bartle writes: The new gearshift design for the Jeep Grand Cherokee appears to be causing rollaway accidents: 121 crashes and 30 injuries so far. The gear shifter is designed to look and feel similar to a traditional automatic gear shift lever but it is meant to cycle through the gears rather than move directly to a certain gear. A driver who is used to placing their vehicle in park by pressing the shifter all the way forward may instead be setting it to neutral before exiting the vehicle. The NHTSA is investigating.
bartle writes: I currently spend a lot of time hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Cell phone reception is very unreliable and I'm curious if carrying a small amateur radio would make any sense at all. I don't want to add too much weight to my pack so I'm uninterested in carrying a radio that weighs much more than a pound; from what I gather this would give me at best 5 to 10 watts of transmitting power. I have no idea if this is enough to be effective in a mountainous region, I'm hoping some experienced Slashdot hams could give me a clue.
I'm only interested in acquiring a radio and license if it is a lot more effective and reliable than the cell phone I already carry. Otherwise I'm probably better off just waiting for Globalstar to bring back their duplex service and buy a next generation SPOT messaging device. I know some Slashdotters will want to suggest a modern SPOT or Personal Locator Beacon; these are suitable for the worst kinds of emergency but I'll point out that reliable communication can help prevent small crises from becoming big ones.
I don't expect anyone to be able to answer this question spot on but I bet there are a few Slashdotters out there with experiences they can share. Are small, amateur radios effective in the field or are vehicle rigs really the only way to go? Or am I just best off waiting for satellite?
bartle writes: "The Washington Post is reporting that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin regularly uses Yahoo email instead of Alaskan government servers. This became relevant when requests were made for official email and it was learned that most of her email sits on Yahoo servers, out of reach of open records laws.
Palin also routinely does government business from a Yahoo address, firstname.lastname@example.org, rather than her secure official state e-mail address, according to documents already made public. "Whoops!" Palin aide Frank Bailey wrote, after addressing an e-mail to the governor's official state address. "Frank, This is not the Governor's personal account," a secretary reminded him.
bartle writes: "Slate is running an article on the brief but significant attack that Estonia suffered recently.
Since late April, the Web sites of various Estonian government entities, banks, and media outlets have been barraged with extraordinary amounts of Web traffic (100 times more than usual), making them very slow and even unusable. The Estonian government has identified as-yet-unknown rogue Russian hackers and the Kremlin as participants in these denial-of-service attacks. Russia has firmly denied these charges."
bartle writes: "Salon is running an interesting article today that analyzes the question of how much legal trouble Google may get in having bought YouTube. Not much, according to the author, and thanks seem to go to a provision in the DMCA that may provide more protection for YouTube than torrent services.
From the article: But what about Mark Cuban's copyright argument? Why isn't YouTube is trouble in the same way Napster and Grokster were? The first difference, as indicated, is that Napster simply wasn't covered by the 512 safe-harbor law, and YouTube is. Napster wasn't "hosting" information at the direction of its users, but rather providing a tool for users to find and download predominantly infringing content. It may sound odd that Napster gets in more trouble for helping you find illegal stuff than YouTube does for actually hosting it. But that's the law and why YouTube should really, really thank its friends at Bell."