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Censorship

Submission + - The gaping holes in the UAE's net firewall (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: The United Arab Emirates has its own, Chinese-style, firewall to weed out pornography and other "unsavoury" content. But as PC Pro's correspondent has found out, the firewall has more than a few holes in it. ISP helplines routinely suggest proxy server software that circumvents the filters. Access to Flickr is blocked, in case citizens' eyes should fall upon a naked buttock, but The Pirate Bay, which "offers a range of bottoms to suit every need, including midget and donkey bottoms for anybody having a really slow afternoon – remains blissfully undisturbed."

"Ultimately, I’m quite glad the UAE’s authorities block websites, and thrilled that they’re so inept at it," concludes PC Pro's writer. "Just like everybody in Dubai, all they’ve done is made me a master of internet chicanery."

Power

Submission + - Self powered parts are the future (techeye.net)

bossanovalithium writes: The idea is that the parts will make external power sources redundant — because they can convert energy from body heat, light and vibrations straight into electricity. Self powered electronics have already sporadically been used in technology like wall-mount remote control units for air conditioners, says Nikkei, but existing parts are bulky and cost a couple thousand yen a piece. 3,000 yen is about $35 — which means they're not the best bet, financially, yet.

Other bits and pieces where the self powered sensors could be used are boilers and, er, pacemakers. If something requires a battery that's difficult to change, the sensors would be ideal as they'll keep the pacemaker ticking instead of the user dropping dead because he's not a surgeon or there aren't enough AAA's in the house.

An umbrella consortium comprising such names as Panasonic and Toyota are workignon bringing the rpice of self powered parts down to levels where they can be mass produced.

Google

Submission + - Google Simplifies Privacy Policies (eweekeurope.co.uk)

jhernik writes: The company brings in changes as it fends off privacy concerns about Google Buzz

Google Associate General Counsel Mike Yang announced on Friday that the search engine giant is making revisions to its policy to make it more comprehensible to regular users.

“Long, complicated and lawyerly — that’s what most people think about privacy policies, and for good reason,” he blogged. “Even taking into account that they’re legal documents, most privacy policies are still too hard to understand we’re simplifying and updating Google’s privacy policies. To be clear, we aren’t changing any of our privacy practices; we want to make our policies more transparent and understandable.”

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