On today's show, we invent a new kind of typing (booty type, QWERTY booty, that kind of thing), and look ahead to the end of the Internet as we know it. Plus, do ethics trump shareholder rights? The Mark Hurd HP scandal rolls on.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Data protection officials in Germany announced Wednesday the launch of a formal investigation into Facebook, saying they believe some of its much-maligned privacy policies are illegal. It's given Facebook until August 11 to respond formally.
The news was originally reported by the Associated Press; Facebook public policy spokesman Andrew Noyes confirmed the investigation on Wednesday. "Facebook has received a letter from the Hamburg Data Protection Officer," a statement read. "We are currently reviewing it and will readily respond to it within the given timeframe. Millions of Germans come to Facebook each day to find their friends, … Read more
Germany says nein! to Facebook spamming non-Facebook users. Also, Amazon gets a patent on the Barnes & Noble Nook dual-screen concept, and Netflix begins closing the window on when new movies are available for streaming. Special guest: Darren Kitchen of Hak5!Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Can robots tell us about our distant past? German researchers think they can help us understand how we evolved language skills. Engineers at the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory at Humboldt University in Berlin are creating humanoids that will be able to form their own language to communicate.
Crafted by industrial design firm Frackenpohl Poulheim and manufactured with the help of plastics company Bayer MaterialScience, Myon is part of a European project called Artificial Language Evolution on Autonomous Robots, or ALEAR.
The project aims to get robots to "self-organize rich conceptual frameworks and communication systems with similar features as those found … Read more
The book "Gruen Produzieren" (aka "Green Production Technologies") came out this week sporting a little solar flair.
It's a who's who of green-tech innovators in Germany that includes corporate leaders as well as current green-tech projects at research centers.
The book, which was edited by the German Engineering Association in conjunction with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was packaged with a limited-edition cover embedded with a solar-powered organic light-emitting diode.
The OLED system, which is powered by a single solar cell embedded in the book's spine, was developed by the … Read more
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched its own inquiry into whether Hewlett-Packard paid bribes to win a computer contract with a unit of the Russian government, according to a report on Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.
The move by regulators here follows reports on Wednesday that Russian investigators, acting at the request of German officials, raided HP's Russian offices. According to The Wall Street Journal, German prosecutors are investigating whether HP paid $10.9 million in an attempt to sell a sophisticated computer system to the Russian prosecutor general's office.
"HP has been … Read more
The highest court in Germany has suspended a controversial law in Europe requiring phone and e-mail providers to hold customer data for six months in case it's needed by law enforcement.
Germany's Federal Constitution Court called the law "inadmissable" and ruled that changes would be needed to limit its scope, according to a story in Spiegel Online. The court felt that the data was not properly secured or protected and that its use had not been made clear.
The legislation to retain customer records for e-mail as well as mobile and landline calls was first proposed … Read more
Velcro's great, but for when you need that extra hold, there's a new hook and loop fastener made from spring steel in Germany that can pinch together loads of up to 35 metric tons, according to researchers.
The uber-Velcro, dubbed Metaklett, is also chemical-resistant and can withstand temperatures of nearly 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, according to developers at the Institute of Metal Forming and Casting, Technical University Munich (TUM).
Although Velcro and its knockoffs have been used on everything from shoes to space shuttles since its invention by Swiss engineer George de Mestral 60 years ago, it has … Read more
No sooner had we written about reports that Sony would be dropping its 80GB PS3 in Japan on August 9, that two more PS3-related news items surfaced.
A Belgian blog, RTLinfo, is reporting that Sony will soon be lowering the price on the European version of the PS3 from 399 euros to 299 euros (that bodes well for a $299 version of the U.S. PS3). At the same time, the site claims that Sony will introduce the PS3 Slim before the opening of Gamescom expo in Cologne, Germany, at a pre-event press conference on August 18. In more concrete … Read more
Take this for what you will, but a mysterious listing for a "Playstation 3 Konsole slim" has turned up on Amazon Germany. There's basically no info to go along with the listing except for an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). The picture that was added was from a user, who also added the 499 Euro price tag, so it's hard to tell whether this is a leak or something else.