Quick News Links for Week Ending 5/4/2008

  • Holographic storage finally coming to market
    Bell Labs spin off InPhase has been promising this storage solution for some time, may be longer yet until it is available. However, this is not research, but close to market. Pricey but promises potential long term storage better than other optical or magnetic media.
  • FTC to hold companies liable for selling to criminals
    This is for offline companies and tracks a trend of erosion of safe harbors for online service providers. The impulse is understandable but may stifle business development due to the added cost, liability.
  • Research on effect of VR self image on real self image
    Lab at Stanford looking at the nature of virtual and online interactions. Studies mentioned remind me of active visualization but perhaps much more credible.
  • Programmers don’t read
    I agree with the criticism of programming books and the industry responsible. I for one, though, prefer to read as part of my learning process. This is also a long way to go just to recommend a reading list.
  • Hospitals concerned at disruption from white space devices
    Not sure how this is noteworthy for any two or more applications using unregulated spectrum. The fact that medial systems are involved increases the costs, but the article notes they had a protected channel legislated, this would be an opportunity to utilize it.
  • Parallel programming language, CUDA
    Language developed by Nvidia for its GPUs which are very parallel. Being used on that hardware for non-graphics applications. Seems to be adding positively to the academic discussion and Nvidia seems willing to share, support others in implementing.
  • Stanford secures funding for many core research
    This seems to be a competing yet complementary effort to the one at Berkeley. I can’t help but think such generous funding will help in arriving at feasible, approachable solutions.
  • Pro-IP Act passes the House judiciary committee
    Not surprising since the author is on the committee. The increased damages have been stripped but the seizure aspects and pulling in of the DoJ for enforcement remain.
  • HOWTO protect your laptop’s data when traveling
    Some food for though around why drive encryption may not be as good as common wisdom suggests. Not having sensitive data on portables may be better, relying on secure VPNs to store and fetch from business site may be a better compromise.
  • Lifelock proves too good to be true
    Service turns out to be now better than what is already available from credit agencies. CEO’s own data has been compromised, massively, and apparently he is himself being investigated for fraud from a previous gig.
  • Two level encryption keys
    The idea is the key incorporates effective policy as well as just crypto parameters. The research is very new so it is unclear how to implement it. The potential benefits are pretty obvious in granting differential access instead of all or none to encrypted data.
  • New OLPC president
    New prez, Charles Kane, seems more concerned with improving sales, adoption than philosophical questions of open versus proprietary software. His attitude may realize fears of exiting chief, Bender, of OLPC becoming just another laptop vendor as opposed to a force for social change.
  • Author takes Rowling to task over Lexicon case
    Many have criticized Rowling, now including Card, and few, if any, have defended. Given Card’s thoughts, I am more inclined to consider the Lexicon fair use, agreeing with his characterization as “scholarly comment” and that the author isn’t claiming it to be a wholly original work of any kind.

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