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Government

CA City Mulls Evading the Law On Red-Light Cameras 366

TechDirt is running a piece on Corona, CA, where officials are considering ignoring a California law that authorizes red-light cameras — cutting the state and the county out of their portion of the take — in order to increase the city's revenue. The story was first reported a week ago. The majority of tickets are being (automatically) issued for "California stops" before a right turn on red, which studies have shown rarely contribute to an accident. TechDirt notes the apparent unconstitutionality of what Corona proposes to do: "The problem here is that Corona is shredding the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, the right to a trial by jury. By reclassifying a moving violation... to an administrative violation... Corona is doing something really nefarious. In order to appeal an administrative citation you have to admit guilt, pay the full fine, and then apply for a hearing in front of an administrative official, not a judge in a court. The city could simply deny all hearings for administrative violations or schedule them far out in advance knowing full well that they have your money, which you had to pay before you could appeal."
Windows

New Phoenix BIOS Starts Windows 7 Boot In 1 Second 437

suraj.sun excerpts from a tantalizing Engadget post: "Phoenix is showing off a few interesting things at IDF, but the real standout is their new Instant Boot BIOS [video here], a highly optimized UEFI implementation that can start loading an OS in just under a second. Combined with Windows 7's optimized startup procedure, that means you're looking at incredibly short boot times — we saw a retrofitted Dell Adamo hit the Windows desktop in 20 seconds, while a Lenovo T400s with a fast SSD got there in under 10."
Privacy

High-Tech Gadgets Can Pose Problems At Mexican Border 447

TechnologyResource writes "Going across the border will be a more 'interesting' experience since Customs and Border Protection will now be checking laptops, digital cameras, cell phones and any other electronics on your person or in your vehicle. It's not a new authority, according to Angelica De Cima, Office of Public Affairs Liaison 'They've always had the right to inspect your person, vehicle, baggage, anything on you. Nothing has changed from before,' De Cima said."
Mars

New Images Reveal Pure Water Ice On Mars 179

Matt_dk writes "Images of recent impact craters taken by the HiRISE Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed sub-surface water ice halfway between the north pole and the equator on Mars. While the Phoenix lander imaged subsurface ice where the top layer of soil had been disturbed at the landing site near the north pole, these new images — taken in quick succession, detecting how the ice sublimated away — are the first to show evidence of water ice at much lower latitudes. Surprisingly, the white ice may be made from 99 percent pure water."
Mars

Submission + - New Images Reveal Pure Water Ice on Mars (spacefellowship.com)

Matt_dk writes: "Images of recent impact craters taken by the HiRISE Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed sub-surface water ice halfway between the north pole and the equator on Mars. While the Phoenix lander imaged subsurface ice where the top layer of soil had been disturbed at the landing site near the north pole, these new images â" taken in quick succession, detecting how the ice sublimated away â" are the first to show evidence of water ice at much lower latitudes. Surprisingly, the white ice may be made from 99 percent pure water."
Security

Idaho Tops America's Most-Spammed States 97

An anonymous reader writes "MessageLabs unveiled a list of the top US spammed states, with surprising results — the spam capital of the US is Idaho, with 93.8 percent of spam, far exceeding the global spam rate for September 2009 of 86.4 percent. Idaho has jumped 43 spots since 2008 when it was ranked the 44th most spammed state. The difference can be attributed to the resilient and aggressive botnet market as well as a higher volume of global spam that has ensued since the beginning of the credit crisis toward the end of 2008."
Transportation

Honda's Answer To the Segway 247

lcreech writes with an excerpt from the Daily Mail's description of a new Segway-style one-person vehicle being shown off by Honda: "The vehicle looks like a very modern unicycle and to ride it you simply lean your weight in the direction you want to go, whether that's forward, backwards or even sideways. It maintains its own balance travelling up to 3.7MPH. Not very fast."

Submission + - What level of control over privacy do you look for (weourfamily.com)

thzinc writes: "With all of the privacy-related reports on social networking in the news lately, it seems that the issue of privacy is becoming more important to people. People are asking questions and demanding options for privacy. Governments are defining policy--good or bad--for social networks, as well as funding multi-million dollar research projects to find out what privacy means to different people. Just recently, there was an AskSlashdot article regarding Security/Privacy Advice when using social networks. It is obvious that there are a lot of people trying to deal with privacy in a variety of ways.

I work with a company who is also trying to address the privacy issue with a new privacy-oriented social network: WeOurFamily. While Facebook and MySpace find their money from investors and advertisers, who both have agendas on mining information, WeOurFamily operates on a subscription basis without any advertisers, and without a motive to mine data from its users.

My question to the Slashdot community is this: What level of control over privacy do you look for in a social network? Do you consider the company and business models when evaluating your privacy options?"

Submission + - Honda's answer to the Segway 1

lcreech writes: "The vehicle looks like a very modern unicycle and to ride it you simply lean your weight in the direction you want to go, whether that's forward, backwards or even sideways. It maintains its own balance travelling up to 3.7MPH. Not very fast..

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1215741/Honda-unveils-Segway-style-unicycle-travels-direction-want.html#ixzz0S2lY0hSd

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1215741/Honda-unveils-Segway-style-unicycle-travels-direction-want.html"
Biotech

AIDS Vaccine Is Partially Successful 317

ifchairscouldtalk writes "A Phase III 'RV 144' study in Thailand succeeded in reducing HIV infection rate in trial with 31.2% effectiveness. The study was conducted by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health and used strains of HIV common in Thailand. It is not clear whether the vaccine, which combines AIDSVAX with Aventis Pasteur ALVAC-HIV canarypox vector, known as 'vCP1521,' would work against other strains in the United States, Africa or elsewhere. Strangely, the vaccine had no effect on levels of HIV in the blood of those who did become infected, providing 'one of the most important and intriguing findings' of the trial, according to Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is one of the trial's sponsors."

Comment Are users the customer or the product? (Score 1) 260

One thing that a lot of people don't think about when discussing privacy, especially in social networking, is the topic of who the customer truly is. With free services online, the true customer is almost always the advertisers, and the product being sold is usually user information. http://www.weourfamily.com/blog/who_is_the_customer.jsp

Comment Re:*Cough* (Score 2, Informative) 335

The real moral of the story is to use the proper collations where necessary. Migrating from a case-insensitive to a case-sensitive collation was the real problem. Also, indexing with the right collation is no problem.

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