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James Smith, DC Manager at Layered Technologies joins me today as guest co-host in Art Lindsey’s absence. Art is still out on medical leave. In other personal news, we have scheduled a c-section with my wife for Friday, and as such, I will likely put the show on hiatus starting 5/11/2007 for about a week. Stay tuned to Thursday’s show for more information on that. James brings us this news item to kick off the show:

Google is at it again – New Data Center in Pryor, OK

Yes, the Internet Giant does not sleep. Google has announced that it will build a 600 (m) million dollar data center on 800 acres at Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma.

The center will provide support for Google’s numerous Internet services and will hire about 100 people in the coming months.

Officials say employment will eventually reach about 200.
Google is planning to convert a warehouse to open next summer and later add a new building on the site.

James and I strive to point out the flaws in this study, and how popup marketing is different from spyware marketing:

Traffic Fraud Inflates Video Site Popularity
Dotnaught writes “A new study by spyware researcher Ben Edelman finds that spyware-driven traffic inflation is common, particularly at video sites. The study identifies Bolt.com, GrindTV.com, Broadcaster.com, Away.com, RooTV.com, and Diet.com as the beneficiaries of spyware-driven traffic. ‘Our measurement systems are inaccurate for the amount of trust we’d like to put into them,’ Edelman said. ‘So that’s the puzzle: How do you build an advertising economy when the number can’t be trusted?'”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Outerspace and inter-planetary colonization has begun!:

Earth Bacteria May Hitch A Ride To The Stars
An anonymous reader writes “Space.com has an article on how old rocket stages are carrying bacteria from Earth to interstellar space. For example, four upper rocket stages were used to boost deep space probes Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Pioneer 10 and New Horizons. The spacecraft were sterilized, but the rocket stages were not, and they now carry the bacteria of the engineers who handled them. If the rocket stages hit a habitable planet, and the bacteria survive the journey, they would be able to reproduce and colonize the planet … not that there’s a high liklihood of that. ‘In 40,000 years, this wayward 185-pound (84 kilogram) lump of metal will pass by the star AC+79 3888 at a distance of 1.64 light-years. … Given the sheer expanse of time that lies ahead of the four discarded rockets, at least one is likely to eventually encounter a planet. But even if that planet’s environment is conducive to life, the long dormant bacteria will not just gently plop into some exotic ocean. No soft landing can be expected.'”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

My son, Jacob Li Hopkins, is already ranked number 2 in Google:

Google A Curse To Those With Common Names
or people with embarrassing incidents in their past, Google can be a nightmare, as it’s become the closest thing there is to an individual’s “permanent record”. But people whose pasts are fairly clean can have the opposite problem: their Google permanent record gets lost among everyone else who shares their name. This is particularly hard on the John Smiths of the world, who have to compete with thousands of others to receive a prominent listing on the search engine. This also effects people who change their name due to marriage, as a lifetime of electronic references aren’t attached to their new name. Parents have even begun using Google before they name their baby, to make sure that the name they choose doesn’t have too much online competition. If that practice were to become more widespread, it may force the Freakonomics guys to revisit their theories on baby naming, and the idea that parents intentionally latch onto popular names associated with elite classes. Instead, the moment a name starts to get even remotely popular (or crowded), parents will start searching for something new.

Of course it’s irrational. We all know, there is no spoon:

EFF Files Suit Against ‘Paranormalist’ Uri Geller
Via The EFF.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
filed suit Tuesday against Uri Geller — the “paranormalist” famous for seemingly bending spoons with his mind — on behalf of a YouTube critic who was silenced by Geller’s baseless copyright claims.

EFF’s client, Brian Sapient, belongs to a group called the “Rational Response Squad,” which is dedicated to debunking what it calls irrational beliefs. As part of their mission, Sapient and others post videos to YouTube that they say demonstrate this irrationality. One of the videos that Sapient uploaded came from a NOVA program called “Secrets of the Psychics,” which challenges the performance techniques of Geller.

More here.

Good for Vonage?

AT&T Dumps VOIP Customers
Proudrooster writes “In the past two weeks AT&T has sent out disconnect letters to VOIP customers in big rude red letters, stating that VOIP service will be suspended in 30 days and permanently disconnected in 60 days. They cited E911 service as the reason. (It is peculiar that AT&T is unable overcome an E911 technical hurdle, since SBC/AT&T is also the local landline company in many areas where VOIP cancellation notices are being received.) Many AT&T VOIP customers have found that they are unable to transfer their phone numbers to a new provider. Further, AT&T is unwilling to set up a forwarding message directing callers to a new phone number for those who are unable to transfer their old numbers. In effect, AT&T has told many long-term VOIP subscribers: ‘We are turning off your phone in 30 days, goodbye.'”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Like we said, you screwed up Obama. Now begins your backpedaling!:

Followup to the Obama Story from the UK Telegraph

Unlike at the 2004 election, each major candidate has an online presence on MySpace, YouTube or Facebook. Mr Obama, 45, has offered freshness and youthful appeal, and is often said to relate to the young better than his rivals.

But bloggers reacted negatively to his team’s move, saying they had betrayed the free-wheeling spirit of the internet.

Daily Kos, a leading grassroots blog for Democrat activists, said alienating “your biggest supporters is generally not a wise thing to do”.

Another blogger wrote on Atrios: “I really don’t understand the tendency to treat volunteers as disposable.”

Mr Obama’s advisors, issuing an explanation online, said: “We’re going to try new things and sometimes it’s going to work and sometimes it’s not going to work.”

James and I expound a bit more on the topic Derrick and I broached yesterday:

Leahy, Others Speak Out Against New ID Standards

Ellen Nakashima writes in The Washington Post:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), citing concerns about Americans’ privacy, signaled yesterday that he will push to repeal a provision of a 2005 law aimed at creating new government standards for driver’s licenses.

Leahy, who has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to repeal the provision, spoke out as the debate intensified over the Real ID Act, which requires states to create new tamper-proof driver’s licenses in line with rules recently issued by the Department of Homeland Security. States must begin to comply by May 2008 but can request more time. After 2013, people whose IDs do not meet those standards will not be allowed to board planes or enter federal buildings.

A similar Democrat-backed bill to repeal the provision is pending in the House. At least seven states have passed laws or resolutions opposing implementation of Real ID. Fourteen states have legislation pending. By yesterday, the DHS had received more than 12,000 public comments in response to the rules.

More here.