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ACLU Protests Police Scanning License Plates 821

Posted by kdawson
from the drift-net-fishing-expedition dept.
dustman81 writes "The ACLU is objecting to the practice of police in Springdale, Ohio using an automated license-plate scanner on patrol cars to locate stolen vehicles or those whose owners are wanted on felony warrants. The scanner can read 900 license plates an hour traveling at highway speeds. So far, the scanner has located 95 stolen cars and helped locate 111 wanted felons. The locations of the license plates scanned are tagged with GPS data. All matches are stored (with no expiration date given) and can be brought up later and cross-referenced on a map. If the plate is wanted, the times and locations of where it was scanned can be referenced. The Springdale police department hopes to begin using the system soon to locate misdemeanor suspects. This system is also in use in British Columbia."
The Internet

+ - Interview With a Founding Father of the Internet

Submitted by
roscoetoon
roscoetoon writes "from Kelly Jackson Higgins's Blog: http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=118 596
An Interview With Vinton Cerf: Father Knows Best ...He's probably one of the only people at Google who can remember the Arpanet or what the Internet was like before the Web. And there's one thing few people know about Internet legend Vinton Cerf, who co-designed the TCP/IP stack that was used to build the Internet infrastructure: His secret wish is to be an actor... ...He remembers the days when being called a "hacker" was an honor. "It used to be an honorific at MIT. But the abusive practices that have become so visible on the Internet has given a bad connotation here," Cerf says. "Purists wish that we could apply some other terms so as to keep 'hacker' what it once was, but I think the language has become too polluted."... ...This obviously isn't your father of the Internet's Internet. Cerf says the biggest threats are the proliferation of spam, botnets, malware, and denial-of-service attacks. "Much work is needed to increase the security of the Internet and its connected computers," he says, "and to make the environment more reliable for everyone."..."
Windows

+ - WinHlp32.exe still deprocated

Submitted by wombatmobile
wombatmobile (623057) writes "Windows Vista doesn't allow existing programs to display their help files.

Microsoft said they would provide a download fix "in time for the consumer release of Windows Vista", but they haven't!

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607

How can consumers use existing programs on the new Vista if their help files don't work?

How can software publishers help their customers if Microsoft prohibits them from distributing the old help system and provides no alternative?"
Television

+ - Food Network using subliminal advertising?

Submitted by
spoco2
spoco2 writes "Is the Food Network using subliminal advertising now? From the always interesting Something Awful forums comes this interesting nugget:

"I was sitting around waiting for Battlestar Galactica this evening watching Iron Chef America. I had seen the commercials for tonight's episode, and it looked neat so I set it up to record. Towards the end, when they're going over the iron chef and the challenger's entries a McDonalds logo popped up for a single frame."
There's a video of the offending portion."
Communications

+ - Can't get iPhone service because of your location?

Submitted by
Jane Lindholm
Jane Lindholm writes "Think the iPhone is overdue, overhyped, and overvalued...but still want one anyway? I'm a reporter for the public radio show Marketplace. I'm working on a story about people who can't get the iPhone because they don't live in a Cingular/AT&T service area. That includes all of Vermont, much of the Dakotas, Maine, upstate New York etc. Some people are so keen to get an iPhone though that they're willing to set up a PO Box and establish residency in a Cingular service area just so they can get the iPhone w/ service and then roam in their actual home area. If you're one of those people, I'd love to talk to you for my story. you can e-mail me at jlindholm@marketplace.org And thanks in advance to the slashdot community for letting me ask for your help. Cheers, Jane Lindholm"
Microsoft

+ - No surround sound in Vista?

Submitted by Kane22
Kane22 (666) writes "A CNET article points out that according to audio experts Creative, Windows Vista will not support surround sound or EAX audio on a huge number of PC games. Nor will DVD movie surround sound be possible unless users splash out on expensive Dolby-enabled versions of their playback software. The reason: Microsoft has removed the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) for Vista — a piece of software that lets applications talk to your sound card. Games such as Call of Duty 2, World of Warcraft, F.E.A.R. and any other title that uses DirectSound3D (part of the DirectX application programming interface used to create many games) will have no surround sound or advanced hardware audio features as a result. No HAL or EAX means gamers are stuck with plain old stereo. ult.No HAL means gamers are stuck with plain old stereo."
United States

+ - FCC nixes satellite radio merger

Submitted by
a_nonamiss
a_nonamiss writes "Doesn't look like Sirius and XM are going to merge any time soon.
From the article:
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin told reporters after an FCC meeting that the Commission would not approve a merger between satellite radio rivals Sirius and XM Radio.

Even if the FCC were to have a change of heart and green-light a merger between Sirius and XM Radio, it would still have to pass antitrust scrutiny by the Department of Justice. Although a combination of the two radio companies wouldn't have the same effect that it would in the TV market, where satellite is the only alternative for some US residents, it would still have the effect of eliminating competition — something that rarely benefits consumers.
I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Wogically, I know that competition is a good thing for consumers, and monopolies are generally only good for companies. Still, something in my gut tells me that a merger between these two companies would benefit the consumer. I don't like having to choose a car based on which satellite radio service comes preinstalled, or considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both. Frankly, it's probably all this exclusivity that has caused me not to purchase either system."
Puzzle Games (Games)

Journal: Monty Hall vs Deal Or No Deal 8

Journal by tomhudson

Gee ... nobody took the bait :-)

A while back, I posted that the choice is 50-50 to either keep the original prize door, or swap with the unopened door, and *nobody* bothered to jump in.

The correct choice is to always switch. The real problem is that when people try to explain their solution, they make it overly complex (or they used it as an intro to push their particular brand of "enlighenment"). A simple "truth table" suffices.

Announcements

+ - Wikipedia links no longer help your Page Rank

Submitted by
Mrs. Grundy
Mrs. Grundy writes "Wikipedia has started automatically adding rel="NOFOLOW" to all external links in an effort to combat link spam. Since wikipedia pages are hip-deep in high page rank they attract the unsavory sort of character hoping to gain a little love from Google on their coattails. By making pages NOFOLOW they essentially deny conferring any page rank points from google and hopefully reduce the incentive to spam the pages with offtopic links. This topic has come up before and the community voted to remove the NOFOLLOW business in 2005. Will this move actually reduce link spam or is even the potential clickthrough valuable enough without the boost in Google's ranking? And how does the value of ranking sites based on links change as more and more popular sites start tagging (eh...labeling) their links NOFOLLOW?"

In specifications, Murphy's Law supersedes Ohm's.

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