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Privacy

China To Deploy World's Largest People Tracking Network 368

hackingbear writes "News.com reports that China is building the largest and most sophisticated people-tracking network in the world, all to track citizens in the city of Shenzhen. This network utilizes 20,000 intelligent digital cameras and RFID cards to keep track of the 12.4 million people living in the Southern port city. The key to the system is the new residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips. 'Data on the chip will include not just the citizen's name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.' While I lived in Shenzhen, there indeed were (and still are) plenty of crimes. One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping. Still, this will clearly raise the fear of human rights abuses. And ... 'one of the most startling aspects of this plan is that this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings.'"

iPhone Bill a Whopping 52 Pages Long 369

PoliTech writes "iPhone bills are surprisingly large - 'Xbox Large', according to Ars technica: 'AT&T's iPhone bills are quite impressive in their own right. We're starting to get bills for the iPhone here at Ars, and while many of us have had smartphones for some time, we've never seen a bill like this. One of our bills is a whopping 52 pages long, and my own bill is 34 pages long. They're printed on both sides, too. What gives? The AT&T bill itemizes your data usage whenever you surf the Internet via EDGE, even if you're signed up for the unlimited data plan. AT&T also goes into an incredible amount of detail to tell you; well, almost nothing. For instance, I know that on July 27 at 3:21 p.m. I had some data use that, under the To/From heading, AT&T has helpfully listed as Data Transfer. The Type of file? Data. My total charge? $0.00. This mind-numbing detail goes on for 52 double-sided pages (for 104 printed pages!) with absolutely no variance except the size of the files.' You would think that a data company would have a more efficient billing process."
Microsoft

Submission + - Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 released (pclaunches.com)

Vinit writes: "Microsoft has silently released Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 versions to a small group of testers. Tagged as 5.1.2600.3180 (xpsp.070718-2058) the 350MB XP Service Pack 3 includes fixes for over 900 reported problems, some of which have already been resolved with post-Service Pack 2 hotfixes. http://www.pclaunches.com/software/microsoft_windo ws_xp_sp3_and_vista_sp1_released_to_small_group_of _testers.php"
Microsoft

Submission + - Vista prevents users from playing high-def content (networkworld.com)

jbrodkin writes: "The restrictive content protection rules in Windows Vista still prevent users from playing high-definition content, more than half a year after the operating system's release, researcher Peter Gutmann said at USENIX this week. The specifications are intended to protect Hollywood copyrights, but even home movies can be blacked out by Vista because camcorders are increasingly becoming capable of shooting in HD. And that's not the only problem: Vista content protection requires so much extra encryption that system performance is being harmed significantly, Gutmann says. Since Vista lacks numerous security features that could protect users from online attacks, Gutmann wonders why Microsoft seems more intent on protecting the rights of Hollywood than the rights of its customers."
OS X

Run Mac OS X Apps On Linux? 497

I have the urge to commit my 24" Core 2 Duo iMac to a single Linux operating system, thus giving up the goodness of my beloved Mac OS X. I am not a stranger to Linux, but I am a stranger to running Mac apps on Linux. On my PowerPC I can use SheepShaver to run Classic apps. The Mac-on-Linux project can run OS X apps, but it requires a PowerPC, not an x86. Virtualizing and emulating are inefficient, especially given the wonderful results the WINE project has had in getting Windows apps to run on Linux. What I would like is an equivalent: a software compatibility layer that will allow Linux to run Mac OS X apps at native performance. I believe there is some additional complexity in accomplishing this. Mac OS X apps aren't just Mac OS X apps. They are Carbon. They are Cocoa. They are universal binaries. They are PPC code with Altivec. Does such a project exist yet? If not, why not?
Power

Hybrid Cars No Better than 'Intelligent' Cars 883

eldavojohn writes "There's no doubt been a lot of analysis done recently on energy consumption, especially on the road. Now, a study released today reveals that cars with traffic flow sensors built into them can perform just as efficiently as hybrids. The concept of an 'intelligent' car that communicates with the highway or other cars is an old idea, but the idea of them using sensors to anticipate braking could vastly reduce fossil fuel consumption. From the article, 'Under the US and European cycles, hybrid-matching fuel economy was reached with a look-ahead predictability of less than 60 seconds. If the predictability was boosted to 180 seconds, the newly-intelligent car was 33 percent more fuel-efficient than when it was unconverted.' Now, the real question will be whether or not you can convince consumers that the three minutes of coasting up to a red light or halted traffic is worth the 33 percent less gas and replacing your brake pads/cylinders less often."
Your Rights Online

This is How We Catch You Downloading 308

marto writes "All over Europe thousands of people are being threatened with court action for allegedly sharing games like Dream Pinball 3D on P2P networks. Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company's techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed 'forensic quality' evidence for use in court cases."
Television

Submission + - HowTo: Play movies on your AppleTV sans conversion

brad-x writes: "Since the Apple TV is running MacOS X, it is possible to install arbitrary codecs and have it play. The following instructions save time by not requiring the user to transcode all their movies (and suffer the lossy conversion), but does involve some expertise. Read on for more.

If the story is approved please approve the one using .nyud.net:8080 as I forgot to include that in the first submission. Sorry. :("
Google

Submission + - Traffic flow now on Google Maps

JohnAGonzalez writes: A recent look at Google Maps shows that they have added a new traffic feature. Click on the Traffic button in the upper right-hand corner of the map window while viewing your local metropolitan area and the major roads will be overlaid with colored outlines that show the traffic flow for that particular roadway.
Java

Submission + - Google Guices up Java dependency injection

LauraW writes: "Google recently open sourced Guice, a dependency injection framework for Java 1.5, under the Apache License. Guice bucks the "convention over configuration" trend started by Ruby on Rails in favor of concise but explicit configuration and maintainability. Unlike other J2EE frameworks such as Spring, Guice does only dependency injection, but does it very well, taking full advantage of modern Java features such as annotations and generics. Google is currently using Guice in mission-critical enterprise applications such as AdWords, and other companies are starting to experiment with it as well.

Disclaimer: I am a Google engineer. I didn't contribute to Guice, but I use it in my projects and think it's insanely great."

Adobe Releases Cross-Operating System Runtime 297

An anonymous reader writes to mention that Adobe released the first public version of their new cross-operating system runtime today nicknamed 'Apollo'. "The software relies on HTML, JavaScript, Flash, and Adobe Flex. The alpha version, which presently works on Windows and Macintosh, can be downloaded for free at http://www.adobe.com/go/apollo. Once the Apollo apps are created, users can launch them from their desktops, without using their browser or connecting online. An Apollo application can connect automatically to online data or services when an Internet connection is detected, with new components automatically downloaded and integrated. The user needs the Apollo runtime to run the apps, just as a Flash player is needed to run Flash animations."
Databases

Submission + - Data Centers Breathe Easier with Less Oxygen

danbert8 writes: PC World has an article about an interesting new idea for datacenter fire protection. What better protection is there than prevention? From the article:

Air is composed of about 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen and 1 percent of other gases. Fire needs the oxygen to burn, and lower percentages of oxygen makes it more difficult or impossible for fire to start.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,129918/article.h tml
Power

Creating Power From Wasted Heat 186

Roland Piquepaille writes "Today, about 90 percent of the world's electricity is created through an indirect and inefficient conversion of heat. It is estimated that two thirds of the heat used by thermoelectric converters are wasted and released. But now, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley have found a new way to convert this wasted heat into electricity by trapping organic molecules between metal nanoparticles. So far, this method of creating electricity creation is in its very early stage, but if it can scale up to mass production it may lead to a new and inexpensive source of energy."
Apple

Apple TV to be a Centrally Controlled P2P Network? 165

Rolgar writes "PBS' Bob Cringely theorizes that since the Apple TV will be an always-on device with a 40GB hard drive, Apple may move to content distribution via a P2P network. The ISPs will incur higher bandwidth locally, possibly lose some subscribers to cable TV, but have fewer costs through the Tier II Internet backbone providers. Bob also expects that Google will be involved with their fiber network and advertising expertise, and my hope is that they'll bundle in YouTube content as well. The article suspects that they won't get around to announcing the full details of this plan until they hit a half million units or more, and that this Apple and Google pairing will become the equivalent of a cable TV provider with almost none of the infrastructure costs. Eventually, he hopes, we'll see a real HD revolution from Apple and Google for this service." If Apple rolled something like this out to the service, would you bite on it? What would it take you to move to this over Tivo or MythTV?

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