Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 28)

your phone is a tracking device

Green party politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over six months of his phone data that he then made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this geolocation data with information relating to his life as a politician, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all of which is all freely available on the internet.By pushing the play button, you will set off on a trip through Malte Spitz's life. The speed controller allows you to adjust how fast you travel, the pause button will let you stop at interesting points. In addition, a calendar at the bottom shows when he was in a particular location and can be used to jump to a specific time period. Each column corresponds to one day.

Pratchett's Discworld Being Adapted To TV Series

The main focus of the series will be set in the bustling, highly mercantile, largely untrustworthy and always vibrant city of Ankh-Morpork and will follow the day-to-day activities of the men, women, trolls, dwarves, vampires and several other species who daily pound its ancient cobbles (and, of course, Igor in the forensics department). Terry commonly refers to the City Watch police force series as "the jewels in the Discworld Crown." These richly developed and highly compelling characters will feature in a 'crime of the week' episodic storyline. As each weekly adventure unfolds, viewers will be taken on a ride through Pratchett's genius imagination, with the author overseeing the creation of the series, where wild and exciting encounters with werewolves, dragons, dwarfs, trolls and golems and the classic heroes and villains, are an everyday occurrence...and where many of these characters even make outstanding crime fighters!

Record Companies Sue LimeWire for $75 Trillion

Does $75 trillion even exist? The thirteen record companies that are suing file-sharing company Lime Wire for copyright infringement certainly thought so. When they won a summary judgment ruling last May they demanded damages that could reach this mind-boggling amount, which is more than five times the national debt. Manhattan federal district court judge Kimba Wood, however, saw things differently. She labeled the record companies' damages request "absurd" and contrary to copyright laws in a 14-page opinion.

Facebook Real-Time Ad Targeting

With real-time delivery, the mere mention of having a baby, running a marathon, buying a power drill or wearing high-heeled shoes is transformed into an opportunity to serve immediate ads, expanding the target audience exponentially beyond usual targeting methods such as stated preferences through "likes" or user profiles. Facebook didn't have to create new ads for this test and no particular advertiser has been tapped to participate -- the inventory remains as is.A user may not have liked any soccer pages or indicated that soccer is an interest, but by sharing his trip to the pub for the World Cup, that user is now part of the Adidas target audience. The moment between a potential customer expressing a desire and deciding on how to fulfill that desire is an advertiser sweet spot, and the real-time ad model puts advertisers in front of a user at that very delicate, decisive moment.

Think Quarterly - Google's Online Mag

At Google, we often think that speed is the forgotten 'killer application' - the ingredient that can differentiate winners from the rest. We know that the faster we deliver results, the more useful people find our service. But in a world of accelerating change, we all need time to reflect. Think Quarterly is a breathing space in a busy world. It's a place to take time out and consider what's happening and why it matters. Our first issue is dedicated to Data - amongst a morass of information, how can you find the magic metrics that will help transform your business? We hope that you find inspiration, insights, and more, in Think Quarterly.

Low-serotonin mice less choosy about sex of partners

They found that male mice lose their normal preference for female mice if they have low levels of serotonin - a hormone that carries signals in the brain. Instead, they try to mate with individuals of both sexes, in equal measure. Inject them with more serotonin, and you can restore their preference for females. The obvious conclusion is that serotonin affects the sexual preferences of mice. The obvious question is whether it also affects the sexual preferences of humans. And, as is often the case, it's a little more complicated than that.

Julia Gillard Says Reject Climate Extremists

This is an important policy debate that should not be distracted by extreme views. People should have their say but their contribution should be judged by its quality, not its volume. Australia must reject the extremes of the debate, no matter from where on the political spectrum they emerge. We see those who don't believe in climate science arguing that the government shouldn't act. I don't agree. I'll be taking my science from the CSIRO, not the radio shock jocks. We'll also see those who accept the science but whose environmentally extreme solutions would endanger our economy and the jobs of working people. We should reject that approach, too.

Holi: The Festival of Colors, 2011

Around the world, Hindus celebrated Holi last weekend. Called the Festival of Colors, Holi is a popular springtime festival observed on the last full moon of the lunar month. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, celebrating the arrival of Spring, commemorating Krishna's pranks, and allowing everyone a momentary freedom -- a chance to drop their inhibitions and simply play and dance. Gathered here are images from this year's Holi celebrations across India and several other countries. [36 photos]

Holi: The Festival of Colors, 2011

Holi: The Festival of Colors, 2011

Holi: The Festival of Colors, 2011

Holi: The Festival of Colors, 2011

Suicidal Drones Lead Libya Attack

When the U.S. military wanted to take out Moammar Gadhafi's air defense systems, it unleashed a barrage of 122 Tomahawk cruise missiles. But these munitions aren't like most others in the American arsenal.Smart, maneuverable, able to see its surroundings and shift to new targets in mid-flight, the newest Tomahawks are closer to the unmanned planes flying over Afghanistan than to the weapons they fire. In some ways, the Tomahawk is the drone's suicidal cousin: a robotic aircraft, packed with explosives, that has no intention of ever coming home.