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Music

Submission + - Nine Inch Nails releases completely free album (nin.com)

PJ1216 writes: "Just wanted to give you all a heads up that Nine Inch Nails is at it again with utilizing alternative distribution methods for his music. He now has a full album available for download, 100% free. Its available in high-quality mp3, FLAC lossless, m4a apple lossless, and high definition WAVE 24/96. You do have to submit an email address to get a download link though. You can use a throw-away email if you'd like, but I've never known him to misuse emails. The album was released under the Creative Commons and all the formats (other than the mp3, which is zipped) are only available as torrents. A physical format will be made available in a month or two. This is coming shortly after his ultra-deluxe Ghosts I-IV albums just shipped which cost $300 a piece. Maybe this is a sign that he was extremely happy with the final outcome."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Sci-Fi Last Bastion of Philosophical Writing? (wired.com)

PJ1216 writes: "Wired has an article written by Clive Thompson in which he reasons that science fiction novels are the last place to find 'big-idea' books these days. He writes, "Its authors rewrite one or two basic rules about society and then examine how humanity responds — so we can learn more about ourselves. How would love change if we lived to be 500? If you could travel back in time and revise decisions, would you? What if you could confront, talk to, or kill God?""
Biotech

Submission + - Formula One Must Go Green (wired.com)

PJ1216 writes: "The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile has announced a ban on further investment into F1 engines and must look into more environmentally friendly technology. From the article, "The biggest teams — Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Toyota among them — each spend $200 million or more a year on fossil-fuel technology with little real-world application. But now the sport's ruling body has said, "Enough," and banned further investment in F1 engines. Teams must now focus on hybrid systems and other eco-friendly means of producing power."
Looks like the race needs more green than just a flag. The upshot of this is that this will spur eco-friendly technology that can make its way onto our streets and into our cars."

Vinyl To Signal the End for CDs? 883

PJ1216 writes to mention that vinyl seems poised to make a comeback in the music industry. Some are even predicting that this comeback coupled with the surge in digital music sales could possibly close the door on CDs. "Portability is no longer any reason to stick with CDs, and neither is audio quality. Although vinyl purists are ripe for parody, they're right about one thing: Records can sound better than CDs. Although CDs have a wider dynamic range, mastering houses are often encouraged to compress the audio on CDs to make it as loud as possible: It's the so-called loudness war. Since the audio on vinyl can't be compressed to such extremes, records generally offer a more nuanced sound. Another reason for vinyl's sonic superiority is that no matter how high a sampling rate is, it can never contain all of the data present in an analog groove, Nyquist's theorem to the contrary."
Music

Submission + - Some predict Vinyl may be the end for CDs (wired.com)

PJ1216 writes: "From the article, "Portability is no longer any reason to stick with CDs, and neither is audio quality. Although vinyl purists are ripe for parody, they're right about one thing: Records can sound better than CDs." Without any reason to really buy a CD, vinyl may find a wider audience now. Of course, the RIAA is downplaying it and saying there is no rise. They probably don't want to admit a medium that can't carry DRM, can be on the rise."
Handhelds

Submission + - Nokie threatens to blow iPhone away (peterjudge.com)

judgecorp writes: "Nokia didn't mention Apple at its Go Play launch in London — it didn't have to. The new Ovi service is, as predicted, a revived version of N-Gage, but it's also a combined music, games and location service, designed to let users get content and interact through both PCs and mobiles. The company also has some new phones that seem to address all the criticisms of the iPhone — they have 3G and they are open to developers, and they'll also do the touch-screen, 3D menu thing. Given Nokia is the largest consumer durable maker in the world, with a 900 million-strong truly global user base, I'd say Apple better watch out!"
Security

Submission + - Real Spiderman coming to a ceiling near you (networkworld.com) 1

coondoggie writes: "Italian researchers today said they have formulated a substance that mimics spider and Gecko sticking power that they claim are strong enough to suspend a person's full body weight against a wall or on a ceiling. University of California, Berkeley researchers are also developing sticky technology they say will support heavy weight on smooth surfaces. First, Italian researcher Nicola Pugno, an engineer and physicist at Polytechnic of Turin, Italy said he has come up with formulas for using carbon nanotubes to make superadhesive gloves and boots that could be used in the future to create a super sticky suit ala Spiderman. He said the same technology could be used to build invisible cables that could act as super-strong cobwebs. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/18865"
The Courts

Submission + - UK police screw up evidence chain in error trial (bbc.co.uk) 1

Peil writes: "A total of five charges have been brought against 21-year-old Mohammed Atif Siddique, from Clackmannanshire, under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

It has been alleged that he had several articles in his possession which gave rise to a "reasonable suspicion" of a connection with a potential act of terrorism. These included documents containing terrorist propaganda, bomb making instructions and surveillance techniques.

The court heard the machine had been seized from Mr Siddique at Glasgow Airport in April last year. A report a forensic analyst with the e-crime unit attached to the police, stated it had been turned on before he examined it.

From the article: "An initial examination of this system revealed it was last activated between approximately 2219 BST and 2330 BST on 5 April 2006. "This immediately struck us as being unusual as we were informed that the computer had been seized from the accused's possession at about 2000 BST the same date."

Further examination revealed that the times and dates associated with more than 200 files on the system had been updated between these times.

Looks like any decent lawyer just blew away the chain of evidence, idiots."

Businesses

Submission + - Day-to-day IT challenges are biggest headache for (connect.co.uk)

Mark Houlding writes: "PRESS RELEASE London, 29th August, 2007 Day-to-day IT challenges are biggest headache for UK SMEs says new research from Connect www.connect.co.uk Connect, the IT support company for small to medium-sized businesses, today releases new research showing that everyday IT problems are the biggest headache for SMEs in the UK. The research project, which polled 200 IT managers and directors, found that 37% of UK SMEs said that regular IT hassles were their biggest headache. Their second biggest worry was IT security — 32% identified this as a major problem. However, security was more of a problem for smaller businesses (those with less than 50 employees) — 35% of these firms said security was one of their top two headaches, as opposed to just 27% of the larger firms (those with 50-250 employees). Mark MacGregor, Connect's Chief Executive said: "Much of the IT debate currently revolves around what we'd call 'big ticket' items — concepts like mobile working, Web 2.0 or open source software dominate the news agenda for IT. While we're certainly not dismissing those concepts, the reality is that for the entrepreneurs and owner-managers that drive much of the innovation and growth in our economy, the issues are really much simpler. They just want robust, cost-effective IT systems that actually work. One of the challenges we need to address as an industry is how we can deliver more of that type of IT to this vital part of UK plc." The other key issues cited by the companies surveyed also related to 'day-to-day' IT issues, for instance: 30% cited lack of understanding by staff in use of IT as one of their two biggest IT headaches. However, while only 20% of smaller (less than 50 employees) companies perceived this to be a problem, the comparable figure for companies with 51-250 employees was 42% 27% cited cost as one of their two biggest headaches (30% of this was from the smaller companies, just 22% from the larger players); MacGregor continues: "Although there is widespread agreement as to the critical issues, there are some revealing discrepancies between the smaller ( 50 employees) and the bigger firms (51-250). It's not unexpected to see that the smaller firms are more worried about cost — but it is surprising to find that bigger firms are more worried than smaller firms that their staff do not understand IT. You'd expect bigger firms to have larger training budgets — so there's a clear disconnect there in terms of how the larger firms we spoke to communicate with employees and develop their IT skills. "Also, 19% of all of those surveyed see email/internet downtime as a one of their top two headaches — but it's much more of an issue for the smaller companies (24%) than the bigger ones (12%). Again, the IT supply industry needs to assess this kind of discrepancy carefully and to find better ways to ensure that small companies have the internet and email tools they need to run and expand their businesses." ...ends... About Connect: Connect has been providing IT support to a range of small and mid sized companies since 1993. The company has grown rapidly and now has over 300 different clients across the UK and abroad. Connect provides a variety of IT services including helpdesk and on-site support, project management and business continuity. The company is based at Canary Wharf in London with on-site engineers based at different locations across the world. For further enquiries please email mark.macgregor@connect.co.uk or visit the web at www.connect.co.uk. The survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Connect between June-July 2007. The research company questioned 200 IT Directors and Managers from companies and organisations ranging from 5 to 250 employees across the UK. Press / Media enquiries please contact: Suzy Fish PR Consultant to Connect Rostrum Communications suzy@rostrumpr.com 020 7749 7301 / 07931 456 214"
Microsoft

Submission + - Vista SP1 picked apart: performance increases (apcmag.com) 1

SlinkySausage writes: "APCmag.com has obtained the Vista SP1 beta and taken it apart, analysing all the changes it makes to Vista's codebase and the registry. The update includes hundreds of install packages, many of which have not been released via Windows Update. And APC says there are significant performance increases, which will fuel the fires of critics who said Microsoft released Vista too early. Amusingly, the paths to Microsoft's internal network distribution shares are still embedded in the beta."
Privacy

Police Data-Mining Done Right 321

enharmonix writes "Courtesy of Bruce Schneier, it's nice to hear something good about data mining for a change: predicting and stopping crime. For example, police in Redmond, VA, 'started overlaying crime reports with other data, such as weather, traffic, sports events and paydays for large employers. The data was analyzed three times a day and something interesting emerged: Robberies spiked on paydays near cheque cashing storefronts in specific neighbourhoods. Other clusters also became apparent, and pretty soon police were deploying resources in advance and predicting where crime was most likely to occur.'"

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