All bets are off … and on
Looks like iTunes is about to set yet another record. It’s difficult to compete with a company that uses overseas child labor, but it looks like Apple’s iTunes will soon take the No. 1 music retailer position now occupied by Wal-Mart. Bodoglife.com, an online gambling site, is betting that Steve Job’s company will overcome the mega-box store corporation before the first day of 2009 at 5:12 a.m. (Note: The Chico News & Review does not condone gambling ).
Eye can prove it
I teach video production to high school students and they feel if an image can be found through a Google search (are there any other searches?), then it is fair game for them to use as they wish. Well, Canon Inc. is inventing a solution to this copyright problem by developing an option in future cameras to take a “two-way” photo.
When the photographer snaps a shot, the camera also takes an image of the shooter’s iris, digitally embedding the unique eyeball “finger print” information in the digital still’s metadata. This may not stop people from using others’ images, but it can prove copyright if ownership is challenged.
Free our free speech!
At a time when your civil and constitutional liberties are in great danger—not from bearded men in Afghan caves but from our own “elected” officials—a California judge came to his senses and reversed a decision he made to shut down a year-old Web site established to help whistleblowers anonymously post material.
In his reversal, San Francisco Federal Judge Jeffrey White ruled that the Web site’s postings of leaked documents from Swiss bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. are protected as free speech by the U.S. Constitution. The site wikileaks.org claims to have more than 1.2 million documents from anonymous sources. “Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking and public analysis … we expect to be of assistance to peoples of all countries who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations.”
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) was instrumental in the defense of our constitution in this case.
Do not wash your shirt
Has your cell phone or iPod run out of juice? Plug it into your shirt. Well, not quite yet as the “piezoelectric” generators (generation of electricity in response to mechanical stress) in clothing being developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology is still in the experimental state.
But as the journal Nature reported in mid-March, the nanogenerators—small brush-like wires 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair—can generate up to 80 milliwatts per square meter of fabric. This is enough to power a small MP3 player or charge a cell phone. What’s cooler is the nanogenerators are able to self reproduce and are coated with gold. One major drawback at the moment: They can’t survive being washed.
Wacky Web site of the Week
Running from immigration officers is fun and games; or maybe just a video game in this case. Another “Game for Change,” ICED: I Can End Deportation, is a free online game striving to bring awareness to immigration issues from the pro-immigration-rights group Breakthrough. www.icedgame.com