feeds | grep links > Working with Powered Off Transistors, Investing in Broadband to Save Journalism, and More

I know I don’t usually post anything over the weekend but the podcast, but since I am foregoing this evening’s news cast, here are some thoughts and links on the stories I had set aside.

  • Exploring what powered off transistors can do
    Turns out this EETimes article isn’t about transistors as used in CPUs but rather in other kinds of electronics. The limitations of using them below the normal voltage threshold has promise for analog sensing as is common in medical devices. Imec, Europe’s biggest research center for nano-electronics and nanotechnology is doing some very promising work in this fields. There is a lot more detail in the article of how these transistors would work and the challenges that remain.
  • Gillmor argues investing in the net will save journalism
    Via Cory at Boing Boing. There is no guarantee in what Gillmor, a respected thinker in the realm of journalism, is suggesting. It certainly makes sense to me in terms of bracing the very nature of the internet to has spawned so many disruptive innovations on top of its open and accessible plumbing. The historical example he uses gives hope that his idea will bear fruit though it may be amongst the compost of print journalism as we know it.
  • WikiLeaks inspired media haven passes in Iceland
  • First replicating organism in artificial life system
    Via Hacker News

Lawmakers Want to Bar Sites that Post Leaked Documents

According to Wired, this move comes from Republican legislators in the wake of a leak of a TSA operations manual.

In their letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (.pdf) on Wednesday, Reps. Peter T. King (R – New York), Charles Dent (R – Pennsylvania) and Gus Bilirakis (R – Florida) asked, “How has the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration addressed the repeated reposting of this security manual to other websites, and what legal action, if any, can be taken to compel its removal?”

The TSA workers believed to have been involved in the leak were already put on leave. I suspect that internally, DHS and TSA are reviewing and tightening procedures. I think that is the scope of an appropriate response.

I am intensely wary of any sort of legislation like this as I strongly doubt that it would do anything to curtail the impact of such leaks and definitely would rob us of our critical 1st Amendment rights.

End of Life for the Cell Processor, Debunking the Cat Brain Simulation, and More

  • When piracy isn’t theft
    Glyn Moody linked to this excellent consideration of some of the rhetoric around the tabled Digital Economy Bill. The Guardian article pulls together much of the objections, dismissing most as irrelevant as it suggests that there is a positive aspect we need to be emphasizing: free access to knowledge as its own normative right.
  • EC warns Spain over three strikes plan
    According to The Register, Viviane Reding is once again surprisingly speaking in defense of consumers, not only advocating for judicial oversight of any disconnection policy but also a presumption of innocence. The article also points out that it may be likely that any such disconnection plan would be for commercial piracy. This is certainly more consistent with Spain’s declaration for access to broadband as a right and its existing levy on blank media.
  • IBM bringing the Cell processor to an end
    I was a fan of this processor at the time it came out. Jon Stokes at Ars paints this as perhaps a consequence of the processor being a bit ahead of its time. He also clearly calls out the few but critical differences between the Cell and later, similar designs that no doubt make chips like Larrabee more approachable to program and ultimately better performing.
  • Rebutting a public option for media
    I don’t often agree very strong with Adam Thierer or the usual suspects at TLF as I am just too darn skeptical of an unregulated free market. However, I think he’s done a fine job taking apart what appears to me to be a very bad idea, Free Press’ suggestion of essentially government run media. I can understand why they proposed such a plan, there simply is no clear resolution for the current situation big media is foundering in but here I have to side with the TLF’s usual view, that innovation will be better served by the market. More than that, the critical role of journalism is a check on the government could be seriously compromised by this public option-like idea.
  • Criticism of IBM’s announced cat-brain simulation
    Judging from the IEEE Spectrum post, there appears to be a history with this critic. That doesn’t make his objections wrong and in the letter quoted, he cites what seem to me to be some pretty compelling details to rein in the announcement back to some version of reality. I’m going to have to go back and see if there was any peer review of the original work or just press releases.
  • Is Chrome OS about free, ad supported netbooks?
    I hadn’t really though about the privacy concerns of Chrome OS until Glyn Moody pointed them out alongside suggesting this theory. I think it is plausible but I’d still pay a premium to be able to control my own software and data as well as to be able to perform tasks that the cloud just isn’t up to yet, like serious multimedia heavy lifting.