tekgoblin writes "It seems that Microsoft may be in talks with media companies to license TV shows and movies for a new streaming service. With the addition of ESPN to the Xbox 360 over Xbox Live, Microsoft may be in a position to do the same for different content providers and charge a subscription fee for them separately. The idea is to better personalize content and only pay for what you want to watch instead of paying cable companies for all the channels you don't watch. Microsoft is looking into duplicating what they have done with ESPN to include channels such as Showtime or HBO and possibly Disney."
An anonymous reader writes to tell us of a report from the Washington Post which alleges that the FBI "illegally collected more than 2,000 US telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records." The report continues, "E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties. The stream of urgent requests for phone records also overwhelmed the FBI communications analysis unit with work that ultimately was not connected to imminent threats. ... FBI officials told The Post that their own review has found that about half of the 4,400 toll records collected in emergency situations or with after-the-fact approvals were done in technical violation of the law. The searches involved only records of calls and not the content of the calls. In some cases, agents broadened their searches to gather numbers two and three degrees of separation from the original request, documents show."
phantomfive worries about a report in the Wall Street Journal ("Makes me want to move to the country and dig a well") that in recent years a number of cyber attacks against US infrastructure have been launched over the Internet: "Cyberspies have penetrated the US electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials. The spies came from China, Russia, and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the US electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven't sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war."
magicsquid writes "The Social Security card faces its first major upgrade in 70 years under two immigration-reform proposals slated for debate this week that would add biometric information to the card and finally complete its slow metamorphosis into a national ID."
LiquidIce writes "This is my Nintendo Wii Controlled Smart Home Demonstration. Using the Wii-Mote and my Nintendo Wii, I have an onscreen Flash User Interface that lets me control the following aspects of my home: Lights, Thermostat, Security Camera, Music Playback, Cable DVR, and more. Watch the video for more."