Dekortage writes: Amazon's e-books aren't just for the Kindle anymore: they will be supporting Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch as well. Available today, Amazon now offers Kindle for iPhone (note: App Store link) for free. Among other features, existing Kindle customers can access previously purchased e-books on all of their devices at no additional cost, and synchronize bookmarks back to Amazon's servers so they can pick up where they left off, regardless of device. However, it only supports books, not magazines or newspapers. An early review from CNET suggest one advantage of the iPhone over Kindle: comic e-books in color.
Dekortage writes: After the September 11 terrorism attack in 2001, U.S. government lawyers provided broad interpretationsof the law authorizing President Bush to use military within the U.S., conduct raids and wiretaps without obtaining search warrants, suppress freedom of speech and the press, abolish foreign treaties unilaterally, ignore the Geneva Conventions, and more — all in the name of fighting terrorism. "Too often over the past decade, the fight against terrorism has been viewed as a zero-sum battle with our civil liberties. Not only is that thought misguided, I fear that in actuality it does more harm than good," said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. before releasing the previously-secret documents on Monday.
Dekortage writes: Dr. Larry Brilliant is stepping down as executive director of Google.org. He also suggested on his blog that Google may cut back on funding charity projects that aren't closely aligned with Google's own internal projects, although they remain committed to spending 1% of Google's value on philanthrophy. Google.org will now be run by Megan Smith, who will juggle that job while staying vice president of new business development.
Dekortage writes: The U.S. is not so behind in broadband, at least according to the Connectivity Scorecard. Commissioned by Nokia and Siemens and designed by British economics professor Leonard Waverman, the study ranked the U.S. first of in being "usefully connected," saying: "PC penetration of businesses is excellent, and the country is first overall in terms of secure server deployment... a large proportion of companies buy and sell online, business spending on IT is high, and enterprise telephony also enjoys good penetration." Maybe it isn't size of your bandwidth that matters, but how you use it.
Dekortage writes: Earlier this month, the HMS Vangaurd and the Le Triomphant submarines collided in the Atlantic while each was on practice maneuvers. The subs sustained serious damage. The French had initially reported that their sub had struck a container of some kind. Both subs were carrying nuclear warheads, and not surprisingly, groups that support nuclear disarmament have called the event "a nuclear nightmare of the highest order."
Dekortage writes: Microsoft plans to open a line of retail stores to sell PCs, mobile phones, Xbox consoles, and other Microsoft-related products. They've hired David Porter, formerly a Wal-Mart executive and most recently at DreamWorks Animation, to lead the initiative. "There are tremendous opportunities ahead for Microsoft to create a world-class shopping experience for our customers," Porter said in a press release. "I am excited about helping consumers make more informed decisions about their PC and software purchases."
Dekortage writes: "It's no secret that people upload pirated video to YouTube. However, the number one pirated network might surprise you: it's Spanish-language Univision. For example, YouTube has nearly 30,000 pirated clips of the current hot novela Cuidado con el Angel. Fox and ABC are second and third on the list, although their numbers are half of Univision's. In contrast with networks like NBC, the analysts at noted that they had "never seen a copyright takedown on any of Univision's shows on YouTube.""
Dekortage writes: "Dear Iranian nation, your children have placed the first indigenous satellite into orbit," announced Iran's President Ahmadinejad yesterday. The satellite, named Omid ("hope"), was launched to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Video shown on Iranian television shows a Safir-2 rocket rising into the sky, as a follow-up to a test firing last August.
Dekortage writes: The ultra-hip and experimental shopping site Honeyshed will shortly be a footnote in online shopping history, thanks to the poor economic climate. The site, which aimed to "reinvent the online-shopping experience for the 18- to 35-year-old-set" featured "products on channels dubbed 'Fun Shit' and 'Kicks to Lids'". Said its founder, famed ad exec David Droga, "Given the economic climate, the promise of certainty is more responsible than the allure of massive potential." How many more experimental ideas will fail to survive the world's economic woes?
Dekortage writes: "Macintouch has posted a fairly positive review of the $199 EFI-X USB Boot Module, a motherboard add-on which adds a full EFI boot environment to compatible PC systems. Among other things, this means that you can install Mac OS X 10.5 from an Apple installer disk without any "Hackintosh" software mods. Macintouch's review also explores the legal issues surrounding this (including a lengthy discussion of EULAs and thePystarcase), and concludes that EFI-X is not at risk because it is an "implementation of the public specification for the Extensible Firmware Interface... completely independent of Apple, Inc." EFI-X also supports Windows Vista x64, Linux, OpenSolaris, and HP-UX."
Dekortage writes: "During the holiday season, many people are vying for our money — especially nonprofit organizations. What charities do you support? Are they tech-related ones, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation or your favorite open source projects? Are they medical relief organizations, such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent or Doctors Without Borders? Or perhaps something more niche, like EngenderHealth or the Smile Train? Do you prefer to give money, time, goods, or some combination? Whatever it is, let's hear what Slashdotters are doing to contribute to the world."
Dekortage writes: "Although claiming to be miles away at the time, Jason Jones and his brother were nonetheless arrested for murder earlier this year. Now, thanks to travel data linked to Jason's subway pass, the brothers have been released on bond. Notably, Jason had initially offered his MetroCard to police as a way to check his alibi, but they did not; it did not happen until much later, when his lawyers got the records (PDF) from the transit authority. The judge has now expressed doubt in the accuracy of the lead witness, quoting Heraclitus: "The river now flowing by is not the same river that passed by yesterday." Sometimes all this 'big brother' stuff can actually help you out."
Dekortage writes: "If the U.S. presidential candidates were smartphones, Obama would be an iPhone and McCain would be a Blackberry. At least, that's the finding of a branding analysis that asked respondents to think of the candidates in terms of popular brands. Obama apparently also relates to James Bond, Google, Target and Sam Adams, while his Republican opponent relates to Jack Bauer, AOL, Wal-Mart and Budweiser. And they are both related to Starbucks. One thing that wasn't asked: if the candidates were Linux distros, which ones would they be?"
Dekortage writes: "Typically, a big election involves each side spreading mis-truths and lies about the other side. This year has been no different. FactCheck.org has done a great job listing The Whoppers of 2008 — and its sequel — to highlight some of the more egregious examples of dishonesty slung by the two biggest U.S. presidential campaigns. If you're still undecided, this may be your last day for objective research before voting tomorrow. What other sites do you refer to for "objective" coverage?"
Dekortage writes: This coming Saturday is the deadline to join Scarlett Johansson, Bono, Desmond Tutu, Elle McPherson, Will.I.Am, and many others in the In My Name campaign. Your goal is to tell world leaders what you think they should do to end global poverty and support the eight Millennium Development Goals; you could be included in a final video shown before the U.N. Not familiar with the MDGs? Check out the campaign's informational videos on the topic, as described by major international nonprofits such as CARE and EngenderHealth.