Today's Around the Grounds features Aussie universities creating wires only four atoms wide; Vint Cerf claims that net access is not a human right; Ed 1.6 appears; and Windows 8 comes with wipe features.
We start with news that scientists from the University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne, and Purdue University in Indiana, US, have created the slimmest silicon wiring ever made, only four atoms wide and one atom high --- that's 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. The wiring was created by placing chains of phosphorous atoms in a silicon crystal.
The talking-point-of-the-day award goes to internet father Vint Cerf, who claims that internet access is not a human right.
"Technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself," wrote Google chief internet evangelist Cerf. "There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since, over time, we will end up valuing the wrong things."
Windows 8 will come with a new helpful feature that will allow users a way to restore a PC to a pristine state, and even define a state of their own choosing, without losing data and customised settings.
The first option will be a refresh, which will install a new Windows 8 copy and retain the user's data and settings in an automated recovery environment. Metro applications will be reinstalled, but regular desktop applications will not be restored unless the user creates a custom image containing them.
There will also be a reset option, which will wipe the PC completely (even thrash the drive's data) and restore the OS to a pristine state useful for when machines are sold or given to another person.