CITIZENS FOR A MURDER-FREE AMERICA

Any Philip Dick fans out there? Take a look at Precrime, the web headquarters of Citizens for a Murder-Free America. Precrime proposes using a revolutionary new technology called previsualization that allows police detectives to witness, verify, and halt murders before they occur.

It’s just for fun, of course. It’s part of the marketing for Minority Report, the summer movie by Steven Spielberg starring Tom Cruise, based on a Philip Dick story. […] continued

Read more

SEGWAY

I feel like I missed something obvious. Maybe you already knew this.

Remember the Segway scooter created by Dean Kamen and announced in December? Battery-powered, using computers and gyroscopes to make it almost impossible to tip over. Kamen has a wheelchair going through final FDA tests that uses some of the same technology to make it impossibly stable. […] continued

Read more

PRIVACY INVASIONS AND THE PATRIOT ACT

According to this story, the Patriot Act (passed last October) has produced results that might take you by surprise. The Patriot Act gave law enforcement officials expanded authority to subpoena information without a court order. The result is that the telecommunications industry and Internet service providers face an escalating barrage of subpoenas for subscriber lists, personal credit reports, financial information, routing patterns that reveal individual computer use, even customer photographs. […] continued

Read more

COSTCO DEALS

Some good deals at Costco right now.

A stack of 100 blank TDK CDRs is $29.99 at the register, and there’s a $20 rebate from Costco. (Unlike other rebates, Costco processes rebate forms quickly and actually mails the checks.) Ten bucks for a hundred blank CDRs! Incidentally, don’t be confused – these are labeled “Data CDRs,” but they are perfectly good for music CDs as well. […] continued

Read more

TIME WARNER HELL

Two announcements from Time Warner today that should strike fear into your heart, as we move into a future controlled by corporations and inundated by advertising.

America Online plans to increase the intensity of advertising on AOL and Time Warner web sites. (You thought it was bad already? Chuckle. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.) […] continued

Read more

GENDER GRAMMAR

I don’t know if this is correct, but it’s interesting. The Register quotes from a Microsoft technical note that uses “she” to refer to actions by a potential hacker, and adds this comment:

All right, I’m only going to say this once: ‘He’ is the singular indefinite pronoun in English (“if a person drinks too much, he will likely experience a hangover”).

[…] continued Read more

YOUNGSTERS ARE ALL THUMBS

According to a new study (reported in the Guardian Unlimited Observer), the thumbs of people under 25 have become the hand’s most muscled and dextrous digits. Almost all people over 25 rely on their forefinger as their hand’s primary tools, but under-25s have grown up with handheld technologies – mobile phones, GameBoys, and computers – and they are more likely to instinctively use their thumbs. […] continued

Read more

THE REGISTER COMES TO THE U.S.

The Register is one of the best online sites for tech news and gossip. It’s one of my daily stops. The original site is based in Britain and has a fair amount of local news. Today a U.S. edition of The Register was unveiled – same content, but without the local British coverage. […] continued

Read more

R.I.P. CHUCK JONES

Chuck Jones, legendary animation director and artist, best known for his work on the Looney Tunes cartoon series, died on Friday. Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros. most famous characters — Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig – and he created Road Runner, Wile E. […] continued

Read more

THE NEWS IS OR ISN’T AMBIGUOUS

On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that America Online was in negotiations to buy Linux manufacturer Red Hat – leading to lots of talking heads speculating about the possibility that AOL would make a head-on assault against Windows on the desktop.

Today, America Online denied the reports in particularly vigorous terms. […] continued

Read more

SALE ON BLANK CDRS

If you need to stock up on blank 80-minute CDRs, Amazon has spindles of 50 Fuji CDRs for $14.99, with free shipping. Good deal!

[…] continued Read more

THE SCOOTER FORMERLY KNOWN AS GINGER

The “Segway Human Transporter” is out in the open now – Dean Kamen’s battery-powered, highly balanced scooter that caused a hubbub when some high-tech folks gushed enthusiastic and it leaked into the press. I kind of like the looks of it (here’s The New York Times article about it). […] continued

Read more

KAISER BUYS WEBVAN ASSETS

A fascinating look at technology recycling – and a sobering example of how little the assets of failed dot-coms are worth. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals is taking over Webvan’s lease on its giant Oakland warehouse and buying the software and machinery to run Webvan’s highly automated equipment.

Webvan spent twenty million dollars on equipment for high speed distribution, and one hundred million dollars developing the software to run the warehouse. […] continued

Read more

THE FUTURE AS SCIENCE FICTION

John Heilemann wrote an article for PC Magazine a few weeks ago describing some of the things that might become part of our world in the next thirty years. It’s always dangerous to predict the future, but his central point is well taken and already starting to be felt. The next wave will not be about computers, but rather about what can be accomplished with ubiquitous computing power. […] continued

Read more

PRIVACY

One of the pieces of legislation being reviewed to deal with terrorism would permit Internet surveillance without a court order. The scope of that surveillance was debated at a Congressional committee meeting on Tuesday. The bill’s advocates argue that prosecutors should be able to intercept e-mail headers (TO: and FROM:), since it’s analogous to what they can discover about incoming and outgoing phone calls. […] continued

Read more