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Privacy

Submission + - Google Maps Street View NOT invasion of privacy (blogspot.com)

airshowfan writes: "Applicable laws say that Google Maps Street View is NOT a violation of privacy. The most relevant law here is probably the one used by Jennifer Aniston to sue a paparazzo! It says that an invasion of privacy only occurs when someone looks into your window while using "enhancing devices" (telephoto lenses, binoculars, etc) and sees/takes a picture that is more detailed than what a passerby could see from the street with the naked eye. So as long as Google's images are not as sharp as what you could see as you walk past, Google should be ok. This article explains these issues of how private your home really is, and goes into issues of surveillance and sousveillance, of how much privacy one can expect while in a public place, and of how the information age is all about organizing the crumbs of information you leave behind. It is no longer reasonable to expect that your information trail cannot be easily organized, interpreted, and broadcast to the world."
The Internet

Submission + - Second Life sued in France for porn, gambling

Submarine writes: A (very) conservative French family union, Familles de France is sueing Second Life for making available to minors many things that should not be, including pornography, advertisements for tobacco and alcohol, and online gambling. The details of the lawsuit were not given in their communiqué ; it is conjectured that, if unsuccessful against Linden Lab, the maker of Second Life, they will seek injunctions against French ISPs, asking for blocks on the Second Life service. Familles de France was one of the groups pushing for the ill-written anti-happy slapping parliamentary amendment, and also for the "deontology commission" for Internet services ; it is also known for protesting against measures such as making it easier for minors to get contraceptive pills. Predictibly, the Odebi League is protesting.
The Internet

Submission + - Untapped Niche Markets (qelix.com)

Zeluse writes: ....services like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, etc. have cornered their niche markets and have rapidly moved from being "startups" to "market leaders", with the power of new 'social' phenomenon.

As Web 2.0 matures further, markets will begin to organize themselves and the leaders will become more obvious. There are, however, pockets of innovation going on beyond the developed markets, as I've stumbled across a few untapped, and essentially unexplored niche markets.

http://qelix.com/blog/index.php/2007/06/04/untappe d-niche-markets/

Space

Space Elevator Company LiftPort In Trouble 257

TropicalCoder writes "The LiftPort Group, founded four years ago with the lofty dream of building a stairway to heaven, has seemingly reached the end the line. The dream was to develop a ribbon of carbon nanotubes 100,000 km long, anchored to the Earth's surface and with a counterweight in space, providing a permanent bridge to orbit. Elevator cars would be robotic 'lifters' which would climb the ribbon to deliver cargo and eventually people to orbit or beyond. Now LiftPort has all but run out of funds, and the State of Washington's Securities Division has entered a Statement of Charges (PDF) against LiftPort Inc. dba LiftPort Group and founder Michael Laine."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Economic Analysis of Toilet Seat Position 473

Ant writes "The Science Creative Quarterly has published an economic analysis of The Social Norm of Leaving the Toilet Down, employing game theory. This analysis is more thorough than preceding ones cited (from 2002 and 2005), as it factors in the cost of yelling. Both men and women can take some comfort in the conclusion though neither may in the end be satisfied.
Television

TiVo Says It Could Suffer Under GPLv3 710

Preedit writes to tell us that those busy folks over at InformationWeek have been scrutinizing yet more SEC filings, and Novell and Microsoft aren't the only ones concerned about certain provisions in the final draft of GPLv3. TiVo worries too. The problem is that TiVo boxes are Linux-based. They're also designed to shut down if the software is hacked by users trying to circumvent DRM features. But GPLv3 would prohibit TiVo's no-tamper setup. "If the currently proposed version of GPLv3 is widely adopted, we may be unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU/Linux operating system into our software, which could adversely affect our business," TiVo warns in a regulatory filing cited by InformationWeek."
Movies

'Kryptonite' Discovered in Serbian Mine 272

Rubinstien writes "A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. While he initially thought the miners had discovered a unique compound, after its crystal structure was analyzed and identified the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature. Fictional literature. Dr. Chris Stanley, from the BBC article: 'Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luthor from a museum in the film Superman Returns ... I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either — although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange.'"
Slashdot.org

Submission + - The Slashdot effect simulator

Emmanuel Cecchet writes: "Research groups at EPFL in Switzerland are building a Slashdot effect simulator. It reproduces the impact of a Slashdot post on a web site by generating a real distributed load using machines distributed over the planet. This can also replay existing Apache access.log files and extrapolate the workload to evaluate the scalability of web sites.
What about using Slashdot as the next metric for availability: 'How many Slashdots can your web site sustain?'"
Biotech

Submission + - Green Tea good for you due to Quantum Tunneling

Frumious Wombat writes: Green tea is supposed to be good for you, but the antioxidants are available in such low quantities why has been a mystery. Now a team of researchers at Autonomous University of Barcelona have used high-level computational studies to demonstrate the antioxidants make complexes which enhance quantum-mechanical tunneling, thereby speeding the reaction enough to compete with damaging peroxide-radical reactions.

Feed Green homes going mainstream (com.com)

Built in a factory with energy efficiency in mind, these sunlit homes challenge the notion that living green means living in a hut.
Photos: Building a foundation for green living
Linux Business

Submission + - Linux's target: 1Bn users by 2015

bWareiWare.co.uk writes: Microsoft's business plan is to double the number of Windows users by 2015. What is stopping Linux winning these new users instead and breaking Microsoft's monopoly?

Most of these users will be from markets where Microsoft's current monopoly is easier to overcome, and have a large incentive to keep there money in the local economy rather then flowing out to a US firm. The growing tend for copyright protectionism is making even pirate copies of Windows less attractive.

Surely Linux evangelists could do more could here then fighting on Microsoft's home ground.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Has Leopard fallen into a Copland-Vista Conundrum?

mail.app writes: Is Apple's delay of Leopard turning into a new Copland/Vista style catastrophe? RDM presents the events behind Apple's Copland problems in the mid 90s and Microsoft's more recent Vista crisis and compares them to today's delay of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The factors that held up both Copland and Vista had many parallels, including excessive legacy baggage and a reliance on closed, proprietary development. Has Leopard fallen into a similar Copland-Vista Conundrum?

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