Links for the week of February 21st, 2010

If you want to follow my shared links in real time instead of as a weekly digest, head over to Delicious. You can search them there easily too.

  • Frustrated Owner Bulldozes Home Ahead Of Foreclosure – A man in Ohio decides to bulldoze his own home rather than let the bank take it in foreclosure. That's ballsy. Good to see a few people finally thinking outside the box. Or something.
  • Philadelphia School Spied on Students via Laptops – Using school-issued laptops, the district captured photos of a 15 year old male student at home in front of the laptop doing something "inappropriate". Gee, I wonder what that could have been. Teenage male at home alone with a laptop connected to the internet. The only thing that makes it inappropriate is the school district watching! Creeps. May they be sued into oblivion.
  • Traveling-Wave Reactor – A novel fast-breeder reactor design being developed by a Microsoft-billions funded incubator. decades or centuries worth of fertile fuel is loaded into the reactor one time only, and it is bred, in-place, into fissile fuel, which is subsequently burned, in a front that propagates through the nuclear "log" over time, leaving behind highly radioactive (but short lived) fission product waste, and ultimately extracting virtually all of the available nuclear energy from the initial fuel (vs. the ~1% that we get now in the US) without expensive and proliferation-prone re-processing, and without the error-prone process of re-fuelling. Ideally, the reactor could be built deep underground, and the containment vessel would also serve as the disposal container. Because of the relatively short lifetime of the waste products (decades-to-centuries, not millennia-to-eons), this is actually technically plausible.
  • U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion | The Onion – America's Finest News Source – If we do happen to have a currency crisis any time soon, this will surely become an immortal classic.
  • Piercing Shell Oil – Hacktivists take on Royal Dutch/Shell, apparently from within. Corporations are rapidly becoming the most relevant system of governance we have, so maybe it's not so surprising to see extra-judicial actions aimed at them, be it paramilitary resistance in the Niger delta, or NGO sponsored corporate espionage and social-engineering attacks. If I wanted to work for an oil company, what kind of background check would they do on me? Would I pass? What kind of petroleum loyalty oath would I have to sign? Ultimately shareholders only seem to care about the short-term cashflow. If one is willing to step outside the legalistic box, it may be that that bottom line is disturbingly easy to influence.

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Zane Selvans

A former space explorer, now marooned on a beautiful, dying world.

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