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Facebook

Facebook Forming a PAC 217

DougDot writes "According to a recent SFGate article, 'Social networking giant Facebook is expanding its political footprint, confirming that it has filed the necessary paperwork to open a political action committee in advance of the 2012 elections. The move is the latest in a series of maneuvers boosting the Palo Alto company's political profile in recent years, joining a steady rise in lobbying spending, several high-profile fundraisers and the failed statewide candidacy of one of its key officers for attorney general last year.' With 800 million users in its social network, and with very deep pockets, we could have a new, powerful Congress-influencing entity steering American politics."
Space

Tsunami Warning From Space? 351

Peter bayley writes "Tell me I'm crazy or tell me someone has already done it — but wouldn't a satellite equipped with a laser be a great way to warn people of tsunamis? I was pondering how to warn people in remote coastal areas once evidence of a seismic incident has been received by the monitoring stations that have now been set up following the large Boxing Day tsunami. The idea is to illuminate the areas that are likely to be at risk with a bright (but not dangerous) light. People would be told to head to higher ground if such a light appears in the sky. Put the satellite in a geosynchronous orbit. Make it tunable so that different colors can convey different meanings. You would be able to warn anyone, anywhere they can see the sky. The laser could be directed to illuminate only those areas at risk, skipping unnecessary areas to save power. Power could be varied so that it is visible day and night and through cloud (raise the power where the satellite detects cloud cover). I emailed some people at NOAA about it but they said it would stand on too many toes by circumventing local emergency service organizations in the various countries. I replied that countries could easily opt out, in which case the laser would be turned off for those countries — but received no further reply. Anyway, I thought the massed minds of Slashdot would relish the chance to demolish my idea."
Displays

The World's First Four-Screen Laptop 134

Barence writes "Intel has stunned visitors at IDF by showing off the world's first four-screen laptop. The oddly-named 'Tangent Bay' has three miniature touchscreens set horizontally into the case below the main, full-sized panel. It is a fully functional prototype: delegates were able to scroll photos around the touchscreens by swiping with a finger. The idea smacked a little too much of the ill-fated Vista SideShow." Seems strange that they would put the screens above the keyboard. I think embedding an iPhone type touchscreen in place of the trackpad would be a far more useful thing.

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