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Transportation

Submission + - A luxurious public transit of the future... (tudelft.nl)

xrooles writes: Scientists at the TU Delft are working on a research programme directed towards the public transport of the future. Researchers are developing a limo-like mass transit option that picks up commuters near their homes, drives at high speeds on a dedicated track, and then slows to normal road speeds when it switches over to city streets. The creators of the streamlined Superbus say it could not only elevate the status of the bus by promising riders a relaxing, hi-tech, and luxurious environment, but could also get people where they're going in a fast, convenient, and fuel-efficient manner.
Discovery News writes that Rubber tires allow Superbus to drive on conventional roads — thereby offering near-home pickup — and a low-profile, racecar-like design gives it the aerodynamics to achieve speeds of 155 mph on a 10-foot concrete track — thereby offering fast service. While on the dedicated track, the vehicle's frame will zoom along just a few inches above the ground. In the city, the bus will rise up to a foot off the ground.

Security

Submission + - A Legal Analysis of the Sony BMG Rootkit Debacle

YIAAL writes: "Two lawyers from the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology look at the Sony BMG Rootkit debacle: "The Article first addresses the market-based rationales that likely influenced Sony BMG's deployment of these DRM systems and reveals that even the most charitable interpretation of Sony BMG's internal strategizing demonstrates a failure to adequately value security and privacy. After taking stock of the then-existing technological environment that both encouraged and enabled the distribution of these protection measures, the Article examines law, the third vector of influence on Sony BMG's decision to release flawed protection measures into the wild, and argues that existing doctrine in the fields of contract, intellectual property, and consumer protection law fails to adequately counter the technological and market forces that allowed a self-interested actor to inflict these harms on the public." Yes, under "even the most charitable interpretation" it was a lousy idea. The article also suggests some changes to the DMCA to protect consumers from this sort of intrusive, and security-undermining, technique in the future."
Government

Submission + - Usaspending.gov Federal Spending Tracker Online (usaspending.gov)

FiniteElementalist writes: Champions for government transparency can now view some of the fruits of their labor as Usaspending.gov is online. This site provides easy access to a plethora of searchable data about US Federal Government spending, such as federal contracts and assistance. It also provides an API for small scale accesses to the available data. Usaspending.gov was created as a result of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 introduced by Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Obama (D-IL).
(PS Don't get too worried about the red warning text at the bottom, other than you shouldn't setup automated or bulk data gathering from the site.)

The Internet

Submission + - Former Wikipedia COO had criminal record

Goobergunch writes: The Register is reporting that Carolyn Doran, Chief Operating Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation from January to July of this year, was a convicted felon, with a criminal record in four states. Wikipedia general counsel Mike Godwin said that he had "no direct knowledge" of her record. Responsibilities of the Chief Operating Officer included ensuring effective audit trails and approval of Foundation expenditures.
United States

Submission + - Investigation Alleges Climate Science Manipulation

explosivejared writes: "The Washington post is running a story about a 16-month House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation that alleges the White House tampered with climatology reports. The investigation's report finds that the White House has tried to downplay the significance of climate change through a consistent pattern of conduct by controlling public access to government climate scientists and suppressing views counter to the White House view. The 294 edits of the 2003 White House plan to address climate change by the The White House Council on Environmental Quality were especially controversial. The White House has consistently maintained contrary to their accusers that these edits and any other actions they have taken are only trying to highlight the fact that there is uncertainty about the causes of climate change and what should be done to combat it. They insist that they have not tampered with the science."
Government

Submission + - Australia ratifies the Kyoto Protocol (news.com.au)

esocid writes: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in his first act after being sworn in this morning. The ratification will come into force in 90 days. "This is the first official act of the new Australian Government, demonstrating my Government's commitment to tackling climate change," Mr Rudd said.
Hopefully the United States will take a cue from Australia's move.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Local U.S. Economy Savior Kramlich China-Bound

theodp writes: "Just a month ago, VC Dick Kramlich argued that venture capitalists were entitled to their low 15% tax rate (compared to the 35% cap faced by ordinary citizens) because of the benefits and jobs they bring to the local economy. But come January, the WSJ reports Kramlich's local economy will be Shanghai's glitzy Xintiandi district (reg.), where he is moving to drum up new deals for his New Enterprise Associates, which has already sunk $300M in Chinese companies as it joins other U.S. venture firms seeking better returns in fast-expanding economies abroad. During his year-long stay abroad, Kramlich will investigate launching an investment fund denominated in Chinese yuan instead of U.S. dollars, which would allow NEA to more easily take companies public on Chinese stock exchanges."
Space

Submission + - SETI: Is It Worth It? 1

njdube writes: It's a risky long shot that burns up money and might never, ever pay off. So is searching for intelligent creatures on unseen worlds worth the candle? After all, aren't there better ways to use our monies and technical talents than trying to find something that's only posited to exist: sentient beings in the dark depths of space?
The Internet

Submission + - New eBay site lets people finance the world's poor

Stony Stevenson writes: EBay launched on Wednesday a Web site allowing ordinary investors to buy securities aimed at improving conditions in the world's poorest countries. MicroPlace will allow people to invest as little as US$100 to support development in impoverished areas. So-called microfinance is the supply of loans, savings, insurance and other basic financial services to low-income households and businesses, typically without collateral. It is often conducted in emerging economies, where people cannot typically obtain bank loans.
Businesses

Submission + - The Corporate Tech Support Divide

theodp writes: "Even as they outsource IT, BusinessWeek reports that top execs still enjoy 24/7 in-house tech concierge assistance while the rank-and-file have to call India, fomenting help-desk rage. While lower-ranking employees fume about losing productive hours, CEOs have elite tech squads at their beck-and-call even on weekends to buy a replacement for that malfunctioning Blackberry or to set up equipment — including the kids' — at the house in the Hamptons."
Security

Submission + - Rush to deploy virtualisation leaves security gaps (zdnet.com.au)

ramboando writes: Server virtualisation is a no-brainer — it's quick to deploy and easy to justify in terms of cost-savings but too many companies are deploying the technology without considering the security implications. In the past, industry analysts such as Gartner have made warnings about virtualisation security lapses.

In this report, ZDNet Australia looks at some of the pitfalls and promises of virtualisation security.

Communications

Submission + - Wheels falling off Telstra sale (australianit.com.au)

Serindipidude writes: After completely messing up Digital Television in Australia, the government (whose days are thankfully numbered now) has messed up broadband infrastrcture and all but destroyed competition in the Internet services market. To summarise the history, they first sold spectrum all over the country and sqandered the profit on self algrandisement. Then they sold of their major share in the monopoly telco and gave all that money to the major competitor of said monopolist. The purpose of the funding (nearly a billion dollars) was to create a wireless broandband network that needs the spectrum sold off to all their other competitors years previously. The monopoly player is now suing the government for just about everything it can think of. Full Story
Music

Submission + - Plagiarism In Today's Music Industry

An anonymous reader writes: Today, there is a significant amount of music that is plagiarized. In fact, it seems like the plagiarized songs get played on the radio endlessly while the original musicians are left with nothing. For example, read the criticism of Jet's "Get Born" album and try to compare it yourself. Other artist's songs which sound too familiar to other songs include Paris Hilton and The Flaming Lip. There should really be more consequences for stealing other musician's work without giving proper credit.

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