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Government

Obama Proposes Digital Health Records 563

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the cuts-both-ways dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'President-elect Barack Obama, as part of the effort to revive the economy, has proposed a massive effort to modernize health care by making all health records standardized and electronic.' The plan includes having all conventional records converted to digital within 5 years. Independent studies are fixing this cost somewhere in the range of $75 to $100 Billion, with most of the money going to paying and training technical staff to work on the conversion. Early government estimates are showing 212,000 jobs could be created by this plan."
Software

Python 3.0 To Be Backwards Incompatible 438

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-broke-jim dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "Organizations using Python will be affected in a major way by changes in store for the language over the course of the next twelve months, Linux.conf.au attendees were told this morning. The Python development community is working towards a new, backwards-incompatible version of the language, version 3.0, which is slated for release in early 2009. Anthony Baxter, the release manager for Python and a senior software engineer at Google Australia, said "We are going to break pretty much all the code. Pretty much every program will need changes." Baxter also added another tidbit for attendees, saying that Python accounts for around 15 percent of Google's code base."
Businesses

Corporate Email Etiquette - Dead or Alive? 504

Posted by Zonk
from the on-a-steel-horse-i-ooops dept.
mbravo writes "I work in a largish company, heavily into IT, and in a complex and quickly changing market. Employees are predominantly in the 30 or younger age-bracket, and as you might expect we rely on a lot of internal e-mail. Despite that, lately I'm finding myself increasingly frustrated by a complete lack of e-mail etiquette in the company. A typical thread might look like a hundred-message-long chain of one-line replies, with full quoting and hundreds of recipients in the 'To:' field. It feels like it is happening more and more often. I don't seem to be seeing much success in explaining to my co-workers what the problem is here. How do you deal with this at your place of business, and does your company care? Does the company take any policing or educating measures?"
United States

US Government To Release Electronic Passport 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-track-you-with dept.
XueCast writes "The federal government has announced that they will release new electronic Passport cards in either April or May 2008. The cards could be read wirelessly from up to 20 feet away, which could reduce the waiting time at border checkpoints. Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State For Passport Services, Ann Barrett said, "As people are approaching a port of inspection, they can show the card to the reader, and by the time they get to the inspector, all the information will have been verified and they can be waved on through.""
Portables

Symbian Blasts Google's Phone Initiative 276

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-now-there's-a-shocker dept.
nowhere.elysium writes "Symbian has suggested that Google is not experienced enough or capable of fully developing a workable mobile platform. Symbian's vice president, John Forsyth inferred that Google's interest in the field will also wane due to it being 'deeply unsexy', and that development is not likely for such a platform because "You have [...] a lot of zeroes in your sales figures before a developer gets out of bed." In the same series of statements, Linux is likened to the common cold: "About every three months this year there has been a mobile Linux initiative of some sort launched. It's a bit like the common cold. It keeps coming round and then we go back to business.""
Music

Internet Blackout Threat for Music Thieves in AU 244

Posted by Zonk
from the that-seems-a-little-harsh dept.
An anonymous reader writes "News.com.au is reporting that the ARIA [Australia's Version of the RIAA] is making plans to have ISPs cancel or terminate the accounts of those who download music illegally. If the user is on dialup, that's not a problem: their telephone line will be disconnected. 'Fed up with falling sales, the industry — which claims Australians download more than one billion songs illegally each year — has been discussing tough new guidelines with internet service providers (ISPs) since late last year. The music industry is lobbying for a three strikes and you're out policy to enforce their copyright. Under this system, people who illegally download songs would be given three written warnings by their Internet service provider. If they continued to illegally download songs, their internet account would be suspended or terminated.'"
The Internet

+ - Law Professor's Opinion of Viacom vs YouTube

Submitted by troll -1
troll -1 (956834) writes "Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford, has an op-ed in the NY Times entitled Make Way for Copyright Chaos which references the Viacom vs YouTube case. What's interesting about this article is that it gives some historical perspective on copyright law and the courts. Up until Grokster, Lessig says the attitude of the courts was, "if you don't like how new technologies affect copyright, take your problem to Congress." But in the Grokster case the court seemed to rule against the technology itself, cutting Congress out of the picture. He also explains that Viacom is essentially asking the Court to rule against the safe harbor provision of Title II of the DMCA which apparently protects YouTube and others against liability so long as they make reasonable steps to take down infringing content at the request of the copyright holder. Lessig doesn't give us any insight into who's going to win but he does conclude that "conservatives on the Supreme Court have long warned" about the dynamic of going against Congress when it comes to copyright."
Security

Scientists Make Quantum Encryption Breakthrough 156

Posted by samzenpus
from the completely-secure-for-at-least-a-few-days dept.
Madas writes "Scientists working in Cambridge have managed to make quantum encryption completely secure (registration required) by putting decoy pulses in the key transmission stream. According to the story this paves the way for safe, encrypted high-speed data links. Could this allow completely private transmission of data away from snooping eyes and ears? Or will it mean film studios can stop movies from being copied when traveling on the internet?"
The Internet

+ - Net neutrality in Canada now in serious risk.

Submitted by
Oshawapilot
Oshawapilot writes "A editorial piece in todays Toronto Star newspaper points towards some disturbing movements on the Net Neutrality front in Canada.

With a Minister Of Industry making such troubling statements as "[Maxime] Bernier believes that consumers are best served by giving the dominant telecom companies maximum regulatory freedom" along with several questionable decisions on the Internet front, one must wonder if this government minister either fails to grasp what he is dealing with, or is in the pockets of big-telecom in Canada.

With 84% of the internet connections in Canada being controlled by only a few companies, this should concern Canadians, and be a wakeup call to all those who concern themselves with Net Neutrality.

With some ISP's in Canada already subjecting their customers to content or application discrimination, is a full blown attack on Net Neutrality that far away on this side of the border?

Does the government care? Or even understand?"
Windows

Vista Followup Already in the Works 482

Posted by Zonk
from the let-the-corpse-of-xp-cool-first dept.
DesertBlade passed us an InfoWorld article, which has the news that Microsoft is already hard at work on the next version of Windows ... and we may see it as early as 2009. Possibly codenamed Vienna, the next Windows iteration will be coming a brief two and a half years after Vista's launch. This is the same timeframe Microsoft claims it would have utilized for Vista, had they not put Longhorn 'on the back burner' to deal with security issues in XP. Corporate Vice President of Development Ben Fathi is already discussing features for the next OS: "We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe its hypervisors, I don't know what it is ... Maybe it's a new user interface paradigm for consumers. It's too early for me to talk about it ... But over the next few months I think you're going to start hearing more and more."
Biotech

Brain Scanner Can Read People's Intentions 338

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the you-might-be-up-to-something dept.
Vainglorious Coward writes "Reality continues to catch up with Nineteen Eighty-Four with the announcement of the development of a brain scanner that can read a person's intentions. 'It's like shining a torch around, looking for writing on a wall,' said the leader of the project, Professor John-Dylan Haynes . Demonstrating his own mastery of doublethink, Haynes continued 'We see the danger that this might become compulsory one day, but we have to be aware that if we prohibit it, we are also denying people who aren't going to commit any crime the possibility of proving their innocence.'"
Security

Why Does Skype Read the BIOS? 327

Posted by kdawson
from the phone-home dept.
pfp writes "Myria at pagetable.com, among others, noticed that Skype reads the machine's BIOS code on startup. This probably would've gone unnoticed if the operation didn't fail on 64-bit windows. From the post: 'It's dumping your system BIOS, which usually includes your motherboard's serial number, and pipes it to the Skype application. I have no idea what they're using it for, or whether they send anything to their servers, but I bet whatever they're doing is no good given their track record... If they hadn't been ignorant of Win64's lack of NTVDM, nobody would've noticed this happening.'"
The Media

+ - Guy makes over 20,000 dollars on youtube begging

Submitted by
David Henderson
David Henderson writes "Im not sure if you guys would be interested in something like this. I found this guys site yesterday on a forum, hes made 20k by begging on youtube and his website. He calls himself the youtube millionaire. His site is www.theyoutubemillionaire.com Im just starting college in journalism so im kinda always on the lookout for new stories,lol.... I just have a passion for it. Anyways hope you guys can use this. Thanks"
OS X

+ - Court Documents Show Microsoft's Tiger Envy

Submitted by
phillymjs
phillymjs writes "PC Pro is reporting on another juicy e-mail nugget from the Sent Items of Jim Allchin, (nyud link, PDF) courtesy of Iowa's Comes v. Microsoft trial. It's a lengthy e-mail conversation from late June, 2004 — in which several Microsofties ooh and ahh over features of the yet-unreleased Mac OS X 10.4. IMHO the award for best quote goes to Lenn Pryor, who said, 'It is like I just got a free pass to Longhorn land today.'"

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

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