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Thursday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 23-August-2012  02:14:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Senate has passed a trimmed-down version of the controversial data retention laws. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam described the reforms as a targeted, 'lite' version of the Federal Government's proposed data retention laws, and with more oversight. Ludlam fiercely opposed the proposed data retention laws, but said he backed this reform to police power. Discussion continues in this thread.

Mpot spotted an article bemoaning the lack of a Kensington security slot in the new MacBook Pros. Also interesting because it gives a glimpse behind the scenes of sports photography. It was at that moment that I freaked out, because when I looked at the side of my new top-of-the-line MacBook Pro I noticed that the tiny security slot that Apple puts in ALL MacBook Pros just for this purpose, is missing. It’s just not there (see the photo at the top).

A new world record has been set in Finland for mobile phone throwing. According to contest organisers, the competition offers mobile phone users a unique opportunity to "pay back all the frustrations and disappointments caused by these modern equipments." Finland is the home of Nokia and is awash in obsolete phones, organisers said. Throwing old Nokias? Somebody's going to get killed!

Here's a flashback to the VIC-20 days, with ArsTechnica reporting on a brodcast of BASIC code over FM in Finland. But the young innovator felt isolated. "Computers were not as popular as they are now," Tunkelo said, and few schools had one. Then came a remarkable radio show that changed the landscape for him and a generation of Finnish technology lovers—a show that literally broadcast code over the airwaves. Discussion here.

One of the coolest Curiosity Rover things I've seen is this 360 degree panorama - you can zoom a bit too. Speaking of which, the rover has extended and stowed its instrument arm, waggled its wheels, and is preparing to drive. Today, the six-wheeled rover wiggled its four corner wheels side to side for the first time on Mars, as a test of the steering actuators on those wheels. This was critical preparation for Curiosity's first drive on Mars. "Late tonight, we plan to send Curiosity the commands for doing our first drive tomorrow," said Curiosity Mission Manager Michael Watkins of JPL.

A filter designed to remove the kitschy Instagram photo effects also does wonders for actual old photos. And it follows that, since Instagram's filters are based in on an aesthetic defined by actual old camera hardware and film, it should work near as well on real old photographs. It kind of does!

If you're concerned about the Zombie Apocalypse wiping out your precious electronic data, asher spotted a paper-based solution. If you’re holding off on buying a new hard drive until prices return to normal, here’s an idea: If you have a ream of A4/Letter paper and a high-resolution printer, an open-source Windows application lets you store up to 500KB — half a megabyte! — per side of paper. Let's hope the Zombies haven't mastered fire.

Tweaktown toured a Lian Li Factory. Back in the day, there was no uniform standard for PCI panels. Lian Li told us there were literally hundreds of different panels and if a company wanted a blank PCI panel for its system, the company to go to for the job was Lian Li as they had all the templates and production facility ready to go. Fast forward all these years and Lian Li has stepped way up from merely producing blank PCI panels to some of the best quality and most attractive looking computer cases on the market.

I've unfortunately lost track of who sent in this TED video about online education. Daphne Koller is enticing top universities to put their most intriguing courses online for free -- not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. But it did inspire me to make a Wiki page and a forum thread listing free online education courses. So get learnin'!

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.