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United States

Submission + - Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

Toygar Ozturk writes: From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.

Submission + - Buy a zero-G flight with Stephen Hawking

invader_allan writes: A charitable organization, starlight starbright, will be receiving the proceeds from an auction to accompany Stephen Hawking on his zero-G flight. From the auction: "You and a guest can fly weightless with Prof. Stephen Hawking on The ZERO-G Experience(TM)! The flight will take off from the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Central Florida on April 26, 2007. The package will also include a three night stay at the JW Marriott Hotel Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida, from April 24-April 27!"

Submission + - Bank of America Makes Money Off of Your Prudence

bizzynut writes: Bank of America credit card customers recently received a notice in snail mail about a new higher minimum finance charge. Customers who don't want to pay the higher fee are welcome to opt out... all they need to do is send a letter including their ENTIRE CREDIT NUMBER to a P.O. box somewhere in Delaware. The notice from the bank simply identifies the recipient as "customer" and includes the last four digits of your credit card number (something that can be found on a receipt you dropped).

A letter like this arriving in your email inbox would set off an alarm. You would throw it away without a second thought. Throw this letter away, though, and you are actually agreeing to a needlessly high finance charge.

How can Bank of America, an organization that goes to great lengths to ensure your online security, stoop to taking advantage of your due care regarding your credit card information in order to make an extra buck?

Submission + - An open letter to Steve Jobs: Drop DRM in iTunes.

Max Romantschuk writes: "In the wake of the recent EU stance on digital music and consumer lock-in, political pressure finally seems to be building up against DRM. Steve Jobs even claimed that he prefers DRM-free music. The EFF's DefectiveByDesign.org campaign has written an open letter to Steve Jobs. This excerpt pretty much sums it up: "It has been three weeks now since you published your pledge to drop DRM, and there have been many responses from commentators who have outlined actions you could take to back up your words. The fact that you have not taken any action leads us to ask the question: How genuine is your pledge?"

Help the EFF fight DRM. Sign the letter and let Mr Reality Distortion Field know that you care about DRM-free music."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Record for Microwaved CDs?

JAB Creations writes: "Any geek with balls has stuck a CD or two in their microwave but the question remains: what is the record? What would happen if you stuffed several hundred CDs in to that microwave? Not that I'm suggesting anyone do this at home (try it at work instead) but I'm simply curious about what it would look like, how big of a bang if any it would produce, and how many towns it might potentially wipe off the map?"

Submission + - Hands On: The $100 Laptop

Paul Stamatiou writes: "I got my hands on the second release of the $100 One Laptop per Child laptop and wrote a review complete with pictures. It runs a custom version of Fedora Core 6 complete with an Xulrunner-based browser and an impressive 7.5-inch LCD sporting a resolution of 1200×900 with the ability to go monochromatic in sunlight. Other hardware features include a VGA webcam, 802.11b/g wireless, 512MB flash storage, 128MB DDR266 system RAM and a 366MHz AMD Geode CPU."
The Internet

Submission + - Global Warming makes data centers "green"!

Anonymous Coward writes: "Global Warming, an inconvenient truth, two oscars won!
But what does the datacenter-operators do against global warming and the oil-peak?

There are so many possibilities: Deep Lake Water Cooling like in Toronto, adsorber-cooling, flywheel/hydrogen-UPS, more efficiency of the hardware, more efficient software, no Vista, better power supplies like Google does.
The zero-energy data-center is no longer a vision, it needs only to be built.
http://www.ecologee.net/ The wiki for environmental friendly IT and Hosting with green power, has all this information and more."

Submission + - Are 3D printers The Next Big Thing (tm)?

An anonymous reader writes: Charcoal Design writes

In the last 25 years we have seen a number of key technologies emerge that have revolutionised how we work, play and interact with each other. Could these innovations be part of a grander design? And if so, what's the next piece in the puzzle...?
The answer it seems is 3D printing technology. In the article they suggest that the major technological successes of the last two decades — computers, mobile phones and MP3 players (digital cameras apparently didn't make the list) — have shown a trend towards allowing consumers free (as in freedom) access to information, but the only remaining stumbling block is the fact that we must still access that information via proprietary hardware.

People have traditionally endured unsatisfactory products and services because the barriers to using or supplying their own alternatives are too great.
They argue that bespoke manufacturing services and 3D printing technology have the power to change that by allowing consumers to manufacture for themselves the full-featured, DRM-free hardware that the patent-encumbered, RIAA-pandering big-name manufacturers are not willing or able to give them.

Hardware designers won't be able to rest on their laurels with a product — only constant, breakneck innovation will allow commercial organisations to compete against the tide of freeware and open-source copycat products. Some companies won't be able to do this and will fold, but others will thrive and the consumer only stands to benefit in the end.
And apparently, the technology to do this is not so far off as we might have imagined.

Submission + - AMD: Intel Destroyed Evidence in Antitrust Case

Marcus Yam writes: "In an unpublished statement to the U.S. District Court of Delaware, AMD alleges Intel allowed the destruction of evidence in pending antitrust litigation. According to the opening letter of the AMD statement, 'Through what appears to be a combination of gross communication failures, an ill-conceived plan of document retention and lackluster oversight by outside counsel, Intel has apparently allowed evidence to be destroyed.'"

Submission + - History of Apple vs. Beatles Lawsuits

An anonymous reader writes: Apple and the Beatles have been suing each other for almost thirty years. The Beatles first filed suit in 1978, only two years after Apple was incorporated. Thirty years later, Apple finally won and has rights to use the 'Apple' name in its businesses, including iTunes and the iPod. Read about how the Beatles attempted to kill the 'Apple' name.

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The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.