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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.

Biotech

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).

Graphics

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 monophyl.com: '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 disneyanimation.com. 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."
Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child Screenshot-sm 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)?

Government

Canadian DMCA Proposal About To Die 186

An anonymous reader writes "Like the previous Bill C-60 before it, the proposed Bill C-61 that would bring DMCA-like laws to Canada is poised to die on the order table, never to receive a vote, as the current minority government falls. An election call is expected in days. Everybody expects that some form of these laws will be back yet again (third time's a charm?). There are too many interests pushing for change to let it go. But here's a chance for Canadians to influence politicians about it in an election campaign, and hopefully strike a better balance. And for those of you in the rest of the world who are laboring under a DMCA-like copyright law, let's hear your stories about why such laws are a good or bad idea, and if bad, how you would amend the law to make it tolerable. With the polls probably on Oct. 14th, Canadians will be looking for a few good ideas."
Privacy

US "Fusion Centers" For Intelligence Sharing 116

Wired has an article on the national fusion centers in the US, which were created to aid intelligence-sharing in the fight against terrorism but are increasingly being used to look at other sorts of crimes. The keynote of these centers is "all hazards, all threats" — the LA police chief is quoted: "Information that might seem innocuous may have some connection to terrorism." The ACLU has up an interactive US map to help you become acquainted with your local fusion center.
Mozilla

Mozilla CEO Objects To Safari Auto Install 768

hairyfeet writes "Do you use iTunes on Windows? If so you may be getting the gift of Safari from Apple whether you want it or not, and Mozilla CEO John Lilly is not happy about it. After his daughter was offered Safari as a 'bonus update' with a recent update to her iTunes software, Mr. Lilly says on his blog, 'What Apple is doing now with their Apple Software Update on Windows is wrong. It undermines the trust relationship great companies have with their customers, and that's bad — not just for Apple, but for the security of the whole Web.' He also pointed out the check box is already clicked when you go to update meaning you have to opt out, not in and that it lists Safari as getting an update even if you don't have it installed." Update: 03/21 21:44 GMT by KD : Corrected the name of the Mozilla CEO; also linked directly to his blog.
The Military

US Military Seeks Hypersonic Weaponry 332

Dr. Eggman writes "In an interview with the Star-Telegram, the Air Force's chief scientist, Mark Lewis, talks about the USAF's latest research direction. The service is working on hypersonic missile and bombers for the purposes of reconnaissance and attack. In response to Chinese and Russian anti-satellite developments, the Air Force plans to develop weapons capable of sustained travel at Mach 6 to allow them to deploy against and take out anti-satellite launch sites before the enemy can fire their missiles. Furthermore, should the US spy satellite network be brought down, the Mach 6 recon flight systems would be capable of filling in. Air Force officials hope to deploy a new interim bomber by 2018, followed by a more advanced, and possibly unmanned, bomber in 2035." We've discussed on a number of occasions the scramjet technology that would power such vehicles.

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