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+ - Know what data says about you ... ->

swell writes: A major data aggregator offers their view of the benefits to each of us who are tracked, logged and documented widely. Acxiom has created a friendly site that explains everything in a non-technical way. Visitors are invited to see and edit the information that Acxiom has about them. Slashdotters will howl with derision upon reading this, but it is possible that some thoughtful voices will come forth.

from the site:
"Make Data Work for You -
Know what data says about you and how it is used.

Ever wonder what kind of information determines the ads you see or the offers you receive? Youâ(TM)ve come to the right place. About The Data brings you answers to questions about the data that fuels marketing and helps ensure you see offers on things that mean the most to you and your family."

Link to Original Source

+ - be very afraid: X-ray view of old Sol-> 1 1

swell writes: For the first time, a mission designed to set its eyes on black holes and other objects far from our solar system has turned its gaze back closer to home, capturing images of our sun. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has taken its first picture of the sun, producing the most sensitive solar portrait ever taken in high-energy X-rays.

This first solar image from NuSTAR demonstrates that the telescope can in fact gather data about sun. And it gives insight into questions about the remarkably high temperatures that are found above sunspots — cool, dark patches on the sun. Future images will provide even better data as the sun winds down in its solar cycle.

Link to Original Source

+ - don't say "42" 1 1

swell writes: "I'm preparing a concise video that considers the question "What is the meaning of life?" I've read some historical perspectives (see Wikipedia) and some modern ideas, but you, an enlightened member of the Slashdot elite, are bound to have a more interesting angle. If you can link to sound, pics, video or essays that illustrate your thoughts, so much the better. If you have the ultimate answer we will all be grateful and worship at your feet."

+ - time is relative 1 1

swell writes: "Again I am confused by the dates posted with /. stories and elsewhere. I know that Euros and Amers use dates differently but that's no excuse. There is a logical way to present dates that is universal in the digital age: YYMMDD. No need for hyphens or slashes. Add HHMMSS if you like. This works well for me and my file storage system that unerringly sorts dates correctly while minimizing keystrokes and character counts. It will work well for you if you take a few minutes to think about it. So let's get our sh*t together around the world and do the right thing."
Portables (Apple)

+ - Apple does it again

swell writes: "The Onion reports on a dramatic new development from Apple — the keyboardless laptop. A step forward from the traditional iPod interface and the multi-touch iPhone screen. But wait, there's more!

The keyboardless laptop is just a temporary measure while Apple and an unnamed government agency work out the bugs in the Macintosh brain implant still being alpha tested on some Guantanamo 'volunteers'.

Currently it is limited to blasting punk music into their brains 24 hours a day but they expect to be able to add raunchy porn mixed with humorous depictions of Mohammad in the near future.

Game developers are already preparing some vivid shoot-em-up adventures for the US release of the MindBook. With a high speed internet connection it will be possible to incorporate a select 38% of the entire internet into a normal human brain. Email will not be necessary as users will have direct and continuous access to the minds of other users.

Add to this an intuitive Google search function for instant access to The Onion and similar life enhancing knowledge and you have the next evolutionary step in the addictive Mac experience.

Compulsory use of the MindBook will not be required until approximately 2011 according to current Dept. of Homeland Security plans. The IRS is pushing for an earlier mandate. Exemptions will be allowed for government authorities, of course."
Privacy

+ - 'surveillance society' explored on PBS TV 1 1

swell writes: "In the US, Public Broadcasting will air "The Last Enemy" set in London & Romania. Personal drama mixes with social paranoia. Episodes run from Oct. 5 — Nov. 2, 2008 and can be seen online shortly after each airing. UK & other viewers may have additional local options. I thought it would be nice to announce this BEFORE the first episode despite the risk that it might stink.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/lastenemy/"

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." -- Ford Prefect, _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_

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