"Five of the 15 experts that advised the World Health Organisation about swine flu pandemic alerts had received support from the drugs industry, including for flu vaccine research, the WHO revealed on Wednesday."
Pojut writes: Microsoft has canceled the Courier tablet. From the article:
At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It's in Microsoft's DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity. The "Courier" project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time.
Like many people, I didn't expect the Courier to actually make it to production, but this is still a shame. I doubt it would have ever found widespread use, but within its niche market (artists and journalists), it would have been indispensable.
Pojut writes: In the wake of the Google Buzz controversy, Google CEO Eric Schmidt had this to say:
"I would say that we did not understand how to communicate Google Buzz and its privacy," he said. "There was a lot of confusion when it came out on Tuesday, and people thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true. I think it was our fault that we did not communicate that fact very well, but the important thing is that no really bad stuff happens in the sense that nobody's personal information was disclosed."
Pojut writes: "The Washington Post has a story up that the White House has acknowledged via a court filing that they recycled backup media containing emails up until October of 2003. From the article:
"The disclosure raises the possibility that the White House effectively erased e-mail related to some of the biggest controversies of the Bush administration, including the leak of a CIA officer's name, the start of the Iraq war and the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes."
$20,000 for a toilet seat isn't too expensive, but $1000 for some more backup media is?"
Pojut writes: "In light of the recent unlocking of uncensored portions of Manhunt 2 on modified PSP's, the ESRB stated that they plan to remain behind the original "M" rating. From the article:
"The board that assigns age ratings to video games will keep the "Mature" label on "Manhunt 2," resisting calls to raise it after hackers defeated measures that blur some of the game's violence. Patricia Vance, president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board...said "the 'Manhunt 2' case differs from the 'San Andreas' case because it's much harder to restore the hidden content. Also, the publisher followed the ESRB's procedures and submitted all the content, even the parts that were obscured, for the ratings review""
"A former Arlington County youth sports coach and civil rights lawyer who once headed Virginia's American Civil Liberties Union chapter was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison for buying child pornography that prosecutors labeled sadistic and masochistic.
Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, pleaded guilty in June to downloading hundreds of pornographic images of children as young as 4. Authorities said Rust-Tierney used a computer in his 11-year-old son's bedroom to view the files, which included a six-minute video that depicted sexual torture of children, set to a song by the rock band Nine Inch Nails."
I wonder if the song was "Happiness in Slavery"...
Pojut writes: "The Washington Post has an article on the RIAA increasing the number of letters out to colleges and college students around the country demanding that action be taken against the student's that have contributed nearly 1.3 billion downloads a year. In addition, they are asking (once again) that schools block access to services which allow such downloads. In many cases cases, there are threats of litigation.
From the article:
"At schools that don't institute or enforce such policies, some students might be getting mail from the trade group. Last week, the RIAA sent 400 letters to students at 13 colleges warning them that they will either have to pay up for illegally downloading music or face a lawsuit."
Pojut writes: "It appears Sony is not only copying Nintendo, but Microsoft as well this time...Gamespot is reporting from the GDC that Sony is going to be implementing a trophy system for it's players. Not only is this going to be avatar-based (Nintendo), but players will get a literal trophy room that displays their accomplishments in games (Microsoft...with the addition of something other than points, of course.) It will also include almost a "Second Life Lite" kind of thing, with various meeting places and such.
From the article:
At a press event last night in San Francisco, Sony Worldwide studios president Phil Harrison unveiled Home, a new online service for the PlayStation 3. Besides avatar-based social networking, Home will sport three-dimensional meeting places, movie theaters, and minigame halls replete with pool and bowling. The service will also give gamers virtual apartments that PS3 owners can decorate with furniture, wallpaper, and Sony-branded electronics.
Pojut writes: "The Washington Post has an article involving chimps and weapons. Apparently, there have been direct observations of Chimps in the west African Savannah modifying sticks to create spears. They then use these spears to kill small mammals and eat them. It is the first time that an animal other than a human has been directly observed in crafting a weapon for the purpose of hunting or killing. URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic le/2007/02/22/AR2007022201007.html"