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Submission + - The Hidden Security Risk of Geotags (

pickens writes: The NY Times reports that security experts and privacy advocates have begun warning consumers about the potential dangers of geotags, which are embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras. By looking at geotags of uploaded photos "you can easily find out where people live, what kind of things they have in their house and also when they are going to be away," says one security expert. Because the location data is not visible to the casual viewer, the concern is that many people may not realize it is there; and they could be compromising their privacy, if not their safety, when they post geotagged media online. "I'd say very few people know about geotag capabilities,” says Peter Eckersley, a staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, “and consent is sort of a slippery slope when the only way you can turn off the function on your smartphone is through an invisible menu that no one really knows about.”

Submission + - The Puzzle of Japanese Web Design (

I'm Not There (1956) writes: Jeffrey Zeldman brings up the interesting issue of paradox between Japan's strong background in simplicity and complexity of Japanese websites. The post invites you to see and a few other websites, which all are as crowded as it can get. "It is odd that in Japan, land of world-leading minimalism in the traditional arts and design, web users and skilled web design practitioners believe more is more."

Submission + - Farmville is the Boss of 7-Eleven 2

theodp writes: It was announced earlier, but BusinessInsider still finds it bizarre to experience firsthand that FarmVille maker Zynga has taken over 7-Eleven stores this summer, rolling out FarmVille and other Zynga game-related branding all over the stores. You gamers who want to 'strengthen your Mafia' only have until July 15th to snarf down Slurpees in exchange for Mafia Wars guns. 'The Zynga universe of gamers is vast,' explained 7-Eleven Chief Marketing Officer Rita Bargerhuff, 'and we knew we had to come up with a promotion fit for this demographic.' Others have questioned the fitness of the promotion, characterizing it as 'idiotic marketing'.

Submission + - New study reveals media's servitude to government (

gauharjk writes: A newly released study (PDF) from students at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government provides the latest evidence of how thoroughly devoted the American establishment media is to amplifying and serving (rather than checking) government officials. This new study examines how waterboarding has been discussed by America's four largest newspapers over the past 100 years, and finds that the technique, almost invariably, was unequivocally referred to as "torture" — until the U.S. Government began openly using it and insisting that it was not torture, at which time these newspapers obediently ceased describing it that way

Submission + - What Bilski Meant for Biotech Patents (

eldavojohn writes: "Patents aren't just a software thing and while Bilski's Dismissal didn't shake the ground for software, it certainly is making waves in the biotech community. You may recall Prometheus v. Mayo in which doctors fought a biotech startup's methodology patents. Well, medical method patents (like Prometheus and another) are now being reconsidered on orders by the Supreme Court of certiorari (judicial review). Stocks of biotech startups jumped as this news broke but the question still remains how the lower Federal Circuit court will rule when it reconsiders these cases of medical testing. It's clear that the Supreme Court has 'ruled that judges should be more flexible in determining if methods, rather than objects, are eligible for patents, citing emerging technologies such as medical testing.' So Bilski may result in dire news for medical methods and testing patents."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - The Call For A Free Culture Funding Platform (

shadowmage13 writes: "Free culture has made a lot of great progress, but there it still a ways to go in order to take on business models based on keeping copyright's "all rights reserved". Currently, the Software Freedom Conservancy exists as a fiscal sponsor for free software projects, but is a a ubiquitous funding platform needed to support more than just software projects and help free culture as a whole flourish? The #5 top question for Reddit's upcoming interview with Richard Stallman asks the related question, why has there not yet been an effort to develop a free software app store to support developers as an alternative to the corporate controlled Andoid Market and iPhone App Store? It's clear that more needs to be done to support the economy of free culture, software and content alike."

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