GeekSpeak for 2010-10-09

Privacy and Bee-Mysteries

Police GPS in my bumper, two billion is too big for criminal tagging, fine a Facebook spammer, droid droid, and much Geek News.

US Offenders Unmonitored as Tagging System Fails

“Thousands of US sex offenders, prisoners on parole and other convicts were left unmonitored after an electronic tagging system shut down because of data overload.”

NAD Applauds Passage of 21st Century Accessibility Law

“On Friday, October 8, President Barack Obama will sign the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 into law and deliver brief remarks on the impact of this law on individuals with disabilities. Bobbie Beth Scoggins, President of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) with Chief Executive Officer Nancy Bloch and Law and Advocacy Director Rosaline Crawford will be on hand to witness this historic event at the White House, which will be streamed on whitehouse.gov/live.”

Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back

“A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.”

BBC alters link guidelines for online articles

“The BBC has revised its guidelines for linking to other websites in news articles. Reporters must now link to primary sources such as articles published in scientific journals, rather than simply linking to the homepage of the journal. The new guidelines also encourage reporters to ‘avoid [linking to] news stories’, in favour of linking to analysis.”

Facebook spammer fined $1 billion

A Montreal man who sent more than four million spam e-mails to Facebook users over a two-month period was ordered to pay the social media giant more than $1 billion in compensation.

Comcast Pushes Bot Alert Program Nationwide

Comcast, the nation’s largest residential Internet service provider, announced last week that it is expanding an initiative to contact customers whose PCs appear to be infected with a malicious bot program.

New Tool Suite Helps Track Privacy Policies

The Internet Society announced this week the availability of the Identity Management Policy Audit System, a suite of tools designed to give Internet users a clearer understanding of the online usage policies of the websites they visit.

Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food. Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

DROID R2-D2 by Motorola

The Motorola DROID R2-D2, Star Wars Special Edition handset was released on Sept 30th by Verizon Wireless. It is available online and in select stores for $249 after a $100 mail-in-rebate. The special-edition smartphone will come preloaded with notification sounds, ringtones, wallpapers, widgets, and music from the Star Wars movies.


! Geek Bit

Photos of the [microscopic world|http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1318795/Feeling-chipper-wood-ant-caught-bringing-science-life.html] from an electron scanning microscope.