Polish that turd up good, boys! I want to see my face in it!
charleste writes "CNN is reporting that the US Homeland Security Department has mandated Real ID for drivers licenses. According to the article, this will not include a 'chip', but a list of options by state. Despite legislation passed in various states and objections by groups such as ACLU, this appears to be a done deal. Without one of the new IDs you will be unable to board a plane after 2014 if you are under 50."
The feed delivers news from Ars Technica about a new and promising treatment for Alzheimer's. The drug Etanercept works by disabling the functioning of a cytokine called TNFa, and reportedly caused immediate improvement — in minutes — in mental functioning in one Alaheimer's patient. Double-blind studies have not yet begun.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The term NSFW is about to join the :( emoticon, going from a generic, oft-used internet abbreviation, to one company's exclusive trademark. Fark is seeking a trademark on the use of NSFW to describe naughty online content. Of course, they may face a bit of a battle because more than a few other people are already using the term NSFW to describe their products and services. Not that that's stopped anyone in the past." And, of course, the whole thing could be a big practical joke.
aroberts writes "Today is Blog Action Day which means that lots of bloggers will be writing on one general topic for one day in an attempt to see what might be achieved through coordinated posting, and I am one of them so my humble contribution amongst the hundreds of thousands is entitled individual action is not enough. The topic for this year's blog action day is the environment." You can almost hear the sound of the vacuum created by bloggers thinking that their words matter when the people with control don't even know how to read the tubes. Lick a stamp or march- that's harder to ignore.
Tao Takashi writes "Linden Lab, developers of the popular 3D platform "Second Life" started to think about an open standard for interconnecting virtual worlds. The motivation behind this is to make Second Life more scalable but also to allow connection of other grids not hosted by Linden Lab. The process of defining components and protocols is supposed to be handled completely in the open with community participation. When finished the protocol documentation is supposed to be submitted to standard committees such as IETC, W3C etc. The discussion has already started on the Second Life wiki and you can also find a first architecture proposal by Linden Lab."
Krishna Dagli writes "Two Ph.D. students at the University of California at Berkeley say that Daylight Saving Shift will not do any good or create any energy savings. We are already spending money for software upgrades in the name of saving energy and after reading following article I wonder has congress really studied the impact of DST shift? " I also read some back story on the concept; OTOH, I found TiVo's suggestions that I manually change everything on my Series 1 device to be somewhat...insulting.
rowleyrw writes "The BBC are reporting, 'The British military is set to take one of its most significant steps into the digital age with the launch of the first Skynet 5 satellite. The spacecraft will deliver secure, high-bandwidth communications for UK and "friendly" forces across the globe.' It's not yet the Skynet of Terminator, but how long before it becomes self aware?"
CGISecurity.com writes "NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might pose a devastating hit to Earth, but there isn't enough money to pay for the task so it won't get done. 'We know what to do, we just don't have the money,' said Simon 'Pete' Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center." But hey, it's just the potential end of the world, so nothing much to worry about there.
FlatCatInASlatVat writes "Kurt Hanson's Radio Internet Newsletter has an analysis of the new royalty rates for Internet Radio announced by the US Copyright Office. The decision is likely to put most internet radio stations out of business by making the cost of broadcasting much higher than revenues. From the article: 'The Copyright Royalty Board is rejecting all of the arguments made by Webcasters and instead adopting the "per play" rate proposal put forth by SoundExchange (a digital music fee collection body created by the RIAA)...[The] math suggests that the royalty rate decision — for the performance alone, not even including composers' royalties! — is in the in the ballpark of 100% or more of total revenues.'"
nagora writes "The BBC is reporting that next week's UK music chart may have the first sign of the end of the recording industry as we know it. From this week (7th Jan, 2006), all downloaded music sales are counted in the official UK chart, not just tracks which have had a physical media release. Now, an unsigned band called Koopa is poised to enter the top 40 without any old-world recording, distribution, or production deals. Band member Joe Murphy says "If someone comes along and gives us an offer, we'll talk to them." before continuing on to add the words the recording industry has been having nightmares about since the introduction of the mp3 format: "If we can get enough exposure and get in the top 40 by the end of the week, do we necessarily need a large label? Probably nowadays, no you don't." Is this finally the crack in the dam we've all been waiting for to wash away the entrenched monopolies of 20th century music production? Or just a sell-out waiting to happen?"
lucabrasi999 writes "It appears that Apple may be running out of items that they can prefix with the letter "i". Cisco is suing Apple over trademark infringement. Cisco claims to own the rights to the "iPhone" trademark since they purchased Infogear in 2000. Infogear filed for the rights to the trademark in 1996."
narramissic writes "With nearly a month of Vista availability behind us, businesses don't seem to be in any rush to take the leap. An article on ITworld cites two significant reasons for the foot-dragging. First, Microsoft's case-by-case approach to Vista patches, which is leaving some problems unpatched until after the consumer release in January. Second, application (in)compatibility. From the article: 'Some of the applications that still aren't compatible with Vista include IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes e-mail and collaboration suite; Cisco Systems Inc.'s and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.'s VPN clients; Intuit Corp.'s accounting software QuickBooks 2006 and earlier versions; and anti-virus (AV) software from Trend Micro Inc.'"