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Submission + - Fiber to the Home: One Local Utility's Triumph (muninetworks.org)

mujadaddy writes: In 2004, I was getting my MS in Telecom Engineering in Lafayette, LA, and the municipal power & water utility, "Lafayette Utility System"/LUS was publicizing a proposal to connect every home in the city with fiber. I and a few friends had some concerns, so two of us went down to LUS. We met with Terry Huval, Director of LUS, a very busy man who found the time to answer all our technical questions about the plan — we were blown away with how competent and forethoughtful they had been. The many, inevitable lawsuits on the road ahead were our, and his, only reservation.

Now, it's a reality.

Wireless Networking

White Space Plan Would Reuse TV Spectrum 150

An anonymous reader writes "A collection of companies including Microsoft, Google and Motorola are teaming up for a new white space wireless network plan. The White Spaces Database Group, as it will be known, plans on formulating a plan to create, govern and maintain a wireless broadband network on abandoned analog television spectrum. When the spectrum is finally vacated in June, the group hopes that system in place which will allow for the creation of an open wireless broadband network which will be accessible by any device. The FCC officially approved keeping the spectrum open back in November, despite staunch opposition from telco firms."
Portables

Submission + - Linux negatively influences sales of netbooks (laptopmag.com) 3

ivoras writes: "Interview with MSI's director of U.S. Sales Andy Tung has this interesting snippet: "We have done a lot of studies on the return rates and haven't really talked about it much until now. Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don't know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it's not what they are used to. They don't want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.""
Portables

"Netbooks" Move Up In Notebook Rankings 139

Ian Lamont writes "For the first time, a list of popular notebook reviews shows three 'netbooks' in the top 10. The netbooks use Intel's Atom processor. Notebookreview.com's editor says there has never been more than one netbook in its monthly ratings. The reason for the netbooks' sudden popularity no doubt relates to the price and basic functionality, but there's a catch. Despite calling Atom a 'high-performance' chip, Intel cautions people not to confuse netbooks with notebooks, as netbooks will be unable to take on video editing or other processor-intensive tasks. This leads to the question of how netbooks will be able to handle demanding Web apps — or whether Web apps will have to be slimmed down to accommodate millions of netbook owners."
Patents

Submission + - China patents rise 33%

chrb writes: The BBC reports that newly released figures for 2005 show a sharp rise in Chinese patents. The number of patents issued by China is now third highest in the world, after Japan and the US.
Operating Systems

Submission + - 30 things I've learned from using Linux ... (zdnet.com)

BBQ-buster writes: ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has an interesting article called "30 things I've learned from using Linux ..." where a long-time Windows user discusses some of the things that he's learned from dabbling with Linux for a few months.

1. That I don't have to pay money to get my hands on a credible operating system.
2. There are far more Linux distros available that I have time to try them out.
3. Switching to Linux does not mean trouble-free computing.
4. Whenever you ask a Linux user which is the best distro, invariably the answer you'll get is the name of the distro that they're using.
5. In my opinion, the best Linux distro is Ubuntu.
6. No matter how much I like a GUI, and no matter how lazy years of using Windows made me, there's a lot to be said for using a command line.


Overall it's a very positive Linux article that should inspire others to give Linux a go.

NASA

Submission + - Blogger finds Y2K bug in NASA global warming study 11

An anonymous reader writes: According to the article at http://www.dailytech.com/Blogger+finds+Y2K+bug+in+ NASA+Climate+Data/article8383.htm a blogger has discovered a Y2K bug in a NASA climate study by the same writer who accused the Bush administration of trying to censor him on the issue of global warming. The authors have acknowledged the problem and released corrected data. Now the study shows the warmest year on record as being 1934, not 1998 as previously reported in the media. In fact, the corrected study shows that half of the 10 warmest years on record occurred before World War II.
Education

Submission + - Discouraging Students from Taking Math

Coryoth writes: "Following on from a previous story about UK schools encouraging students to drop mathematics, an article in The Age accuses Australian schools of much the same. The claim is that Australian schools are actively discouraging students from taking upper level math courses to boost their academic results on school league tables. How widespread is this phenomenon? Are schools taking similar measures in the US and Canada?"

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