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Your Rights Online

Submission + - petition to make cell phone unlocking legal needs 15K petitions (

namalc writes: Recently the Librarian of Congress declared cell phone locking to be illegal for phones sold after Jan 26. Now, a petition is coming close to the number of signatures needed to get a formal response from the Whitehouse.

Submission + - Danger from RFID-enabled credit cards (

namalc writes: A scary report from local news station WREG shows how easy it is to steal credit card data from RFID credit cards. Hopefully reports such as this will start raising awareness that there are risks to the Paypass systems that the credit card companies are pushing.
The Military

Submission + - Military Bans Removable Media To Prevent Leaks (

krou writes: In an effort to try prevent future leaks, Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, commander of Air Force Network Operations, has issued a 'Cyber Control Order', which instructs airmen to 'immediately cease use of removable media on all systems, servers, and stand alone machines residing on SIPRNET', with similar instructions sent out to other branches of the military. 'Unauthorized data transfers routinely occur on classified networks using removable media and are a method the insider threat uses to exploit classified information. To mitigate the activity, all Air Force organizations must immediately suspend all SIPRNET data transfer activities on removable media'. Those who fail to comply 'shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.'

Comment Workaround for saveall (Score 2, Informative) 326

I found this workaround in the support forum:

1. in the upper right search box, search for jpg. (Presumably this will find all your photos)
2. In the upper left, under Albums, you should see a an album called 'Search results for "jpg"
3. Click the album name to enter the album. You should then be able to press the 'save' button to save all changes to disk.

Comment Not aware of a 'save all' (Score 1) 326

I do not believe there is a 'save all' feature within Picasa that will save ALL changes.
There is a 'save edited photos to disk' button within each folder that will save all changes made to that particular folder, but I don't know of any way to save change picasa-wide.

I guess the answer is tell your non-geek family members to press the 'save edited photos to disk' when they finish an editing session. (I forgot to mention earlier that when you press this button, picasa will back up the original photos to a subdirectory)

Comment Re:IPTC, Picasa & Lightroom (Score 5, Informative) 326

Picasa doesn't store its tagging info locally in each directory; this information is put in the "Program Files"

I'm often surprised by how few people understand how Picasa really works, as this is not the case.

Any potentially 'destructive' changes to a photo are stored in a picasa.ini file in each folder. These changes include rotations, cropping, sharpen, etc. When you view a photo in picasa, it displays with all these changes applied. You can undo a change at any time. Changes are NOT applied to the file on disk until you press 'save'.
To be clear, there is no magic, hidden, or proprietary database; it's just a simple per-directory picasa.ini file. As for backups, if you've backed up the directory including the picasa.ini file, then any non-saved changes will be backed up.

Non-destructive changes, such as captions or tags, are applied immediately to the photo. Again, to be clear, these are applied directly to the photo and can be read by any other photo tool that can read exif data.

The one exception to this is the recently introduced face tagging feature. Unfortunately, Google really messed up with their implementation of this feature. Facial tags are stored in a combination of the picasa.ini file & a central database. I've found the implementation to be quite poor, and I would not recommend using this feature.

Comment Re:Google Picassa (Score 2, Informative) 326

Picasa doesn't store its tagging info locally in each directory; this information is put in the "Program Files"

Um, no. Regular Picasa tags are stored in the file directly using the EXIF information. The exception is the facial tagging; that indeed is stored in the proprietary database.

Comment Not convinced it's not a joke or hoax (Score 1) 1224

After watching the episode, I'm not convinced it's not a joke or hoax.

For one thing, "beeping" offensive material is a pretty old way of removing offensive material (I think it comes from the old days of "beeping" out offensive material in live broadcasts). Today, you'd imagine the would have blanked the audio rather than beeping it. Using beeps just seems a little rigged.

Second, if you watch the closed captions, the beeped audio shows as "[BEEP]". This also seems planned to me.

Finally, if the show was so offensive that Comedy Central felt it had to beep nearly a minute of speeches at the end, I am surprised they just didn't pull the show.

Comment microusb vs miniusb (Score 1) 118

Regarding the microusb connector, my experience is the opposite. The MiFi is the first device I've had using this connector. In comparison, my phone, my cameras, my GPS's, etc all use the miniusb connector. I must have two dozen of these cables lying around. Meanwhile, I now have to remember to pack the "special" microusb cable for the Mifi.

(And, size-wise, I don't see any reason why they couldn't have used miniusb instead of microusb)

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