Two scenarios for the future of the laptop

  • Notebook overhaul on the horizon: “Five years from now, the desktop will probably look pretty much like it does today, but the notebook will likely be smaller and lighter, capable of making cellular calls on its own and running on methanol. Component development projects under way portend fairly substantial changes in notebook design, according to executives and analysts. Fuel cells and battery enhancements, which will let notebooks run three to 10 times longer without a recharge, will begin to appear by late 2004.” C/Net
  • The laptop? The deck: ‘Then, in that classic wonk moment, you pull your Global Civil Society Designer Laptop from your ballistic-nylon shoulder bag and you boot it up. “Whoa!” is the instant response from a stunned and impressed public. “Where’d you get *that*?” “Oh, this? We’ve *all* got these now! They’re *everywhere!*”

    But it isn’t really a laptop per se. It’s more like your portable office network. Or maybe it’s more like a collection of PDAs. Let’s call it a Deck (as in a deck of cards…)’ nonsensical

Hakim Bey would be pleased:

Declan McCullagh: Media chief decries Net’s moral fiber: ‘The president of media giant News Corp. warns that the Internet has become a “moral-free zone

,” with the medium’s future threatened by pornography, spam and rampant piracy.

Speaking Tuesday at an annual conference organized by the Progress & Freedom Foundation, Peter Chernin decried the “enormous amount” of worthless content online. He also predicted that without new laws to stave off illicit copying, News Corp.’s vast library of movies may never be made available in digital form.’ C/Net

Music body presses anti-piracy case

Declan McCullagh: RIAA asks Verizon for name of P2P subscriber: “In what may become a new legal front in its war against online copying, the Recording Industry Association of America has asked a federal court for help in tracing an alleged peer-to-peer pirate.

On Tuesday, the RIAA asked a federal judge in Washington, D.C., for an order compelling Verizon Communications to reveal the name of a customer accused of illegally trading hundreds of songs. Citing privacy concerns and potential legal liability, Verizon has refused to comply with a subpoena the RIAA sent last month.” C/Net

Also:The U.S. Department of Justice is prepared to begin

prosecuting peer-to-peer pirates
, a top government official said on Tuesday.

John Malcolm, a deputy assistant attorney general, said Americans

should realize that swapping illicit copies of music and movies is a

criminal offense that can result in lengthy prison terms.” C/Net

Yahoo’s China Concession

Yahoo agrees to China censorship

The aspiration to a borderless Internet has fizzled along with technology stock prices. Commercial Web sites are eagerly recreating real-space national boundaries in cyberspace, so that they run Japanese ads for people who log on in Japan and German ones for Germans. National regulators are tightening control, asserting their right to tax e-commerce sites in their countries and the right to “wiretap” e-mail with suspected criminal connections. For the most part, this is good: There’s no reason why societies that choose to ban child pornography in real space should decide that the same material in cyberspace is fine, or why bricks-and-mortar stores should pay sales taxes while clicks-and-mortar stores escape them. But this principle can sometimes go too far. It’s ironic that the latest company to cross the line is none other than Yahoo. Washington Post editorial

NASA plans to read terrorist’s minds at airports

“Airport security screeners may soon try to read the minds of travelers to identify terrorists.

Officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have told Northwest Airlines security specialists that the agency is developing brain-monitoring devices in cooperation with a commercial firm, which it did not identify.


Space technology would be adapted to receive and analyze brain-wave and heartbeat patterns, then feed that data into computerized programs “to detect passengers who potentially might pose a threat,” according to briefing documents obtained by The Washington Times.”

Electronic People Tracking

Offender Supervision with Electronic Technology

(.pdf)

The document is designed to help readers understand

and appreciate the process needed to incorporate and

implement electronic supervision strategies within

justice system programs. It was developed for agency

staff that want either to introduce electronic

supervision as a new program component or enhance

the use of electronic supervision that has already

been implemented. The document is divided into five

sections, and by reading each of these sequentially,

the steps for developing or enhancing electronic

supervision strategies will be apparent.

American Probation and Parole Association [via Politech]

Annals of the Invasion of Privacy (cont’d.):

Disputed Air ID Law May Not Exist: “A recent lawsuit filed by Electronic Frontier Foundation founder John Gilmore against U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, United Airlines and several others challenges the requirement that airline flyers present government-issued identification in order to travel within the United States.

The suit claims unpublished federal regulations have created an “internal passport” for Americans in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

As it turns out, there may be no such law on the books. Instead, carefully worded rules and statements allow airlines to make it seem that way. Under current federal regulations, they’re only required to ask for ID, not to make it a condition of travel.Wired