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Comment Re:Don't Forget Cars (Score 2) 263

Don't forget the Black Box recording in modern cars that rat you out to police, insurance companies, and the car companies themselves on items that are none of their business such as how fast you drive, and how long before the collision it was that you braked. You certainly didn't knowingly agree to this in buying your last car, yet it's common for your opponents to be able to get this data after an accident, insurance claim, even a vehicle warranty issue. THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED WITHOUT YOUR EXPLICIT CONSENT.

You car doesn't call the cops and rat you out for speeding; the data only gets pulled after a serious collision with airbags deployed. At that point it's a legitimate criminal investigation and not simply a matter of privacy.

Comment Shame to see it go... (Score 1) 156

Now that google has got all the free data they need, they can shut down the service and encourage people to buy more smartphones. It's really a shame, but not unexpected from any company; I was hoping for better from google.

Figures, just after I convinced my father to stop using the telco 411 (and paying the $$$) and to use GOOG-411.


Doubled Yield For Bio-Fuel From Waste 97

hankwang writes "Dutch chemical company DSM announced a new process for production of ethanol from agricultural waste. Most bio-fuel ethanol now is produced from food crops such as corn and sugar cane. Ethanol produced from cellulose would use waste products such as wood chips, citrus peel, and straw. The new process is claimed to increase the yield by a factor of two compared to existing processes, thanks to new enzymes and special yeast strains."

Comment Re:Awesome except for one small thing. (Score 1) 359

Effectively in Canada there are two national providers.

Bell and Telus use the same frequencies, in fact they have sharing agreements across the country.
Rogers / Fido is the other one, same company, different brands.

The new carrier, Wind Mobile, is only operating in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. They are filling a role like Fido did before Rogers bought them. They run on the same frequency as T-Mobile's 3G network in the USA.

All these carriers use Sim cards.. most phones will run on Bell/Telus/Rogers (850 range), but some will run on all four (Nokia 5230 for example).


Disney Releases 3D Texture Mapper Source Code 83

dsavi writes "Ptex, Walt Disney Animation Studio's cutting-edge 3D texture mapping library which was first used on nearly every surface in the 2008 animated feature Bolt, was released under the BSD license on Friday. Quoting the announcement on 'We expect to follow Ptex with other open source projects that we hope the community will find beneficial. We will soon be launching a new Walt Disney Animation Studios Technology page under It will include links to our open source projects as will as a library of recent publications.' This looks good for open source 3D graphics."

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment Even worse in Canada... (Score 3, Informative) 383

I'm on Bell Mobility in Canada (until July 2009 when I can change without penalty) and not only do we have the listed voice mail annoyances, we also pay $6 each a month for caller id and voicemail. Also there is no trick that a caller can use to skip the greeting. If you record your own, it appends "At the tone, leave your message" anyways.

Did I mention we have to pay about $20 more a month on average (even after currency conversion)?

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