Sunday, September 12, 2010

I will again mention the Arthur C. Clarke article about countries that lack infrastructure “skipping” several generations to provide their citizens with access to current tech. What might be possible if a large portion of India's billions plus citizens own one of these?

India's $35 Android 7-inch Tablet to Hit in January

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday September 12, @07:57AM

"Engadget reports that India has just awarded the manufacturing contract to HCL Technologies. The first shipment will supposedly only contain the 7-inch model and is set to arrive on January 10. It's unclear if the $35 price has stuck or whether India's been successful in plans to eventually drive the price down to $10 with the help of large orders and government subsidies. HCL Technologies plans to initially produce 100,000 units. Among the key features of this India-based tablet include 2GB of RAM, web-conferencing, PDF reader unzip, WiFi, camera and USB connectivity."

“...two nations, divided by a common language.”

Spy camera to ensure lollipop lady gets no stick

September 11, 2010 by Dissent

Andrew Hough reports:

Hidden cameras are being used by lollipop ladies and men under a scheme to expose bad drivers outside schools.

The “lollicams” are being introduced around schools in Wales after successful trials of similar schemes in England and Scotland.

While critics labelled the moves “sad and disappointing”, officials defended the scheme as a necessary way of protecting schoolchildren and traffic wardens.

Read more in The Telegraph.

[A “lillipop” is what the Brits call the STOP signs carried by crossing guards at schools. Bob]

This is a good thing. We have seen several instances of single Word documents released with change history or redacted words still accessible in the file.

Child Abuse Verdict Held Back By MS Word Glitch

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday September 12, @05:17AM

"Last week several defendants including one high-profile TV presenter were sentenced in Portugal in what has been known as the Casa Pia scandal. The judges delivered on September 3 a summary of the 2000 page verdict, which would be disclosed in full only 3 days later. The disclosure of the full verdict has been postponed from September 8 to an yet-to-be-announced date, allegedly because the full document was written in several MS Word files which, when merged together, retained 'computer related annotations which should not be present in any legal document.' (Google translated article.) Microsoft specialists were called in to help the judges sort out the 'text formatting glitch,' while the defendants and their lawyers eagerly waits to access the full text of the verdict."

I'm teaching website development again this fall. I use articles like this one to show my students how little manager know (or want to know) about technology. From the Comments: I have a T-shirt from think geek that sums it up: "Technical Support: Your ignorance is my job security"

32k a Day For Birmingham Council Website

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday September 12, @02:16AM

"Birmingham Wired have uncovered that Birmingham City Council spend on average £32,000 a day maintaining a council website that has cost the tax-payer over £48 million to date, while councils nationwide prepare to say goodbye to 26,000 jobs due to budget deficits. Capita, a London based outsourcing company states on their website: 'To date we've invested £48.4m in a combination of staff training, network upgrades, server replacements, hardware and software - and we continue to drive efficiency through innovation.'"

[From the Article:

In contrast, the second most expensive council website - Essex Council, spent £800,000.

More job opportunities for my Ethical Hackers...

Hacker Teaches iPhone Forensics To Police

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday September 12, @12:09AM

"The Mercury News reports that former hacker Jonathan Zdziarski has been tapped by law-enforcement agencies nationwide to teach them just how much information is stored in iPhones - and how to get it. 'These devices are people's companions today,' says Zdziarski. 'They're not mobile phones anymore. They organize people's lives. And if you're doing something criminal, something about it is probably going to go through that phone.' For example, every time an iPhone user closes out of the built-in mapping application, the phone snaps a screenshot and stores it. Savvy law-enforcement agents armed with search warrants can use those snapshots to see if a suspect is lying about whereabouts during a crime."

Light bulbs as collector's items? This industry died pretty quick.

GE Closes Last US Light Bulb Factory

Posted by samzenpus on Saturday September 11, @02:02PM

"The Washington Post reports that last major GE factory making ordinary incandescent light bulbs in the US is closing this month, marking a small, sad exit for a product and company that can trace their roots to Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s. What made the plant vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014 but rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas. GE developed a plan to see what it would take to retrofit a plant that makes traditional incandescents into one that makes CFLs but even with a $40 million investment the new plant's CFLs would have cost about 50 percent more than those from China. 'Everybody's jumping on the green bandwagon,' says Pat Doyle, 54, who has worked at the plant for 26 years. But 'we've been sold out. First sold out by the government. Then sold out by GE.'"

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