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Bells toll 1 year after Katrina hit



Full Coverage: Tropical Storms and Hurricanes



Tropical Storm Ernesto aims for Florida





Plane Flies on Power of Five Light Bulbs


The largest unmanned aircraft to rely solely on hydrogen fuel has flown successfully during tests.


The plane, with a 22-foot-wingspan, is powered by a fuel-cell system that generates 500-watts—equal to five bright light bulbs.


“That raises a lot of eyebrows,” said Adam Broughton, a research engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology's Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory. “Five hundred watts is plenty of power for a light bulb, but not for the propulsion system of an aircraft this size.”


The design and geometry of the aircraft [Photo] and the controlling subsystem technology allowed the feat.








Accidental Invention Points to End of Light Bulbs


The main light source of the future will almost surely not be a bulb. It might be a table, a wall, or even a fork.


An accidental discovery announced this week has taken LED lighting to a new level, suggesting it could soon offer a cheaper, longer-lasting alternative to the traditional light bulb. The miniature breakthrough adds to a growing trend that is likely to eventually make Thomas Edison's bright invention obsolete.


LEDs are already used in traffic lights, flashlights, and architectural lighting. They are flexible and operate less expensively than traditional lighting.


Happy accident


Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, was just trying to make really small quantum dots, which are crystals generally only a few nanometers big. That's less than 1/1000th the width of a human hair.


Quantum dots contain anywhere from 100 to 1,000 electrons. They're easily excited bundles of energy, and the smaller they are, the more excited they get. Each dot in Bower's particular batch was exceptionally small, containing only 33 or 34 pairs of atoms.


When you shine a light on quantum dots or apply electricity to them, they react by producing their own light, normally a bright, vibrant color. But when Bowers shined a laser on his batch of dots, something unexpected happened.


"I was surprised when a white glow covered the table," Bowers said. "The quantum dots were supposed to emit blue light, but instead they were giving off a beautiful white glow."


Then Bowers and another student got the idea to stir the dots into polyurethane and coat a blue LED light bulb with the mix. The lumpy bulb wasn't pretty, but it produced white light similar to a regular light bulb.



White light from Bowers' lumpy new bulb.

Credit: Vanderbilt University


The new device gives off a warm, yellowish-white light that shines twice as bright and lasts 50 times longer than the standard 60 watt light bulb.


This work is published online in the Oct. 18 edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


Better than bulbs


Until the last decade, LEDs could only produce green, red, and yellow light, which limited their use. Then came blue LEDs, which have since been altered to emit white light with a light-blue hue.


LEDs produce twice as much light as a regular 60 watt bulb and burn for over 50,000 hours. The Department of Energy estimates LED lighting could reduce U.S. energy consumption for lighting by 29 percent by 2025. LEDs don't emit much heat, so they're also more energy efficient. And they're much harder to break.


Other scientists have said they expect LEDs to eventually replace standard incandescent bulbs as well as fluorescent and sodium vapor lights.


If the new process can be developed into commercial production, light won't come just from newfangled bulbs. Quantum dot mixtures could be painted on just about anything and electrically excited to produce a rainbow of colors, including white.


One big question remains: When a brilliant idea pops into your mind in the future, what will appear over your head?








Drop in SAT scores biggest in 31 years






'I gambled away $7,500 - must I tell Dad?'

A reader worries his father won't give him any more money upon hearing the last gift went toward commodity futures instead of stable mutual funds.




Is the Fed really done?

Some think the minutes from the Fed's latest meeting clearly show that the Fed will not raise rates in September while others think another rate hike is in the cards.




Consumer confidence sinks to 9-month low

August reading lowest since November on worries about economy, jobs.




D.A.: Karr really believes he killed JonBenet



Bush remembers Katrina and those she took



Japan orders Apple battery probe




NTSB: Pilots rolled on despite unlit runway


LEXINGTON, Kentucky (CNN) -- As Comair Flight 5191 sped down the runway before dawn Sunday, the pilots commented that the runway lights were off but continued with their takeoff, a preliminary investigation has revealed.


After 29 seconds, which included that conversation, the cockpit voice recorder stopped as the plane crashed in a patch of woods near Lexington's Blue Grass Airport, killing 49 of the 50 people on board, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.


Co-pilot and sole survivor James Polehinke was flying the plane when it crashed, according to the NTSB's Debbie Hersman. NTSB investigators have not been able to interview Polehinke, who is in critical condition at a Lexington hospital, she said.


Family friends told the Miami Herald Polehinke was in a coma, with broken bones and internal bleeding. They said he was on life support, and that doctors were considering amputating one of his legs, the Herald reported.


Investigators are trying to find out why Flight 5191 took off from a general aviation runway which was unlit and is only 3,500 feet long, rather than the runway normally used for commercial flights, which is 7,000 feet long and was lit.


Hersman said the manifest for the Canadair CRJ-100 jet showed its weight was 40,987 pounds -- requiring at least 3,539 feet of runway to get airborne.


Tire marks indicate that the plane's wheels crossed into the grass beyond the runway, and it became airborne after hitting an earthen berm, she said. The jet then clipped a perimeter fence and hit a stand of trees before crashing, Hersman said.


During the acceleration, the pilot and co-pilot noted that lights on the runway were not turned on, Hersman said. There were no indications Polehinke tried to stop the plane, she said.


The data recorder recovered from the crash site showed that plane reached a top speed of 137 knots, or about 158 mph, she said.


During the takeoff, there were no communications to the plane from the control tower, which, at the time, was staffed by a single air traffic controller, she said. Investigators planned to interview the controller Tuesday.


The airport's tower manager has told investigators that having a single controller on duty early on a Sunday morning was "not inconsistent with their staffing levels over the last 10 years" and met Federal Aviation Administration requirements, Hersman said.


The FAA said a second air traffic controller would be added to the weekend overnight shifts at the airport beginning next weekend, The Associated Press reported. Agency spokeswoman Laura Brown declined to give a reason for the decision.


The Comair flight, as well as two other commercial flights that took off without incident earlier Sunday morning, had all been cleared to use the lit commercial runway, not the smaller runway, Hersman said.


An employee for another airline, who watched the Comair jet accelerate on the unlit runway and crash, told investigators the longer runway, and its taxiways, were illuminated, she said.


However, only the lights along the sides of the commercial runway were lit on Sunday morning. Because of a repaving project, lights down the center of the runway were not operational -- but those were not required, Hersman said.


The lights on the smaller, general aviation runway at Blue Grass have not been operational for more than two years, and airport officials had alerted pilots in bulletins that the runway was to be used only in daylight, she said.


Did repaving project play a role?


One factor being explored by investigators is what role, if any, the repaving project may have played in the disaster. The commercial runway had been closed for three days last week to be repaved and have its markings repainted, Hersman said.


The airport's old taxi route to the longer, main runway was replaced with a sharper turn that starts at the entrance to the shorter, unlit strip, AP reported.


It wasn't clear if the pilots aboard Flight 5191 had been there since the work.


The construction changes momentarily confused veteran pilot Lowell Wiley two days before the Comair crash, AP reported.


"When we taxied out, we did not expect to see a barrier strung across the old taxiway," Wiley told AP. "It was a total surprise."


Monday night, investigators went out to the airport to try to determine what the pilots might have seen, or not seen, in the darkness that might have contributed to the crash, she said.


They used the same model of aircraft that crashed, a CRJ-100, to try to recreate the last few minutes of Comair Flight 5191, the airport's executive director, Michael Gobb, told AP.

Investigators probe crew's workload


Crash investigators have also obtained records that will shed light on the workload of the Comair pilots, including how much rest they had between their flights Saturday night and Sunday morning, Hersman said.


Comair president Don Bornhorst said Sunday that before the crash, the crew had been "on a legal rest period far beyond what is required."


Hersman said the NTSB investigation would look at the crew's training and experience, as well as how they had spent the previous 72 hours, and whether they got enough rest. She said toxicology tests were routine, to check for alcohol and drugs.


Comair Flight 5191 was en route from Lexington to Atlanta when it crashed. The plane was carrying 47 passengers and three crew members.


Comair has not released the names of the victims, other than the crew -- pilot Capt. Jeffrey Clay, co-pilot Polehinke and flight attendant Kelly Heyer.


The bodies of the victims were taken to the medical examiner's office in Frankfort, Kentucky, for autopsies, AP said.


Kentucky's chief medical examiner, Dr. Tracy Corey, was uncertain how long it will take to identify all the victims.


Comair had not released a passenger manifest and told AP it was seeking permission from victims' families to release the names.








A year later, recovery in New Orleans not easy


NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- After months of rebuilding, Henry and Flora Hamilton's house doesn't look like it was sitting in 7 feet of water a year ago. The same can't be said for most of their neighbors' homes.


Shells of houses surround the Hamiltons' eastside residence, many missing patches of roofing and brick exteriors. Some of the Hamiltons' neighbors live in emergency trailers as they try to repair their houses; most have given up and abandoned them. The once-bustling Lake Kenilworth ballpark, still struggling to push up grass in the infield, has sat for months without a visit from its young sluggers.


In many ways, the Hamiltons' New Orleans East neighborhood looks like Hurricane Katrina struck last week. Call it a theme in a city still reeling a year after one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.


According to the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, roughly a third of the city's schools, hospitals and libraries remain closed, as do half the city's public transportation routes.


Thousands remain displaced, either living in FEMA trailers or calling a new place home. But a sign in the Hamiltons' yard points to the perseverance of those who stayed or returned to build: "We're home."


After evacuating their home of 16 years in the wake of Katrina, the Hamiltons had to make a daunting decision during their monthlong refuge in Centerville, Mississippi.


"When we finally got back, we seen the devastation and at that time we had decided we'd tear the whole thing down and we probably wasn't gonna return. But each time we came back, we were leaning more toward rebuilding," Henry said.


After gutting the house, Henry realized the foundation was still sound. The 53-year-old sugar-plant worker decided, "This was home." With the help of friends and family -- including son Jamie, 28, and longtime pal Charlie Mills, a retired plumber -- Henry "just got on back and started working."


Jamie Hamilton and Mills have not been as fortunate. Jamie's nearby apartment was leveled. Mills' uptown home won't be habitable until March. Both are living in FEMA trailers -- Mills' in front of his house, Jamie's in his parents' front yard.


Cramped quarters is an understatement. Five paces in the trailer will take you from the master bedroom through the living area and kitchen to the bathroom. Everything -- stove, closet, beds, shower -- is miniaturized.


Jamie Hamilton's wife Lovey doesn't live in the trailer. She lives on the other side of the Mississippi River with family, but their kids, 3-year-old Elijah and 4-month-old Joshua, visit often and like sleeping in the bunk beds wedged snugly behind a bathroom wall.


"It's not what you're used to, but it's better than not having anything at all. It's a small sense of having a home and some place to lay your head," said Jamie, who is working in a downtown casino to scrape up the funds to reunite his family.



'Tale of two cities'


Parts of New Orleans scream recovery; others scream for it. On one side of the city, you can't find a gas station intact. On the other, all three of Larry Flynt's Hustler clubs are blinking on Bourbon Street.


"We are a tale of two cities," said Mary Beth Romig, spokeswoman for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We have a long way to go in those residential neighborhoods."



The Louisiana Superdome will host its first post-Katrina NFL game when it reopens in September.


However, much of uptown, downtown, the French Quarter, and the business, Garden and Warehouse districts -- all areas that draw out-of-towners -- was "spared from the flooding and they're all thriving now," Romig said.


The city lost about half of its convention business this year, but it should be up to about 75 percent next year, and "things are looking much better for 2008 and beyond," she said. "In many ways, we are back; we just need to get the word out."


Even the once-ravaged Louisiana Superdome advertises its September 25 reopening, just in time for the Saints' first home game -- an NFL Monday-nighter against the Atlanta Falcons.


Signs of Katrina are sparse in the salvaged areas, though the shops in the French Quarter peddle T-shirts showing the city still has a sense of humor. "Make levees, not war," read one. Another: "FEMA evacuation plan: Run, (expletive), run." And in a shot at the New Orleans police, some of whom were accused of abandoning their posts during the disaster: "NOPD: Not our problem dude."


The Quarter is not yet the draw it once was, though. Booze specials and strip shows are still ably promoted amid a cacophony of rap, rock, blues, jazz and zydeco, but to an audience that is a trickle of its former flow.


About $107 billion in federal recovery money has been poured into the Gulf Coast, but New Orleans is still floundering, according to the Brookings Institution.


Down 190,000 workers since the storm, New Orleans has restored gas and electricity to most of the city, but only a fraction of pre-Katrina customers are using it, according to a Brookings report examining recovery factors. Only 17 percent of city buses are running.


And 54 percent of the city's restaurants, many of them famed for their Cajun cuisine, are still closed, according to the Louisiana Restaurant Association.


On the positive side, permits for housing rehabilitation have doubled in the last six months, but rent has jumped 39 percent in the city and home prices in the suburbs have spiked, Brookings reports.


Natalie Wyeth, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority, said more than $9 billion has been earmarked for helping 150,000 families rebuild their homes.


Billions more have gone toward health care, transportation, rebuilding schools and economic development, including a $38 million program that taps high school dropouts and ex-cons for work-force training.


"We want to connect those people with the opportunity to be part of the recovery effort," Wyeth said.


There appear to be efforts to make recovery as indiscriminate as Katrina and the ensuing flooding, which devoured homes and businesses in neighborhoods ranging from the upscale areas along Lake Ponchartrain, to the middle-class Gentilly Terrace and New Orleans East neighborhoods, and down to the impoverished 9th Ward.



Slow road back


Still, some, like 46-year-old Ron Stump, note that recovery comes easier for the haves than the have nots. Stump, a St. Bernard Port employee, puts in 27 hours a week after work offering affordable home-gutting and property cleanup to needy families and his friends at the sheriff's office.


"I don't do it for people who have everything. They can pay to have everything done," Stump said.


But despite his generosity, Stump's bitterness over the torpid pace of rebuilding is evident.


"I think a lot of people aren't aware of what's happening because they're not here. How long is somebody supposed to live in one of these things?" he asked, pointing to one of the scores of FEMA trailers littering the Arabi neighborhood, east of the 9th Ward. "It's a year later, and we're still gutting houses. ... You hear what you hear. You don't see a whole lot."


There's not a grocery store near Arabi, Stump said, and while the Brookings report shows parts of the city on the rise, St. Bernard Parish is not one of them. According to the report, no hospitals or libraries are yet operational in the parish.


Only 7 percent of the public schools there have reopened, and the average price of a home as of June, according to the report, was a paltry $36,880, about a third of what it was in August 2004.


The devastation has not soured the spirits of Elbert Jourdan, a fellow port employee who earns extra cash helping Stump clean up homes in the parish.


"Quit all that cussing and fussing and carrying on. The Lord's saying, 'Work with me, so I can help you,' " said the 37-year-old. "We gotta pull together more than we've ever had to pull together in our lives. Otherwise, this house won't get done; that house won't get done."



A Crescent City comeback?


Pulling together is the only hope places like Arabi and the 9th Ward have. Though Katrina left her footprints all over the city, these areas saw the apex of her annihilation.


Cars were dismantled, and homes were regularly reduced to piles of board, pipe and insulation. A year later, some houses are still missing from their foundations, either razed and hauled off or swept away by Katrina and the flooding.


The decimation and its aftermath have left some longtime residents cynical about returning. Mike Barnett, now of Clearwater, Florida, who grew up in New Orleans and whose father is a Loyola University professor, thought he would stay when Katrina first hit.


A former Green Beret, Barnett holed up on the 10th and 11th floors of a downtown high-rise with pistols, bread, lunchmeat, a generator and hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel. His task was to keep watch over a friend's business, an Internet data center. Even though his fiancée left after 10 days, Barnett stuck it out for three weeks before deciding to relocate to Florida.


"The politicians were promising a comeback. I knew immediately they were dreaming, and as much as I love the city, I couldn't live there anymore, not the way it was. It was hideous, horrendous," said the 35-year-old freelance economic consultant. "I'll never come back to live in New Orleans. I don't have much hope for the city."


Others cannot shun their love for the Big Easy, and it is the only thing bringing them back. Charlie Mills, the Hamiltons' plumber friend, knew he was coming back even as he led an evacuation convoy of 24 friends and seven dogs to his father's home and deer camp in Woodville, Mississippi.


"I been here since 1956, so you come back. You say you're not going to come back, but you're in love with New Orleans," said the 68-year-old. "Ain't no sense in moaning and groaning. You come in this world with nothing. You gonna leave with nothing."


Jamie Hamilton agrees. Standing in his FEMA trailer as his mom's beans simmered on the tiny stove, the young casino worker said Katrina may have taken everything from some people, but it did not leave the hopeful helpless.


"It's a new beginning, and you make do with what you got," he said. "It's kind of given a lot of people a new attitude about things."






A woman's fight for Katrina victims: One family at a time



One fact remains in JonBenet murder




Bush remembers Katrina and those she took




Ernesto on track for South Florida



Quake tsunami warning withdrawn



Kidnap: Hunt for more hidden cells



Household income posts first gain in 6 years

The median household income was $46,326 in 2005, a gain - above inflation - of 1.1 percent from 2004.



FBI: Fugitive polygamist arrested near Las Vegas





8-year kidnap woman: Statement in full


VIENNA, Austria (Reuters) -- Natascha Kampusch's statement, read by psychiatrist:


Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian woman who escaped last week after being held hostage for eight years, asked her psychiatrist Max Friedrich to read the following statement at a news conference in Vienna on Monday.


He said he was told by Kampusch not to provide the statement in written form. The transcript is from the readout he gave.


"Dear journalists, reporters, dear global audience!


"I am very much aware of what an impact the events of the past days must have made on you. I imagine how shocking and frightening the thought that something like this could even be possible must be. Furthermore, I am aware that you are somewhat curious about me and naturally want to know more details about the circumstances in which I lived.


"First of all I want to let you know that I don't want and will not answer any questions about personal or intimate details. I will act against those who overstep personal boundaries towards voyeurism. Whoever tries to do so will have to watch out. I have grown into a young woman interested in education and with human needs.


"My living space: My room was well enough furnished. It was my room and not meant to be shown in public.


"My daily life: This was very regulated. Most of the time we had breakfast together -- he didn't work most of the time -- household chores, reading, watching television, talking, cooking. That's what it was like for years. Everything connected with the fear of loneliness.


"The relationship: He was not my master. I was just as strong. But -- to give you a metaphor -- he carried me in his arms but also trampled me underfoot. But he took on the wrong one (person) -- and he and I both knew that. He carried out the kidnapping on his own, everything was already prepared.


"He furnished the room -- which was not just 1.60 meters high -- together with me. By the way, I did not cry after the escape. There was no reason for mourning.


"In my view his death was unnecessary. A penalty would not have been the end of the world. He was a part of my life and this is why I am, in a way, mourning him.


"Of course it is true my youth was different from many other people. But generally I don't have the feeling I missed anything. I spared myself many things, I did not start smoking or drinking and I did not hang out in bad company.


"Message to the media: The only thing the press should spare me are the permanent defamations of myself, the misinterpretation, the second-guessing and the lack of respect towards me.


"Currently I feel good where I am, perhaps a little bit patronized. But that's how I decided that I want to only stay in touch with my family over the phone. I will determine myself when I will contact journalists.


"About my escape: When I had to clean and vacuum the car in the garden, he went away because of the vacuuming noise. That was my opportunity, I simply left the vacuum cleaner running.


"By the way I never called him "master," even though he wanted it. I believe he quasi-wanted it but not really seriously.


"I have a lawyer I trust who is discussing legal issues with me. Youth attorney (Monika) Pinterits is my confidant, I can talk well with Dr. (Max) Friedrich and Dr. (Ernst) Berger. The team of (chief investigator Johann) Fruehstueck was very good to me. I say hello to them, but they indeed were a bit curious. That's their job, however.


"Intimate questions: Everybody wants to ask intimate questions that is not their business. Maybe I will tell a therapist or maybe I will tell somebody when I feel the need, but perhaps I will never tell. The intimacy belongs to me alone.


"...It was Wolfgang's own decision to throw himself under the train. I sympathize with Wolfgang's mother. I can feel with her and put myself in her position. I, and both of us, think of him.


"I want to thank all people who are so interested in my life. Please bear with me in the time to come. Dr Friedrich will explain it with this statement. Many people are taking care of me. Give me some time until I can tell the story myself.


Natascha Kampusch











A healer who stayed


NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- September 1, 2005: New Orleans was a powder keg.


As the water levels rose and tensions mounted, CNN journalists were directed to leave the city. We had been warned of violence, looting, and most frightening, possible sniper fire.


But we had to get downtown, to Charity Hospital.


In the deluge of miscommunication right after the storm, Charity reportedly was evacuated. But we had learned it was not so. Hundreds of patients and dozens of staff remained inside, waiting for help with no electricity, no running water and dwindling supplies. The world needed to know their story.


"We can get you in, but we can't get you out," Dr. Alan Marr, a Charity hospital trauma surgeon, said that day, standing next to a helicopter that had just finished an evacuation run to Baton Rouge airport. Moments later we were beside him, flying south.


Housed in a mammoth art deco building since the 1930's, Charity was the nation's second-oldest hospital. Over the decades, millions of people had come to this building for health care -- everything from emergencies to clinic visits to surgeries. Quite simply, Charity hospital gave life to the city.


But four days after Katrina blasted New Orleans, downtown was flooded. Nearly everyone had run to higher ground. There were rumors of car and ambulance jackings.


"We were doing all we could to get our patients out that day," said Marr, 50, who had been working at Charity Hospital for four years when the storm hit. "We came together and did the best we could."


With no official plan, Charity doctors began to evacuate their sickest patients, first by boat, across the moat of chest-deep water surrounding the hospital, and then up the stairs to a parking deck. Once on the top floor, patients and doctors waited for choppers to evacuate them. Some patients were hand-ventilated by bag for hours. Two died before help arrived.


Marr stayed at Charity for almost a week after Katrina. He was there when the last patient was evacuated. He was there when the doors were locked for good.


He ended up staying with friends in Baton Rouge for almost three months. In November, he and his wife were able to move back into their home on the West Bank of the Mississippi. He considers himself lucky. Their house had minor roof and wind damage, but it is livable


At a time when up to three-quarters of the area's doctors have left New Orleans, Dr. Alan Marr has stayed. Many of those physicians who remain have deep roots in New Orleans with families going back generations. Marr does not.


"Everybody, for some moment in time, considered leaving...There are a lot of people who are doubtful that New Orleans will come back and those who are fearful that this will happen again."


Some of Marr's colleagues have called him crazy for staying. By all accounts, New Orleans' health care system is in shambles. About half the city's hospitals remain closed. There is a severe shortage of available hospital beds. Patients in need of less-urgent procedures are being encouraged to seek care outside New Orleans.


Amid such grim conditions, Marr not only stayed, but turned down numerous job offers around the country, including a chief of trauma position at a prominent university. He told all of them, "Give me six months and if they are not going in the right direction, I'll reconsider."


Marr is not alone. In a survey conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, 36 percent of New Orleans doctors said that if the recovery were not sufficiently improved by the second year anniversary, they would consider leaving to practice in another state.


"I feel like I owe my institution and it's an opportunity to make something wonderful out of tragedy," Marr said. "Rebuilding the medical community in an ideal way."


For now, Marr feels that things are on the right track. He joined us as we returned to the hospital's parking deck-turned landing pad a year later. He had not been back since the evacuations. "It almost brings tears to my eyes to think about what we went through...It was amazing."


Marr now practices with other former Charity hospital doctors at the Medical Center of New Orleans Elmwood campus. It is 20 minutes from the heart of the city and the shell that was once the great Charity hospital. In a few weeks, University hospital, Charity's sister institution, is due to open, albeit at a fraction of its former capacity.


"It's not ideal, but nothing down here is ideal these days. But you get through it. You have a job and you have a responsibility and you just get through it."










Stuck at the airport?


Life as a business traveler doesn't have to wind up like the movies "Terminal" or "Jet Lag" where the main characters find themselves idling away at the airport.


CNN.com surveyed the world's 10 busiest airports, according to Airports Council International, to find out how travelers can keep themselves occupied when faced with a lengthy layover or flight delay.


The airports are listed by rank in terms of passenger traffic last year.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia


85,907,423 total passengers


Secured Wi-Fi-enabled Internet access is throughout the main terminal building, all concourses and the connecting transportation mall -- comprising a 5.8 million square foot "hot spot." Prices for a day pass or a monthly subscription range from $7.95 to $38, depending on Wi-Fi providers. Laptop Lane (Concourses A, B, T) also offers Internet access, photocopies, phone calls and faxes for 55 cents/minute, with a $5 minimum.


Business travelers can access the Executive Conference Center in the airport's atrium for computer workstations, meeting rooms and video conferencing abilities. Business Traveler Services -- with everything from prepaid phone cards and expedited visa/passports to faxing capabilities, Internet access and flight insurance -- are available throughout the airport.


Atlanta-based Delta Airlines provides free recharging stations (Concourses A and B).


Music/Film/Art: A pianist plays from 3:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Monday-Friday at Houlihan's (Atrium), among 200 concession outlets at the airport. InMotion Entertainment rents DVDs and portable players. An art exhibit on Concourse E features rotating artwork submitted by grade school students.


Web site: http://www.atlanta-airport.comexternal link







O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois


76,510,003 total passengers


Free Wi-Fi-enabled Internet is available everywhere to subscribers of the following providers: AT&T/SBC Freedomlink; Boingo; GoRemote; iBAHN/STSN; iPass; Orange France; Sprint; T-Mobile and WeRoam. For others, an Internet Day Pass is available for $6.95, payable through the network.


GateStation Internet Kiosks (T1 near gates B11 and C9) provide 15 minutes of Internet access for $5. Laptop Lanes (located in the Business Center in T1 across from gate B6 as well as the B/C Walkway) provide full business services, including faxing, printing, long distance calls and plug-ins for laptops. The airport also is installing "relax and recharge" stations for devices.


For $11, travelers can hit the Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport Hotel's health club for its workout area, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and showers with free use of towels and lockers. Get a massage here for a separate charge or at Back Rub Hub (Terminal Three).


Entertainment: Art exhibits and performances, including Jazz Fest Entertainment on August 31 in Terminals 1-3 and 5.


Web site: http://www.flychicago.com/ohare/home.aspexternal link







Heathrow Airport, London, England


67,915,403 total passengers


The airport just opened the Rejuve club in Terminal 1's international departure lounge, where travelers can receive massages, get a shave and haircut, work out, relax, get nutritious snacks or a "well-being" consultation. Prices start from 25 pounds ($47) at what Heathrow calls the world's first airport "Wellbeing club."


Also a "Shop and Collect" service allows passengers traveling only within the EU to buy -- and leave -- purchases behind at the airport and collect them upon return to London.


Heathrow also offers two fee-based services to access the most up-to-date flight information: Flying Messenger (which gives flight status) and Flying Messenger Plus (which gives flight progress).


Web site: http://www.heathrowairport.com/external link







Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan


63,282,219 total passengers


The airport's two domestic terminals have more than 80 restaurants and coffee shops, offering Japanese to Western fare, fine dining to sweet cakes. Relaxation spots in each terminal ("Feiyokan" and "Grand Raffine") offer massages for 1000 yen ($9) per 10 minutes.


The Wing Oxy Bar draws travelers who seek some fresh air or aromatherapy. Like a drinking bar, this oxygen bar allows you to select your favorite "flavor," from "Mint & Rosemary" ("cooling, refreshing, invigorating") to "Lavender, Balsam Fir Needles" ("calming, soothing, warming"). Insert your nose tube and breathe in.

Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California


61,489,398 total passengers


All terminals will have Wi-Fi access sometime in the early fall, thanks to a T-Mobile contract, said Nancy Castles, public relations director at LAX. Users will have to pay $9.99 for a 24-hour period, while T-Mobile customers are charged according to their own wireless plans, she added.


The Travel Right Cafe in Terminal 4 allows travelers to eat and work. Each table has ports/phone jacks for travelers with laptops, personal digital assistants and cell phones. Internet kiosks are also available throughout the airport.


Web site: http://www.lawa.org/LAXexternal link






Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas


59,176,265 total passengers


Travelers can learn about their dining and tour options at the airport by downloading podcasts from www.dfwairport.com -- what DFW calls the first airport-provided podcast service in the world.


The airport's $6 million public art program showcases the work of more than 30 local, national and international artists at International Terminal D and the Skylink train stations. The DFW Sculpture Garden is outside the Terminal D parking garage.


Wine can be sampled at La Bodega, which DFW bills as the world's only airport winery.


Bear Greek Golf Club, located on airport property, offers an 18-hole round of golf for $50 plus tax during the week.


Web site: http://www.dfwairport.com/external link






Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France


53,798,308 total passengers


All terminals are on a free Wi-Fi network. Terminal 1 also has a business center. Workspaces -- with desks, Internet access and electric plugs -- are available in Terminals 2C, 2D and 2F.


The airport also just opened what it bills as the "first airport beauty parlor for men" in Terminal 2D, offering beauty treatments and advice as well as massages with names like "decompression" and "anti-jetlag." The Men's Lounge also has an interactive cologne "alcove," where you can choose a scent based on profiles. (Think "Rebel Attitude" or "Urban Modern.") Ten- to 30-minute professional massages can also be found in all terminals (starting at 15 euros/$19), and some boarding lounges offer auto-massaging chairs (2 euros/$2.50)


Web site: http://www.paris-cdg.com/external link







Frankfurt Airport, Germany


52,210,412 total passengers


"You can gamble, you can go to the hairdresser, you can get a manicure. ... There is a dentist. It's almost an airport city," said Roland Weil, assistant vice president of traffic and terminal management at Frankfurt Airport. Admission is free to the airport casino in Terminal 1; monitors display flight times.


The airport is just 15 minutes from downtown. A high-speed Inter-City Express (ICE) train station in the airport will put you in Cologne or Stuttgart in about an hour, should you decide to ditch that flight.


Web site: http://www.airportcity-frankfurt.deexternal link






Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands


44,163,098 total passengers


This "Airport City" has a supermarket, three casinos, a travel clinic and shops and catering outlets, some of which are open 24 hours a day. Two communication centers offer Internet and postal services at Departure Lounges 1 and 2. People who wish to watch planes take off and land for free can go to sites along the Kaagbaan and Buitenveldertbaan runways or to the terrace on the terminal roof. Inquire with the airport information desk before setting out.


In celebration of Rembrandt's 400th birthday, fans can view mini-exhibitions of his life and work at locations around the airport through December 6. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol, between Piers E and F on Holland Boulevard after passport control, is a free branch of the famous museum and features his masterpiece "Oriental" this summer as part of the "Really Rembrandt?" exhibition. Works of modern art can also be seen throughout the airport.


Web site: http://www.schiphol.nl/external link





McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada


43,989,982 total passengers


McCarran boasts 24 Hour Fitness, which the airport bills as the first fitness center of its kind at a major U.S. airport, offering exercise equipment, massages, shower and locker room facilities, a steam room and sauna. The airport also offers free Wi-Fi everywhere in the terminal and Internet kiosks for passengers without laptops.


Travelers can also view an art gallery and a 24-hour-a-day aviation museum, try a hand at casino games or get a shoe shine.


Web site: http://www.mccarran.com











The Storm Lingers On: Katrina's Psychological Toll

Depression, suicide, drinking and domestic abuse are up in New Orleans, which is ill-equipped to offer much counseling help, and the hurricane's one-year anniversary only makes it worse


By the time Jennifer Buras sees the families in her counseling office, their lives are often in shambles. Exhausted from doing renovations, living in cramped trailers, their savings nearly tapped out, most have never seen a psychiatrist or psychologist in their lives. "The parents are like shells, hollowed, drained," she says. "The kids are acting out."


Dr. Peter DeBlieux sees them too at a clinic run by Charity Hospital out of an abandoned — and recently termite-infested — Lord & Taylor store in downtown New Orleans. They are middle-class people and professionals who once had secure jobs, nice homes and lots of insurance. Now they come for the free care, complaining of a bad back or a general weakness, then end up "losing it," he says, sobbing uncontrollably about lives that have become marathons of stress. One bad day can set them off. "Nobody has emotional reserves these days."


Call it "Katrina stress" or the "Katrina funk", but it's all too real — and it has real implications for the future health of the city. While the physical devastation of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina has been well documented, the psychic toll is just becoming clear. The suicide rate has nearly tripled, depression is common, domestic abuse is on the rise, and self-medicating with booze is a favored method of forgetting.


Worse yet, the mental health care system needed to help deal with all this is in ruins. Private psychologists and psychiatrists are almost impossible to find. Emergency rooms outside New Orleans — those that survived the storm — are now packed with people from the city seeking mental health care. It's not just the pre-Katrina schizophrenics and crazies who have gone without meds for the year, but regular people who are stressed and depressed. "Life is just not easy in the Big Easy now," says Buras. "There's a lot of anxiety and deep depression."


And the hurricane anniversary on Aug. 29 and the start of the school year only make things worse, acting as a double whammy to the city's psyche. "You see kids who were picked up off rooftops during Katrina who don't want to go to school now. They run screaming out of the school because of separation anxiety," says the 33-year-old clinical social worker. Boys and girls who used to get good grades are cutting up, having fistfights; others are withdrawn.


Recently Buras counseled an 11-year-old whose parents committed suicide. "Even something as small as a towel on the floor can become high drama in the squeezed quarters of FEMA trailer life," she says. At EXCELth, one of the rare community health centers to reopen post-Katrina, she sees people age 6 to 80, whole families together sometimes. Most have never sought help before. EXCELth's medical director Dr. Monir Shalaby says that by his estimates, 40% of the adults they see are taking medication for depression. "Parents are breaking down. A lot of people self-medicating, drinking more wine at night," says Buras. If she sees more than five patients a day — which she tried to do after returning in March — she ends up going home in tears herself.


Charles Parent, the fire superintendent for New Orleans, has seen the stress take its toll on his first responders as well. Over 40% lost their homes to Katrina; a third are still not able to live with their families. Yet, unlike the police force, not one left his job in the aftermath of Katrina. A majority saw someone die or suffer an injury during or after the storm, and 22% had to recover dead bodies. By June, all they were finding was bones in rubbish piles.


"It was heartbreaking work they weren't trained for," says Parent. A report by the Centers for Disease Control found that a quarter of the firefighters showed signs of depression, a third reported increased alcohol use, and nearly a half reported more conflict with a spouse. "There are different ways of measuring post-traumatic stress — difficulty concentrating, angry outbursts," says Parent, "but frankly, if they didn't show those signs, I would worry." He says firefighters who went through 9/11 in New York helped his men realize it wasn't "unmanly" to get help. Now nearly a half say they would seek mental health counseling if provided.


"The community is still very much in intensive care, but the mental health needs are crushing," says Donald Smithburg, head of the Louisiana State University Health Care Services division, which oversees the state's charity care system. The stress, he says, is felt beyond New Orleans. Emergency rooms as far away as Baton Rouge and Lafayette have mentally ill patients "boarding" for days in emergency rooms, waiting for hospital admission, because there are no available psych beds in the New Orleans area.


Suicide attempts are often sent home after two days, with no follow-up care. Primary care doctors — if you can find one — are handing out the usual Paxil and Zoloft, but bipolar patients or schizophrenics are hard-pressed to find someone to write up stronger medication. By some estimates, only 25 psychiatrists work in a city that used to have 350 to 400. The result is that regular health care in emergency rooms is backed up for hours — or sometimes days. Smithburg worries that a facility with new hospital beds (sorely needed in New Orleans) may have to be converted for mental health patients instead.


Firm statistics on the mental health situation are admittedly hard to come by. Demographers can't even agree on how many people live in New Orleans now, but best estimates put at less than 200,000 — vs. 450,000 people pre-Katrina. The coroner's office recently told the Times Picayune that suicides had gone up from 8 to 26 per 100,000 people. "On a per capita basis, we've seen an increase in suicides, depression, substance abuse, and domestic violence. If you've driven the city, you see why. We've not made a lot of progress," says cardiologist Pat Breaux, past head of the Orleans Parish Medical Society. He is part of a 40-member Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative making recommendations this fall on changes in the city's health care system to Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services.


As bad as it is right now, the real crisis will come if the city can't resolve the post-Katrina lack of primary care and rising depression. "In five years, we'll be the stroke capital of the world, the heart disease capital of the world," warns DeBlieux. "We're going to see long-range complications from diabetes and heart disease and stress because people are neglecting primary care now."


With social networks disrupted, children may pay too. "You're going to see problems with substance abuse, with criminal behavior," says Vickie Mays, a professor of psychology at the University of California Los Angeles who recently visited New Orleans. As for post-traumatic stress, it's too early to make that diagnosis. "We're still in the middle of it. The shock period is over, but our lives have been ripped apart," Buras says from home after a bad day. "Now it's the unrelenting horribleness of it."








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Nokia taps Sourcefire to secure corporate networks



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Watchdog group warns against AOL's free software


Dealing yet another blow to AOL, a leading software watchdog group warned users away from AOL's free client software Monday on the ground that it displayed characteristics consistent with "badware."


The term badware describes a wide array of downloadable applications that try to install extra components on a computer without clearly informing users of what they are or what they will do.


The group, ( http://www.StopBadware.org ), posted an "open inquiry" into the AOL software Monday, meaning that a dialogue has been opened with the company and that a full "badware" designation is still pending.


The report, however, stated that the AOL client software, which provides subscribers with a suite of services, also installed extra software deceptively, altered the Web browser and other computer components without notifying the user, and did not uninstall completely, among other "badware behaviors."


Similar characteristics are often found in pernicious forms of spyware and adware, often called malware. The StopBadware organization was founded in part to assist consumers in spotting shady software. The group is run by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and the Oxford Internet Institute of Oxford University.


The group received several tips and complaints about the AOL software from users at its Web site, and decided to test it.


"All we're asking is that you tell people upfront what you're doing," said John G. Palfrey Jr., executive director of the Berkman Center.


Andrew Weinstein, an AOL spokesman, said that many of the problems Palfrey's group cited were already being addressed in planned upgrades of the client software, due out next month, but added that the company believed the problems to be minor, "nonsubstantive" and wholly unmalicious.


"No one has done more to protect users from malware than AOL," Weinstein said.


Palfrey agreed that the group found nothing malicious in the AOL installation, and added that the company had already begun fixing some of the problems raised. But he also said software did not have to be malicious to violate consumer trust.


"We currently recommend that users do not install the version of AOL software that we tested," the StopBadware.org Web site read Monday, "unless the user is comfortable with the level of risk we identify or until the application is updated consistent with the recommendations in this report."






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Japan reports battery fire in Mac


The Japanese government said Tuesday that it knew of one case in Japan of a Sony made battery used in an Apple Computer notebook overheating and catching fire.


The incident, resulting in a minor burn to the person's finger, happened in April.


The government said last week there had been two cases of Sony-made batteries used in Dell notebooks catching fire in Japan, but no one was injured.

Your feedback on Macs


The report on Tuesday comes after Apple said last week that it will recall 1.8 million lithium ion notebook PC batteries that use battery cells made by Sony.


The Apple recall follows an even larger one earlier this month by No.1 PC maker Dell of 4.1 million lithium ion batteries, which were also produced using Sony cells, the main component of the battery pack.


The Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment conglomerate has said the two recalls will cost it $171 million to $257 million (20 billion yen to 30 billion yen).







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Kaboodle: For the really "Web 2.Organized"


Far too many articles about the latest in Web 2.0 start off like this: "With Flickr, you organize photos; with Delicious, you organize links; with 43 Things, you organize goals; and with (insert name of new Web 2.0 gimmick), you organize (insert name of something you probably don't organize well enough or may have never thought to organize)!"


It's a cliche, but it's got some truth behind it--from friends to shoes to books, there's probably something on the Web that will help you put it in meticulous order. With all this focus on organization, you'd think that this next-generation Internet was trying to make Adrian Monks ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_%28TV_series%29 ) out of us all.


Enter Kaboodle ( http://www.kaboodle.com/ ), the newest member of the pack. It has plenty of familiar features--bookmarking, networking, tagging--but unlike many of the more niche-oriented Web 2.0 start-ups, Kaboodle claims it will help you organize, well, just about everything, provided you can find it on the Internet.


Kaboodle is, to put it simply, a graphical and more guided Delicious. Like the famously stripped-down social bookmarking site, Kaboodle allows you to aggregate a collection of links, toss them into categories, and share them with whoever might be peeking. But that's where the two diverge. Not only does Kaboodle incorporate images, ratings and "highlights" for each link, it provides suggestions for exactly what your set of bookmarks can detail. Some of the most popular themes are shopping lists, vacation planners and wish lists.


On Tuesday, Kaboodle launched additional features, including a selection of graphical viewing options--dynamic "collages," schedule-oriented "itineraries," grids and slideshows--and user groups that add even more of a social-networking feel to the site.


You might say it's "Web 2.Overkill." (Look on the bright side: at least the creators didn't name it "Kaboodlr.") But that doesn't seem to be the opinion of Shopping.com, the eBay-owned comparison shopping site, which announced Tuesday that it would be integrating its catalog into Kaboodle. People will now be able to see Shopping.com comparisons for items they've bookmarked and a link to more detailed reviews from partner site Epinions.


Kaboodle is a cool concept, and the partnership with Shopping.com will certainly help this still-in-beta start-up gain a stronger footing--especially now that the virtual-doomsday crowd has started to predict that Web 2.0's shiny, gradient-filled bubble may eventually burst.


But, as usual, it's a toss-up as to whether Web users will actually want to use Kaboodle for back-to-school shopping lists, wedding planning, and comparison shopping. There are plenty of other sites out there for all three of those; having them all in one place might be unnecessary for some and a little too obsessive-compulsive for others. A fictional portrayal of OCD and hyper-organization won Tony Shalhoub an Emmy last weekend, but some of us are perfectly content to go on with our laid-back (and even sloppy) ways.





Greenpeace, Apple clash over toxic waste






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If Hidden Messages Persist, Advertising is Toast


Joseph Turow, Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at U Penn's Annenberg School for Communication, writing in The Boston Globe does a nice job of rounding up how advertising is changing. "Today's new media technologies allow consumers to talk back -- and tune out," he wrote.


So, what's the advertising industry doing to adapt? Well some are embedding hidden messages everywhere to make it harder for people to them tune out. These black hats are giving the rest of us a black eye with the public.


If these nefarious practices continue, over time advertising will erode to dust. The reason is that the ante will be upped. Consumers will be more motivated than ever to tune out ads. The solution - and I am partial here - is moving to having more open dialogues with constituents, warts and all.


This is why I think PR is well suited to helping clients navigate the new media landscape. We have always traded in uncertainties and in honest feedback. Leaders in the advertising community - not just the Word of Mouth Marketing Association - need to get more aggressive in weeding out the worst practices and highlighting the best. Otherwise, the sneakiness will continue.



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Design Simplicity For Business Websites


Search engines don't care about web design. People do. While search engines will not index a website for its great layout, but for the content, people will forget the website that has nothing distinctive about it.


No visual impact, no interest! Now, if you are a serious online entrepreneur and want to have a website that sends the right message to the visitors, you must know that there are some web design techniques simply inappropriate for a business website.


Many web design companies promise websites that respect the web standards, are usable and search engine friendly. Yes, that's how any website should be. But these are simple tools. A professional company will mention them, but it will also let you know how a website will increase revenue, reduce expenses, bring more customers and so on. A professional web design firm will not fashion a website "out of the blue", but conceive a design after understanding your corporate values, after analyzing the target market and respecting your brand image. That's what you should care about when you choose a web design company.


There are many elements of web design that screw up a business website. Many are simple bad practices, other purely ugly and useless. For an unknown reason business websites with really bad web design are still fashioned every day.


One of the worst web design techniques is to use Flash instead of text. Web designers have fallen in love with Flash, but that will do a website no good: it increases the size of the page and it is not search engine friendly. Flash is great for music bands, movie sites and other sites that need to make a "cool" impression. Business websites need to send other messages: reliability, customer support, experience and so on. There are some astonishing Flash creations on the web, but the most are simply annoying, useless and visitors just hate them. Flash is exceptionally bad when the designer forgets to put a "Skip Intro" button. On a second thought, a "Skip Intro" button will suggest that the content on that page is insignificant. So far is clear: Flash pages send out mixed messages. However, if you are really in love with flash and simply must have it on your website, create a non-Flash version.


Small text could also be really annoying. If people can't see your message, they'll just go away, eventually to your competitors. Another bad web design practice is using too many images and animated buttons. There's nothing worse than a website that twinkles and gets you dizzy while you try to find your way to the information through a bunch of flashy banners, buttons and useless pictures. Many web designers still use background images.


Seriously, have you ever seen a global business website that has employed such a web design technique? Most of them have a standard, classic design, with simple navigation and plain text on a white background. The graphics are in perfect harmony with the content, they are not misleading and do have proper ALT attributes. There is a reason for simplicity in web design: creating websites that are simple, logical and easy to use, creating websites that sell.


It takes a real web designer to develop simple web pages that are both appealing and simple. Simplicity in web design should not be a synonym with ugliness. Simple websites could be well-designed, elegant and bring other important benefits: they load faster, they are easier to scan and easier to navigate, they are quicker to design, build, redesign, maintain and they require less server space and bandwidth. Best of all: a simple web design will cost less and bring more!






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EXPOSED!! Sensitive Data in Your Cell Phone Easily Recovered by Anyone! Cell Phone Companies FAILED To Tell Us, the Consumer, About This Shiat!! For SHAME!!


Cell phones won't keep your secrets


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The married man's girlfriend sent a text message to his cell phone: His wife was getting suspicious. Perhaps they should cool it for a few days.


"So," she wrote, "I'll talk to u next week."


"You want a break from me? Then fine," he wrote back.


Later, the married man bought a new phone. He sold his old one on eBay, at Internet auction, for $290.


The guys who bought it now know his secret.


The married man had followed the directions in his phone's manual to erase all his information, including lurid exchanges with his lover. But it wasn't enough.


Selling your old phone once you upgrade to a fancier model can be like handing over your diaries. All sorts of sensitive information pile up inside our cell phones, and deleting it may be more difficult than you think.


A popular practice among sellers, resetting the phone, often means sensitive information appears to have been erased. But it can be resurrected using specialized yet inexpensive software found on the Internet.


A company, Trust Digital of McLean, Virginia, bought 10 different phones on eBay this summer to test phone-security tools it sells for businesses. The phones all were fairly sophisticated models capable of working with corporate e-mail systems.


Curious software experts at Trust Digital resurrected information on nearly all the used phones, including the racy exchanges between guarded lovers.


The other phones contained:


# One company's plans to win a multimillion-dollar federal transportation contract.


# E-mails about another firm's $50,000 payment for a software license.


# Bank accounts and passwords.


# Details of prescriptions and receipts for one worker's utility payments.


The recovered information was equal to 27,000 pages -- a stack of printouts 8 feet high.


"We found just a mountain of personal and corporate data," said Nick Magliato, Trust Digital's chief executive.


Many of the phones were owned personally by the sellers but crammed with sensitive corporate information, underscoring the blurring of work and home. "They don't come with a warning label that says, 'Be careful.' The data on these phones is very important," Magliato said.


One phone surrendered the secrets of a chief executive at a small technology company in Silicon Valley. It included details of a pending deal with Adobe Systems Inc., and e-mail proposals from a potential Japanese partner:


"If we want to be exclusive distributor in Japan, what kind of business terms you want?" asked the executive in Japan.


Trust Digital surmised that the U.S. chief executive gave his old phone to a former roommate, who used it briefly then sold it for $400 on eBay. Researchers found e-mails covering different periods for both men, who used the same address until recently.


Experts said giving away an old phone is commonplace. Consumers upgrade their cell phones on average about every 18 months.


"Most people toss their phones after they're done; a lot of them give their old phones to family members or friends," said Miro Kazakoff, a researcher at Compete Inc. of Boston who follows mobile phone sales and trends. He said selling a used phone -- which sometimes can fetch hundreds of dollars -- is increasingly popular.


The 10 phones Trust Digital studied represented popular models from leading manufacturers. All the phones stored information on "flash" memory chips, the same technology found in digital cameras and some music players.


Flash memory is inexpensive and durable. But it is slow to erase information in ways that make it impossible to recover. So manufacturers compensate with methods that erase data less completely but don't make a phone seem sluggish.


Phone manufacturers usually provide instructions for safely deleting a customer's information, but it's not always convenient or easy to find. Research in Motion Ltd. has built into newer Blackberry phones an easy-to-use wipe program.


Palm Inc., which makes the popular Treo phones, puts directions deep within its Web site for what it calls a "zero out reset." It involves holding down three buttons simultaneously while pressing a fourth tiny button on the back of the phone.


But it's so awkward to do that even Palm says it may take two people. A Palm executive, Joe Fabris, said the company made the process deliberately clumsy because it doesn't want customers accidentally erasing their information.


Trust Digital resurrected erased e-mails and other information from a used Treo phone provided by The Associated Press for a demonstration after it was reset and appeared empty. Once the phone was reset using Palm's awkward "zero-out" technique, no information could be recovered. The AP already used that technique to protect data on its reporters' phones.


"The tools are out there" for hackers and thieves to rummage through deleted data on used phones, Trust Digital's chief technology officer, Norm Laudermilch, said. "It definitely does not take a Ph.D."


Fabris, Palm's director of wireless solutions, said the company may warn customers in an upcoming newsletter about the risks of selling their used phones after AP's inquiries. "It might behoove us to raise this issue," Fabris said.


Dean Olmstead of Fresno, California, sold his Treo phone on eBay after using it six months. He didn't know about Palm's instructions to safely delete all his personal information. Now, he's worried.


"I probably should have done that," Olmstead said. "Folks need to know this. I'm hoping my phone goes to a nice person."


Guy Martin of Albuquerque, New Mexico, wasn't as concerned someone will snoop on his secrets. He also sold his Treo phone on eBay and didn't delete his information completely.


"I'm not that kind of valuable person, so I'm not really worried," said Martin, who runs the www.imusteat.com Web site. "I guarantee that three-quarters of the people who buy these phones don't think about this."


Trust Digital found no evidence thieves or corporate spies are routinely buying used phones to mine them for secrets, Magliato said. "I don't think the bad guys have figured this out yet."


President Bush's former cybersecurity adviser, Howard Schmidt, carried up to four phones and e-mail devices -- and said he was always careful with them. To sanitize his older Blackberry devices, Schmidt would deliberately type his password incorrectly 11 times, which caused data on them to self-destruct.


"People are just not aware how much they're exposing themselves," Schmidt said. "This is more than something you pick up and talk on. This is your identity. There are people really looking to exploit this."


Executives at Trust Digital agreed to review with AP the information extracted from the used phones on the condition AP would not identify the sellers or their employers. They also showed AP receipts from the Internet auctions in which they bought the 10 phones over the summer for prices between $192 and $400 each.


Trust Digital said it intends to return all the phones to their original owners, and said it kept the recovered personal information on a single computer under lock and disconnected from its corporate network at its headquarters in northern Virginia.


Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, a respected computer security expert, said phone owners should decide whether to auction their used equipment for a few hundred dollars -- and risk revealing their secrets -- or effectively toss their old phones under a large truck to dispose of them.


What about a case like the Lothario whose affair Trust Digital discovered?


"I'd run over the phone," Zatko said. "Maybe give it an acid bath."






Is the Fed really done?

Some think the minutes from the Fed's latest meeting clearly show that the Fed will not raise rates in September while others think another rate hike is in the cards.




3 retirement deals you can do without

Chances are, one of these days someone is going to urge you to buy a retirement investment that sounds too good to be true. If the word annuity comes up, be wary of the deal.



Will Bourbon Street Bring the Tourists Back to New Orleans?

The French Quarter may be open for business, but not enough tourists are showing up to buy. And if New Orleans stands any chance of having a real economic recovery, that has to change



How VA Hospitals Became The Best

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Bailing on Big Oil

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3 retirement deals you can do without

Chances are, one of these days someone is going to urge you to buy a retirement investment that sounds too good to be true. If the word annuity comes up, be wary of the deal.



Explore Bryce Canyon on horseback



U.S. waistlines continue to grow



A healer who stayed



AOL Kicks Off Football 2.0



Google Chief Joins Apple's Board



AOL PlayLincs Gamers Through AIM



Google Reads Up On Book Downloads



1.2 million Flickr Photos Geotagged in 24 Hours



Dave Winer Ponders Mobile



Google Allows Downloads of out-of-copyright Books



links for 2006-08-30



YouTube by the Numbers



Heinlein novel releases this September




EBay Phishing Mail Tries To Compromise Your Senses




AOL 9.0 Labeled As Badware



IPod Email Is Trojan Horse



Students Expose Themselves On Education Site



CIA's In-Q-Tel Spies New CEO



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The Internet Business Mine Field



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Counting The Hits



Snarky Anti-Google Apps Press Release Pokes Fun



Microsoft Joins The Human Answers Arena



Microsoft To Offer Google Pack Alternative



Java, JotSpot, Better Bad News?



Danny Sullivan Speaks On Incisive Move



Microsoft Tracking Down Office Leakers




Mining The AOL Search Data




Swiss National Insurance



Creative Leadership – Juicy Food for the Brand Soul



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More Pocket Money for Schmidt as He Joins Apple Board



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On BlogHer, McHummer, Business Plans via txt files and Matt Cutts



Sony to plaster Japan with new LCD TVs



Stolen smart phones scream to be found




Great job, AT&T!! You'll get the Darwin Award for this F*CKUP!!



AT&T hack exposes 19,000 identities


AT&T on Tuesday said hackers broke into one of its computer systems and accessed personal data on thousands of customers who used its online store.


The information that was illegally accessed includes credit card numbers, AT&T said in a statement. The cyberattack affects about 19,000 customers who purchased equipment for high-speed DSL Internet connections through AT&T's Web site, the company said.


"We deeply regret this incident," Priscilla Hill-Ardoin, chief privacy officer for AT&T, said in the statement. "We will work closely with law enforcement to bring these data thieves to account."


The break-in occurred over the weekend and was discovered within hours, after which the online store was shut down, AT&T said. The telecommunications company quickly notified credit card companies and is in the process of contacting the affected customers via e-mail, phone and letter, it said.






Separating myth from reality in ID theft


Gretchen Hayes was understandably concerned when she received a letter warning that she could be at risk of identity theft.


A laptop had been stolen from the University of California at Berkeley in March, and stored on it was personal information on 98,369 graduate students or graduate-school applicants, including Hayes.


The breach--which exposed names, dates of birth, addresses and Social Security numbers--was widely reported in the media, and the school created a special Web site to help individuals who found themselves suddenly vulnerable.


Widespread media reports have given rise to much misinformation and confusion around the issue of identity theft.


Bottom line:

Though headlines create the perception of rampant hackings or corporate blunders, few people whose personal information is exposed are ever victimized.


In the months since, however, not a single case of stolen identity related to the incident has been reported. The laptop was recovered in September, and police believe that the thief was interested only in the computer, not in the information in its files.







Visa deals with possible data breach


Visa USA acknowledged Saturday that a U.S. merchant "may have experienced a data security breach" that compromised credit card account information.


The statement came in response to a News.com inquiry related to customers whose Visa debit cards had been put on fraud watch or deactivated due to a security breach. The customers include a San Francisco Bay Area man whose Wells Fargo-issued card was deactivated this week and a couple in Ohio whose card was placed on a watch.


Wells Fargo referred the issue to Visa.


In its statement issued Saturday, Visa said that after it learned "of the compromise, Visa quickly alerted the affected financial institutions to protect consumers through independent fraud monitoring and, if needed, reissuing cards."






Used mobile devices share secrets


Smart phones and PDAs offer the benefit of storing information, but consumers may not wipe the data clean before selling the devices on eBay, according to research results released Wednesday.


Personal banking records, corporate notes on sales activity and product plans were among sensitive data found on PDAs (personal digital assistants) and smart phones sold on eBay, according to a small sampling taken by security software company Trust Digital. The problem is akin to one that plagues used computers that are sold or discarded before the hard drive is wiped clean.


"Personal and corporate data is being sold on the open market through eBay, and it's also available to anyone who finds, steals or purchases a used smart phone or PDA from any other source," Nick Magliato, chief executive of Trust Digital, said in a statement. "The general public needs to immediately be made aware of this fact."


In its sampling of 10 mobile devices purchased on eBay, Trust Digital retrieved nearly 27,000 pages of sensitive data. The users of these devices included the corporate counsel of a multibillion-dollar technology company that serves the legal market, a former employee of a publicly traded security software company, and an employee of a Web services company.







Toyota to sell driver-friendlier phones




Ryanair announces in-flight mobile




California passes Wi-Fi user protection bill



It's official--Pluto's out



DirecTV tests IP telephony





Fujitsu joins the perpendicular storage revolution


Fujitsu announced on Wednesday that it will ship its first hard drive to use perpendicular recording in October--a 160GB, 2.5-inch drive for laptops.


Although Fujitsu was among the first to promise perpendicular recording in 2002, others got to market sooner with the technology, which increases the capacity of hard disks by aligning the magnetic domains vertically. Fujitsu has promised two models in its MHW2 BH series, the 160GB device and an 80GB version, both of which are designed with the shock-resistance required for laptops.


Fujitsu claims that its 160GB drive has the highest storage capacity for a 5,400 rev/min disk, but Seagate and Hitachi have both launched drives with the same capacity. Seagate launched its perpendicular laptop drives in January, including a 2.5-inch 160GB product and followed up with 3.5-inch drives in April.


Toshiba even showed off a 200GB drive in June and launched smaller perpendicular drives in 2005.


Hitachi also claimed it has used better chemicals in its 160GB drives and announced plans for a 230GB drive next year.







Bloggers as Photoshop cops






Sony Ericsson to further develop music service




Perspective: Creative Commons--an answer to the copyright debate?


Have you heard of Creative Commons? If not, you may soon.


Creative Commons consists of a U.S. charitable corporation and a not-for-profit company in the United Kingdom. It believes that all-out copyright has failed to help many artists and entrepreneurs gain the exposure and widespread distribution they desire. As a result, a significant number of them are increasingly open to "innovative business models" that ensure a return on their creative investment.


This is where Creative Commons comes into play, by offering a set of licenses on its Web site, free of charge.


All too frequently, the debate over creative control has tended toward the extremes. On one end of the spectrum is a total control paradigm that Creative Commons describes as a world in which every last use of a work is regulated and where "all rights reserved" notices (and then some) have become the norm. At the other end of the spectrum is an anarchical world in which creators enjoy a wide range of freedom but are vulnerable to exploitation.







Perspective: Puffing pipedreams about government IT security



Newsmaker: When tech brains depart Silicon Valley



Microsoft tests parental-control software



Verizon drops DSL surcharge



Wireless hookups and hangups





Just as in real life, there are always losers on the Web, taking us for suckers, trying to pass off their fake photographs. I'm here to mercilessly EXPOSE these low-life fakers!


Pictures that lie

There are quite a few on this link. The blogosphere exposed 'em all for what they are - doctored photos and the people who doctored the pics were fully and brutally EXPOSED.







Let there be light, optical cables included




Check out this new Product Review Aggregator!!!



Viewscore aggregates gadget reviews


John Biggs over at CrunchGear wrote about an Israeli startup called Viewscore that aggregates product reviews of gadgets from around the web. He says it’s like the metacritic.com of gadgets. The cool technology here though is that the site normalizes numeric ratings across sites that use different scales (a number out of ten or up to five stars are converted to a score out of 100) and uses semantic analysis to determine a number for reviews that don’t use numeric ratings. All the reviews are averaged and viewable individually. You can compare prices and rate the quality of the reviews. There’s also basic information displayed about each product and a product comparison page for many gadgets.







Guba takes a gamble: affiliate payments for free accounts




Google Allows Downloads of out-of-copyright Books





Pilot invites go out for Microsoft’s AdSense competitor


Microsoft’s long awaited contextual advertising platform, named ContentAds, sent out the first invitations today to prospective participants in its pilot program. Starting on “primarily” (their word) MSN owned sites, Microsoft says that ContentAds will place advertisements using not just keywords but also demographic targeting, geo-targeting and incremental bidding tools. Sounds like AdSense plus some consideration of the demographics of various MSN sites’ readership - we’ll see what happens when ContentAds are released into the wild. We’ll probably see soon.


More big time competition for Google’s AdSense, Yahoo! Publisher Network and the other players in the field should mean higher revenue cuts for publishers and more innovation in the way ads are served. That’s the theory anyway, though Microsoft’s late and safe entry into the game leaves open the question of whether there will be much innovation here. Come on Microsoft - surprise us!


Online ad expert Jennifer Slegg, who got an invitation, broke the news (I found via) and predicts Microsoft’s entry will be especially good news for small publishers without millions of impressions per month.







Dave Winer Intros Mobile Blogging Tool




How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You're Looking At It.


For years, compact fluorescent bulbs have promised dramatic energy savings--yet they remain a mere curiosity. That's about to change.


itting humbly on shelves in stores everywhere is a product, priced at less than $3, that will change the world. Soon. It is a fairly ordinary item that nonetheless cuts to the heart of a half-dozen of the most profound, most urgent problems we face. Energy consumption. Rising gasoline costs and electric bills. Greenhouse-gas emissions. Dependence on coal and foreign oil. Global warming.


Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb Vs. Incandescent


Every swirl sold will eliminate demand for six to eight regular bulbs.


The product is the compact fluorescent lightbulb, a quirky-looking twist of frosted glass. In the energy business, it is called a "CFL," or an "energy saver." One scientist calls it an "ice-cream-cone spiral," because in its most-advanced, most-appealing version, it looks like nothing so much as a cone of swirled soft-serve ice cream.


Most people have some experience with swirl bulbs, but typically it hasn't been happy. In the early 1990s, you would step into a room in a business traveler's hotel, flip on the lights by the door and between the beds, turn on the desk lamp and the floor lamp, then stand in the gloom looking around and thinking, "There must be another switch somewhere that actually turns on the light." Every one of the bulbs flickering to life was a compact fluorescent--and five of them together didn't provide enough light to read the card listing the lineup of cable-TV channels.


For two decades, CFLs lacked precisely what we expect from lightbulbs: strong, unwavering light; quiet; not to mention shapes that actually fit in the places we use bulbs. Now every one of those problems has been conquered. The bulbs come on quickly; their light is bright, white, steady, and silent; and the old U-shaped tubes--they looked like bulbs from a World War II submarine--have mostly been replaced by the swirl. Since 1985, CFLs have changed as much as cell phones and portable music players.





Jason's Free Useful Software List




10 common misunderstandings about the GPL


The GNU General Public License (GPL) is one of the most widely used software licenses -- and, undoubtedly, the most misunderstood. Some of this misunderstanding comes from hostile propaganda, but some also comes from a lack of experience in licensing issues on the part of both lawyers and lay users, and the use of standard language in conventional end-user license agreements that are unthinkingly coupled with the GPL. In all cases, the confusion is frequently based on misreadings, rumors, secondhand accounts, and what is convenient to believe.



To get a sense of the most common misunderstandings, NewsForge consulted with three experts: Richard Fontana, a lawyer with the Software Freedom Law Center and one of the main drafters of the third version of the license; David Turner, former compliance engineer at the Free Software Foundation who is assisting with the revisions of the license; and Harald Welte of the GPL-Violations project, which tracks possible cases of non-compliance and tries to assist in resolving them. Taken together, the opinions of these experts offers a summary of the most common misunderstandings about the GPL, from comic exaggerations to potentially legitimate differences of opinion.


1. The GPL is viral


The idea that any software that comes into contact with GPL-licensed software also becomes subject to the GPL seems to have originated with Craig Mundie, a senior vice president of Microsoft, in a speech delivered at the New York University Stern School of Business in May 2001. Since then, David Turner reports, many people have come to believe that even having GPL software on the same computer brings other software under the license. In extreme cases, Turner says, this belief has lead to bans on all GPL software at some companies.


This misunderstanding stems from section 2 of the current GPL, which states only that modified versions of GPL software must also be licensed under the GPL. However, the section clearly states that if a program "can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then the GPL does not apply to it" and that being on the same "storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License." As Fontana points out, the definition of a derivative work could be clearer -- and should be in the third version of the license -- but the general principle is unmistakable.








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Iran ignores powers, U.N. on enrichment


VIENNA, Austria - A defiant

Iran kept on enriching uranium up to two days before the

U.N. Security Council's Thursday deadline for Tehran to freeze such activity or face the threat of sanctions, U.N. and European officials said.



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged European members of the council against resorting to sanctions, saying punishment would not dissuade his country from pursuing its disputed nuclear program.


"Sanctions cannot dissuade the Iranian nation from achieving our lofty goals of progress. So it's better for Europe to be independent (of the U.S.) in decision-making and to settle problems through negotiations," Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, according to state-run television.


Iran could theoretically still announce a full stop to enrichment before the deadline set by the Security Council. But that appeared unlikely, considering Tehran's past refusal to consider such a move and findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency that it was enriching small quantities of uranium as late as Tuesday.







Lawyer charged with murdering neighbor




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Chavez vows solidarity with Syria against U.S., Israel



Hurricane John blasts Mexican coast



Kentucky controller slept only 2 hours





























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Bush 3.0 releases patch for Iraq war



50 best companies for employees over 50

This year, the AARP's list gives special preference to companies that offer flexible hours. Plus, job sites for people who want to keep working through 'retirement.'



5 dirty secrets of airfares

Know them and improve your chances of landing a better deal on your next trip.



Who Will be the Next Polygamist Prophet?

Fugitive leader Warren Jeffs is arrested, but that doesn't necessarily mean the end of his sect




Episode I: The Blogosphere Strikes Back


The Blogosphere Strikes Back

China's netizens have become experts at wielding the power of the web to settle personal squabbles. This time, they took on a major tech company—and won


China's bloggers—33.4 million strong at last count, and growing fast—can be an unforgiving bunch when something displeases them. In recent weeks a Western English teacher in Shanghai whose blog, Chinabounder, described his sexual conquests of Chinese women drew the venom of netizens and prompted a frenzy of nationalist outrage, including castration threats and calls by a Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences professor to find the "foreign hooligan" and "kick him out of China." (Chinabounder is now closed to the public). Other so-called "internet manhunts" have come to the aid of cuckolded husbands (the alleged lothario was forced to drop out of university and barricade himself in his house after his name was published on the Internet) and led a charge to name and shame the author of gory photos posted on the web that showed a woman grinding her high heels into a (presumably) dead cat.


But in the latest episode of muscle-flexing, China's bloggers have gone beyond puerile vigilantism. In mid-June, allegations surfaced in the British tabloid Daily Mail that a Shenzhen-based manufacturer of iPod MP3 players for computer giant Apple Corp. was mistreating its workers. As a result of the news, Apple conducted a ten-week internal investigation and found that the allegations of forced or child labor weren't justified. But Foxconn, a subsidiary of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., felt the reports had damaged the company's reputation and decided to sue the China Business News, a Shanghai-based paper that had published articles on the issue, for about $3.75 million in damages. But instead of suing the company, Foxconn went after reporter Wang You and editor Weng Bao, the two journalists who wrote the articles. On July 13 a Shenzhen court agreed to the company's request to freeze the assets of the two reporters, including their cars, bank accounts and houses.


Earlier this week, with reports of their plight seeping onto Internet forums, the two journalists set up a blog to tell their side of the story. Describing himself as under immense pressure from Foxconn, Weng made an impassioned call on the blog to all "online friends" to "dissect" Foxconn and defend the rights of reporters to expose wrongdoing. The response was overwhelming. Thousands of messages of support poured in, with thousands more appearing in discussion forums on two of China's most popular websites, sina.com and sohu.com. By week's end, according to China's Xinhua news agency, more than three million viewers had visited the blog to join the fight. "It is intolerable," fumed a reader by the name of Flying Leopard, "Let's boycott these Taiwan capitalists who drink human blood and eat human flesh." A little digging by bloggers revealed that Foxconn had employed similar tactics against a reporter in Taiwan who had written articles critical of the company in 2004, fanning outrage at the company at the same time that stories began appearing in mainstream Chinese media.


Faced with a mounting PR disaster, Foxconn caved in, announcing on Thursday that it had asked the court to unfreeze the journalists' assets and was dropping its claim for compensation to a symbolic one yuan—about 12 cents. Not surprisingly, the victory left many Chinese bloggers feeling vindicated. "The most important outcome is that the Chinese media workers learned how they can band together and create an unstoppable tide of public opinion," mused Roland Soong, who helped popularize the story on his Eastsouthwestnorth blog, one of the best-known English-language sites about China's blogosphere. "And what new causes will come to their attention tomorrow?"


But before anyone becomes too dreamy about the future of blogging in China, it's worth remembering that China's Internet remains a tightly controlled realm where talk of mass movements, public opinion and free will are mostly forbidden. The Foxconn case will no doubt set alarm bells ringing among the growing ranks of the country's Internet police. As if to prove that point, at the same time Chinese bloggers were celebrating their victory, a mainland court handed down an ugly reminder of what happens to those who overstep the boundaries set by Beijing. Within hours of Foxcomm's retreat, reports emerged that Singapore Straits Times journalist Ching Cheong, who had reportedly been trying to collect information on the late, disgraced Communist Party official Zhao Ziyang, had been jailed for five years on charges of spying for Taiwan.





Uh oh. Here comes September

As if investors don't have enough to handle, get ready for what's typically the worst month of the year.



Polygamist sect leader agrees to face Utah charges



Teen gets 53 years for killing, dismembering rival



America's smartest cities

Latest Census numbers are in...the places with the highest concentration of college degrees.




Stone by stone, craftsmen build medieval-style castle


Once upon a time, deep in the forests of Burgundy, a man was haunted by a vision. He dreamed of building a castle, with turrets, great walls and a moat. Some people wondered if he was mad.


This was, after all, 1996.


And yet Michel Guyot set out to build his castle the hard way -- the medieval way. With only hammers and chisels to carve the stones. With only horses to cart the rock. Without power tools.


Ten years later, Guedelon castle is about one-third finished, with imposing sandstone walls that rise up out of the red Burgundy soil. It's a living history lesson and a successful tourism project: Last year, 245,000 visitors admired the work of Guedelon's stonecutters, carpenters, potters, rope-makers and blacksmiths.


The 50 paid craftsmen, plus volunteers, wear tunics and use rustic tools. Except for the occasional hardhat or pair of safety goggles, there's little to remind visitors that this is not the 13th century, but the 21st.


On a recent visit to Guedelon, I watched in awe as a man climbed into a wooden contraption that looked like a huge hamster wheel. He ran frantically, spinning the wheel and activating a pulley system that lifted a load of stones atop a tower.


When he was done, our tour group broke into applause, and poor Jean-Paul climbed off the wheel, huffing and puffing and fanning his tunic. It was all so ... medieval.


Guyot, an archaeology buff, mounted the project after restoring a castle in nearby Saint-Fargeau. Building a castle from scratch was a childhood dream -- a sandcastle on a huge scale.


"I told myself that acts of folly are the only things that one doesn't regret in life," Guyot said. "With projects like this, you just have to go for them, full-speed ahead."

Slow going


Though some pronounced the project outlandish, others quickly understood his vision. It took only one year to secure financing and get going. Work began in 1997. Guedelon, which brought in about $2.6 million from tourists last year, no longer relies on outside funding from the state or corporations.


Historical accuracy is key. Jacques Moulin, France's chief architect in charge of historic monuments, designed a blueprint for the castle based on 13th century architectural canons. Archaeologists and art historians survey the project, which is helping castle specialists test hypotheses about medieval building techniques.


"You learn that you can lift 1,300-pound beams without modern machinery," said Maryline Martin, the site director. "All it takes is common sense and manpower."


Guedelon's craftsmen say it's satisfying to build something slowly, as a team, especially in the fast-paced Internet age. Clement Guerard, a stonecutter, says measuring out and carving a complicated stone may take up to eight days.


All the stones -- ferruginous sandstone -- come from a quarry on the site of the castle. The wooden scaffolding comes from the surrounding forest.


"Using only the nature that surrounds you, you can build a chateau," said Guerard, who restored historical buildings before joining Guedelon.


On my visit, the "ping" of chisels on rock filled the air, and our tour group was occasionally moved out of the way by a passing horse-drawn cart. Our guide blended humor with the history lesson and had us play the role of invaders to explain how even the smallest architectural details helped protect castles.


Some examples: A staircase turns clockwise, forcing invaders to transfer their spears to the left hand and giving the defense an advantage. An extra-tall step requires them to take off their chain-link armor to scale it. Anyone who actually makes it up the stairs alive would have to bend over to pass through a low doorway -- giving the castle's hatchet-armed defenders a prime crack at their necks.






This Essay Will Help Your Kid Get Ahead

Actually, it won't. But why are so many products making such ridiculous claims?




Mexico to evacuate 10,000 as Hurricane John looms



Supernova caught in its exploding act



Neighbor killed; police check child molestation claim



Carolinas under hurricane watch as flood threat grows



China jails 'spy' reporter



Poverty and poor health are intertwined, experts say



Woman still believes in religion but not Jeffs



Mandela: 'Honor those who suffered for justice'



California vs. global warming



RadioShack uses e-mail to fire 400 employees as part of planned job cuts



Robert Scoble the Ultimate Connector



New Zombie King Gets 3 Years



EBay Auction Turns Into Highway Robbery







How Do You Keep Your Stuff Private On WiFi Networks?


I was talking with a geek who'll remain unnamed and he was telling me how easy it is for someone to sit at a Starbucks, slurp off the local WiFi, and recreate almost everything you do, often gaining passwords and private conversations.


I saw this once at a conference where someone up on stage was showing the audience everything that was going over the WiFi networks. For instance, did you know that if you're using many common Instant Messengers that those send your information over WiFi in plain text? I could be sitting next to you watching EVERYTHING you are typing across the Internet.


So, what do you do to keep your stuff confidential? Any tips beyond this excellent article in Security Focus on this topic? By the way, both this article and my geek friend recommended Off-the-Record Messenging if you want to hold private IM conversations over public WiFi networks.


One other problem is if you're using a common computer, say one that a family might own, and you want to keep the other people in the family from seeing the sites and things you're surfing to. Browzar is a new browser that keeps all that stuff to itself.




Related topics:


Coffee shop WiFi for dummies



Off the Record Messaging



Browzar: Your Private Window On The Web



They should've used Browzar....






EBay Faces Accusation Over Data Retention



E.U. Leads The Charge In Web Services



Portal Personalization Market To Reach $9.9 Billion





Can Accessibility And Usability Live In Harmony?


Accessibility and usability are often discussed in the same breath, and many webmasters usually devise and implement strategies for each around the same stage of a site's development.


Since usability has taken a more integral role in the design of many of the websites with which we are most familiar, it's no surprise that this can present an unintended problem from an accessibility standpoint. Before we can determine whether a website can be 100% accessible and 100% usable simultaneously, we must first define each.


Accessibility: "Will every visitor have access to all of my content every time?"


There is more to making a site accessible than simply making sure it looks the same in every browser. As a designer, it is very important to determine what features are absolutely necessary to the site, and which are extras that might be nice.


Usability: "Will every visitor be able to find exactly what they are looking for without difficulty?"


Since there is not yet the technology to read a visitor's mind and deliver what they seek immediately upon arrival, navigation should be self explanatory and easy to use. The information that any given visitor seeks should never be more than 2 clicks away from the homepage.


On the surface, these don't look to be conflicting forces. In a small, informational-oriented site, both of these goals are very easily obtained and the implementation of the strategies complement each other. In larger sites, or those that feature complex scripting to achieve the end product, however, quite the opposite is true.


Let's say we are in the process of designing a site to compete in a field full of high-tech sites. While usability may be our primary objective, we must be sure that we're not eliminating visitors by creating a site that won't display at all in a particular browser on a particular platform. In this case, we are obviously going to want as much of the calculation as possible to be done with scripting on the backend, as opposed to placing the burden on the end user's hardware.






Advertising Week Needs To Focus On Future



Real Estate Marketing Shifting To Blogs?



Bloggers, Podcasters... Do NOT Buy This Book!




New Tools For Social Media Optimization





Microsoft Tracking Down Office Leakers



Bloggers Unearth Secret Senator



UK Gov't Violates Own Copyright On YouTube



Dot-eu Speculators Play Musical Domains



Viewscore aggregates gadget reviews



Faces.com stands apart in social networking





Startup Uses Military Tech to Fix Low Res Video



Motion DSP



SynapseLife bundles lots of little tools



Synapse Life



Dave Winer Intros Mobile Blogging Tool



links for 2006-08-31



Washington Post Plans Social Net for Readers



The Washington Post, Social Media and Audience-Building



Here's an example:



Test Your Web 2.0 Awareness



Can Web 2.0 save newspapers?





U.K.'s Home Office admits to database breaches


The Home Office has admitted that the security of its ID and passport service database has been compromised several times, but denied that remote hackers were responsible.


In a response to a parliamentary question at the end of last week, the Home Office said it had had five security breaches in five years, mostly caused by civil service staff.


"The security breaches didn't involve people hacking into the systems," a Home Office representative told ZDNet UK on Thursday.


Four of the five incidents involved members of staff accessing the ID and Passport databases for unauthorized purposes. Three used their systems access privileges to conduct checks that were "not connected to their duties", according to an ID and Passport service spokesman, while in the other breach the staff member "misused data he was entitled to access".


In each of the cases "disciplinary action resulting in dismissal was undertaken," with one staff member "resigning before the proceedings came to an end," the spokesman said.


The fifth security breach occurred in a prison service system, when a "technical failure" caused the system to crash. The system has since been replaced, according to the Home Office.








New Rules for Social Media Optimization


There is an exceptionally interesting meme developing around the idea of social media optimization. It started with Rhoit Bhargava of Ogilvy Public Relations and his 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO) and this insight:


“The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.”


With contributions by Jeremiah Owyang, “Rules of Social Media Optimization and Cameron Olthuis, “Introduction to Social Media Optimization” who offers this take on SMO:



“SMO tactics can drive huge amounts of people to a website and can also determine whether a startup, website or idea will make it or not. It involves driving traffic to a website through new channels because search engines aren’t the only sites that drive big traffic anymore. While it’s not taking over SEO yet, it has the potential to someday soon.”


The ever insightful Loren Baker also gets in on the action and offers up, “Social Media Optimization : 13 Rules of SMO” and his additions: “Don’t forget your roots, be humble and don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh”.


What I would like to see added is:


14. Develop a SMO strategy - define your objectives and set goals. Be fully aware of what your desired outcome is as a result of performing these tactics. Reputation, sales, influence, credibility, charity, traffic/page views, etc.


15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely. Be cognizant of what actions will influence the desired outcome with the most impact.


According to Hans Peter Brondmo of Plum during the SES San Jose session “Marketing with Social Media“, 1% of those involved with social media are creating content, 10% will enrich that content and 90% will consume it. That’s a lot of influence wielded by content creators and those that reblog and mashup. Think about what you can do to enable content creation as well as the repurposing of that content for what might possibly be the most productive outcome.


16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices. As with good SEO, SMO tactics should become part of your organization’s best practices. Find ways to incorporate SMO tactics at the “template” level of document creation and as part of information distribution. Minor things like encouraging social bookmarks and rewarding incoming links as a standard practice across the organization can go a long way.


Regardless of the media, there is almost always going to be an “organic” and an “advertising” component. Think: SEO and PPC. Consider this session from the recent ad:tech conference in Chicago called “Advertising with Social Media“. It presented some interesting opportunities and challenges for advertisers regarding MySpace, YouTube and other social/consumer generated media. Advertisers recognize the reach of social media, but aren’t quite sure how to take advantage of it.


For reference, here is an aggregated list so far. Maybe we need a wiki for this?


1. Increase your linkability

2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy

3. Reward inbound links

4. Help your content travel

5. Encourage the mashup

6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you

7. Reward helpful and valuable users

8. Participate

9. Know how to target your audience

10. Create content

11. Be real

12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble

13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh

14. Develop a SMO strategy

15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely

16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices


Related Links and also required reading:


ad:tech Chicago - Advertising with Social Media



Marketing with Social Media



Social Media Optimization : 13 Rules of SMO



Introduction to Social Media Optimization



Rules of Social Media Optimization



5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO)






Those of you interested in blog promotion, THIS ARTICLE is PACKED with useful information! It's well worth your time!! READ IT!! THEN, READ IT AGAIN!!



21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic


A considerable portion of my consulting time has recently revolved around the optmization of corporate blogs (or the addition of blogs to revamped sites). As usual, I find a pattern emerging in the strategies that need attention and the pitfalls that must be avoided. So, rather than charging $400 an hour to give advice on the subject, I thought it would be valuable to share many of the most common pieces of advice here on the blog (business part of Rand fights with open source Rand, but loses, as usual).


1. Choose the Right Blog Software (or Custom Build)

The right blog CMS makes a big difference. If you want to set yourself apart, I recommend creating a custom blog solution - one that can be completely customized to your users. In most cases, WordPress, Blogger, MovableType or Typepad will suffice, but building from scratch allows you to be very creative with functionality and formatting. The best CMS is something that's easy for the writer(s) to use and brings together the features that allow the blog to flourish. Think about how you want comments, archiving, sub-pages, categorization, multiple feeds and user accounts to operate in order to narrow down your choices. OpenSourceCMS is a very good tool to help you select a software if you go that route.


2. Host Your Blog Directly on Your Domain

Hosting your blog on a different domain from your primary site is one of the worst mistakes you can make. A blog on your domain can attract links, attention, publicity, trust and search rankings - by keeping the blog on a separate domain, you shoot yourself in the foot. From worst to best, your options are - Hosted (on a solution like Blogspot or Wordpress), on a unique domain (at least you can 301 it in the future), on a subdomain (these can be treated as unique from the primary domain by the engines) and as a sub-section of the primary domain (in a subfolder or page - this is the best solution).


3. Write Title Tags with Two Audiences in Mind

First and foremost, you're writing a title tag for the people who will visit your site or have a subscription to your feed. Title tags that are short, snappy, on-topic and catchy are imperative. You also want to think about search engines when you title your posts, since the engines can help to drive traffic to your blog. A great way to do this is to write the post and the title first, then run a few searches at Overture, WordTracker & KeywordDiscovery to see if there is a phrasing or ordering that can better help you to target "searched for" terms.


4. Participate at Related Forums & Blogs

Whatever industry or niche you're in, there are bloggers, forums and an online community that's already active. Depending on the specificity of your focus, you may need to think one or two levels broader than your own content to find a large community, but with the size of the participatory web today, even the highly specialized content areas receive attention. A great way to find out who these people are is to use Technorati to conduct searches, then sort by number of links (authority). Del.icio.us tags are also very useful in this process, as are straight searches at the engines (Ask.com's blog search in particular is of very good quality).









Malware That Alters Search Results


There is a new malicious program on the loose, which incorporates a rootkit. It is called Zcodec and it can change search result as well as install other things.


Panda Software Labs issued a press release regarding this threat comes in a program that is supposed to install codecs for playing mulitmedia files. Unfortunately it delivers something else entirely. Panda explains:


When users are about to install this application, a user license window is displayed. However, no codec is installed, and the program does not wait for users to accept or reject the license agreement, as when they click on the downloaded file, Zcodec is installed on the computer.


Once installed, a rootkit (a program designed to hide processes, files or registry entries) is installed. Zcodec installs two executable files. The first modifies the DNS settings so that when a user clicks on results from search engines (such as Google), a different page is displayed. This tactic is exploited by the program's creators to profit from pay-per-click systems, or even to redirect users to pages designed to steal confidential data.


The second executable can have one of two executed at random. In some cases it installs the Ruins.MB Trojan. This is designed to download other malicious programs on the system. On other occasions, the file continually launches a casino application, asking for the user's permission for install. However, even if the user rejects installation of the program, an icon is created on the Windows desktop which when clicked, will prompt installation.


They're getting sneakier and sneakier aren't they?


Panda CTO Patrick Hinojosa had this to say regarding the threat:


"The combination of different techniques is becoming a frequent trait of computer attacks. In this case we see social engineering, rootkits, Trojans and even the manipulation of computer settings. The aim of the creators is to infect computers without arousing suspicion. Given that there are many such malicious programs on the Internet, it is vital to make sure your system is protected."






Growing Ideas



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'The Black Dahlia' Movie Promoted With Old School Newsreel



Thought of the Day



The Ad Lab



Top 10 Endearing Monikers Bestowed on Danny Sullivan






Google Adsense - Who's Legally Responsible for the Content


Threadwatch user Eric Giguere seems to be having a bit of a legal trademark dispute. The main source of this problem Google AdSense.


He runs a website about about invisible pet fences, however the the owner of the trademark "invisible fence" is upset that the AdSense ads use the trademarked terms and direct to a competitor. While part of the problem comes from the legal teams lack of understanding how AdSense actually works, it does make one wonder whether they actually do have a case but with Google and not Eric? In the end who's ultimately responsible for the content in contextually driven advertising, the site owner or site publishing the ads?



Related link:





Marissa Mayer tells TV not to worry about Google





Online Advertising Ready to Bubble


The USA Today (yes, McPaper) has something to say about the Web 2.0 rush that has VCs spending like its 1999. Writer Maney wisely points out that the cost of building websites is a fraction of what it was back in the bubble days, and companies shouldn't require $15 million to turn an idea into a web biz. He sounds like he's quoting straight from the Labitat manifesto -- build small and grow bigger as demand and resources require.



Related links: http://www.labitat.com/




Best Quotes of The Day On Intellectual Property & Music



Brand Simple by Allen Adamson Via Cohn & Wolfe



Why Search Engine Marketers Should Embrace New Distribution Deals








Not Making Money from Google AdSense? Sue Google!


What do you do if you upload Google AdSense to your site and don't get an ROI? Here's the plan..


1. Click on your own ads as many times as you can, after all, you need to make sure that the advertisers are still there. :-)

2. Keep clicking.

3. Have your AdSense account suspended for invalid clicks. This is a key component of the plan.

4. Sue Google for $250,000 for lost ad revenue!


How simple is that? ;-)



Related links:


Google AdSense sued by woman who admits clicking her own ads


Theresa B. Bradley filed a lawsuit against Google for $250,000 for fraud and misrepresentation after they suspended her account for invalid clicks... and this when she admits to clicking on her own ads. According to Steve Bryant in this eWeek article, she contacted Google when competitive ads appeared on her site.


According to the complaint, Google then completely removed AdSense from Bradley's site and accused Bradley of violating AdSense policies by fraudulently clicking on advertisements.


Bradley denied clicking on the ads except to verify that the advertisers were not selling competing products.


Of course, clicking ads for any reason - including checking to see if advertisers were selling anything competitive - is clearly against the AdSense terms & policies, which states "Please note that clicking on your own ads for any reason is prohibited, to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs." In doing so, she violated her agreement she had with Google when she signed up for AdSense and agreed to the terms and policies.





Google Sued for AdSense Fraud


A would-be AdSense customer is suing Google for $250,000 because it took her 100 hours to place and review AdSense advertisements on her Web site, which Google subsequently removed, Google Watch has learned.


In a 25-page complaint filed earlier this week in San Francisco federal district court, Theresa B. Bradley, a management consultant and resident of Washington, D.C. accuses Google of several counts of fraud and misrepresentation, including misrepresentation in commercial advertising, and of "willfull, wanton, fraudulent and malicious" conduct regarding its AdSense product. The suit also alleges misrepresentation in interstate commerce.












Keith Olbermann Delivers One Hell Of a Commentary on Rumsfeld




David J.C. MacKay

Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms





GigaSize Free File Hoster!!




Newspapers!! Read this article then Get Your Arses With The Program!! Start Blogging!! Develop Your Sites With Regard to Your READERS, Not Yourselves!! The World is CHANGING RAPIDLY!! You'd BEST try to keep up or ship the hell out!!



9 Ways for Newspapers to Improve Their Websites


We took a long look at the features U.S. newspapers include on their websites a few weeks back. In doing the research, we spent more time than is healthy looking at these things. So we figured we’d use this new found expertise for good and offer the newspaper industry some unsolicited advice on how to improve their websites.


(1) Start Using Tags. The structure of just about every site we looked at more or less followed that of the paper’s print edition. This is great if you are looking to read the print version of the paper but not great if you are looking to see everything the paper has written on, say, Joe Lieberman. Newspapers aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity the Internet offers to remix/categorize content.


The social news site Newsvine uses tags, and all I have to do is put in newsvine.com/lieberman and voila, I see all the Lieberman stories. Using tags to complement traditional navigation is a great way to offer alternative views of content and better relate stories to each other.


The taxonomy of newspaper sites is broken and using tags is a pretty good way to start fixing the problem.


(2) Provide Full Text RSS Feeds. Not a single newspaper we looked at offered full text RSS feeds. All of them only offered partial feeds, essentially using RSS like email notification - letting users know about new stuff in order to attract more page views. Newspaper should experiment with providing ad-supported full text RSS feeds. This is already common practice among blogs like Gawker (see right) and would satisfy the growing number of folks who want to read all their news in a single RSS reader.






The PageRank Algorithm




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Iran defies U.N. deadline on enrichment




Mephisto wiki



Mephisto blog







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Share on other sites

Holistic CRM And Overall Business Performance



Java 5 Features Provoke Dissent



Webmin, Usermin Need Updates




Don't Risk Losing Your Business Domain Name!



British Airways To Offer Google Earth Vacation Views



Google Launches Russian Blog




What’s New On Your Website?


There is nothing that impresses a visitor to your website less than never seeing anything new within its pages.


Naturally, especially in the case of small businesses, you won't want to revamp your entire website every few weeks, but there are some other things that you can do to keep things fresh, and maintain a steady stream of repeat visitors who continue to return to find out what is the latest on your site.


If you visit your favorite large website - or even your favorite website of any size for that matter - you'll typically find that it is always adding something to keep you wanting to come back for more. After all, if there wasn't anything new, there wouldn't be much reason for you to return to the site after viewing it the first time. Typically, these new sections are made up of "what's new" or "news" pages that contain small additions every few days or so. As for us we use this blog :)


Ideally, the pages would be updated daily, but in the case of small businesses, not all have the time or ability to update every single day. As long as it's more frequent than once per week, you're usually set for repeat customers.


If you want to add a "what's new" section to your website, it should generally have these characteristics:


• It continuously has new content added and updated


• It has a large number of pages due to its ever-growing nature


Your what's new page doesn't need to be anything too complex. In fact, many sites now use blog-style pages for their what's new pages, so that any updates simply need to be tacked to the top of the last inclusion. This works very well, because it doesn't make the viewer have to make many different clicks to arrive at all of the latest news. This is important, since most visitors won't make more than one or two clicks before giving up and going elsewhere to find what they want to know.


What you include in your page is truly up to you. You can talk about the latest in your products, the most recent news in your industry, or business news in general. Make sure that you do include any changes that you make to your own business or website. That is, after all, the point to keeping your visitors up to date!






Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 Released




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Woman To Google: Define 'Fraud'


A Washington, D.C-based corporate psychologist and jog bra seller filed suit against Google last week for $250,000 claiming the company wrongfully removed AdSense from her website.


Well, her attorney put it a bit more harshly. According to eWeek, Dr. Theresa Bradley's suit accuses Google of fraud, misrepresentation, and "willful, wanton, fraudulent and malicious" conduct.


What did Google do to chap her craw so bad? After spending 100 hours placing and reviewing AdSense ads, she asked Google to block ads from the competition, which is permitted in the user agreement.


Google blocked all of them, discovering that she had violated the to terms of service by clicking on her own ads. And that, dear ones, is click fraud.


Bradley says clicking them was necessary to assess whether or not the ads were for competing services, apparently ignorant of or apathetic toward the AdSense Preview Tool.


The online forums have been, to understate it, unsympathetic and unforgiving of Bradley, calling the lawsuit "frivolous." Some have even discussed whether or not she should lose her doctorate.



Google Sued for AdSense Fraud



Need to sign in at Webmaster World



Google sued for adsense fraud








Starbucks Freezes Internet Coupons



YouTube In Your Facebook



Microsoft's "Sina Steals" Post Explained



Make a name for yourself … name your stuff.




Naming Your Stuff Makes It Feel More Important


One of the greatest challenges every small business faces is getting the prospect to pay attention to how they are different.


It may not actually be true, but until you prove otherwise, in the mind of the market, one accountant is like another, one electrician like another, one print shop like another.


Creating and communicating your core difference through an effective marketing strategy is the tact I suggest, but you can give your core message a boost with a simple branding tactic I like to employ.


Think about the processes you use in your business to effectively deliver results to your clients and start giving them names. It may seem a little silly to you at first, but when you give your process to ensure accuracy on a tax return a name - 20 Point Triple Guarantee Accuracy process, it becomes more tangible to the prospect.


You don't have to stop at service processes, you can include marketing and promotion processes too. Your sales call could become a 7 Point Needs Analysis and your annual sale could become "SNIAGRAB." (That's bargains spelled backwards and is in fact the marketing work of outdoor retailer GartSports.)


Naming and documenting your success systems offers a prospect proof that you do indeed have a system, you follow steps that assure results. In many instances you can communicate how much more valuable your process is by simply showing them that it is more complicated than you make it look and that you actually do much more for them than they ever knew.


Naming every system and process that is client focused has another really valuable benefit - it makes the process seem more official to your people and will require you to document the actual steps in the system - something you really should do anyway.







Much more ado about …




Product Naming: Beware of Faux Amis



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Marketing Morality



Using Stories in Blogging






Letting the mind wander - just a little bit.



Unexpected absence(s)



MySpace driving more retail traffic than MSN search



Microsoft Cries Foul At Stolen Interface



Google Image Labeler Uses Human Labor



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links for 2006-09-01



Who's Online




Top Blogger Subpoenaed Over Alleged Slander in Comments


Jeremy Shoemaker, who writes ShoeMoney - one the most widely linked to blogs according to Technorati, has been asked to testify and supply his blog logs in a case where one individual allegedly slandered another in his blog comments. He's looking for advice.






ShoeMoney.com Involved In A Landmark Blog Case - Slander In Comments


I am sorry I have to be so vague but it appears that I am going to be deposition and logs from my blog will be subpoena for use in a case where 1 person slandered another on my blog. Anyway it looks like 1 of the people is seeking damages for what the other said on my blog. I can not get into any details what so ever about the post or even what state this is in. My attorney probably doesn’t even like me posting this much but I gotta ask does anyone know of any case law on slander in blog comments?


I had never heard of someone winning or losing a case where they slandered another in a blog comment.


I will post more when I get the green light.






Google Image Labeler Taps the Wisdom of Crowds



Google Image Labeler




Deal of the day: Nano lanyard headphones for $13




Walkman morphs into fitness-friendly MP3 player


Sony's new Walkman looks nothing like a Walkman and more like the spawn of a track-and-field baton and an iPod Shuffle. Fortunately, the result is not as horrific as it sounds.


Sony Walkman NW-S200 series

Credit: Sony


Available beginning Sept. 15, the Sony NW-S200 series comes in 1GB and 2GB sizes. Geared toward the active set, these players can detect a user's run/walk rhythm and adjust the music accordingly, count steps and calories burned and measure distance covered. Plus, it's cool if you drip sweat on it. Sony's touting the new Walkman as water-resistant, so you can pick it up with wet hands or get caught in the rain--just don't take it swimming.







OpenID has a potential cure for Website password overload


On my computer, I keep a Word file where I store my various Web site passwords. It is 102 pages long, because every time I visit a new site that requires a login and password, I write the combo down in my file.


This has got to stop. For one thing, it is terribly inconvenient. I'm sick of filling out a form when all I want to do is experiment with a new service. For another, it's unsafe. Not only does my one Word file hold almost all my passwords (I keep bank and commerce passwords separate), but since most of the passwords are the same, should one of these services get hacked, the password uncovered would give access to dozens of other sites. Sure, there are software utilities that can create and track unique passwords for me (like RoboForm, which I've recently started to use), but I wager that most Web browsers use the same user ID / password combination at every site they visit.



Open ID






This Fall: Curtain to Rise on Microsoft's ContentAds



Friday Links: Are You In, or Are You Out?





12 Easy Quality Indicators to Combine to Prove Trust


There are several quick easy ways to establish some trust for your domain. There are really no excuses to not have most of this stuff for any legitimate business website. It’s so easy and the opportunity cost is extremely low compared to the potential benefits. Read: Yes, this is speculative - but it’s also relatively easy, shouldn’t take you long, and MOST LIKELY will combine for better results. You can probably argue each one of these - but why bother when you could be out working on more sites to test it on?


1. Privacy Policy

2. Contact page with physical address and phone number

3. Submit to local listings (assists with above)

4. Extended period domain registration

5. Get a half dozen trusted links (if I told you they’d no longer be trusted)

6. Legit WHOIS data that matches other records

7. Dedicated IP* - recently mentioned by Jim.

8. Adding a FEW trusted outbound authority links - wikipedia, industry associations, etc.

9. Valid code (or close to anyhow) - you can argue this all day, but on a massive scale better code = higher quality

10. Fast server response time*

11. No 404’s

12. Extremely limited downtime*







These links were found in the Comments associated with this link:

Google AdSense Sued by Suspended Publisher




You Too Can Be Banned From AdSense With No Money Down (Enquire Within)


It is certainly no new phenomenom to see forum posters complaining about being banned. In fact, many forums members have grown tired of the repeated posting which typically look something like:


I wuz banned frum assent for no reason! How do I get my acct back

Plzzzz Help!!!


There are so many posts like this that I thought I would address the issue from both an analytical and personal standpoint. To debunk some of the myths going around that people are banned for no reason and even more to the point that these bannings of accounts (more of a suspension really) are completely and easily reversible provided there has been no violation of the Google Terms of Service.


How can I give such advise? I am one of the muppets who has banned and posted in a forum. Now I can’t say my post was anything like the one sampled above, and I actually 8531.jpgchose the forum I was going to post my questions in as carefully as I chose my words. I decided against posting them at Digital Point basically because for once I wanted a highly moderated environment. I wanted to avoid the natural backlash and rubber necking associated with these threads. If its a brand new member there is a “here we go again” attitude (highly deserved unfortunately) and if its a long time member there is a “whats the site, thats a shame” attitude. Neither of which informs nor helps your case so in my instance I decided to go with WMW. I thought at the time, I might even get a look from AdSense Advisor who hadn’t started posting at Digital Point yet.






You Too Can Be Banned From AdSense With No Money Down (Enquire Within) Part 2


I recently wrote a short “How To” Guide about getting your AdSense account reinstated. It proved to be so popular that I decided to do a follow up which contains my letters to Google. Keep in mind that these were written while I was learning the process myself. If I had been able to read my own “How To” guide, I may have done a few things slightly differently. That being said, there are some people that may find them helpful regardless. It is also worth noting that I did not receive a response until after my last letter.


Letter 1


Dear Sirs,


I believe our account was suspended due to a spike in activity. Please allow me to explain the reasons and have the account reactivated and our balance restored as soon as possible.


Our health tool located at (removed) was recently featured on the Nationally Syndicated Kim Komando show. If you are not familar, this is a radio show that goes out to over 10 million listeners. In addition to this feature, we were also featured on their site as “The Cool Site of the Day”. You can view this high profile listing here: http://www.komando.com/koolsites_cat.asp?catID=xxxxxx


Her cool sites also go out on her newsletter which has millions of subscribers. This went out on August the 18th and meant around xxx,xxx unique visitors. This number has decreased every day but would still be considered more than usual.


I imagine our account was suspended due to this spike and am hoping our account will be re-activated and the balance restored after human review so that we can continue to grow with the AdSense program.


I can also provide our raw logs to back up all of this and would be more than happy to do so.


I can assure you that we are a long established company that believes in doing things the right way. We would never click on our own ads as we are AdWords advertisers ourselves and have always supported the AdWords/AdSense


Furthermore, If you would like to talk to us over the phone, feel free to provide a number and we will be more than happy to discuss this issue further.


Looking forward to your response,








Help for Small SEM Firms




A Different Look For Yahoo! Answers In The Yahoo SERPS



Google appears to have changed how it handles navigational queries



Google has changed how it handles navigational queries





Brand Simple by Allen Adamson Via Cohn & Wolfe




Brands Should Go Beyond MySpace



MySpace Users Love To Shop - Moreso Than MSN Users




Skype Phone Frees Users


New telephones from Philips and NetGear allow people to make Skype calls without a PC. The dual purpose phones will also plug into land lines so that you can use one handset for all of your calls.


Per Skype: "Existing Skype users can sign into their account, conveniently downloading all their contacts to the cordless phone. Users also have the ability to search for Skype contacts directly on the phone, and add them to an integrated contact list for both Skype contacts and traditional phone numbers."


This is a huge benefit for consumers and will surely increase Skype's market penetration. I'll predict that these phones will be one of THE BIGGEST sellers this holiday season.







The Spam Also Rises


The cliché needs to be updated for the 21st century -- the only things that are certain are death, taxes, and lots of spam in your inbox. Network software company Ipswitch says 70 percent of all email traffic is spam, up from 62 percent the previous quarter.


SoftScan says that more than 87 % of email is spam, and nearly 90 percent of that are phishing viruses.


Besides being an irritant to everyone, it also means that a greater percentage of legitimate email marketing gets lost in the spam snowball. Since, like raccoons, spam seems to come out in force at night, I've accidentally deleted several legit emails that came in the middle of the dozens of spams I awake to each day.








Google Faces Fines Unless it Hands Over Info to Brazil



Gmail Spam Filter Bug



Auditor Loss Of Wells Fargo Data Alleged







Application Error Handling: How To Avoid Death By A Thousand Cuts


When an application error occurs, whether due to user input or an internal function, we as conscientious developers want to present an error message that will help the end user correct the problem.


However, it is possible to be too helpful with your error handling approach. By providing overly detailed application error messages to your users, you can actually be opening your site to hackers. Hackers spend the majority of their time performing reconnaissance on a site, slowly gathering multiple pieces of information to determine how a site is vulnerable. Sometimes, it is a seemingly innocuous piece of information in an application error message that provides an attacker with the last piece of the puzzle necessary for him to launch a devastating attack.


User Input Errors


A classic example of providing too much information in an application error message is an authentication failure message on a login screen. At first, it would seem helpful to utilize an error handling method that presents a distinct message indicating that the user ID entered was not found versus indicating that the password was incorrect. And, in fact, it is helpful-but more helpful to an attacker than to a legitimate user.






Kaspersky Online Scanner Is "Most Unusual"






New Singlegator Site Rolls Up Gadget Blogs


Lately, I am diggin' single page aggregators that people build around a topic using feeds. Don't get me wrong, RSS by itself is awesome. But "singlegators" (cmon, we need a cool word, right?) make it much more efficient for me to stay abreast of many blogs that focus on one theme.


I'm not alone. Brian Benzinger has a nice round up of a bunch of these sites. These include diggview and many others I hadn't heard of. Clearly this is going to be a space to watch. Someone should create a singlegator of PR and marketing news.


Speaking of singlegators, one of my new faves, Original Signal (which tracks Web 2.0) just launched Transmitting Gadgets. The new site rolls up the popular gadget blogs.



Tracking the web with Single Page Aggregators



Transmitting Gadgets



Digg View







Why the U.S. Is Holding Its Fire on Iran

The U.S. knows it must avoid harsh rhetoric and ease any fears of military action in order to have any chance at getting Russia and China to agree to sanctions in the nuclear standoff



What's Good About the New SAT Test

A slight decline in scores made headlines, but the real story is that the new test is closing the gender and income gap



More trouble for Detroit

Modest rise at GM falls short of forecasts; big drop in truck sales slams Ford; Toyota keeps gaining.



Dow hits three-month high

Blue-chip gauge closes at highest since May 11 on perfectly balanced job numbers; oil slips.



Experts: Despite their energy, kids still at risk of burnout





Judge grants restraining order for tiny abused dog


A judge is this dog's best friend.


Bebe, a 5-year-old bichon frise, a fluffy little white dog, was given an order of protection after a man was accused of beating him.


Fredrick Fontanez, 20, was arraigned Thursday on a misdemeanor count of animal abuse and released on his own recognizance, but not before the judge told him to steer clear of Bebe.


The protection order, the first for a dog in the state, was issued by Queens Criminal Court Judge Alex Zigman. It says Fontanez cannot come within a 100 yards of the dog and its owner, Derek Lopez.






Fugitive arrested after 24 years on the run


KALISPELL, Montana (AP) -- A Canadian man sought by authorities after crashing a rented airplane into a lake and swimming away as it sank with his girlfriend inside has been arrested in Texas after 24 years as a fugitive.


Jaroslaw "Jerry" Ambrozuk was arrested Wednesday on a warrant for negligent homicide in the August 22, 1982, death of 18-year-old Dianne Babcock.


Police in Plano, Texas, arrested the 43-year-old and set bail at $20,000. However, authorities said the Canadian national cannot pay bond because of outstanding immigration violations.


It was not known Thursday night if Ambrozuk has an attorney. A call to his house in Plano was not immediately returned.


Authorities said Ambrozuk, then 19, and Babcock were supposed to have been flying from Penticton, British Columbia, to Vancouver, British Columbia, when he somehow veered off course into Montana.






Van crashes through school bus stop, injuring 10




First negligence suit filed in Sunday's Comair crash




Cabo resorts escape brunt of Hurricane John





Good Samaritans slain while interrupting attack, police say


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A couple found a man raping a young woman in their driveway and tried to flee with her but were shot to death by the attacker, police said.


The teenager was also shot and was expected to recover, police said. A suspect was arrested.


The couple came upon the attack when returning to their home in the Fern Rock neighborhood from a night out late Wednesday, police said.


The 18-year-old woman broke free and began screaming about the assault, and she and the couple then fled while the attacker fired at them with a semiautomatic handgun, according to police.







Ernesto heads north, dumping rain on 3 states


GOLDSBORO, North Carolina (CNN) -- Ernesto, now a tropical depression, flooded roads and closed schools as it moved across North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, causing at least four deaths.


North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley announced one confirmed storm-related death in Nash County. Virginia State Police reported about 54 traffic accidents linked to the storm and said there was one fatality along Interstate 95 near Colonial Heights.


Two traffic fatalities Tuesday in Miami and Boca Raton, Florida, were blamed on the storm as well.


Ernesto's weakening maximum winds of 35 mph prompted a downgrade from a tropical storm. However, a strong high pressure system combined with Ernesto to produce gale-force winds to the north.



















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12 Easy Quality Indicators to Combine to Prove Trust



Google appears to have changed how it handles navigational queries




All Effective SEO Techniques Are Legitimate


SEO Blackhat just posted a wide array of examples of large businesses blatently violating Google's TOS, including massive automated content generation. Are Google losing control of SEO? Or is it something they never really controlled? What happens when most every big business does things that search spammers do on the side?



Is Black Hat SEO Officially Mainstream?



Thomson Financial Auto-Generates Content - Going Black Hat?








Having Fun at Donalds Expense - So How's this Happening?



Brazil: Give Up Gata. Google: Absurd



Sophos Announced Top Ten Threats And Hoaxes For August






AT&T Crack One Part Of Attack


The breach in the AT&T online store that exposed details of customers who purchased DSL equipment through the site was just the first step in a much deeper criminal scheme.


It seems that AT&T's disclosure of an attack on its web store resources was, in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, true from a certain point of view.


While the attack did take place, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the crime had a much greater impact than just the crack that took place:


Internal company documents show that the security breach was only the first step in a more elaborate scam that involved bogus e-mail being sent to AT&T customers that attempted to trick them into revealing additional info that could be used for widespread fraud or identity theft.


"We haven't seen anything like this before," acknowledged Walt Sharp, an AT&T spokesman.


Neither did anyone covering the story based on AT&T's egregiously incomplete information, either. Chronicle writer David Lazarus obtained a copy of an internal memo that zipped around AT&T while its media relations people were putting out the company statement about the break-in:


(T)he security breach occurred Saturday not within AT&T's own system but at "an AT&T vendor that operates an order processing computer" for the online DSL store.


"The information that was provided by customers who ordered DSL-related equipment included name, address, e-mail address, phone number, credit card number and credit card expiration," the memo says, adding that the hacked data didn't include Social Security numbers or birth dates.


The criminals promptly put a phishing scam into play. They sent out emails purporting to be from SBCdslstore.com, and claimed the victim's credit card had been declined. Those emails were faked to look like AT&T orders, and contained details like the person's address and last four digits of the credit card used.


A link from the phishing email led to a spoof site at SBCdslstore.org, a domain not owned by AT&T. That site asked for more personal information, including the important birth dates and Social Security numbers the criminals would need to pull off a number of identity thefts.



Phishing expedition at heart of AT&T hacking


When AT&T said in a press release this week that "unauthorized persons illegally hacked into a computer system and accessed personal data" from thousands of DSL customers, it wasn't telling the whole story.


Internal company documents show that the security breach was only the first step in a more elaborate scam that involved bogus e-mail being sent to AT&T customers that attempted to trick them into revealing additional info that could be used for widespread fraud or identity theft.







Biometrics Comes To Disney World




Webmin, Usermin Need Updates






Blog Awareness: Public Perception Of Blogs


Blog awareness is, as expected, highest among bloggers themselves. Members of the blogging community tend to not only write their own blogs, but read other blogs, as well as link to blog after blog.


Bloggers read other blogs, quote other bloggers, and communicate with other blog owners both online and in person.


Of course that is obvious; at least to bloggers like you. That might also be the problem. As hard as it may be to believe, not everyone is a blogger. As a result, not everyone is as knowledgeable about the blogging phenomenon as we blog writers.


What is not so obvious is the level of blog awareness among the general mainstream population. In fact, many people are not aware of blogs, even though they might even read blogs themselves. They just might not know that what they are reading is a blog. While that might seem farfetched to many bloggers, it's not that outlandish to non-bloggers. After all, many people think bloggers are only self absorbed navel gazers anyway. If the mainstream media is a guide, them the only types of blogs that exist to them are political blogs, personal blogs, and the blog stylings of various celebrities.







Happy Blog Day





How Paid Search Skills Translate To SEO


This post is a companion to our recent post titled, SEO skills that translate to paid search. Our theory as that the two disciplines are not that different, although there certainly are some distinctions between the skills we use for paid search versus SEO.


If you've ever managed a paid search account for your business, but don't know much about SEO (and have always wanted to learn more), you may be surprised at how much you already know.


Web site performance and anaytics: Marketers love statistics, and search marketers are no exception. In fact, PPC statistics are so readily accessible with nearly instantaneous results that the practice of checking them can become obsessive. Metrics play a role in monitoring the effectiveness of organic search as well. You probably already have some experience looking at Google Analytics or some other web metrics tool to review your paid search campaign results, so it's not a huge leap to start looking at the organic traffic, top referring keywords and referring URLs (if you're doing link placement - as you should be) and incorporating them into a useful report for yourself or your client.








SEO skills that translate to paid search


Sometimes it may seem that natural search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search marketing are two entirely different animals. There is a technical aspect of SEO that does not translate to paid search and a “media” aspect to paid search that doesn’t often sit well with SEOs.


So where do the two meet?


It may be surprising to some, but SEOs possess some key skills that translate very well in the paid search arena. Whether the focus is technical SEO (e.g., coding, automated feeds, dynamic URL solutions, etc.) or nontechnical SEO (e.g., wordsmithing), it’s generally not a huge leap to move from SEO to paid search (and back again).


Here are a few skills that both paid and organic search marketers can leverage.







Advertiser Resources - Going Beyond Google



From Google To Kaboodle



Apple Turns Sour On TechCrunch



Microsoft's "Sina Steals" Post Explained



Newspaper 2.0




Is Browzar Just An Adware Machine?





New secure browser Browzar is fake and full of adware


Social news rave about Browzar - they claim it a new secure browser leaving no footprints. After looking at it closer, I found out that it’s not a browser at all, and moreover, this software thrusts search via it’s own PPC-SE full of ads on user.







MySpace To Sell Music Through Snocap



links for 2006-09-02






WebshotsPro Takes Instant Web Screengrabs for Your Blog


Webshots has launched a nifty tool bloggers can use to take a screen shot of any public web page. Keep in mind, though, that these are public and listed on the Screenshot Spy and Archive.







Podcast: Revving up for online car shopping





20 little-known facts about death



The top 10 of top-10 lists



20 Things You Didn't Know About... Death






Fall movies: James Bond and not much else

After a hot summer for the silver screen, some worry that there are few big movies on tap for the fall and holidays.




Workers lose traction over past 10 years

Despite strong productivity growth, wages don't keep pace and fewer workers receive health and pension coverage.






New Bond actor has 'Infamous' kiss with man


VENICE, Italy (AP) -- No doubt there are plenty of on-screen kisses in store for Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. But none will be more talked about than the one that premiered at the Venice Film Festival.


Craig plays one of the men who brutally murdered a Kansas farm family in "Infamous," which examines Truman Capote's emotional journey into the minds of two killers that formed the core of his true-crime novel, "In Cold Blood."



West Virginia tests 9 coal miners' air packs; all fail



Weakened Ernesto drenches Mid-Atlantic



Hurricane John weakens to Category 1




Ernesto remnants drench Mid-Atlantic




















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Creative Angles Marketing to and For Non Profits - Reaching Sub-Culture Communities






75 Posts On What It Means To Be An Entrepreneur



Google Apps for Your Domain: Sharing Information, But Not Revenue



I’m Off To Canada!



An interview with investor Paul Graham of Y Combinator



links for 2006-09-03





THE WEBLIST (This is another Singlegator!!)










Turning baby hair into diamonds




How to make a router from an old PC




Video blogger Josh Wolf is free



Iran wants talks but won't freeze enrichment: Annan



Agassi's career comes to close with loss



Playing catch-up at 60

Even if your nest egg is too small to retire on, you have some opportunities to improve your savings.



Back-to-school gadgets, 101

Fortune's tech expert Peter Lewis walks you through the higher math of choosing crucial tech gear for the college-bound.




Where polygamy is a way of life -- and the way to heaven



American al Qaeda: U.S. should convert to Islam



Trooper wounded in 'Bucky' hunt has leg amputated



What we have learned since 9/11



Police: Dad kills sons, self on campus visit




Europe's spacecraft hits the moon



Farewell, Andre

Agassi's illustrious career ends with third-round loss

































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Why The 9/11 Conspiracies Won't Go Away

Turns out, we need grand theories to make sense of grand events, or the world just seems too random



Roethlisberger out of opener

Steelers quarterback has emergency appendectomy




4 CEOs on 'My idea of fun'

Heading a successful company isn't always fun and games, but these leaders aren't all business - they know how to kick back too.



Cervical cancer vaccine changes 'the talk' for many parents



What Bush Should Have Said

An alternative speech for a president seeking support on Iraq



Potential storm Florence brewing in Atlantic



Bush: U.S. must break dependence on foreign oil



'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin dead



Death of a Crocodile Hunter

Steve Irwin, the daredevil wildlife documentarian, is killed in a stingray attack while filming on the Great Barrier Reef



9/11 spawned tech-security market



Death of a Crocodile Hunter




Cinema Ad Goes Live With Audience Participation.



Hip Hop Album Releases for Sep. 5



Goose Poops on People's Heads For PSP



Google: Just Like Microsoft?



NEWS FLASH: Scoble Discovers Search



One year later...



An interview with investor Paul Graham of Y Combinator



OpenBC Design Challenge - €10,000 Prize



SmugMug: Devoted to priceless photos




GEESEE offers meebo-me-like inter-site chat capabilities! Check out this exciting new service!!


Geesee to offer cross-site chat by tag






Geesee Blog: Online communication the way it should be





links for 2006-09-04




Media Brands Look to Combined Print/Web Audits



Start-up pays people to answer questions online



ChaCha Search



Internet search gets Web 2.0 style



At silver anniversary, Sevin Rosen seeks new gold



What Google traffic looks like on map



A Day of Google



Interpreting the Data: Parallel Analysis with Sawzall



Google Labs



One Day of Google Traffic on a Map



O'Reilly Radar Blog



What the world looks like after dark



Google Maps Nighttime!!



CLA InfoCommons Wiki



Information Commons Wiki



postgenomic - life sciences blog tracker 2.0



Welcome to Postgenomic






Science Library Pad blog



Google Visualization - the Genesis Effect?



Google Visualizations



Even More Google Photos



grockwel: Research Notes



Africa is mostly dark



A Critical History of Computer Graphics and Animation



Visual and Special Effects Film Milestones



151 'Empire Strikes Back' changes



Photos of DIY full-size flight simulator



Homemade Full Size Flight Simulator



Make: Blog




Police: `Noose tightening' on fugitive




















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Cooking up innovations

Tucking into some culinary innovations, from self-heating meals to supercharged coffee.



Praising Microsoft - and attacked by wolves

... Wherein I attempt to explain why I had the nerve to say that Microsoft should get much credit for both the PC and Internet revolutions.



How Bush Plans to Repackage the War

With progress elusive in Iraq and elections looming at home, the President launches a grueling road show to remind voters of the stakes. But the Dems plan a diversion



Sharp home price pullback

Government index shows the largest quarter-to-quarter fall off in home price increases in three decades.



The supercharged performers on Fortune's annual list have the strongest three-year sales, profit and stock growth. This year, they include:



Stingray tours continue despite Irwin death



Jogger spent four days stuck in swamp muck



Football coach runs onto field, decks opposing player



Chevron says Gulf drilling a success

Well could become the nation's biggest new domestic source of oil, according to newspaper report.



Tropical Storm Florence forms in Atlantic



Irwin's last moments caught on videotape







The Dark Side of Social Media Optimization



Google Image Labeler




Rolling The Blogger Relations Dice



How do you get bloggers to write about your product?






Between Popular And Personal There Is Social





Who Makes Wikipedia Work?



Google Teaching SEO To Feds



E-Branding The Red Light District



Quoth The Googlebot, "304!"



Better details about when Googlebot last visited a page



Google Surrenders Orkut Data To Brazil



Google Reaches ¾ Of Online Europe



MySpace Cuts In On Record Label Turf




Warner Bros Presents Digital Ads



ComBOTS is easy VOIP and file transfer for your avatars



A Moment to Say Thanks to our Sponsors




Very Early Look at Synthasite’s Ajax Website Builder






Synthasite Online Web Builder





New Facebook Redesign More Than Aesthetic



MingleNow to make top users VIPs in real life



Media Brands Look to Combined Print/Web Audits



Barbara Walters to Rosie: Don't Blog Our Show



Narrowcasting with customized homepages



Enter any UPS, USPS, FedEx or DHL tracking number, and watch the package move around in a Google Maps frame.



Learning from your referrers



Making Money with Your Blog from A to Z



The Web 2.0 Economic Conundrum



Blogging for big bucks

It's not just a hobby -- some small sites are making big money. Here's how to turn your passion into an online empire.




Obsolete computer hampers kidnap probe



Media leaks prompt HP board shake-up



Kids split by digital divide



Nokia phones blend tech, fashion



Copyright treaty draws tech industry criticism



Ikea Fan Blog Helps Bring Store to Ohio






Learn SEO from Google



Social Marketing vs. "Social Marketing" Smackdown



Roy Young On Marketing Champions - His New Book



Marketing Profs:DailyFix



MarketingProfs - Marketing Concepts and Strategies: Expert Articles and Commentary



MarketingProfs Forum



Cell Phone Market Research Tip




Fantasy Football For Dummies: Getting Started



Fantasy Football For Dummies Part 1




Classifieds Bigger But Not Better



Accipter Bids for CPC With BidClix



Accipiter Buys BidClix



Google Faces Uphill Battle to Win Microsoft Office Fans



Google Launches Microsoft Office Alternative



Google Eyes Microsoft's Land



Embrace Your Fat Belly?



Google to Offer SEO Training?



The Top 10 Business Mistakes Search Marketing Firms Make



Internet Advertising Outpaces All Other Channels



Nielsen: Web Ad Spend Outpaces All Other Media



Microsoft's BrowserShield Shows Promise



BrowserShield: Helping Make the Web Safe for Surfers



What Is Your Asia Strategy For The Global Customer Base?



Developing That Web Style






Vista Ready For Tablet PCs



Microsoft Access Database Optimization



Palm Treo 700wx Is Acronymtastic



Carson Systems launches Amigo newsletter advertising



Social Bookmarking + Podcasts = Podchains



Bush uses bin Laden quotes for war rally














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I was looking at my WP Dashboard when I saw Matt's Blog.




I checked out this post on Photo Matt's blog


When You Can’t Get Started



Check out the Comments, this is where I found Judy's Blog, which is chock-full of great business advice!


Judy's blog, WRITING ENGLISH, is a valuable resource for business owners.


You REALLY need to check out Judy's blog! Someone really needs to Digg her blog!



US policy makes Iran the winner





Croc Dogs



Northern tip of Maroochy Beach









Crikey what a loss





Crikey! Croc Close-Up!





Eclipse Touting Application Development



Making The Most Of Cisco's CCNP Program Changes



The Historical Background Of Human Resource Management



Creating Supply Chain Value W/ Cycle Time & Inventory Yield



Next On The World Wide Wiki Tour: Wikia



Microsoft Ships Beta Of Web Site Builder (Expression)



Transparency Key To Shift’s Win



Would XP AND Vista Be A Bad Move?



Google Reads 200 Years Of News



Google Dials AdWords Onto Mobiles



Warner Bros Presents Digital Ads



Vista Leader Exploring Amazon Instead




Bargain Hunters Lose Papers, Find Craigslist



The Week In GeekLove: MyBlackBook.org



CrunchGear this Week



Vivapop launches boutique web calendar





ChangeEverything makes goal sharing a quiet advertisement



Wink 2.0 goes live





links for 2006-09-06



Google News Adds Archive Search



Six Apart Acquires Rojo



Feds: Expect more stock option cases



South Korea to redraw its maps with open source



Still Time to Register for WonderBranding



Do you know how to win?



Ah'm Makin' Marketing Gravy. . .!



Intel to fire 10,500 people



MSN AdCenter Now Offers Behavioral Targeting



Search Engineers Are Hackers & Criminals



DaveN Search Tool



Meeting With Kevin Rose & Jay Adelson From Digg Today



EMI Leaps to SpiralFrog



Is Digg Rigged? UnDemocratic? Bot Driven?



RSS to Impact Advertising



Should We Expect a YouTube IPO?



YouTube IPO Soon?



Making Money With Your Blog





Pump-And-Dump Spam Invites Companies To Join Up



Briton Identities Stolen, Sold On Russian Websites



Pedophile Uses Trojan Backdoor In Child Abuse


'Ilkeston Today', UK, reports Internet pedophile Adrian Ringland forced a Canadian schoolgirl to send him explicit photographs of herself, after infecting her computer with a Trojan Backdoor.


The accused contacted the victim over a chatroom posing as a teenager. Few days later he sent her a file claiming to be his photograph, which in fact contained a Trojan Backdoor and no sooner the girl downloaded and opened the file than the attacker gained control of the victim's computer via IRC channels. Thereafter the man allegedly threatened and blackmailed the victim, forcing her into submission and abuse.


Arti Taru, Security Expert at MicroWorld Technologies says "Trojan backdoors can be employed by remote attackers to takeover a victim's computer and to execute programs, reboot the system, open files, open webpages, download files, launch and manage a Proxy Server on the victim's machine and so much more. It's as if the intruder is operating his own desktop at free will."


At Inner London Crown Court last week, Ringland reportedly admitted 20 charges of Internet abuse while fourteen similar charges were ordered to lie on file. Judge Nicholas Philpot deferred sentence until October and Ringland was remanded in custody.




Australian Scammers Phishing For Models




Australians warned not to fall for model scam spam


Identity phishing campaign claims to be from a modeling agency

The scam emails claim to come from a modeling agency

The scam emails claim to come from a modeling agency.


Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses, spyware and spam, is warning of an identity phishing campaign currently being spammed out in Australia.


The campaign claims to be from an Australian modeling and casting agency and invites applications from potential agents, models and actors for TV and film work. The email is a two-fold crime, stealing its corporate identity (and much of its advertising text) from a legitimate Australian business, and asking its victims to give up their personal identification data under false pretences.


Applicants are asked to email off their personal details and a photograph to be considered for any of a number of possible roles. Although the agency mentioned in the email is a registered Australian company, the message does not really come from the firm and contact information given in the scam is a throw-away overseas email address.




Spammers Move Scams Into Attachments


To evade anti-spam scanners, URLs linked to websites run by the spammer appear inside file attachments on email messages instead of in the email body.


McAfee's Nick Kelly posted about this latest effort by spammers to get into people's inboxes. Microsoft Word documents and HTML files are becoming the choice of bulk mailers:


y moving the advertising content, most importantly the URL link, into an attached document rather than the body of the email message, spammers are able to evade some of the Anti-Spam vendors' content filtering techniques. This is because most vendors don't scan content inside attachments because this has previously not been necessary.




Microsoft Word Document Spam


McAfee Avert Labs has recently seen spammers start to use Microsoft Word documents and HTML attachments to deliver their advertising payload. By moving the advertising content, most importantly the URL link, into an attached document rather than the body of the email message, spammers are able to evade some of the Anti-Spam vendors’ content filtering techniques. This is because most vendors don’t scan content inside attachments because this has previously not been necessary.

Microsoft Word is a convenient format because it supports clickable links and most recipients will have Word installed or would be able to open the document with another compatible word processor. This is the format chosen recently by a spammer, Leo Kuvayev / BadCow, who is plugging pharmaceuticals using web sites hosted in China. This spammer sends out what appears to be an invoice/bill:







Human heads dumped in Mexican bar



Attorneys say Jones' 'B' sample came back negative



Inside the Backlash Against Facebook



Worst ways to get fired

No one expects companies to be the warmest, fuzziest creatures. But some of their behaviors can be stunningly (and, you might argue, stupidly) cold.



What's Behind Bush's Guantanamo Move

Analysis: The dramatic shift of top-drawer Qaeda detainees to Guantanamo is designed to give a fresh rationale for the controversial prison camp. And, oh yes, there's an election coming



Bush: CIA holds terror suspects in secret prisons


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA operates secret prisons abroad for holding key suspects in the war on terror, President Bush acknowledged Wednesday.


Though Bush said the United States never tortures suspects, "alternative" interrogation methods are used to glean information from them. These procedures "were tough, and they were safe and lawful and necessary," he said.


Bush's acknowledgement came as the president announced that he was sending legislation to Congress that would authorize military tribunals for terror suspects and set clear rules to protect U.S. military personnel from facing prosecution for war crimes.







Playing with fire

How investors should handle the ten biggest stocks on our list of Fastest-Growing Companies.



Secret of success: Be a bulldog

It's perhaps the most crucial ingredient of corporate leadership, and you can't learn it in business school: The stubborn determination it takes to get stuff done.




Ford Motor's New Chief: "I Think It's a Tough Situation"

In an interview with TIME, Bill Ford and Alan Mulally talk about the automaker's bold change at the top



Fed: Economic growth slowing

Beige Book says rising costs for energy, construction, contributed to slowdown in nearly half of districts.



Playing with fire

How investors should handle the ten biggest stocks on our list of Fastest-Growing Companies.



Fresh start ends in a bloodbath at quaint Maine inn



Cousteau: Irwin 'a remarkable individual'


(CNN) -- Philippe Cousteau, grandson of famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, was working with Steve Irwin on a Discovery Channel project called "Ocean's Deadliest" when the popular TV naturalist died this week in a stingray attack.


Cousteau joined "Larry King Live" from Cairns, Australia, to talk about his impressions of Irwin and the legacy of the "Crocodile Hunter."


KING: Philippe, what were you doing there? Where were you, and how did this all come together for you?


COUSTEAU: ... Steve was in the water actually when all of this happened obviously, and I was on the boat. I was reading a book when we got the call over the radio.








Dobbs: Voters won't tolerate 'axis of amnesty'



Today's medical training -- better or worse for patients?



Lone Kentucky crash survivor awakens





Irwin's death strikes a chord


(CNN) -- "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin is being remembered for a personality that was larger than life, much like the giant posters outside of his Australia Zoo, where a steady stream of fans have left hand-written notes, flowers and stuffed animals since hearing news of his death.


Irwin's willingness to swim with sharks, grab deadly and often cranky snakes by the tail and wrestle with crocodiles -- armed only with a goofy grin, khaki shorts and a pair of well-worn work boots -- won him an international following.


Media expert Robert Thompson said he was a little surprised by the media's focus on Irwin -- especially given the glut of long-anticipated celebrity news, such as Katie Couric's debut anchoring the "CBS Evening News," Rosie O'Donnell's arrival on "The View" and the first photographs of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter, Suri.


"I think of the many great television personalities, and they die and we hear an obituary. And for about 12 hours there are reports and acknowledgements, and you see clips of their shows and all the rest," said Thompson, the director of Syracuse University's Center for the Study of Popular Television. "This broke on Monday, and it's already Wednesday and there's no sign of it stopping."






Austria kidnap girl's TV interview







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Business Better Than Sex For Searchers



What You Already Knew About Web-TV



Digg Unearths Controversy



Borrell: Local Ads $7.7B In 2007



SpiralFrog Adds EMI Music Catalog



SPIRAL FROG [ a digital entertainment destination ]





Facebook Revolution! Users Harness Their Che


The Colonials had their Tea Party; the Boomers had Nam; Generation X, everything we could think of as long as we didn't miss Seinfeld; Generation Why, because Facebook sent a news feed to spy on them.


Vive la Revolution.


The second most popular social networking site quite unexpectedly plucked the bitterest rhubarb in the bunch just by giving the site a simple update.


From the outside, the blogosphere yawned and mentioned the facelift and went on gathering what was left of the daily minutia. Facebook News Feed will update your friends about what's going on in your life, from breakups to upcoming keggers.


But from within, these were the buds of what Time called this generation's first official revolution. Facebook members were seething, and set off the largest revolt in social networking history (if we were to chronicle such a thing - which we do, from Forbes to USA Today and back).


The avatars of el Che began their proselytizing at once, inciting other members to boycott until Facebook returned their privacy.


Yes, privacy in public is what they demanded. In three days, there was a host of 500,000 gathered among the Sphere, stretching all the way to Blogspot. Within their ranks there was talk of "Big Brother" and what must be done to stop him.


They posted notice at the door of the Cathedral:


You went a bit too far this time, facebook. Very few of us want everyone automatically knowing what we update. We want to feel just a LITTLE bit of privacy, even if it is facebook. News Feed is just too creepy, too stalker-esque, and a feature that has to go.


We demand that either the feature goes or that we have an option to remove ourselves from the feature.… Is it right for Facebook to automatically broadcast a break up with a boyfriend or a denied friendship-add to all those most peripheral of relationships(?)


Do we dare let Facebook become the magazine and we the Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies(?) Facebook is the proletariat, we are Facebook and we should control it. These new features sign the rights over our social lives away to the intangible and entangling automation of the Internet. Say yes and join this group.


And then 600,000 voices were heard against the coming dawn. "Yes, I will join this group," they said.







A Day Without Facebook

A call for Facebook users to boycott Facebook on September 12, 2006



Why take this day-off?


As Facebook users we are almost universally against the new Feeds, and yet the response from Facebook has been to completely ignore our complaints, and in fact, in one response “Pete” our friendly customer service representative is actually boasting about some of the most complained about features. There are over 350 anti-Feed groups on facebook now, and less than 5 in favor of the development.


Clearly the Facebook organization is not listening.


Who should take the day off of Facebook?


Everyone! High Schoolers, College Students, Professionals, even our newly invited Politicians should take the day off Facebook!


What does a day without Facebook accomplish?


It is becoming blatantly apparent that the powers that run Facebook are no longer in it for the community or the users. While we have all appreciated Facebook, it is not a necessary part of our lives. And it is not the only way we can keep track of our friends. Think of the previous social networking sites that were hot for a time and eventually were replaced. Facebook is no different than Orkut or Friendster, it can be replaced.


Do we want to replace Facebook? No, but it would be nice to have the organization be responsive to the concerns of the vast majority of its users.


Who should support the Day Without Facebook?


Primarily, the Microsoft corporation should support the Day Without Facebook. Microsoft and Facebook have recently entered an agreement for Microsoft to provide the advertising content for the Facebook network. The new Feeds advertise themselves as a way to have less clicking and searching. Clicking, searching, and opening multiple pages is the bread and butter of click-through advertising. By changing the delivery method – Facebook has changed Microsoft’s ability to make money.


Without insulting Microsoft, it is not a corporation I imagine takes lightly people messing with its money. Again, this is said in as nice a way possible, Microsoft has used its power and authority in other business ventures and dealings before. It would make sense for Microsoft to support the end users (and clickers of advertisements) of the Facebook agreement.


Secondly, the Politicians should get involved. Coupled with the new Feeds, Facebook has recently invited every political candidate to launch a Facebook page, and has created the “Support” system where Facebook users can choose to publicly support a favored candidate. Normally I would never advocate government intervention of any means, but Facebook has already opened the doors to our lawmakers and governing officials. Threaten an investigation, propose legislation, demand accountability; whatever it takes. You want us to be involved in what you do, perhaps a first step is to get involved with what matters to us. I’d love to see a thousand press secretaries issuing a thousand releases tomorrow calling for facebook to be responsive to its users.


Finally, the most addicted of us should support this. As stated above, it is believed that Facebook makes its money off of click-through advertisements. Without its most prolific viewers and clickers, Facebook would not survive. I know it will be hard, but if you pledge to support the day without Facebook, your friends will notice.


Why do the Feeds make so many of us angry?


There is one major reason there is a sense of anger over the Feeds feature.


It damages what privacy was left on Facebook. Before Feeds, it was already easy enough to stalk anyone at your school, and everyone on your friends list; but with the advent of Feeds, it is now nearly impossible not to be “stalked” or to “stalk”


Without even trying an individual now knows the changing relationship status of individuals on their friends list, the new “friendships” added by users, and the photos tagged by either a user or a user’s friends.


It is almost impossible now to keep your information to yourself. In the last year this has become incredibly important as we have seen judicial actions brought against students based solely on photos posted on facebook, we have heard of cases concerning actual stalking where Facebook was the accused main form of information, and we have seen employers who have begun using Facebook to check on potential employees.


Before Feeds there were steps that could be taken to prevent your information becoming everyone’s property; now there is literally no option to prevent your information from going completely public.


This feature was not requested by the users, and the users are not given a chance to opt out of it.


There are other reasons users are complaining, ranging from the fact it takes away the time-wasting aspect of Facebook to aesthetic complaints about the new look.


Clearly there is a desire to not have Feeds be the Facebook standard.




This is why we are suggesting users boycott Facebook on Tuesday, September 12, 2006

If there are no changes made to retract some of the Feeds utility.






1,704 posts tagged Facebook





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#54 - Writing hacks (hacks for writing)

Part 1: Starting


Writing is easy, it's quality that's hard. Any idiot who knows 5 words can write a sentence (e.g. “Dufus big much Scott is”). It might be grammarless, broken, or inaccurate but it is writing. This means that when people can’t start they’re imagining the precision of the end, all polished and brilliant, a vision that makes the ugly clumsy junkyard that all beginnings are, impossible to accept. Good voice, tone, rhythm, ideas and grammar are essential to good writing, but they’re never introduced all at once. I promise you, the first draft of Strunk and White didn’t follow Strunk and White. The secret, if you can’t start, is to begin without constraints. Deliberately write badly, but write.


For this reason writer’s block is a sham. Anyone who wrote yesterday can write today, it’s just a question of if they can do it to their own satisfaction. It's not the fear of writing that blocks people, it's its fear of not writing well; something quite different. Certainly ever writer has moments of paralysis, including myself, but the way out is to properly frame what’s going on, and writer’s block, as commonly misunderstood, is a red herring.


Consider this: Have you ever been blocked while playing Frisbee? Eating doughnuts? Dancing naked in your living room? Those are joyful things and there's nothing at stake: if you fail, who cares? Nobody. If there are no rules, and no judgment, psychological blocks are impossible. And remember writers like making names and overthinking things: there is no term for architect-block, painter-block, juggler-block or composer-block. Every creative pursuit faces similar pressures, but they don’t obsess about it the way writers seem to do.


So play. Loosen up. Smile. Break the framework that’s making it impossible to start. Forget the deadline and the assignment and just be an open mind with a pen. Remember that until you say you’re finished, you can break all the rules. If you can’t get started, your psychology is making the challenge bigger than you can handle. Thinking of the book, the chapter, the page, the paragraph, is all too big if while you’re thinking, the page remains blank. Like a weightlifter out of his class, a writer with a blank page needs to lighten the load.






Scott Berkun Forums



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Credit card companies form security council


The five major credit card companies have teamed up in the interest of better security.


American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International announced Thursday the creation of an organization to develop and maintain security standards for credit and debit card payments. It's the first time the five brands have agreed on a single, common framework.


The newly formed Payment Card International (PCI) Security Standards Council will manage the PCI Data Security Standard, first established in January 2005 with the intention of making its implementation more efficient for all parties involved in a payment card transaction. That includes merchants, payment processors, point-of-sale vendors, financial institutions and more than a billion card holders worldwide.


The companies have come together despite being in competition with each other because they say ensuring better security will benefit everyone.


"First of all, it's to protect the information of our mutual customers and to make the process of data security compliance easier," said Rob Tourt, vice president of network services for Discover.


Having a single data security standard is a critical issue for the entire industry and will simplify the process, said Brian Buckley, Visa's senior vice president of international risk management.


"Our view is that this is first and foremost an important initiative to get data security in place for payment cards," he said.


Having the common accepted set of rules should foster broader compliance, said Bruce Rutherford, MasterCard's vice president of payments. Those rules include instructions on proper data encryption, common technical standards and security audit procedures.


The first action of the new council was to update the PCI security standard, which was promised in May. The revision gives instructions for how to implement the new standards and clarifies language that was previously considered vague. For example, terms such as "periodically" and "regularly" were swapped for definite deadlines like "annually" or "quarterly" where appropriate. A statement released by the newly formed council said the revisions were the result of feedback from vendors, merchants and payment processors.




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