Data all over the place

Technology and Easy Credit Give Identity Thieves an Edge. “Browsing a government Web site, he pulled up a local divorce document listing the parties’ names, addresses and bank account numbers, along with scans of their signatures. With a common software program and some check stationery, the document provided all he needed to print checks in his victims’ names — and it was all made available, with some fanfare, by the county recorder’s office. The site had thousands of them.”

New York Times

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Storage without registering

CNET’s AllYouCanUpload Is Disruptive. “AllYouCanUpload is a site that makes uploading photos as easy as it can possibly get. They’ve removed all of the friction. You do not need to register for an account. You just use the uploading tool and you are shown the image along with codes to post the photo on sites like Myspace, ebay and others (I’d also like an option to have the image links emailed to me).”

TechCrunch

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Do electronic aids undermine learning?

When location information undermines navigation. “We found that after training with a navigation aid, there was no reduction in performance when the aid was removed. Even with training interfaces that made the task significantly easier, people learned the locations as well as those who had no aid at all in training. These results suggest that designers can use navigation aids to assist inexperienced users, without compromising the eventual acquisition of a spatial map.”
pasta and vinegar

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Getting answers from friends

Software to Look for Experts Among Your Friends. “The service allows the user to mine the data on the computers of friends, business associates and others with shared interests on any subjects. However, Illumio is not a search engine, like Google or Yahoo. The system works by transparently distributing a request for information on questions like “Who knows John Smith?” and “Are Nikon digital cameras better than Olympus?” to the computers in a network of users. The questions can then be answered locally based on a novel reverse auction system that Illumio uses to determine who the experts are.”
New York Times

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Harvesting mechanical energy

Sensors: Living off scraps of energy. “Professor Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology has devised a sensor that can harvest mechanical energy and convert it into electricity. Embedded in the boot of a soldier, for instance, the sensor could conceivably gather energy when its wearer walks and use that energy to charge batteries for a radio or flashlight, for example. Similarly, blood flow from the heart could generate energy for an implanted medical device.”
CNET News.com

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