My bags are packed, I’m ready to go. Taxi’s waiting outside my door. It’s time for one more news blast before I go-o-ooo.
The flush toilet was patented on this day in 1861. The Volkswagen came to America in 1949. The first TV sitcom, “The Goldbergs” also debuted that year. The Supreme Court ruled that home videotaping did not violate copyright laws in Sony vs. Universal, 1984.
Ben Franklin was born on this day in 1706. Muhammed Ali in 1942. Jim Carrey in 1962.
- It hardly seemed possible. Launch a probe in 1997 hoping to get it through an unbelievably hostile environment to the surface of Titan, one of the moons of Saturn, then expect it to start up the first time and send pictures back to Earth. And it worked. Take a look at the amazing pictures from Huygens at the European Space Administration site.
- Spyware vendors are piggybacking on Windows Media Player’s digital rights management to install spyware and viruses onto users’ systems. The hackers are using a feature in Media Player to pop up a web page loaded with spyware. Microsoft says there’s nothing wrong with WMP, but just in case you should install Service Pack 2 or turn Internet Explorer’s security settings to high.
- Carnivore we hardly knew ye. Turns out that the FBI quietly stopped using the controversial network surveillance hardware in 2002, preferring unnamed commercial products instead. The Patriot Act allows the FBI to snoop on Internet traffic without a warrant, but according to documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center under the Freedom of Information Act, the agency only used its Carnivore-like capabilities three times in 2002 and six times in 2003.
- Microsoft has released a “pretty rough” preview of Avalon, its next generation graphics and presentation engine to the public. Avalon was slated for Longhorn, but will ship for XP instead. Don’t expect anything pretty – Avalon is just an API for programmers. You can watch a video demo on Channel 9.
- Verizon is being sued by some subscribers for hobbling the Bluetooth implementation in Motorola’s v710 phones. Verizon prevents customers from sharing photographs and contacts over Bluetooth, forcing them to use Verizon’s paid services instead.
- Nicolas Ciarelli, the 19-year-old Harvard frosh and publisher of Apple rumor siteThink Secret is looking for legal help in his fight against Apple. The company is suing the site for publishing trade secrets in leaking news about the Mac mini and iPod Shuffle.
- New York ISP Panix lost its domain to hackers in Australia on Friday. Customers who go to Panix.com will be redirected to a phony site, and email is being sent to a company in Canada. Until the fix, the company is suggesting customers use panix.net instead of .com.
- Comcast is going to bump cable modem speeds later this year. Custmoers getting three megabits per second will get four. Upload speeds will increase from 256 kbps to 384.
- Streamload is offering 10GB of online storage free. You can only upload 100MB at a time, and are limited to 100MB download per month, however. You’ll have to pay $10/month to lift those restrictions.