Pr0n at Work = Addiction?
Spawning from such cases as a recent lawsuit with IBM over employee termination due to online sex chatting at work, recent debate over whether Internet abuse is a legitimate addiction
, akin to alcoholism, is heating up. Attorneys say recognition by a court—whether in this or some future litigation—that Internet abuse is an uncontrollable addiction, and not just a bad habit, could redefine the condition as a psychological impairment worthy of protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
. Businesses would be required to allow medical leave and provide counseling. The condition could even make it into the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's DSM
, making it a full-blown neurosis. It wouldn't be a complete surprise, with a recent Stanford study showing that 14% of people state it would be "hard to stay away" from the net for a few days in a row.
posted on Dec-14-06 at 5:05 AM
India's Outsourcing Problems
One of the most controversial aspects of the global economy has been the newfound freedom of companies from physical location and the subsequent spread of outsourcing jobs
. No country had embraced tech outsourcing with the passion of India. Of late, problems there are beginning to rise
: engineers start a project, get a few months' experience, and then bolt for greener pastures, bringing a level of attrition that replaces entire staffs within the course of a year. Combine that with salaries in Bangalore that are rising at 12% to 14% per year and it is no surprise that companies are leaving India for a slew of emerging hot spots for IT outsourcing such as the old Soviet Bloc
, China, and Vietnam
. This comes as companies such as Microsoft continue to laud outsourcing
and proudly proclaim that it is here to stay
, and it looks as if Ho Chi Minh City will be the next Bangalore.
posted on Dec-11-06 at 4:31 AM
Taking Open Source to the Next Level
Linux? Firefox? Bah! German Markus Merz scoffs at these posers. Instead, he steps up to offer the OScar project, whose goal is to develop and build an open source *car*
. While not in the same class as a Range Rover or Hummer, they hope to make something more simple and functional. This isn't the only example of hardware-based open source projects. Others include Zero Prestige
, which designs kites and kite-powered vehicles, and Open Prosthetics
, which offers free exchange of designs for prosthetic devices.
posted on Dec-8-06 at 5:26 AM
Grandma's Little Helper
Tired of bluehairs clogging up the left lane doing 20? Apparently, there are companies who feel the same way. Aware Car has developed a computer system that tracks other cars
and compensates for the losses in reflex that accompany aging. This is only one example of the new industry of providing technology to the elderly, who will reach record numbers in the next 20 years as the Baby Boomers continue to age
. Pictures show GPS tracking for wheelchairs, "caller ID on steroids", and the new driving system in action.
posted on Dec-5-06 at 5:29 AM
Thanksgiving for those in the $1.5 billion turkey business is as insane as Black Friday for retailers and Christmas for ministers. Ever wonder what a day in the life of getting your favorite bird
is like? By the way, your average run-of-the-mill Butterball ain't the only game in town anymore. Do you prefer free-range or antibiotic-free turkey? Fine. How about the Heritage Turkey
: a behemoth that boasts the ability to actually fly, looks like a B-1 Bomber on the wing, and has darker, more succulent gourmet meat. It never hurts to have any pictures, either. Happy Thanksgiving!
posted on Nov-22-06 at 5:09 AM
Crime and Punishment, Online Style
Long a bastion of metaverse fantasies, avatars competing for style, and commercial dreams, Second Life
has become a phenomenon. Lately, though, things are going a bit awry. Hacking attempts have been common, with the latest
shutting things down only a few days ago. To address this crime, the SL crew is looking into creating a virtual FBI
. Dibs on the Scully avatar
posted on Nov-21-06 at 5:05 AM
On the Eve of the Big Release
Just in case you haven't drowned in the flood of stories about the new consoles, Businessweek is offering a few more. For the PS3, we have a summary article giving information on Sony's current situation
, along with a 4 (out of 5) star review
. In the Wii's corner, we have an interview with two of Nintendo's developers
, who discuss the rationale behind the controller redesign, pricing, and keeping their gamers happy. Call it a little light reading before you hit the lines tonight.
posted on Nov-16-06 at 7:21 AM
Tip-Tip-Top of the Line
It's pretty sad when $255,000 and 3.7 seconds for 0 to 62 is the bottom of the heap. That's the Ferrari Fiorano
, joined in its exclusive club by such beauties as the Lamborghini Murciélago LP640
($319K, 3.4 sec). The group is led by the amazing Bugatti Beyron
, which clocks the 0 to 62 in an astonishing 2.5 seconds and hits 188 mph in only 17 seconds; the damage: only $1.4 million. Here are more pix and models
, just in case you haven't drooled enough.
posted on Nov-15-06 at 5:07 AM
From Broadband to Broadway
Video bloggers are the newest phenomenon to go from online to the mainstream. For example, Amanda Congdon
, former host of Rocketboom, has a new gig as an ABC contributor. In fact, major movie and TV studios are increasingly looking to the Web for new talent for both on and off-line projects. Here's a list
(with pictures) of the up and comers.
posted on Nov-14-06 at 5:03 AM
You got chocolate in my Google!
How do you make websites better? Simple. Like Peanut Butter Cups, you just take two things that rock and mash them together. It's cheap, effective...and really gaining steam. Here's one example
, along with a list of a ton of others
posted on Nov-13-06 at 4:49 AM
A Concrete Solution to Pollution
With concerns over global warming and pollution control reaching an all-time high, an Italian company has developed an interesting solution. It is called TX Active: a concrete that literally breaks down pollutants in the air. The effects are significant: 'In large cities with persistent pollution problems caused by car emissions, smoke from heating systems, and industrial activities, both the company and outside experts estimate that covering 15% of all visible urban surfaces (painting the walls, repaving the roads) with products containing TX Active could abate pollution by up to 50%.' Even more significant is that the cost is only 30% over that of normal concrete. Remarkable.
posted on Nov-10-06 at 8:15 AM
Scientists have created an unbreakable cypher through the use of quantum physics, where a photon is observed and used as the basis for an encryption key. "Uncertainty is the principle we exploit. It's impossible to find the key, because the photon can be measured once and only once. An eavesdropper can't measure it, and so can't get the key." Props to Heisenberg!
posted on Nov-9-06 at 7:25 AM