The very first test of the National Emergency Alert System today, but it appears that the new high-tech system that was due to take over all the airwaves failed fairly spectacularly. At 2PM eastern time, the system was supposed to break into radio and all TV channels to ensure all the parts were working as expected. Instead, many regions didn’t get any alerts at all.
Sources close to Google claim that the search giant is mulling the possibility of breaking ties with the US Chamber of Commerce. The issues stem from the Chamber’s strong support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Google’s staunch opposition to it. SOPA and the E-PARASITE provisions from the US House would essentially saddle Google and other tech firms online with the task of policing web sites for copyright-infringing behavior.
In Washington today, someone got something done. If that was not shocking enough, it was the FCC. We can wait while you compose yourself. The FCC voted unanimously today to re-purpose the universal service program, which was used to get phone service to rural Americans. The fun will now be used to deliver broadband internet access to the most remote areas of the nation.
An apple a day may keep those pesky, prodding doctors at bay, but apparently, the odor from an Apple supplier’s factory is all it takes to keep nearby residents away. Catcher Technology builds those oh-so-sleek aluminum cases that give Apple’s laptops their distinct look, but Chinese citizens near the company’s Fenghuang City factory say they stink. In fact, things got so bad that officials recently temporarily shut the facility down.
The idea of Amazon’s Silk browser, for the Kindle Fire is an intriguing one. By caching web assets ahead of time, Amazon hopes to accelerate the browsing experience. But running all user traffic through Amazon’s EC2 cloud has made some privacy-minded people a little uneasy. Now members of Congress are starting to ask questions, and some of them are not totally ridiculous.
Nearly the entire internet has been railing against a certain international treaty called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) since details were leaked in 2008. After the backlash, the language of the document was toned down and some more onerous requirements were dropped. Now ACTA-light is heading for a signing ceremony this weekend.
Whistleblower site WikiLeaks has gone ahead and published online its massive archive of unedited leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, exposing the names of thousands of informants and potentially putting them at risk of incarceration or deadly forms of retaliation. In the past, WikiLeaks made sure to edit out names of informants before publishing sensitive documents, and now that the cat is out of the bag, the finger pointing has begun.
It’s no great surprise that most people are confused when they first hear about the amorphous digital currency known as Bitcoin. Some customs agents in Seattle were more than a little confused when they screened a well-known Chinese Bitcoin developer. “Doctor Nefario” arrived with just $600 in cash. Agents determined he could not fund his two month stay in America, so they shipped him home, but not before asking him some questions.
Government bureaucrats have a reputation for being stodgy and without a sense of humor. Well, the aid tasked with running the @whitehouse Twitter account might have just proved that wrong. The White House just Rickrolled a user that complained about the entertainment value of recent Obama briefings. Take that!
After more than 90 legally questionable domain seizures for the non-crime of criminal contributory copyright infringement, the Department of Justice is facing its first suit from Puerto 80, the Spanish owners of Rojadirecta. The complaint tells the disturbing story of trying to discuss the seizure with the government and being ignored for months. Only after filing suit did the DOJ start returning phone calls, but even then the government's compromise was the illogical and impossible request that Rojadirecta's users never post a link to U.S. content. The New York Department of Homeland Security needs to take some Internet classes at their local community college.