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Microsoft

+ - maps.live.com blows the pants of maps.google.com

Submitted by
pnutjam
pnutjam writes "I remember the first time I saw google maps. It was spectacular the way they combined satellite imagery with maps. It was a true breakthrough, IMHO.
Well, the bar has been raise...
I'm no MS shill, but I am truly impressed by MS's new maps.live.com. They have 3d imaging with a firefox plugin, satellite images with map overlays, and best of all is their birds eye view option which really lets you get a close view of things. You can also rotate N, S, E, or W angles to view things.
I do find it interesting that they seem to intentionally pixelate some locations."
Sci-Fi

+ - USPS Says Boba Fett Sucks! Rates 7th in Star Wars.

Submitted by
Joshua Lane
Joshua Lane writes "http://app.uspsjedimaster.com/main/vote/view_resul ts.html The USPS is having a contest to see what Star Wars stamp will get its own sheet. Boba Fett currently ranks 7th on the list, with many unimportant stamps ahead of him. Every geek knows that Boba Fett rocks the Star Wars universe, yet ignorant voters choose the only two characters they know: Yoda and Vader. Take 1min out of the next seven days to make a difference in this country. Your vote will change American stamp history. Let's show the world what happens when geeks unite. Boba Fett pwns."
Toys

+ - Optimus keyboard to ship

Submitted by
zsau
zsau writes "According to an email sent by Art Lebedev, it turns out everybody's favorite vaporware keyboard is going to ship late this year, with preorders starting in three days. The Optimus Keyboard is a large keyboard with color OLED displays that can change their display as you type, making it suitable for rich gamers or people who type in multiple languages and want to look at their keyboard all the time. It was first announced on Slashdot in July 2005."
Software

+ - MIT Media Lab Releases New Programming Language

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Efforts to make computer programming accessible to young people began in the late 1970s with the advent of the personal PC, when another programming language with roots at MIT — Logo — allowed young people to draw shapes by steering a turtle around a screen by typing out commands. But the path to mastering most programming languages has been strewn with obstacles, since students needed to figure out not only the underlying logic but also master a brand new syntax, observe strict rules about semicolons and bracket use, and figure out what was causing error messages even as they learned the program. By contrast, Scratch — a free download at scratch.mit.edu — is easy enough for kindergarten-age children to use."
Google

+ - Goolgle Indexes Links Found Only in Gmail?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Recently, I purchased a domain to use for a pro bono website I'm building for a local, annual event. I put up a placeholder site, pointed the domain at it, and mailed my contact at the organization (using my Gmail account) to tell her about the domain. This is the only place that the domain was ever mentioned — neither of us have mentioned it to anyone else or any any other website, and have sent no traffic there by any other means than typing the URL into our browsers or clicking on the links in the email. We didn't want anyone to see it yet, since it's not done (or even yet begun, for that matter). When I registered it (several weeks ago), numerous relevant Google keyword searches as well as an explicit search for the domain turned up no results. Now any of these searches brings up this site as the first hit.

From the Gmail Privacy Policy:

When you use Gmail, Google's servers automatically record certain information about your use of Gmail. Similar to other web services, Google records information such as account activity (including storage usage, number of log-ins), data displayed or clicked on (including UI elements, ads, links); and other log information (including browser type, IP-address, date and time of access, cookie ID, and referrer URL).
So my hypothesis is that Google gleaned address out of my email via its URL-tracking voodoo and then indexed it, and this possibility does seem covered by their privacy policy. But I still find this pretty disturbing: can't I email someone a URL without the whole world finding out about it? What if the contents of this site fell into what the broader Google Privacy FAQ classifes as "sensitive information"?

..information we know to be related to confidential medical information, racial or ethnic origins, political or religious beliefs or sexuality and tied to personal information.
"
PC Games (Games)

+ - Ryan Gordon on the future of Games on Linux

Submitted by
jvm
jvm writes "In a Q&A with LinuxGames, Ryan "icculus" Gordon lays out some brutal Linux gaming truths along with a few good reasons for hope. He rates the importance of certain technologies and companies on a scale of 0 to 10 (OpenGL is a 10, WINE and Transgaming a 2) and then goes on to explain each rating in detail. From which company presents the real threat to Linux adoption to why 2008 is likely to be a big year for Linux gaming, Ryan has the answers."
The Internet

+ - US Defense Dept blocking YouTube, MySpace, and 11

Submitted by
mcgrew
mcgrew writes "On the heels of yesterday's Slashdot storyabout The US military launching its own channel on YouTube, today the Chicago Tribune reports that the Defense Department is blocking YouTube, as well as MySpace and '11 other sites world wide'. From TFA:

The armed services have long barred members of the military from sharing information that could jeopardize their missions or safety, whether electronically or by other means.

The new policy is different because it creates a blanket ban on several sites used by military personnel to exchange messages, pictures, video and audio with family and friends.

Members of the military can still access the sites on their own computers and networks, but Defense Department computers and networks are the only ones available to many soldiers and sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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