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United States

Science Debate 2008 322

Posted by kdawson
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
bhmit1 writes "BusinessWeek is reporting about Science Debate 2008, an attempt to put the scientific issues front and center in the US Presidential race. After 12,000 scientists signed on in support of the idea of a debate focused on science, no campaign has replied to an invitation to such a debate. The article notes that only one candidate has said much about science issues in the campaign, and that some who are running are sufficiently anti-science as to deny evolution. There is a link to a comparison of the candidates' positions on issues informed by science. (Yes, Ron Paul is included.)"

Comment: What's sad is.. (Score 1) 871

by Cyraan (#22005266) Attached to: 12 Florida Schools Pass Anti-Evolution Resolutions
It might still be an incredibly small step up from our current curriculum (IIRC, this is the first change to it since I finished school) which doesn't even mention the word evolution, instead using the term changes over time .

Just being Floridian makes you the butt of a near-endless supply of jokes (the 2000 election, old people, our pathetic intolerance for temperatures below 50 F... ok, that one has some basis in fact) I guess some of us just like it.
Cellphones

Analog Cellular Shutdown To Hit Built-In Devices 173

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-hear-you-now dept.
Nick Kilkenny sends us an AP article on the imminent shutdown of the US analog cellular network, now 24 years old. The network is scheduled to go dark on Feb. 18, 2008; some users, such as OnStar, are stopping analog service at the end of this year. Here's a list of devices and industries that will be affected by the shutdown. (Cellular telephony won't be affected much.) "The shutdown date has been known years in advance, but some industries appear to have a had a problem updating their technologies and informing their customers in advance... General Motors Corp., which owns OnStar, started modifying its cars after the 2002 decision by the Federal Communications Commission to let the network die, but some cars made as late as 2005 can't use digital networks for OnStar, nor can they be upgraded. For some cars made in the intervening years, GM provides digital upgrades for $15." Update: 12/22 22:25 GMT by KD : Replaced two registration-required links.
United States

Dodd's Filibuster Threat Stalls Wiretap Bill 483

Posted by kdawson
from the talk-until-blue-in-the-face dept.
otakuj462 sends in an important followup to this morning's story on telecom immunity legislation. "Senator Chris Dodd won a temporary victory today after his threats of a filibuster forced Democratic leadership to push back consideration of a measure that would grant immunity to telecom companies that were complicit in warrantless surveillance... [T]he threat of Dodd's filibuster... persuaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, to table the act until January. A compromise on the immunity will ostensibly be worked out in the interim period."
Government

DoubleClick Goes MIA At FTC Chief's Old Law Firm 39

Posted by kdawson
from the now-you-see-it dept.
theodp writes "FTC Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras has refused to recuse herself from the agency's review of Google's $3.1B DoubleClick acquisition, despite her current and past ties to DoubleClick law firm Jones Day. EPIC and the Center for Digital Democracy, which had requested her recusal, are keeping up the pressure as DoubleClick-related pages and references have been disappearing from Jones Day's website. Although the statement issued by the Chairwoman suggests Jones Day's DoubleClick representation is limited to the European Commission, the Google cache of one MIA document boasts: 'Jones Day is advising DoubleClick Inc., the digital marketing technology provider, on the international and US antitrust and competition law aspects of its planned $3.1 billion acquisition by Google Inc.'"
Google

Verizon Might Deliver Google Phone 115

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-no-wait-i-thought-it-wasn't-real dept.
MrCrassic writes "There are talks floating around surrounding Google's possible talks with Verizon and possibly T-Mobile to establish an agreement for the carrier to deliver phones carrying Google's speculated mobile operating system. According to the article, one of the main hurdles slowing down the product are concerns about user privacy and advertising, one of Google's well-renowned strengths. With over 6 million customers potentially at their disposal, could this be "the deal" that establishes Google's hegemony in the internet sphere?"
NASA

NASA Ikhana Assists SoCal Firefighters 60

Posted by Zonk
from the all-about-helping-those-in-need-with-robots dept.
ackthpt writes "Ikhana (a NASA drone) is primarily designed for suborbital earth sciences missions, but may be fitted out with a variety of sensors. Wednesday, Ikhana took off from Edwards Air Force Base for a 10 hour mission to observe forest fires in California, scanning the terrain from 23-25,000 feet using a variety of sensors for visible and IR light. Able to remain aloft for up to 30 continuous hours Ikhana serves up information in minutes, a process that takes hours when done by manned aircraft observation. 'The data is processed on the aircraft, up-linked to a satellite and then downloaded to a ground station. From there it's delivered to a computer server at NASA Ames. The imagery is then combined with Google Earth maps. Command center personnel can view the images on their computer screens and then delegate local firefighters accordingly.'"
Toys

Paranormal Investigations and Belief in Ghosts 606

Posted by Zonk
from the in-the-heart-of-translvania-in-the-vampire-hall-of-fame-yeah dept.
Esther Schindler writes "Sure, everyone uses technology on the job. But you may not have contemplated the tools used by paranormal investigators (at least, not until you began thinking about Halloween) who look for the truth in ghosts and other things that go Bump in the Night. In Paranormal Investigations and Technology: Where Ghosts and Gadgets Meet, CIO's Al Sacco writes about the most unusual of tool chests, with everything from thermometers to blimp cams." You want spooky? An anonymous reader passed a link to a survey that says a third of Americans believe in ghosts. Who you gonna call?
The Courts

Lindor Attacks Record Company Copyright-Pooling 136

Posted by Zonk
from the avoiding-the-rule-of-inverse-ninjas dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Back in March, 2006, Marie Lindor called the record companies suing her a collusive cartel, and their joint agreement to pool their copyrights "copyright misuse" (pdf). A year and a half later, the RIAA apparently got nervous about that allegation and made a motion to strike the allegations. Ms. Lindor has struck back, pointing out to the Judge not only that the RIAA's arguments had no legal basis, but also that its brief was completely silent as to any justification for the record companies' copyright-pooling agreement. Such a justification would be necessary for it to pass muster under 'rule of reason' analysis mandated by the US Supreme Court. Ms. Lindor, a home health worker who has never even used a computer, let alone infringed anyone's copyrights with a p2p file sharing program, is the same defendant who exposed, with a little help from her friends, some of the weaknesses in the RIAA's expert testimony. She also obtained a ruling that the RIAA's $750-per-song file damages theory might be a wee bit unconstitutional."
The Courts

Judge Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act 673

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-what-about-the-terrorists dept.
Shining Celebi writes "U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled in favor of the ACLU and struck down a portion of the revised USA PATRIOT Act this morning, forcing investigators to go through the courts to obtain approval before ordering ISPs to give up information on customers, instead of just sending them a National Security Letter. In the words of Judge Marrero, this use of National Security Letters 'offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.'"
United States

+ - Court: Cops Can Steal and Lie to Conduct Searches->

Submitted by
Spamicles
Spamicles writes "Police officers faked a car jacking in order to search a car that was suspected to be used in drug trafficking. They discovered drugs and arrested the owners of the car. A lower court ruled that the warrant-less search and seizure violated the Fourth Amendment and that the drugs could not be used as evidence. This ruling was overturned today."
Link to Original Source
Patents

TiVo Awarded Patent For Password You Can't Hack 291

Posted by Zonk
from the un-hack-able dept.
Davis Freeberg writes "TiVo has always been known for thinking outside of the box, but this week they were awarded an unusual patent related to locking down content on their hard drives. According to the patent, they've invented a way to create password security that is so tough, it would take you longer than the life of a hard drive in order to figure it out. They could be using this technology to prevent the sharing of content or it could be related to their advertising or guide data, but if their encryption technology is really that good, it's an interesting solution for solving the problem of securing networks."
Privacy

Bill Bans NSA Eavesdropping 424

Posted by Zonk
from the stay-out-of-my-head dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The US house of representatives today passed a bill outlawing illegal domestic wiretapping by the government. Now government agencies are only allowed to access your private communications under terms of FISA. 'As the Senate Report noted, FISA "was designed . . . to curb the practice by which the Executive Branch may conduct warrantless electronic surveillance on its own unilateral determination that national security justifies it." The Bill ends plans by the Bush Administration that would give the NSA the freedom to pry into the lives of ordinary Americans. The ACLU noted that, despite many recent hearings about 'modernization' and 'technology neutrality,' the administration has not publicly provided Congress with a single example of how current FISA standards have either prevented the intelligence community from using new technologies, or proven unworkable for the agents tasked with following them.'"

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