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US Government Checking Up On Vista Users? 291

Paris The Pirate writes "This article at Whitedust displays some very interesting logs from Vista showing connections to the DoD Information Networking Center, United Nations Development program and the Halliburton Company; for no reason other than the machine was running Vista. From the article 'After running Vista for only a few days — with a complete love for the new platform the first sign of trouble erupted. I began noticing latency on my home network connection — so I booted my port sniffing software and networking tools to see what was happening. What I found was foundation shaking. The two images below show graphical depictions of what has and IS trying to connect to my computer even in an idle state'."
Microsoft

Microsoft Using .MS TLD 308

mqudsi writes "Microsoft is using the .MS top-level domain, assigned to the Caribbean island of Montserrat, for its Web 2.0-flavored Popfly project. You can get your own .MS name if you really want to — there are no restrictions on foreign ownership — at $180 US for 2 years. As of this writing microsoft.ms is available." In an obliquely related note, TechBlorge has up a rumination on the resemblance of the Popfly logo to Tux.
Google

1-800-Google Launches 123

The Webguy wrote to mention a C|Net article talking about Google's newest toy - Local Voice Search. The service is dirt simple: you call a 1-800 number and, via voice recognition software, say the category of business you're trying to reach. You can also try for a specific name, though the C|Net blogger had some problems with that. The Google Blog has been updated with details as well: "Google Voice Local Search lets you search for local businesses from any phone and for free. If you're in the US, call 1-800-GOOG-411 and say what you want to find. Here are some of the features -You can find a business listing by category. Just say "pizza," for example. You can send the listing details to your mobile phone via SMS. The service is fully automated, so it doesn't rely on human operators. It connects you directly to the business, free of charge."
Space

One Step Closer To Spaceport America 149

space_hippy writes "The next step for a project we've previously discussed has now come around: thanks to a sales tax increase it seems as though the residents of Dona Ana county in New Mexico will be playing host to the first American commercial spaceport. From the BBC article: 'Residents in the US state of New Mexico have approved a new tax to build the nation's first commercial spaceport. Dona Ana County is a relatively poor and bleak swath of desert in southern New Mexico with fewer than 200,000 residents. But voters passed a 0.25% increase in the local sales tax to help contribute to the cost of building Spaceport America. Sir Richard Branson has signed a long-term lease with the state of New Mexico to make the new spaceport the headquarters of his Virgin Galactic space tourism business. The spaceport is expected to open in 2009, and Virgin Galactic says space flights will cost around $200,000 for a 2.5-hour flight.'"
Science

China Systematically Developing New Technologies 261

newsblaze writes "China, having recognized there are major gaps in its science and technology arsenal, released their Technology Development Plans. The plans cover five main areas — geology, mechanical engineering, metallurgical engineering and aeronautical engineering. Three areas are prioritized in space technology and six major goals are announced. All this comes after having first set out their 100 Year Vision of Greatness. They appear to be giving themselves a breathing space, telling the world they are interested in cooperation and also giving themselves a major target, in much the same way as John F Kennedy did for the USA."

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