Rubinstien writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation investigated the degree to which modern web browsers are susceptible to "device fingerprinting" via version and configuration information transmitted to websites. They implemented one possible algorithm, and collected from a large sample of browsers visiting their test site, http://panopticlick.eff.org/ . According to the PDF describing the study, browsers that supported Flash or Java on average supplied at least 18.8 bits of identifying information, and 94.2% of those browsers were uniquely identifiable in their sample. My own browser was uniquely identifiable from both the list of plugins and available fonts, among 1,557,962 browsers tested so far.
Rubinstien writes: The Register is reporting that cash-strapped Corel Corporation, vendor of once-dominate WordPerfect and other popular commercial software, has been purchased by its main shareholder, venture capital firm "Vector Capital".
Rubinstien writes: O'Reilly Radar is reporting ( http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/10/lawgov-americas-operating-syst.html ) on an effort to produce Law.Gov, "America's Operating System, Open Source". The group Public.Resource.Org seeks "to create a solid business plan, technical specs, and enabling legislation for the federal government to create Law.Gov. We envision Law.Gov as a distributed, open source, authenticated registry and repository of all primary legal materials in the United States."
Rubinstien writes: In a recent AP article entitled "New venture aims to introduce fees for online news", AP writer Michael Liedtke outlines the new venture "Journalism Online", a plan concocted by various media heavyweights to bundle access to online news and other resources into a pay-only access scheme. Reportedly, the service will not be introduced until this fall, but was publicly announced late Tuesday due to "publishers clamoring to sign up". Individuals wanting access to affiliate's content would be expected to pay a fee of around $15 to $20 per month.
In my personal opinion, if this even gets off the ground it will simply accelerate the shift away from traditional media suppliers.
Rubinstien writes: A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. After its crystal structure was analyzed and identified, the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature. Says Dr. Chris Stanley, "Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns." "I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either — although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange," he told BBC News.
More details can be found in the BBC News article.