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Privacy

Esther Dyson Grudgingly Defends Internet Anonymity 516

Posted by timothy
from the shall-I-compare-thee-to-a-summer's-day? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In an interview, Esther Dyson, chairman of EDventure Holdings, describes anonymity on the Internet as similar to abortion: a bad practice that people should still have rights to. Calling anonymity one of the greatest disappointments of the Internet's evolution, Dyson said: 'I'm pro choice, but I think abortion is an unfortunate thing. I think the same thing about anonymity: Everybody should have the right to it, but it's not something one wants to encourage.'"
Google

Google Chrome Is Out of Beta 444

Posted by timothy
from the could-be-a-contender dept.
BitZtream writes "This morning Google announced that Chrome is out of Beta, and showing improvements for plugin support, most notably video speed improvements. It also contains an updated javascript engine, claiming that it operates 1.4 times faster than the beta version, and work has begun on an extensions platform to allow easier integration with the browser by third parties."
Music

Activision Wants To Bring Guitar Hero To Arcades 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the shredding-in-public dept.
dlapikin writes "Activision is preparing a deal with Konami and Raw Thrills to bring Guitar Hero to arcades worldwide as soon as 2009. It looks to be a great fusion of their current Guitar Hero III axe and World Tour. 'Some features have been streamlined, however, like character customization. Raw Thrills doesn't want people obsessing over the hair color of their on-screen rock star. But one important feature that has remained is downloadable content. Raw Thrills has the ability to push new songs to "Guitar Hero Arcade" through the Internet. Owners of the machines can pick and choose which of the new songs to add to the cabinet.'"
Censorship

IWF Backs Down On Wiki Censorship 226

Posted by kdawson
from the that-streisand-thing-again dept.
jonbryce writes "The Internet Watch Foundation, guardians of the Great Firewall of Britain, have stopped censoring Wikipedia for hosting what they considered to be a child porn image. They had previously threatened to block Amazon for hosting the same image." Here is the IWF's statement, which credits the Streisand Effect for opening their eyes: "...in light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability, the decision has been taken to remove this webpage from our list. Any further reported instances of this image which are hosted abroad, will not be added to the list. ... IWF's overriding objective is to minimize the availability of indecent images of children on the internet, however, on this occasion our efforts have had the opposite effect."
Transportation

Bay Area To Install Electric Vehicle Grid 388

Posted by kdawson
from the recharge-it dept.
Mike writes "Recently San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States. The Bay Area will be partnering with Better Place to create an essential electric vehicle infrastructure, marking a huge step towards the acceptance of electric vehicles as a viable alternative to those that run on fossil fuels." Inhabitat.com has some conceptual illustrations and a map showing EV infrastructure, such as battery exchange stations, stretching from Sacramento to San Diego — though this is far more extensive than the Bay Area program actually announced, which alone is estimated to cost $1 billion.
It's funny.  Laugh.

PETA Using Games To Spread Its Message 477

Posted by Soulskill
from the looking-for-a-new-audience-to-harass dept.
Cooking Mama is a series of games for the Wii and the DS in which players go through a number of steps to prepare meals using a variety of recipes. Last week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) created their own Flash-based parody of the game, highlighting the use of meat products by having a more bloody-minded Mama do things like pull the internal organs from a Thanksgiving turkey. Cooking Mama's maker, Majesco, issued a light-hearted response, pointing out the vegetarian meals in the game. PETA then said they plan to continue making parody games as a way of "engaging the public."
Microsoft

Microsoft To Offer Free Anti-Virus Software 448

Posted by kdawson
from the another-industry-done-gone dept.
Dynamoo writes "The good news is that Microsoft have announced free anti-virus software for consumers, dubbed Morro, available late next year. The bad news is ... well, exactly the same. Although Microsoft's anti-malware products are pretty good, this move could drive many competitors out of business and create a dangerous security monoculture; major rivals will be lawyering up already. On the other hand, many malware infections could be prevented even by basic software. So is this going to be a good or bad thing overall?"
PC Games (Games)

Square Enix Announces Supreme Commander 2 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the branching-out dept.
arcticstoat writes "Supreme Commander 2 has now been officially announced, but with a surprise publishing partner on board — Square Enix. Gas Powered Games' original RTS game and its expansion pack, Forged Alliance, were published by THQ, who is no stranger to the RTS genre, but Square Enix has previously specialized in Japanese RPGs such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Explaining the move, Square Enix said in a statement that it 'has previously worked exclusively with Japanese development companies, so the decision to form strategic partnerships with developers located outside of Japan serves as a new cornerstone of its strategy to create games targeted primarily at consumers in Europe and North America. Additionally, Square Enix Group's foray into the real-time strategy genre is a significant expansion of its product lineup.'"
Mars

Phoenix Mars Lander Declared Dead 154

Posted by kdawson
from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-pix dept.
SpuriousLogic sends in a sad note from the BBC: "NASA says its Phoenix lander on the surface of Mars has gone silent and is almost certainly dead. Engineers have not heard from the craft since Sunday 2 November when it made a brief communication with Earth. Phoenix, which landed on the planet's northern plains in May, had been struggling in the increasing cold and dark of an advancing winter. The US space agency says it will continue to try to contact the craft but does not expect to hear from it."
Games

Non-Violent, Cooperative Games? 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the play-that-myspace-game-to-befriend-monsters dept.
jandersen writes "While I generally don't play computer games, I do occasionally play games like Crossfire or The Mana World, because they have more of a story line and allow you to go at your own pace. What I don't care much about, though, is that they are still focused on killing monsters and amassing wealth, and it gets very tedious after a while. Are there really no games where the goal isn't so much about increasing your own power and defeating others, but where you instead grow by doing things that benefit others, where enemies shouldn't be killed out of hand, but befriended; where learning, teaching, research and social skills are more important than killing and conquering? Would people be interested in a game of that nature?"
Moon

Chandrayaan Enters Lunar Orbit 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the fly-me-to-the-moon dept.
William Robinson writes "After an 18-day journey, Chandrayaan-1, the moon mission of India, has entered Lunar orbit. The maneuver was described as crucial and critical by scientists, who pointed out that at least 30 per cent of similar moon missions had failed at this juncture, resulting in spacecraft lost to outer space. The lunar orbit insertion placed Chandrayaan-1 in an elliptical orbit with its nearest point 400 to 500 kilometers away from the moon, and the farthest, 7,500 kilometers. By November 15, the spacecraft is expected to be orbiting the moon at a distance of 100 kilometers and sending back data and images (the camera was tested with shots looking back at Earth). The Chandrayaan-1 is also scheduled to send a probe to the moon's surface."
It's funny.  Laugh.

The Greatest Scientific Hoaxes? 496

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the april-fools-one-of-the-best-holidays dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "The New Scientist has an amusing story about the seven greatest scientific hoaxes of all time. Of course, there have been serious cases of scientific fraud, such as the stem cell researchers recently found guilty of falsifying data, and the South Korean cloning fraud, but the hoaxes selected point more to human gullibility than malevolence and include the Piltdown Man (constructed from a medieval human cranium); a ten-foot "petrified man" dug up on a small farm in Cardiff; fossils 'found' in Wurzburg, Germany depicting comets, moons and suns, Alan Sokal's paper loaded with nonsensical jargon that was accepted by the journal Social Text; the claim of the Upas tree on the island of Java so poisonous that it killed everything within a 15-mile radius; and Johann Heinrich Cohausen's claim of an elixir produced by collecting the breath of young women in bottles that produced immortality. Our favorite: BBC's broadcast in 1957 about the spaghetti tree in Switzerland that showed a family harvesting pasta that hung from the branches of the tree. After watching the program, hundreds of people phoned in asking how they could grow their own tree but, alas, the program turned out to be an April Fools' Day joke." What massive scientific hoaxes/jokes have other people witnessed?
Cellphones

Security Flaw In Android Web Browser 59

Posted by timothy
from the more-information-would-be-nice dept.
r writes "The New York Times reports on a security flaw discovered in the new Android phones. The article is light on details, but it hints at a security hole in the browser, allowing for trojans to install themselves in the same security partition as the browser: 'The risk in the Google design, according to Mr. Miller, who is a principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators in Baltimore, lies in the danger from within the Web browser partition in the phone. It would be possible, for example, for an intruder to install software that would capture keystrokes entered by the user when surfing to other Web sites. That would make it possible to steal identity information or passwords.'"
Programming

Getting Hired As an Entry-Level Programmer? 540

Posted by kdawson
from the foot-in-door dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I received a state university degree in Computer Science. After graduation, I immediately took jobs in QA to pay the bills while waiting for other opportunities, which of course turned out to be as naive as it sounds. I've been working QA for several years now and my resume does not show the right kind of work experience for programming. On the whole I'm probably no better as a a candidate than a CS graduate fresh out of college. But all of the job postings out in the real world are looking for people with 2-5 years of programming work experience. How do you build up those first 2 years of experience? What kinds of companies hire programmers with no prior experience?"

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