This was an interesting read. I wasn't aware there was a teenager as a co-founder for Firefox before I read Seattle Post-Intelligencer's article: "By age 10, Blake Ross was designing Web pages on America Online. By 14, after mastering complex programming languages such as C++, he was fixing bugs in Netscape's Web browser from home, a hobby that landed him a job offer."
George Ou's blog says: "Currently with most Wi-Fi hotspots, there is no simple way to tell whether or not you are using a legitimate hotspot. If you don't think this is a big deal -â€“ since you're probably using VPN anyway -â€“ think again! Since you probably authenticate with your Wi-Fi hotspot or hotspot aggregator provider on a routine basis with a username/password or you pull out your credit card to pay for temporary hotspot access, you could be in danger of losing your user account or worse â€“ your credit card number. A hacker or criminal could easily put up a fake Web-based authentication server that looks exactly like the real thing for the purpose of stealing your hotspot user account or your credit card number along with the extended code. They could even provide you with real Internet access after youâ€™ve authenticated with them to make you think that nothing is wrong and you would never know the difference. Next thing you know, you're looking at a massive hotspot usage bill or worse, youâ€™re looking at a maxed out credit card. Can this really happen? You better believe it! Now that hotspots are ubiquitous, it's only a matter of time before criminals wise up to this type of exploit.
CNET's News.com and The New York Times articles say George W. Bush probably won't be remembered as "the high-tech president." The strongholds of the biotech and infotech industries, on the East and West Coasts, voted against him. If his State of the Union address next week, his fourth, is like the previous three, it will say next to nothing about the role of science or advanced technology in the nation's economic and social future. The symbol of Al Gore's relationship with gizmos was the early-model BlackBerry he wore on his belt. The symbol of Bush's was his tumble from a Segway computerized scooter in 2003.
- A photograph of a subway rider climbs out of the Union Square subway station in New York City, and is faced with piles of snow and frigid temperatures.
- Awakening statue buried under snow at Haines Point in Washington.
- Something to warm up from those cold photographs. Here is a nice shot of a solar flare from the sun.
The Observer (UK News) talks about a spoof advertisement that opens with the suicide bomber leaving his home and jumping into his VW Polo. The bomber parks at a busy London restaurant where carefree diners crowd the pavement. Cut to the terrorist sitting in his car as he pushes the button to detonate his bomb. The blast is contained within the car, saving the diners. The ad ends: 'Polo. Small but tough'.
Dark Horizons reports a San Fransisco Chronicle article about Arnold Schwarzenegger largely dropped references to his movie career. He has taken on a more serious, gubernatorial tone, but Hollywood is still calling. The governor said he had been approached about making a brief appearance in "Terminator 4" movie, but has told producers
This BBC News article reports that U.S. scientists have discovered a way to make plastics from orange peel, using the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Cornell University researchers created a novel polymer using CO2, an oil present in orange peel and a catalyst that speeds the reaction along. The team hopes CO2 could one day be collected for making plastics instead of being pumped into the atmosphere.
The New Yorks Times (no registration required) says the space shuttle's skin is turning out to be even more fragile than NASA engineers thought, its scientists and engineers say. Impact tests and analysis performed as part of the return-to-flight effort show that pieces of insulating foam that weigh less than half an ounce can cause small cracks and damage to the surface coating on the heat-resistant panels on the leading edge of the wing, agency officials said in interviews this week.
This Yahoo! News article says there are an estimated 54 million digital cameras in American hands, and digital sales have outstripped sales of film cameras for the past two years. An estimated 10 million digital cameras were shipped in the USA just for the holidays, with millions upon millions of pictures snapped at parties and family gatherings in the past month alone. As growing numbers of amateur photographers are discovering, digital technology allows you to delete an unwanted image while it is still in the camera... The International Data Corporation, which conducts industry surveys, estimates that about 23% of all digital images captured by cameras are deleted. That still leaves a lot of images captured -- a projected 28 billion in 2004, up from 12.7 billion in 2003.
Compfused.com posted some cool videos today, but two of them were worth noting:
A Yahoo! News story says heart disease has been the nation's top killer for decades. Now, cancer has taken its place for Americans 85 and younger.
Voodoo Extreme reported a Boomtown story of a jilted Japanese girlfriend logged onto her ex-lover's Lineage account with his username and password. Once there, she deleted his game data including all the items, weapons and clothes he had collected. Although the boyfriend did not suffer financially he reported the misuse of his account to the police. Police then reported the woman of Toyama Prefecture, to the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors Office accusing her of violating a law banning illegal access to someone else's online accounts.