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chinagoogleFT.com: An online news service recently launched by Google, the world’s leading internet search company, has been hit by serious access problems in China that are blamed by some experts on government blocking. An effort by Beijing authorities to bar access to the Chinese Google News website would be a considerable setback for the US internet search company, which is seeking to expand its profile in the fast-growing but highly competitive Chinese market. >continue reading<

related items:
The plight of the Bo Ke (blogger) in China. New Scientist has an interesting story about the struggles of bloggers in China and the "Great Firewall" of government censorship there. via Boing Boing

BBC: Net users are getting the chance to fight back against spam websites. Internet portal Lycos has made a screensaver that endlessly requests data from sites that sell the goods and services mentioned in spam e-mail.

Lycos hopes it will make the monthly bandwidth bills of spammers soar by keeping their servers running flat out. The net firm estimates that if enough people sign up and download the tool, spammers could end up paying to send out terabytes of data. Click here to continue reading.


Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

innovationBBC News: It is unlikely that future technological inventions are going to have the same kind of transformative impact that they did in the past.

[C]hange and innovation in technology that people will see affecting their daily lives, he says, will come about slowly, subtlety, and in ways that will no longer be "in your face". It will creep in pervasively. >more< My take: ;-D

jetpodBBC: Commuters could soon be taking flying taxis to work instead of waiting in line for a street cab, experts suggest.

British developers Avcen say Jetpods would enable quick, quiet and cheap travel to and from major cities. The futuristic machines will undergo proof-of-concept flight tests in 2006 and could be ready for action by 2010. As well as taxis, which would use a network of specially-built mini runways, there are military, medical and personal jet versions as well.

London-based Avcen say Jetpods would be able to travel the 24 miles from Woking, Surrey, to central London in just four minutes. And because it could make so many trips, fares for a journey from Heathrow to central London could cost about £40 [57€, $74] or £50 [72€, $93] . Click here to continue reading.

Investors should contact Avcen as early as possible.

kayaWired: Kaya is ravishing. She has full lips, long lashes, and a slightly upturned nose. Her expression radiates confidence and power, and her smooth skin is well scrubbed and dotted with freckles. But she doesn't have much of a body. At all. In fact, she exists only from the neck up. Kaya is a CG model, a 48,200-polygon beauty created by an artist in São Paulo, Brazil. And she's sure to be a finalist in the Miss Digital World beauty pageant.

Jade (not Kaya)The man behind the event is Franz Cerami, an Italian promoter who's trying to start the world's first CG talent agency. His dream is to manage a bevy of virtual beauties, posing and costuming them for pinup calendars, videogames, ads, and movies. The benefits of digital models are obvious - they never age, never have bad hair days, and can be on location in Tokyo, Paris, and Hollywood simultaneously. <continue reading>

Click here see Kaya in action. Watch the earrings ;-D.

via Marginal Revolution

Addendum: I have already ordered a pack of contact lenses to stay competitive. Status quo ("no frills era"):

But there is no need to worry.

Thanks God I didn't lose my "leisure watch" (you can buy it here).watchlost01

chipbajaBBC Science producer Simon Morton goes clubbing in Barcelona with a microchip implanted in his arm to pay for drinks.

Imagine having a glass capsule measuring 1.3mm by 1mm, about the size of a large grain of rice injected under your skin. Implanting microchips that emit a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) into animals has been common practice in many countries around the world, with some looking to make it a legal requirement for domestic pet owners.

chipbaja2Last week I headed for the bright lights of the Catalan city of Barcelona to enter the exclusive VIP Baja Beach Club. The night club offers its VIP clients the opportunity to have a syringe-injected microchip implanted in their upper arms that not only gives them special access to VIP lounges, but also acts as a debit account from which they can pay for drinks. This sort of thing is handy for a beach club where bikinis and board shorts are the uniform and carrying a wallet or purse is really not practical. Click here to read the story.

alice1A computer chat program called Alice has won a prestigious prize for human-like conversation for the third time. It was judged to be chattiest bot out of the four finalists in the Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence held in New York on Sunday. The event is based on the Turing Test, which suggests computers could be seen as intelligent if their chat was indistinguishable from those of humans. Click here to read the story. Click here to talk to Alice.

The shiny, wipe-clean future we are headed for may seem like a cold and uninviting place, but if existing technology is any guide then feelings and emotions are going to play a big part in this hi-tech world. Click here to read the story.

via Agoraphilia

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What is cocooning?