Judge Blocks Cobb County iBook Plan

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Date: Monday, August 1st, 2005, 09:36
Category: Archive

According to the Associated Press Judge S. Lark Ingram has blocked a laptop computer program in Cobb County because “school officials did not tell voters they what they wanted to do with a special sales tax approved by voters.”
The original plan included US$76 million for technology and school officials estimated they would spend US$32 million on 30,000 computers for students and tens of millions more to “refresh” equipment, such as printers and servers. Part of the tax money was to be used to buy every teacher in the school system a computer.
After voters approved the tax, the school system came up with a new plan that could have eventually distributed 63,000 Apple iBook laptops to all teachers and all students in grades six through 12.

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Privacy Friday: Microsoft's Lockware Strategy

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:57
Category: Archive

Recent headlines blare that Microsoft has forged a new “alliance” with Hollywood, but what does that mean for people who use or create software and hardware that works with Microsoft products?
Seth Schoen, EFF’s staff technologist and resident expert on “trusted computing,” attended this year’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) to find out. In a four-part series of updates on Microsoft’s security and lockware strategy for Windows, Schoen explores the implications of the latest developments on your ability to control your own computer, create or use interoperable products, exercise your fair-use rights, protect your privacy, and maintain computer security. (Source: EFF)
Read More:
Part 1: “Microsoft Trusted Computing Updates
Part 2: “The Dangers of Device Authentication
Part 3: “Protected Media Path, Component Revocation, Windows Driver Lockdown
Part 4: “Microsoft Sells Out the Public on CGMS-A

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Privacy Friday: Is Your Printer Spying On You?

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:21
Category: Archive

Imagine that every time you printed a document, it automatically included a secret code that could be used to identify the printer – and potentially, the person who used it. Sounds like something from an episode of “Alias,” right?
Unfortunately, the scenario isn’t fictional. In an effort to identify counterfeiters, the US government has succeeded in persuading some color laser printer manufacturers to encode each page with identifying information. That means that without your knowledge or consent, an act you assume is private could become public. A communication tool you’re using in everyday life could become a tool for government surveillance. And what’s worse, there are no laws to prevent abuse. (EFF paper: “Investigating Machine Identification Code Technology in Color Laser Printers“)

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Better Daytime Viewing Technology

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Date: Tuesday, July 26th, 2005, 00:02
Category: Archive

An article in Home Theatre Magazine “Brighten Your Daytime Viewing” goes into detail on a new technology that promises to offer up ten times higher contrast in front-projection televisions in daylight and ambient light…

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Yahoo! Acquires Konfabulator, Makes it Free

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Date: Monday, July 25th, 2005, 16:38
Category: Archive

Yahoo! Inc. has acquired Konfabulator, a Mac and Windows application that allows you to run small programs (affectionately dubbed “Widgets”) on your desktop. The best part is that Konfabulator is now FREE, whereas yesterday it was US$19.99. I’ve used and advocated this useful application for years and wish them all the best in their new home.
It should be noted that Konfabulator is a great alternative to users of Mac OS 10.3.x (Panther) that like to use desktop widgets but don’t want to spend US$129 on Mac OS 10.4 just to get Apple’s Dashboard look alike app. Apple took a lot of criticism for the similarities when they announced their Dashboard application that ships for free with Mac OS 10.4 Tiger.
To celebrate the announcement, download a copy of Konfabulator (ahem, Yahoo Widgets) and force Apple to keep innovating Dashboard.
My current favorite widgets are:
– The Weather
– Stock Ticker
– Maps (Doppler radar for your area)
– BBC News RSS
– myFark Newsreader
– Philly Traffic
– Simpsons Quoter (Homer: Operator! Give me the number for 911!)

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Boston's Logan Airport Tries to Halt Wi-Fi Access

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Date: Monday, July 25th, 2005, 11:59
Category: Archive

ComputerWorld: Massport, the state agency that runs Boston’s Logan Airport, is telling Continental Airlines to shut down the free Wi-Fi service it offers customers. The airline now wants the FCC to weigh in on the matter…

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Gapless Audio Playback in iTunes and on the iPod

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Date: Monday, July 25th, 2005, 08:18
Category: Archive

One of the most frequently requested items on our iTunes and iPod wishlists is gapless playback. Gapless playback is the ability to playback a song in iTunes without the annoying gaps that Apple introduces between tracks (even when the “gap between songs” is set to “none.”)
Wandering Focus has posted an iTunes Gapless Audio Tutorial that describes how to copy a CD (with live material, for example) to a single AAC file with embedded Track info for duplication with iTunes or listening truly gapless on a modern iPod.

iTunes 4.9 introduced “Enhanced Podcasting Technology”. iTunes also has “Audiobook Technology”. This technique involves combining the two. Your resulting file will benefit from both. For example, images could be placed in the file (covered elsewhere) that change as the tracks/chapters do (like enhanced podcasts), and listening position is stored (like an audiobook).

Features include:
– All-in-one file
– Skip >> or < < to next track in iTunes, iPod, or CD burned! - True gapless listening experience - Great solution for dealing with live material - iTunes DAO/TOC solution - Remember last listening position - Change Listening Speed (more…)

Modding Your iBook's Apple Logo

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Date: Sunday, July 24th, 2005, 23:46
Category: Archive

Modding Your iBook's Apple LogoMacmine has posted an interesting nugget on modding the Apple logo on the iBook. The process is “surprisingly simple” and involves “removing the back of your iBook’s screen you are enabled to place colorful plastic behind the glowing Apple on the back of your screen.” Click through for a step-by-step tutorial complete with pictures to guide you.

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Mobile Phone Fuel Cells Coming in 2007

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Date: Thursday, July 21st, 2005, 10:53
Category: Archive

Japan’s two largest mobile communications carriers are touting fuel cell technology that can be used to recharge dead or dying cell phones and could be used to actually power the devices within a few years. ComputerWorld

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Lost Laptops Sink Data

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Date: Thursday, July 21st, 2005, 10:05
Category: Archive

Opinion: As the frequency of stolen laptops rises, companies need to do more to protect to data that resides on them, says Robert L. Mitchell. ComputerWorld

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