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'Gamercize' Cardio at Our Desk 176

Gustoman writes "A new device that hit the market this week may not be able to help you put in fewer hours in the office, but it can help you get a good cardio workout while you're troubleshooting that laptop or reviewing that spreadsheet. Gamercize, a British company, this week launched the GZ PC-Sport & Power Steppe, which is designed to fit underneath a standard-sized desk so someone can sit at their computer or talk on the telephone while using the stepper. Gamercize officials note that the machine is not just a small version of a StairMaster machine that you'd find at the gym. The machine can be hooked up to a keyboard or mouse through a USB port. The user can set it up so they can use the stepper whenever they want, or they can prevent their keyboard or mouse from working unless they're exercising. There are five settings on the under-desk step machine. The lowest setting lets workers simply exercise their legs at an easy pace whenever they want. At the top level, the work out is much harder and the user must exercise to keep his or her keyboard or mouse working. At the lowest setting, a user could burn 100 to 200 calories an hour. At the top level, it is possible to burn as many as 500 calories an hour. (That's like burning off the equivalent of an entire milk shake.)"

Feed Webcasting Non-RIAA Music In Protest May Only Make The RIAA Wealthier (techdirt.com)

Following the latest webcasting rates that will likely put many webcasters out of business, one suggestion was that webcasters should simply play non-RIAA music. In theory this would help in multiple ways -- giving those independent musicians more publicity while avoiding the draconian webcasting rates. In practice... however, that won't work. Slashdot points us to an article dissecting the fine print, where you'll discover that SoundExchange, which is the RIAA's collection body, actually gets to collect money for non-RIAA members as well. In other words, even for independent artists who don't want webcasters to have to pay, webcasters will still need to pay up.

The story actually gets even worse. As we noted a few years ago, part of the deal is that SoundExchange and the RIAA get to keep any unclaimed money for themselves. Even better, SoundExchange can simply pretend not to be able to find the musicians (as they've done with a ton of big name musicians in the past). So, chances are, many independent artists have no idea that SoundExchange is hanging onto a bunch of money they didn't even want collected and there's almost no chance they'll claim it -- meaning that if you try to avoid the webcasting rates by playing non-RIAA music, there's a good chance you're actually enriching the RIAA even more.

Just for fun, why don't we compare two situations? The RIAA tells people that simply listening to music without paying for it is a terrible crime that people should be punished for. Yet... the RIAA getting money for non-RIAA music and not paying the deserving artists that money is perfectly legal? Damn, the RIAA lobbyists are good.
User Journal

Journal SPAM: U.S. balks at new climate report 2

The United States and China want to amend a major report by U.N.-sponsored climate researchers to play down its conclusion that quick, affordable action can limit the worst effects of global warming, according to documents reviewed Monday by The Associated Press.

Data Storage

Seagate Plans 37.5TB HDD Within Matter of Years 395

Ralph_19 writes "Wired visited Seagate's R&D labs and learned we can expect 3.5-inch 300-terabit hard drives within a matter of years. Currently Seagate is using perpendicular recording but in the next decade we can expect heat-assisted magnetic recording (HARM), which will boost storage densities to as much as 50 terabits per square inch. The technology allows a smaller number of grains to be used for each bit of data, taking advantage of high-stability magnetic compounds such as iron platinum." In the meantime, Hitachi is shipping a 1 TB HDD sometime this year. It is expected to retail for $399.

IBM's New Processors To Exceed 5Ghz 250

Jordin Normisky writes to mention the news, via ZDNet Asia, that IBM's new Power6 processor will be unveiled next month at a conference in San Francisco. They're also planning to announce a second-generation Cell, both of which are expected to run faster than 5GHz. From the article: "In addition, the [Power6] chip 'consumes under 100 watts in power-sensitive applications,' a power range comparable to mainstream 95-watt AMD Opteron chips and 80-watt Intel Xeon chips. Power6 has 700 million transistors and measures 341 square millimeters, according to the program. The smaller that a chip's surface area is, the more that can be carved out of a single silicon wafer, reducing per-chip manufacturing costs and therefore making a computer more competitive. Power6, like the second-generation Cell, is built with a manufacturing process with 65-nanometer circuitry elements, letting more electronics be squeezed onto a given surface area. "

SFLC Argues On Same Side As Microsoft 59

MCRocker writes in with news that, while a few weeks old, didn't get a lot of traction before the holidays. The Software Freedom Law Center is one of the staunchest defenders of FOSS out there. The SFLC is arguing on the same side as Microsoft in a patent case before the Supreme Court. The case, "Microsoft vs. AT&T," turns on whether U.S. patents should apply to software that is copied and distributed overseas. Groklaw has more nitty-gritty details. In the Linux-Watch article, the SFLC's legal director, Daniel Ravicher, is quoted: "I expect many people will be surprised that the Software Freedom Law Center has filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of Microsoft. In this specific case, Microsoft and SFLC are both supporting the position that U.S. software patents have no right to cover activity outside of the United States, especially in places that have specifically rejected software patents."

Bluetooth Lawsuit 87

Krish writes "The Seattle Times reports that a local Washington state group is suing cellphone makers for patent infringement on bluetooth devices. Research conducted by a University of Washington undergraduate more than a decade ago has become the subject of a lawsuit filed against some of the largest cellphone manufacturers in the world. The suit claims that consumer electronics giant Matsushita and its Panasonic unit, as well as Samsung and Nokia, are infringing on four patents sold under the 'Bluetooth' name."
The Internet

UK Teachers Say Censor The Internet 463

Marlow the Irelander writes "The BBC is reporting that in response to a YouTube video of a schoolboy breaking his teacher's window (yes, this is a video), NASUWT, one of the teaching unions in the UK, is calling for legislation to control the internet. Could Britain, rather than the US, be the main front of the battle against censorship in 2007?" From the article: "Unfortunately, any yob or vandal can now have their 15 minutes of fame, aided and abetted by readily accessible technology and irresponsible internet sites which enable such behaviour to be glorified. [The general secretary of the union] said the union supported a zero tolerance approach in schools to pupils who used technology to abuse and undermine teachers, and called for more rigorous legislative control of internet sites which gave them license."

Ionic Winds Chilling Your Computer 89

Iddo Genuth writes to mention The Future of Things online magazine is reporting that Kronos Advanced Technologies in cooperation with Intel and the University of Washington claims to have developed a new type of ultra-thin, silent cooling technology for processors. The piece covers many of the cooling technologies currently available, how their new corona discharge cooler works, and a short interview with several of the key team members.

HP's Windows Bundle Trouble 697

narramissic writes "A French consumer group has filed 3 lawsuits against HP, saying the company's practice of selling consumer PCs with Windows pre-installed violates a French law that 'prohibits linking the functionality of a product to another product' — not to mention that consumers wind up paying for an unwanted OS. For its part, HP contends that it is not in violation of the law because the OS is integral to the PC. 'The PC without an OS is not a product because it doesn't work,' said Alain Spitzmuller, legal affairs director for HP France. 'We believe the market is for products that work.'"

Comment Re:Now is a great time to switch to mutt (Score 1) 177

mutt is more powerful than Pine, vastly more so for those of use who learn to configure it. It's my primary mailer, Thunderbird my sencondary. But,

Pine is user friendly. It's doesn't have a GUI, but still has a menu system that makes it almost as user friendly as a GUI mailer. To many people I know, it is invaluable. It's what works without learning a bunch of keystrokes, whether you need to log in from a foreign remote Windows machine (no X, don't want to set up IMAP) to read mail, or if you just want a lightweight mailer.

I'll be looking for a replacement, possibly Alpine, as suggested in this thread, when it goes beta, whereas I'll reserve the mutt recommendation to power-users.

London 2006, Meet London 1984 422

Draape writes "Shoreditch TV is an experiment TV channel beaming live footage from the street into people's homes. According to the Telegraph U.K. television will broadcast from 400 surveillance cameras on the streets, into people's homes. For now they are only showing it to 22,000 homes, but next year they plan on going national with the 'show'. They fly under the flag 'fighting crime from the sofa'."

Lucent Sues Microsoft, Wants All 360s Recalled 475

robyannetta writes "Lucent has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, demanding that they pull all Xbox 360s from the market. Lucent claims that Microsoft has violated their MPEG2 patents which they claim they patented in 1993." While it's unlikely console will be pulled from shelves, it's one way to generate some publicity.

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