dkleinsc writes: Three years ago, Microsoft came to an agreement with EU regulators that required them to provide users with a choice of web browsers. Last July, they found Microsoft in breach of that agreement. Today, they announced that this will result in charges, potentially resulting in fines as large as $7 billion.
dkleinsc writes: The NYTimes ran a profile of the New York Jedi Club, an organization dedicated to teaching the ways of the Force. Jedi Grandmaster Flynn Michael, a sound engineer and (by his own proclamation) an "over-the-top geek", connected the ideas of the Jedi with dance, martial arts, sword-fighting and Tibetan Buddhism to form the curriculum.
dkleinsc writes: The BBC is running a story on a remarkable announcement by Henry Markram, head of the Blue Brain Project. He predicts that the electronic equivalent of human brains will be available in about 10 years. I'm thinking of getting one when they come out, since I can barely remember what I groceries I planned to buy this week, but right now all the prototypes can do is say 'What?' and 'Where's the tea?'.
dkleinsc writes: The NY Times has a piece about Congressman Rush Holt's (D-NJ) and others' efforts to curb the NSA efforts to read email and Internet traffic. Some idea of the general tone:
Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency's ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans' e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation.