CNET: FBI case highlights high-tech spying. “It’s the idea of secret government surveillance technology being installed with very little oversight or accountability,” David Sobel of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center said. “It gets about as close to the common perception of Big Brother as anything I could really imagine.”
UniSci: First Evidence of Life Coming From Space Reported. “We have argued for more than two decades that terrestrial life was brought down to Earth by comets and that cometary material containing microorganisms must still be reaching us in large quantities.”
Just in case you had any doubt that the real battle for control of the Internet is between Microsoft and AOL, check out this internal AOL memo (mirrored here, just in case): “By integrating and embedding traditional AOL functionality… into the OS and .Net initiative, Microsoft is essentially absorbing much of the AOL client based functionality into the OS. The boundaries that separate the OS and the Internet will disappear. The risk exists that the consumer will not see the value of using the AOL client for online activity and will simply use the default Microsoft solutions.” [via Adam Curry]
For what it’s worth, I have no interest in being stuck with “default” solutions from either Microsoft or AOL. I’ve got an entirely usable link layer, and powerful applications that I use to take advantage of it. One of the things I’ve always loathed about AOL is that their software puts their users in a little box. They then project images on the inside surfaces of that box, which are intended to give the user the impression that they can see the entire world. In reality, the AOL experience is like being a brain-in-a-vat, and the experience is the one that AOL wants you to have: an experience that is controlled by AOL, and its advertisers and subsidiaries.
That’s what Microsoft wants. They want us to be a bunch of brains-in-a-vat, so they can tell us what’s cool (what to buy), where to go (to Microsoft), and what the News is (at least according to Microsoft’s marketing department). They’re going to do everything they can, in order to get us to “choose” Microsoft over AOL, because their profit-margin, and their stock valuation depends on it.
AOL will do the same.
Welcome to Monday! 🙂
BBC: US investigates space bomber. “Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has asked the Pentagon to investigate a sub-orbital military space plane, which could be used for ‘rapid global strikes’, according to the Los Angeles Times.” Doesn’t this violate international arms control agreements, which disallow space-based weapons deployment? Um… Hello?!?
Dictionary.com Word of the Day: remonstrate.