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Communications

45-Year-Old Modem Used To Surf the Web 622

EdIII writes with this awesome snippet from Hack a Day: "'[phreakmonkey] got his hands on a great piece of old tech. It's a 1964 Livermore Data Systems Model A Acoustic Coupler Modem. He recieved it in 1989 and recently decided to see if it would actually work. It took some digging to find a proper D25 adapter and even then the original serial adapter wasn't working because the oscillator depends on the serial voltage. He dials in and connects at 300baud. Then logs into a remote system and fires up lynx to load Wikipedia. Lucky for [phreakmonkey] they managed to decide on a modulation standard in 1962. It's still amazing to see this machine working 45 years later.' Although impractical for surfing the Internet today, there is something truly cool about getting a 45-year old modem to work with modern technology. The question I have, is what is the oldest working piece of equipment fellow Slashdotters have out there? I'm afraid as far back as I can go is a Number Nine Imagine 128 Series 2 Graphics card on a server still in use at my house which only puts me at about 14 years."
Mozilla

Mozilla Jetpack and the Battle For the Web 280

snydeq writes "Mozilla Jetpack makes it so easy to filter, modify, and mash up pages that it might end up pitting developers and users against content producers in a battle for the Web, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister. By allowing users to modify the behavior, presentation, and output of Web apps and pages to their liking, Jetpack gives users the ability to 'patch the server, in a sense,' McAllister writes, bringing us one step closer to a more democratic Web. Good news for developers and users; not so good for SaaS providers and media companies that have a vested interest in controlling the function, presentation, and distribution of Web-based content and apps. In other words, as Jetpack produces fruit, expect more producers to call for 'guardrails for the Internet.'"
Television

How Comic Fans & Shops Are Stereotyped 387

brumgrunt writes "Why do TV shows, such as 30 Rock, The Simpsons, Heroes, and Everybody Loves Raymond, persist in so ferevently stereotyping comic book fans and stores? Den of Geek has pulled together eight examples, with video evidence to back them up ..." Minus one point for doubling up on Malcolm in the Middle. Plus 10 points for referencing Spaced, which I hope you all have seen.
Google

Google Considers Taking Beta Tag Off Gmail 180

Barence writes "Google is considering removing the beta tag from Gmail — and other online services — a mere five years after it was first launched. Google has become somewhat synonymous with seemingly endless beta cycles. Many of the company's most famous services, including Gmail, Docs, and Calendar all still carry the beta tag. Google now admits the eternal beta cycles could be damaging consumer and business confidence in its online apps. 'It's a minor annoyance and something you'll see addressed in the not-too-distant future.'"
Biotech

Fluorescent Monkeys Cast Light On Human Disease 174

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that a team of Japanese scientists has integrated a new gene for green fluorescent protein into the common marmoset, causing them to glow green under ultraviolet light, creating second-generation, glow-in-the-dark monkeys in what could be a powerful new tool in human disease research. Though primates modified to generate a glowing protein have been created before, these are the first to keep the change in their bloodlines. If a fluorescent protein gene can be introduced into the monkey genome and passed onto future generations, other genes could be too opening up a world of possibilities for medical research, such as the generation of specific monkey colonies containing genetic defects that mirror human diseases aiding efforts to cure such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. However many people are likely to find the routine use of monkeys in medical research far less acceptable than that of rodents, drawing action from animal rights activists. 'I'm worried that these steps are being taken without any overall public discussion about whether we want to go down that road. We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings,' says Dr David King, from the group Human Genetics Alert. '"Slippery slope" is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward.'"
Privacy

Google Using DoubleClick Tracking Cookies 175

dstates sends news coming out of the letters the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent to a number of broadband and Internet companies about their policies and practices on user tracking. The committee has now made public 25 responses to its queries, and many companies, including Google, acknowledge using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers. The Committee is considering legislation to require explicitly informing the consumer of the type of information being gathered and any intent to use it for a different purpose, and a right to say "no" to the collection or use. The submitter notes that, while Google denies using deep packet inspection, if the traffic is a Google search or email to or from a Gmail account, Google does not need DPI to see the contents of the message. "The revelations came in response to a bipartisan inquiry of how more Internet companies have gathered data on customers. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said 'Increasingly, there are no limits technologically as to what a company can do in terms of collecting information... and then selling it as a commodity to other providers.' Some companies like NebuAd have tested deep-packet inspection with some broadband providers Knology and Cable One. Google said that it had begun to use the DoubleClick ad-serving cookie that allow the tracking of Web surfing across different sites but said it was not using deep packet inspection. Google promotes the fact that its merger with DoubleClick provides advertisers 'insight into the number of people who have seen an ad campaign,' as well as 'how many users visited their sites after seeing an ad.' Microsoft and Yahoo acknowledge the use of behavioral targeting. Yahoo says it allows users to turn off targeted advertising on its Web sites; Microsoft has not yet responded to the committee."
Windows

Submission + - Vista Windows Genuine Advantage(WGA) is down (microsoft.com) 1

z3razerviper writes: "It appears that Vista's Windows Genuine Advantage seems to be down causing all sorts of problems for Vista users trying to download patches for their shiny OS. Oddly enough things get much less shiny when WGA disables Aero and other features once it decides your copy of Vista is invalid. Microsoft WGA Vista Forum: http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/"
Privacy

Submission + - Britain's talking spy cameras - with kids' voices

newtley writes: "Middlesbrough, a large town in North East England, has something other places in in the UK don't have.' Yet. It boasts loudspeakers fitted to CCTV cameras so operators can, "bark commands at people committing anti-social behaviour," says the South London Press. Now home secretary John Reid plans to expand the use of 'talking' CCTV cameras across the country, says Press Association, and "Competitions are being held at schools in many of the areas for children to become the 'voice' of CCTV cameras, Mr Reid said," according to ITV. With kids already doing spycam voice-overs, will the next step be getting them to act as remote copyright spies like they do in Hong Kong?"

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