Google’s Private Lives

A new search technology from Google makes it possible for law enforcement officials to examine personal documents from your hard drive, without your knowing it, according to the digital-rights advocacy organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Released last week, Google Desktop 3, the latest version of the company’s desktop search utility, adds a “Search Across Computers” feature that automatically uploads files from a user’s computer onto Google’s servers.… Read the rest

Google’s Private Lives

Esperanto for Toasters

In the not-too-distant future, your cell phone might become the key to your home. By transmitting a signal to a sensor, your phone will announce your arrival and the front door will unlock.

And that’s just the first step. Transmitters in the door will send signals elsewhere in your house, switching on the lights, turning up the heat, warming up the hot tub, queuing up your favorite MP3s on the home theater system, and telling your home computer to power on and download the latest e-mail.… Read the rest

Esperanto for Toasters

Eyes on the Prize

When Stanford University’s robotic Volkswagen Touareg, “Stanley,” won the Grand Challenge last week, robot enthusiasts everywhere cheered. By completing a 210-kilometer course over difficult desert terrain in just under seven hours, Stanley set an unprecedented milestone for autonomous vehicles.

Even more amazingly, four other teams’ vehicles also completed the course, with slightly slower times.… Read the rest

Eyes on the Prize