That's exactly what happened on flight 93, and those phone calls are a big part of the reason why that plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania instead of wherever the terrorists intended to crash it (speculation is they were heading for the US Capitol).
Roland Piquepaille writes "According to Haaretz, an Israeli team of computer scientists has developed software that ranks facial attractiveness of women. Instead of identifying basic facial characteristics, this software has been designed to make aesthetic judgments — after training. The lead researcher said this program 'constitutes a substantial advance in the development of artificial intelligence.' It is interesting to note that the researchers focused on women only. Apparently, men' faces are more difficult to grade."
tonyreadsnews writes "Usually, 'thinking of the children' is a starting point to impose limitations on video games and internet in general. For once, a study requested by UK's Prime Minister seems to be a bit more objective than most. In the Executive Summary (PDF) 'Children and young people need to be empowered to keep themselves safe — this isn't just about a top-down approach. Children will be children — pushing boundaries and taking risks. At a public swimming pool we have gates, put up signs, have lifeguards and shallow ends, but we also teach children how to swim.' I think that is an important point that most studies miss, that just 'thinking of the children' and locking the bad stuff away is actually setting them up for failure later in life. A direct link to the full PDF is also available."
Amy Bennett writes "A recent poll of about 12,000 US business decision-makers by market researcher CoreBrand found that Microsoft's brand power has taken a dive over the past four years. According to the study, Microsoft dropped from number 12 in the ranking of the most powerful US company brands in 2004 to number 59 last year. In 1996, the company ranked number 1 in brand power among 1,200 top companies in about 50 industries. The CEO of CoreBrand said: 'When you see something decline with increasing velocity, it's a concern.' To add some historical context, IBM suffered a much faster and more severe decline in brand power in the early 1990s and it took them 10 years to rebuild the brand's reputation."
Hugh Pickens writes "In 1991 Stewart Alsop, the editor of InfoWorld, predicted that the last mainframe computer would be unplugged by 1996. Just last month, IBM introduced the latest version of its mainframe, and technologies from the golden age of big-box computing continue to be vital components in modern infrastructure. The New York Times explores why old technology is still around, using radio and the mainframe as perfect examples. 'The mainframe is the classic survivor technology, and it owes its longevity to sound business decisions. I.B.M. overhauled the insides of the mainframe, using low-cost microprocessors as the computing engine. The company invested and updated the mainframe software, so that banks, corporations and government agencies could still rely on the mainframe as the rock-solid reliable and secure computer for vital transactions and data, while allowing it to take on new chores like running Web-based programs.'"
smooth wombat writes "There is a fairly significant portion of the population which does not go out and grab the newest OS, gadget, web browser or any other technology related product. Why? It's not because they're luddites but rather, they are comfortable with what they know. Take the case of John Uribe, a 56-year old real estate agent who still uses AOL dial-up and only recently switched to Firefox after being prodded for weeks by an AOL message telling him that on March 1st, AOL would no longer support Netscape. Why did it take him so long to stop using Netscape and make the switch? From the article: 'It worked for me, so I stuck with it. Until there is really some reason to totally abandon it, I won't.'"
Farakin brings us a story about how cameras in roughly 200 Chicago schools are being connected to police headquarters and the city's 911 emergency center. The goal of the effort is to "consolidate video surveillance," and it will involve both routine monitoring and real-time updates to officers on their way to a crisis. According the the Chicago Tribune, "The mayor acknowledged the cameras provide only limited security, citing a spate of shootings in recent days that have claimed young victims during after-school hours." The story also contains a video in which Mayor Daley indicated that he expects the cameras to serve as a deterrent now that people know they're under the eye of the police.
Technical Writing Geek points out an Ars Technica report on comments from Representative Howard Coble (R-NC), who sits on the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. In a recent editorial, Coble attempts to discourage P2P file sharing among young people, and praises Ohio University for its ban on P2P applications last year. Coble also suggests that identity theft is a great danger from file sharing. Public Knowledge is running a similar analysis, which argues against the main points from the editorial.
Klatoo55 writes "Various artists are considering lawsuits in order to press for their share of the estimated hundreds of millions of dollars the RIAA has obtained from settlements with services such as Bolt, KaZaA, and Napster. According to TorrentFreak's report on the potential action, there may not even be much left to pay out after monstrous legal fees are taken care of. The comments from the labels all claim that the money is on its way, and is simply taking longer due to difficulties dividing it all up."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "A federal judge in Connecticut has rejected the RIAA's 'making available' theory, which is the basis of all of the RIAA's peer to peer file sharing cases. In Atlantic v. Brennan, in a 9-page opinion [PDF], Judge Janet Bond Arterton held that the RIAA needs to prove 'actual distribution of copies', and cannot rely — as it was permitted to do in Capitol v. Thomas — upon the mere fact that there are song files on the defendant's computer and that they were 'available'. This is the same issue that has been the subject of extensive briefing in two contested cases in New York, Elektra v. Barker and Warner v. Cassin. Judge Arterton also held that the defendant had other possible defenses, such as the unconstitutionality of the RIAA's damages theory and possible copyright misuse flowing from the record companies' anticompetitive behavior."
Gallenod writes "The Denver Post is reporting that the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of a Federal judge who threw out and reversed a jury decision in favor of a patent infringement claim and ordered the plaintiff's lawyers to pay the defendants' court costs. U.S. District Senior Judge Richard P. Matsch sanctioned the plaintiff's attorneys for 'cavalier and abusive' misconduct and for having a 'what can I get away with?' attitude during a 13-day patent infringement trial in Denver. With the Appeals Court in agreement, could this case be the 'shot heard round the world' in the revolution against patent trolls?"
dtwood writes "Infoworld's Cringely has an interesting take on the Julius Baer bank trying to silence WikiLeaks.org — and how stunningly stupid they've been. 'But the bank's solution is so mind-bogglingly stupid, you have to wonder if these guys need help getting their pants on each morning. First, this is exactly the kind of story bloggers and Net-centric journos crave. Big nasty corporation stomps all over plucky public-serving underdog. Who can resist that plot line? Second, the equation Bank Julius Baer = Money Laundering is now firmly cemented in the minds of everyone who has encountered this story, regardless of whether it's true. Trois: The documents in question, which might have been quickly forgotten alongside the 1.2 million others on the site, are now hotter than the Paris Hilton sex video. Dozens of mirror sites have sprung up, and Cryptome.org and PirateBay have squirreled away copies of the docs for any interested parties. "
coondoggie passed us a NetworkWorld article about an initiative by the Senate to transform the Do Not Call list into a permanent institution. Originally individuals on the list were to have their place on the list revoked; up to a third of the people who signed up might have fallen off the list by the Autumn without renewing legislation. A move by the Senate this past Wednesday will permanently prevent salesmen from calling those who have registered for the list. "Aside from what telemarketing junk the bill does prevent, experts note what may also be a big deal is a provision that is NOT in this bill and that is protection for those other annoying time wasters: political robo calls."
A few days ago we posted a story for you to discuss the best presidential candidates for Super Tuesday, but I figured it would be an interesting idea to try that again, but split the discussion into 2 halves. This is the Republican half — please only discuss the Republican candidates in this story. Huckabee, McCain, and Romney only.
This story is to discuss the remaining democratic candidates for president. Please keep discussions limited to talk about Hillary and Obama. Keep discussions of the other party in the other story.