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Some ISPs tracking every click you make

50°
337w ago - The online behavior of a small but growing number of computer users in the United States is monitored by their Internet service providers, who have access to every click and keystroke that comes down the line.

The companies harvest the stream of data for clues to a person's interests, making money from advertisers who use the information to target their online pitches.

The practice represents a significant expansion in the ability to track a household's Web use because it taps into Internet connections, and critics liken it to a phone company listening in on conversations. But the companies involved say customers' privacy is protected because no personally identifying details are released.

The extent of the practice is difficult to gauge because some service providers involved have declined to discuss their practices. Many Web surfers, moreover, probably have little idea they are being monitored.

But at least 100,000 U.S. customers are tracked this way, and service providers have been testing it with as many as 10 percent of U.S. customers, according to tech companies involved in the data collection.

Although common tracking systems, known as cookies, have counted a consumer's visits to a network of sites, the new monitoring, known as "deep-packet inspection,"...
 

Pioneer drops plasma but pushes on Blu-ray

50°
337w ago - Pioneer has confirmed its intention to cease the in-house production of plasma panels, but will increase its focus on Blu-ray and audio/video products linked with displays.

The company plans to develop next-generation wall-mounted TVs with wireless connections. It will also develop video and audio analysis technologies through research into high picture and sound quality.

It will focus on new Blu-ray players which will be combined with other products and recorders, and will also continue to develop its speaker business.

Through its ongoing alliance with Sharp, Pioneer will develop acoustic systems for ultra-thin, flat-panel TVs, with outstanding sound quality. Pioneer will also work with Sharp Blu-ray Disc-related products.
 

The end of Vista?

350°
337w ago - The blows just keep on coming for Vista. It started with an extension of the life of XP and has continued with Microsoft's recent announcement that Windows XP's life will once again be extended, this time for two years and for ULC (ultra-low-cost) PCs, such as the Eee PC.

As if that wasn't enough, Bill Gates has also come out and said that the next version of Windows, Windows 7, is coming "sometime" next year. Considering that Vista hasn't even been on the market for two years yet, the fact that XP is still so popular and Microsoft is already talking about the release of the next iteration of Windows does not bode well for Vista.

Vista has been plagued with problems and complaints, ranging from a lack of driver support to the controversial UAC or User Account Control. Could Microsoft be attempting to quitely abandon Vista? I hope not (I own Windows Vista Ultimate).

As with any new operating system, there will always be a learning curve and those who are hesitant to adapt to the new software. For example, Windows XP had its fair share of complaints when it first came out too. Nevertheless, the criticisms directed at Vista seem to be much more relenting than those that against XP when it was first released and the recent announcements by Microsoft serve only to strengthen...
 

M33xEver Custom Firmware Plug-Ins for PSP released!

100°
337w ago - Red Squirrel has released M33xEver, a Custom Firmware plug-in that allows users to permanently activate the "speedy waves" Easter egg included in 3.90 M33-3.

This plug-in will retain the fast-forward like motion of the waves while keeping your PSP's original date and time settings intact.

Download: M33xEver v2 CFW Plug-In / M33xEver CFW Plug-In

Changes v2:

Now instead to set date to April 2, the plug-in will patch only the waves. Date will remain correct and at the same time you will have the waves of the M33 birthday surprise!
 

Hydrogen-powered plane takes off

50°
337w ago - The first manned, hydrogen-powered plane has been successfully tested in the skies above Spain, its makers say.

The small, propeller-driven craft, developed by aviation giant Boeing, made three short flights at an airfield south of Madrid, the company said.

It was powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which produce only heat and water as exhaust products.

The tests could pave the way for a new generation of greener aircraft, the company said.

Boeing's chief technology officer John Tracy said the flights were "a historical technological success" and "full of promises for a greener future".

Small future

Three test flights of the two-seater aircraft took place in February and March at an airfield at Ocana, south of Madrid. The plane was modified to include a hybrid battery and fuel cell system developed by UK firm Intelligent Energy.

The fuel cells, which create electricity by combining oxygen and hydrogen, were used to power an electric motor coupled to a propeller.

During take-off the plane's batteries were used to provide an additional boost, but whilst in the air, the plane relied entirely on the cells.

Boeing said the plane has a flying time of 45 minutes but tests were limited to around half that time.
 
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