June 28, 2006

What *Is* Reality? [6:54 am]

With a Cellphone as My Guide

The phones combine satellite-based navigation, precise to within 30 feet or less, with an electronic compass to provide a new dimension of orientation. Connect the device to the Internet and it is possible to overlay the point-and-click simplicity of a computer screen on top of the real world.

[...] Only two American carriers are using the G.P.S. technology, and none have announced plans to add a compass. As a result, analysts say Japan will have a head start of several years in what many analysts say will be a new frontier for mobile devices.

“People are underestimating the power of geographic search,” said Kanwar Chadha, chief executive of Sirf Technology, a Silicon Valley maker of satellite-navigation gear.

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Saw This In The Herald Tribune [6:51 am]

Should be quite the interesting fight: Complaints Filed Against Group That Gave Data to U.S.

A human rights group in London said today that it had lodged formal complaints in 32 countries against the Brussels-based banking consortium known as Swift, contending that it violated European and Asian data protection rules by providing the United States with confidential information about international money transfers.

[...] “Swift appears to have violated data protection rules in Europe by making these transfers without the consent of the individuals involved, and without the approval of European judicial or administrative authorities,” Mr. Davies said. “The scale of the operation, involving millions of records, places this disclosure in the realm of a fishing exercise rather than a legally authorized investigation.”

The Bush administration has defended the program as an important part of its campaign against terrorism. But Europe and the United States are increasingly at odds over how to protect civil liberties while pursuing terrorists.

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