True Video Lies

This is a longer version of a piece I recorded for the BBC World Service. The other day my wife lost her phone out shopping. We narrowed it down to either the supermarket or the taxi. So we took her shopping receipt to the supermarket and asked to see their CCTV to confirm she still …

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The Real, Sad Lesson of Burma 2007

Reuters I fear another myth is in the offing: that Burma’s brief uprising last month was a tipping point in citizen journalism. Take this from Seth Mydans’ (an excellent journalist, by the way; I’m just choosing his piece because it’s in front of me) article in today’s IHT: “For those of us who study the …

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How to Rip People Off Like Disney World

If you’ve ever visited Disney World, or some other overpriced resorts (last year I visited Warwick Castle and Legoland in the UK, both appallingly people-traps) you’ll have done what I did: vow never to come back. Of course, the companies running these places both know that and don’t care — which is why they are …

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Could Social Clustering Be Used To Kill Off Spam?

We can relax: Boffins are now grappling with spam. Nature reports that P. Oscar Boykin and Vwani Roychowdhury of the University of California, Los Angeles, have come up with a way to tackle at least half the emails we get, namely those we get from friends, colleagues, and anyone else either we know or the …

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“Internet Voting Isn’t Safe”

The e-voting saga continues. Four computer scientists say in a new report that a federally funded online absentee voting system scheduled to debut in less than two weeks “has security vulnerabilities that could jeopardize voter privacy and allow votes to be altered”. They say the risks associated with Internet voting cannot be eliminated and urge …

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News: Information Overload

 In the end this may be more important than anything else in the evolution of technology: information is growing very, very fast. The BBC quotes a study by the University of California, Berkeley that: every year 800MB of information is produced for every person on the planet; information stored on paper, film, magnetic and optical …

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