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Friday, October 16, 2009

Uruguay First Country To Truly Deliver One Laptop Per Child

Uruguay has taken the One Laptop Per Child project seriously and executed Plan Ceibal (Education Connect) to arm all children in primary schools around the country with a laptop. "This is not simply the handing out of laptops or an education programme. It is a programme which seeks to reduce the gap between the digital world and the world of knowledge," explained Miguel Brechner, director of the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay and in charge of Plan Ceibal. The feat makes Uruguay the first country to achieve the goal but as Brechner says "Its a culture shock scenario - many countries are simply too scared to put it into practice"

BBC News has more here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Wi-Fi Standard Allows Devices To Interact Directly

A Texas-based standards group, The Wi-Fi Alliance, who's members include Intel, Cisco and Apple, announced on Wednesday the introduction of a new technology standard, called Wi-Fi Direct. Wi-Fi Direct will allow devices that have been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance to connect with each other without having to first go through a "hotspot," much like Bluetooth only with a longer range and faster connection speeds.

"The impact is that Wi-Fi will become even more pervasive and useful for consumers and across the enterprise," said The Wi-Fi Alliance's executive director Edgar Figueroa in a statement.

Devices using Wi-Fi Direct are expected to hit the shelves in mid 2010.

Source: CBC News

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sweden's Top Level Domain Dissapears Due To Typo

A small but rather far reaching error caused the entire top level domain of Sweden to go missing on Monday, according to

"The .SE registry used an incorrectly configured script to update the .se zone, which introduced an error to every single .se domain name," says web monitoring company Pingdom. "We have spoken to a number of industry insiders and what happened is that when updating the data, the script did not add a terminating '.' to the DNS records in the .se zone. That trailing dot is necessary in the settings for DNS to understand that '.se" is the top-level domain. It is a seemingly small detail, but without it, the whole DNS lookup chain broke down."

Sweden's Internet Infrastructure Foundation, which administers the .se domain, issued a statement saying "The cause was an incorrect software update, which, despite our testing procedures were not detected. Thanks to well-functioning surveillance system .SE discovered the error immediately and a new file with the DNS data (zone file) was produced and distributed within one hour. ... The false information that was sent out affected accessibility to all .se domains for a short time. However, there may still be some name servers that have not changed out of misinformation against the real."

The foundation then quickly but quietly posted a help wanted add on ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Employer Blocking Social Networking Sites? There's Always A Way...

A recent survey conducted of 270 Chief Information Officers in companies across Canada showed that fifty-eight percent of them blocked access to social networking sites. This is not being looked kindly upon by young employees who have grown up with the sites and don't view them as time wasters. These employees are resourceful though, and using their mobile devices or connecting through proxy servers they are finding their ways to update their online status.

The Globe and Mail has the cat and mouse story here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Moon Strike Not The Big Show Everyone Expected

I was glued to my monitor as the LCROSS mission unfolded and the camera refreshed as the Centaur rocket motor approached the surface of the moon, refreshing ever few seconds to bring an even tighter shot of the surface... and then...meh. I guess I was like many others around the globe who bought into the hype and expected a flare of impact and a huge dust plume! I truly hope that NASA was able to capture something of value, otherwise we're just polluting the moons surface with more space junk.

Discovery Channel:

"It's hard to tell what we saw there," said Michael Bicay, science director at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

Debris from the impact could have flown horizontally, or perhaps didn't clear the crater's rim, lead mission scientist Anthony Colaprete told reporters.

"Some luck has to come to get the ejecta to fly in the direction you want it to fly," he said.

"I'm not convinced we haven't seen the ejecta," Colaprete added. "We just have to go back with a finer tooth comb."