... I was a volunteer at Acadia National Park in the early 1990's and on a state wide team as well. My specialty was high-angle rescue (e.g. cliffs and mountains), sometimes from helicopters.
Technology has been putting inexperienced people in harms way for some time and the worst offender is probably not digital devices but clothing and modern materials. Stuff like GoreTex, synthetic fleece and other materials have allowed people to venture into situations that would have taken real courage 30-40 years ago when all you had was wool and waxed cotton. And the price of such tech has been coming down for years.
The worst rescue I was on resulted in me spending the night with no tent on Mt. Katahdin one cold November when two idiots decided that a credit card was all you needed to climb it (they bought $thousand in gear + a book). No high tech gadgets were needed for them to get stuck.
I would say that people having cell phones is both a blessing and a curse when you are rescuing people. In my day ;-) they were very rare, so just finding someone could take days by which time they were in serious trouble or dead. Now, with triangulation, it's a lot easier, with the downside people call for help more.
On balance, I'd rather they call for help more than haul out a dead body, even if it is unnecessary sometimes. Besides, if tech gives people better access to wilderness areas, then maybe they'll be more interested in protecting and preserving them, which is a good thing, IMHO.
But if you are looking to blame tech for more people in trouble, it's GoreTex, Thinsulate and Vibram that's to blame, not electronics....
"Sonic.net does not actively monitor customer use of the Internet, customer email or other customer communications in the course of its regular operations. Sonic.net is also strongly opposed to the use of third-party information-harvesting strategies and technologies such as unlawful wiretapping."
Sonic has been a great ISP, highly recommended, esp. given their relatively low price.
The top photograph sold for $3 million and it had three prints at least. These are rare original glass plates, which are probably even more valuable.
So, $200 million for 65 prints of a hugely more famous photographer? Very, very possible, esp. if they are sold over a long period of time and exhibited to generate interest. I believe a print could be made as long as it was not sold.
Actually, for a while the highest speed limit was in Montana and was defined as "reasonable and prudent" - basically there was no speed limit.
Of course, congress critters go PO'd and forced Montana to adopt a 75mph speed limit in 2000. However - the fines for exceeding the limit are extremely low and only enforced above 90mph. Also, Utah has recently voted to increase speeds on interstates above 75mph. There's a good summary table of laws here: http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/laws.html
All in all, it's not unusual to see people driving 85+mph in Western states. Accelerating to that speed safely in traffic requires quite a lot of power, a side effect of which is higher top speeds (yes, depending on gearing, etc, but it is a side effect).
Finally, almost all mainstream production cars are limited by manufacturers to 155mph, even if a car's power and gearing would allow for a higher theoretical top speed. There are a few sports cars which are not, but they are the exception.
The fact is most people will drive a the speed at which they are comfortable. Speed limits rarely reflect this speed, particularly since technology evolves faster than speed limits.
"The patent lets Weinstein move forward with commercial development of his supermagnets that, when chilled to super-low temperatures, can produce a field with the strength of 2 tesla, billions of times stronger than the magnet on your refrigerator. "
Basically, this guy has patented superconducting magnets. No wonder it took 20 years to award, probably took that long to find something slightly original that could be patented...
It's been known for quite some time that supercooling magnets increases magnetism by 20-100%, depending on the material. There are a few companies, like Magnifye (http://fluxpump.co.uk/default.aspx) that make very high power (e.g. 17 Tesla) magnets out of exotic supercooled materials...
Developing cars requires significant capital investment, so open source works fine for software or things that can be built like race cars/one offs. It would be very, very hard to make it work on a wider scale.
Never mind the fact that, at one point, 70% of Mercedes warranty problems were due to electronics integration issues. And if there is one area where open source has been shown to be poor, it's integration between complex, high-level systems.
However, Linux and open source will be the standard for telematics, there is no doubt about that. Both Android and Genivi are providing good base platforms for this, but that's just a very small portion of the overall car.
On the ECU side, Ford's ECC has been modified extensively by third-parties, so it's not like there are huge barriers to accessing existing systems at some manufacturers.
In the end, what is probably going to happen is that open source will be used in telematics to provide an open platform for third parties to develop on, while the rest of the computing systems will have open interfaces to mitigate integration issues.
Not in my experience. DeadHeads were among the first to adopt portable digital recordings and many of those were later made available in FLAC format. And, even before digital, people would have portable reel-to-reel deck. As someone else pointed out, you could often plug into the soundboard, as close to a first-generation source as you could ever get for a live recording.
So, between FLAC, MiniDisc, DAT and other high-quality portable recording gear, Grateful Dead tapes were among the best live recordings out there, often better than official live recordings from other bands.
OTOH, what it did do is create a rabid fan base and was a strategy followed by other Dead-tribute bands like Phish.
Having spent many years working with open source...
... I think I can say there is a world of difference between using free software and using it for free. Most (all?) large organizations have support contracts with companies like Open Logic, Red Hat, IBM and Oracle, effectively displacing the cost of upfront licensing to support and maintenance. Yes, the overall costs might be down a bit, but costs have also moved from capex to opex, something which is going to cause lots of pain in the longer term.
It's worthwhile to remember that no middle manager will risk their career on a piece of unsupported software (or at least, not supported by a commercial contract), something which is a key dynamic in enabling commercial open source businesses.
And, in the end, I don't see a lot of IT budgets being substantially reduced, it's just a lot of cost displacement. CIO have a schizophrenic task of both reducing costs and increasing their budgets, open source and 'free' software accomplishes both admirably well...
I think what most people are missing is that NetFlix streaming is likely tied to the amount of DVDs NetFlix owns of each movie, ie. streaming is the same as getting the physical copy. So, when a movie comes out, it's both volume constrained and more expensive.
By delaying for a little bit, they are giving up some viewership that they would have lost anyway by not having enough DVD stock (either for physical delivery or for streaming), but they are also able to get the DVDs at a lower price.
It seems to be that a large part of bar association rules are aimed at preventing true competition among lawyers, thus keeping fees high.
The US is pretty interesting as there is one group of people who have basically completely gamed the political system - the lawyers. Because of this, it's likely that there will never be any attempts at breaking the bar association monopolies or creating laws that are more open and friendly to the public....
The Israeli system works because of heavy surveillance...
The Israeli system only works because of extremely heavy internal surveillance. I'll give you a small example of my wife traveling there on business several years ago.
When she went to leave, she was stopped and questioned at the airport about why she had not spent one night in here hotel. She had actually spent the night at an old college roommate's house, who they then called to verify. The questioning continued and it was very obvious that she had been followed the whole time she was there. BTW, she is Dutch, lives in the US and was working for Accenture at the time.
Luckily for my wife, her old roommate was an investigative reporter for one of the TV networks and showed up 20 min later with a full crew asking awkward questions about why my wife was being detained. Which was probably a good thing as they were busy tearing apart her luggage and it was increasingly looking like she was going to spend more time in Israel as a guest of the state....
Bottom line, it's not airport security that's effective in Israel, it's the heavy internal surveillance. As to whether Americans would tolerate this level of surveillance, I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.