Token_Internet_Girl passed us a link to an MSNBC article on a very disappointed Star Trek fan. Mr. Moustakis of NJ bought a poker visor he thought was worn by Data in Next Generation at a Christie's auction for some $6,000. When he brought it to a convention to have it signed, actor Brent Spiner explained that he'd already sold the well-known visor in a personal sale; like Senator Vreenak, Moustakis had been given a fake. "Christie's spokesman Rik Pike stood behind the authenticity of the auction and said the disgruntled buyer's case had no merit. The lawsuit, filed in state court in Manhattan, demands millions of dollars in punitive damages and a refund for the visor and two other items Moustakis bought at the 2006 auction."
unixluv writes to tell us that another ISP is testing web content filtering and content substitution software. One example sees a system message that is pre-pended to an existing web page. While it seems innocent enough, is this the wave of the future? Will your ISP censor or alter your web experience at will? There have been many instances of content filtering lately and it seems to be a popular idea on the other side of the fence.
theodp writes "It took nearly a decade, but Google has done a turnabout and is honoring Veterans Day with a special holiday design for its famous logo. Users who log onto Google's home page are greeted with three World War I-era helmets capping the letters 'o' and 'e' in Google's name. The decoration is a marked departure for the company, which has come under fire from veterans' groups for ignoring American holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day since Google's inception in 1999."
Stony Stevenson writes with a link to a cautionary tale on the ITnews site. A group of journalists heading to The Netherlands were gathering some information prior to the trip. They sent off an email to the Dutch foreign ministry asking some questions, but as they weren't native speakers they needed some help. Unfortunately, they turned to Babelfish for official correspondence. "The beginning of the email read: 'Helloh bud, enclosed five of the questions in honor of the foreign minister: The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favor or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian.'"
poet sends us to Computerworld for a story on the intention of the OpenDocument Foundation to drop support for Open Document Format, OASIS and ISO standards not withstanding, in favor of the Compound Documents Format being promoted by the W3C. The foundation's director of business affairs, Sam Hiser, dropped this bomb in a blog posting a couple of weeks ago. Hiser believes CDF has a better shot at compatibility with Microsoft's OOXML, and says that the foundation has been disappointed with the direction of ODF over the last year.
Well, i do have some insider knowledge here. The "edit map" which is called "Map Share" is already released in the GO 520 and GO 720 products. And i think it is also be included in the just available TomTom ONE v3.
Patrick Robib, a blogger who wrote his own blogging engine called Forest Blog recently noticed that none other than the MPAA was using his work, and had completely violated his linkware license by removing all links back to the Forest Blog site, not crediting him in any way. The MPAA blog was using the Forest Blog software, but had completely stripped off his name, and links back to his site. He only found about it accidentally when he happened to visit the MPAA site.
DMiax writes "Reuters reports that a group of scientists from University of Edimburgh may have realized a nanomolecular engine - a Maxwell's Demon. The device selects and traps other molecules based on their direction of motion. Physicist James Maxwell first imagined the nano-scale device in 1867, and the research team cites him as the basis for their understanding of how lights, heat, and molecules interact. The device is powered by light, and may spur advances in nano-scale technology to new heights in coming years."
An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet's Steve O'Hear opens old wounds for Flickr veterans. 'An email dropped into my in-box yesterday from Yahoo. Titled "Flickr: Update for Old Skool members", the message went on to explain that Yahoo was discontinuing the old email-based Flickr sign-in system and that from March the 15th, all users will be required to have a Yahoo ID to sign-in to Flickr. It was one of those déjà vu moments when I thought, hang on a minute, haven't we been here before?. And of course we have.' Yahoo tried to pull this stunt almost two years ago, after it first acquired Flickr. So why open up old wounds? Yahoo say it is to make the service easier to manage as they add new features, such as localization. Many users are calling this BS, saying it's all about Yahoo marketing its other properties to Flickr's user-base. Much of the criticism is being lead by a prominent user named Thomas Hawk who also happens to be CEO of Zooomr, a direct competitor to Flickr."
An anonymous reader writes "George Ou writes in his blog that he found a remote exploit for the new and shiny Vista Speech Control. Specifically, websites playing soundfiles can trigger arbitrary commands. Ou reports that Microsoft confirmed the bug and suggested as workarounds that either 'A user can turn off their computer speakers and/or microphone'; or, 'If a user does run an audio file that attempts to execute commands on their system, they should close the Windows Media Player, turn off speech recognition, and restart their computer.' Well, who didn't see that coming?"
westcoaster004 writes "Hollywood is blaming Canada as being the source for at least 50% of of the world's pirated movies. According to an investigation by Twentieth Century Fox, most of the recording is taking place in Montreal theatres where films are released in both English and French. This has led to consideration of delaying movie releases in Canada. Their problem is that the Canadian Copyright Act, as well as the policies of local police forces, makes it difficult to come down especially hard on perpetrators. Convicting someone is apparently rather difficult, almost requiring a law officer to have a 'smoking camcorder' in the hands of the accused. Hence, the consideration of more drastic measures."
K7DAN writes "It appears that state-of-the-art connectivity in Boeing's newest aircraft means a wired, not a wireless network. The Seattle Times reports that Boeing has abandoned plans to bring entertainment and information to passengers through a wireless system in its 787 Dreamliner due to possible production delays and potential conflicts with other radio services around the world. A side benefit is an actual reduction in weight using the wired system. Amazingly, the LAN cables needed to connect every seat in the aircraft weigh 150 lbs less than all the wireless antennae, access points, and thickened ceiling panels required to accommodate a wireless network (the design called for an access point above each row)." The article concludes: "The net impact, [a Boeing spokesman] said, is less technical risk, some weight saved, the system's flexibility and quality preserved plus 'a bit of schedule relief.'"
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft received help from the National Security Agency in protecting the Vista operating system from worms and viruses. The Agency aimed to help as many people as they could, and chose to assist Vista with good reason: the OS still has a 90 percent lock on the PC market, with some 600 million Vista users expected by 2010. From the article: 'The Redmond, Wash., software maker declined to be specific about the contributions the NSA made to secure the Windows operating system ... Microsoft said this is not the first time it has sought help from the NSA. For about four years, Microsoft has tapped the spy agency for security expertise in reviewing its operating systems, including the Windows XP consumer version and the Windows Server 2003 for corporate customers.'"
dhoyte writes, "Newsfactor.com reports that next June the French parliament will be switching from Microsoft to open source products such as Linux for desktops and servers and OpenOffice for day-to-day documents. They see it as a cost-cutting measure." The French have not settled on a Linux distribution yet. The article quotes an analyst voicing a note of caution: "'The evidence on the cost savings attributable to a switch to Linux has been mixed,' according to Chris Swenson, director of software industry analysis at research group NPD. 'There has been some evidence that companies have to spend a good deal on training and support after you deploy...'"
Alien54 writes to tell us that the latest game in the US Army's recruiting toolbox is an impressive game, simulating both weaponry already in use and some still on the drawing board. The game portrays the nation's military in 2015 but, as some critics have said, may lack even the most basic elements of realism. From the article: "For example, there's no consideration that military power or technology could fail or be jammed, she says. And the enemy doesn't learn, in contrast to a certain real-life conflict where the hallmark of insurgents is their ability to rapidly gain knowledge and evolve."