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March 1 to 7, 2004
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New Tech
Cinergy becomes the first electric utility in the U.S. to offer high-speed Internet service via its power lines. The benefits of using such as service in Hawaii are obvious (reach rural areas, less cables to the house) - who else besides HECO is looking into doing this locally? The service is 1mb/sec for $30 a month:
To save money, school systems and other organizations are building their own DIY fiber networks and selling off the excess bandwidth instead of paying up the nose to regional operators (such as Verizon):
Philips developed a "fluid lens" - a variable-focus lens system with no mechanical moving parts that mimics the human eye's focusing mechanism:
The first car designed by women for women was launched at the Geneva Auto Show, with emphasis on comfort, storage, and low maintenance:
Also (to be) shown at the show, the first hybrid sports car from a major automaker (Toyota). It looks groovy, gets 31 mpg, and goes from 0 to 60 in four seconds:
The Operating System Cold War
Heard of SCO, that company that's suing Linux users? According to an acknowledged memo, Microsoft may be funding them to the tune of $86 million... but it is clear that Microsoft wishes to fund SCO through private investments in public companies:
Intellectual Property Law and You
An influential Washington policy group released a report stating that the entertainment industry's pursuit of anti-piracy laws is bad for business and for the economy:
How I Lost The Big One
Lawrence Lessig's article on why he thinks he lost last year's Supreme Court battle over copyright terms:
Someone's collecting all the election-related wire service stories on Yahoo that use the phrase "The American People". See how politicians are using your name in vain!
Wireless technology is helping native Americans in California go online and learn computing skills:
The first music video ever to be entirely shot using a cell phone. Reminds me of the first movies made for the Web ten years ago - in another ten directors may be viewing dailies on their phones:
Movieoke is taking over! Lip-sync to your favorite scenes from movies:
1.8 tons of raw material are used to make your average desktop computer and monitor. Upgrading rather than replacing your computer saves more energy than recycling it:
Heating trend in North Pacific baffles researchers:
Ozone Depletion Three Times Worse Than Predicted:
"For the first time, a microbial fuel cell has generated electricity while cleaning wastewater, a development that could make sewage treatment more affordable for both industrialized and developing nations, researchers said":
Remember that photojournal on shipbreaking, one of the most toxic and dangerous jobs on earth? Here's a short summary of some new technologies (including a wash that neutralizes PCBs) being used in the field:
Information Visualization
A network map of political books based on purchase patterns from major Web-based book retailers. It shows a great division in thinking... you could use this same sort of analysis to visually study political issues as well as buying patterns:
Sparklines - a great way of compressing information, from Edward Tufte's upcoming book Beautiful Evidence:
Nifty animations of typography set to music:
A great interview with Eugene Jarvis, the legendary creator of such video games as "Defender" and "Robotron":
Did you know that Jerry Garcia, Django Reinhardt, and Tony Iommi all had missing or damaged fingers?
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