Week in Review for 8/3/2008

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  • Researchers develop process for ultra fast, 3D circuits
    This looks like a tweak to traditional fabrication that has the benefit of upping the potent speed of the circuits and allowing them to be stacked by removing the ceramic substrate.
  • Another open handset alternative, LiMo
    An alternative to Android and Symbian whose advantages appear to be that is is a standard Linux stack and has much in common with desktop development. The downside mentioned in the article is no protections from carriers disabling features as they do with existing phones.
  • New search engine from Google alumni
    I am thoroughly unimpressed, regardless of the credentials of the founders, developers. Common searches that return expected results in Google still don’t return anything relevant in Cuil.
  • Cuil’s bubble-like excesses
    This makes me wonder at the motivation of this outfit. Given the performances and quality problems, they certainly aren’t investing in the technology itself, first.
  • Object lesson on donating money to open source
    I can’t say I am surprised that the project couldn’t really use the donation. For a larger one, with a foundation, money makes sense. For smaller projects, not so much unless buying test machines or other secondary resources would be helpful.
  • Quantum error correction
    The idea appears to be to not only add extra qubits but to use entanglement in addition to or instead of a checksum calculation. While it solves one of the key problems in advancing quantum computing, it still suffers from the larger concerns like reliably entangling particles.
  • Study of reasons for rise in popularity of open source
    Most of the reasons are pretty obvious. I like that the actual open nature figures in pretty prominently, that is the absence of vendor lock in is a direct driver of increasing popularity among the other reasons.
  • Threat of lost consumer rights under PERFORM act
    This act affects traditional broadcasts and online streams. For the former, it appears to clash with the rights granted by the AHRA to record broadcasts. For the latter, it is more pressure on webcasters in the former of exorbitant royalties.
  • Comcast caves to baseless legal threat
    NY AG Cuomo has been threatening the carrier with a suit if they don’t filter objectionable material. He has no basis to do so, has even admitted as much, but has pressed the threat anyway. And Comcast has caved in rather than stand up to him.
  • OSCON 2008 roundup
    If you weren’t there last week, this is a pretty good summary. I am strongly contemplating including it in my travel plans for next year.
  • Sun’s free, open source virtual machine
    As a free as in beer and speech solution, this seems pretty darn good. Too bad about the native partition support being lacking but performance seems good enough that lacking the ability to dual boot a VM natively may not be that big a drawback.
  • FF3.1A to include native Ogg support
    Personally, I am going to wait for the beta builds before I try FF3.1 but I am excited at this news. There is no embeddable flash player for ogg but being able to give FF3.1 users an embedded ogg directly will be a hug plus, at least for me, in helping promote the format.
  • AT&T forbidding P2P on 3G network
    This is apparently not limited to leechers but clearly any use of P2P. I am curious whether it represents as severe a drain on cells as claimed. One would think it could improve bandwidth, as it has elsewhere, if used wisely and perhaps with a bit of tuning specific for the cell networks.
  • Psystar hires lawyer with record of success against Apple
    There was some speculation of a more positive outcome, a possible opening of the way for other Mac clone makers. With this litigator, that has taken a big step towards being probable.
  • Where are the technologists on the EAC advisory board?
    This is an issue with the actual chartered requirement of reserving four seats for professionals in the field. One has been filled recently by Barbara Simons, an excellent choice. Felten thinks any new vacancies should follow the charter especially since the board is clearly in need of stronger expert advice.
  • UK going after P2P file sharers very aggressively
    As DRM has failed and other legislative fixes have also failed to shore up the labels’ failing business models, they have tried to pressure ISPs directly and indirectly to help police users. This is continuous with that overall movement. Not sure of the odds of reversing it short of the labels imploding and hence self correcting the problem.
  • Australia considering airport searches of devices for infringing material
    This appears to be much more limited than the concerns over US border searches. It seems to be targeting music devices only and at just airports. However, agents would be authorized to mete out punishments immediately which I expect will cause it to fail to pass muster. It is only a proposal but could make its way into treaty obligations.
  • Bruce Perens on Microsoft’s partnership with Apache
    This analysis is not as deep as I would have hoped. I don’t disagree with the points but we’ve heard these before. I was hoping for more specifics on how Microsoft might be looking to poison the Apache Foundation or its ward in some way. What is in the post is a bit speculative and fairly indirect.
  • End of Patry’s blog
    I understand his reasoning and am guilty of not being clear enough when citing his blog that it is his personal blog. I tended to lump in his day job when referring to his writings there. I am not sure I agree with him describing himself as a copyright cassandra but I do support his more positive ideas, like moving on to learn new things.

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