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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
On that day a general election was held in Belgium, a Turkish academic was born and an Oldham Athletic footballer called Jack Shufflebotham died. Apart from that nothing much happened.
Mr Tunstall-Pedoe's computer programme, called True Knowledge, came to its lofty decision after being fed some 300 million facts about "people, places, business and events" that made the news.
Using complex algorithms, such as how much one piece of information was linked to others, True Knowledge determined that particular 1950s Sunday to be outstanding in its obscurity.
Cambridge University-educated Mr Tunstall-Pedoe said: "Nobody significant died that day, no major events apparently occurred and, although a typical day in the 20th century has many notable people being born, for some reason that day had only one who might make that claim - Abdullah Atalar, a Turkish academic.
"The irony is, though, that - having done the calculation - the day is interesting for being exceptionally boring. Unless, that is, you are Abdullah Atalar.
Plans for the coup d'etat in Yanaon, then a small French colony in India, are also believed to have been hatched that on the evening of April 11 1954 but nothing actually happened that night.
Mr Tunstall-Pedoe emphasised that True Knowlegde was not designed solely to search for boring days.
"It's just a sideline," he said.
Its true calling was to provide a more intelligent way of searching the internet.
Professor Abdullah Atalar now researches atomic force microscopy and digital integrated circuit design at Bilkent University.
*What was the most boring day in history to you?
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) new 150/35 Mbps speed FiOS Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) speed tier is yet another way the service provider is set on one-upping cable's DOCSIS 3.0 efforts.
Initially targeting the 12.5 million residences that the FiOS network passes, Verizon will also extend the service to SMB customers by the end of the year.
Under the current pricing scheme, Verizon will offer four options. Customers can purchase the new speed tier with wireline voice service for $194.99 with a one-year contract, while FiOS Internet with phone service on a month-to-month basis is $209.99. When purchased on a one-year contract without wireline voice, customers will pay $199.99, while FiOS Internet without voice on a month-to-month basis will cost $214.99 per month.
Of course, the new 150 Mbps service comes with the typical installation fee of $49.99, while customers that want a month-to-month contract will have to pay a $79.99 installation fee.
Other than saying it would be initially available to a large piece of its subscriber base, John Schommer, director of broadband product development for Verizon, would not specify how many subscribers would be eligible for the service. "Inside of the CO itself, you'll deploy an Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and as long as there's a GPON terminal available there, everyone in the wiring center can receive the new speed," he said. "We don't want to give out the number, but it's a vast majority of our customers can receive the service on day one."
The installation of the new service, even for BPON-based customers, will be relatively quick for existing customers because the fiber drops are already there. If a customer is still on the BPON network, Verizon will just swap out the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) on the side of the house with a new GPON-based ONT.
One of the biggest changes with the new speed tier is that it will leverage an Ethernet instead of Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) to connect to the home network's Actiontec Broadband Home Router (BHR).
"The one difference with this is we've actually gone faster than MoCA has developed in this timeframe," Schommer said. "Some of the next version of MoCA will handle speeds that are slightly higher than this, but we're going for Ethernet."
MoCA 1.1 currently provides 175 Mbps of throughput while version 2.0 can deliver up to 1 Gbps in particular configurations. After placing the GPON ONT on the side of the user's home, Verizon will then run Ethernet cable back into the BHR.
With the Actiontec broadband home router (BHR), which includes a GigE interface and 802.11n, Verizon claims it can deliver 300 Mbps throughput on a wired connection and over 100 Mbps via a WiFi connection on the BHR.
Even though the 150/35 Mbps tier won't appeal to every user, Schommer said "there's always a rush for people that demand the highest available speeds, so we anticipate a bit of a rush this week, but we expect that to slow down over time."
Obviously, the new service is all about trumping cable. Comparable options from Cablevision offer 101 Mbps download capabilities, while Comcast and Time Warner Cable offer 50 Mbps.
With a substantial base of GPON-based equipment already installed in their network, Verizon's 150 Mbps service follows its XG PON trials where it demonstrated the ability to deliver a 10 Gbps/1Gbps connection to a home in Taunton, MA.
Schommer said that while the XG PON trials are encouraging, Verizon will migrate to the next stage as needed. "Verizon will increase speeds as it sees penetration increase over time, we will offer the higher speeds obviously and as those speeds increase, we'll look to deploy the next-generation of the GPON terminals," he said. "I don't see foresee that being in the immediate future, but rather a year two or three down the road."
But if you're not ready for the 150/35 Mbps service, fear not. Verizon will continue to offer its 50/20 Mbps, 25/25 and 15/5 speed tiers on a stand-alone basis. It will also offer FiOS Internet speeds of 35/35 Mbps, 25/25 Mbps and 15/5 Mbps in double-, triple- and quadruple-play bundles.
Verizon takes another next-gen PON test drive
Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) Q3 profit drops while FiOS subscribership grows
Sizing up the Tier 1/Tier 2 telcos' Q3 2010 performance
802.11n still not present on Verizon FiOS home network routers
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
IDG News Service - Diaspora, a widely anticipated social network site built on open-source code, has cracked open its doors for business today, at least for a handful of invited participants.
"Every week, we'll invite more people," stated the developers behind the project, in a blog item posted Tuesday announcing the alpha release of the service. "By taking these baby steps, we'll be able to quickly identify performance problems and iterate on features as quickly as possible."
Such a cautious rollout may be necessary, given how fresh the code is. In September, when the first version of the working code behind the service was posted, it was promptly criticized for being riddled with security errors.
While Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg may not be worried about Diaspora quite yet, the service is one of a growing number of efforts to build out open-source-based social-networking software and services. Others include Identica, a Twitter-like messaging service built on open-source software, and the Free Software Foundation's GNU Social.
Four New York University students came up with the idea of Diaspora earlier this year, and quickly raised US$200,000 from investors in the project. In interviews, they have stated their collective goal was to develop open-source software for social networking as an alternative to commercial alternatives such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
"When you give up that data, you're giving it up forever," said co-developer Max Salzberg, in an interview with The New York Times. "The value [sites such as Facebook] give us is negligible in the scale of what they are doing, and what we are giving up is all of our privacy."
The students' plan with Diaspora is to allow participants to retain ownership of all the material they use on the site, and retain full control over how that information is shared. It will also allow users to divide their social connections into individual groups, called Aspects, and control which groups see which material, according to the website.
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Last updated November 21, 2010 7:31 p.m. PT
Underwear invention protects privacy at airport
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this undated product image provided by Rocky Flats Gear, a variety of the company's radiation shielding underwear is shown. Rocky Flats Gear's Jeff Buske says his invention uses a powdered metal that protects people's privacy when undergoing medical or security screenings. (AP Photo/Rocky Flats Gear) NO SALES
DENVER -- It's a special kind of underwear - with a strategically placed fig leaf design - and a Colorado man says it'll get you through the airport screeners with your dignity intact.
Jeff Buske says his invention uses a powdered metal that protects people's privacy when undergoing medical or security screenings.
Buske of Las Vegas, Nev.-Rocky Flats Gear says the underwear's inserts are thin and conform to the body's contours, making it difficult to hide anything beneath them. The mix of tungsten and other metals do not set off metal detectors.
The men's design has the fig leaf, while the one for women comes in the shape of clasped hands.
It's unclear whether it would lead to an automatic, more intrusive pat down by federal Transportation Security Administration officials.\n')
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I wanted to share this story with you:
"Know Your Gingers (PIC)"
They come in all shapes and sizes.
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Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
TSA pats down a screaming toddler
You might think a 3-year-old would whiz through security. A child is non-threatening, wears slip-on shoes, and carries little luggage.
Mandy Simon suffered through a TSA pat down.
Not the case for Mandy Simon who was passing through security with her dad at the airport in Chattanooga, Tenn.
A TSA employee gave Mandy the pat down and she started screaming and kicking her legs. Her dad, Steve, happens to be a TV reporter and caught 17 seconds of the ordeal on his cell phone (watch video).
Why was Mandy searched in the first place? She started crying when she was asked to put her teddy bear through the X-ray machine. This made it difficult for her to walk calmly through the metal detector and she set the machine off twice, which meant she "must be hand-searched."
If the TSA is going to search kids, maybe they need a little training on how to do it--or at least employees should have a few lollipops or stickers in their pockets.
Listed Under: Newsworthy
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
San Francisco's tobacco lovers can finally get their nicotine fix without offending their neighbors or destroying their lungs ― and I'm not talking about those ridiculous electronic cigarettes. Uncured heirloom tobacco is making its way onto local menus as an ingredient in both food and cocktails.
Heirloom Connecticut broadleaf tobacco leaves from Happy Quail Farms.
In the kitchen at Lafitte , chef/owner Russell Jackson is experimenting with tobacco leaves to add a unique herbal dimension to savory dishes. In his latest creation, Jackson wraps fresh tobacco around a whole fish that has been stuffed with seasonal vegetables and crusted with salt. The salt serves as a buffer between the fish and the tobacco, which can impart too much bitterness if used on its own. In this way the delicate meat is infused with a subtle, earthy complexity that beautifully complements roasted sunchokes and greens.
Not surprisingly, tobacco also finds a place at the Lafitte bar. Recognizing the classic pairing of tobacco and alcohol, bar manager Kenneth Gray infuses dried tobacco leaves into a simple syrup that he blends with rye whiskey. It's at once smooth, rich, and husky ― and comes complete with a little nicotine buzz for the road.
If there is a cultural tradition of cooking with tobacco, it was not a factor at Lafitte. Jackson approaches tobacco as he would any culinary herb or leaf, as an additional element lending flavor and complexity.
Lee R./Yelp Lafitte's Russell Jackson.
"I'm always looking for interesting ingredients at the farmers' market that I can play around with in the kitchen," says Jackson. "I've been experimenting with the tobacco leaves throughout the summer."
The tobacco ― currently available from Happy Quail Farms ― is uncured and therefore not technically a tobacco product regulated by the FDA. Farmer David Winsberg is quick to point out that customers are free to cure the dried leaves at their own peril.
Currently there are two varietals of tobacco available from Happy Quail, which grows in East Palo Alto. The fresh tobacco leaves are called Connecticut broadleaf and are originally from England. The dried leaves are a Native American ceremonial tobacco called Santo Domingo. Winsberg picked up the Santo Domingo seeds over 30 years ago from a seed saver group in New Mexico.
Lafitte: Pier 5, the Embarcadero, 839-2134.
Happy Quail Farms: Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Tue. and Sat., 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Read more from Darya Pino at Summer Tomato, and on Twitter @summertomato. Follow SFoodie on Twitter @sfoodie.
San Francisco, CA
Click here for more information on Lafitte >