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China

Submission + - Recycled Christmas Lights in China Get Happy Endi (theatlantic.com)

retroworks writes: "Shanghai based reporter Adam Minter visits where recycled Christmas Tree lighting goes in Chiina. Visiting Shijao, the town known as the Mecca for Christmas tree light recycling, he finds good news. The recycling practices in China have really cleaned up. Plastic casings once burned are now recycled into shoe soles in a wet process (film attached). Minter concludes that even if you try to recycle your wire in the USA, that the special equipment and processes for Christmas light recycling have been perfected in China "to the benefit of the environment, and pocketbooks, in both countries.""
Firefox

Submission + - The return of VRML? 3D graphics for Firefox (goodgearguide.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "A group of researchers plans to release a version of the Firefox browser that includes the built-in ability to view 3D graphics. They've integrated real-time ray tracing technology, called RT Fact, into Firefox and Webkit. Images are described using XML3D, and the browser can natively render the 3D scene."
Idle

Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun 50

California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.
Power

Submission + - Intel Redies GNU/Linux Friendly ACPI Replacement (h-online.com) 3

twitter writes: "ACPI was designed to harm free software. Ten years later, ACPI still has problems but has Intel turned over a new leaf? H-Online has an interesting introduction to Simple Firmware Interface.

A few days ago, version 4.0 of the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification was released, weighing in at a hefty 727 pages ... there are still flaws in many implementations.

Intel is now developing the Simple Firmware Interface (SFI) especially for small and low spec devices like Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) with Atom processors, and is particularly targeting the Linux operating system... SFI can be implemented in addition to, or as an alternative to ACPI, in the firmware either within a classic BIOS, (U)EFI, or with alternative firmware like OpenFirmware.

Version 0.6 has been released as a draft and there is a reference implementation for the 2.6.32 kernel."

Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Apple's iPhone 3GS Costs $179 to Build (tomsguide.com)

tugfoigel writes: "The entry-level, 16Gbyte version of Apple Inc.'s new iPhone 3G S carries a BOM cost of $172.46 and a manufacturing expense of $6.50, for a total of $178.96," said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst, teardown services, for iSuppli.

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