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Submission + - The Morality Police (techdirt.com) 1

denissmith writes: It seems that DOJ is putting the financial squeeze on legal businesses in industries that it does not like, pressuring banks to close customer accounts. techdirt has the story.

Submission + - Tower switch-off embarrases electrosensitives (mybroadband.co.za) 2

Sockatume writes: Residents in Craigavon, South Africa complained of "[h]eadaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns" after an iBurst communications tower was put up in a local park. Symptoms subsided when the residents left the area, often to stay with family and thus evade their suffering. At a public meeting with the afflicted locals, the tower's owners pledged to switch off the mast immediately to assess whether it was responsible for their ailments. One problem: the mast had already been switched off for six weeks. Lawyers representing the locals say their case against iBurst will continue on other grounds.

Submission + - SPAM: After links to cybercrime, Latvian ISP cut off

alphadogg writes: A Latvian ISP linked to online criminal activity has been cut off from the Internet, following complaints from Internet security researchers. Real Host, based in Riga, Latvia was thought to control command-and-control servers for infected botnet PCs, and had been linked to phishing sites, Web sites that launched attack code at visitors and were also home to malicious "rogue" antivirus products, according to a researcher using the pseudonym Jart Armin, who works on the Hostexploit.com Web site. "This is maybe one of the top European centers of crap," he said in an e-mail interview. "It was a cesspool of criminal activity," said Paul Ferguson a researcher with Trend Micro.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Is Genius I.Q. Linked to Psychosis? 2

destinyland writes: "New research suggests a genetic mutation linked to psychosis (and schizophrenia) could also be related to genius IQs. This supports the pscyhological theory that genius "blends intelligence with just the right amount of psychoticism" (which creates unconventional thinking). Evolution may even have favored schizophrenia and bipolar syndrome because the same gene also boosts creativity. But one geneticist still believes exactly the opposite. "Madness is often madness — and doesn't have as much genetic association with intelligence.""
Link to Original Source
The Military

Submission + - US sentences three for leakintech to China (idg.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "The U.S. has sentenced three Chinese men to federal prison for attempting to export technology with potential military applications to China. In separate cases, two of the men were charged with attempting to export thermal-imaging cameras, and a third was charged with illegally exporting hundreds of integrated circuits that could be used in military radar systems, the department said in a statement."

Submission + - IPhone Takes Screenshots of Everything You Do (wired.com)

The_AV8R writes: "Jonathan Zdziarski showed that every time you press the Home button on your iPhone, a screencap is taken in order to produce a visual effect. This image is then cached and deleted. He says that there have been cases of law enforcement looking up sex offender's old data and checking recovered screenshots."

Submission + - Best Buy + Windows Guru = Apple Store Experience? (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "As part of Windows Vista's $300 million marketing rehab, Microsoft will hire an initial wave of 155 'Windows Gurus' to walk around Best Buy and Circuit City stores to answer customer questions and defend Vista's reputation against skeptics, reports say. Gurus will earn $20 an hour or more, plus benefits. (Interested applicants can go to www.msretaillive.com.) One way Windows Gurus will differ from Apple Geniuses is that they are not intended to be sources of free technical support for existing Vista users. 'The Guru role is to help sell Windows-based PCs. It is not to be an alternative tech support channel for Microsoft as this has no financial return beyond improved customer satisfaction,' Baker said. One reason: Windows Gurus could end up "lightning rods for customers' frustrations with Vista.""

Submission + - The robots that OTHER robots are built from (masshightech.com)

@masshightech writes: "A pair of University of Massachusetts Amherst Ph.D. students wants to do some of robotics researchers' work for them. Their company plans to sell its uBot to people who make robots. Academic robotics research often includes building a robot from scratch, a labor-intensive process that a base robotics platform could eliminate. The uBot balances on two wheels, can pick objects up with its arms, and can interact via Skype using a camera and a computer monitor for a "head," giving researchers the core robotic functions they might need when developing their own specialized robot.
The two-man company already has customers; it is building three uBots for the MIT Media Lab, which uses the uBot as the body/chassis for Nexi, its emotion-expressing Mobile/Dexterous/Social robot."

Feed Wired: Ex-Googlers Want to Change RSS for the Better (wired.com)

The founders of social networking service FriendFeed want to improve RSS, the current standard for publishing website content to subscribers. Their proposal, called the Simple Update Protocol (SUP), would provide more timely updates and allow readers to get the news they care about faster and more efficiently.

Feed Techdirt: Court Says Wikimedia Isn't Liable For Statements On Wikipedia (techdirt.com)

Back in May, when literary agent Barbara Bauer sued the Wikimedia Foundation, claiming that it was liable for various critical comments on the site (such as the ones calling her the "dumbest of the twenty worst" agents, who has "no documented sales at all"), we suggested she probably would have saved a lot of time, effort and heartbreak using Wikipedia to look up Section 230 of the CDA that says that service providers are not liable for the content of their users. Instead, she went forward with the lawsuit and had the court teach her the lesson that Wikipedia could have: the court tossed out the case, noting that the Wikimedia Foundation is not liable under section 230. The end result for Barbara Bauer? She doesn't get to sue Wikipedia, and her actions brought a lot more attention to the fact that she has a lot of critics. I have no idea how "smart" she is as a literary agent, but this didn't seem very "smart" concerning how to respond to criticism of her reputation.

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Submission + - 100 People, 3 Days, 1 Tech Startup (lifespoke.com)

Michael Bergman writes: "While You Were Mowing Your Lawn, We Created an Internet Startup InOneWeekend, 100 People and a Carload of Caffeine built a business CINCINNATI — One hundred people with diverse backgrounds gathered together at the University of Cincinnati with one common goal in mind — to create a new Internet start-up company in one weekend. InOneWeekend (www.inoneweekend.org) kicked off Friday, July 11 at 3 p.m. with a keynote speech on innovation by Roy Gilbert, Director of Global Consumer Operations for Google. After the speech, participants began work to develop a new business concept, build a technology prototype, create a business plan and deliver an investor presentation to venture capitalists. The participants ranged from students and corporate employees who wanted to learn the skills involved in creating a start-up to entrepreneurial veterans who wanted to get back in the game. It included men and women from all over the region, and integrated programmers, designers, marketing executives, financial planners and management personnel. "The weekend is about experiencing the start-up life without having to quit your day job" said Stephen Boord of Neyer Holdings, a sponsor of InOneWeekend. Jeff Stamp, a consultant who has successfully launched six start-ups and products including Baked! Lays Potato Crisps (chips), facilitated Friday's creative session. During that session, participants developed more than 50 ideas for a company. The proposals were narrowed down and one idea was selected. After little more than 36 hours, the final creation was named LifeSpoke. LifeSpoke is a new online personal media archive targeting the "memory holders" within every family. The website employs an innovative, patent-pending personal timeline that allows easy searching of specific media. An interactive "memory wheel" allows users to build and manipulate highly customizable clusters of content, including photos, video, audio, and narratives, which can then be shared with friends and family around the world. Though still in development, LifeSpoke hopes to help its users capture, create and share all of life's memories and maintain intimate connections with one another. Anyone interested in becoming a part of the Beta test group can create an account by visiting www.LifeSpoke.com. As illustrated by the new company's tagline, LifeSpoke hopes millions around the world will sign on and begin "Sharing the journey.""
United States

Submission + - John McCain's Tech Policy

gordona writes: "The current issue of "Mother Jones Magazine" (http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/07/john-mccain-no-technology-policy.html), compares the technology policies of the two major presidential candidates. Other than sweeping generalization, McCain offers little in the way of specifics and taking a hard-line on using technology by pedophiles. Oh wait, he promises a better battery. How you may ask? By offering a $300M prize. He is against net neutrality because it is an attempt to micromanage business and innovation. And apparently, he cannot use a computer without assistance. It is not known, however, if he thinks the internet is a series of tubes. Obama on the other hand appears to be more astute with regard to the technology — he apparently has an iPOD! Of course, all the candidates' positions are subject to change once elected."

Feed Engadget: Prius to go (partially) solar (engadget.com)

Filed under: Transportation

According to Nikkei, Toyota's apparently going to be equipping future high-end Priuses with Kyocera-built root-mounted solar panels. Somewhat counterintuitively, the sun's rays won't be used to power the car itself, but will instead run the AC. It also sounds like your next solar-assisted Prius won't be around for a while, as the panels aren't designed in yet, nor will they be until early next year when Toyota starts work on revamping the line.Read|Permalink|Email this|Comments

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