Dave Moorhouse was elated when he was informed that a microchip provider had information on the whereabouts of his stolen dog. This joy soon faded when the company informed him that it could not divulge the Jack Russell terrier's location because it would breach the Data Protection Act. Last week a court agreed with the chip company and refused Mr Moorhouse's request for a court order compelling them to reveal the name and address of the new owners. Steven Wildridge, managing director of the chip company said: “This is not a choice, it’s an obligation under the Data Protection Act. If the individuals involved do not want us to pass on their details to the original owner then we cannot do so unless compelled to following a criminal or civil proceeding."
An anonymous reader writes "A Wisconsin priest has God on his car but Best Buy's lawyers on his back. Father Luke Strand at the Holy Family Parish in Fond Du Lac says he has received a cease-and-desist letter from the electronics retailer. From the article: 'At issue is Strand's black Volkswagen Beetle with door stickers bearing the name "God Squad" in a logo similar to that of Best Buy's Geek Squad, a group of electronics troubleshooters. Strand told the Fond du Lac Reporter that the car is a creative way to spur discussion and bring his faith to others. Best Buy Co. tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it appreciates what Strand is trying to do, but it's bad precedent to let groups violate its trademarks.'"
the_arrow writes "As a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Amiga computer, Hyperion Entertainment has made a video using the Gource CVS visualization software showing a time-compressed version of 25 years of Amiga development, from the early days of AmigaOS 1.0 to the present. Personal commentary added by one of the current core full-time AmigaOS developers, Hans-Joerg Frieden (a.k.a. 'Rogue')."
Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov has taken old World War II photos and photoshopped them over the locations in present day. The scenes from places like Prague, Vienna, and Moscow are incredibly well done and a neat way to appreciate history.
Meshach writes "A new plug-in for Outlook will warn you if an email you are about to send is 'too emotional.' Basically the plug-in scans the email for emotions such as elation, humiliation, excitement and fear. A user can set how much emotion they want to allow in their messages and if exceeded the threshold a warning will pop up."
In a decision that was reversed as soon as someone with half a brain in their PR department learned about it, Verizon charged a widow a $350 early termination fee. After the death of her marine husband, Michaela Brummund decided to move back to her home town to be with her family. Verizon doesn't offer any coverage in the small town so Michaela tried to cancel her contract, only to be hit with an early termination fee. From the article: "'I called them to cancel. I told them the situation with my husband. I even said I would provide a death certificate,' Michaela said."
Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. "Half a century ago, medicine was neither costly nor effective. Since then, however, science has... enumerated and identified... more than 13,600 diagnoses — 13,600 different ways our bodies can fail. And for each one we've discovered beneficial remedies... But those remedies now include more than six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures. Our job in medicine is to make sure that all of this capability is deployed, town by town, in the right way at the right time, without harm or waste of resources, for every person alive. And we're struggling. There is no industry in the world with 13,600 different service lines to deliver. ... And then there is the frightening federal debt we will face. By 2025, we will owe more money than our economy produces. One side says war spending is the problem, the other says it's the economic bailout plan. But take both away and you've made almost no difference. Our deficit problem — far and away — is the soaring and seemingly unstoppable cost of health care. ... Like politics, all medicine is local. Medicine requires the successful function of systems — of people and of technologies. Among our most profound difficulties is making them work together. If I want to give my patients the best care possible, not only must I do a good job, but a whole collection of diverse components must somehow mesh effectively. ... This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do."
An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian government quietly introduced its own Patriot Act yesterday, with privacy law reforms that are marketed as improving the current law but represent a major step backward. The bill would block organizations for disclosing disclosures to law enforcement to the affected individuals and it would give businesses broad new rights over workplace privacy. In return, Canadians get a security breach disclosure law that only kicks in with significant harm (as judged by the business) and without any penalties for non-disclosure.
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
The Flash platform has been taking body blows lately. First Apple, then Scribd, publicly abandon it; now ARM's marketing VP is blaming a delay in ARM smartbooks on the continuing unsuitability of Flash for the subnotebook market. But how ready is HTML5 to take over from Flash? Tim Bray offers a cautionary appraisal of the not-yet-a-standard's state of grace. While Flash may be on the way out (or so legions of its detractors hope), it is still important in many corners of the Web. Here a branding expert demonstrates that the sites of 10 out of 10 leading worldwide brands don't display on the iPad — because they're coded in Flash, of course.
reverseengineer writes "The US Food and Drug Administration has given its first first approval for a therapeutic cancer vaccine. In a clinical trial 'involving 512 men, those who got Provenge (sipuleucel-T) had a median survival of 25.8 months after treatment, while those who got a placebo lived a median of 21.7 months. After three years, 32 percent of those who got Provenge were alive, compared with 23 percent of those who got the placebo. ... "The big story here is that this is the first proof of principle and proof that immunotherapy works in general in cancer, which I think is a huge observation," said Dr. Philip Kantoff, chief of solid tumor oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the lead investigator in Dendreon's largest clinical trial for the drug. "I think this is a very big thing and will lead to a lot more enthusiasm for the approach."'"
A study conducted by the University of Toronto has found that exposure to fast-food logos can cause people to feel impatient and make them more likely to buy things. Subjects in the study were exposed to nearly imperceptible flashes of images (for 12 to 80 milliseconds) which included fast-food logos for some. The subjects were then asked to read about and choose between two different kinds of skin-care treatments, one of which was a three-in-one. Those who had the logos flashed before them read "significantly faster" and chose the more time-saving skin product. From the article: "The researchers concluded 'fast food, originally designed to save time, can have the unexpected consequence of inducing haste and impatience' and 'preference for time-saving products when there are potentially other important aspects upon which to choose a product.' So, basically, driving past a McDonald's on the highway has the potential to not only make you drive faster, it will make you more likely to buy two-for-one Pantene Pro-V Shampoo and Conditioner the next time you go to Duane Reade. One, it seems, is considerably less ominous than the other." I guess this explains why my nephews will chew on their seat belts and try to get out the windows just to be first into the McDonald's Playland.
Stoobalou writes "Not content with its iPhone scoop, Gizmodo has probably ruined the career of a young engineer. The tech blog last night exposed the name of the hapless Apple employee who had one German beer too many and left a prototype iPhone G4 in a California bar some 20 miles from Apple's Infinite Loop campus. Was that really necessary?" It also came out that they paid $5K for the leaked prototype and that Apple wants it back.
An anonymous reader writes "A couple of weeks ago Sourcefire announced end-of-life for version 0.94 of its free ClamAV antivirus package (and in fact has been talking about it for six months). The method that Sourcefire chose to retire 0.94 was to shut down the server that provided its service. Those who had failed to upgrade are scrambling now. Many systems have no choice but to disable virus checking in order to continue to process email. I am very glad I saw the announcement last week!"
mr_sifter writes "UK games retailer GameStation revealed that it legally owns the souls of thousands of customers, thanks to a clause it secretly added to the online terms and conditions for its website. The 'Immortal Soul Clause' was added as part of an attempt to highlight how few customers read the terms and conditions of an online sale. GameStation claims that 88 percent of customers did not read the clause, which gives legal ownership of the customer's soul over to the UK-based games retailer. The remaining 12 percent of customers however did notice the clause and clicked the relevant opt-out box, netting themselves a £5 GBP gift voucher in the process."
An anonymous reader writes "The history of PC gaming is littered with many well-known and highly regarded titles, but what about the titles you mightn't have heard of? This list of the top games in the history of the PC includes the usual suspects, such as Half-Life and Doom, but also some often overlooked PC games including such classics as Elite, the space trading RPG developed in 1984 by two college friends from Cambridge for the Acorn and BB Micro systems. The game used a truly elegant programming hack to create over 200 different worlds to explore while using 32kb of memory, all with 3D wireframes. Also in the list is Robot War, which required players to actually code the participants, and one of the first online multiplayer RPGs, Neverwinter Nights, which introduced many of the developer and user behaviors, such as custom guilds, that have made modern RPGs so popular." What's your favorite classic game that always gets overlooked in these kinds of lists? My vote goes for Star Control 2.