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Comment: Hmm... FBI contract with Hitachi, maybe? (Score 1) 166

by jamestheprogrammer (#19988565) Attached to: Hitachi Develops New Visual Search
I could see the FBI paying some millions of dollars for a dedicated system like this... I mean, since they have that known terrorist photo database or whatever, they might want to improve performance... Of course, I would hope that the FBI would properly configure the servers if they were to buy this. They accidentally forget to change the server from images.google.com (or something similar) to terrorists.fbi.gov, and all of a sudden, your granny is a known terrorist. Oh no!
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Another View of Geeks from the Outside

Submitted by
jamestheprogrammer
jamestheprogrammer writes "There are many different views on the common geek. Some people see them as targets for bullying, others see them as great help with that hard math homework. However, even with the rise in the population of tech-types, there remain many misconceptions of the geek, such as this one found by a father of his own son. What makes people think this way? How can they be convinced otherwise?"
Privacy

Europe Moves To Track Phone and Net Use 120

Posted by kdawson
from the et-tu-Allemande? dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a NYTimes piece on the early moves by European governments to implement an EU data retention directive. The governments of Germany and the Netherlands are initially proposing much more stringent programs than the EU directive requires. For example, the German proposal "would essentially prohibit using false information to create an e-mail account, making the standard Internet practice of creating accounts with pseudonyms illegal." The Times notes that, early days as it is, nevertheless some people involved in the issue are "concerned about a shift in policy in Europe, which has long been a defender of individuals' privacy rights."
User Journal

Journal: On Laptops 4

Journal by DG

Back home from Exercise IRONSIDES.

Upon arrival, a surprise - the laptop, the only Windows machine I have, is as dead as a doornail. It'll boot, but the screen stays black. And yes, I tried toggling the LCD/projector key.

Security

+ - SETI@Home tracks stolen laptop, reunites couple

Submitted by yuna49
yuna49 (905461) writes "Thieves recently stole a laptop belonging to the estranged wife of a computer programmer in Minnesota. Luckily the husband had installed SETI@Home on the machine. He saw the computer appear on the SETI site three times in a week and gave the IP address to the authorities. This lead to the recovery of the laptop and a reconciliation between the estranged couple."
Space

+ - Temp. difference observed between Sun's poles

Submitted by ATestR
ATestR (1060586) writes "From the Article (science.nasa.gov), one pole of the sun is cooler than the other. That's the surprising conclusion announced today by scientists who have been analyzing data from the ESA-NASA Ulysses spacecraft.

Measurements of the Northern Solar pole taken by Ulysses in 1994 and 1995 observed a temperature difference of 7 — 8 percent from the recent measurements taken of the Southern pole. Since the average Solar temperature has been measured to be constant during this twelve year period, the scientists invovled with the project are scratching their heads over the difference."
Censorship

+ - Saudi Free Speech Campaign Goes Online

Submitted by
cultrhetor
cultrhetor writes "Following the arrest of ten Saudi activists involved in circulating a petition in favor of protecting freedom of expression, fellow reform advocates have posted the petition online, according to a BBC news article posted today. According to the article, By placing their petition on the internet, the Saudi activists are taking an enormous risk. From the article:

The petition calls for elections in which both men and women would be allowed to vote.
The signatories want freedom of expression to be protected by law and they want the powers of the interior ministry curtailed.
But the Saudi authorities have made it clear they will not tolerate public calls for political change.
What do you think? Can the Internet be use effectively to change policy in truly authoritarian governments?"
Security

IT Departments Fear Growing Expertise of Users 499

Posted by kdawson
from the illusion-of-control dept.
flatfilsoc recommends a long article in CIO magazine on users who know too much and the IT leaders who fear them. Dubbing the universe of consumer technology the "shadow IT department," the article highlights the extent to which the boundary between users' workplace and home have broken down. It notes the increasing clash — familiar to anyone who works in a company with an IT department — between users' home-grown productivity boosters and IT's mandate to protect corporate data. The inherent tendency of the IT department to want to crack down and control technology that it doesn't supply should be resisted at all costs, according to CIO. The article outlines strategies for co-existence. It just might persuade some desperate CIO somewhere not to embark on a career-limiting path of decreeing against gmail and IM.
PlayStation (Games)

+ - Surgical success linked to skill at video games

Submitted by mjh
mjh (57755) writes "According to The Guardian, "A study has found a direct link between skill at video gaming and skill at keyhole, or laparoscopic, surgery. Young surgeons who spent at least three hours a week playing video games in the past made 37% fewer errors, were 27% faster, and scored 42% better overall than surgeons who had never played a video game at all." The sample size they quote seems rather small, but it suggests that Steven Johnson might be right."
Music

iTunes Uncovers Musical Hoax 311

Posted by kdawson
from the man-who-mistook-his-wife-for-a-Hatto dept.
holy_calamity writes "The reliance by iTunes on the CDDB has burst open a musical fraud in the usually staid world of classical piano. Albums by the much vaunted British pianist Joyce Hatto, who died in June 2006, are identified by the iTunes player as belonging to other performers. A more scientific analysis by an audio remastering firm has found that none of Hatto's works appear to be hers. Her husband, who produced all her albums, says he 'cannot explain' the similarities."
Windows

+ - Vista's RAM sweet spot: 4GB

Submitted by jcatcw
jcatcw (1000875) writes "David Short, an IBM consultant who works in the Global Services Divison and has been beta testing Vista for two years, says users should consider 4GB of RAM if they really want optimum Vista performance. With Vista's minimum requirement of 512MB of RAM, Vista will deliver performance that's 'sub-XP,' he says. (Dell and others recommend 2GB.) One reason: SuperFetch, which fetches applications and data, and feeds them into RAM to make them accessible more quickly. With more RAM, there's more caching."

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