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Comment Dodgy dealings (Score 5, Informative) 292

This article puts quite a different spin on it, From the article: "He said he had contacted the agents to offer to take clones of the items to the United States Embassy only to find they had already sent the clones to the US." Sounds like the NZ cops were going to give it to the FBI but the FBI wasn't waiting from permission anyway.

Submission + - Is RIM's Centralized Network Model Broken? (

wiredmikey writes: Is RIM’s centralized network model broken? Andrew Jaquith thinks so, and provides an interesting analysis on why RIM should move to a decentralized model.

After two long outages this month, many believe that the end is drawing near for Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry.

But Is Research In Motion in trouble? Financially, RIM continues to be a healthy company, throwing off billions in profit each year. But if doesn't “think different” about its network strategy, its customers may think different about their choice of handset vendor, Jaquith argues.

Jaquith says that RIM should dismantle its proprietary centralized delivery network, something that has been a key strength for the company.

The BlackBerry was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager on steroids. Back then, TCP/IP over GSM (and other networks) was just a pipe dream. RIM implemented a system by which all traffic is collected from the mobile networks of the sender, funneled through RIM servers and then routed back onto the recipient’s mobile networks and pushed to the handset.

By moving to a decentralized model for its BlackBerry network, (1) the Internet provides the routing and (2) centralized communications monitoring is much more difficult.

That is what Microsoft and Apple, in essence, do today because the devices connect directly to company servers [via commodity carrier networks] rather than through a single service provider.

Data plans that provide TCP/IP over wireless carrier networks are now ubiquitous, nullifying a key RIM advantage. Does BlackBerry need to rethink its network model to effectively compete moving forward?

Comment Combination of techs (Score 2, Interesting) 105

I wonder if it would be possible to co-opt the tech into what are the fleshy pads of the fingers and palms in a human hand, kind of a mini version of the one described. Then you would be able to use it to increase grip but maintain the familiar hand structure; also might be able to use the measurement of the degree of vacuum to detect when to stop exerting the closing force of the 'fingers'. Would be able to help with the 'can crush as steel girder but can't pick up an egg' issue.

Submission + - Good collaboration tool for researchers?

An anonymous reader writes: I have been asked to look at the options for a collaboration tool for a university based medical research group and am hoping to tap the collective wisdom for direction. The research collaborative is composed of a number of separate groups each with a cluster of researchers and post-grad students (n= 5 — 10 per group) and a system is required that allows some project management as well as collaborative work. I have looked at some of the more well known products (Central Desktop, Basecamp) however I am looking for suggestions from fellow slashdotters as to features they have found useful (particularly in a research setting) and any suggestions as to what packages to assess.

I would be particularly interested in features that at the outset seemed to be the bee's knees but didn't prove to be useful and on the flip size features that turned out to be the pooches' plums and were unexpectedly useful to research teams.

Submission + - Best way to archive emails for later searching 1

An anonymous reader writes: I have kept every every email I have ever sent or received since 1990 with the exception of junk mail (though I kept a lot of that as well).

I have migrated my emails faithfully from Unix mail, to Eudora, to Outlook, to Thunderbird and Entourage, though I have left much of the older stuff in Outlook PST files. To make my life easier I would now like to merge all the emails back into a single searchable archive — just because I can.

But there are a few problems:

a) Moving them between email systems is SLOW, while the data is only a few GB it is hundred of thousands of emails and all of the email systems I have tried take forever to process the data.

b) Some email systems (i.e. outlook) become very sluggish when their database goes over a certain size

c) I don't want to leave them in a proprietary database as within a few years the format becomes unsupported by the current generation of the software

d) I would like to be able to search the full text, keep the attachments, view HTML emails correctly and follow email chains

e) Because I use multiple OS's I would prefer platform independence

f) Since I hope to maintain and add emails for the foreseeable future I would like to use some form of open standard

So what would you recommend?

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