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Privacy

Submission + - Wired: "Computer Privacy in Distress"

davidwr writes: Wired has an interesting editorial on laptop searches and seizures. It raises some interesting issues including: Employee rights against police searches in the workplace, routine vs. non-routine searches at ports of entry, the implications of never deleting files, police use of unrelated data found in a database search; using a single target to get a warrant to seize all information on a computer used by the many "real" targets of law enforcement, and more.
The article ends saying, "Of course, there's a chance that the courts will not recognize the different scope of privacy interests at stake in computer searches, or will not be adept at crafting a rule that gives enough leeway and guidance to law enforcement, while also protecting privacy. At that point, the Constitution may fail us, and we will have to turn to Congress to create rules that are better adapted for the information age."
Censorship

Submission + - The Growing Problem of Censorship in India

eldavojohn writes: "While it may be easy to find censorship in North Korea and China these days, India's government is traveling down the same path. Much to my surprise, "In November, undercover Indian police in Mumbai were assigned to scan the catwalks at fashion shows in an effort to prevent a repeat of last year's episode in which an Indian model's top slipped to reveal her breasts. India censors banned Paris Hilton's music video "Stars Are Blind" from being shown on television in August, which shows the blond socialite cavorting on a beach in revealing clothes. India last year also tried to ban smoking scenes in films, reasoning that cigarette-wielding Bollywood stars were influencing people to take up the habit." The CEO of Sony's Indian division has been expressing concern that the censorship may spread to games and that these censorship rules are enforced and made randomly."
Power

Future Desks to Charge Gadgets Wirelessly 111

IronMan writes "Future desks may allow us to charge our phones, iPods, PDAs and other gadgets wirelessly. Office equipment maker Herman Miller is one of the first companies to license the eCoupled inductive coupling technology from Fulton Innovation, Engadget reports. The desk will allows wireless transfer of energy through a magnetic field. Motorola is working together with eCoupled, but still is not sure when the first consumer devices with this technology will appear on the market. From the article: 'Of course, cordless charging isn't an entirely new concept, with HP recently showing off some of its own ideas for juiced-up furniture, and Splashpower talking up its charge-on-contact system for a few years now. We guess we'll just have to wait and see if this new power-happy desk becomes the same status symbol for the Web 2.0 crowd that Herman Miller's Aeron chair was back in Web 1.0 days -- assuming we haven't moved on to Web 3.0 by the time the desk actually comes out, that is.'"
Education

Submission + - Sound goes faster than light!

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to Physics Web in 'Sound breaks the light barrier' (Free reg. required), a professor of physics in Tennessee has designed an experiment which proves that sound can move faster than light. This looks like impossible — and it is. In fact, the physicist has tweaked some scientific definitions. No sound can go faster than light. But a sound pulse, or more precisely, all the wavelengths associated to a sound, have a "group velocity" that far exceeds the real physical limits. Have I lost you? Read more for a summary of various sources trying to explain this superluminal phenomenon in plain English."
Censorship

Submission + - Utah's Newest Attempt to Block Pornography

gc8005 writes: There's something brewing in Utah. A new, non-profit organization called CP80 that wants to segregate Internet content based on IP ports. To a lay person, it sounds plausible, as CP80 describes port segregation like cable TV channels. But unlike the cable system, it's easily bypassed. Even more disturbing are the founders and backers of CP80, which include Ralph Yarro, who was recently fired from his CEO position at Canopy Group (see SCO fiasco), and several venture capital firms. Even Darl McBride has donated to the cause. Why are VCs backing a non-profit anti-pornography organization? What's the real story behind CP80?
The Internet

Submission + - Notable XML happenings in 2006

An anonymous reader writes: 2006 was a productive year for XML. The most sound and fury focused around browsers, with major new releases of every major browser. The importance of open, documented, standard file formats has suddenly become a critical issue to governments. The most effective XML technologies are growing from the grassroots because developers are looking at them and deciding they work. Join Elliotte Rusty Harold for a look back at the most significant XML news from 2006.

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