Did you know that a year’s worth of human excrement is equivalent to 2.1 gallons of diesel? Well it is. So says Ole Jakob Johansen, an officer at Oslo, Norway’s city hall. And Johansen isn’t just spouting random, disgusting trivia: in 2010 Norway’s capital will start rolling out buses fueled with methane, which in turn will be extracted from sewage. [The Power of Poo ]
An employee who chose a new toilet to mark his 25 years of service for a municipality in southern Sweden has officials in GnosjÃ¶ rethinking the rules for how it honours faithful workers. Up until now, the town council has had a rather loose set of rules governing how it recognizes employees who have spent 25 years working for GnosjÃ¶, a municipality with around 9,700 residents. Rather than simply offering the traditional gold watch, the council has allowed employees to purchase a gift of equivalent value from any store in GnosjÃ¶, according to the Finnveden.nu news website. But one employee’s decision recently to buy himself a new toilet to mark his 25th year with the municipality has Stefan Nilsson, GnosjÃ¶’s head of human resources, rethinking the city’s policies. [The Power of Poo II ]
How Barack Obama Resurrected The Dead Associated Press
He’s still got a little work to do on the economy, but already President Barack Obama has accomplished at least one task that had appeared all but impossible just a year ago: He’s put The Dead back on the road. As the core surviving members of the Grateful Dead, once the world’s biggest concert draw, barrel across the country for the first time in five years, bass player Phil Lesh says they have Obama, and also Lesh’s youngest son, Brian, to thank. After Lesh, who had never publicly supported a presidential candidate, threw his lot in with Obama, he was anxious to do a benefit concert for him. But he was all but done with The Dead, so it was going to feature his other band, Phil and Friends. “My son Brian said, ‘No Daddy, you’ve got to get The Dead together because it will be so much more meaningful and important,’” the musician chuckled during a recent phone interview.
German Composer Sues Google/YouTube Billboard
German composer Frank Peterson has filed a lawsuit at the Higher District Court in Hamburg against Google/YouTube, claiming that his music videos and other audiovisual repertoire were used illegally. Peterson produces British soprano Sarah Brightman and heads his own German band Gregorian. In the lawsuit, Petersen claims infringement of his copyrights and master rights.
Gov’t won’t classify proxies as ‘sophisticated’ Associated Press
The U.S. government has dropped â for now â a plan to classify the use of “proxy” servers as evidence of sophistication in committing a crime. Proxy servers are computers that disguise the source of Internet traffic. They are commonly used for legitimate purposes, like evading Internet censors and working from home. But they can also be used to hide from law enforcement. The Washington-based U.S. Sentencing Commission was considering a change to federal sentencing guidelines that would have increased sentences by about 25 percent for people convicted of crimes in which proxies are used to hide the perpetrators’ tracks. But after digital-rights advocates complained that the proposed language was too broad, the commission struck the controversial language from the amendments it voted on Wednesday.
Eight police officers serving with Scotland’s largest force listed their official religion as Jedi in voluntary diversity forms, it has emerged. Strathclyde Police said the officers and two of its civilian staff claimed to follow the faith, which features in the Star Wars movies. The details were obtained in a Freedom of Information request by Jane’s Police Review. Strathclyde was the only force in the UK to admit it had Jedi officers.
Tween heartthrobs the Jonas Brothers return to Toronto this June as hosts of the MuchMusic Video Awards. Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas also will perform at the awards show, which recognizes excellence in Canadian music videos. Nominees for the MMVAs will be announced in May. This year’s other performers have yet to be announced. The Jonas Brothers are a U.S. pop-rock band from Wyckoff, N.J., who first became popular on the Disney Channel. They are set to release their fourth studio album, Lines, Vines and Trying Times, just ahead of the MMVAs. [Hooray! Hooray!]
Cipav A sophisticated FBI-produced spyware program has played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in federal investigations into extortion plots, terrorist threats and hacker attacks in cases stretching back at least seven years, newly declassified documents show. As first reported by Wired.com, the software, called a “computer and internet protocol address verifier,” or CIPAV, is designed to infiltrate a target’s computer and gather a wide range of information, which it secretly sends to an FBI server in eastern Virginia. The FBI’s use of the spyware surfaced in 2007 when the bureau used it to track e-mailed bomb threats against a Washington state high school to a 15-year-old student.
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Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.