news bits

  • Google's new e-mail slammed: Although Google's free "Gmail" service isn't even available yet, critics already are pressuring the popular search engine maker to drop its plans to electronically scan e-mail content so it can distribute relevant ads alongside incoming messages. this somehow better than MSN/Hotmail collecting personal information? I wonder if these same critics trust Microsoft to act ethically? I wonder if these same critics use Google search - which does the exact same thing and tracks it as well. Not to mention the fact that it's a free service - did people think Google would do it without generating revenue somehow? Is it somehow worse to have a script evaluate your email and return ads accordingly, than to have irrelevant ads plastered over your screen? Can you imagine how much it will cost advertisers whose ads are triggered by spam? >:) At the end of the day - we lost real privacy a long time ago; jumping up and down about an opt-in service like this is just ... well it's not even shutting the gate and the horse is not just gone, but probably died of old age.
  • Oliver burns meat and two veg: CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver has brought a whole new meaning to overdone meat and two veg, burning his "crown jewels" while cooking. I recall everyone making jokes about this when "Naked Chef" was first aired...
  • The big TV turn-off: The television networks have suspected all year that Australians were watching less TV. Now they know the truth: Australians aged 25 to 54 are switching to the DVD player
  • Rocket man ready for DIY space race: Intrepid Canadian computer designer-turned-astronaut Brian Feeney plans to strap into his red 4.88 metre Wildfire rocket later this year and soar to a height of 24,000 metres while strapped to the world's largest helium balloon. Once in position, he will fire his craft's twin engines, which guzzle a cocktail of kerosene and liquid oxygen and blast into stratospheric sub-orbit which is around 100 kilometres above earth. After a perilous five minute space flight, Mr Feeney then hopes to float back by parachute.


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