K7DAN writes: "The AP reports that Mexico's drug cartels have built their own sophisticated two-way radio communications system using computer controlled linked and local repeaters on mountain tops, walkie-talkies, mobile transceivers and and base stations. The the solar powered system covers vast areas of Mexico that are unserved by cellular phone network and has the advantage of being more difficult to trace."
MBrichacek writes: "A new study in the has found that illegal music downloads have had no noticeable effects on the sale of music, contrary to the claims of the recording industry. Analyzing data from the final four months of 2002, the researchers estimated that P2P affected no more than 0.7% of sales in that timeframe. The study reports that 803 million CDs were sold in 2002, which was a decrease of about 80 million from the previous year. The RIAA has blamed the majority of the decrease on piracy, and has maintained that argument in recent years as music sales have faltered. Yet according to the study, the impact from file sharing could not have been more than 6 million albums total in 2002, leaving 74 million unsold CDs without an excuse for sitting on shelves."
cnet-declan writes: "Anyone remember VeriChip, a company that came up with the idea of implanting chips in humans for tracking them? They've been behind ideas like RFID tagging immigrant and guest workers at the border, and they've persuaded a former Bush Health Secretary to get himself chipped. In this CNET News.com article, we offer an update on how successful the idea has been. It turns out that, according to IPO documents, 222 people have been implanted, with sales revenue of $100,000."
Da3vid writes: "Bees have been mysteriously disappearing. Beekeepers in 22 states report losses of up to 80 percent. Speculation is that mites or poor nectar has caused their demise, but scientists haven't reached any conclusions. One farmer estimates that he will lose $350,000 based only on his current losses. In only a matter of days, entire hives have been lost. Is this a problem we have already seen the effects of, or is it just developing?"
fair_youth writes: While singing the praises of MPAA members at a recent Washington D.C. event, Warner Bros CEO Barry Meyer took a moment to bash fair-use advocate and CEA President Shapiro, saying that Hollywood is a great leader in innovation. Shapiro fired back, enumerating the ways in which Hollywood has tried to stifle technology whenever they were afraid of it. He came up with 8 decisive actions (mostly lawsuits) that prove that the industry is an enemy of innovation. Meyer may get the last laugh, though: "But Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) expressed a sentiment that movie executives were more willing to hear, telling the audience that 'I didn't want a level playing field' for the movie business. 'I want a fair advantage over every nation in the world.'"