You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
Google's Earth by William Gibson.
Armen Keteyian of CBS News bought four copiers for $300 a piece (video link). He found a great deal of personal data on the copiers' hard drives, easily accessible using free software one could find on the Internet. [more inside]
Identity theft is epidemic.
Larry my man, you tell 'em! If this article doesn't make you puke, then September 11th was someone's birthday and they did ATTEND their party. Er....the subject matter of the article is Smart Cards.
Social Security Numbers and privacy. I refuse to give my number out whenever possible, but it is getting worse all the time. Thankfully I can still buy batteries and refuse to give Rat Shack my telephone number, and tell Toy R Us where to go when they ask for my zip, but this is frustrating. Wasn't this what people feared about having identification numbers in the first place?
Be careful what you say online. At least if you're in the UK, where an anonymous poster to 2 message boards now faces charges of defamation after the courts ordered the disclosure of their identity. ISP Totalise used existing law to force Motley Fool to disclose the details of an anonymous poster to their message boards alleged to have made defamatory comments. Landmark case or storm in a teacup?