Posts

Showing posts from May, 2010

Seagate announcing Three Tera Byte Hard Disk 2010

Image
After a few weeks of rumours, Seagate's senior product manager Barbara Craig has confirmed that the company is announcing a 3TB drive later this year, but the move to 3TB of storage space apparently involves a lot more work than simply upping the areal density. The ancient foundations of the PC's three-decade legacy has once again reared its DOS-era head, revealing that many of today's PCs are simply incapable of coping with hard drives that have a                                                           larger capacity than 2.1TB.

Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Passport Confiscated By Police...

Image
The Australian founder of the whistleblower website Wikileaks had his passport confiscated by police when he arrived in Melbourne last week. While Assange has made himself particularly unpopular with the US military by publishing video of attacks on civilians in Iraq, he's been something of a thorn in the side for the Australian government too. Last year, Wikileaks published a list of websites which were to be banned under the government's proposed Internet filter. While the aim of the filter is to block extreme pornography and the like, the blacklist included a number of more prosaic sites such as those of a travel company and a dentist.

LimeWire Likely To Shut Down Soon

Image
A federal court judge has likely dealt a death blow toLimeWire, one of the most popular and oldest file-sharing systems, according to legal experts. On Wednesday ... US District Judge Kimba Wood granted summary judgment in favor of the ... [RIAA], which filed a copyright lawsuit against LimeWire in 2006. In her decision, Wood ruled Lime Group, parent of LimeWire software maker Lime Wire, and founder Mark Gorton committed copyright infringement, induced copyright infringement, and engaged in unfair competition.

Firefox terminated itself With H.264 HTML 5 Support

Only two countries in the world have software patents which make it impossible to freely use video codecs such as AVC (H.264). This has led to projects such as Firefox not including AVC support with the HTML 5 video tag in all their releases, resulting in the rest of the world having to suffer indirectly the effects of software patents as well.

Microsoft Accuses Google Docs of Data Infidelity

Image
For years Google has been pitching migrations from Microsoft Office to Google Docs, arguing that Docs makes Office 2003 and 2007 better because users can store Microsoft Office documents in Google's cloud and share them in their original format. Now eWeek reports that Alex Payne, director of Microsoft's online product management team, says that moving files created with Office to Google Docs results in the loss of data fidelity including the loss of such data components as charts, styles, watermarks, fonts, tracked changes, and SmartArt. 'They are claiming that an organization can use both seamlessly,' Payne writes. 'This just isn't the case.' Meanwhile, Google defended its original 'Docs makes Office better' in a statement, noting that it has made a lot of improvements to the Web editors in Docs with its recent refresh, and promising that functionality will only get better as Google integrates the DocVerse assets into Docs. 'It says a lot about…

Avatars Used For Australian Online Sex Appeal Study

Australian scientists are seeking volunteers online to help them better understand sexual attraction. At a specially created website — www.bodylab.biz — users can go online and make their own ratings of computer-generated avatar images of men and women of greatly varying shapes, sizes, and proportions. The bodyLab team will analyse and compile the results and each month will cull about half of the images — those that are least popular — and virtually 'breed' new body shapes from parent avatars with features rated as most attractive by people taking part in the experiment. Over time, the scientists hope thousands of users will help them work through six or more generations of avatars to narrow down the special combinations of features that make up the 'ideal' body — although they're keeping an open mind about whether several combinations will emerge.

Btrfs Could Be the Default File System In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

Image
The EXT family of file systems (ext2, ext3, ext4) have ruled many Linux distributions for a long time, and Ubuntu has been no exception. But things may no longer be the same for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Canonical's Scott James Remnant said in a blog post that plans are on for doing work to have btrfs as an installation option, and that the possibility of making it the default file system in Ubuntu 10.10 has not been ruled out.

Acer To Launch Chrome OS Netbook Next Month

Image
Acer is preparing to launch devices based on Google's Chrome OS at next month's Computex trade show, according to reports. Multiple sources have apparently told VentureBeat that the company will show off devices at the Taipei show at the beginning of June. It doesn't specify what the devices are, although given that Chrome OS is primarily designed for low-powered laptops and Acer's status as the world's second biggest PC maker, it seems inconceivable that the devices won't be netbooks. Meanwhile, Google is considering implementing a Coverflow interface into Chrome OS. One design adheres fairly closely to Apple's template, and allows users to flip through applications and web pages with 'hotkeys and swiping gestures.' Favicons will be displayed beneath the pages, allowing users to click these and head straight to the application.

Sergery Valeryevich(Ukranian) arrested as a suspect in hacking into US in 2008

Image
A Ukrainian national has been arrested in India in connection with the most notorious hacking incident in US history." "Sergey Valeryevich Storchark was one of 11 men charged in August 2008 with hacking into nine US retailers and selling tens of millions of credit card numbers. He was arrested in India earlier this week, according to a spokesman with India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In a statement, the CBI said they'd arrested Storchark in New Delhi on the night of May 8, as he deplaned from a flight from Goa, for layover before a flight to Turkey. US authorities had asked for his extradition via diplomatic channels. ... 'His extradition and prosecution would have been very unlikely had he reached his final destination of Ukraine,' the CBI said.

Sprint to launch HTC EVO 4G...the first 4G phone...on June 4..

The first 4G phone ever to be released, the HTC EVO 4G, announced back in March, has finally been given a release date of June 4. Along with the release date, Sprint has provided information on phone plans and pricing. From Engadget: 'Unfortunately, there's a downside to all this: customers will be paying a mandatory (as confirmed to us by Sprint reps) $10 per month "Premium Data add-on" on top of their plan — ostensibly for the privilege of enjoying WiMAX when they're in a Sprint 4G market — and the 8-device Wi-Fi hotspot feature runs an extra $29.99 a month, which Sprint is quick to point out is half what you'd pay for a dedicated mobile broadband account.'

xkcd linking unusual word malamanteau definition to be available on Wikipedia amused

Image
Today's xkcd comic introduced an unusual word — malamanteau — by giving its supposed definition on Wikipedia. The only trouble is that the word (as well as its supposed wiki page) did not in fact exist. Naturally, much ado ensued at the supposed wiki page, which was swiftly created in response to the comic. BBC America has more on how the comic and the confusion it caused have put the Net in a tizzy. It turns out that a malamanteau is a portmanteau of portmanteau and malapropism, but also a malapropism of portmanteau. All this puts Wikipedia in the confusing position of not allowing a page for an undefined word whose meaning is defined via the Wikipedia page for that word — and now I have to lie down for a moment.

Microsoft Forgetting XP SP2...demolishing machines support...

Image
Microsoft's announcement this week that it is preparing to end support for machines running Windows XP SP2 not only represents a challenge for the thousands of businesses still running SP2, but also is the end of an era for both Microsoft and its customers. With Service Pack 2 Microsoft set out to fix that and add a number of other security protections, as well. It wasn't until 2004 that the final release of XP SP2 actually hit the streets. But when it did, it represented a huge step forward in security for Windows users. It wasn't necessarily the feature set that mattered as much as the fact that the protections were enabled by default and taken out of the users' hands.

Secure Data in networks...Quantum Cryptography...

Image
Physicists have developed a new kind of quantum cryptography that uses position measurements to guarantee the security of a message. The technique is based on triangulation. Alice uses several transmitters to send messages to Bob who returns them immediately at the speed of light. If the return arrives within a certain time period, Alice can be certain that Bob is where he says he is. Physicists proved a few years ago that when the messages are purely classical this method is not secure because Eve can use any number of receivers to work out where Bob is and then use this information to trick Alice. However, the same physicists have now proved that the quantum version of the same position-based scheme is perfectly secure, essentially because Eve cannot easily measure the value of any qubits in the message. Alice and Bob go on to use the qubits to exchange a cryptographic key, a one-time pad, that they use to encrypt a message. The beauty of the technique is that a message encrypted in…

Parking Meters Turns 75 Yrs..

Image
75 years ago Carl Magee filed a patent application for what would become one of the most hated inventions in history: the parking meter. From the article: 'Magee's brainwave was to install a device that had a coin acceptor and a dial to engage a timing mechanism. A visible pointer and flag indicated the expiration of the paid period, meaning you either had to move, put in more money, or face the wrath of the local constabulary. The design continued largely unchanged for more than 40 years.

Next Ubuntu Linux To Be a Maverick

Image
While the latest version of Ubuntu is still smoking hot, the Ubuntu development community is already working on the next step. Both the Wiki and the bug tracking system at Launchpad have already been set up for Maverick Meerkat, which will be version number 10.10. This confirms the usual naming and numbering schema and the fact that the final release should be due sometime within the forthcoming October. This next version, which obviously won't be Long Term Support (LTS), should sport a lighter and faster environment with GNOME 3.0, aka GNOME Shell, among the main advances. Everything has been explained by Mr. Shuttleworth in his own blog since the beginning of April. It's important to say to the impatient among us that the first alpha release is not due earlier than the end of June, so maybe it'd be better to take advantage of the Lucid Lynx while the technical overview of the Meerkat will start getting more details.

Black Market May Develop For IPv4 Addresses

Image
Everyone knows that we're running out of traditional IPv4 Internet addresses and that switching to IPv6 is the answer — yet foot-dragging by IT departments and vendors means the problem is still on the back burner. IPv4/IPv6 coexistence is now expected to last for 5 years. In this article, Mel Beckman explains how this is all leading to a black market in traditional IPv4 addresses that will catch many people off-guard, and boost Internet access prices sky-high.

StarCraft II To Be Released On July 27

Image

Gene Therapy Restores Sight To Blind

Looks like we have found a cure for genetic blindness (clinical trial — abstract — paper [PDF] — ABC News video). This gene therapy treatment increases both cone and rod photoreceptor-based vision. These engineered viruses are implanted to do our bidding to restore vision. Clinical trials on 6 children and young people proved the therapy and didn't find any notable side effects." Any blind person, especially any adapted and competent one, who wants to gain the sense of sight would be well advised to study Oliver Sachs's classic piece "To See and Not See.

Moore's Law Will Die Without GPUs

Nvidia's chief scientist, Bill Daly, has warned that the long-established Moore's Law is in danger of joining phlogiston theory on the list of superseded laws, unless the CPU business embraces parallel processing on a much broader scale.

Intel Shows Off First Light Peak Laptop

Image
Intel has provided the first hands-on demonstration of a laptop running its Light Peak technology — an optical interconnect that can transfer data at 10Gbit/sec in both directions — at the company's inaugural European research showcase here in Brussels. Intel has fitted Light Peak into a regular USB cable, with optical fibres running alongside the electrical cabling. Intel provided a visual demonstration of how data is passed through the cable by shining a torch into one end of the cable, with two little dots of light visible to the naked eye at the other end. The demonstration laptop was sending two separate HD video streams to a nearby television screen without any visible lag. The laptop includes a 12mm square chip that converts the optical light into electrical data that the computer understands.

Microsoft .NET Libraries Not Acting "Open Source"

Three years ago, with much fanfare, Microsoft announced it would make some of the .Net libraries' open source' using their Microsoft Reference License. Since then Microsoft has reneged on its promise. The reference code site is dead, the blog hasn't been updated in a year and a half, and no one from Microsoft responds to questions on the forum.

Apple will Shut Down Lala(music service) On May 31

Image
Apple is shuttering Lala, the music service they bought last December, on May 31. "Apple will transfer any remaining money in a user's account to iTunes, and will credit users (via iTunes) for any web songs that were purchased. It's a real shame, as Lala was a much better music service, offering songs in straight MP3 format. Their web service was innovative and ahead of its time. And they were one of the few places that would let you listen to an entire song to sample it (after 1 complete listen, you then could only hear a 30-second sample)."