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Spam

How To Convince My Boss Not To Spam? 475

An anonymous reader writes "The small travel agent that I work for recently received an email from one of our competitors with several thousand of their potential customers in the 'To:' and 'Cc:' fields. My boss now wants to use these addresses to send unsolicited advertisements. I would like to convince him not to do this, as I believe that this practice is morally wrong and legally dubious. However, morals don't go very far in the business world, so I'm asking Slashdot: what business-oriented arguments can I use to dissuade my boss from spamming?"
Math

The Accidental Astrophysicists 97

An anonymous reader recommends a ScienceNews story that begins: "Dmitry Khavinson and Genevra Neumann didn't know anything about astrophysics. They were just doing mathematics, like they always do, following their curiosity. But five days after they posted one of their results on a preprint server, they got an email that said 'Congratulations! You've proven Sun Hong Rhie's astrophysics conjecture on gravitational lensing!'... Turns out that when gravity causes light rays to bend, it can make one star look like many. But until Khavinson and Nuemann's work, astrophysicists weren't sure just how many. Their proof in mathematics settled the question."
Privacy

China's All-Seeing Eye 213

Greg Walton brings us a lengthy story from Rolling Stone which describes China's comprehensive surveillance project, dubbed Golden Shield. The 'Great Firewall of China,' which we've discussed in the past, is but one aspect of Golden Shield. It also includes national ID cards, CCTV networks, and face-recognition software. This investigation showcases just how massive an undertaking it truly is. When finished, it will dwarf London's surveillance system. Quoting: "Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range -- a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.) ... This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces."

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