Techman Texts: London enters its own domain on the Web
November 18, 2013 10:41 PM
AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis
Ye olde London has gone digital.
By Ced Kurtz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
London is the first city to be awarded an Internet domain name -- .london.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers awarded the city the rights to its own domain name and businesses, organizations and individuals can begin applying this spring for .london Web addresses.
New York, Paris and Berlin are also believed to have applied for the same status, according to wired.co.uk.
The PG's Ced Kurtz and Laura Schneiderman talk about the efforts of Google and other search engines on the web that are working to block access to child pornography. (Video by Melissa Tkach; 11/18/2013)
So the obvious question:
A good idea: The FlyKly Smart Wheel is an electronic bicycle wheel capable of speeds of up to 20 miles per hour that can last for up to 30 miles on a charge. It fits onto almost any bicycle, transforming your existing bicycle into an electric bicycle. It costs $550 and some say it will cause a boom in urban biking.
In other good ideas:
* Iranian engineers have successfully tested a robot rescue drone with the ability to quickly locate drowning victims in the ocean and launch life-preserver floats to them, theverge.com reports. Thirteen successful tests were conducted in August over the Caspian Sea.
* The next generation of computer RAM may be out this year. Crucial Memory says the new DDR4 memory is 100 percent faster than DDR3, requires 20 percent less voltage and can fit up to 16Gb on a module, twice that of DDR3. It cannot, however, be inserted into existing motherboards. RAM is used by a computer for its internal operations.
A bad idea: The TSA has spent $1 billion deploying highly trained agents whose job is to detect deceptive behavior by observing a person's behavioral cues or indicators, says techdirt.com. A Government Accounting Office study of the program said the ability of these agents to detect security threats by studying people is the "same as or slightly better than chance."
Rein in the cable companies: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, W.Va.) has introduced legislation to control cable companies' dictating what channels customers are required to buy as part of bundled packages. The bill also would bar cable companies from entering into deals with broadcasters to keep their live content off Netflix, Hulu and other digital streaming services, and would shore up regulations against Internet Service Providers (such as Comcast and Verizon) degrading competing video services' traffic in favor of their own.
If you've ever been angered by being forced to buy a bundle that forces you to fund three shopping channels, this is the bill for you.
Another chapter: Google and the Authors Guild have spent eight years fighting over the legality of the huge book-scanning project, Google Books.
U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan ruled last week that the program is legal, and provides "significant public benefits." Since 2004, Google has scanned more than 20 million books, making snippets of them available to the public.
The Authors Guild said Google violated copyright law because books were scanned without permissions and vowed to appeal.
Website of the week:Technorati.com is a search engine for blogs and social media. The name is a blend of technology and literati.
Geek quote of the week: "You have just received the Amish Computer Virus. The Amish don't have computers, so it is based on the honor system. Please delete all files from your computer."
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