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Submission + - Anonymous takes on a Mexican drug cartel (chron.com) 1

NarcoTraficante writes: After one of their members was kidnapped in Veracruz, Mexico by the Zetas drug cartel, Mexican Anonymous members have issued an ultimatum to the Zetas in a recently posted YouTube video (Spanish). The video demands release of the kidnapped member and threatens to publish information of cartel members and affiliates in Veracruz if the victim is not released by November 5. The Houston Chronicle article warns that there will be bloodshed if Anonymous publishes information on the Zeta's operations, either perpetrated by rival cartels or reprisal attacks by the Zetas themselves.

Torvalds on Linux and Microsoft 363

Sniper223 writes with a link to an interview on the Network World site with Linus Torvalds. Linus goes through the usual spiel about stuff like why he released the Linux OS in the first place, and how the future is open source. He also has some interesting commentary on the Microsoft/Novell deal: "I actually thought that whole discussion was interesting, not because of any Novell versus MS issues at all, but because all the people talking about them so clearly showed their own biases. The actual partnership itself seemed pretty much a nonissue to me, and not nearly as interesting as the reaction it got from people, and how it was reported ... I don't actually personally think the Novell-MS agreement kind of thing matters all that much in the end, but it's interesting to see the signs that the sides are at least talking to each other. I don't know what the end result will be, but I think it would be healthier for everybody if there wasn't the kind of rabid hatred on both sides. Some people get a bit too excited about MS, I think. I don't think they are that interesting." An interesting contrast to our earlier conversation.

Comment Re:Nokia has a nice offering too (Score 1) 164

feature-crippled iPod? you fell into the trap?

I don't think the selling point of iPods was ever that they had the most features ("no wifi, less space than a nomad..."), but that it had, and arguably still has, the most intuitive and easiest to use interface, along with incredibly easy synching and the seamless integration with the iTunes music store. The iPod was definitely not just successful due to marketing.

I think the iPhone will be similar: a few core features that are very easy to use, not the most features you've ever seen packed into a phone. The innovation will be in the UI. But people should wait until it comes out before dismissing it as low end or before hyping it as the most high end phone ever. It'll depend on whether the multi-touch interface actually works well, and whether it really has the fully featured safari web browser they claim it does, among other things of course.

Scientists Developing Commercially Viable Synthetic Gecko 122

Gordon from Seattle writes to mention a CNN article about a new way to hang out. A British aerospace team is working on a super-sticky substance they're calling "Synthetic Gecko". It mimics the hairs on a gecko's foot, and may eventually be developed as a reusable adhesive. From the article: "Each of the microscopic setae on a gecko's foot has a mushroom shaped cap on the end, less than one-thousandth of a millimeter across. This ensures that the gecko's foot is in very close contact with the surface beneath. The cumulative attractive force, called van der Waals force, of these setae allows the lizard to scurry up walls and ceilings, and even hang from polished glass surfaces. In 2003 scientists at the University of Manchester produced a one centimeter patch of 'gecko tape,' but neither the University of Manchester nor University of California teams managed to produce the material in a greater quantity, unlike Haq and Sargent, who have already tested areas larger than 10 centimeters-squared."

RIAA Wants Artist Royalties Lowered 399

laughingcoyote writes "The RIAA has asked the panel of federal government Copyright Royalty Judges to lower royalties paid to publishers and songwriters. They're specifically after digital recordings, and uses like cell phone ringtones. They say that the rates (which were placed in 1981) don't apply the same way to new technologies." From the article: "According to The Hollywood Reporter, the RIAA maintains that in the modern period when piracy began devastating the record industry profits to publishers from sales of ringtones and other 'innovative services' grew dramatically. Record industry executives believe this to be cause to advocate reducing the royalties paid to the artists who wrote the original music."

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