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Submission + - SpaceX recovers a rocket -- a major step toward global Internet connectivity

lpress writes: !n the 1990s Bill Gates and partners in a company called Teledesic planned to launch a constellation of satellites to provide global Internet connectivity. They failed, but twenty years later, two companies — SpaceX and OneWeb — are trying to do the same thing using modern rocket and electronic technology. SpaceX passed a significant milestone yesterday by recovering a $60 million rocket after soft-landing it on a barge at sea. Reuse of first stage rockets will significanltly cut the cost of putting satellite/routers into orbit.

Submission + - The Tesla Model 3 reminds me of the first Macintosh

lpress writes: The Mac and the Tesla Model 3 have a lot in common. Both came out at the just the right time — not too early and not too late. The Mac was not the first computer with a graphical user interface and the Model 3 was not the first electric car, but their predecessors were niche products. The Mac and Model 3 came out just as the technology had progressed to the point to enable them to appeal to the mainstream. The development of both was bankrolled by previous products, which were starting to fade, and both were based on comprehensive, proprietary designs. But Apple fights to protect its inventions while Tesla has released its patents to encourage other manufacturers to collaborate in an effort to move away from gasoline-powered cars.

Submission + - Internet-related announcements around President Obama's trip to Cuba

lpress writes: A There were regulatory changes and a number of companies made announements just before and during the President's trip. Google's broadband hotspot got a lot of hype, but new regulations and financial services, support for university exchange programs and Cisco's Networking Academy at a leading computer science university are more important.

Submission + - Sci-Hub, a site with open and pirated scientific papers

lpress writes: Sci-Hub is a Russian site that seeks to remove barriers to science by providing access to pirated copies of scientific papers. I don't feel guilty using Sci-Hub, but I would feel (a little) guilty about pirating Star Wars. Should/could there be a fair-use copyright exemtion for scientific publication?

Submission + - Citizen journalism 1.0 -- before the Twitter revolution

lpress writes: Network-based citizen journalism began on Usenet, long before today's social media. There was sparse reporting on the 1989 Tienanmen Square protests, but coverage of the 1991 Soviet Coup attempt was relatively widespread and significant within and outside of Russia. Usenet was the only free medium during the coup attempt; which occurred in August, 1991, the month the first experimental Web server went online. An archive of the coup-attempt traffic is online for historians.

Submission + - Sci-Hub, a site with open and pirated scientific papers 1

lpress writes: Sci-Hub is a Russian site that seeks to remove barriers to science by providing access to pirated copies of scientific papers. It was established in 2011 by Russian neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who could not afford papers she needed for her research and it now claims to have links to 48 million pirated and open papers. I tried it out and found some papers and not others, but it provides an alternative for researchers who cannot afford access to paid journals. After visiting this site, one cannot help thinking of the case of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide as a result of prosecution for his attempt to free scientific literature.

Submission + - The telecommunication ball is now in Cuba's court

lpress writes: The FCC dropped Cuba from its exclusion list on January 25, so there are now no restrictions on US telecom company dealings with ETECSA, the Cuban government telecommunication monopoly, or any other Cuban organization. Last week the US sent our second high-level telecommunication delegation to Cuba. The delegates were FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and other government officials plus representatives of Cisco, Comcast and Ericsson. Some of the news — there are at least 6 proposals for an undersea cable between Havana and Florida; Cisco has proposed a Network Academy at Cuba's leading computer science university (Chinese infrastructure dominates today); 4G mobile connectivity was discussed and Google was conspicuously absent. The time for Cuba to act is now — while President Obama is still in office.

Submission + - Cuba's nationwide sneakernet -- a model for other developing nations?

lpress writes: Cuba has little Internet infrastructure, but they have a well-organized sneaker net called El Paquete Semanal (the weekly packet). El Paquete distributes a terabyte of digital entertainment nationwide every week using portable drives. The system is reliable and the organization is said to be Cuba's largest private employer, but it is technically illegal and the content is pirated. A legitimatized Paquete would save scarce Internet resources for other applications. El Paquete is also a possible model for other developing nations.

Submission + - The Los Angeles startup scene

lpress writes: Los Angles claims to be the third leading tech center in the US, after New York and Silicon Valley. Greater Los Angeles is home to over 1,099 self-described startups and an ecosystem of organizations that support them — accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, investors, maker spaces and business and technical consultants. It's also reminiscent of the PC startup days.

Submission + - Is .CO the new .COM?

lpress writes: It is more likely that a name will be available in the .CO domain than in .COM. Colombia is emerging from decades of political violence and hopes to get some revenue and polish their image a bit by promoting the .CO domain.

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