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Government

Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks May Be Illegal 398

Posted by kdawson
from the so-much-for-irish-coffee dept.
Anonymusing writes "The FDA has announced an investigation into the safety and legality of alcoholic beverages containing caffeine. As a Wall Street Journal blog reports, two major beer companies, MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, stopped producing caffeinated alcoholic drinks last year after reports surfaced of increased negative effects compared to caffeine-free alcohol. CNN notes that, according to FDA rules, 'food additives require premarket approval based on data demonstrating safety submitted to the agency' — and caffeine is a food additive. The 26 targeted beverage makers have 30 days to respond."

Comment: Re:Secure protocols for home wifi? (Score 1) 322

by philmack (#29222521) Attached to: WPA Encryption Cracked In 60 Seconds
I would say that the gigabit ethernet devices i have are two orders of magnitude faster than my 802.11g network actually performs most of the time.

Unfortunately, those same gigabgit ethernet devices are at least two orders of magnitude faster than the local cable isp on even the very best of days.

~Phil

Comment: Re:How about cable and sat boxes that can power do (Score 1) 609

by philmack (#26363499) Attached to: New Energy Efficiency Rules For TVs Sold In California
My Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC cable box does this. When it is sitting there doing nothing with the television off, I hear the hard drive spin up every evening exactly 5 minutes before a scheduled recording start.

The downside of the drive powering down is that I can be watching one channel live for hours, then I miss what someone says and click the go-back-a-few-seconds and that causes the drive to spin up (which takes usualy 5 to 15 seconds) and start recording from that point, defeating one of the purposes of the DVR.

~Phil

Comment: Speculation didn't work out (Score 1) 588

by philmack (#25499763) Attached to: Why are oil prices dropping?
All of the "speculators" were expecting the value of oil to go up so they invest and drive prices up. They were wrong about the then future/now current value of the oil, and as that comes to sight prices are driven to the current expectation of oil's future value.

The price of oil reflects the future value of oil.
The Internet

+ - Honeybees prompt faster Internet server technology-> 1

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Honeybee intelligence can be used to improve the speed and efficiency of Internet servers by up to 25% according to Georgia Institute of Technology researchers.Honeybees somehow manage to efficiently collect a lot of nectar with limited resources and no central command. Such swarm intelligence of these amazingly organized bees can also be used to improve the efficiency of Internet servers faced with similar challenges. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/22045"
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Japan to start fingerprinting foreigners again

Submitted by
rabiddeity
rabiddeity writes "If you're planning to visit Japan sometime in the near future, you may want to reconsider. Last year, Japan's parliament passed a measure requiring foreigners to submit their fingerprints when entering the country. The measures, which apply to all foreigners over 16 regardless of visa status, take effect tomorrow. The worst part: the fingerprints are stored in a national database for an "unspecified time", and will be made available to both domestic police and foreign governments."
The Courts

+ - FBI Doesn't Tell Courts About Bogus Evidence

Submitted by dprovine
dprovine (140134) writes "According to a joint investigation by series of articles in The Washington Post and 60 Minutes, a forensic test used by the FBI for decades is known to be invalid. The National Academy of Science issued a report in 2004 that FBI investigators had given "problematic" testimony to juries. The FBI later stopped using "bullet lead analysis", but sent a letter to law enforcement officials saying that they still fully supported the science behind it. Hundreds of criminal defendants — some already convicted in part on the testimony of FBI experts — were not informed about the problems with the evidence used against them in court. Does anyone at the Justice Department even care about what effect this will have on how the public in general (and juries in particular) regards the trustworthiness of FBI testimony?"
Privacy

+ - Hushmail handing over user emails to police 1

Submitted by Stony Stevenson
Stony Stevenson (954022) writes "A court document in a drug smuggling case has shown that the private email service Hushmail has been cooperating with police in handing over user emails. Hushmail claims to offer unreadable email as it uses PGP encryption technology and a company specific key management system that it says will ensure only the sender and recipient can read the emails. However it seems the Canadian company has been divulging keys to the American authorities."
Television

+ - Comcast Just Won't Learn

Submitted by JjcampNR
JjcampNR (764416) writes "Moments after announcing the availability of Tivo powered Comcast DVR boxes, the serial port on most Comcast digital cable boxes manufactured by Motorola were disabled. After a large volume of calls to Comcast by a hoard of angry Tivo users (most Series 2 Tivo boxes use the serial connection to change channels on the cable box) word from Comcast support is that new firmware was the reason for the crippling of the serial port. While Comcast is currently blaming the issue on Motorola for releasing the firmware, the timing of this awfully convenient. My Tivo Series 2 box has worked perfectly through the serial port on a number of Motorola cable boxes over the last few years. With the current list of dirty tricks growing longer by the day, increased pressure from Verizon, and revenue down 50% for the last quarter, how long can Comcast continue to ignore customers to make up for their own shortcomings?"
The Almighty Buck

+ - Close but no Cigar from Netflix 1

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "In October 2006, Netflix, the online movie rental service, announced that it would award $1 million to the first team to improve the accuracy of Netflix's movie recommendations by 10% based on personal preferences. Each contestant was given a set of data from which three million predictions were made about how certain users rated certain movies and Netflix compared that list with the actual ratings and generated a score for each team. More than 27,000 contestants from 161 countries submitted their entries and some got close, but not close enough. Today Netflix announced that it is awarding an annual progress prize of $50,000 to a group of researchers at AT&T Labs, who improved the current recommendation system by 8.43 percent but the $1 million grand prize is still up for grabs and a $50,000 progress prize will be awarded every year until the 10 percent goal is met. As part of the rules of the competition, the team was required to disclose their solution publicly. (pdf)"
The Courts

+ - School District Threatens Suit Over Parent's Blog

Submitted by penguin_dance
penguin_dance (536599) writes "A Texas School District is threatening to sue a parent over what it terms, "libelous material" or other "legally offensive" postings on her web site and are demanding their removal. Web site owner, Sandra Tetley, says they're just opinions. The legal firm sending the demand cited 16 items, half posted by Tetley, the rest by anonymous commentators to her blog. The alleged, libelous postings, "accuse Superintendent Lynne Cleveland, trustees and administrators of lying, manipulation, falsifying budget numbers, using their positions for 'personal gain,' violating the Open Meetings Act and spying on employees, among other things."

The problem for the district is that previous courts have ruled that governments can't sue for libel. So now, in a follow up story, the lawyers say, "the firm would file a suit on behalf of administrators in their official capacities and individual board members. The suit, however, would be funded from the district's budget." Tetley, so far hasn't backed down although she said, "she'll consult with her attorneys before deciding what, if anything, to delete."

What was that about "personal gain"?"
Google

+ - Gmail accounts hacked - no response from Google->

Submitted by jared51
jared51 (71757) writes "A few friends have recently had their Gmail accounts hacked, causing immense life complications. With Gmail storing all information (many people have a handy label "Accounts" making life easier) that has ever been emailed, a hijacker can easily move on to eBay, PayPal and credit card accounts to turn the crime into cash. Making matters worse, Google is impossible to contact by human. Hijacked users must contend with an endless series of forms."
Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Adblock plus users "accused" of stealing-> 1

Submitted by
derrida
derrida writes "There is this Firefox Add-on called Adblock plus that promises (and delivers) removal of "all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page". And there is also an ongoing debate whether this is stealing or not. Quoting two different views:
"Do you have a devise that automatically blocks all commercials on television.[?] There's a difference between ignoring commercials and blocking them." and
"My a** it is [stealing]! If your going to argue I'm taking something from you by not waiting for your ads to load, I'm going to argue you are "stealing" bandwidth.".
Going one step further some web developers released scripts that blocks Adblock (watch the oxynoron!).
How is really slashdot going to react if Adblock plus is heavily used by its readers?"

Link to Original Source

The bugs you have to avoid are the ones that give the user not only the inclination to get on a plane, but also the time. -- Kay Bostic

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