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The Almighty Buck

IRS May Ask eBay To Snitch On Sellers 418

Makarand writes "The IRS thinks that many sellers on online auction sites are unaware of their obligation to declare their profits and pay their taxes to the IRS. Tax experts are now asking the IRS to require online auction sites like eBay, Yahoo, and Ubid to report the gross sales numbers for their sellers. Such a requirement will surely send a shock wave across the online trading world because it could drastically reduce the profits a seller would make on these sites. The IRS thinks it can collect an extra $2 billion in taxes from this requirement that auctioneers report sellers who complete 100 or transactions a year worth at least $5,000."
Privacy

E-Passport Cloned In Five Minutes 259

Last month a panel of EU experts warned that the e-Passport's security is "poorly conceived", and in fact a week later a British newspaper demonstrated a crack. Now another researcher has shown how to clone a European e-Passport in under 5 minutes. A UK Home Office spokesman dismissed it all, saying "It is hard to see why anyone would want to access the information on the chip."
Space

Intelligent Satellite Notices Volcanic Activity 116

Dik Zak points us to this NASA page about a new generation of intelligent Earth observation satellites. From the article: "The Indonesian volcano Talang on the island of Sumatra had been dormant for centuries when, in April 2005, it suddenly rumbled to life. A plume of smoke rose 1000 meters high and nearby villages were covered in ash. Fearing a major eruption, local authorities began evacuating 40,000 people. UN officials, meanwhile, issued a call for help: Volcanologists should begin monitoring Talang at once. Little did they know that, high above Earth, a small satellite was already watching the volcano. No one had told it to. EO-1 (short for "Earth Observing 1") noticed the warning signs and started monitoring Talang on its own. Indeed, by the time many volcanologists were reading their emails from the UN, 'EO-1 already had data,' says Steve Chien, leader of JPL's Artificial Intelligence Group."

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