Darpa wants YOU to race a robot!

Darpa is sponsoring a race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The catch is that the race car has to have no human involvement. It has to be completely autonomous. This includes refueling, guidance, and collision avoidance. The race will include both on and off road segments, but there will be only race-related traffic on the roads during the race.

The race will be in February 2004, so get working on those robotic vehicles!

Senate Puts Brakes on Big Brother

[from bOINGbOING:]

The Senate has voted to put the brakes on Total Information Awareness and the Dread Real Admiral Poindexter’s plan to spy on every American just in case someone does something suspicious. This is great news, and now we just need to make sure that the objections raised by the Senate stick.

By a voice vote, the Senate voted to ban funding for the Total Information Awareness program, under former national security adviser John Poindexter, until the Pentagon explains the program and assesses its impact on civil liberties.

Wow, actually stopping for a moment to consider American’s civil liberties? I’m shocked. How very non-post-911.

The Vultures are circling, waiting.

From Doc Searls weblog: Doc Searls

From: cbp-owner@lists.studiob.com
[mailto:cbp-owner@lists.studiob.com]On Behalf Of Ivan Hoffman Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 10:42 AM
To: cbp@lists.studiob.com
Subject: [cbp] ELDRED DECISION

Dear All:

As many of you by now no doubt have heard, the Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. Read “When Do Copyrights Expire?” on my site. Click on “Articles for Writers and Publishers.”

If you create or own copyright rights in intellectual property, then this decision is very much in your interest. Intellectual property is today’s means of production and the source of wealth in the world today. You just have to look at the top 10 richest people in the world to see that. A hundred years ago, the source of wealth might have been steel mills etc. Later, the source of wealth might have been real estate and the like. Today, the source of wealth is IP. Ownership of IP rights is essential if your goal is to be successful and wealthy. That is the reason I constantly stress the need to “own everything.”

All your dealings, all your contracts etc. should be with the view toward owning everything. You should also spend some time on my site on the link “Articles About Being an Entrepreneur.” And on that latter link, read “The Do It Yourself Publishing Lawyer,” “What Business Are You In?”, “Set To Fail” and “The Need for Vision” on my site. Click on “Articles About Being an Entrepreneur.”

Attorney at Law
Lawyering With Integrity
Internet Law, Publishing Law, Copyrights,
Trademarks, Fine Art Law,
Corporate Training and Online Education Law,
Web Design Law, Music Law.
*A 7 Times Award Winning Site.*


Smartphone hack

DIY hack for Orange SPV smartphone revealed

A bunch of keen users of Orange’s SPV smartphone were hacked off that they couldn’t load third party applications onto their mobile phones. So they discovered a way of manually editing two configuration files using a PC and sending those changes down to the SPV via synchronisation software. Delighted with their achievement, these hackers promptly published the necessary instructions on the Internet. This has led to a bizarre situation whereby SPV owners can go onto Orange’s Update web site and download a patch that will prevent the ‘hack’ from working – even though the only person that could install the hack would be themselves. Eh? To give these enthusiasts some incentive to stop finding ways to make the SPV more useful, Orange has announced that in about 45 days time it will probably launch a Web site aimed at helping those who want to develop applications which it will officially approve of.

SERIOUS Product Placement

We consumers may have shot ourselves in the foot with the whole skip-through-the-commercials via PVRs thing. According to a piece in Friday’s NYTimes, advertisers, nervous over loss of eyeballs, are planning on putting the commercials right inside your fave TV shows. They’re floating a test balloon on the concept over at the WB (natch). It’ll be a weekly variety show aimed at a youth audience. Ads will appear on stage with singers and sponsored products will be worked into comedy bits.

Interestingly enough, this is TV coming full circle. The Ted Mack Amateur Hour (and other variety and game shows) used to do such things at the dawn of television. But then, working in blatant product advertising into the middle of a police drama or sitcom. THAT’S new. Wonder how they’ll handle it in sci-fi? “Look Captain, we’ve just uncovered an ancient Terran artifact. According to its markings, its a ‘Midas Muffler.’ I bet early 21st century Earthlings didn’t have to pay a lot for this.”

Prototype Solo Trek for Auction

In what has become an increasingly popular method of stirring up hype, press, and possibly “angel funding,” the first Solo Trek personal flying machine (or Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle, if you want the cool sounding acronym ” XFV”) is up for sale on eBay. Get it while you can, unless you already blew your wad buying an overpriced “Ginger.”

Garmin Enters PDA Market

Garmin, maker of the most diverse line of Global Position System (GPS) receivers, has announced a new handheld GPS that also does double-duty as a PDA. The new device, called the iQue, runs Palm OS5 on an ARM processor (probably 175 MHz), making it compatible with most of the existing software for Palms, and ready for new programs with powerful mutimedia features. The iQue has an integrated flip-up antenna that activates the GPS, saving power when it’s down. The included software has point-to-point directions and voice guidance, as well as all the other GPS features you’d expect from a Garmin. The maps are displayed in full color on the hi-res 320×480 screen. With 32 megs of RAM and an SD slot for expansion, there’s plenty of room for apps or maps. Expected retail price is just under $600. Full specs at Garmin.

Fan Noise

Got a noisy G4? Many Apple G4 owners complain about excessive fan noise, so much so that there’s a website dedicated to discussing and fixing the problem. Its name? Well, G4Noise, of course.