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The Internet

An App to Boil Down Online User Reviews 82

An anonymous reader writes "Is this a glimpse at the future of the Semantic Web? A new startup named Pluribo has developed a technology that can auto-summarize user reviews on the internet. It is a Firefox extension that can take a webpage filled with reviews and condense it down into a couple of sentences. Currently, it just works with Amazon electronics, but the potential seems incredible. Ars Technica took an in-depth look."
Google

Google Gives Away Web App Security Tool 30

CWmike writes "Google has released for free one of its internal tools used for testing the security of Web-based applications. Ratproxy, released under an Apache 2.0 software license, looks for a variety of coding problems in Web applications. A 2006 survey by the Web Application Security Consortium found that 85.57 percent of 31,373 sites were vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks, 26.38 percent were vulnerable to SQL injection and 15.70 percent had other faults that could lead to data loss."
Portables

12,000 Laptops Lost Weekly At Airports 236

kthejoker writes "Apparently companies are even worse about losing our data than we suspected. From the article: 'According to a study of 106 major US airports and 800 business travelers published by the Ponemon Institute and Dell Computer, about 12,000 laptops are lost in airports each week. Only 30 percent of travelers ever recover the lost devices. Nearly half of the travelers say their laptops contain customer data or confidential business information.' Kinda scary..."
America Online

AOL Users Will Need to Pay $2 a Month For Phone Support 202

destinyland writes "8.7 million AOL subscribers face a new 20% fee increase next month — unless they agree to never call AOL's technical support lines. They'll have to use AOL chat for support or the online help "portal" unless their issue is a failed connection — and they're being enrolled in the program by default unless they opt out. Ominously, AOL used the exact same wording as when they quietly changed their terms of service to allow them to sell subscribers' home phone numbers to telemarketers. 'Your continued subscription to the AOL service constitutes your acceptance of this change.'"
Power

Freeze On US Solar Plant Applications Lifted 282

necro81 writes "Barely a month ago, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced a freeze on applications for solar power plants on federally managed land, pending a two-year comprehensive environmental review. After much hue and cry from the public, industry, and other parts of government, BLM has today announced that it will lift the freeze, but continue to study the possible environmental effects. To date, no solar project has yet been approved on BLM land."
The Internet

Dial-Up Users "Don't Want Broadband" 593

Barence writes "The majority of dial-up Internet users say they don't want to upgrade their connection to broadband, according to a new study in the US. The Pew Internet & American Life research found that 62% of dial-up users had no interest in upgrading to a high-speed connection." (CNN is carrying the AP's story on the study, too.)
Media

G8 Summit Aims To Kill International Piracy 340

arcticstoat writes "Next week, the G8 summit will discuss proposals for new international piracy laws, which include border controls and cooperation from ISPs to identify pirates. The laws will also prevent ISPs from being liable for copyright infringement. If the G8 summit were to agree on these measures and enforce them through international cooperation, could they really cut down piracy, or would they be impractical to enforce?"
Music

Wood Density May Explain Stradivarius Secret 318

Whorhay writes "A Dutch doctor and a violin maker from Arkansas have compared five classical and eight modern violins in a computed tomography (CT) scanner. Apparently the 300-year-old violins are made of wood with a more consistent density than the modern violins. They aren't saying for sure that this is what gives the Stradivarius violins their unique sound, but it's the first scientific explanation I've heard for it that seems to have merit." Unfortunately science has yet to explain how how all three chords I know ROCK on my SG.

Firefox Breaks 8 Million, Gets Into Guinness 199

Punkster812 writes "Mozilla has gotten the results back from the Guinness World Records and the official number that will be set as the record is 8,002,530 downloads. The day started out a little rough for them, with server troubles during the initial launch, but once they got everything going, they were able to transfer 62,419,734 MB in 24 hours. You can get more information, including a breakdown of how many downloads each country did from around the world, by visiting spreadfirefox.com. Congratulations, Mozilla, on the new record."
The Internet

YouTube Must Give All User Histories To Viacom 778

psyopper writes "Google will have to turn over every record of every video watched by YouTube users, including users' names and IP addresses, to Viacom, which is suing Google for allowing clips of its copyright videos to appear on YouTube, a judge ruled Wednesday. Although Google argued that turning over the data would invade its users' privacy, the judge's ruling (.pdf) described that argument as 'speculative' and ordered Google to turn over the logs on a set of four terabyte hard drives." Update: 07/03 18:05 GMT by T : Brian Aker, now of MySQL but long ago Slashdot's "database thug," writes a journal entry on how companies could intelligently treat such potentially sensitive user data.
Microsoft

The Microsoft Office Rental Program 432

LWATCDR writes "Yes, it looks like Microsoft is going to a rental program for Office. From the article, 'The software bundle, which also includes Microsoft's Live OneCare computer security software, will be sold at nearly 700 Circuit City stores for $70 per year.' Well I for one will be happy to stick with OpenOffice for now. From Microsoft's point of view it means a constant flow of money. For the customer it means you only have to pay a little each year instead of a lot every few years. I don't think this will save the average user any money and I wonder about problems with 'activation.' So will this fly, or will it give a big push to OpenOffice?
The Internet

ISPs to Ban P2P With New European Telecom Package? 367

An anonymous reader writes "ZeroPaid is reporting that ISPs could be turned into the copyright police through European legislation that received a number of 'intellectual property' amendments. Many of these amendments can be found here. Judging by the amendments, ISPs could be mandated to block legitimate traffic in an effort to 'prevent' illegitimate traffic. To help stop this legislation, you can check out the action page. Additional coverage can be found on EDRI and Open Rights Group."
Medicine

New Map IDs the Core of the Human Brain 186

gerald626 writes "An international team of researchers has created the first complete high-resolution map of how millions of neural fibers in the human cerebral cortex — the outer layer of the brain responsible for higher-level thinking — connect and communicate. Their groundbreaking work identified a single network core, or hub, that may be key to the workings of both hemispheres of the brain. So basically our brain is a network connected to a hub. I wonder if I can get an upgrade to a GigE switch?"
The Military

Northrop Grumman To Develop Brain-Wave Binoculars 149

An anonymous reader writes "An AP wire reports that DARPA has granted a $6.7 million contract to Northrop Grumman to develop 'brainwave binoculars'. The binoculars will be built into a helmet, which will include EEG electrodes that will monitor the wearer's brain activity for patterns consistent with object identification/recognition. From what I can gather, the idea is that when you look at a far-off or partially obscured object without noticing it, your subconscious probably did notice it and tried, unsuccessfully, to identify it. The EEG in these binoculars would pick up on that kind of subconscious activity and draw the wearer's attention to the object in question. The goal is that these binoculars would be able to pick up on any object anywhere in the wearer's field of view, where a person can only pick up on things that he focuses both his eyes and his attention on. This delves into some very interesting territory: it would be an electronic device that uses human eyes to collect data, and even uses a human brain to partially process the data. Since it also passes its results back to the human providing the data and initial processing, it essentially adds a second processing loop in parallel to the wearer's visual system."

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