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PA Laptop Spying Inspires FSF Crowdsourcing Effort 135

holmesfsf writes "Creeped out by the Lower Merion School District's remote monitoring of students? Check out the Free Software Foundation's response to the laptop spying scandal and help build a wiki listing of school districts that provide students with laptops, so that the FSF can campaign against mandatory, proprietary laptops."

Comment Re:Diversify! (Score 1) 470

Open Solaris isn't mature as a desktop OS, it doesn't pop into everybody's mind immediately. If it was as widely used as Linux, or had the proven track record of OpentBSD, it might have been mentioned. For now it's relegated to relative obscurity. Hopefully this will change in the next few years, it's always good to have a little more competition.

Submission + - MA company developing a flying car (

inkslinger77 writes: "It might sound like a scene straight out of the Jetsons, but a Massachusetts company is developing a small airplane that can land, fold up its wings and drive down the highway... the company expects the prototype to be completed sometime in 2008 and the first production model to be delivered in 2009. Dietrich said once they're in the manufacturing phase, they'll slowly ramp up to full-scale production by 2011 or 2012. Dietrich noted that they've received advanced orders for 30 to 50 Transitions already."

Submission + - New format successor to JPEG is imminent

Esther Schindler writes: "JPEG has been the standard for photographic images on the Web and in online presentations for 20 years. Now it's up for replacement. Microsoft is making the rounds of the Joint Photographic Experts Group conferences, promoting JPEG XR (extended range). Approval is a long process, but already vendors are beginning to make cameras, camera chips and printers that accommodate the new standard. JPEG XR may have profound implications in Web 2.0 development and change how end users incorporate graphics into daily worklife, says this article.

But wait—Microsoft is making the rounds?!

...they needed to make sure the new standard would truly be open since it came from a source many found suspect. Microsoft, in a move that had many knocking on the gift horse to see if it was hollow, offered the new JPEG-XR (extended range) format to the Joint Photographic Experts Group free of charge. Could this really be true?

"We've been convinced that yes, it is," says Louis Sharpe, JPEG committee member and part of the US delegation to the upcoming meeting in Kobe, Japan.

Wow. Picture that."

Submission + - Skype with video support for Linux in Beta! (

An anonymous reader writes: Skype 2.0 Beta brings the most requested feature to Skype for Linux: video calling. In the past, we have struggled in a world of glass panes and fruits. Forbidden from seeing the world around us. Denied the possibility of showing who we are. But today, our eyes open. We're not afraid to see, and we're not afraid to show ourselves. This is a time of excitement. And a time to share our happiness, our sadness, our anger and our love. For video has arrived to Skype for Linux.

Submission + - Solar powered aircraft breaks record (

BigBadBus writes: "British firm QinetiQ have announced that their Zephyr solar powered aircraft has broken the world record for long duration flight. The flimsy craft made an unnofficial record of 54 hours non-stop flying, but because the flight was an unnounced secret voyage, this record will not stand. A second, 33 hour flight may just claim the record though. Zephyr flies at 58,000 feet."
The Internet

Submission + - Pirate Bay earns 20,000 Euros a day ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: controverisal pro-piracy website the piratebay likes to portray itself as an innocent hobby site that provides a free index without censorship, but recent facts show that the site is earning up to 20,000 Euros per day from its advertising. Taking in money on this scale puts a different slant on the motives behind the Swedish filesharing site, and could open up the runners of the site to prosecution for profiting from copyright infringement.

$298 Wal-Mart PC Has, No Crapware 422

cristarol writes "Wal-Mart has begun selling a $298 PC (Everex IMPACT GC3502). It comes with Windows Vista Home Basic and 2.2, as well as a complete lack of crapware: 'Users accustomed to being bombarded with trialware offers and seeing their would-be pristine Windows desktops littered with shortcuts to AOL and other applications will likely be pleased at their absence from the GC3502.' The machine is targeted at the back-to-school market. The hardware is nothing to write home about: a 1.5GHz Via C7 with 1GB of RAM and integrated graphics, but as Ars points out, it should be more than capable of performing basic tasks." Dell sells a low-end PC through Wal-Mart for $200 more, and one assumes it is loaded with crapware. Anybody know for sure?

Programs Cannot Be Uninstalled In Vista? 469

Corson writes "I am surprised that nobody seems to have mentioned this here yet. Possibly after one of the latest updates in Windows Vista, two strange things happened: first, the Uninstall option is no longer available in the Control Panel when you right-click on older programs (most likely, those installed prior to the update in question, because uninstall works fine for recently installed programs — the Uninstall button is also missing on the toolbar at the top); second, some programs are no longer shown on the applications list in Control Panel (e.g., Yahoo Messenger). A Google search returns quite a few hits on this issue (e.g., one, two, three, and four) but everybody seems to be waiting patiently for a sign from Microsoft. But the company seems to have no clue or they would have fixed it already. I am just curious how many of you are experiencing this nuisance."

Giant Microwave Turns Plastic Back to Oil 555

An anonymous reader writes "From the newscientist article: "Key to GRC's process is a machine that uses 1200 different frequencies within the microwave range, which act on specific hydrocarbon materials. As the material is zapped at the appropriate wavelength, part of the hydrocarbons that make up the plastic and rubber in the material are broken down into diesel oil and combustible gas.""

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