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Topic: Miscellaneous 5:15 am EDT, Jun 10, 2009

Ever wondered about what's really in hair coloring, Silly Putty, Cheese Wiz, artificial snow, or self-tanners? C&EN presents a collection of articles that gives you a look at the chemistry behind a wide variety of everyday products.

fun read...


Big Blue Saw Economic Stimulus Sale
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:14 am EST, Feb 20, 2009

At Big Blue Saw, we're committed to doing our part to help you through these tough economic times. Our plan to help the world's economy is to allow you, the customer, to purchase waterjet cutting of 0.08" aluminum parts at prices previously only available to "the big guys".

From Tuesday, March 3 through Tuesday, March 10, 2009, when you use our website to order any part made from 0.08" aluminum alloy 5052, you will receive a quantity discount. We're hoping that our customers will use this sale to make the metal parts that kick start the next wave of business. Just use our online ordering system, and the discount will be automatically applied.

Thanks again for using Big Blue Saw.

If you need any parts this is a good deal...

Big Blue Saw Economic Stimulus Sale

Facebook's Terms Of Use Draws Protest
Topic: Technology 2:32 pm EST, Feb 17, 2009

Facebook members own the information on the site and control who sees it, but when they terminate their accounts Facebook claims it retains the right to use the information.

That stipulation, contained in Facebook's updated user terms, has created confusion and drawn protest from users who believe that the social networking site could use information that they deem personal indefinitely and for any purposes it chooses.

Facebook's Terms Of Use Draws Protest

taly police warn of Skype threat
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:29 pm EST, Feb 14, 2009

Criminals in Italy are increasingly making phone calls over the internet in order to avoid getting caught through mobile phone intercepts, police say.

Officers in Milan say organised crime, arms and drugs traffickers, and prostitution rings are turning to Skype in order to frustrate investigators.

The police say Skype s encryption system is a secret which the company refuses to share with the authorities.

Investigators have become increasingly reliant on wiretaps in recent years.

Customs and tax police in Milan have sounded the alarm.

They overheard a suspected cocaine trafficker telling an accomplice to switch to Skype in order to get details of a 2kg 4.4lb drug consignment.

Use of wiretaps by prosecutors in Italy has grown exponentially in recent years.

Heated debate

Investigators say intercepts of telephone calls have become an essential tool of the police, who spend millions of dollars each year tracking down crime through wiretaps of landlines and mobile phones.

But the law may be about to change.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi s right-wing government has drawn up a bill which would restrict police wiretaps to only the most serious crimes.

Much crime reporting in the Italian media is based on leaks of wiretaps and leading politicians, including Mr Berlusconi himself, have found to their embarrassment that details of their private telephone conversations have sometimes been leaked to newspapers.

Under the new law reporting of details of criminal investigations obtained through wiretaps would become illegal until a final verdict has been delivered.

Given the extreme slowness of Italian justice, this would mean that details of cases now before the courts might be reported by the press only in 15 years time.

Not only have Italian journalists been protesting at the new draft bill, but a heated debate is also going on about it within the country s highest body for the administration of justice - the supreme council of the magistrature, composed of the country s top judges.

taly police warn of Skype threat

Microsoft Sued Over Vista-To-XP Downgrade Fees
Topic: Technology 7:32 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

A Los Angeles computer user has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), claiming that fees the software maker and its partners charge for downgrading PCs from Windows Vista to the older XP operating system violate antitrust rules.

Hmm the cost of Vista is much more? WTF?

Microsoft Sued Over Vista-To-XP Downgrade Fees

FTC Sets Updated Online Privacy Guidelines
Topic: Business 7:31 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

How is your personal information protected on the Web? The Federal Trade Commission sought to clarify that question this week with the release of updated principles regarding online behavioral advertising.

In 2007, the FTC held a town hall on Web advertising, and issued five proposed principles regarding online advertising.

Those guidelines include: increased transparency and consumer control; reasonable security and limited retention of consumer data; express consent to change existing privacy policies; consent to use sensitive data for behavioral advertising; and a call for additional information on how companies use tracking data for purposes other than behavioral advertising.

The agency solicited public comment on these guidelines and released an updated version on Thursday that tweaks the principles slightly.

FTC Sets Updated Online Privacy Guidelines

Microsoft Puts Up $250K Reward For Conficker Creators
Topic: Technology 7:30 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

In an effort to impede the spread of the Conficker malware, Microsoft is forming a coalition composed of security industry researchers and academia to tackle the problem.

And to spur the effort, the newly formed coalition is offering a $250,000 bounty for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of malware authors responsible for launching the Conficker worm over the Web. Microsoft researchers say that the reward serves as a counteracting force for what the security industry considers a criminal attack. Residents of any country are eligible for the reward, according to their national laws, due to the fact that the Conficker worm affects businesses and individuals on a global scale.

Him smells of why Microsoft needs to do more work on software design too... :|

Microsoft Puts Up $250K Reward For Conficker Creators

Apple, MPAA, RIAA attack DRM circumvention requests
Topic: Technology 7:27 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

Apple has issued a strident defense of iPhone DRM, calling it a business model issue that the Copyright Office has no business intruding upon. The EFF begs to differ. Welcome to another installment of "DMCA Triennial Anticircumvention Exception Wars," one in which rightsholders are terrified at slip-sliding down that slippery slope to total DRM circumvention.

Every three years, the Copyright Office hosts a rulemaking in which it considers specific exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) rules against circumventing DRM, and the comments are now in for the current round. This year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has pushed hard for an exemption on jailbreaking the Apple iPhone, allowing people to install and run applications of their choice that don't come from the official App Store. Now, Apple has responded with a ringing defense of DRM and its business practices, siding with groups like the MPAA and RIAA against exemptions.

Love the "FUD" ref. in the article...

Apple, MPAA, RIAA attack DRM circumvention requests

How to get Phone IMEI number with J2ME / JavaME...
Topic: Technology 7:18 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

How to get Phone IMEI number with J2ME / JavaME

International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is used to identify valid devices connected to GSM and UMTS network. This number can be accessed from a mobile phone by dialing *#06# on the keypad. IMEI is commonly use by software developers as part of software protection scheme to prevent it from being pirated.

JavaME developers however suffers from a drawback because MIDP/CLDC specification does not include an API to obtain IMEI from mobile devices. However there are few phone manufacturers included this functionality through System.getPropery() calls.

Here's how to get IMEI number from mobile devices of different manufacturers

How to get Phone IMEI number with J2ME / JavaME...

Build a cool location based application and win $2500 and more with the Peek/Xtify Integration Contest!
Topic: Technology 6:53 pm EST, Feb 13, 2009

Imagine the opportunity to develop something, present it in front of all of your peers, have thousands of people hear about it, plus win money and cool prizes.

Grand Prize

* Present the winning app at the New York Tech Meetup in front of many of your peers
* You will get posted about on
* If its really good you will get to pitch it to our VCs
* $2500 cold hard cash
* A Peek for life
* Travel & accomodation to New York

For second place you'll win a Peek + 1 year of service.

Exact details can be found in the detailed terms & conditions and rules of the competition here
The Rules In A Nutshell

* The contest officially opens Feb 18th, 2009.
* Registration is open until March 15th.
* The contest closes on March 31st (the application must be submitted by then).
* We will make announcements the second week of April.
* Anybody can join who does not work for Xtify or Peek or is a judge of this competition.

Read here for complete rules and terms and conditions.
How To Get Started?

* In order to register you have to join the contest forums
* Create a thread in there and tell us what you are building
* You will probably need a Peek. You can buy one here
* Make sure you have the latest software, 1.08 on your Peek. See for details.
* Download the xtify APIs and documentation here
* Find somewhere to run your app (, 1and1, dreamhost, etc).

Tom & Nick check this out... and this might be something you use... Looks cool... and yes I do own a peek...

Build a cool location based application and win $2500 and more with the Peek/Xtify Integration Contest!

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