Morning Media Summary


Bees’ tiny brains beat computers, study finds:
“Bees can solve complex mathematical problems which keep computers busy for days, research has shown.”

Google finally admits that its Street View cars DID take emails and passwords from computers:
“Google was accused of spying on households yesterday after it admitted secretly copying passwords and private emails from home computers.”

Google ‘mortified’ that Street View cars scarfed up email, passwords; privacy criticism intensifies:
“It turns out Google’s Street View cars found out more about Internet users than previously acknowledged. Last Friday, the company said the cars, which roam the world taking pictures for its location-based applications, scarfed up e-mail addresses, URLs and passwords from residential Wi-Fi networks they passed by in dozens of countries.”

Facebook ‘accidentally outing gay users’ to outside firms through targeted ads:
“Researchers have discovered that different targeted advertising is being sent to users’ accounts if they have described themselves as gay or straight.

Firefox extension makes social network ID spoofing trivial:
“”When it comes to user privacy, SSL is the elephant in the room,” said Eric Butler, the developer of the extension in question, dubbed Firesheep. By installing and running it, anyone can “sniff out” the unencrypted HTTP sessions currently allowing users on that network segment to access social networks, online services and other website requiring a login, and simply hijack them and impersonate the user.”

Amazon to allow book lending on Kindle:
“One of the oldest customs of book lovers and libraries — lending out favorite titles to friends and patrons — is finally getting recognized in the electronic age, at least in one electronic book reader: Amazon has announced that it plans to allow users of its Kindle book reader to “lend” electronic books to other Kindle users, based on the publisher’s discretion.”

The worlds smallest full HD display eats the Retina display for breakfast:
“Ortustech a joint venture between Casio and Toppan printing has developed the world’s smallest full HD display at 4.8 inches. The panel sports a resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 dots which is achieved by the company’s HAST (Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT) microfabrication technology. To achieve the high resolution in such a small size the company has managed to squeeze in 458 pixel per inch, the iPhone 4s infamous Retina display packs in 326 pixels. The display sports a viewing angle of 160 degrees and supports 16 million colors. Its applications include HDTV equipment screen monitors and eventually cell phones and video games.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

Israel as Fossil-Fuel Giant: How Many Ways Could this Change the Game?:
“A preliminary geological survey has indicated that there might be about 26 million barrels of recoverable oil a mile under the sand near two kibbutzim in the northern Negev. That would amount to about $2 billion at current prices. There might be 12 million additional barrels further down.”

Massive stretches of weathered oil spotted in Gulf of Mexico:
“Just three days after the U.S. Coast Guard admiral in charge of the BP oil spill cleanup declared little recoverable surface oil remained in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana fishers Friday found miles-long strings of weathered oil floating toward fragile marshes on the Mississippi River delta.”

After the Spill:
“The six-month anniversary of the BP oil spill passed quietly last week. The well has been capped, and commerce in the Gulf of Mexico is slowly reviving. Much important work still lies ahead — figuring out how much oil is still out there, cleaning it up, measuring the damage to marine life, compensating victims. And Congress needs to pass an oil-spill bill that will reduce the chances of another drilling debacle.”

Insurance / Gambling:

Mid-Term Elections Looming; Online Gamblers Brace For the Worst:
“The mid-term elections are just over a week away, and that is not good news for the online gambling industry. It is expected that the Republican Party will take control of the House of Representatives in the election, making it unlikely that new regulations are near.”

Health / Safety:

How to Avoid BPA Exposure from Cash Register Receipts (I has come to this):

“It seems there’s no escaping Bisphenol-A (BPA). Another study, published in Green Chemistry Letters and Reviews earlier this summer, and an Environmental Working Group (EWG) research report have shown that measurable levels of BPA are still being found on thermal paper receipts used for cash registers and credit card/debit machines.”


Paul Krugman: Falling Into the Chasm:
“The real story of this election, then, is that of an economic policy that failed to deliver. Why? Because it was greatly inadequate to the task.”

Will someone please shut Krugman up:
“Surveys show that only about 20 per cent of Americans are Krugmanesque type liberals. Some 40 per cent count themselves as conservatives and the rest, the disenfranchised middle, reckon on being moderates. Yet as others have observed, if you asked the right questions the great bulk of Americans would say they are both liberal and conservative – socially liberal, that is, but fiscally conservative.”
Key Tax Breaks at Risk as Panel Looks at Cuts:
“Sacrosanct tax breaks, including deductions on mortgage interest, remain on the table just weeks before the deficit commission issues recommendations on policies to pare back with the aim of balancing the budget by 2015.”

Obama likely to focus on deficit in next 2 years:
“Preparing for political life after a bruising election, President Barack Obama will put greater emphasis on fiscal discipline, a nod to a nation sick of spending and to a Congress poised to become more Republican, conservative and determined to stop him.”

McConnell: I’m up for defunding NPR:
“Not that anyone should find this surprising, at least to hear Mitch McConnell tell the story. He has voted consistently to remove federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and won’t have any trouble doing it again:”
60 Minutes Shock Report: Real Unemployment Rate %17.5; California 22%:
“In a sobering report on CBS’ “60 Minutes”, the unemployment picture is shown to be much bleaker than the federal statistics suggest.”
The Great Bailout Backlash:
“Nothing in this election season, no program or party or politician, is less popular than the Troubled Asset Relief Program of 2008 — a k a the Wall Street bailout. No policy has fewer public figures willing to defend it, and fewer Americans who believe it worked. No issue has done more to stoke the fires of populist backlash, and the rage against elites.”


Body scanners unveiled at JFK Airport; Homeland Security Sect. Janet Napolitano doesn’t volunteer:
“Airline passengers might want to consider a trip to the gym before heading to the airport now that high-tech body scanners have been unveiled at Kennedy Airport.”

Drug Testing Poses Quandary for Employers:

“The news, delivered in a phone call, left Sue Bates aghast: she was losing her job of 22 years after testing positive for a legally prescribed drug.”


‘Teachers Unions Gone Wild’ [Video]:

Transportation/ Land Use:

High-Speed rail tangled in Florida governor’s race:
“Republican Rick Scott has accused Democrat Alex Sink of backing $12.5 billion worth of political promises in the governor’s race.”