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Submission + - Inside the Electronic Frontier Foundation (

qwerdf writes: Airstrip One wasn’t built in a day, nor will a total police state suddenly appear overnight. But times are changing, the threats to our freedom are coming from every direction, and fighting this battle demands a great deal of persistence and determination. One group firmly on our side is the EFF. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s goal is “defending your rights in the digital world”, and its activities span the full gamut of freedom fighting: providing help with court cases; issuing white papers that explain current threats; running campaigns to spread awareness of various issues; and developing technologies that make our online activities safer from prying eyes. It’s a non-profit, donation-supported organisation based in San Francisco with an impressive staff roster (see, including attorneys, analysts and activists – and generally with a strong pro-free software and pro-GNU/Linux culture.

Read on to find out how the EFF came together, what it has done so far, and how it’s preparing for upcoming battles.

Submission + - Mars Curiosity Rover Shoots Video of Phobos Moon Rising [VIDEO] (

An anonymous reader writes: This movie clip shows Phobos, the larger of the two moons of Mars, passing overhead, as observed by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity in a series of images centered straight overhead starting shortly after sunset. Phobos first appears near the lower center of the view and moves toward the top of the view. The clip runs at accelerated speed; the amount of time covered in it is about 27 minutes

Submission + - CEO of predicts the end of Windows ( 1

whoever57 writes: Marc Benioff, the CEO of predicts that Windows 8 will mark “the end of Windows” and that “Windows is irrelevant.” These claims were made at the Cloudforce show in Manhattan. He states that an exec-level employee at one of his customers does not plan to migrate to Windows 8. He mentions IOS and Android tables as the devices that people want to buy, not traditional computers.

Submission + - The laser-powered bionic eye that gives 576-pixel grayscale vision to the blind (

MrSeb writes: "After a lot of theorizing, posturing, and non-human trials, it looks like bionic eye implants are finally hitting the market — first in Europe, and hopefully soon in the US. These implants can restore sight to completely blind patients — though only if the blindness is caused by a faulty retina, as in macular degeneration (which millions of old people suffer from), diabetic retinopathy, or other degenerative eye diseases. The first of these implants, Argus II developed by Second Sight, is already available in Europe. For around $115,000, you get a 4-hour operation to install an antenna behind your eye, and a special pair of camera-equipped glasses that send signals to the antenna. The second bionic eye implant, the Bio-Retina developed by Nano Retina, is a whole lot more exciting. The Bio-Retina costs less — around the $60,000 mark — and instead of an external camera, the 576-pixel vision-restoring sensor is actually placed inside the eye, on top of the retina. The operation only takes 30 minutes and can be performed under local anesthetic. Once installed, 576 electrodes on the back of the sensor implant themselves into your optic nerve. The best bit, though, is how the the sensor is powered: The Bio-Retina system comes with a standard pair of corrective lenses that are modified so that they can fire a near-infrared laser beam through your iris to the sensor at the back of your eye. On the sensor there is a photovoltaic cell that produces up to three milliwatts — not a lot, but more than enough."
Data Storage

Submission + - OCZ to launch low-cost, triple-cell SSDs (

MrSeb writes: "Flooding in Thailand has spurred discussion of whether or not the natural disaster has created a window of opportunity for SSD manufacturers to break into new markets. OCZ has clearly decided that it has. The company has announced that it plans to introduce new SSDs based on triple-level cell (TLC) technology next year and has signed a contract with SMT Manufacturing to fill “any need in excess of current client forecasts.” TLC NAND has been available for several years but has thus far been mainly deployed in low-cost USB sticks and other forms of removable flash media where performance and endurance are potentially less important than the need for higher capacities. The problem is, TLC is less reliable than multi-level cell tech (used in consumer SSDs), and it's also slower too. In other words, TLC NAND might be closer to HDDs in price — but it'll be almost as slow, too."

Submission + - New source of rare earths? (

gyaku_zuki writes: "As reported in the BBC, a Japanese survey team has discovered 'vast' quantities of rare earths in international waters in the pacific ocean.
The search for alternative sources of these expensive elements (used in common consumer electronics including mobile phones) was intensified recently after a territory dispute with China, who produces more than 90% of the world's rare earths, resulted in China blocking export to Japan."


Submission + - Developer calls Amazon Appstore a "Disaster" (

An anonymous reader writes: The developer of the current #2 Top App on Android Market has written a very interesting article giving six reasons why they decided to pull their game from Amazon Appstore. From the article: "If you are a small indie development team, or possibly even alone, don't bother with Amazon Appstore. Create a great app, publish it on Android Market, and provide great customer support. You will never succeed on Amazon Appstore without a big wallet, or at least an established reputation so that Amazon puts value behind their promises."

Submission + - Linux Desktop Summit Program Announced (

jrepin writes: "The Desktop Summit is a joint conference organized by the GNOME and KDE communities, the two dominant forces behind modern graphical software on free platforms. Over a thousand international participants are expected to attend. The main conference takes place from 6-8 August. The annual membership meetings of GNOME and KDE are scheduled for 9 August, followed by workshops and coding sessions on 10-12 August. The Desktop Summit Team is now pleased to announce this year's program of talks."

Submission + - ClearFoundation soon to release RHEL clone (

pr0f3550r writes: "ClearFoundation is '...Announc[ing] that in conjunction to the release of ClearOS Enterprise 6.0 that [they] will also be releasing a new distribution, ClearOS Core 6.1. This new distribution strives to maintain 100% package compatibility with upstream sources. 100% compatibility means ClearOS Core will also contain all upstream issues and bugs. The only changes from upstream sources will be to remove branding as required.'

ClearOS has previously been based on CentOS."

Submission + - Samsung to launch new mobile E2330 in India (

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung mobile that sells all segment mobile handsets, is now going to launch a lower-end slider mobile in the market. The name of this innovative and gingerbread featured mobile phone is Samsung E2330. This slider phone looks sleek and slim. Samsung E2330 would be a good option for the youths who want to carry style and technology altogether. The price of the new Samsung E2330 is Rs 6,000 in the market. This brand new Samsung device is expected to launch soon in India. The date of launching this mobile is not revealed.

Submission + - China Unicom launches WoPhone Linux platform (

An anonymous reader writes: Another day, another Linux mobile platform launched. The latest flavor hails all the way from China Unicom — Apple's sole iPhone partner in China thanks to its WCDMA network — who's just announced the WoPhone platform to, ironically, "break up the foreign smartphone platform monopoly." Of course, this isn't the first time that a Chinese carrier has pushed out its own OS — TD-SCDMA operator China Mobile already has OPhone, though it's really just a bastardized Android; whereas China Unicom claims that WoPhone's an entirely new OS built around the Linux core. That said, some of WoPhone's UI elements do look awfully familiar.

While we don't expect to see this new OS trickling out to the rest of the world any time soon, a big handful of manufacturers — namely Motorola, Samsung, HTC, TCL, K-Touch, ZTE, Huawei, etc. — and cloud service partners were present at yesterday's launch event to show off the first batch of devices, including the K-Touch U2 pictured above. Head over to ifeng for more hands-on pics.

The Internet

Submission + - US Gov.t Seeking Inputs on IANA

Demerara writes: As a member of ISOC, I just got this circular asking for inputs on an important review of IANA functions. I though it would be useful to broaden it to /.
The email reads: "Dear Chapter Delegates and Members, As you are probably aware, the Government of the United States released its long-awaited Notice of Inquiry on the IANA functions on Friday last week. I'm attaching a pdf version that is easier to read than the Federal Register version on their web site>. The deadline for comments is 31 March 2011, so we need to begin developing our response now. The evolution of the IANA function is an issue of immediate and great interest to all parts of ISOC and our companion organizations. I am seeking views from our membership on this important topic to use as inputs when developing the ISOC response to the NOI. I will also be drawing on the Board discussions of the IANA function that have taken place over the past few years. And finally, I will be coordinating with the other I* organizations. I do not believe we should try to develop a joint response to DoC, but we will want to ensure there are no surprises and, ideally, that there is broad general agreement in what we provide to the decision making process. It is my believe that the US government is sincerely hoping to get a broad range of responses from the US and elsewhere with concrete suggestions for improvement of the way the IANA function is handled. For example, they are hoping to hear clear statements about what this community wants; e.g., whether and why there should be changes to how the .arpa and/or the .int are treated in the contract, what should be the arrangements for the protocol parameters, etc. If the Internet technical community would like to see the US government make changes, we need to participate in this process to build a record of those recommendations. Thus I encourage you to send me your inputs by end of day Friday, 18 March, 2011. The NOI is quite detailed, as you will see. It describes the IANA function, and then goes on to ask questions in six areas. To paraphrase, those are: 1/ Whether the interdependent technical functions performed under the IANA should continue to be treated as interdependent, or if there should be changes to the present grouping? 2/ Recognizing that other Internet technical organizations' policies (e.g., IETF, IAB, RIRs, ccTLDs) impact on the performance of the IANA functions, should those be referred to and specified in the IANA functions contract and how? 3/ Should there be changes in the handling of root zone management requests requests pertaining to ccTLDs to address the concerns of some governments and ccTLD operators? 4/ Are the current performance metrics and reporting by the IANA functions operator adequate, or should there be changes? 5/ Are there improvements that should be made to the IANA functions contract to better address the needs of users of the IANA functions? Here the NOI specifically asks if additional information on the performance and administration of the IANA function would make the process more transparent? 6/ Should additional security considerations or enhancements be included in the requirements in the IANA functions contract? In every case, the NOI requests *specific* information and *specific* suggestions for improvements in the IANA contract. This may be an area where ISOC can contribute to the process in a very positive way. I would especially like to hear from you if you are in some direct way a participant or user of the IANA functions, and if you have any specific experience that indicates a need for improvement or alteration of the contract, and if so, what your specific recommendations would be. That kind of input would improve the depth and credibility of the ISOC response. Of course, as always, you are welcome to make your own direct comments to the process, but I would still very much appreciate hearing about your experiences and views. While I have not prepared text for the submission, in general, I would like to see ISOC explain how important it is to rely on the native Internet institutions to play appropriate roles where their expertise contributes to the smooth functioning of the Internet overall. Thus it is important that the roles of the IETF, IAB, RIRs, and ccTLD operators be recognized in the system, and that there is a need to build international confidence in how the IANA function is operated and administered. That includes the need to be more open, transparent and thus accountable in the administration of the process, to match the openness and transparency provided by the operator's extensive reporting. I also foresee suggesting that the stability of the IANA functions could be improved under different process than the current redrawing and renewing of relatively short term IANA functions contracts. I hope that you will read the full NOI, and I look forward to hearing your views on the questions it asks, your experiences, and your recommendations for improvement. Once again, to make it possible for me to prepare the ISOC input, please send me your inputs before end of day on March 18, 2011 or earlier if possible. Thank you in advance Bill"

Submission + - What is Your Favorite Desktop? (

An anonymous reader writes: KDE still leads, but Ubuntu seems to have given GNOME the impetus and it’s running close on KDE’s heels. Susan Linton's survey reveals some interesting Linux trends.

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