Looks like 70 percent of 5,000 Israeli citizens polled were OK with having their homes and streets included in Google’s controversial Street View, a mapping service that takes 360-degree panoramic images of city streets and public spaces with cameras mounted on traveling vehicles. The resulting views are available on Google Maps.
So Google is going ahead with its Israeli Street View project, though it is not yet known when the service will launch. The Israeli Justice Ministry set conditions on Google, including one that stipulates that if requested to do so, Street View must blur images of license plates, residences and other objects before they are published online.
The street mapping feature has been the source of concern over privacy issues and was reportedly almost shut down in Switzerland, sued in Oregon, and had to pay settlements of €100,000 in France and €150,000 in Belgium.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Google also must provide a full explanation of the Street View service, rights of citizens and detail the routes the camera crews will capture. Google additionally agreed that any civil proceedings related to Street View would take place in Israel and would not dispute criminal claims that could come up. This could be precedent setting for other countries when Google’s Street View comes knocking.
Google pays out 500 smackers
Google has agreed to pay $500 million to the government to settle charges that it illegally showed ads for rogue online pharmacies.
The Federal investigation dealt with online pharmacy ads that sold without prescriptions or sold counterfeit drugs. Google maintained that regulating the on-site pharmacies is catch-as-catch-can, because despite rules to prevent them from advertising, the pharmacies continuously find new ways to appear on Google.
Facebook, Twitter summit over U.K. riots
In what has to be one of the more perplexing dilemmas of today’s technology era, social media giants are feeling growing pressure to censor their users if their social network service is being used to foment social unrest.
This past week, executives from Twitter, Facebook, and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) met with British officials to discuss the matter. RIM, which uses a pin-protected instant messaging system, was claimed to be the rioters’ network of choice.
When it comes to inciting violence through flash mobs and real-time online coordination, should governments and local law enforcement have the right to shut down networks as we saw when cell phone service was stopped by California’s BART transportation officials?
What would Benjamin Franklin say? “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Hmmm…
When Apple’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs announced his resignation, he recommended Tim Cook as his successor. Jobs also said he would like to continue as chairman. Here’s Jobs’ resignation letter.
An iPhone in every pocket
Rumor has it that Sprint and Verizon Wireless will begin selling the Apple iPhone5 this October. Also, Apple is expected come out with a cheaper iPhone4 within weeks, this one with a smaller 8-gigabyte flash drive, thus making it affordable for a wider market.
The iPhone pictured at right survived a plummet from the pocket of an airborne parachute jump master 1,000 feet above the ground!
When U.S. Air Force Combat Controller Staff Sgt. Ron Walker leaned out of a U.S. Air Force aircraft to check on locations before signaling other parachutists to jump, his iPhone slipped from his velcro’d pocket and free-fell to the ground some thousand feet below.
Walker said he thought it was gone forever, and when he later told the story to a colleague who had earlier installed the Find My iPhone app on his phone, his friend activated it and within minutes had located the device.
“Walker and his buddy hopped on ATVs and tracked it down in a wooded area about 2 miles away. Not only was the iPhone undamaged, Walker reports, it was in perfect working order – “not a scratch on it, not even dirty.”
That’s the phone itself in the photo above, according to a report in TUAW.
Flying United with iPad
Can someone explain why it’s OK for pilots to run an iPad in the cockpit, while the rest of us have to turn off our electronic devices in flight?
It was reported last week that major airlines are now using nav apps: United and Continental pilots will soon be “paperless in the cockpit, replacing heavy paper flight manuals with Apple iPads loaded with an aviation-navigation application created by Colorado-based Jeppesen,” according to CNBC. Jeppesen is a subsidiary of Boeing.
Distribution of the iPads began earlier this month. All of United Continental Holdings’ 11,000 pilots will have them by year’s end. Alaska Airlines has already switched to the nav-app paperless technology. American and Delta Airlines are reportedly still testing the iPad cockpit technology.
You know all those photos you’ve uploaded to Twitpic, Yfrog, Instagram and other image hosts? Well, now those images can be collected and stored in chronological order in one gallery, thanks to Twitter. The new gallery can be found on your Twitter profile page.
Twitter reported on its new support page that these user image galleries will collect the 100 most recent images a user has uploaded into his or her Tweet stream. This latest feature joins Twitter’s enhanced ability to upload images right from your Twitter stream.
Twitter also recently improved its search functionality, something to crow about!
Twitter tweeters mock Obama bus tour.
The Hill blog has reported that Obama’s recent three-day Midwest tour resulted in news-making ridicule and sarcasm by tens of thousands Twitter users. Crimson Hexagon reviewed 47,645 Twitter mentions of the bus tour, 38,185 of which expressed an opinion.
Analysis showed that 72 percent expressed negative opinions, while only six percent were favorable: “Among the negative comments, 21 percent were generally negative toward Obama, 17 percent called it a campaign stunt, 15 percent complained about taxpayers picking up the tab, 12 percent offered derisive names for the tour – similar to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ‘Magical Misery Tour’ – and 6 percent complained that he was not in Washington working.”
Our favorite? “The Road to Nowhere Tour.”
Do you know how to control your image on the Internet?
Imagine that you’ve been falsely accused of something that has damning consequences to your reputation, your livelihood, your family, your life. Now imagine that information is plastered all over the Internet for the world to see. What would you do? More to the point, is there anything you can do?
Attorney Steven Wyer wrote a book about it, warning others that it could just as easily happen to you and how you can combat it. And he should know. It happened to him.
“Innocent until proven guilty is a myth in the digital world,” says Wyer.
“Violated Online – How Online Slander Can Destroy Your Life and What You Must Do to Protect Yourself” is a book that you probably should read because if you don’t control your online image, someone else might. Wyer tells what happened to him and his business and the devastation he suffered as a result.
As John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University said in a pull-quote from the book, “‘He that filches from me my good name robs me … and makes me poor indeed.’ Shakespeare never heard of the Internet, but Steven Wyer’s book warns us that today’s technology makes us more vulnerable … than when the Bard put the words into the mouth of the villainous Iago. And Wyer informs us that we have ways and weapons to protect against the robbery that can ‘make us poor indeed.’”
The Time Capsule
1965 – Gemini V returns to Earth
Now playing at the Princess Theater in Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WND readers Stephen Burton, stationed with our military in Shariki, Japan, and Luc Van Meerbeek of Manhattan, N.Y., who correctly guessed actor Khigh Dheigh in his portrayal of Dr. Yen Lo in the 1962 film “The Manchurian Candidate.”
Based on a political thriller novel by Richard Condon, the Manchurian Candidate is the son of a prominent U.S. political family who is brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for the Communist Party.
The quote was: “His brain has not only been washed, as they say … It has been dry cleaned.”
This week’s quote: “The Saudi Royal Family cannot appear as if they’re losing control. If they lose control of their country, lose control of the people, they risk losing control of the oil. And that’s not going to happen.”
Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Please be sure to add your town and state. Good luck!