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Ford To Introduce Restrictive Car Keys For Parents 1224

thesandbender writes "Ford is set to release a management system that will restrict certain aspects of a car's performance based on which key is in the ignition. The speed is limited to 80, you can't turn off traction control, and you can't turn the stereo up to eleven. It's targeted at parents of teenagers and seems like a generally good idea, especially if you get a break on your insurance." The keys will be introduced with the 2010 Focus coupe and will quickly spread to Ford's entire lineup.

Feed Techdirt: The Second Stage Of The Radiohead Experiment (

Certainly an awful lot has been written about Radiohead's experiments with new business models, but it's starting to crank up again, as the band gets ready to release the new album on CD. While some fans felt "betrayed" by this, the band had made it quite clear from the beginning that this was the strategy. However, it's likely that we'll now see plenty of stories focused on how well the CD sells, as if that will be the key factor in determining whether or not this experiment qualifies as a "success."

That, however, is the wrong way to look at things. It's the "old business model" way of looking at things, where the key point is how many CDs were sold. That's doesn't much matter any more. The band has supposedly made quite a lot of money from selling the MP3s directly, and the attention garnered by the marketing stunt will likely allow them to sell more concert tickets at higher prices (and, yes, the band is about to start touring). Plenty of people who knew little about the band now know a lot more and are talking about and listening to the new album. At this point, no matter what happens with the CD, you'd have to say that the experiment has been quite a success.

That said, it doesn't appear as though the band fully embraces the economics impacting the music industry these days. That's because the band has decided to stop offering the downloads off its site as it gears up to try to sell the CDs. That seems like a rather pointless and shortsighted move. The music is already out there and being listened to widely. If you look on sites like and Hype Machine, Radiohead clearly dominates. Continuing to offer fans an option in terms of how they want to consume and purchase the music only makes sense. It's not as if the music is suddenly not going to be available on various file sharing sites. So, really, all this move does is limit the ways fans can give the band money -- and that doesn't make much sense.

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The Courts

Submission + - U.of Oregon Says No to RIAA; ID no good

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The University of Oregon has filed a motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena for information on student identities, in what is believed to be the first such motion made by the university itself, rather than by the students, and the first instance of a State Attorney General bringing a motion to quash an RIAA subpoena. The motion (pdf) explains that it is impossible to identify the alleged infringers from the information the RIAA has presented: "Five of the seventeen John Does accessed the content in question from double occupancy dorm rooms at the University. With regard to these Does, the University is able to identify only the room where the content was accessed and whether or not the computer used was a Macintosh or a PC.... The University cannot determine whether the content in question accessed by one occupant as opposed to another, or whether it was accessed instead by a visitor. Two of the seventeen John Does accessed the content in question from single occupancy dorm rooms....No login or personally identifiable information, i.e. authentication, was used by the Does to access the university's network because none is required. The University cannot determine whether the content was accessed by the room occupant or visitor. Nine of the seventeen John Does accessed the content in question from the University's wireless network or a similar system called the "HDSL Circuit." These systems do record a user name associated with the access. For these John Does, the University can determine the identity of the individual who bas been assigned the user name, however, it is unable to determine whether the content was accessed by the individual assigned that user name or by someone else using the computer associated with the user name. In the case of sixteen of the seventeen John Does, .... it is not possible for the University to identify the alleged infringers without conducting interviews and a forensic investigation of the computers likely involved." The AG's motion further argues (pdf) that "Plaintiffs' subpoena is unduly burdensome and overbroad. It seeks information that the University does not readily possess. In order to attempt to comply with the subpoena, the University would be forced to undertake an investigation to create discovery for Plaintiffs — an obligation not imposed by Rule 45. As the University is unable to identify the alleged infringers with any accuracy, it cannot comply with its federal obligation to notify students potentially affected by the subpoena." One commentator has likened the AG's argument to saying, in effect, that the RIAA's evidence is "rubbish"."

Submission + - Spammers Enlist the Aid of Virtual Strippers

Tha_Big_Guy23 writes: Spammers have a new way around captchas: A virtual stripper who is paid when you fork them over. The BBC is reporting that a Windows game shows a woman in "a state of undress" when a person correctly types in a Captcha. In the game, a woman named Melissa invites victims to decipher the text. After a bunch of Captchas you get your payoff and the malicious program gets its way around the Captcha system.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Memory card adds wi-fi to digital cameras (

ISurfTooMuch writes: Gizmodo has a story on the Eye-Fi, an SD memory card that doubles as a wi0fi card. Plug the card into your digital camera, and it connects to a wireless router and automatically uploads any photos you take to your choice of 20 sites or your local computer. You can use it to automatically send your family photos to your PC, or, for the activists among us, you could use it to take pictures of protests and get them out on the Internet before someone can try to take your camera.

Submission + - Hillary Clinton Declares War on Space Exploration (

MarkWhittington writes: "Recently, Senator Hillary Clinton revealed her science agenda. Of great interest to people involved in making and debating space policy were the three bullets concerning the space program. To be brief and to the point, Hillary's agenda would be terrible news for anyone who supports space exploration and space commerce."

Submission + - "Burning" Saltwater

sunspot42 writes: From the too-good-to-believe file comes this AP story. Pennsylvania cancer researcher John Kanzius claims that hydrogen can be cracked from saltwater using nothing more than radio waves. A demonstration for the US Departments of Energy and Defense is scheduled for later in the week. Assuming this process puts out more energy than it costs — a big assumption — it could turn the most plentiful resource on the surface of the earth into an almost limitless, reusable source of energy.

Submission + - Superfund365, A Site A Day (

An anonymous reader writes:

"Superfund365, A Site-A-Day" is an online data visualization application with an accompanying RSS-feed and email alert system. Each day for a year "Superfund365" will visit one toxic site currently active in the Superfund program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They begin the journey in the New York City area and work their way across the country, ending in Hawaii.

I frequently bike past the first site they visit in NJ — and I had no idea... chilling.


Submission + - Google Earth Flight Simulator (

marcog123 writes: "Last week Google launched Google Sky as an addition to Google Earth. However, what they didn't tell us is that the sneaked in another key addition — a flight simulator. They appear to have held back on publicising this new feature, although it could be considered by some as more useful than Google Sky. It is currently limited to an F16 and SR22, but the selection of runways is impressive for an under-the-radar release. It's a great new addition that complements Google Earth well!"
Data Storage

Submission + - Padlock USB Flash Drive, Built-In Security Keypad

MojoKid writes: "With data and identity theft so prevalent today, an ever increasing number of users are concerned about securing their personal data. Memory manufacturer, Corsair just launched a new product that may hold the key to easy and convenient data security, literally and figuratively. The Corsair Flash Padlock functions much like any other USB thumbdrive, but it features a built-in keypad for entering a PIN code that locks or unlocks the data stored on the device. Without the PIN, the data cannot be accessed. This article highlights the main features of the Corsair Flash Padlock and profiles its performance. The product certainly works as advertised, but transfer speeds aren't stellar."

Submission + - A box to make biofuel from car fumes? (

An anonymous reader writes: The world's richest corporations and finest minds spend billions trying to solve the problem of carbon emissions, but three fishing buddies in North Wales believe they have cracked it.

They have developed a box which they say can be fixed underneath a car in place of the exhaust to trap the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming — including carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide — and emit mostly water vapor.

The captured gases can be processed to create a biofuel using genetically modified algae.

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