An anonymous reader writes "Three months after being awarded $873 million in a lawsuit against Atlantis Blue Capital for violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, Facebook earlier this week filed a federal complaint against 'Spam King' Sanford Wallace in San Jose District Court. Las Vegas night club manager Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw are also named as defendants in the suit." These filings do not mark the first time Wallace has faced legal action; last May, MySpace won a $230 million judgment against him.
holy_calamity writes "New Scientist reports on a patent application that suggests implanting polymer muscles beneath the skin of people suffering paralysis of the face to give them control of their features. The technique has already been used successfully to reanimate the eyelids of human cadavers. Movement could be returned to other facial features and even paralyzed limbs in the same way, the surgeons at University of California Davis say. The full patent application is also available on the WIPO site."
Hugh Pickens writes "On the 200th anniversary of his birth, President Abraham Lincoln's popular image as a log-splitting bumpkin is being re-assessed as historians have discovered that Lincoln had an avid interest in cutting-edge technology and its applications. During the war, Lincoln haunted the telegraph office (which provided the instant-messaging of its day) for the latest news from the front; he encouraged weapons development and even tested some new rifles himself on the White House lawn; and he is the only US president to hold a patent (No. 6469, granted May 22, 1849). It was for a device to lift riverboats over shoals. 'He not only created his own invention but had ideas for other inventions, such as an agricultural steam plow and a naval steam ram, [and] was fascinated by patent cases as an attorney and also by new innovations during the Civil War,' says Jason Emerson, author of Lincoln the Inventor. But Lincoln's greatest contribution to the war effort was his use of the telegraph. When Lincoln took office the White House had no telegraph connection. Lincoln 'developed the modern electronic leadership model, says Tom Wheeler, author of Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph To Win the Civil War. At a time when electricity was a vague scientific concept and sending signals through wires was 'mind boggling,' Lincoln was fascinated by the telegraph and developed it into a political and military tool that allowed him to project himself to the front to monitor and track what was going on. 'If he were alive today, we'd call him an early adopter,' says Wheeler."
An anonymous reader writes "The software company where I work has an Innovation and Knowledge program that encourages workers to provide ideas for new products and suggestions to improve the work place, productivity or welfare. The ideas and suggestions are evaluated by a board that decides whether they should be implemented or not. The group of workers with more ideas participates in a raffle to receive a prize. I would like to know what other programs people have seen like this and how they differ. What is the best way to encourage workers to suggest new products to be made / researched by the company?"
An anonymous reader writes "If you've noticed that pop-up ad windows seem to have made an unwelcome return into your life, it's because they're not using the same easily blockable technology as before. The Adimpact system uses DHTML to annoy you, and there's no immediate prospect of a solution."
eldavojohn writes "Delusional disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson claims to have a bill in the state of Utah that targets retailers and entire industries with the Truth in Advertising Law. The best part of his rant: 'Our military appropriately uses violent video games a) to suppress the inhibition to kill of new recruits, and b) to teach killing scenarios. Games have the same effect on civilian teens.' While GamePolitics couldn't find the bill on Utah's state site, they did receive a response from him claiming 'I have a sponsor and a bill, and [the video game] industry is in trouble.' For 2009 bills, there seems to be merely a bill enhancing the Truth in Advertising Law but does not contain any of Thompson's verbiage. Good 'ole Jack — always good for some laughs, but really he needs to give it up one of these days."
goran72 writes with news out of Malaysia that archaeologists have announced the discovery of stone tools more than 1.8 million years old — the earliest evidence of human ancestors in South-east Asia. Researchers believe the tools were made by members of the early human ancestor species Homo erectus. The tools actually date as slightly older than the earliest H. erectus fossils, which came from Georgia and China. No bones of that antiquity have so far been found in Malaysia. "The stone hand-axes were discovered last year in the historical site of Lenggong in northern Perak state, embedded in a type of rock formed by meteorites which was sent to a Japanese lab to be dated."
Shipud writes "There are ten times more bacterial cells in our body than our own cells. Most of them are located in our guts, and they affect our well-being in many ways. A group at Washington University has recently reported that although our gut microbes perform similar functions, it appears that different people have completely different compositions of gut bacteria: every man is an island, a unique microbial ecosystem composed of completely different species. One conclusion is that the whole division of bacteria into species may well be over-used in biomedicine."
davidwr writes "A state appeals court in Kentucky ruled that the state courts cannot seize domain names as 'gambling devices.' The court ruled that 'it's up to the General Assembly — not the courts nor the state Justice Cabinet — to bring domain names into the definition of illegal gambling devices.'"
Nathan Halverson writes "The popular online radio service Pandora.com has added brief commercial interruptions to its service. Pandora says this is a trial and is targeted to a subset of listeners at this point. In one case, a brief ad for the Fox TV show 'Lie To Me' interrupted the music stream for about 15 seconds after ten songs had initially played, and the same commercial interrupted 22 songs later. 'But [Pandora's] founder promised the site will never carry as many audio ads as broadcast radio, despite the fact it pays substantially higher royalty fees to the recording industry.'"
Cory Foy writes "When my wife got a Touch several months back, the first thing I wanted to do was build some applications for it. Who wouldn't want to play with a device that has accelerometers, position sensors and multi-touch gestures? But being new to the Mac world, I needed something to help guide me along. Beginning iPhone Development aims to be that guide. But does it live up to the challenge of teaching a newbie Mac and iPhone developer?" Read below for the rest of Cory's review.
coondoggie sends along a NetworkWorld piece that begins, "The government... wants to motivate you to get rid of your clunker of a car for the good of the country (and the moribund car industry). A 'Cash for Clunkers' measure introduced this week by three US Senators, two Democrats and a Republican, would set up a national voucher program to encourage drivers to voluntarily trade in their older, less fuel-efficient car, truck, or SUV for a car that gets better gas mileage. Should the bill pass, the program would pay out a credit of $2,500 to $4,500 for drivers who turn in fuel-inefficient vehicles to be scrapped and purchase a more fuel-efficient vehicle."
Un pobre guey writes "The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) press release claims that 95% of music file downloads in 2008, an estimated 40 billion files, were illegal. Oddly enough, digital music sales are up: 'The digital music business internationally saw a sixth year of expansion in 2008, growing by an estimated 25 per cent to US$3.7 billion in trade value. Digital platforms now account for around 20 per cent of recorded music sales, up from 15 per cent in 2007. Recorded music is at the forefront of the online and mobile revolution, generating more revenue in percentage terms through digital platforms than the newspaper (4%), magazine (1%) and film industries (4%) combined... Despite these developments, the music sector is still overshadowed by the huge amount of unlicensed music distributed online. Collating separate studies in 16 countries over a three-year period, IFPI estimates over 40 billion files were illegally file-shared in 2008, giving a piracy rate of around 95 per cent.'"
One of the great arguments of the digital age has been over the effects of video games on aggression — especially if you have ever heard the name Jack Thompson. A recent study suggest the counterpoint once again, that violent video games really don't have that much impact. "The authors performed six studies in total, but they were in broad agreement, so we'll only discuss the more compelling ones here. For the experimental portion, these involved playing an essentially identical game with different degrees of violent content. One group of participants was randomly assigned to play the game House of the Dead 3 on the different extremes of its gore settings, while a second was split between those who played the normal version of Half-Life 2, and a those who played a modified version that turned the adventure into an elaborate game of tag. In both cases, the primary influences on enjoyment were the sense of competence and satisfaction, along with the immersive nature of the game. Generally, females rated immersion as more important, while males went for competence (and consistently rated their own expertise very highly). Violence didn't register when it came to enjoyment, even for those with pre-existing violent tendencies."
MBGMorden writes "It looks like in an act that defies common sense, a bill has been introduced in the South Carolina State Senate that seeks to outlaw the use of profanity. According to the bill it would become a felony (punishable by a fine up to $5000 or up to 5 years in prison) to 'publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.' I'm not sure if 'in writing' could be applied to the internet, but in any event this is scary stuff."