Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Manure Warning Via SMS

A new SMS service is being offered in Denmark for farmers. Before they begin fertilizing their fields, farmers can send a text message to their neighbors, giving them a warning.
The service-friendly farmers are now pondering whether to extend the service to include a voting system that allow neighbours to have a say about when the farmers should/shouldn't fertilize their fields.

via Neatorama

Monday, February 26, 2007

Slots Pulled Over Subliminal Msgs

In Canada, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming has removed 87 video slot machines from operation after it was reported the machines display subliminal messages to players. The the three video games in question are all made by Konami.
The games flash winning jackpot symbols at players for a fifth of a second, long enough for the brain to detect even if the players are not aware of the message, some psychologists told CBC News.

via BoingBoing

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bloggers And Sock Puppets

The Boston Globe has a story today about how bloggers are becoming increasingly concerned about comments and posts which originate from political operatives acting on behalf (or against) a particular candidate or issue. These Sock Puppets have been around for a while, but with the ever-increasing use of the Internet by politicians (and a record number of people citing the Web as their primary source for news), it's no surprise that this type of behavior is becoming more prevalent.
The Internet has already become a prime target for such manipulation. Tom Rosenstiel , the director of Project for Excellence in Journalism , said the growing influence of political blogs, combined with the relative ease of posting negative information anonymously, make them "irresistible for dirty tricks and attack politics."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Terence McKenna's Library Destroyed in Fire

The library of the late Terence McKenna has been destroyed by a fire in Monterey, CA. It is a terrible loss.
No budding head will ever be able to poke through this collection again, with its faintly perfumed volumes on Chinese alchemy and butterflies and hash. And the world has one fewer 1659 folio of Isaac Casaubon's A True and Faithful Relation of what passed between Dr. John Dee and some spirits, and one fewer old-school copy of Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, which Terence swapped for a pound or two of yummies back in the day.

via BoingBoing

Thursday, February 01, 2007

School Bans Recording After Teacher Caught Preaching

Kearny High School in New Jersey has instituted a ban on recording devices in the classroom after a student used such a recording to prove a teacher was preaching in the classroom.
A junior at Kearny High School in New Jersey, Matthew LaClair, 16, complained to his principal after the teacher in his American history class, David Paszkiewicz, told students that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark and that only Christians had a place in heaven. He started recording the comments in September because, he said, he was afraid school officials would not otherwise believe that the teacher had made them. Matthew said he was ridiculed and threatened after his criticism became public.

The ban comes after "several students complained to the school board that their voices had been broadcast on the Internet and on television news programs without their consent" and requires students to get permission from an instructor before recording in a class.

While it refuses to discuss specifics any actions taken regarding Mr. Paszkiewicz, the school says it plans to institute a training program for teachers regarding the preaching of religion in classrooms. They are still in the process of finding the consultant to conduct those sessions.
In addition to the first training session, the board's policy will include presenting yearly refresher courses on the topic for all teachers, as well as introductory training for all new teacher hires.

via Obscure Store