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Archive for June, 2009

Bozeman apologizes, backs down over Facebook login request

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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The city of Bozeman, Montana has decided to back off on its requirement that job applicants hand over their logins and passwords for every social network they belong to. The city announced in a meeting (PDF) on Monday that it had suspended the practice as of Friday, June 19 and that it would update its hiring procedures within 30 days to determine a more appropriate level of screening for employees.

Bozeman made headlines last week when the media discovered the city’s curious background check procedures, which involved handing over logins to sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and more. City employees would then be able to dig through any information applicants have put online, regardless of whether it’s accessible to the public. Needless to say, such a request caused an explosion of outrage, not only among Bozeman residents, but on the Internet in general.

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New Intel/Nokia partnership a huge win for mobile Linux

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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Intel and Nokia are joining forces in an effort to reshape the boundaries of mobile computing. The two companies announced plans on Tuesday to collaborate on software and hardware through a new long-term strategic relationship. Advancing the open source Linux operating system and encouraging industry-wide participation in mobile Linux development is one of the pillars of the deal.

The news was revealed during a press conference Tuesday that was conducted jointly by Intel ultra mobility group senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher and Nokia executive vice president of devices Kai Oistamo. They discussed the growing trend towards convergence of conventional computing and mobile communications.

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Warning: Windows 7 beta bi-hourly shutdowns start next week

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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This is a reminder post for all the Windows 7 users still on the beta (build 7000) that was leaked in December 2008 and officially given out to the public in January 2009. Bi-hourly shutdowns of this build will begin on July 1, 2009. This means that the user will be told to install a released version of Windows and their PC will shut down automatically every two hours. On August 1, 2009 if you are still on the Windows 7 beta, your license will expire and the non-genuine experience will be triggered. Your wallpaper will be removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar.

If you want to continue testing Vista’s successor, we recommend moving over to the Windows 7 Release Candidate (build 7100) that was released to the public in May 2009. The RC will only be available to download until August 15, 2009. Those using the Windows 7 RC do not have to worry until March 1, 2010 and June 1, 2010, the dates for bi-hourly shutdowns and expiration, respectively. Considering Windows 7 will be generally available in October 2009, this will give users a lot of time to move over to the RTM code.



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China not backing off despite filter code post on Wikileaks

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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China is filtering out criticism and diving in headfirst with its plan to roll out controversial filtering software on all PCs sold in China. The Chinese media quoted an unnamed source inside the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, saying that the software will still come with all computers as of July 1 despite the discovery of massive security holes and vulnerabilities by security researchers.

News came out about China’s plan to implement Internet access control software, called the “Green Dam Youth Escort” earlier this month. The Windows-only software provides a mix of features, including whitelists, blacklists, and on-the-fly content-based filtering. The blacklists can be updated remotely, however, making Green Dam quite an attractive option for a government that likes to keep tight control over what kind of content its citizens are exposed to.

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Record biz tries suing Irish ISPs into submission

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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The major music labels are committed to the idea of graduated response, but they aren’t wedded to any particular method of implementation. In France, disconnecting repeated online copyright infringers has been pushed by legislation. In the US, the RIAA wants ISPs to sign up to a voluntary scheme. But in Ireland, the “sue-them-into-doing-what-we-want” school of thought has triumphed.

The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has filed lawsuits against two of the country’s largest ISPs, seeking to force compliance with an Internet disconnection scheme. It worked well enough earlier this year, when Ireland’s largest ISP Eircom settled a similar case with the industry and agreed to implement a graduated response program. After a third accusation of online copyright infringement, Eircom will disconnect a user’s Internet connection.

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Fighting AT&T, Verizon’s chokehold on “middle mile”

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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You know that there’s about to be a big rumble in telco-land when a bunch of companies and non-profits set up a website with a name like nochokepoints.org. Launched this week, the NoChokePoints Coalition is basically a gang of heavy broadband users and their allies who have one thing in common: they’re extra sick and tired of paying over-the-top dollar for “special access”—the dedicated lines companies need to connect their high-speed Internet circuits to the larger broadband economy.

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SCO wants to keep waging legal war after $2.4M asset sale

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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Only moments before a liquidation hearing earlier this month, SCO dodged the bullet by signing a deal to sell off a portion of its remaining UNIX assets. Some of the specific details of the deal have now been disclosed, including the buyer and the price.

Proprietary UNIX vendor SCO has been swirling around the proverbial toilet bowl on its way to extinction ever since a 2007 court ruling was issued which indicated that the company was not the rightful owner of the original SVRX UNIX copyrights and had no standing to bring copyright infringement lawsuits against Linux users and distributors. The company’s contention that Linux includes UNIX code was also never substantiated, and internal memos from the company have indicated that it was never able to find evidence of such infringement.

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NIH funding level correlates with lower US mortality rates

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

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Government spending and its role in the economy are once again major issues thanks to the financial market bailouts and President Obama’s health care initiative. Government-funded scientific research has made an appearance in this debate, as work funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been called into question as wasteful and unnecessary. A paper published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS) takes a look at these issues. Its authors show that increasing NIH funding decreased mortality rates in the US, and they go on to attempt to quantify the economic impact of lives extended by NIH research.

Within the general debate on government spending, federally funded scientific research has been a frequent target of criticism. NIH funding has gotten new levels of scrutiny because the NIH received $8.2 billion as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For example, Fox News recently ran this hit piece critical review of NIH-funded condom studies. Even NPR’s Marketplace questioned the stimulating effects of NIH funding, stating, “[I]n this kind of funding it’s a little questionable as to how many jobs you’re really creating, because what you’re doing is giving money to university researchers who already have jobs at their universities.” A rebuttal of this misinformed claim was later aired.

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Apple’s App Store approves first explicit content, Anita Bryant races to Cincinnati

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments

After all the cases of benign apps being rejected on grounds of “objectionable content,” the first outright application featuring jiggly bits has made it to the App Store. How could this happen? Easy, Apple’s shift in policy is made possible by the parental controls included in the iPhone OS 3.0 — you know, so you can parent instead of Apple. Hopefully this brings an end to arbitrary App Store rejections and begins a new era of fire and brimstone threats of eternal damnation.

[Via MacRumors]

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Apple’s App Store approves first explicit content, Anita Bryant races to Cincinnati originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 25 Jun 2009 03:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Junk steampunk sculptures

June 26th, 2009 admin No comments


Marque sez, “I’ve just posted a short video documenting some recent interactive and kinetic sculptures. Made using found objects (toys, trash and technology) collected over 20 years, these sculptures are influenced by pop culture visions of a dystopian future/history in which humanity and technology are mashed together – movies like ‘City of Lost Children’ and ‘Brazil,’ books like ‘Diamond Age’ and ‘The Difference Engine’ and video games like ‘Fallout 3′ and ‘Bioshock.’”

Steampunk Transhuman Artifacts

(Thanks, Marque!)


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