Archive for April 7th, 2006
Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Inside IT: Trouble on the line
"Vonage ran a test. It seems the ISP was blocking the cable modem when the Vonage adapter went into use. I ran a test of my own. I ran pingplotter for 10 minutes: no blockage, then I picked up my Vonage phone and placed a call: immediately there was a 100% blockage on the cable modem. This was a continuous loss as long as the phone was used."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Research firm In-Stat has released a report that looks at the potential market for the two battling next-generation optical formats: Blu-ray and HD DVD. The report starts off by analyzing a bill of materials for "blue laser players" and came up with a round figure of about US$400. This includes not only the hardware, but royalty licenses for the various codecs included in the players."
Straight from Engadget: "Japanese Co. Evergreen is no stranger to the cheap and crap-plasticy product. Now they combine their love of the two and apparent hatred for human-kind in this $8.50 DN-2000 MP3 player targeting the ill-fated shores of Japan, and perhaps, beyond. It runs for 5-hours on a single AAA battery and supports 1GB SD cards. You realize of course, that we are now at the dawn of disposable MP3 players don't you? Gawd save our souls."
Straight from Ars Technica: "…feedback from Microsoft's larger customers has convinced the company that Linux is not going away. Microsoft opened its own Linux testing lab last September, and it has grown to house over 300 servers. Bill Hilf, the general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft and head of the Linux lab, has announced the creation of a new web site designed to open up the activities of the Linux lab to the general public."
Straight from Ars Technica: "Ever since the rise of Napster in the late 1990s, the recording industry has pointed to piracy as a dire threat to its business model. After years of legal actions and generally irritating their customers, the labels finally figured out how to adapt their business model to respond to changing consumer expectations. Enter the digital music download and subscription services."
Straight from Slashdot: "In the "You Can't Win For Losing" department, an article on the BBC web site is reporting that reduced air pollution and increased water evaporation appears to be adding to man-made global warming. Research presented at a major European science meeting adds to other evidence that cleaner air is letting more solar energy through to the Earth's surface. Burn fossil fuels, you make things worse. Clean up your act, and you make things worse. Is it time to set off a few nukes and see if nuclear winter can cool things down?"
Straight from Ars Technica: "BroadbandAccess' increased usage is starting to raise warning flags for Verizon Wireless, which is threatening to implement a tiered pricing structure to punish the service's heaviest users of bandwidth. Verizon would prefer its customers limit their BroadbandAccess usage to checking e-mail and non-bandwidth-intensive web browsing."
Straight from Gizmodo: "Here is a tantalizing piece of news from Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun, reporting that Casio has created a fuel cell that can run up to 20 hours on a single charge."
Straight from Engadget: "We kind of thought Escient was somehow taking things in a slightly more "cost effective" direction with their $1000 Escient SE-D1 media manager last year, but they've just gone quite a bit the other way with their new $6000 FireBall DVDM-552 which just started shipping. From the looks of things they're spending most of that $6000 on component video hookups, though there's plenty more to love here. The DVDM-552 can manage up to 2000 DVDs or CDs stored in Sony DVD changers, can send multiple video or digital audio streams to multiple rooms, holds a 500GB HDD, and can stream networked media. Everything can be operated through a web control panel, a PDA, or from a particularly brave remote. Sounds pretty exciting, though for the amount you'd be spending on this thing it seems like you could afford to put a WMCE PC in each room instead. But we're not going to try and stop you or anything."
Straight from Slashdot: "SpamDailyNews is reporting that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a brief that claims AT&T has been forwarding internet traffic directly into the hands of the NSA. The brief was filed under seal (a procedure that allows only the judge and the litigants to view the document) in order to give the court time to review the information. From the article: 'More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now.'"
"Two supermassive black holes have been found to be spiraling toward a merger, astronomers said today. The collision will create a single super-supermassive black hole capable of swallowing material equal to billions of stars, the researchers said."
"Young boys who drink fluoridated tap water are at greater risk for a rare bone cancer, Harvard researchers reported yesterday. The study, published online yesterday in a Harvard-affiliated journal, could intensify debate over fluoridation and mean more scrutiny for Harvard’s Dr. Chester Douglass,accused of fudging the findings to downplay a cancer link."
"Kirkuk – Eight mass graves containing around 1,000 bodies have been found near Iraq's northern oil hub of Kirkuk, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced on Thursday."
"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Two suicide attackers wearing women's cloaks blew themselves up Friday in a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad, killing at least 46 people and wounding scores, police said. It was the second major attack against Shiite targets in as many days."
"In response to a question from Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., before the House Judiciary Committee, Gonzales said the government would have to determine if a conversation was related to al-Qaida and crucial to fighting terrorism before deciding whether to listen in without court supervision."
(click image for hi-res photo)
Explanation: During a total solar eclipse, the Sun's extensive outer atmosphere or corona is an awesome and inspirational sight. The subtle shades and shimmering features of the corona that engage the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single picture. But this composite of 33 digital images ranging in exposure time from 1/8000 to 1/5 second comes very close to revealing the crown of the Sun in all its glory. The telescopic views were recorded from Side, Turkey during the March 29 solar eclipse, a geocentric celestial event that was widely seen under nearly ideal conditions. The composite also captures a pinkish prominence extending just beyond the upper edge of the eclipsed sun.