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Did We Lose the Privacy War? 521

eihab writes "I've been a fanatic about my online privacy for the last few years. I've been using NoScript and blocking Google Analytics, disabling third-party cookies, encrypting IM and doing everything in my power to keep data-miners at bay. Recently, I've been feeling like I'm just doing too much and still losing! No matter what I do, I know that there's a weak link somewhere, be it my ISP, Flash cookies, etc. I've recently gotten AT&T U-Verse, who, according to their privacy statement, will be monitoring my TV watching habits for advertisement purposes. I'm extremely annoyed by that, yet I love the service so much and I don't think I can cancel it. I just can't take this anymore. I have nothing to hide, but I do not want to be profiled and become member #5534289 in a database somewhere that records everything I do. I know I'm not that interesting to anyone, but the idea of someone being able to pull up everything about me with a simple SQL SELECT statement and a couple of JOINS makes me cringe. One of the reasons I hate data mining is that data security is not understood and almost non-existent at a lot of places. Case in point: I changed my life insurance two years ago, and the medical firm that conducted my health screening was broken into and computers with non-encrypted hard drives and patients' data were stolen. That medical firm didn't really need my SSN, but then again neither did AT&T when I signed up for U-Verse. Am I just too paranoid? Is privacy dead? Should I just give up and accept the fact that privacy is not the norm anymore (like Facebook's founder recently said) or should I keep fighting the good fight for my privacy?"

Toys You Control With Your Brain 83

Kaliann writes "Toys that respond to brainwaves are the next generation of unique user interfaces. The Washington Post looks at the current market appeal and future uses of technology that can meaningfully respond to the thoughts of a user. Currently the toys have a fairly simple basic idea: the harder you concentrate the more the object moves. A sensor on the forehead picks up brain waves that are associated with concentration, then levitates a ball in response: basic biofeedback. While this may seem to be a rather humble beginning, progress in this field could have astounding consequences in the advancement of technologies devoted to thought-controlled devices. As the author points out, Jedi Beer Pong is within our grasp."

And on the seventh day, He exited from append mode.