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Submission + - Flytech Dragonfly ships, Radio Shack has it

robotsrule writes: "WowWee's wing flapping flying insect robot is now available on Radio Shack's web site for online ordering. The $49 Flytech Dragonfly is currently exclusive to them although reports indicate that in a month shipping may open up to other retailers. Except for a tiny propeller on its tail that is used primarily for trim, the Flytech Dragonfly gets its power from flapping its wings. It is based on a design made by Sean Frawley, who at the time was a high school student and was making and selling rubber-band powered Ornithopters with a friend through their own fledgling business. Sean recently graduated Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. and is now a project manager for WowWee."

Submission + - University professor chastised for using Tor

Irongeek_ADC writes: "As reported in the The Chronicle of Higher Education, University IT "professionals" came knocking on Professor Censarini's door asking about why he was using the Tor network. While there they also asked that he not teach his students about it, and said it was likely against university policy. An interesting read that goes to show even Universities are turning big brother."

Submission + - Engineering shortage in US Aerospace and Defense?

braindrainbahrain writes: Yet another story about an engineering shortage, this time in Aerospace and Defense. The AIAA is claiming there will be huge shortages in those industries due to an aging and retiring workforce. Buried deep within TFA , there is talk about outsourcing design services overseas. Will the next (US) moon rocket or fighter plane be designed overseas, or by people holding H1-B visas?
United States

Submission + - DISA plans new top-secret presidential network

An anonymous reader writes: http://www.fcw.com/article97585-02-06-07-Web

The info in this story came from the DISA budget....

The White House Communications Agency (WHCA) has developed a six-year plan budgeted at $35 million to beef up presidential communications with a new top-secret network and multimedia Crisis Management System (CMS) designed to operate in a wide range of fixed locations, on Air Force One and on a new fleet of presidential helicopters.

The WHCA also said it plans to begin research on development of communications systems that can operate in High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) environments. HEMP, generated by a nuclear blast, can knock out most forms of radio communications.

URL has the full story
The Internet

To Media Companies, BitTorrent Implies Guilt 381

kripkenstein writes "The big media companies immediately assume you are guilty by your mere presence on a BitTorrent swarm, an investigation by a university security worker reveals. Turns out companies like BayTSP (which the media companies employ) will send shutdown notices to ISPs without any evidence of copyright infringment; all they feel they need is an indication that you are reported by the tracker to be in the swarm." From the post: "For my investigation, I wrote a very simple BitTorrent client. My client sent a request to the tracker, and generally acted like a normal Bittorrent client up to sharing files. The client refused to accept downloads of, or upload copyrighted content. It obeyed the law... With just this, completely legal, BitTorrent client, I was able to get notices from BayTSP. To put this in to perspective, if BayTSP were trying to bust me for doing drugs, it'd be like getting arrested because I was hanging out with some dealers, but they never saw me using, buying, or selling any drugs."

Submission + - U.S. cyber counterattack: Bomb 'em

coondoggie writes: "If the United States found itself under a major cyberattack aimed at undermining the nation's critical information infrastructure, the Department of Defense is prepared, based on the authority of the president, to launch a cyber counterattack or an actual bombing of an attack source. All the military services are preparing for military cyber-response. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/020807-rsa-c yber-attacks.html"
PC Games (Games)

Half-Life 2 Orange/Black Delayed to End of 2007 74

Wowzer writes "EA and Valve today announced the product configurations of Half-Life 2's The Black Box and The Orange Box, while at the same time confirming another worldwide release date delay from summer 2007 to winter 2007. If you thought the delay was the only bad news, then artwork fans haven't seen the ugly new boxart yet."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Music Industry to Jobs: Open up FairPlay

Jabrwock writes: "The music industry responded to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' call for DRM to be discontinued with a counter offer: You first.

Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the RIAA, said that Apple should be opening up FairPlay to work on rivals' devices, rather than telling the industry to drop DRM altogether. Bainwol believes that the market would be better served if the public could chose which device to play their media on, rather than be linked to one particular vendor. But the industry still wants some controls over what kind of choices the public has with regards to how to enjoy that media..."
Linux Business

Some European Moves Towards Linux 181

Readers VE3OGG and FFFFHALTFFFF write in with three pieces of a global picture that is emerging of governments and corporations moving away from Microsoft and towards open source. First, France: the French automaker Peugot Citroen has announced that over the next several years they will be integrating up to 20,000 Novell SUSE desktops as well as 2,500 SUSE servers into their facilities. (Let's hope that, in Novell, Peugeot Citroen hasn't bought a lemon.) Next, Sweden: the Swedish Armed Forces has made a decision to migrate its Windows NT servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Finally, Russia. VE3OGG writes: "It would seem that after the recent Russian piracy debacle that could see a school headmaster jailed in a Siberian work camp for purchasing pirated copies of Windows for his school, the Ministry of Education in Russia has decided that the school boards will no longer be purchasing any commercial software."

Submission + - Windows Expert Sees the Light

An anonymous reader writes: Scott Finnie, computerworld's windows expert gives the final verdict to Windows, after 3 months of using a Mac. And the verdict is: "Sayonara".
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?com mand=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9010759&intsrc=hm_ ts_head
From the article: "If you give the Mac three months, as I did, you won't go back either. The hardest part is paying for it — everything after that gets easier and easier. Perhaps fittingly, it took me the full three-month trial period to pay off my expensive MacBook Pro. But the darn thing is worth every penny." Scott Finnie is well known to / readers from earlier stories documenting his trials with Vista Betas, and more recently his displeasure of it.

Submission + - IT career advice: Personality trumps tech smarts

PetManimal writes: "Computerworld's Rob Mitchell has interviewed four IT career coaches who talk about what it takes to advance your technology career. Unfortunately for a lot of low-level IT worker bees, personality and communication skills trump tech brilliance:

... When you're designing and developing, it's fun, it's creative, it's low key. Then all of a sudden, because you're so good at it, you get promoted, and it pulls you out of what you enjoy and into an administrative role, managing other people and doing paperwork. You're forced into left-brain mode. That becomes stressful.
Mitchell also reveals in his blog that advice from IT career coaches is not cheap: a single meeting can cost $500/hour."

Submission + - BBC On-Demand to exclude Apple and Linux users

startling writes: The BBC Trust has published its provisional conclusions regarding DRM for its On-Demand content. From a PDF on the BBC website:
"The BBC Executive proposes a digital rights management solution which would require consumers to be using Windows XP (or above) and Windows Media Player 10 (or above) to be able to access seven-day TV catch-up over the internet... Our understanding is that the BBC Executive aspires to offer an alternative DRM framework, which would enable Apple and Linux users to access the service, but has yet to identify a satisfactory solution. In either case, we will expect this to have been addressed within 24 months."
That means the BBC would effectively be giving Microsoft a monopoly for up to two years! More information on the BBC website.

Senate Introduces Strong Privacy Bill 176

amigoro writes "US Senators introduced a bill that better protects the privacy of citizens' personal information in the face of data security breaches across the country. Key features of the bipartisan legislation include increasing criminal penalties for identity theft involving electronic personal data and making it a crime to intentionally or willfully conceal a security breach involving personal data."

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982