AP Technology NewsBrief at 1:54 p.m. EST
(AP Online Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Shhh! Gadget racket threatens pulsar researchGREEN BANK, W.Va. (AP) _ Of all the threats to scientific research Wesley Sizemore has stymied over the years, satellites and cell phone towers don't stick in his memory quite like the possessive old hound and its treasured heating pad. Sizemore is an interference hunter, vigilantly pursuing stray electromagnetic signals that bedevil researchers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which sits on 13,000 square miles tucked away in the nation's only radio-free quiet zone.
Review: Ditching car OK with Net transit plannersSEATTLE (AP) _ As a New Yorker, I don't own a car, and I really hate driving. So I challenged myself to avoid the driver's seat as much as possible during a recent West Coast trip, something made practical with all the online transit planners that have cropped up in recent years.
FCC head drops filtering from free broadband planWASHINGTON (AP) _ Before he steps down as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin Martin still hopes to win approval for his plan to auction off a slice of the airwaves for a free nationwide wireless broadband network. So to increase the chances that his proposal will win the support of his fellow commissioners, Martin said this week that he has removed one especially contested element: a requirement that the provider of the wireless network filter Internet content to block any material deemed inappropriate for children.
`GoodQuests' tie online mazes to charityATLANTA (AP) _ If kids are playing video games, why not do some good while they're at it? Elf Island, a virtual world created by Atlanta-based Good Egg Studios, ties online games to charity construction in the real world. The more "virtual" homes the kids build by completing mini-mazes, the more real homes that are built by Habitat for Humanity.
Obama online supporters key to pushing his agendaHONOLULU (AP) _ President-elect Barack Obama's top asset in pushing his agenda will not be his Cabinet secretaries or aides, but rather his online network. Obama's political e-mail list tops 13 million names, a digital force that the incoming White House can tap to push for his legislation, tamp down critics or bolster popular support. It's also a way for Obama to reach into every state, every city, and every neighborhood.
China's 3G rollout sets off sales scrambleBEIJING (AP) _ China is starting a long-delayed introduction of third-generation mobile phone service, setting off a politically charged scramble by foreign and Chinese equipment makers for up to $41 billion in orders. Chinese sales could be crucial for suppliers such as Motorola Inc., Alcatel-Lucent SA and Nokia-Siemens Networks as global demand slumps. State media say the largest Chinese carrier, China Mobile, expects to sign up 100 million 3G subscribers _ more than most nations' entire mobile markets _ in the next three years.
Uproar in Australia over plan to block Web sitesSYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ A proposed Internet filter dubbed the "Great Aussie Firewall" is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries. Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government _ mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.
Report: HP sells printers in Iran with third partyPALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ Hewlett-Packard Co. could be breaking U.S. trade sanctions by using a third-party distributor to sell printers in Iran, The Boston Globe reported Monday. According to the newspaper, HP signed a distribution deal with a Dubai-based company called Redington Gulf in 1997, two years after the Clinton administration put sanctions on Iran.
Amazon says 2008 holiday season was 'best ever'SEATTLE (AP) _ Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. called this holiday season its "best ever," saying Friday that it saw a 17 percent increase in orders on its busiest day _ a rare piece of good news in a season that has been far from merry for most retailers, including online businesses. Amazon customers ordered more than 6.3 million items on Dec. 15, compared with roughly 5.4 million on its peak day last year, the company said. It shipped more than 5.6 million products on its best day, a 44 percent rise over 2007, when it shipped about 3.9 million on its busiest day.
Amateurs are trying genetic engineering at homeSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering _ a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories.
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