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Privacy

Submission + - E-mail Not Protected by 4th Amendment (volokh.com) 3

DustyShadow writes: In the case In re United States, Judge Mosman ruled that there is no constitutional requirement of notice to the account holder because the Fourth Amendment does not apply to e-mails under the third-party doctrine. "When a person uses the Internet, the user’s actions are no longer in his or her physical home; in fact he or she is not truly acting in private space at all. The user is generally accessing the Internet with a network account and computer storage owned by an ISP like Comcast or NetZero. All materials stored online, whether they are e-mails or remotely stored documents, are physically stored on servers owned by an ISP. When we send an e-mail or instant message from the comfort of our own homes to a friend across town the message travels from our computer to computers owned by a third party, the ISP, before being delivered to the intended recipient. Thus, “private” information is actually being held by third-party private companies."
Television

Submission + - Plasma TV on its Way Out?

SchlimpyChicken writes: "It's been predicted before, however this week raises concerns that plasma TV technology may indeed be dead. Pioneer, long an advocate, announced it would pull completely out of plasma panel production this year, causing an almost immediate 11% spike in its stock value. An article posted by Audioholics states that this could spell the end of plasma TV, since Pioneer has also decided to begin manufacturing LCD — using panels from Sharp Corp. Both Hitachi and Sony Electronics are also buying their panels from Sharp — largely suspected to coincide with the company's new ultra-thin (1-inch) 2008 LCD TV technologies demoed by both Sharp and Hitachi this year at the Consumer Electronics Show. Compare a super-thin TV weighing 50 lbs with a 6-inch thick plasma weighing over 150 lbs and you have a pending technology advance that could finish off plasma as a format very rapidly."
The Courts

Submission + - Pirate Bay trial delayed until summer

newcaribou writes: A Swedish court has said that the impending Pirate Bay trial is going to take longer than expected to go to court. "It can take weeks for the parties to simply go through all the documents included in the summons," said a court spokeswoman.
Robotics

Submission + - Sperm could power nanobots (msn.com)

Lucas123 writes: "According to MSNBC, scientists are experimenting with using a sperm's flagellum or tail to overcome the problem of supplying energy to nanobots that could be implanted in the body as smart probes that would release disease-fighting drugs, monitor enzymes and perform other medical roles within a patient's body. Powered by a compound called adenosine triphosphate or ATP (produced by mitochondria), a sperm's flagellum can propel it at about 7 inches an hour. Energy from ATP could also power the pumps charged with dispensing the medication at a certain rate from the nanobots."

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