Sony Announces Date for Blu-Ray Roll Out

Sony Announces Date for Blu-Ray Roll Out
yermoungder writes “Reuters is reporting that ‘Sony Pictures on Tuesday said it aims to deliver its new Blu-ray DVD format to U.S. stores on May 23 to coincide with the entry of compatible disc players, a new step in an industry war for control of home movie viewing.'”

I understand Blu-Ray has some serious improvments in DVD technology, including an increased capacity per disk, but It’s also packaged with with entirely to much potential for People to tell consumers what they can and cannot record for personal use.

NSA spying, Iran with Nukes, Bird flu, and more

NYT sues Pentagon over domestic spying

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Times sued the U.S. Defense Department on Monday demanding that it hand over documents about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program.

All I can say here is A) I hope NYT wins, and B) I’ll be interested to read those documents, I hope NYT publishes them if they win. This really IS a case of “The people have a right to know”

Iran expanding uranium enrichment work: IAEA

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran is forging ahead with a nuclear fuel enrichment program in defiance of world pressure and stonewalling U.N.  probes spurred by fears it secretly wants atomic weapons, a U.N.  watchdog report said on Monday.

Iran with Nuclear weapons. Now that’s a thought that’ll spark bomb shelter sales all over Israel.

Bird flu hits poultry markets but officials hopeful

PARIS (Reuters) – France began vaccinating thousands of geese and ducks against avian flu on Monday and Niger became the second West African country to be hit by the virus, spreading among birds at unprecedented speed.

I don’t know what those officials are hopeful about. This avian flu has so far turned out to be one of the most virulent, deadly, fastest spreading varieties since the 1918 version.

So far, It’s spread from China, all over Asia, into the Middle-East, and now it’s showing up in Europe. It’s got a really high mortality rate and efforts to contain outbreaks have resulted in millions of birds having to be destroyed.

From what I’ve read on it and flu viruses in general it looks like it’s only a matter of time before it spreads to humans. Once it does, Today’s fast paced traveling culture is going to have it showing up all over the planet within weeks of the first human infection. Remember, When a person first contracts flu, they’re actually very contagious for anywhere from 1 to 7 days before they even develop symptoms.

Can any one say “Captain Trips”?

…I knew you could.

“Qaeda escapee” says will take fight to US soil

DUBAI (Reuters) – A Web site often used by militants posted a video tape on Monday in which a purported al Qaeda escapee from a U.S.  airbase in Afghanistan vowed to fight Americans in Iraq and the United States.

To the al Qaeda escapee who thinks he’s going to bring his fight here, I’m reminded of the scene at the end of Dirty Harry where he asks the punk if he feels lucky.

Well, DO YA, PUNK?

Just where is this website that militants are posting video tapes and threats? Not that I would EVER want to support them in any way, but still … sometimes it’s good to see something for yourself. Especially when it’s evidence of Evil.

AOL – Yahoo to allow spam for a fee.

Diverse Groups Team Up to Fight E-Mail Fee
Feb 27, 9:56 PM (ET)
By WILL LESTER
WASHINGTON (AP) – A variety of interest groups have joined forces to fight a proposed bulk e-mailing fee they claim strikes at the heart of online communication – a level playing field for rich and poor.

America Online plans to introduce a service that would charge businesses and other bulk e-mailers a fee to route their e-mail directly to a user’s mailbox without first passing through junk mail filters. Yahoo has announced similar plans.

“The creativity and ingenuity that have driven the Internet have always relied on an open platform where the haves and have-nots get treated equally,” said Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action. “This e-mail tax system is a big step toward dismantling that system.”

This is another move that would never be considered if the concept of ‘Net Nutrality’ were solidly in place, by legal measures if need be, to keep the Interent a level playing field for everyone.

Not to mention the idea that if somebody selling some product that user don’t want pays a fee, AOL & Yahoo are apparently more than willing to guarantee that the user gets this email, even if they, by chosing to activate spam filters has made it clear that they do NOT want unsolicited emails.

All in all, this is another reason why outfits like AOL and Yahoo will never see any of MY money as long as I have ANY choice in the matter.

Mobile tracking devices on trial

Is your cell phone is spying on you?

There’s now services available that allow you to be tracked by way of that handly little cellphone.

Mobile tracking devices on trial

By Spencer Kelly

Your mobile phone is a beacon – a radio transmitter in a box.  Therefore it is possible to trace the signal and work out where it is.

There are now several web companies which will track your friends’ and family’s phones for you, so you always know where they are.

But just how safe is it to make location details available online?

There are several reasons why you may want to track someone. You may be a company wanting to keep tabs on employees during work hours, or a parent wanting to check up on a child’s whereabouts.

These sorts of tracking services, now available in the UK, get information from the network about which cell your phone is currently in, and, for a small fee, display the location on an online map.

Full Article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/4747142.stm

This article is talking about paid services where the owner of the phone to be tracked has to consent to the tracking but this raises questions.

You see, not only can cellphones be tracked by what cell tower they’re connecting to and by triangulating their position from several cell towers based on the direction and strength of the phones signal from each of them. But now more and more of them are equipped with GPS technology that allows their positions to be determined to within a few feet.

It’s not at all unreasonable to imagine circuits built into a cellphone that would allow it’s GPS chip to be queried remotely without the person carrying the phone being aware. It’s also possible for that same kind of silent remote control to activate the phone’s microphone and turn it into a open transmitter, again without the knowledge of the person carrying the phone.

The first response to this suggestion is naturally “Then I’ll just turn the phone off.” There’s two problems with that.

1) If the phone is off, you miss incoming calls.

2) Just because you press a button that says ‘Off’ and the display turns off does not mean that the phone is disabled or rendered incapable of receiving silent remote commands to activate it’s microphone or query it’s GPS chip.

I’m not saying that this sort of thing is even going on right now.  Simply that it’s possible and given that possiblity, how would you defeat it?

Iran says it has basic atomic agreement with Russia (Reuters)

I guarantee we’re going to wish this one hadn’t happened.

Reuters – Iran has reached a “basic” agreement with Russia on a joint venture to enrich uranium and will contine talks in coming days, Iran’s nuclear chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said on Sunday.

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