Cuba launched Linux Nova last week at a Havana computer conference on “technological sovereignty.” The government feels that Microsoft systems are a potential threat to their country because they say U.S. security agents have access to codes. Besides that, they say that the trade embargo makes it difficult to get the software legally and update it. Dean of the School of Free Software, Hector Rodriguez, claims that about 20% of the computers are currently using Linux but feels that that figure could climb to more than 50% in 5 years.
Read More | Reuters
China has decided to cut back on their country’s Internet access to porn and obscene content by blacklisting 19 portals and sites. Included in that list are Netease, Baidu and Google. The deputy director of the State Council Information Office, Cai Mingzhao, said “Immediate action is needed to purify the Internet environment.”
Supposedly the Chinese Google has links to porn sites and although China’s Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center asked them to take them off, nothing was done. A spokesperson there said, “Google is neither the owner of those Web sites and porn nor does it spread (that) information intentionally.” We figure if someone wants to find that sort of content, there is always a way.
Read More | CNN
Have you fallen on tough times in this rough economy? Well, if so, TiVo wants you to know that they’re here to take care of you, what with their new Netflix compatibility and all. You see, all you have to do is stop going to the movies, get yourself a Netflix account, and watch movies from your Netflix Instant Queue instead. Nevermind the fact that Netflix offers mostly just catalogue titles, as opposed to the latest blockbusters. Beggars can’t be choosers, yo.
Watch out for Super Chickens arriving at a grocery store near you. The U.S. government will start considering proposals to use GE (genetically engineered) animals for food. This might include faster growing animals, cattle that resist Mad Cow Disease, or lower cholesterol eggs. The Food and Drug Administration has said that it is concerned with animals that will be used for food or produce medicine to be used on animals or humans, rather than those used in lab experiments. Many details still need to be worked out such as labeling. We get nervous enough thinking about genetically altered grains.
Read More | ABC News
When you receive that humongous government stimulus check, there are plenty of places to help you spend it. Sears (and Kmart) are offering a gift card worth an additional 10% off the check amount. So is Wally World, Radio Shack, and the grocery chains Kroger and Albertson. Staples is also in on the fun. Watch out, though. Home Depot’s offer says that if you use the check to buy eco-friendly gadgets, it will offer a discount. That’s not really a bargain unless you have been waiting for decades to afford a solar panel. We could go on, but hey, you can play Let’s Make a Deal with tons of companies, so take your choice.
Read More | Reuters
Okay, so we didn’t all get to go to the CES, but somebody had to hold down the fort in case the Gear Live crew has too much fun. I mean, at least we get to see the power of the Internet in other ways. If you caught the debate on ABC last night, you surely noticed the candidates plying their wares outright on National TV.
Fred Thompson was the first to mention that he loves the contributions he is receiving online, and his site posts how much money he has accrued. Mike Huckabee also said that part of his success in Iowa was due to his website which has created quite a following. Both men were quick to give their specific addys. And, by the way, let’s not forget that one of the sponsors was Facebook, where you could follow online the sometime hostile action between Hillary, Barack, and John. The Internet is a glorious place and we should be thankful that so much information is available.
There are now different rules if you intend to fly this year with spare batteries. Here are the basics from the our ever-wary government and the FAA:
- Spare batteries are the batteries you carry separately from the devices they power. When batteries are installed in a device, they are not considered spare.
- You may not pack a spare lithium battery in your checked baggage.
- You may bring spare lithium batteries with you in carry on luggage - see our spare battery tips and how-to sections to find out how to pack spare batteries safely!
- Even though we recommend you carrying your devices with you in carry on baggage as well, if you must bring in one in checked baggage, you may check it with the batteries installed.
While all this seems a bit too obvious to us, we figure that the elementary way of explaining the rules isn’t just for the casual business traveler. Check the site for more details.
Read More | Safe Travel
Look closely at the new $100.00 bills that will soon be issued (Oh sure, like we see a lot of those.) A new security thread, similar to those found on 1,000 Swedish kroners, sounds pretty eerie to us. Move the bill side to side and the micro-printing with tiny lenses allows you to see the image of Ben Franklin moving. Although holograms such as those on credit cards were considered for part of the design, the government felt they were not strong enough visual signals. Other features, such as pastel colors found on the recently released $10.00, $20.00, and $50.00 bills, will also be incorporated. For more information about the designs, visit The Bureau of Engraving and Printing online.
Read More | Yahoo News