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Portables (Apple)

Submission + - The freedom to use crap (

Stu Charlton writes: "The FSF has claimed five reasons to avoid the iPhone 3G in favour of the OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner. Is the FSF afraid of the iPhone because it shows that proprietary software development still works? Does the iPhone represent a triumph of the cathedral over the bazaar? This essay discusses whether freedom really is at stake when choosing the iPhone, and whether open source can really claim to be superior to proprietary development."
Operating Systems

Should the Linux Desktop Be "Pure?" 665

jammag writes "According to Matt Hartley, many Linux desktop users don't like to admit that there's scads of closed source code commonly used with the Linux desktop. Hartley points to examples like proprietary drivers, the popularity of Skype among Linux users (in preference to the open source Ekiga), and the use of Wine. He concludes that, hey, if the code works, use it — a stance that won't sit well with purists. But his article raises the question: is it better to embrace some closed source fixes, and so create a larger user base, or to remain pure, and keep Linux for the specialists?"
The Internet

Time Warner Cable to Test Tiered Bandwidth Caps 591

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "According to a leaked internal memo, Time Warner Cable is testing out tiered bandwidth caps in their Beaumont, TX division as a way to fairly balance the needs of heavy users against the limited amount of shared bandwidth cable can provide. The plan is to offer various service tiers with bandwidth fees for overuse, as well as a bandwidth meter customers can use to help them stay within their allotment. If it works out, they will consider a nation-wide rollout. Interestingly, the memo also claims that 5% of subscribers use over 50% of the total network bandwidth."

Submission + - Geneticists Discover a Way to Extend Lifespans (

DirectedImpact writes: In an amazing development, scientists at the University of Southern California have announced that they've extended the lifespan of yeast bacteria tenfold — and the recipe they used to do it might easily translate into humans. It involves tinkering with two genes, and cutting down your calorie intake. Tests have already started on people in Ecuador.

Researchers Create Beating Heart In Lab 258

Sunday Scientist writes "Minnesota researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. In a process called whole organ decellularization, they grew functioning heart tissue by using dead rat and pig hearts as a sort of flesh matrix, and reseeding them with a mixture of live cells. The goal is to grow replacement parts, using their own stem cells, for people born with defective tickers or experiencing heart failure."

Submission + - Is the HD DVD Format Dead?

Reservoir Hill writes: "Warner Brothers announced that it will release high-definition DVDs exclusively in Sony's Blu-ray format, dealing a big blow to Toshiba's rival HD DVD technology. Warner Brothers is Hollywood's biggest seller of DVDs, representing about 18 to 20 percent of sales in the United States and was one of the few studios backing both formats. "A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry," said Kevin Tsujihara, President of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Saul Hansell at the NY Times says he wouldn't spend money on an HD DVD player until this all sorts out and expects many consumers to return their Christmas HD DVD players and exchange them for Blu-ray devices."

Submission + - IPv6: coming to a root server near you (

BlueMerle writes: Ready or not, here comes IPv6!!

Just before year's end, ICANN/IANA sent out a short message saying that "on 4 February 2008, IANA will add AAAA records for the IPv6 addresses of the four root servers whose operators have requested it."
Are you ready?


Submission + - A History Lesson of Windows Adoption Rates ( 3

eldavojohn writes: "Windows Vista is a huge flop, right? I mean, it was the the most disappointing product last year so it must have been pretty bad. Well, as some people are starting to point out, it's adoption rates are actually better than those of Windows XP. I was pretty surprised to read that but in the past year about 15 percent of Windows users have switched to Vista while XP had around 13-14 percent in the first year. Indeed, you can find the same articles for XP that we find for Vista today about a slow adoption rate. But perhaps that's actually a stellar adoption rate for a commercial upgrade? Perhaps this is a testament of Microsoft's legacy support? Either way, there are some people out there that see Vista in a different light."

Most Consumers Sitting Out The High-Def War 681

The New York Times notes that, despite the increasing variety of programs on the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats, most US consumers are staying out of the DVD format war. This is a wise decision, the article states, because the two formats are essentially at a stalemate. "The two camps are victims of their own earlier success with DVD. The standard DVDs offered a quantum leap in quality from the picture and sound of VHS videotape, and for many that was more than adequate. In addition, DVD players that can convert images to near high-definition quality can be found for under $100, hundreds less than a true high-definition DVD player, further reducing the urgency to upgrade to one of the new formats."

RIAA Not Suing Over CD Ripping, Still Calling Rips 'Unauthorized' 175

An Engadget article notes that the Washington Post RIAA article we discussed earlier today may have been poorly phrased. The original article implied that the Association's suit stemmed from the music ripping. As it actually stands the defendant isn't being sued over CD ripping, but for placing files in a shared directory. Engadget notes that the difference here is that the RIAA is deliberately describing ripped MP3 backups as 'unauthorized copies' ... "something it's been doing quietly for a while, but now it looks like the gloves are off. While there's a pretty good argument for the legality of ripping under the market factor of fair use, it's never actually been ruled as such by a judge -- so paradoxically, the RIAA might be shooting itself in the foot here."

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