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Google Gets US Approval To Buy and Sell Energy 218

An anonymous reader writes "The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday granted Google the authority to buy and sell energy on a wholesale basis. Google applied for the authorization last December through a wholly owned subsidiary called Google Energy. 'We made this filing so we can have more flexibility in procuring power for Google's own operations, including our data centers,' Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said via e-mail. But the authorization also raises the prospect that Google may start to buy and sell energy as a business." Reader angry_tapir supplies a link to the approval document itself (PDF).

Submission + - Google Chrome 3.0 beta: Tested & benchmarked ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A recent feature on CNet proves Google partially correct: Chrome 3.0 is significantly faster than the current version according to benchmarks against other browsers, making it the world's fastest Web browser, with an 11% lead over the competition (Google claimed a 30% improvement over the current stable build of Chrome 2.0). Actually, Chrome 2.0 jointly takes second place with Safari 4.0.2 for Windows, which was pushed out earlier this week.

Twitter, Facebook DDoS Attack Targeted One User 205

An anonymous reader writes "A Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Google's Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial of service attack that led to yesterday's site-wide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on, according to a Facebook executive. The blogger, who uses the account name 'Cyxymu' (the name of a town in the Republic of Georgia), had accounts on all of the different sites that were attacked at the same time, Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, told CNet News." Here are user Cyxymu's LiveJournal Google cache and LiveJournal account (unreachable at this writing). Larry Magid writes on CNet that this individual blogs about independence of a breakaway region of Georgia. Macworld has some speculation in other directions on the motivations behind the DDoS attack.
Update: 08/07 19:52 GMT by KD : Cyber attacks on Cyxymu are not new. For over a year Evgeny Morozov has been calling attention to him as the first digital refugee.
Hardware Hacking

Apple Working On Tech To Detect Purchasers' "Abuse" 539

Toe, The writes "Apple has submitted a patent application for technologies which would detect device-abuse by consumers. The intent presumably being to aid in determining the validity of warranty claims. 'Consumer abuse events' would be recorded by liquid and thermal sensors detecting extreme environmental exposures, a shock sensor detecting drops or other impacts, and a continuity sensor to detect jailbreaking or other tampering. The article also notes that liquid submersion detectors are already deployed in MacBook Pros, iPhones and iPods. It does seem reasonable that a corporation would wish to protect itself from fraudulent warranty claims; however the idea of sensors inside your portable devices detecting what you do with them might raise eyebrows even beyond the tinfoil-hat community."

Blackboard Patent Invalidated By Appellate Court 142

Arguendo writes "A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Blackboard Inc.'s patent on a learning management system is invalid in light of the inventors' own prior software product. We have previously discussed the patent and Blackboard's trial court victory against Desire2Learn. It's not completely over, but this is almost certainly the death knell for Blackboard's patent. If so inclined, you may read the appellate court's decision here (PDF) or on scribd."

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 95

Basically, imagine that NASA is an inefficient huge gas guzzler - say, a Hummer. Imagine that ESA is a small fleet of more gas efficient but boring compact cars - say, a Saab representing Sweden, a Volvo representing Germany, a Fiat representing Italy... you get the idea. Let's say there's about 11 cars, plus a bicycle from Canada I guess. Now, somehow stuff all those cars into the Hummer, put a rocket on it, and launch it to Mars.

You forgot to mention that Canada is also sending the cool robotic arm that drives the rocket.

Comment Canadians and the Brits (Score 1) 206

As an atheist Canadian, I've very concerned with recent Canadian privacy policies. It seems we're drifting further from our ideals of freedom towards the strict, big-brother-like system that Britain is implementing. I'll be paying strict attention to this, and if this is passed as law, well, unified-theory-of-the-universe help us all!

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