'We have to have leadership that believes in empowering users and empowering citizens.'"
HP

HP May Be Developing Its Own Version of Linux 303

vondiggity writes to tell us that HP is working on several different ways to make an end run around Vista. Among the plans is also a supposed rumor that certain factions within HP are developing their own flavor of Linux. Executives at HP deny that any meaningful amount of resources are being directed into plans for a mass-market operating system, stating their main goal is to innovate on top of Vista. "Still, the sources say employees in HP's PC division are exploring the possibility of building a mass-market operating system. HP's software would be based on Linux, the open-source operating system that is already widely available, but it would be simpler and easier for mainstream users, the sources say. The goal may be to make HP less dependent on Windows and to strengthen HP's hand against Apple (AAPL), which has gained market share in recent years by offering easy-to-use computers with its own operating system."
Power

The Windbelt – a Cheap Wind-Power Generator 75

dominique_cimafranca writes "Shawn Frayne, a 28-year old inventor, has developed a small wind-powered generator that can be used to power small appliances in developing countries. Unlike the typical propeller design one expects of wind generators, the windbelt uses the oscillation of a membrane that follows the vibration of bridge. The oscillation drives small magnets which generate the electricity. From the article: 'Frayne's device, which he calls a Windbelt, is a taut membrane fitted with a pair of magnets that oscillate between metal coils. Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines. Frayne envisions the Windbelt costing a few dollars and replacing kerosene lamps in Haitian homes.'"
NASA

Name the New Gamma-Ray Space Telescope 131

Ponca City, We Love You writes "NASA announced last week that members of the general public will have a chance to suggest a new name for the cutting edge Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, otherwise known as GLAST, before it launches in mid-2008. NASA wants a name that will capture the excitement of GLAST's mission and call attention to gamma-ray and high-energy astronomy. 'We are looking for something memorable to commemorate this spectacular new astronomy mission,' said Alan Stern, associate administrator for Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. 'We hope someone will come up with a name that is catchy, easy to say and will help make the satellite and its mission a topic of dinner table and classroom discussion.' The period for submitting names closes on March 31, 2008. Participants must include a statement of 25 words or less about why their suggestion would be a strong name for the mission."
The Almighty Buck

Amazon Erases Orders To Cover Up Pricing Mistake 338

The Knife writes "Amazon secretly canceled orders for a large jazz CD set after realizing that it had mis-priced the item at $31 instead of its MSRP of $499. At first, inventory shortages caused the online merchant to string customers along for over a month after they placed their orders. But when Amazon realized that the box set was under-priced by $470, it simply erased all records of customers' order in their account history. No emails were sent to customers informing them of the price change or of the order cancellation. Probably because it violates Amazon's highly publicized price guarantee policy. A customer who called to complain and request the CD set at the $31 price was given a $20 discount off of his next Amazon order." A caveat: there is no external confirmation that Amazon did what is claimed here.
The Courts

Microsoft Under Third EU Investigation for OOXML 194

The Wall Street Journal and Information Week reported this morning that EU regulators have announced a third investigation into Microsoft's conduct on the desktop. This latest action demonstrates that while the EU has settled the case against Microsoft that ran for almost a decade, it remains as suspicious as ever regarding the software vendor's conduct, notwithstanding Microsoft's less combative stance in recent years. The news can be found in a story reported by Charles Forelle bylined in Brussells this morning. According to the Journal, the investigation will focus on whether Microsoft 'violated antitrust laws during a struggle last year to ratify its Office software file format as an international standard.' The article also says that the regulators are 'stepping up scrutiny of the issue.'
Music

Journal Journal: Bushite Congress Kills RIAA's Anti-piracy Efforts 2

The Law of Unexpected Consequences is expected to soon take an ironic twist. As reported in The Guardian, the WTO will issue its long-awaited ruling next week on Antigua's complaint against the US for its law that prohibited banks from allowing money to flow to and from offshore Internet gambling sites.

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