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Germany Demands Google Forfeit Citizens' Wi-Fi Data 318

eldavojohn writes "Germany has ordered Google to give up hard disk drives used to store German data collected during their Street View operations in that country. This follows Google's admission last week (after prodding from the Germans) that it had collected the data from unsecured wireless area networks from around the entire world as its roving cars collected the photo archive for Street View. Google says they've offered to just destroy the data, in cooperation with national regulators, but the German government wants to know what they've collected. They do not think that destroying the drives suffices for compliance with the laws. Officials went so far as to say of the situation, 'It is not acceptable that a company operating in the EU does not respect EU rules.' Germany has certainly been keeping their eye on the search giant." The Ars coverage notes that the US FTC may be looking more closely at Google's collection as well.

Comment Yay for knobs! (Score 1) 329

My previous microwave oven had a knob for intensity and a knob for duration. That's it. You set the intensity, you set the duration, it starts cooking, and it dings when it's done. These were fully analog knobs, no digital electronics of any kind were involved.

When it broke (set itself on fire after twenty years of faithful service), the simplest replacement I could find had a numeric keypad, an LCD display, and a bunch of buttons that I can't read without glasses. It won't work until you tell it what time it is. Every time there's a power glitch, I have to tell the god damned microwave oven what time it is before I can warm up a burrito. I don't intend to use the automatic timer feature, ever. Why would I want an appliance that can potentially set itself on fire to operate when I'm not around? But the thing goes on strike until I set the time.

My previous automatic watering timer had a knob for frequency and a knob for duration. That's it. You set how often it should run, and you set how long it should run, and then you forget about it. These were digital-backed knobs, but knobs nevertheless.

When it broke (valve stuck), the simplest replacement I could find had one knob and a button. The button cycles through a bunch of modes to determine what the knob means. To tell you which mode you are in, there are also a few blinking LEDs that I can't see in bright sunlight or read the labels on without glasses. And guess what, one of the modes is time of day. The old timer got along without knowing the time of day, and this one could too.

In summary, I like knobs, and I don't like appliances that want to know what time it is.

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