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How Facebook Can Out Your Most Personal Secrets 467

McGruber writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook revealed the sexual preferences of users despite those users have chosen 'privacy lock-down' settings on Facebook. The article describes two students who were casualties of a privacy loophole on Facebook—the fact that anyone can be added to a group by a friend without their approval. As a result, the two lost control over their secrets, even though both students were sophisticated users who had attempted to use Facebook's privacy settings to shield some of their activities from their parents. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes responded with a statement blaming the users: 'Our hearts go out to these young people. Their unfortunate experience reminds us that we must continue our work to empower and educate users about our robust privacy controls.'"
Data Storage

Nanotech Memory Could Hold Data For 1 Billion Years 239

Hugh Pickens writes "Digital storage devices have become ubiquitous in our lives but the move to digital storage has raised concerns about the lifetime of the storage media. Now Alex Zettl and his group at the University of California, Berkeley report that they have developed an experimental memory device consisting of a crystalline iron nanoparticle enclosed in a multiwalled carbon nanotube that could have a storage capacity as high as 1 terabyte per square inch and temperature-stability in excess of one billion years. The nanoparticle can be moved through the nanotube by applying a low voltage, writing the device to a binary state represented by the position of the nanoparticle. The state of the device can then be subsequently read by a simple resistance measurement while reversing the nanoparticle's motion allows a memory 'bit' to be rewritten. This creates a programmable memory system that, like a silicon chip, can record digital information and play it back using conventional computer hardware storing data at a high density with a very long lifetime. Details of the process are available at the American Chemical Society for $30."

Bridgestone Shows Off Ultra-Thin, Full-Color e-Paper 177

Bridgestone, the company which debuted the "world's thinnest" sheet of two-color e-paper last year, has turned around and delivered a new version which is capable of displaying over four thousand colors. "In case that wasn't enough, the company is also touting what it calls the "world's largest full color e-paper that is A3 size, which is equivalent to a 21.4-inch screen." As you'd expect, the latter is expected to be used solely for advertising and could hit the market as early as next year, while the former technology is set to be commercially available in 2009."

Court Puts Further Limits on Software Patents 113

An anonymous reader writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a recent court ruling that may severely limit the scope of both software and business model patents. The court found that 'The routine addition of modern electronics to an otherwise unpatentable invention' isn't enough to get over the 'non-obvious' hurdle that every patent is supposed to clear. This is a huge step in the right direction and one of the first admissions from the court system that perhaps software and business model patents have gone too far. 'In August, the Federal Circuit in essence raised the bar for proving willful infringement, a finding that allows a judge to triple a damage award. In April, the Supreme Court handed down a patent decision making it easier for trial-court judges to call an invention "obvious" and therefore ineligible for a patent.'"

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga