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OCAU News
Saturday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 22-September-2007  22:12:16 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Rumors are flying of a possible Google plan to lay Pacific fibre optic cable. Google would plan to be part of a project called Unity that would also include several telecommunications companies. Unity hopes to have a cable in service by 2009, the publication wrote. It would own a dedicated portion of the multi-terabit cable, giving it a significant cost advantage for trans-Pacific data transmission over rival Internet companies.

The smiley emoticon has turned 25, :-). Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says, he was the first to use three keystrokes - a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis - as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer message.

802.11n, a new super fast WiFi standard currently at draft stage has encountered serious patent conflict with the CSIRO. The IEEE working group developing the 802.11n Wi-Fi is holding urgent meetings this week to discuss a significant threat to the standard from patents held by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Despite requests from the IEEE, CSIRO has failed to promise not to sue anyone for infringement.

Apple may be at risk in the EU in a similar fashion to Microsoft due to their market dominance. The best example of this is Apple, which managed to get acres of coverage for the UK launch of the iPhone, despite the many ways in which the device is closed, locked down and restricted. Of course the iPhone is a new product with a tiny market share, so there are no issues of dominance, but when it comes to music players and music downloads the situation is very different, and yet it is rarely commented on.

The advent of the Google Lunar X-Prize has prompted some to wonder if permission is required for a Moon landing by private industry. You don't need anyone to sign off on a lunar landing, but you do need a permit to launch anything into space from Earth. Governments oversee private space activity through the framework provided by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which has been signed by 91 nations, including all the major space-faring countries.

Digital care packages known part of the Travelling Terabyte Project have been created by an American network engineer for military personel stationed in other counries. A New Jersey network engineer is on a mission to send some love and care – of the digital kind – to Americans stationed overseas. Going by his hacker handle ‘Deviant Ollam’, he’s been sending out hard drives filled with popular movies, television shows and music for over a year. Dubbed the Traveling Terabyte Project (TTB), the drives have seen action in war-torn countries and one set is now making a small contingent of Marines very happy in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan.

Although military robots are made tough, it seems that they can be easily destroyed by small blasts (video included). Still, it is better having the robot blown up than a soldier. Noah over at Wired's Danger room shows us how much damage those little roadside bombs can do in Iraq, even to the cold, metal exo-skel of a mil-bot. The best part of the video is when the soliders laugh. This wouldn't be the case if it had been private Smith.



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