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Portables

Sub-$100 Laptops Have Finally Arrived 437

Roman Phalanx writes "OLPC had promised that it would be possible to mass produce a sub-$100 laptop. The folks at OLPC tried to realize that dream by re-imagining what a laptop looks like. How large of screen and keyboard it has. What OS runs on the laptop. Now that OLPC has decided to super size their systems to run Windows XP, the $100 price point has slipped beyond their reach. A Chinese firm has realized that dream. Taking the best from both the OLPC and EeePC. They ditched x86 compatibility and switched to a MIPS architecture to further reduce production costs. HiVision has managed to create a UMPC that sells right now for $120.00. They say they have refined the manufacturing process and have learned from building this laptop how to mass produce a laptop that will sell for $98.00." (More below, including a link to a video of the device.)
Security

Submission + - Techworld Blogs: The Beautiful Face of Malware (techworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Ever wondered what a Storm Trojan looked like? Looking at something that is normally unseeable might serve the purpose of making it more real within the terms of popular culture, which some see as having passed by the darker spots of software engineering.
Software

Submission + - The greatest vapourware in history (cnet.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: To celebrate the history of Earth's greatest vapourware, CNET has compiled a history of software and hardware that has failed to delivery anything but epic fails. There are some extremely interesting products such as 'Rainbow Storage Technology', which aims to store hundreds of gigabytes of digital information on standard paper, and 'Silicon Film' that aimed to turn standard film-based SLR camers into digital cameras by replacing film with a digital negative.
Microsoft

Submission + - Over 200 Exchange Features Left Undocumented (news.com)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Competing Zarafa and Zimbra developers, looking over the Exchange documentation Microsoft recently released, are already finding that it leaves out a lot of details — they've found over 200 undocumented features, including information on how to schedule a recurring calendar appointment. Documentation, of course, has always been the most difficult part of Microsoft's anti-trust consent decree to enforce, and incidentally the DOJ has withdrawn from enforcement of all but one anti-trust provision from the 2002 settlement. That will make it all but impossible for the next administration to go after Microsoft without winning a new anti-trust lawsuit against them, though the 17 states that sued still have limited oversight."
Music

Submission + - NiN Self-Releases Latest Album on Bittorrent 2

An anonymous reader writes: Nine Inch Nails has self-released a new instrumental album, Ghosts I-IV. Consisting of 36 instrumental tracks described as "music for daydreams" and released under Creative Commons, it is available in a wide range of formats (MP3, double CD, multitrack audio DVD-ROM, vinyl, 40 page book). The free MP3 download includes the first nine tracks (each with unique artwork), wallpapers, and a PDF of the 40 page book. Available directly off nin.com, you also have the option to torrent it via official NIN profiles on Waffles, what.cd and The Pirate Bay. Absent from this release was any kind of leak of audio or information. Is this the future of music distribution?
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What OS has the fasttest boot time?

An anonymous reader writes: I have some older computer equipment at work that I want to re-purpose as application appliances. The machines will sit, unpowered, until needed then powered up. No way around the "sitting powered off", company directive. What is the quickest booting OS them I can use. I know about LinuxBios and that would require new hardware which does not go along which the re-purposing theme. Some of them do not need to be connectted to a network, so an old versions of linux or Windows 98 are possible. DOS is too old to consider. So what are my options?
The Courts

Submission + - British Police guilty over Menezes case

baileydau writes: London's Metropolitan Police force has been found guilty of endangering the public over the fatal shooting of a man officers mistook for a suicide bomber.

The force broke health and safety laws when officers pursued Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes to a Tube station and shot him seven times, a jury found.

It was fined £175,000 with £385,000 costs over the 22 July 2005 shooting.

The BBC article can be found at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7069796.stm

There is also a chilling "step-by-step guide to a killing" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/7073125.stm (Flash — there is a non-flash alternative at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7050915.stm)
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Email Threats Less Crazy than Snail Mail (wired.com) 2

SoyChemist writes: Psychologists at the University of Nebraska have read 300 threatening letters and 99 angry emails to members of congress. They concluded that the authors of the electronic messages show less signs of serious mental illness, but they are more profane and disorganized. The report was published in the September issue [subscription] of the Journal of Forensic Sciences.
United States

Submission + - USPS invokes the Patriot Act with PO Box Holders (burntelectrons.org)

jX writes: "I've blogged about a document I got from the USPS with a request for more documentation. When I spoke with the clerk, it's all related to the bloody Patriot Act. I scanned in the document to share with the world. I didn't see any other notices of this on the net yet, so I'm eager to get word of this to everyone. It's a sham request for ID when the real goal is more documentation of a person's physical address, when logically, since the documents they request are readily accessible by the gov't to begin with, why do we need to present these? It's more clumsy Big Brother security theater."
Quickies

Submission + - UK to Claim A Million Sq Km of Antarctica (techluver.com)

JagsLive writes: "UK to Claim A Million Sq Km of Antarctica: The claim is one of five territorial requests planned by the country ahead of a May 2009 deadline and covers a vast area of the seabed around British Antarctica near the south pole, a spokeswoman said. "We are one of many coastal states who are submitting various claims," she told Reuters. She further said the four other claims would be for Atlantic seabed territory around South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, around Ascension Island, near the Bay of Biscay in the south-west Atlantic, and in the Hatton-Rockall basin off Scotland's coast. The claim to extend British sovereignty in Antarctica could spark disputes with South American nations such as Argentina and Chile, who are likely to make overlapping claims in the region. It also conflicts with the spirit of 1959 Antarctic Treaty, to which Britain is a signatory, which prevents all exploitation of oil gas and minerals, other than for scientific research. ( http://techluver.com/2007/10/17/uk-to-claim-a-million-sq-km-of-antarctica/ )"
Editorial

Submission + - Of Laffer, Deficits, and Poverty (functionalisminaction.com)

IConrad01 writes: "Functionalism In Action: Of Laffer, Deficits, and Poverty:

Every once in a while, you see something that just plain makes your haunches bunch up in disgust. Apparently, this happens more to conservatives than it does to liberal, but I digress. Today, I should like to go over something that makes this happen to me every time I encounter it.
[...]

That's right — when the income tax was instituted, it's highest percentage was 7%. And within five years, it went to 77%This becomes all the more disturbing when we consider that not too long ago, someone took the time and effort to calculate the effective "flat tax" rate for America. And they found that this rate was ~40%:

Is anyone else out there wishing that a basic comprehension of 'economics' was actually something you had to have before you graduated High School? It would certainly change the way we operate in this country..."

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