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Submission + - Anarchists Terrorists attacking Scientists (

bricko writes: "Leftist Anarchists are shooting and attacking Scientists.

Self-proclaimed anarchists are waging a violent campaign against science and technology. What do they want?

ROBERTO ADINOLFI had just left for work when the gunman struck, shooting him in the leg before fleeing on a motorbike.

Four days later, in a rambling and often cryptic letter to an Italian newspaper, a group calling itself the Olga Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility for the attack. It described Adinolfi, head of the nuclear energy company Ansaldo Nucleare, as "one of so many sorcerers of the atom" and warned: "With this action of ours we return to you a tiny part of the suffering that you, man of science, are pouring into the world." The cell has threatened to carry out more attacks.

The non-fatal shooting in Genoa in May was the latest in a series of alleged anarchist attacks on scientists and engineers, including the attempted bombing of nanotechnology labs in Switzerland and Mexico. This wave of politically motivated violence has raised the question: why do anarchists hate science? Beyond the unsubtle threat of brute force, there are deeper issues that merit attention."

Submission + - Microsoft collects 70% of all Android royalties. 3

dgharmon writes: "Two more Android tablet makers will now have to pay Microsoft a royalty on their products or risk winding up in court. Aluratek and Coby Electronics are the latest companies to be added to Microsoft’s ever growing patent-licensing list, with Microsoft saying that it now collects royalties on 70% of Android-based devices".

Feed '30s Hollywood Cartoon Censorship (

Cartoon Brew highlights how the Hayes Code impacted cartoons in 1939 -- male characters couldn't be effeminate, kids had to behave and Flossie the cow's sexy udders had to be clothed. At Table of Malcontents.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How dating sites REALLY make money... BLACKMAIL

Kashdin writes: "You read about 'hidden' items in EULAs and privacy policies all the time, but here's my current winner.'s new site Chemistry site apparently has decided that they can make more money by blackmailing their users. I mean no one that is using a dating site bothers to read these, so why not just lay it all out there?

They start off all nice and pretty:
We at, L.P. ("we" or "Chemistry") have created this privacy policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to protecting your personal information and informing you about how we handle it.

So good, so far. Then they really cover their ass:

"This privacy policy only applies to transactions and activities in which you engage, and data gathered, on the Chemistry Website, Chemistry Messenger and double blind email communications between Chemistry members (collectively, the "Site") but does not apply to any other Website or offline point of contact between Chemistry, or any other company, and consumers."

Good to know that their privacy policy doesn't apply to the rest of the time one spends on the internet. Makes those lawyer fees almost worth it for catching this one!

Oh yeah, and if they decide to change the policy — "Each time you visit the Site or provide us with information, by doing so you are accepting the practices described in this privacy policy at that time."

Now we get to the fun stuff:

Information We Collect From You

In order to operate the Site and to provide you with information about products or services that may be of interest to you [READ AS "WE'RE GONNA SELL YOU PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANYONE WE CAN THAT WILL PAY US MONEY TO SPAM YOU WITH PENIS PILLS AND HOT STOCK TIPS"], we may [THEY 'MAY' — YEAHHHH...JUST MAYBE..] collect "personal information" (i.e. information that could be used to contact you directly (without using the Site) such as full name, postal address, phone number or email address)[SO WE CAN EITHER CONTACT YOU TO LET YOU KNOW WE NEED MONEY OR WE'RE GONNA RELEASE THIS INFORMATION AT THE NEXT PATA MEETING — OR AT LEAST SELL THESE LISTS TO THE COMPANIES THAT ACTUALLY MAIL YOU CRAP]

You've probably seen similar terms before and just kind of 'chalked it up to the cost of registering with a site'. But these klowns go one better:

[We may collect]"financial information" (i.e. credit card numbers or passwords) [I SWEAR TO GOD THATS IN THERE]or "demographic information" (i.e. information that you submit, or that we collect, that is neither personal information nor financial information; [NOT JUST INFORMATION THAT YOU SUBMIT, BUT ALSO INFORMATION THAT THEY COLLECT?!]

"Please also be aware that when we disclose your financial information or personal information to a Co-Branded Company, as described above, we may also disclose to that Co-Branded Company your demographic information, on a non-anonymous basis" [OK THAT'S FAIR...AS LONG AS YOU TELL ME THAT I WILL HAVE OPTHER COMPANIES BLACKMAILING ME] ..."this may include, but is not limited to, zip code, postal code, hometown, gender, username, age/birth date, purchase history information, browsing history information, searching history information, registration history information, and the content of communications between you and other members over the Site) [PURCHASE HISTORY, BROWSING HISTORY, SEARCH HISTORY, THE CONTENT OF COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ME AND OTHER MEMBERS!?!?!?]

OK.. So here's the Web 2.0 revenue model: blackmail. If they capture all this information, including my personal and financial information, they got me by the short hairs. Pay us or we release all this information to the public.

This is the way it could work:
If I 'communicate' this — "yeah that's about as funny as a child molester", then I will be posted to child molestation web sites, and my images and personal information will follow...UNLESS I PAY THEM!

If I 'communicate' the following: "That guy was so GAY it was funny" — then I need to pay them, or they will release my statements to the anti-gay discrimination watch list, and I will start go get gay sadomasochistic magazines in my mailbox for the neighbors to see.

Maybe this will happen, maybe it won't but the abuse potential is VERY HIGH.

Why can't I just make up a name and get a free email service, sign up to a dating service and have them hook me up with a bisexual billionaire nymphomaniac? Isn't THAT the dream of online dating sites?"

Submission + - Best Buy redefines "best"

Uknowwhoibe writes: " scam-site-to-trick-customers/ So Best Buy was apparently caught red-handed screwing over its customers. George Gombossy of the Hartford Courant gets the major-league kudos for exposing this. (And Gnomic gets a hat tip from me for pointing it out!) See, Best Buy had a secret intranet it used to trick customers. Note that the word is intranet — that is, an internal Web site. According to Gombossy, if a customer went to a sales person and commented that he thought such-and-such an item was cheaper online, the sales guy would pull up a Web site that looked like the real Best Buy Web site, but was in fact an internal site where the prices were higher. ...even when one informs a salesperson of the Internet price, customers have been shown the intranet site, which looks identical to the Internet site, but does not always show the lowest price. Thus the sales guy could say something like, "Actually, sir, it's more expensive on the Web." You had to be the kind of person who would either A) print out the Web page and bring it in to the store, or B) check the price online when you got home. Based on what his office has learned, [Connecticut State Attorney General Richard] Blumenthal said, it appears the consumer has the burden of informing Best Buy sales people of the cheaper price listed on its Internet site, which he said "is troubling." Further, Best Buy had denied that such a site existed. What I want to know is, has Best Buy also created spoofs of its competitors' sites? That way, a sales guy could say, "Let's see what Circuit City has it for" and pull up a higher — but fake — price. That would make the customer think Best Buy had better prices, and the store could avoid matching a competitor's price. Hmm."

Submission + - Stopping WGA Installation sends data to Microsoft

rev writes: "The new WGA Notification installation that can be installed using Windows Update sends data to Microsoft if the user decides to cancel the installation. A cookie is set that could be used to identify the host and information such as version of Windows and WGA as well as language of the operating system are transmitted. Part of the data is encrypted. (read more)"

Submission + - Microsoft tests "pay-as-you-go" software

seriouslywtf writes: Microsoft has quietly rolled out a pay-as-you-go software system in a few countries (South Africa, Mexico, and Romania) to test out how the public reacts to software rentals. Part of the current service includes a ~$15 fee per month to use Office 2003. If the service goes over well, Microsoft is considering extending the program to include other software or other countries. From the Ars Technica article:

Are we moving towards a rental model for software? Despite the success of programs like Software Assurance, and the FlexGo program, it doesn't seem as if the traditional model of software sales is ever going to go away. Consumers still like the option of buying complete software packages. However, for places where the price of software keeps obtaining legitimate versions out of most people's reach, a rental program may be a useful alternative.

Submission + - Starbucks Interests Us More than the Climate, Why?

Prof. Goose writes: "

The debate on the realities of both climate change and Peak Oil has moved from 'are they real?' to questions concerning timing, magnitude and impact. At the same time, expanding research in 'temporal discounting' in economics (called 'impulsivity' in psychology), is shedding light on how steeply we value the present over the future, a trait that has ancient origins.

Knowing this tendency, how can we expect factual updates on peak oil and climate change to behaviorally compete with Starbucks, sex, slot machines, and ski trips?

Science is rapidly increasing our knowledge about the planet. To affect change however, we must become equally knowledgeable about ourselves. The time has come to integrate ecological science with insight about human behavior derived from new findings in anthropology, hunter gatherer studies, evolutionary psychology and the neurosciences. Below the fold is an overview on human discount rates, their evolutionary origins, and their relevance to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change and peak oil.
The Internet

Submission + - versus Google & Yahoo begins..

Anonymous Coward writes: "This is the area where websites are competing for users' attraction. The best information wins! is a new convenient social Search system, a place of a meeting of information producers and searchers.

Advantages of over other search systems:

1. Site optimization saving. The site optimization is known to go the content down. The web authors, however, spend much money for garbling the content of their sites in order to put them at the search engines tops. As a rule, huge human and material resources are constantly spent for optimization. Moreover, the search engines often change their searching algorithms, and it leads to the loss of resources spent for optimization. The Internet should not depend on search engines. Ordinary search engines promote not the most popular sites but the sites for which optimization more money was paid. At the search availability is no matter of the site administration but of users only.

2. High search availability. Only a man is able to define if the site content meets your requirements or corresponds to certain keywords. It is more relevant. The search engines often retrieve not exactly what you need. Example: a "Good Luck " link at the Google. You can see a film on the upper line. Is that what you really want to find?

3. Search flexibility and personalization. For example, your site is about hard rock music. But you have developed it especially for the olds. You do not need the youngsters because they are not keen on it. You goal is just the olds. Enter a query: Hard rock for the grandmothers. Get the link and insert it in your site. Now the olds can find their favorite music.

4. Speed of the site addition to search results pages. As soon as you added the link to your information, your web site is immediately included in search results and people can find your site. There is no need to wait until you web site is indexed by crawlers."
The Courts

Submission + - Politicians wising up on game legislation?

Blackjack writes: Ars Technica looks at recent failures to pass laws regulating the sales of violent video games and asks whether politicians are finally wising up to First Amendment issues and the costs associated with lawsuits resulting from the laws. Recent attemps to pass video game legislation in Mississippi, Utah, and Indiana have either failed or been put on indefinite hold. 'Now, state lawmakers are more cognizant of the constitutionality issues at stake. The judicial landscape is littered with the charred husks of laws passed by Illinois, Washington, Michigan, California, Louisiana, and others. All of them tried in some way or another to regulate the sale of violent video games to children, and all of them were struck down on First Amendment grounds.'

Submission + - A five-gear space rocket engine

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Georgia Tech researchers have had a brilliant idea. Rocket engines used today to launch satellites run at maximum exhaust velocity until they reach orbit. For a car, this would be analog to stay all the time in first gear. So they have designed a new space rocket which works as it has a five-gear transmission system. This space engine uses 40 percent less fuel than current ones by running on solar power while in space and by fine-tuning exhaust velocity. But as it was designed with funds from the U.S. Air Force, military applications will be ready before civilian ones. Here is how this new rocket engine works."

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