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Submission + - Building a new spy-proof Internet - the Edge Net (

pieterh writes: The Edge Net lives safely at the edge of the Internet, on our smart phones. It uses mobile WiFi hotspots to create "cells" for exchanging news and content. Cells talk to cells, asynchronously, covering neighborhoods, and cities. The Edge Net doesn't exist yet. This project is about building it. The fundraiser project raised $1,700 in its first day.

Comment Re:Warranty? (Score 2) 529

of my first 2 CFLs (23W Philips, incidentally) one still works after ~ 6 years; I've moved 4 times since I bought those (yeah, I actually took my light bulbs with me, they were worth about 10 beers each); one of them died due to being used in the bathroom (went through a lot of power cycles)

Right now, I have the remaining one in a rather low usage area (kitchen, rarely used at night), and for the room I spend most of the time in I have some no-name Chinese thing I bought 2 years ago from Mega Image; it eats 13 W, was 1/4 of the price of my older Philips bulbs and takes about 10 minutes to reach full brightness, but it emits about the same amount of light when it does. It was ~2.2 USD.

When LED lights can beat that price, I'll be interested. Right now, both commercial offerings and DIY are too damn expensive for my taste.


Submission + - U.S. in danger of losing earth-observing satellite capability (

crazyjj writes: As reported in Wired, a recent National Research Council report indicates a growing concern for NASA, the NOAA, and USGS. While there are currently 22 Earth-observing satellites in orbit, this number is expected to drop to as low as six by the year 2020. The U.S. relies on this network of satellites for weather forecasting, climate change data, and important geologic and oceanographic information.

As with most things space and NASA these days, the root cause is funding cuts. The program to maintain this network of satellites was funded at $2 billion as recently as 2002, but has since been scaled back to $1.3 billion at present, with only two replacement satellites having definite launch dates.


Submission + - Can You Quit Google? (

itwbennett writes: "Quitting Google isn't easy, but if you value your privacy, it might be well worth doing. Tom Henderson spent 7 days freeing himself from Google's tentacles. Here's how he did it, starting with purging Google's traces from your browser, computer, and phone, and then finding alternatives for all those services he'd come to rely on."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How the Syrian Games Industry Crumbled Under Sanctions and Violence (

Fluffeh writes: "Syria's games industry now looks like just another collateral casualty of dictator Bashar Al-Assad's struggle to hold power. "Life for Syrian game developers has never been better," joked Falafel Games founder Radwan Kasmiya, "You can test the action on the streets and get back to your desktop to script it on your keyboard." Any momentum Syria may have been building as a regional game development hub slowed considerably in 2004, when then-US President George W. Bush levied economic sanctions against the country. Under the sanctions, Syria's game developers found themselves cut off from investment money they needed to grow, as well as from other relationships that were just as important as cash. "Any [closure of opportunity] is devastating to a budding games company as global partnerships are completely hindered," said Rawan Sha'ban of the Jordanian game development company Quirkat. "Even at the simplest infrastructure level, game development engines [from the US] cannot be purchased in a sanctioned country.""

Submission + - What Various Studies Really Reveal About File-Sharing (

Dangerous_Minds writes: Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has an interesting look at file-sharing. It all started with a review of a Phoenix study that was used to promote SOPA. Wilson says that the study was long on wild claims and short on fact. While most writers would simply criticize the study and move on, Wilson took it a step further and looked in to what file-sharing studies have really been saying throughout the years. What he found was an impressive 20 studies which 19 wasn't previously covered. He launched a large series detailing what these studies have to say on file-sharing. The first study suggests that file-sharing litigation was a failure. The second study said that p2p has no effect on music sales. The third study found that the RIAA suppresses innovation. The fourth study says that the MPAA has simply been trying to preserve its oligopoly. The fifth study says that even when one uses the methodology of one download means one lost sale, the losses amount to less than $2 per album. The studies, so far, are being posted on a daily basis and are certainly worth the read.

Comment in other words... (Score 1) 312

Stupidity tax: we collects it!

now seriously, the parent is right: somehow, some (a lot of?) people have lost something that is a very useful evolutionary trait: skepticism; for most of our fellow mammals, the lack of it usually means an early death (think mouse who eats poisoned food or walks into a trap without sniffing around, think the La Brea pits, think predator trying to bite more than it can chew)

Unfortunately for our species, these things most of the time only cost some discomfort (money lost), and are not life endangering; methinks we would have a much saner world if the latter were the case.

Comment Re:Don't see the problem. (Score 2, Interesting) 572

this is (slowly) changing, as more and more people can afford high quality cameras and lenses; while most of them will be just as crappy a photographer as before, some are bound to out-talent (and eventually outnumber) the so-called "pros"

and some of those who are really good are bound to do it as a means of expressing themselves (giving the results away for fame - getting laid being the ultimate purpose :P) rather than as a means to make a$$loads of money (which only happens to a handful of high end photographers, anyway, the rest are left simmering in their own mediocrity and decrying the state of the industry being ruined by those pesky amateurs)

Comment Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (Score 1) 842

I'm rather sure that if religious types would keep their religion for themselves and contain their own wackos nobody would have a problem with them.

But when:

  • my kids - if I'll ever manage to have any - will have to study christian orthodox religion in school and learn that if they don't say their prayers they'll get hit by a car - this being in a country that's supposedly secular, mind you
  • the education minister says "we don't want to raise godless robots"
  • a senator says the atheists are dangerous
  • the prime minister is consulting with the head of the church whether to uncriminalise prostitution or not (I'll leave you to guess the result), and about the definition of marriage (ended up with "union between man and woman")
  • some other MPs gather a crowd to protest against a (non-public) lesbians' meeting (I dislike the attention whores' parades, but a private, no-media, event? wtf?) - and they're from the governing party
  • a nation-wide HPV vaccination attempt has failed due to religious wackos spreading FUD
  • religious fundamentalists have monopolised the discution about RFID passports and turned it into "omg they'll brand us with the number 666" crap, so people who have reasonable complaints about this can't get their voice heard any more
  • this year's budget gives money for 806 new churches, 242 schools, 36 hospitals, 37 cultural centres

it starts to become annoying. really annoying.

Comment Re:HTTPS anyone? (Score 1) 197

OK, the source & destination IP will be known by the "bad guys", but everything else is encrypted. The old excuse of "it takes too much CPU" was valid...back in the 1990s, but no longer. C'mon people! HTTPS *everywhere*!

not very likely, taking into account that browsers have been waging war against self-signed/free certificates for a while and the "warnings" are getting worse with every release (I, a geek, had a hard time finding the tiny "add an exception" in Firesloth^H^H^H^H^Hfox 3, and found it impossible to explain over the phone how to do it to someone not so computer literate)

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