The shadow of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is back in Europe. It is disguised as CETA, the Canada-European Union and Trade Agreement.
A comparison of the leaked draft Canada-EU agreement shows the treaty includes a number of the same controversial provisions, specifically concerning criminal enforcement, private enforcement by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and harsh damages." Link to Original Source top
rrohbeck writes "Electronics Weekly brings us a report on the Raspberry Pi, a computer the size of a USB stick with USB (for keyboard/mouse/network/storage), composite/HDMI video out and power connectors and a memory card slot. It runs a 700MHz ARM11 with 256MB of memory and is designed as a teaching tool, envisioned to boot Ubuntu right into interactive Python like the BASIC computers that got many of us hooked on programming. There is a lot of interest from developing countries and chances are that there will be a buy one, give one program.
"There is an energy barrier at the start of the learning curve," said Upton. With the Spectrum or the BBC micro, even if you only wanted it to run a game, you turned it on and it immediately said 'BASIC' and you could write >10 print "Hello world" >20 goto 10. A lot of us got sucked in by that and became programmers."
rrohbeck writes "SciAm brings us a truly nerdy story: 'Videographer John Pavlus spent much of 2010 writing and shooting a video about an Apple engineer, Andy Carol, who designed and built a fully functional eclipse-predicting machine, a replica of an ancient Greek device, out of 1,500 Lego Technic parts and 110 gears.'" Link to Original Source top
rrohbeck writes "Anandtech brings us an article about WD's campaign to increase disk drive sector size to 4KB, and the reasons behind it. They are basically better format efficiency, better error correction, and less overhead everywhere. Every modern OS uses at least 4KB block sizes, but some may create misaligned partitions, making the use of alignment tools or even 512B sector emulation necessary. Now when we re-align everything, can we please think of SSDs too and align partitions and everything else on at least 1MB boundaries?
rrohbeck writes "Today Amazon credited my card with $65.45.
After ordering an Eee PC 1005 HA from amazon.com, I asked them for a refund for the cost of Windows XP via the "Contact us" form. At first they told me to cancel any items on my order that I wanted a refund for, but after I explained that XP was preinstalled on the machine they got it. They asked what the cost of the OS was, and I answered that I had no idea but that Amazon UK refunded GBP 40.00. Within a few hours I got a response saying "I've requested a refund of $65.45 to your Visa card."
Somehow I doubt that Amazon will charge Asus or even Microsoft, but maybe they will one day if more people do this.
Eeebuntu 3.01 doesn't have network (wired or wireless) drivers for the new generation of Eee PCs, but Karmic Alpha-3 does and looks quite good already. I love the Launcher! Now let's see how long the battery will last if I run Linux only off the SDHC card and don't spin the hard drive much. Voila, poor man's SSD.
Oh and peeling off the "Designed for Microsoft Windows XP" sticker is easy too." top
rrohbeck writes "Police saved a 16-year-old with a drug overdose after he announced his suicide on Facebook.
From the the BBC:
'A British teenager who took a drugs overdose has been saved after the American girl he was chatting to online raised the alarm.
The 16-year-old boy from Oxfordshire had sent her a message suggesting he intended to commit suicide.'
The girl in Maryland told her parents, who called the police, who went from the White House via the UK embassy to local UK police in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. They found the teen in the fourth house they checked." top
"YouTube is blocking all premium music videos to UK users after failing to reach a new licensing agreement with the Performing Right Society (PRS).
Thousands of videos will be unavailable to YouTube users from later on Monday."
So I guess they'd rather have no licensing revenue from YouTube and force UK users to learn about proxies and P2P." top
rrohbeck writes "Forrest J Ackerman, the "world's biggest fan", literary agent for names like Isaac Asimov, A.E. van Vogt, or Hugo Gernsback, writer of over 2,000 articles and short stories, and creator of the term sci-fi, died at the age of 92. In recent years he had to sell the "Ackermansion" and most of the about 300,000 items of memorabilia it stored due to mounting health bills. The LA Times prints an obituary today." top
rrohbeck writes "A site against California's Proposition 8 (Gay marriage ban) is apparently being subjected to a DoS attack.
eqca.org reports: SACRAMENTO — 10/30/08 — Today the NO on Prop 8 campaign's Web site (http://www.noonprop8.com/) was the victim of what appears to be a coordinated attack designed to bring the system down. According to http://www.calitics.com/, the denial-of-service attack (DoS) on the NO on Prop 8 website occurred before 11:30pm, Wednesday, October 29th and coincides with a similar attack on Florida's NO on 2 campaign, the Constitutional Amendment Against Marriage Equality.
Alexa shows a huge rise in traffic over the last few days." top
rrohbeck writes "Compensating for the intermittent nature of wind and solar power needs conventional power plants to fill the gaps or large scale energy storage like hydroelectric.
Large batteries, for example based on the sodium-sulfur system are an alternative. Discover magazine runs an article on recent improvements with the vanadium redox battery, which is another system that can provide MW/MWh batteries. The smallest ones are "closet" size, so don't count on them for cars — yet, but they could be an option for UPSs too." top
rrohbeck writes "The north pole might be without ice for the first time this summer, reports The Independent.
'It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.'
'Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally ice-free North Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by huge swathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.'
Although melting of floating ice doesn't increase sea level, it's a sign of major thawing in the arctic, and 'If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits [...] which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.'" top
rrohbeck writes "The New York Times has a story on what Blue Origin, [Amazon.com founder] Jeff Bezos' space company is up to after his Texas land grab. A couple of Flash videos show a short successful test hop of the "Goddard" test vehicle.
The Goddard has a science-fiction sleekness. Videos show the craft taking off and landing again with a loud whooshing sound. In one view, one of the nine rocket nozzles jitters as it maintains the ship's attitude. Goddard resembles the DC-X, another vertical-takeoff-and-landing craft under development in the 1990s by McDonnell Douglas for the Defense Department and NASA until the government pulled the plug.