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Submission + - 4G and Africa (thegrio.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: 4G service reaches Africa before much of Europe

As the continent of Africa grows economically, its citizens work hard in many sectors to help the continent shed the label of “developing” in order to be considered “developed.”

So far Liberia, Tanzania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Namibia and even the ex-communist state Angola are all 4G Internet capable. The use of 4G within Africa gives those countries the ability to communicate and in effect compete in real time with markets across the globe. Companies such as 4G Africa work towards providing 4G Internet across sub-Saharan Africa in order to “reduce the digital divide,” according to their website. Within their nations, the introduction of mobile high-speed Internet has changed the way that Africans share information, conduct business and even shop.

In Nigeria, Slim Trader, founded by Femi Akinde, allows consumers to purchase products over the phone. Founded in Namibia, Umuntu media provides local news, job listings, and more, and after 18 months of operation has portals in nine countries. The founder Johan Nel recently released a new mobile-focused website called Mimiboard. Nel explained to BBC that if “a fisherman in Mombasa can post about his catch of the day to Mimiboard, then other users in the area can go buy fish.”

“It is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world and the biggest after China,” the BBC reported in 2011, “there will be more than 735 million subscribers by the end of 2012.” With those statistics, it is no surprise that some countries in Africa have become connected to 4G internet before many countries in Europe.

Submission + - Wood nanobattery could be green option for large-scale energy storage (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Li-ion batteries may be ok for your smartphone, but when it comes to large-scale energy storage, the priorities suddenly shift from compactness and cycling performance (at which Li-ion batteries excel) to low cost and environmental feasibility (in which Li-ion batteries still have much room for improvement). A new "wood battery" could allow the emerging sodium-ion battery technology to fit the bill as a long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery for large-scale energy storage.

Submission + - Australian Data Retention Laws rejected by Intelligence Committee (crikey.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: The Australian Attorney-General Department's pig-headed push for Internet data retention were rejected by an Intelligence Oversight Committee for being vague and violating civil liberties. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the government needs to get the message and drop the scheme, also warning about data retention and PRISM. Head Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says data retention is off the agenda for now, though when the last AG made a similar promise they passed new laws 12 days later anyway.

Submission + - FBI File on How to Bug a Room Using a Telephone

An anonymous reader writes: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released its File 80-HQ-760 concerning Ultrasonic Listening Devices and Wiretapping. http://www.governmentattic.org/8docs/FBIfile80-HQ-760UltrasonicListenDev_1945-1969.pdf

In the file, FBI memos discuss research to develop a way to use any telephone as a microphone by sending a radio frequency signal onto the telephone line, and countermeasures to surveillance of a room via telephone. The 1057 page file covers FBI activities from 1945 through 1989.

Submission + - Snowden discloses US hacked Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator

Camael writes: In an exclusive provided to the South China Morning Post, a newspaper based in Hong Kong, Snowden revealed that computers at the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet – owner of one of the biggest fibre-optic networks in the Asia-Pacific region – were hacked by US spies in 2009. Accoding to their corporate website, Pacnet owns and operates the leading pan-Asian fiber optic submarine cable network spanning 36,800 kilometers that lands in 19 cable landing stations and extends from India to the US.

Submission + - US immigration seize Bradely Manning Defence Fund records (aclu.org)

An anonymous reader writes: We announced some excellent news last night: the U.S. has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by David House over the government's 2010 search and seizure of his laptop and other electronics at the airport .. House's electronics stored the identities of members and supporters of the Bradley Manning Support Network. Given the controversial nature of that cause, House and others were deeply concerned that the government seizure of this material would frighten others from lending their time and money to the organization

The ACLU and the ACLU of Massachusetts brought the lawsuit on House's behalf, charging that the government targeted House solely on the basis of his lawful association with the group, and doing so violated his First Amendment right to freedom of association as well as his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure

Submission + - Sharing HBO Go Accounts Could Result In Prison (ibtimes.com) 2

coolnumbr12 writes: In a recent New York Times article called “No TV? No Subscription? No Problem?” Jenna Wortham noted how she used, “the information of a guy in New Jersey that I had once met in a Mexican restaurant.” Dave Their of Forbes admitted that he used his sister’s boyfriend’s father’s account in exchange for his Netflix information. But this is stealing under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it a misdemeanor with a maximum one-year prison sentence to “obtain without authorization information from a protected computer.” It is also a violation of the Digital Millennium Copy Act because it is knowingly circumventing a protection measure set up to prevent someone from watching content like “Game of Thrones” without paying. Forbes points out that a crafty prosecutor could also claim that using an HBO Go password without paying is a form of identity theft.

Submission + - GOCE Becomes First Satellite to Detect an Earthquake From Space (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite was launched on March 17, 2009, as the first of a series of Earth Explorer satellites. Its mission is to capture high-resolution gravity measurements and produce an accurate gravity map – or geoid – of Earth. To increase the resolution of its measurements, GOCE was put into an unusually low orbit, which has also helped it to become the first satellite to sense sound waves from an earthquake from space.
Data Storage

Submission + - WD's Velociraptor Hits 1TB Capacity with Sizable Performance Gains (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Western Digital has launched a new higher performance, higher capacity Velociraptor hard drive this morning. The WD VelociRaptor 1TB WD1000DHTZ model shown here conforms to the standard 3.5" form factor, but the actual drive mechanics are housed in a 2.5" HDD with a 15mm z-height, similar to the original VelociRaptor. The drive itself is mounted in what is essentially a large heatsink, which helps wick heat away, while also adapting its connectors to fit in any standard 3.5" bay or backplane. At 10K RPM and because they are physically smaller than standard 3.5" drives, the VelociRaptor is able to access and transfer data much more quickly than full sized, 3.5" offerings. The new 1TB Velociraptor also has 64MB of data cache, a high-speed controller with newly tweaked firmware and caching algorithms, and a SATA 6Gb/s interface. Performance-wise, in the benchmarks, this new 10K RPM 1TB hard drive appears to be one of the fastest consumer class SATA hard drive offerings to date. Though pricey for a hard drive, at around .31 per GB, it's far less expensive than an SSD, though not in the same league from a performance standpoint."

Submission + - Leisure Suit Larry remake will be "be dirtier than anything on the Internet" (gameshampoo.com)

chronodev writes: Replay Games Inc's Kickstarter Campaign, Make Leisure Suit Larry come again!, has raised over $350,000 out of the $500,000 goal, with 16 days to go as of the time of writing this article.

In a Reddit IAmA, addressing a concern that "adult jokes and saucy environment in a computer game" are no longer a novelty today because of the web, creator Al Lowe promised that the remake will be "dirtier than anything on the internet."

The Military

Submission + - Sixty Years On, B-52s Are Still Going Strong 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s knew the B-52 Stratofortress as a central figure in the anxiety that flowed from the protracted staring match between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Now CNET reports that it was 60 years ago, on April 15, 1952, that a B-52 prototype built by Boeing took off on its maiden flight and although the 1950s-vintage B-52s are no longer in the US Air Force inventory, the 90 or so H models delivered between May 1961 and October 1962 still remain on active duty. “The B-52 has been a wonderful flying box,” says retired Brig. Gen. Peyton Cole. “It’s persevered all these years because it’s been able to adapt and still continues to fly. It started out as a high-level flying platform during the Cold War. Then as air defenses got better it became a low-level penetrator, and more than that was the first aircraft to fly low-level at night through FLIR (forward looking infrared) and night-vision TV." The B-52's feat of longevity reflects both regular maintenance and timely upgrades — in the late 1980s, for instance, GPS capabilities were incorporated into the navigation system but it also speaks to the astronomical costs of the next-generation bombers that have followed the B-52 into service (a total of 744 were built, counting all models) with the Air Force. B-52s cost about $70 million apiece (in today's dollars), while the later, stealth-shaped B-2 Spirit bombers carried an "eye-watering $3-billion-a-pop unit price." The Air Force's 30-year forecast, published in March, envisions an enduring role for the B-52 and engineering studies, the Air Force says, suggest that the life span of the B-52 could extend beyond the year 2040. "At that point, why not aim for the centennial mark?""

Submission + - Anonymous Wants To Take Down The Great Firewall of China 1

An anonymous reader writes: Anonymous China has hacked and defaced hundreds of Chinese government, company, and other general websites to the point where China even acknowledged the attacks. The hacking has continued against various websites, but even more importantly, the group has declared a new target: the so-called Great Firewall of China.

Submission + - How Windows FreeCell Gave Rise To Online Crowdsourcing (gameological.com)

TPIRman writes: In 1994, a physics doctoral student named Dave Ring assembled more than 100 math and puzzle enthusiasts on Usenet for what became one of the earliest online 'crowdsourcing' projects. Their goal: to determine if every hand in Windows' FreeCell solitaire game was in fact winnable, as the program's help file implied. Their efforts soon focused in on one incredibly stubborn hand: #11,982. They couldn't beat it, but in the process of trying, they proved the viability of an idea that would later be refined with crowdsourcing models like Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

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