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Current Topic: Technology

Spyder III Pro Arctic Series Laser
Topic: Technology 11:12 am EDT, Jun 16, 2010

Switched article

Gizmodo article

Fox News article

Spyder III Pro Arctic Series Laser

Topic: Technology 12:45 pm EDT, May 20, 2010

The Onion
May 20, 2010 | ISSUE 46•20

By "checking in," users can earn tangible, real-world rewards. For instance, the Foursquare user with the most points at any given venue earns the designation of "mayor" and can receive discounts, free food, or other prizes that, quite honestly, we're thoroughly disgusted with ourselves for having actually researched.


Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality
Topic: Technology 2:27 pm EDT, Apr  6, 2010

The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to slap Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC's August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers and had voluntarily ended them earlier that year.

Because the FCC "has failed to tie its assertion" of regulatory authority to any actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the authority to regulate an Internet provider's network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality

Google Responds To Privacy Concerns With Unsettlingly Specific Apology
Topic: Technology 3:23 pm EST, Mar  3, 2010

The Onion - Science & Technology
March 2, 2010 | Issue 46•09

So far, Google users across the country have responded cautiously to the company's public admission of wrongdoing, with some claiming they will be careful not to reveal any personal information from now on, and others ripping up their credit cards, unplugging all electronic devices from their outlets, and locking themselves in their bathrooms away from any cameras, keyboards, satellite dishes, or cell phones.

"I forgive Google, I forgive Google, I forgive Google," said Ohio resident Darla Mackenzie, sitting on the edge of her bathtub, her head in her hands. "Please, please, don't tell Jonathan about the things I have done."

Google Responds To Privacy Concerns With Unsettlingly Specific Apology

Report: Fiber Optics Not A Real Thing
Topic: Technology 10:49 am EST, Nov 17, 2009

The Onion - Science & Technology
November 17, 2009 | Issue 45•47

BOSTON—Members of the world's engineering and telecommunications communities admitted Tuesday that fiber optics, the supposed technological application that ostensibly allows light to carry signals across optical cables, is not actually a real thing. "Yeah, we sort of made that one up," renowned physicist Willard Boyle said of the fictitious technology around which a $40 billion-a-year industry has been built. "It started as more of a joke, really. We thought the two words sounded cool together, so we just started throwing that term out there. Trust me, no one ever thought it would take off the way it did." Sources added that if fiber optics were, in fact, a real thing, it would probably be utilized in some way with Bluetooth technology, if that existed.

Report: Fiber Optics Not A Real Thing

Google Earth - Ancient Rome
Topic: Technology 11:33 am EST, Nov 12, 2008

The glory that was Rome is to rise again. Visitors will once more be able to visit the Colosseum and the Forum of Rome as they were in 320 AD, this time on a computer screen in 3D.

The computer model, a collection of more than 6,700 buildings, depicts Rome in the year 320 AD. Then, under the emperor Constantine I, the city boasted more than a million inhabitants –- making it the largest metropolis in the world. It was not until Victorian London that another city surpassed it.

The project has been developed by Google in collaboration with the Rome Reborn Project and Past Perfect Productions. The computer graphics are based on a physical model – the Plastico di Roma Antica, which was created by archaeologists and model-makers between 1933 and 1974 and is housed in the Museum of Roman Civilisation in Rome. There are only 300 original ruins still standing today.

Google's Ancient Rome Page

Google Earth - Ancient Rome

First of 3 Chrysler electric vehicles by 2010
Topic: Technology 5:10 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2008

LaSorda said the Dodge sports car, which hasn’t been named yet, runs only on electricity from advanced battery technology and has a range from 150 to 200 miles. It will go from zero to 60 in under five seconds, he added. "It’s a great tribute to Chrysler engineers."

The vehicle would plug into a typical 110-volt electric outlet and its lithium-ion batteries would be recharged within six to eights hours, Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president for product development, said. A 220-volt outlet could be used to cut the charging time in half.

Klegon said both the Jeep and minivan range-extended vehicles would be able to drive 40 miles on a single battery charge before the generator kicks in, giving the vehicle 400 miles of total range.

First of 3 Chrysler electric vehicles by 2010

Record Labels to Sell Music on Memory Cards
Topic: Technology 10:23 am EDT, Sep 23, 2008

NEW YORK — Just as vinyl once gave way to compact discs as the main physical medium for music, could CDs be replaced now by a fingernail-sized memory card? Perhaps not entirely, but SanDisk Corp., four major record labels and retailers Best Buy Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are hoping that albums sold on microSD memory cards will at least provide an additional stream of sales. The companies unveiled plans Monday to sell memory cards loaded with music in the MP3 format, free of copy protections.

Called "slotMusic," the new format is meant to address two intertwined trends. Most albums are still sold in a physical format — 449 million were sold on CDs in 2007, while 50 million were sold digitally, according to Nielsen SoundScan — yet CDs are decreasingly popular. Albums sold on CD dropped almost 19 percent last year. Given this, the record labels — Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp. and EMI Group PLC — are hoping slotMusic can be another physical revenue source, and one that is more versatile than CDs given the kinds of gadgets people carry around these days.

Unlike when the CD was introduced and people had to buy new players, many people already have the ability to play slotMusic albums, since many cell phones and multimedia players support microSD cards. These new albums will come with a small USB dongle that lets buyers use them with computers, too. [The USB dongle will also enable users to transfer the songs to iPods, which don't have memory-card slots, via a PC.]

"Particularly in this kind of economic climate, the idea of being able to use an electronic device you already own to enjoy music rather than going out and buying a dedicated player is pretty compelling," said Daniel Schreiber, who heads the audio-video business unit at SanDisk, which created the microSD card format and is working on the technology behind slotMusic. Schreiber said slotMusic albums will be sold on 1 gigabyte microSD cards, which means they will be able to hold a full album and related content such as liner notes and cover art. Buyers will be able to use extra space on the cards to hold songs and photos from their own collections.

[The files will be MP3s encoded at a bitrate of 320 samples per second, the highest possible setting ensuring roughly CD-quality sound.] The cards and dongles will come in boxes similar to current CD packaging, and Schreiber expects the cost of slotMusic releases to be "in the ballpark" of current CD prices. It's not yet known exactly when — or how many — albums will be initially sold in the format, but Schreiber expects retailers to give a "sizable amount of shelf space" to slotMusic albums. The albums are expected to debut at multiple retailers, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., and later in Europe.

Rio Caraeff, executive vice president of Universal Music Group's eLabs digital music unit, said the label will initially release about 30 titles in the slotMusic format. The titles will include old and new albums, such as one by singer Akon. "We want to provide the benefits of digital music to people who go to physical retail environments," he said. Asked whether he sees the format taking the place of the CD, Caraeff said, "I think we would certainly hope that would be the case, but I don't think we are so tied to that."

NPD Group entertainment analyst Russ Crupnick sees a potential for slotMusic to emerge as a compelling format. He said the industry needs "desperately" to give people a new reason to head back into the music sections at brick-and-mortar stores. "Not that we want them out of the gaming section, but once they're done looking at 'Guitar Hero' we want them to come look at the music section," he said.

Record Labels to Sell Music on Memory Cards

Google planning offshore water-based data centers
Topic: Technology 12:18 pm EDT, Sep 15, 2008

Google may take its battle for global domination to the high seas with the launch of its own “computer navy”. The company is considering deploying the supercomputers necessary to operate its internet search engines on barges anchored up to seven miles (11km) offshore.

The “water-based data centres” would use wave energy to power and cool their computers, reducing Google’s costs. Their offshore status would also mean the company would no longer have to pay property taxes on its data centres, which are sited across the world, including in Britain.

I assume that the Gulf of Mexico has been ruled out.

Google planning offshore water-based data centers

Be sure to read Chrome's fine print
Topic: Technology 10:57 am EDT, Sep  3, 2008

Ina Fried, CNET

1. Google reserves the right to automatically update and install Chrome.

"The software which you use may automatically download and install updates from time to time from Google. These updates are designed to improve, enhance and further develop the services and may take the form of bug fixes, enhanced functions, new software modules and completely new versions. You agree to receive such updates (and permit Google to deliver these to you) as part of your use of the services."

2. Although you retain any copyrights to content you own and use in the browser, Google says it has a right to display some of your content, in conjunction with promoting its services. Here's their exact wording.

"By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services."

Be sure to read Chrome's fine print

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