Alvin and the Chipmunks
Thoughts On The State of Journalism and Teaching


by Craig Reynolds

Network risks and policies: the CIA decided to go public with word of successful network-based attacks: CIA Says Hackers Have Cut Power Grid ("Several cities outside the U.S. have sustained attacks on utility systems and extortion demands.") Despite some early sniggering that this administration would look the other way FCC Earns Kudos for Net Neutrality Inquiry. An ISP decides to charge extra for "heavy usage," but by their definition essentially everyone is a heavy user: Time Warner: Download Too Much and You Might Pay $30 a Movie. Similarly, by RIAA's definition, it doesn't matter if anyone actually downloaded your files, and intent is irrelevant: EFF Files Brief in Atlantic v. Howell Resisting RIAA's "Attempted Distribution" Theory. (Speaking of tortured readings of copyright law: Ford: Car owners are pirates if they distribute pictures of their own cars.)

Messenger at Mercury: NASA's MESSENGER probe makes its first swing by Mercury in an intricate years-long orbital path: Spacecraft Zipping Past Mercury and Spacecraft Beams Home New Images of Mercury.

Post-Macworld analysis: Enhancing Its Hits, Apple Adds Movie Rentals, Ultralight Laptop, MacBook Air's tradeoffs and MacBook Air doesn't have a user-replaceable battery. Added 1-20-08: Macbook Air vs. Commodore SX-64 (via, via).

Technobits: anti-cholesterol snake oil: Drug Has No Benefit in Trial, Makers Say --- inadequate gusset plates: Plates focus of Minn. bridge collapse probe --- Team Creates Rat Heart Using Cells of Baby Rats (see images) --- A tenfold improvement in battery life? --- A New Front in the Console Wars --- Stanford Computer Scientist Gets Academy Award for Fluid Simulation --- 'Darkest ever' material created (see related items from 2006 and 2007) --- in the wake of MIT's fumbling after Star Simpson was arrested at Logan Airport, The Tech: At Meeting, Faculty Vote Not to Restrain MIT Press Releases --- Top 10 Telephone Tricks --- Best Science Images of 2007 Honored.