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Redesigned Technology blog moves to new address

Tech blog

The L.A. Times Technology blog has been redesigned, and with our new duds we’re rolling out a new URL. So if you’ve been a loyal follower of our work, please update your bookmarks.

Our hope is that you’ll find the new look to be cleaner and easier for reading, viewing photos and watching videos. Please let us know what you think about the new look by leaving us a comment on the Technology blog’s Facebook page or by shooting a tweet to @LATimesTech.

Thanks for reading, watching and clicking.

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of the Technology blog’s new look. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Michelle Vieth get more

FCC Approves AT&T Purchase of WiMAX, Comcast Spectrum to Boost Its LTE



Spectrum will take approximately three years to fully develop

In 1997 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission sold hundreds of spectrum licenses to AT&T, Inc. (T) and other carriers, raising $14.7M USD.  The only problem was that the spectrum in question lay adjacent to Sirius XM Inc.’s (SIRI) satellite radio band, and it was feared that if AT&T made use of its new spectrum it would cause interference.  Despite the fact that the FCC willingly sold the licenses to AT&T — or other carriers which in turn sold it to AT&T — it refused to authorize the use until Sirius XM and the carrier worked out a deal.

I. FCC Keeps the Good Times Rolling for AT&T

For over a decade that deal was never reached and the spectrum — in the so-called WCS (Wireless Communications Service) band — went unused.  

But earlier this year Sirius XM and AT&T finally settled their differences after AT&T promised to set aside some of the spectrum to use as a “buffer” — unused space between the two company’s holdings, designed to prevent interference.


The FCC gave the deal its blessing in October, and AT&T was officially in the WCS game.  It then closed a set of deals with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and Horizon Wi-Com, a startup which rode the now-defunct WiMAX 4G standard, to acquire 608 more WCS licenses (enough spectrum to cover 82 percent of the population in 48).

The FCC this week approved those license transfers.

II. A Long Road to Better Coverage 

Between the October and December approvals, AT&T now has a lot of spectrum on its hands to improve its service.  But it will take a lot of work to do that.  By AT&T’s best estimate it will take “approximately three years” to fully leverage the new spectrum.

On the network side AT&T has to upgrade its base-stations; in some cases this may consist of a simple firmware upgrade, in other cases new hardware may be necessary to broadcast in the newly acquired chunks of WCS space.

On the device side, the broadcasting support is useless, if the chips in smartphones aren’t designed to make use of the space.  Again, here a mix of firmware and hardware (antenna, etc.) modifications will likely need to be applied in order to send and receive signals clearly on the new chunk of spectrum.

AT&T hopes to turn off its current fallback 2G network (EDGE) in 2017.  It has begun the work to shuffle some 2G spectrum to 3G (HSPA+) and 4G (LTE) offerings, but again this will be a slow transition.  AT&T also plans to activate “advanced LTE”, which is expected to include voice-over LTE in 2013 (currently AT&T’s 4G LTE network is only used for data traffic).

The carrier is the nation’s second largest and twentieth largest carrier in the world, serving approximately 100.7M USD device-owning Americans.

Sources: FCC, The Verge

Gail Porter Donna Gubbay

NVIDIA Tegra 4 Processor Details Leak



Details on the next generation Tegra 4 processor, codenamed “Wayne”, leak

NVIDIA has done pretty well on the mobile market with its Tegra 3 processor, and it should be of no surprise to anyone that NVIDIA has been working on the next generation Tegra processor. The company even provided some rough details early last year.
 
However, some detailed information on the next-generation 28nm Tegra 4 leaked today, and it promises six times the power of Tegra 3. Tegra 4 appears to be, according to a leaked slide, a 4+1 quad-core design similar to that of the current Tegra 3. The Cortex-A15-based Tegra 4 has 72 graphics cores and supports dual channel memory. Tegra 4 will also support resolutions of 2560 x 1440 for encode and decode and promises very low power consumption.

Other supported features will include the USB 3.0, making this the first NVIDIA chipset to support the new and faster USB standard.

With CES 2013 kicking off in mere weeks, we should have significantly more details coming in the not-too-distant future. 

Source: Engadget

Tyler Faith Christine Anu

With 3.7-inch touch screen and WP7.8 system, Nokia Lumia505 released

According to the information Nokia updated on the Mexico site, this new machine Lumia505 for the low-end market will be tailored to the Mexican carrier Telcel and it offers red, black and magenta three colors, and it is expected to be within the market in the coming weeks.

Nokia Lumia505 continues the past style in the appearance, the curved screen and colorful shell is still the most attractive in appearance. As for the configuration, this new machine is not so special, it is equipped with a 3.7 inches AMOLED WVGA resolution touch screen, joined Corning Gorilla Glass and ClearBlack technology, with 256MB RAM memory and 4GB ROM capacity, but it does not support memory card expansion.

Nokia Lumia505 is also loaded with Qualcomm Xiao Long processor, although the official did not disclose the specific model,according to previous news rumors there will be a 800MHz single-core processor, which makes the overall configuration of the machine is basically the same level with the Nokia Lumia510.

Nokia Lumia505 also has built-in 800-megapixel camera, but there is no Carl Zeiss lens, and also it does not support auto-focus function, and it can even only record VGA resolution video screen, while the lack of front camera is also regrettable. Still, the phone provides a thorough wireless connection, it supports WCDMA/HSPA network, Wi-Fi wireless Internet access and Bluetooth 2.1 technology.

The Nokia Lumia505 is also equipped with WP7.8 system, the upcoming new features will include providing new start screen experience, changeable dynamics magnet size.

The Nokia Lumia505 also has a big advantage that it has a long standby time, as equipped with a 1300 mA battery, it can support 36 hours continuous music playback time, and be able to get 7.2 hours talk time in 3G network and up to 600 hours standby time.

Related Posts:

Barbara Flynn Nancy Allen

Most Facebook users get more from it than they put in, study says

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The Pew Research Internet Project released a report about Facebook on Friday, providing insights into the company that you won’t find in its IPO filing.

Rather than focusing on the company’s financials, the report “Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give” sheds light on how Facebook’s 845 million users engage with Facebook and what they get out of it.

The findings show that social interactions on Facebook closely mirror social interactions in the real world.

For example, over the course of a one-month period, researchers found that women made an average of 11 updates to their Facebook status, while men averaged only six. Also, women were more likely to comment on other people’s status updates than men.

“There was a general trend in our data that women use Facebook more than men,” said Keith Hampton, a professor at Rutgers and lead author of the report. “This is a phenomenon that is not unique to Facebook. Women are traditionally in charge of social relationships offline, and that seems to be true of the online world as well.”

The report says men are more likely to send friend requests and women are more likely to receive them. That’s something else we see in the real world — especially in bars.

The report also says that most people who use Facebook get more out of it than they put into it, which may explain why they keep coming back.

Researchers found that 40% of Facebook users in a sample group made a friend request, while 63% received at least one friend request. They found that 12% of the sample tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo. And each user in the sample clicked the “like” button next to a friend’s content an average of 14 times but had his or her own content ‘liked’ an average of 20 times.

Why the imbalance?

“There is this 20% to 30% who are extremely active who are giving more than they are getting, and they are so active they are making up for feeding everyone extra stuff,” Hampton said. “You might go on Facebook and post something and have time to click ‘like’ on one thing you see in your news feed, but then you get a whole bunch of ‘likes’ on your news feed. That’s because of this very active group.”

He also said extremely active users tend to have a niche: Some are really into friending, others are really into tagging photos, and still others click the ‘like’ button a lot. Rarely is any one user extreme in all those ways.

I asked Hampton what he could tell me about these extremely active people, whom he calls Facebook “power users.” Are they unstoppably social? Unemployed? Lonely?

“It could be people who are always active — whatever they are doing in their life, they are very active. Or it could be that just in the one month we observed them they are active and another month a different group of people would rise up,” he said. “It could be that there is something going on in their life that causes them to be very active, or it could be that some people think of it almost as a job to be active on Facebook.”

ALSO:

Facebook’s IPO filing, by the numbers

Vizio’s 21:9 aspect CinemaWide TV due in March at $3,499

Steve Jobs turning over in his grave? Look-alike touts rival Android

– Deborah Netburn

Photo: A worker at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park. Credit: Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

Thora Birch Veronika Zemanova

For New Lamps, An Unlikely Energy Source: Gravity

As long as you reset a weight every 30 minutes, you can have a continuous, battery-free light source.

GravityLight: lighting for the developing countries from T4 on Vimeo.

Kerosene lamps used in off-grid, rural areas are a major problem. They’re bad for people’s health and the environment’s. One startup’s solution is to tap another, greener resource, something we all have in abundance: gravity.

The invention, GravityLight, does exactly what the name suggests: It keeps a light going through the power of gravity. As an attached weight falls, it pulls a cord through the center of the light, powering a dynamo. That dynamo converts the energy from the falling weight into power for the light. (It’s the same idea as a hand-cranked device, just more vertical.) The weight can be set in a few seconds, and as it slowly reaches Earth, enough energy is generated to keep a light working for 30 minutes. As long as it’s set every 30 minutes, it makes for a green, battery-free, continuous stream of light. Other, similar devices like battery chargers could be used through the same process, too.

The inventors say the gadgets can be sold now for less than $10, which would make a return on investment for owners three months after dumping kerosene lighting. And speaking of investments, the group has already shattered the goal for its Indiegogo campaign, meaning we’ll hopefully see these in action soon.

[Treehugger]

Arnold Schwarzenegger Rachel McAdams

For New Lamps, An Unlikely Energy Source: Gravity

As long as you reset a weight every 30 minutes, you can have a continuous, battery-free light source.

GravityLight: lighting for the developing countries from T4 on Vimeo.

Kerosene lamps used in off-grid, rural areas are a major problem. They’re bad for people’s health and the environment’s. One startup’s solution is to tap another, greener resource, something we all have in abundance: gravity.

The invention, GravityLight, does exactly what the name suggests: It keeps a light going through the power of gravity. As an attached weight falls, it pulls a cord through the center of the light, powering a dynamo. That dynamo converts the energy from the falling weight into power for the light. (It’s the same idea as a hand-cranked device, just more vertical.) The weight can be set in a few seconds, and as it slowly reaches Earth, enough energy is generated to keep a light working for 30 minutes. As long as it’s set every 30 minutes, it makes for a green, battery-free, continuous stream of light. Other, similar devices like battery chargers could be used through the same process, too.

The inventors say the gadgets can be sold now for less than $10, which would make a return on investment for owners three months after dumping kerosene lighting. And speaking of investments, the group has already shattered the goal for its Indiegogo campaign, meaning we’ll hopefully see these in action soon.

[Treehugger]

Jackie Chan Laura Dern

User added wireless charging for the Google Nexus tablet

The user mentioned today is not an ordinary one, he has done a lot of functional improvements for smartphone before, this time this user adds wireless charging for the Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC, his name is -Rod Whitby, and I think he is not a stranger to some people. Currently that Rod Whitby adds wireless charging technology for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC has reached the final step, his uses a Touchstone charging dock and an old circuit on an old Palm smartphone to complete this experiment, just like some software hackers have done.

Rod Whitby for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC to add wireless charging technology has reached the final step, his old circuit to complete this experiment on the use of a Touchstone charging dock and an old Palm smartphone, just like some software hackers done.

However, in this process Whitby had to overcome some difficulties. First, he needs to find a large enough space to install something in the real cover of the Tablet PC. Then, he found a single charging coil can not meet the Nexus 7 Tablet PC charging voltage demand. How to solve these difficulties? He used two parallel wires to provide more stable power supply. He is currently testing another method, which is to remove the larger coil from the HP TouchPad to provide large enough voltage.

Although these tests have not yet completed, but we are very confident on Rod to add wireless charging technology for Google Nexus Tablet PC. As to the success, then please pay attention to his dynamic on Google to obtain the latest information about the message.

Related Posts:

Amanda Doherty Pete Travis

Electric Grid Hum Used to Time-Stamp Digital Recordings, Verify Evidence



UK police are putting tactic to use to fight crime

Romanian audio specialist Dr. Catalan Grigoras, now director of the National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado, Denver, made an intriguing discovery about a decade ago. The ubiquitous hum of modern society follows a unique pattern that allows many recordings to be validated.  Now police in the United Kingdom have begun to use the tactic to verify evidence in important court cases.

I. Industry’s Silent Song

Recordings traditionally have been a highly unreliable form of evidence, given that they could easily be cleverly staged or tampered with.

That’s where the hum comes in.  Electrical sources such as light poles and power outlets emit a near imperceptible hum.  While centered around the frequency of the alternating current (50 Hz in the UK), the hum dips and rises by a few thousandths of a hertz over time.  The frequency drops when demand outpaces supply, and rises when supply outpaces demand.

Given a long enough window, this pattern of rising and falling frequencies is virtually unique, as Dr. Grigoras found.


But by using a technique called Electric Network Frequency (ENF) analysis, law enforcement can store the pattern of the hum for a particular grid in a database.  The Metropolitan Police lab has been compiling such a database in recent years, as has JP French Associates — another UK forensics lab.

Comments JP French’s Dr. Phillip Harrison to BBC News, “We can extract [the hum from a recording] and compare it with the database – if it is a continuous recording, it will all match up nicely.  If we’ve got some breaks in the recording, if it’s been stopped and started, the profiles won’t match or there will be a section missing. Or if it has come from two different recordings looking as if it is one, we’ll have two different profiles within that one recording.”

II. A New Time Stamp, but Could it be Gamed?

A trio of London gangsters – Hume Bent, Carlos Moncrieffe and Christopher McKenzie — recently saw their defense against London Metropolitan Police charges of gun dealing fall apart thanks to ENF.  Dr. Alan Cooper, a Met Police ENF expert, validated police recordings of weapons deals using the grid buzz, scientifically damaging the defense’s claim that the recordings were tampered with.


The trio was founded guilty and sentenced to prison for a total of 33 years.

It seems appropriate the novel forensics method has been pioneered in the birthplace of fiction’s Sherlock Holmes.  But in years ahead, some questions about ENF remain unanswered.  For example, while individuals would be unlikely to be able fake the ENF hum, it might be feasible, albeit extremely difficult, for a police force to filter out the hum in a recording and dub in a hum at the time they wish to make the recording appear from, given that they have access to the entire database of recordings.

It might be even possible for a citizen skilled in audio recording to carry out such a feat.  Thus the technique may lay to rest questions of cruder tampering, but may still have flaws of its own.  For that reason, in time it will probably be used as a piece of a richer evidence puzzle, also composed of other circumstantial clues like cell phone tower records or surveillance footage.

Source: BBC

Robyn Douglas Alessia Marcuzzi

User added wireless charging for the Google Nexus tablet

The user mentioned today is not an ordinary one, he has done a lot of functional improvements for smartphone before, this time this user adds wireless charging for the Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC, his name is -Rod Whitby, and I think he is not a stranger to some people. Currently that Rod Whitby adds wireless charging technology for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC has reached the final step, his uses a Touchstone charging dock and an old circuit on an old Palm smartphone to complete this experiment, just like some software hackers have done.

Rod Whitby for Google Nexus 7 Tablet PC to add wireless charging technology has reached the final step, his old circuit to complete this experiment on the use of a Touchstone charging dock and an old Palm smartphone, just like some software hackers done.

However, in this process Whitby had to overcome some difficulties. First, he needs to find a large enough space to install something in the real cover of the Tablet PC. Then, he found a single charging coil can not meet the Nexus 7 Tablet PC charging voltage demand. How to solve these difficulties? He used two parallel wires to provide more stable power supply. He is currently testing another method, which is to remove the larger coil from the HP TouchPad to provide large enough voltage.

Although these tests have not yet completed, but we are very confident on Rod to add wireless charging technology for Google Nexus Tablet PC. As to the success, then please pay attention to his dynamic on Google to obtain the latest information about the message.

Related Posts:

Barbara Bouchet Janice Renney

12/14/2012 Daily Hardware Reviews




Spire CoolGate @ XSReviews

DailyTech’s roundup of hardware reviews from around the web for Friday

Laptops
MSI GT70 Dragon Edition Gaming Laptop @ HardwareHeaven.com
Samsung 9-Series NP900X4C-A02 15.1-inch Ultrabook @ PCSTATS

Motherboards
Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 @ Guru3D

Graphics
Asus Radeon HD 7770 DirectCU TOP 1GB Graphics Card @ eTeknix

Memory
GSKill TridentX 2660Mhz CL11 Dual Channel Memory @ Ninjalane
Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP DDR3-1600 CL9 @ XSReviews
Acer Chromebook @ TechSpot

Storage
Samsung SSD 840 Series (250GB) @ Hexus
SMART Optimus 400GB Enterprise SSD @ TweakTown

Enclosures
BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX PC Case @ nikktech
Corsair Carbide Series 200R Compact Mid-Tower Chassis @ TweakTown
Corsair Carbide 200R Case @ Hardware Canucks
Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene ‘Snow Edition’ @ OCC
Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Quiet PC Tower @ Pro-Clockers

Cooling
Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile Heatsink @ OCmodshop
Spire CoolGate @ XSReviews
Koolance CPU-380 CPU Waterblock @ PureOverclock
NZXT Respire T40 CPU Cooler @ eTeknix

Power Supplies
Rosewill Fortress 750W Power Supply @ Pro-Clockers
Rosewill Tachyon 750 W Power Supply @ Hardware Secrets
Seasonic X-Series KM3 650 W Power Supply @ Hardware Secrets
Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 650W PSU @ Legit Reviews

Networking
Patriot Gauntlet Node @ Hexus

Gaming
Assassin’s Creed 3 Performance and IQ Review @ [H]

Smartphones
Apple iPhone 5 @ t-break

Catherine Oxenberg Jennifer Connelly

Microsoft Stores taking $25 deposit on Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

AT&T, Microsoft and Nokia haven’t said when the Lumia 900 will hit stores or how much it will cost, but if the flagship Windows Phone is a device you just have to have, you can now pre-order it.

Microsoft’s retail stores are currently taking a $25 deposit for those looking to reserve themselves a Lumia 900 on launch day, whenever that is. The deposit offer was first reported by The Verge and confirmed to The Times on Friday through Microsoft Store employees.

Rumor has it that the Lumia 900 could launch in March at a price of about $99 on a 2-year contract, which would undercut top-of-the-line rivals such as Apple’s iPhone 4S and the Android Ice-Cream-Sandwich-equipped Galaxy Nexus, built by Samsung.

In the U.S., the Lumia 900 will be exclusive to AT&T and feature a 4.3-inch display, a polycarbonate body in cyan or black, a 1.4-gigahertz Qualcomm single-core processor, 512 megabytes of RAM, 16 gigabytes of built-in storage, an 8-megapixel/720p video rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

I spent a bit of time with the Lumia 900 at CES in Las Vegas last month, and the phone did look quite impressive and something I thought could sell at $150 or $200 on a 2-year contract. Check out my hands-on look at the Lumia 900 below.

RELATED:

Nokia’s Lumia 900 Windows Phone may launch at $99

Lumia 710, Nokia’s first U.S. Windows Phone — review

CES 2012: Lumia 900, Nokia’s first 4G LTE Windows Phone, debuts [Photos and Video]

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Facebook.com/nateog

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone sits on display inside a Nokia retail store in Helsinki, Finland. Credit: Ville Mannikko / Bloomberg

Chyna (Joanie Laurer) Jennifer Garner

For New Lamps, An Unlikely Energy Source: Gravity

As long as you reset a weight every 30 minutes, you can have a continuous, battery-free light source.

GravityLight: lighting for the developing countries from T4 on Vimeo.

Kerosene lamps used in off-grid, rural areas are a major problem. They’re bad for people’s health and the environment’s. One startup’s solution is to tap another, greener resource, something we all have in abundance: gravity.

The invention, GravityLight, does exactly what the name suggests: It keeps a light going through the power of gravity. As an attached weight falls, it pulls a cord through the center of the light, powering a dynamo. That dynamo converts the energy from the falling weight into power for the light. (It’s the same idea as a hand-cranked device, just more vertical.) The weight can be set in a few seconds, and as it slowly reaches Earth, enough energy is generated to keep a light working for 30 minutes. As long as it’s set every 30 minutes, it makes for a green, battery-free, continuous stream of light. Other, similar devices like battery chargers could be used through the same process, too.

The inventors say the gadgets can be sold now for less than $10, which would make a return on investment for owners three months after dumping kerosene lighting. And speaking of investments, the group has already shattered the goal for its Indiegogo campaign, meaning we’ll hopefully see these in action soon.

[Treehugger]

Claudia Schiffer Coco Sumner

These Terrifying Handcuffs Can Shock And Drug Prisoners

A recently filed patent details the (scary dystopian) handcuffs of the future.

Electric Shock Cuffs USPTO via Patent Bolt

An Arizona-based company recently filed a patent for high-tech futuristic handcuffs that are, in a word, terrifying. In addition to restraining prisoners, the cuffs can also deliver electric shocks and sedatives.

They’re still in the patent phase right now, of course, but when they do exist on a full commercial scale, they could work manually at a guard’s behest or they could be programmed to automatically activate when someone in cuffs starts to act up or steps outside of certain boundaries. Safety mechanisms could–hopefully will–be set to prevent a guard from doping or shocking prisoners to the point where they suffer from major side effects. Death, for example.

As for the drugs: They could include “an irritant, a medication, a sedative, a transdermal medication or transdermal enhancers such as dimethyl sulfoxide, a chemical restraint, a paralytic, a medication prescribed to the detainee, and combinations thereof.”

If the cuffs move past the patent office and into commercial production, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of rules and regulations come attached. From patent photos, it looks like the developers might already have a prototype, which means we might be seeing them sooner rather than later. Note to self: Avoid jail.

[Patent Bolt via Daily Mail]

Eliza Szonert Catherine Deelay

Peru’s spiral Nazca lines ‘are a path to spiritual enlightenment’

  • Labyrinthine shapes were ‘designed to be walked along, not seen’
  • They were created as a ‘spiritual path’ for Nazca tribe

By Charles Walford

|

Some say they were created as messages to the gods, while slightly more bizarre theories suggest they were traced by aliens.

But now a scientist has claimed he has solved the mystery at least one of the 1,500-year-old Nazca lines.

Professor Clive Ruggles, of the University of Leicester, says the spiral shape traced in the Peruvian desert are likely to have been a labyrinth, created as a spiritual path.

The huge images, which include hundreds of animals and complex mazes in the Nazca desert, can only clearly be seen for the air giving rise to a number of explanations as to who they were intended for.

Scroll down for video

Inspiring spiral: The spiral lies in the centre of the area analysed by Prof Ruggles

Inspiring spiral: The spiral lies in the centre of the area analysed by Prof Ruggles

Focal point: Surrounding the spiral are a series of straight lines, some stretching a mile-long across the sand

Focal point: Surrounding the spiral are a series of straight lines, some stretching a mile-long across the sand

But some have no easily identifiable shape, raising further questions as to what they could be.

And Prof Ruggles believes some of the Nazca Lines were in fact not created to be seen at all, but to be walked in single file as part of a spiritual ritual.

As part of a five-year investigation, the British researchers covered 1,500km of desert in southern Peru – tracing the lines and geometric figures created by the Nazca people between 100 BC and AD 700.

Prof Ruggles, along with Dr Nicholas Saunders, of the University of Bristol, combined the experience and knowledge gained by walking the lines with scientific data obtained from satellite digital mapping.

The result, published in the journal Antiquity is the most detailed such study to date.

Prof Ruggles, who believes they were the first people to walk the 4.4km lines in more than 1,000 years, said: ‘The labyrinth was probably constructed during the middle part of the 800-year-long Nazca period, around AD 500.

‘Unlike some of the famous zoomorphic (animal) figures, its irregular form provides no reason to speculate that it might have been intended to be viewed from the air.

Heron: A number of the patterns are int he shape of birds, with varying theories as to their significance

Heron: A number of the patterns are int he shape of birds, with varying theories as to their significance

Monkey see, monkey do: A size of the animal designs has led many to believe that they were created to be seen by the gods

Monkey see, monkey do: A size of the animal designs has led many to believe that they were created to be seen by the gods

THE DESERT LINES THAT LAY UNSEEN FOR CENTURIES

Contrary to the popular belief that the figures can only be seen from the air, they are actually visible from the surrounding foothills.

They were first spotted by the Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe, while hiking through the foothills in 1927.

Paul Kosok, from Long Island University, is credited as the first scholar to seriously study the Nazca Lines.

While in Perus in 1940-41 to study ancient irrigation systems, he flew over the lines – realised that one was in the shape of a bird.

He also discovered that the lines converged at the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Along with Maria Reiche, a German mathematician and archaeologist, Kosok proposed the figures were markers on the horizon to show where the sun and other celestial bodies rose.

As for how they were made, archaeological surveys have found wooden stakes in the ground at the end of some lines, which support theory the ancient people used simple tools and surveying equipment to construct the lines.

Most of the lines are formed by a shallow trench with a depth of between 10cm and 15cm, made by removing the reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles that cover the surface of the Nazca desert and exposing the light-colored earth underneath.

This sublayer contains high amounts of lime which has down the years hardened to form a protective layer that shields the lines from winds and prevents erosion.

‘As Nick Saunders and I argue, it was not meant to be ‘seen’ from outside at all, but rather to be experienced from within. It was meant to be walked.

‘This leads on to the question of by whom, and in what circumstances.

‘Our conclusions in the paper are reached by combining the archaeological evidence and interpretations based on the actual experience of walking the figure in its entirety.’

Professor Ruggles first discovered the labyrinth in 1984. He said; ‘I didn’t have the slightest idea of its true nature.

‘Only gradually did I realise that here was a figure set out on a huge scale and still traceable, that it was clearly intended for walking, and that I was almost certainly the first person to have recognised it for what it was, and walked it from end to end, for some 1500 years.

‘The ancient Nasca peoples created the geoglyphs, and used them, by walking on the ground.

‘”Sharing” some of those experiences by walking the lines ourselves is an important source of information that complements the “hard” scientific and archaeological evidence and can really aid our attempts to make anthropological sense of it.’

Although arid conditions have ensured remarkable preservation of Nazca’s fragile geolyphs for over a millenium, segments of nearly all the lines and figures – including the labyrinth – have been washed away by flash floods, the study for journal Antiquity says.

But the researchers say the pristine state and well-preserved edges of the labyrinth suggest it was never walked by more than a few people in single file, which makes it likely to have had a spiritual and ritual purpose.

Road to discovery: New theory suggest the lines - parts of which are cut through by the Panamerican Highway - were a path to spiritual enlightenment

Road to discovery: New theory suggest the lines – parts of which are cut through by the Panamerican Highway – were a path to spiritual enlightenment

Flying high: The hummingbird sits atop a promontory in the Nazca Desert

Flying high: The hummingbird sits atop a promontory in the Nazca Desert

VIDEO: A flyover view of the Nazca Lines:

Diamond Tracey Shaw

These Terrifying Handcuffs Can Shock And Drug Prisoners

A recently filed patent details the (scary dystopian) handcuffs of the future.

Electric Shock Cuffs USPTO via Patent Bolt

An Arizona-based company recently filed a patent for high-tech futuristic handcuffs that are, in a word, terrifying. In addition to restraining prisoners, the cuffs can also deliver electric shocks and sedatives.

They’re still in the patent phase right now, of course, but when they do exist on a full commercial scale, they could work manually at a guard’s behest or they could be programmed to automatically activate when someone in cuffs starts to act up or steps outside of certain boundaries. Safety mechanisms could–hopefully will–be set to prevent a guard from doping or shocking prisoners to the point where they suffer from major side effects. Death, for example.

As for the drugs: They could include “an irritant, a medication, a sedative, a transdermal medication or transdermal enhancers such as dimethyl sulfoxide, a chemical restraint, a paralytic, a medication prescribed to the detainee, and combinations thereof.”

If the cuffs move past the patent office and into commercial production, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of rules and regulations come attached. From patent photos, it looks like the developers might already have a prototype, which means we might be seeing them sooner rather than later. Note to self: Avoid jail.

[Patent Bolt via Daily Mail]

Steffi Graf Chyna (Joanie Laurer)

7 Gifts For The Geeky Kid In Your Life

The year’s coolest toys for kids who like to build things, break things, and play with bugs

Kids make the best scientists

Kids make the best scientists Dreamstime

Research shows that all kids are basically tiny scientists who learn about their world through advanced experiments disguised as play. The seven toys in this gallery aren’t just super fun–they’ll also teach children how circuits work, how things fly, and how to build adorable robots.

If there is a miniature engineer, biologist or roboticist in your life, here’s what to buy him or her this year.

Click here to enter the gallery

Susan George Melanie Griffith

Foxconn Runs into Trouble Deploying Robot Replacements for Human Workers




  (Source: supplychaindigital.com)

High costs and changing technology were cited as two main hurdles

Foxconn would love to eliminate its worker woes by deploying a full fleet of robots to do the work instead, but this venture may be trickier than previously thought.

Foxconn, which is the trading name for Hon Hai Precision Co. in China where devices like the iPhone and iPad are made, hopes to replace all 1.5 million of its workers with robots in the future, but issues like changing technology and high costs are putting delays on the project.

Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou said in 2011 that he wanted 300,000 robots installed by the end of 2012 and a total of 1 million by 2014. However, in June of this year, it was apparent that those targets weren’t going to happen. Instead, he hopes to have “monotonous” tasks eliminated through automation within a few years and fully automated plants in five to 10 years.

The issue? For one, the cost to install that many robots would be very high. According to The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn would have to spend anywhere from $2.1 billion to over $10 billion for fully automated plants, depending on the type of robots used. Foxconn’s traditional capital spending is below $3 billion.

In addition to cost, technology is ever-changing, and keeping up with the production cycles of different products would take more time than having humans perform the same task. For instance, once you’ve finished stabilizing the process for one product, it’s already time for a new product to roll down the line.

Just last month, it was announced that at least one Foxconn factory in China received 10,000 robots for the purpose of replacing human workers. These robots, which were manufactured in house and called “Foxbots,” are capable of doing simple tasks like lifting, making selections and placing items where they belong. They will act much like assembly line robots. According to Singularity HUB, each robot costs about $20,000-$25,000.

The whole point of Foxconn’s robot replacement program is to rid itself of the troubles that come with having human workers. Foxconn has been under the microscope since 2009 for various troubles like worker suicides, explosions in the plants due to aluminum dust build-up and other unsafe working conditions, riots, excessive overtime, low pay, etc.

The company came under fire earlier this year when The New York Times published a massive article on the working conditions of Foxconn factories. Apple was also targeted because the report mentioned Apple’s lack of action when receiving reports on these poor working environments and overtime/pay issues.

Foxconn gave employees a pay boost earlier this year and is cleaning its act up slowly but surely to comply with audits. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Sherilyn Fenn Ivana Trump

How To Scrub GPS Data From Your Photos; Or, How To Be Smarter Than Vice

You know, in case you’re trying to conceal your location (or a murder suspect’s).

Samsung Galaxy Camera

Samsung Galaxy Camera Dan Nosowitz

John McAfee–anti-virus pioneer, “person of interest” in Belize murder investigation, and launcher of increasingly bizarre media stories–has been captured. It happened after journalists from Vice accidentally published an iPhone photo of McAfee with embedded GPS data.

In case you didn’t know, a lot of newer devices store that kind of information, known as EXIF data, in images. EXIF data is helpful in providing details about a photograph’s provenance. Remember when that now-famous photo of the Situation Room during the Osama Bin Laden raid started making the rounds? EXIF data revealed the camera’s model and settings, plus the editing software used on the image. Cool stuff to know about one of the most iconic photographs of the decade.

But in case you’re traveling with a murder suspect, you might not want to share that information. So here’s a handy guide to getting rid of it.

Switch off location settings.
Since the Vice photo was published from an iPhone, we’ll start there. There’s a camera “location services” setting that can be switched off, and, easy enough, you’ve got a GPS-free photo to share with the world. (The settings changed slightly in iOS 6, so check the details here.) This video tutorial shows how to set the same functions for an Android phone.

Use editing software.
If you want to go through editing software, you have some other options, too. The “Save For Web” function (File, Save for Web & Devices) should scrub the data, but the scrubbing is probably the very last step you want to take before you release your photo, and there’s usually a way to do it within your operating system. Here, for example, is a quick tutorial for Windows. (Alternately, if there’s not an option for GPS scrubbing on the Windows version you’re running, you can download software like Metanull.) On a Mac, it’s a little tougher–you’ll need some software. Here’s a similar software download for Mac, but there are a lot out there. (And Lifehacker has a quick one for Linux users, too.)

Check your social networks.
For those of you who are especially worried about people tracking you down, Facebook and Twitter strip EXIF data and Flickr makes you opt in to using it (although not all third-party clients will do the same). So, be careful when sharing your anti-virus outlaw pics with friends!

Jamie Lynn Steffi Graf

IBM Manufactures Nanophotonics on 90 nm CMOS, Demos 25 GBPS Per Channel



New processes push technology to the verge of commercialization

International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM) is among the companies racing to develop nanophotonics – on-die light based signaling components — which can be incorporated directly side-by-side with traditional silicon-based electronics using traditional manufacturing techniques like complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS).

Currently, signals between components like the processor cores and the memory crawl along as electrons along copper-based wires.  In the new scheme modulators (which create the signal, often using a ring), wave-length multiplexers (which route signals), switches (which turn signals on or off), and detectors (which receive signals) are baked onto silicon chips connected by fiber optics.  Signals then travel at the speed of light along fiber optic channels.

After first demoing the technology in crude proof-of-concept form back in 2010, IBM has returned with the world’s smallest announced CMOS-compatible nanophotonics processes.  The company showed off chips this week that were build on a traditional 90 nm CMOS node, a node far smaller than earlier prototypes.


IBM says the technology is “primed for commercial development” and will soon be ferrying “terabytes of data between distant parts of computer systems”.  In a demo IBM showed off 25 gigabytes-per-second (GBps) transfer rates, a speed typically seen in bulky telecommunications fiber-optics equipment, not in PC interconnects, which crawl along at megabytes-per-second (or around 1 Gbps for high-speed PCI-express lanes).

The hope is that the new interconnects will soon pump internal and external communication up to speeds of up to thousands of times the current technology.

Dr. John E. Kelly, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, remarks, “This [latest showcased] technology breakthrough is a result of more than a decade of pioneering research at IBM.  This allows us to move silicon nanophotonics technology into a real-world manufacturing environment that will have impact across a range of applications.”

The IBM research fellow and SVP will be showing off his work in a paper at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), which is being held this week in San Francisco, Calif.

Sources: IBM [1], [2]

Anette Bening Alizee Vertaald

$100 Android/Linux tablet hits funding goal, ships in January

A $100 tablet that can run both Android and Linux is on the verge of becoming a reality. We wrote about the “PengPod” last month when its creators were seeking $49,000 on a Kickstarter-like site called Indiegogo. The project’s deadline expired last night, with the PengPod getting a healthy $72,707 from more than 500 contributors.

PengPod tablets are made by a company called Peacock Imports, and will be able to dual-boot Android 4.0 and a version of Linux with the touch-friendly KDE Plasma Active interface. The dual-booting scenario involves running Android from internal memory and Linux from a bootable SD card. People who pledged $99 or more are promised a tablet, with an estimated delivery date of January 2013.

These tablets aren’t going to be as slick as a Nexus 7, but if you want both Android and a full desktop operating system on a touchscreen device it doesn’t get any more affordable than the PengPod. At the moment, the PengPod website doesn’t provide a way to order the tablet, as the company was relying on the Indiegogo campaign. But with any luck, more will be available after the Indiegogo contributors receive theirs.

Update: The PengPod website is now taking pre-orders.

Jodie Foster Olivia Pascal

White House Completes Review for Black Boxes in Automobiles




  (Source: saferautomobiles.com)

The NHTSA is now preparing to finalize the regulation

The White House has finished its review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) proposal to mandate event data recorders (EDR) in all new vehicles.

Now that the White House Office of Management Budget has completed the review, the NHTSA is preparing to finalize the regulation. The proposal suggests increasing the number of new vehicles with EDRs from 91.6 percent today to 100 percent of light-duty cars and trucks.

Event data recorders, also known as “black boxes,” collect driver data such as speed, use of a seatbelt, whether brakes were applied, etc. before and after a vehicle crash. The idea behind them is to deploy better safety measures for vehicles as well as better overall vehicle design.

The NHTSA originally said it’d create a proposal for the White House concerning EDR regulation by the end of 2011. After doing so, the White House Office of Management Budget delayed comment or review for a year.

Back in August of this year, the NHTSA rejected the White House’s request for further delay of the black box standards.

Some automakers already place EDRs in all of their vehicles, such as Ford, General Motors Mazda and Toyota.

The road to EDR regulation hasn’t been all smooth, though. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes Toyota, Volkswagen AG and Detroit’s Big Three, had issues with both driver privacy and the cost of these black boxes.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers complained in May 2010 that the black boxes suggested by the government were too expensive to deploy in all vehicles. Further, it stated that EDRs could potentially be abused by the government.

“Event data recorders help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world but looking forward, we need to make sure we preserve privacy,” said Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spokeswoman Gloria Bergquist. “Automakers do not access EDR data without consumer permission, and any government requirements to install EDRs on all vehicles must include steps to protect consumer privacy.”

In April of this year, the U.S. Senate passed a highway bill called the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act”, also known as MAP21. The bill aimed to require all new 2015 model year vehicles to have black boxes for record vehicle data.

Source: The Detroit News

Lisa Loring Martina Warren

Samsung’s Galaxy Camera Is The Camera Of The Future [Review]

The Galaxy Camera runs a full version of Android on its full touchscreen, along with a 4G LTE connection. This is how cameras will work in the future–but how about the present?

Samsung Galaxy Camera

Samsung Galaxy Camera Dan Nosowitz

To review the Samsung Galaxy Camera, Popular Photography‘s Dan Bracaglia lends his photographic expertise to talk about the camera from a photog’s perspective, while Popular Science‘s gadget reviewer, Dan Nosowitz, reviews the camera from a gadget-geek’s perspective.

Dan Nosowitz: I wasn’t optimistic about the Samsung Galaxy Camera. The idea of a camera with a big touchscreen and a full version of Android, complete with 4G LTE connection, is enticing, but I do not care much at all for Samsung’s other Galaxy products, which to this point have just been smartphones and tablets. I find their hardware chintzy and their software difficult and confused, as the company insists on mucking up Android (which is really great!) with their slow and bloated skins. Yet to my surprise, the Galaxy Camera is by far my favorite product in the Galaxy line.

The Galaxy Camera is by far my favorite product in the Galaxy line.As an Android device, it’s got pretty much the same guts as a modern Galaxy smartphone. That means a huge 4.8-inch screen, a quad-core processor, a Samsung-ified version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and 4G LTE connectivity. It even has a microphone, intended to be used while taking video, so theoretically you could ditch your phone, make calls with a VoIP service or Google Voice, and use this as your exclusive camera/phone. And of course it has access to the entire Android app store, which has fairly recently been renamed Google Play. But this is not a Galaxy smartphone with an improved camera; this is a high-end Samsung point-and-shoot with Android.

Using the Galaxy: Performance is pretty good; it’s not as fast getting around as the screamingly-fast Nexus 4, but it’s certainly not laggy. Android 4.1 is very nice; the Galaxy Camera has all the benefits of Google Now and all kinds of other great Android stuff. The screen is not the best screen I’ve ever used (not quite as sharp as the iPhone 5 or Nokia Lumia 920), but it is a very good screen, and it is definitely the best screen I’ve ever used on a camera. I think 4.8 inches is too big for a phone, but man is it awesome on a camera. You can actually share photos with a group on this thing!

Samsung’s software is, as always, annoying. It’s not as in-your-face with a million new gestures and pop-ups and buzzword-y features that plague its Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note smartphones. It’s not wildly different from stock Android but aside from the camera interface, there’s not a single thing I like better about the changes Samsung’s made. Even the soft buttons (Menu, Home, Back) work differently on this phone than on other Android devices. Why? And the keyboard I think is pretty poor (autocorrect is unhelpful, word recognition isn’t good), though it’s very easy to download a new keyboard from Google Play.

Samsung Galaxy Camera's Camera App

Samsung Galaxy Camera’s Camera App:  Dan Nosowitz

It’s only a little awkward to use as an Android device; I’m not sure exactly how to hold it, as it’s thicker than a regular Android phone and also has the lens mount protruding. Dan Bracaglia’s solution left his finger sitting on the little door in from of the lens–not good, since that door is notorious on compact cameras for breaking or locking up, rendering the camera useless. But it’s not that hard, and I found it pretty capable for browsing Twitter or the web, checking email, and doing most other things you’d do on a smartphone. And that’s kind of an achievement in itself; this isn’t a skimped, shitty version of Android–it’s high-end, just like on a top-tier phone.

I think the camera interface is great; the new stock camera app on Android is innovative and excellent in its own right, but it doesn’t offer as many manual controls, so I think Samsung’s camera app is a perfect solution for a more capable camera. For someone who’s not an expert photographer, I really loved how Samsung guides the user through the app. And everything is done on the touchscreen; the only buttons are a shutter, a zoom toggle, and a flash trigger. That’s great for novices who are much more comfortable with navigating menus on a smartphone than navigating the airplane-cockpit-like controls of a DSLR. Everything’s right out in the open: you don’t have to guess at what a switch means, because it’s spelled out on the screen.

The sharing options are easy and intuitive; when you look through photos, the top bar gives you sharing options, and it places your most recently used sharing option in its own little spot up there. For me, that means posting to Instagram is a one-tap affair, right from the camera app. Love it.

Image quality for me is kind of an interesting beast. It will take, without question, the best Instagram photos of any device that actually has Instagram on it. (Yes, I know you can take photos with a DSLR and post them to Instagram. But that’s not really what Instagram is about.) It’s no question that the Galaxy Camera takes better shots than any smartphone I’ve ever used.

Samsung Galaxy Camera's Share Options

Samsung Galaxy Camera’s Share Options:  Dan Nosowitz

Size: But the camera is too big. For me, a camera’s physical size is second only to image quality as the most important element, and then only barely second. The Galaxy Camera is not pocketable. (I do wear skinny-ish jeans, but I can’t imagine what kind of pockets could comfortably hold it.) I actually like the hardware design a lot; it’s all plastic, but, unlike Galaxy smartphones, doesn’t feel cheap at all. It feels really well-constructed, sturdily and simply designed without getting too basic. It’s one of the most attractive gadgets Samsung’s ever made, frankly, but I would much rather it had a slightly smaller screen in return for a smaller footprint. Dan Bracaglia noted that the weight also has the benefit of stabilizing the camera; light cameras can sometimes move around too much, and he thinks Samsung “nailed” the weight.

That size means I have the camera in my bag rather than my pocket. When I’m out and about and see something I want to shoot, it’s just faster and easier to snag my phone out of my pocket than fish around in my bag. And unlike a DSLR, which takes photos that are in a completely different league than my phone, the Galaxy Camera is merely “better” than my phone. I found myself not always bothering; if I can get a B- photo with my phone, who cares about a B+ photo from the Galaxy Camera? It’s not like I’m going for an A-level photo from my DSLR.

Price: And that brings us to the most salient point in this whole review: who is the Galaxy Camera for? Its image quality is not wildly improved from a nice $200 point-and-shoot, though it is certainly a superior product, thanks to its connectivity, interface, and bonus access to all of Android. At $500, the camera is right at the very top of the price pyramid for compacts; in fact, for that price, you could snag any of several very nice mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras from Sony, Olympus, or Panasonic, or even a low-end DSLR like last year’s Nikon D3100. All of those cameras would thoroughly trounce the Galaxy Camera on image quality, but they’re also less capable in a lot of ways.

Samsung Galaxy Camera From Side

Samsung Galaxy Camera From Side:  Dan Nosowitz

The other problem is that to get the full benefit of the Galaxy Camera, you really need to spring for the 4G LTE plan–yeah, yet another monthly bill. So it’s not even just $500–it’ll be several times that over the course of its life.

That puts us in the weird position of having a gadget that’s really cool that we can’t really recommend to anyone. It’s much better than a phone’s camera, but the device as a whole is very similar, so do you really need both, especially at this price?

In Conclusion: What’s most interesting about the Galaxy Camera is how obvious it now is that this is what consumer cameras will look like in the future. A mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses but with this kind of connectivity and interface? That would be amazing. It’s so much easier and faster to use for non-professionals than the more traditional camera control schemes, and the sharing options are the wave of the present and future. Of course you should be able to instantly upload photos to the cloud, to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, to email them to your friends and family, to edit them in a mobile version of Photoshop. The Galaxy Camera isn’t quite right for most people, but it’s so close. Someone’s going to do this right, and soon, so let’s just consider the Galaxy Camera a sneak preview.

On page two, read Dan Bracaglia’s take on how the Galaxy Camera is as a camera.

single page

Janice Renney Jacqueline McKenzie

How To Scrub GPS Data From Your Photos; Or, How To Be Smarter Than Vice

You know, in case you’re trying to conceal your location (or a murder suspect’s).

Samsung Galaxy Camera

Samsung Galaxy Camera Dan Nosowitz

John McAfee–anti-virus pioneer, “person of interest” in Belize murder investigation, and launcher of increasingly bizarre media stories–has been captured. It happened after journalists from Vice accidentally published an iPhone photo of McAfee with embedded GPS data.

In case you didn’t know, a lot of newer devices store that kind of information, known as EXIF data, in images. EXIF data is helpful in providing details about a photograph’s provenance. Remember when that now-famous photo of the Situation Room during the Osama Bin Laden raid started making the rounds? EXIF data revealed the camera’s model and settings, plus the editing software used on the image. Cool stuff to know about one of the most iconic photographs of the decade.

But in case you’re traveling with a murder suspect, you might not want to share that information. So here’s a handy guide to getting rid of it.

Switch off location settings.
Since the Vice photo was published from an iPhone, we’ll start there. There’s a camera “location services” setting that can be switched off, and, easy enough, you’ve got a GPS-free photo to share with the world. (The settings changed slightly in iOS 6, so check the details here.) This video tutorial shows how to set the same functions for an Android phone.

Use editing software.
If you want to go through editing software, you have some other options, too. The “Save For Web” function (File, Save for Web & Devices) should scrub the data, but the scrubbing is probably the very last step you want to take before you release your photo, and there’s usually a way to do it within your operating system. Here, for example, is a quick tutorial for Windows. (Alternately, if there’s not an option for GPS scrubbing on the Windows version you’re running, you can download software like Metanull.) On a Mac, it’s a little tougher–you’ll need some software. Here’s a similar software download for Mac, but there are a lot out there. (And Lifehacker has a quick one for Linux users, too.)

Check your social networks.
For those of you who are especially worried about people tracking you down, Facebook and Twitter strip EXIF data and Flickr makes you opt in to using it (although not all third-party clients will do the same). So, be careful when sharing your anti-virus outlaw pics with friends!

Denise Van Outen Betty White

DC Republicans Bow to Big Media “Friends”, Fire Pro-Copyright Reform Staffer




Termination comes after RIAA and MPAA “went ballistic”

While corruption in Congress is nothing new (see: Lincoln), with the rise of modern lobbying things have reached impressive new proportions, as chronicled on OpenSecrets, Maplight, and other well-researched online voter resources.  

I. MPAA, RIAA Get Republican Staffer Fired

One of the most active lobbying influences in Washington D.C. have been media corporations, represented by trade groups like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  Recent estimates indicate that big media paid 10 percent of members of Congress’s total reelection budget in the previous election cycle — and the payments almost paid off as big media’s Orwellian SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) was only struck down in the eleventh hour amid a storm of citizen lashback.

Now comes word that a top traditional conservative (or in some source’s words “Libertarian-leaning”) staffer on the Republican Study Committee (RSC) has been terminated for his stance on copyright reform.

The fired staffer’s name is Derek Khanna, and he turned heads in mid-November when he authored a pro-reform memo [background], which was thoroughly vetted and published by the RSC, a key advisory body to the conservative wing of federal Republican Representatives in Congress.


In the memo (available below), Mr. Khanna argued that punishments of up to $150,000 USD per work for private citizens found guilty of filesharing are grossly out of line with reality.
Republican Study Committee Intellectual Property Brief

Sources: The Washington Examiner, ArsTechnica, TechDirt






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