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Government

UK's National Rail Shuts Down Free Timetable App 145

Posted by timothy
from the hey-buddy-we-said-often-not-always dept.
JHaselden points to this "sad tale of one developer's trying time with the National Rail, the owners of the UK's train timetable data, which flies in the face of the recent assertion of Chris Scoggins (Chief Executive, National Rail Enquiries) in Wired recently stating that they had 'opened up' their data, 'often free of charge.'" This is a good case for keeping your old emails handy; the app's author uses cut-and-paste to excellent effect in his correspondence with the rail system.
Patents

Facebook Patents Location Social Networking 120

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wish-i-thought-of-locations dept.
bizwriter writes "Facebook just received a patent with broad claims that would seem to cover much of what Google (GOOG) Latitude, Foursquare, Gowalla, and others try to do in letting users share their locations with others. Patent number 7,809,805, called 'Systems and methods for automatically locating web-based social network members,' covers people manually entering a status, sending that and their location from a wireless device, and sharing both the status and location with others. Facebook's corporate value just took a big jump — and a number of other companies might have to either challenge the patent's validity or consider licensing deals."
Image

Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee 2058

Posted by samzenpus
from the deadly-serious-homeowner's-association dept.
Dthief writes "From MSNBC: 'Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.'"
Iphone

Apple Accepts, Then Rejects BitTorrent iPhone App 163

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the make-up-yer-mind-wouldja dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple recently approved an iPhone app called IS Drive, which lets users check and manage downloads from ImageShack.us, while also offering users the option to use the company's BitTorrent service to download files to their ImageShack account. Once Apple got wind of what the app was capable of, however, it was promptly removed from iTunes."
Idle

+ - Atheists/agnostics know more about religion->

Submitted by CrispyZorro
CrispyZorro (1809948) writes "If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.

Heresy? Perhaps. But a survey that measured Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term "blind faith.""

Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

ATMs That Dispense Gold Bars Coming To America 482

Posted by samzenpus
from the leprechaun-industries dept.
tetrahedrassface writes "As the US economic woes continue unabated, a German company is bringing gold-bearing ATMs to Mainstreet America. The machines accept credit cards, and will dispense 1 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram and 1 ounce units, as well as various gold coins. The company hopes to install 35 bullion machines in the United States this year, and will hopefully have several hundred up and running by next year. The machines will be decorated like giant gold ingots and be over two meters tall. Physical gold has both pros and cons, but from a safety standpoint would it be fine to have a couple of ounces in your pocket while walking around the mall? The giant, gold-dispensing ATMs will monitor the market conditions for gold every 10 minutes in order to reflect spot price changes as they occur." We already covered similar machines installed in travel hubs across Germany.
Education

+ - Baby Einstein Videos May Produce Baby Hueys

Submitted by BendingSpoons
BendingSpoons (997813) writes "A new study suggests that "educational" DVDs aimed at toddlers may do more harm than good. The study, led by two researchers from the University of Washington, concludes that videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Babies may actually delay language development in toddlers. Walt Disney Co. (the parent company of Baby Einstein) has responded by calling on the University of Washington to retract its news release of the study. In his public letter to the University, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger attacks the study for its "doubtful methodology, anomalous data, and unreliable inferences." NPR has interviewed one of the researchers, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, concerning his findings; the program also interviewed the DVD Reviewer of Parenting Magazine, who finds the study unconvincing . It should perhaps be noted that the American Academy of Pediatricians reccomends that children under two not watch any television at all."
The Courts

+ - No Bong Hits 4 Jesus After All

Submitted by BendingSpoons
BendingSpoons (997813) writes "The Supreme Court ruled against a high school student who was suspended after displaying a 14ft banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." The student, Joseph Frederick, unfurled the banenr as the Olympic torch passed through his hometown of Juneau, Alaska. As a result, principal Deborah Morse suspended him for ten days, stating that banners advocating drug use had no place at a school-sanctioned event. Frederick challenged his suspension in court, arguing that the banner's message was nonsensical and expressed only his right to say whatever he wished. Frederick's lawsuit was supported by various religious groups, who were concerned that a negative outcome would restrict students' rights to religious expression. In the end, the Court upheld the suspension by a 5-4 majority. "The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," wrote Chief Justice Roberts. "But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one." The case is Morse v. Frederick, 06-278."

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