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01.09.12

Links – Kindle, Nook, OLPC and Anti-Trust. Please petition Obama to Veto SOPA.

Posted in Site News at 7:54 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • How Not to Ace a Google Interview

    Are you a software engineer? Do you want to work at Google? If so, ignore this WSJ article, and ignore the book it comes from, titled “Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?”

  • Mike Elgan Google+ Diet update.

    That’s still using Facebook, but for some people it’s an acceptable middle ground. And at least you don’t actually have to go to facebook.com, see all the app spam, junk and other stuff you don’t want to see.

    Advice on how to get out of Facebook and pull your friends to G+.

  • Hardware

    • One Laptop per Child To Unveil XO 3.0 Tablet At CES

      The XO 3.0 features Marvell’s Armada PXA618 SOC processor and Avastar Wi-Fi SOC, with 512MB of RAM. It can run Android and other Linux operating systems like Fedora. … The tablet will be priced at $100 or less

      All sorts of wonderful tablets are on the way but OLPC has traditionally been free software friendly.

    • ZDNet’s version of Software Freedom and Android

      The author of this article is making things look worse than they are. He uses Windows and a variety of dubious software to exercise some trivial control over his Android phone. There’s nothing wrong with the author’s goals but non free tools may betray him later. Things should be much easier than that and is for reasonable devices and host OS. His device may be nastier and should be avoided if it is.

      The situation reminds me of the x86 world ten years ago, where a person had to be a little more careful before buying a computer or device. I saved myself all sorts of trouble by abandoning non free software then. Then, as now, “experts” and the Windows press said that free software was too difficult and not for ordinary users.

    • One Tablet Per Child, Non-Profit Now Says

      OLPC’s hardware has been distinguished in part by an unusual display from Pixel Qi that is designed to be read in bright sunlight. Models of the new tablet with that screen are expected to cost more than $100.

    • Marvell and One Laptop per Child Unveil the XO 3.0 Tablet

      Built on Marvell’s Armada PXA618 SOC processor and Avastar Wi-Fi SOC, with 512MB of RAM, the 8-inch XO 3.0 tablet is purported to be very thin and boasts some rather unique charging circuitry, being the only tablet able to draw charge directly from solar panels, hand cranks and other alternative power sources. OLPC has said the two-watt system is even capable of 10 minutes of runtime from just one minute of hand cranking.
      The tablet can be configured to sport either a standard LCD or Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display at 1024 x 768-resolution and can run either the Android or OLPC’s Sugar Linux operating system, built specifically for children.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • Anti-Trust

    • Kindle Fire Review: Decent Tablet Despite Sacrifices

      While we’re on the subject of “too small,” let’s talk about the Fire’s memory. It has 8 gigabytes of storage. That’s enough for more books than you’ll ever read, but ten movies will eat up the whole thing. The cheapest iPad, which costs $499, has twice as much memory. The Nook Color, which costs $199, also has 8 gigabytes, but it comes with a slot for memory expansion with cheap cards. I don’t understand why the Fire doesn’t have a slot like that. The very first Kindle did. There’s no step-up model of the Fire with more memory.

      PJ asked some questions Fox News should have, “The logical question is why — did the patent license agreement Amazon signed to get Microsoft to go away include the kinds of hardware and software restrictions that Barnes & Noble has now revealed Microsoft unsuccessfully demanded of them as conditions to get a license to its patents? Barnes & Noble calls the demands in effect a ‘veto power’ over Android’s features. Barnes and Noble wrote: ‘Indeed, the proposed license would have severely limited and, in some cases, entirely eliminated Barnes & Noble’s ability to upgrade or improve the Nook or Nook Color, even though Microsoft’s asserted patents have nothing to do with such improvements.’ It’s the right question, I think, then regarding the Kindle Fire’s limitations.”

    • Nook Tablet review: Great hardware, stiff competition

      The B&N Nook Tablet, successor to the underground hit Nook Color, is a terrific tablet, with a vibrant screen, a speedy CPU and a nice offering of books and other media. If you buy it, especially for reading, or streaming from your Netflix video or Pandora music accounts, you’ll likely be quite happy. For $250, it’s hard to find a nicer media-focused 7-inch Android tablet

      It’s funny how MSNBC colored in advance the failure of Nook Microsoft would like due to “competition” and inability to “cozy up to” big movie and music publishers.

    • Barnes and Noble Has Shipped One Million Nook Tablets, Industry Report States

      But the sub-iPad tablet market is largely untapped and the impressive initial sales numbers show consumers want a $200-ish tablet. For example, if this report is correct (it seems very likely), B&N shipped a million tablets in roughly a month while CE giant Asus is predicting to ship just 1.8 million tablets for all of 2011. The iPad has effectively already won the first several rounds of the tablet war. But much like the PC battlefield, there is plenty of room for more than just one vendor. Barnes & Noble is officially a top player.

    • Nook Color gets new streaming content

      This is an example of a feature upgrade on an older device.

    • Amazon Selling ‘Well Over’ 1 Million Kindle Devices Per Week

      “Kindle Fire is the most successful product we’ve ever launched-it’s the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we’ve already sold millions of units, and we’re building millions more to meet the high demand,” said Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle. “In fact, demand is accelerating-Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks.

      The $50 price and a few other things sold Fire to people I know. The update mentioned is supposed to make it hard to liberate the device, but it was soon rooted again. PJ adds: I got to play with one over the holidays, and it was lovely. A bit heavy, compared to the Nook, and personally I support the Nook because I don’t want my money going to Microsoft for their stupid patents, and Amazon signed a patent license agreement with Microsoft rather than fight back, and Nook is fighting instead, so I’m a Nook girl, myself. I prefer it to the iPad, actually, because I can take it with me everywhere. But the Kindle Fire is a good product, and I have to say I didn’t notice any of the issues I read about that Jacob Nielsen complained about. He has strong persona views which I don’t share, so I have some questions about all that. It seems any time a wonderful new product comes out, it gets slammed in the media [Techrights: the Microsoft media, unless it's a Microsoft device but then it would suck and be hyped.] The Kindle Fire does what it says it will do for you, and it is great for watching movies, as well as for reading. I can see why people are buying it. Both the Nook and the Kindle Fire are, of course, Android devices. – Update: Sorry for the typo, which I have just fixed. It’s Amazon that signed the agreement, not Android, of course.

    • Barnes and Noble may spin off Nook e-reader

      Barnes & Noble is considering spinning off its Nook business, the company said Thursday in an announcement that sent investors reeling. “We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our Nook business in only two years,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said in a prepared statement. “We believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value.”

      The WSJ/FoxNews said that losses were expected but that’s hard to imagine after selling millions of devices.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lockheed Martin goes to bat for oppressive regime

      A top executive at Lockheed Martin recently worked with lobbyists for Bahrain to place an Op-Ed defending the nation’s embattled regime in the Washington Times — but the newspaper did not reveal the role of the regime’s lobbyists to its readers.

  • Censorship

    • Urgent: Sign the petition for a veto of SOPA and PIPA
    • Lawmakers seem intent on approving SOPA, PIPA

      The U.S. Senate is expected to begin floor debate on PIPA shortly after senators return to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 23, and supporters appear to have the votes to override a threatened filibuster by Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, and a handful of other lawmakers.

      They do so over a massive public outcry and against the best technical and legal advice.

    • Petition via RMS: Tell Google: Quit the Chamber of Commerce

      whether it’s shilling for Big Oil or the tobacco companies or media giants, the Chamber is the poster child for how wealthy corporate money corrupts our system of government.

      I’m surprised to learn Google is a member. They should have quit after the HB Garry emails were published.

    • Obscenity law in doubt after jury acquits distributor of gay pornography

      the Obscene Publications Act, which came into force in 1959, appears to be on its last legs. … a London jury rejected prosecution claims that gay pornography depicting acts that are legal between consenting adults were capable of “depraving and corrupting” those who watched them on DVDs. … [the case] comes amid growing concern that Britain’s obscenity laws, which have multiplied in recent years with new laws on the possession of “extreme pornography”, are contradictory, ill-defined and illogical.

    • United States of Indefinite Detention

      © Coleen Monroe and Reverse Retrograde, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including text, photography, and design without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Coleen Monroe and Reverse Retrograde with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

      Even copyright maximalists are concerned about SOPA and NDAA. The essay is worth reading but I thought it would be better to comply with the copyright notice than quote it.

    • A new “anti-terrorism” law in Argentina could be used against protesters.
  • Civil Rights

    • Greenwald: Three myths about the detention bill

      White-House-allied groups are now trying to ride to the rescue with attacks on the ACLU and dismissive belittling of the bill’s dangers. … it is very worthwhile to briefly examine — and debunk — the three principal myths being spread by supporters of this bill, and to do so very simply: by citing the relevant provisions of the bill, as well as the relevant passages of the original 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF),

      The damage control continues so it is still worth citing, even though the law was passed.

    • Child labor in Chinese coal mines.

      Coal powers China’s exports.

    • The streets of 2012

      The answers are alarming, but quite predictable: We are likely to see much greater centralisation of top-down suppression – and a rash of laws around the developed and developing world that restrict human rights. But we are also likely to see significant grassroots reaction. … All over the world, the pushback against protest looks similar, suggesting that state and corporate actors are learning “best practices” for repressing dissent while maintaining democratic facades. … [people use social media] in ways that indicate that they have little interest in being cordoned off into conflicting and competing ethnicities, nationalities, or religious identities. Overwhelmingly, they want simple democracy and economic self-determination.

    • Why growing up as an American female has left me wary of men

      There are big events that linger always and smaller ones that just accumulate, like the many many cars that have slowed down to keep pace with my walking down the street, while a strange man croons at me or whistles or calls out. In the aggregate, though, they lead to four-plus decades of experience as an American female.

    • Obama’s War on Whistleblowers

      This is a chilling little speech by Jesselyn Radick, a Bush administration whistleblower who was harassed aggressively by the Department of Justice, on how matters have gotten much worse for government whistleblowers under Obama, both in numbers and the ferocity of the retaliation.

      It is not fair to blame Obama alone. Beer and other alcohol are bad for you.

    • Legislators Are Out to Take Over Their State Judiciary Systems

      Florida is just one of dozens of states where legislators have attempted to seize control of the justice system to varying degrees. … in the wake of another decision that didn’t go their way, Republican legislators in Florida attempted to ram through a broad package of restrictions on the state’s judiciary last spring. The legislators tried unsuccessfully to emulate Texas and Oklahoma by splitting the Florida Supreme Court into civil and criminal divisions. They also tried to cut the state bar out of the judicial nominating process.

    • Indiana Workers Fight Back Against Assault on Unions and the ALEC Agenda
    • The ACLU is suing to overturn the Wisconsin voter ID law.

      Voter ID laws are a favorite Republican tactic for stopping poor people, old people, students, and minority group members from voting.

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