A solar sail functions like a regular sailboat sail. But instead of wind, the solar sail is bombarded by photons, particles of light from the Sun. The sail is also extremely thin, between 40 to 100 times thinner than a sheet of paper. Ideally, these sails will allow satellites or space stations to move and perform maneuvers without using conventional rockets, which consume lots of fuel, quickly run out of said fuel, and … Read more
It looks like San Francisco political bloggers may be able to rest easy. Maybe.
The Board of Supervisors has been considering an ordinance that would regulate some forms of online politicking, though it wasn't clear exactly what it meant. But after an Internet-based outcry, a narrow majority seems to have decided to take a more laissez-faire approach.
Basically the politicos on Tuesday divided one piece of legislation into two different components for procedural reasons. Each is more blog-friendly than the original. Version #1 simply deletes the word "Internet," while Version #2 specifies that only paid Internet advertisements … Read more
It only took seven years and a million dollars, but a government report about that "Internet" thing is finally complete.
The National Academies' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board published its study on Thursday -- long after Congress approved a nearly-forgotten requirement that an investigation be conducted into Internet addresses and governance.
Back in 1998, of course, Bill Clinton was still president, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was still being created and Google was filing its incorporation papers. While the study was being written, Google become a household name, George W. Bush was elected twice, … Read more
The FBI is demanding server logs from a popular anarchist Web site, according to a post by the system administrator.
Quoth the administrator, "Dave": "I'm under court order not to speak about specifics and have my attorney trying to find out what the maximum penalty for disclosure really is. I hate to have to keep my mouth shut in areas where the Gestapo is involved, but I also have to weigh things against the overall security of flag and it's subdomains and also the wellbeing of my family." The site, flag.blackened.net, hosts … Read more
Lawyers for librarians and consumer groups are attempting to buttress their lawsuit challenging anti-piracy technology imposed by the Federal Communications Commission. Right now, they're at risk of losing the case because of a potential lack of "standing" -- particularized harm that they would suffer as a result of the FCC's broadcast flag rules.
According to a new brief, librarians, academics and computer hobbyists have standing to sue because they will no longer be able to make certain uses of digital TV broadcasts after the FCC's rules take effect in July. To wit:
- North Carolina … Read more
Wendy Seltzer is one dedicated blogger. Just minutes after the oral arguments in the Grokster case ended today, Seltzer whipped out her laptop and fired off a blog post from the Supreme Court steps. (A tech-savvy attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Seltzer also is famous for her MythTV how-to page.)
Anyone interested in the business of domain names has probably been reading a report released this week about the future of .net. Prepared under contract to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the report essentially says that VeriSign will renew its lucrative monopoly as the registrar for .net domains.
What's almost as interesting, though, is a less-noticed announcement from ICANN. It says that all owners of future .jobs and .travel domains will have to pay ICANN a $2 annual fee.
The first big question, of course: Where will the money go? The .jobs and .travel documents … Read more
Yahoo is helping nonprofit Creative Commons bring new exposure to the digital content being shared via its services, which are aimed at allowing individuals to distribute their work via non-traditional copyright methods. Creative Commons said on its Web site that the new search engine should help generate more attention for the work being shared on its pages.
Larry Lessig, the Stanford law professor who serves as Creative Commons' chairman, recently filed a blog on Yahoo's pages about the work the group is doing in Southeast Asia. According to Lessig, Yahoo's search engine launch will help Creative Commons deliver … Read more
Political spam isn't a huge problem, true. I've written about Democrat Joe Lieberman and Libertarian Aaron Russo spamming, and Republicans have as well. Spamming even has been blessed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
But a new set of proposed regulations from the Federal Election Commission could help cut down on the amount of political spam that does exist. Without boring you about the details of election law, suffice it to say that the FEC wants to "require disclaimers on political 'spam'" sent to e-mail addresses that a candidate or campaign purchases.
This opens up … Read more
The Department of Homeland Security raised some eyebrows last month when it appointed a representative of Claria, a prominent "adware" maker, to a privacy advisory board.
Now we have a chance to see whether the inclusion of Claria/Gator vice president D. Reed Freeman will make a difference in the committee's discussions about privacy and security. The DHS announced this week that the committee's first meeting will be Apr. 6 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
News.com readers are encouraged to show up and grab a microphone. The announcement says: "In order to … Read more