Computing News Round Up for October 1, 2007

There are plenty of stories out there today, from a follow up on the fight between GPS and New York taxi cab drivers, to Japan’s new virtual world. I hope you enjoy this round up of the latest headlines and interesting developments in the world of technology.

Cabbies versus GPS

In a decision that came down Friday, a Federal judge told the court that he would not block a new rule made by the transportation department in New York City requiring Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and credit card systems to be installed in taxi cabs.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said that he didn’t see evidence that the new rule would cause “severe and debilitating economic harm” and prevent them from earning their livelihood.

The cabbies argued that the GPS systems will disclose their driving patterns, and reveal the trade secrets that they use to maximize their earnings through a competitive edge.

“Meet-Me” in Japan

A new G-rated virtual world is scheduled to open up in December. “Meet-Me” is the Japanese response to the ever popular and more American “Second Life,” and the differences are very clear. “Meet-Me” for starters will be a highly organized and straight forward world, geared more for the Japanese culture and set of ideals that craves order, good behavior and conformity. The avatars, that is the players representations of themselves will be softer and more cartoonish than those in “Second Life.” Players of “Meet-Me” won’t have to contend with guns, violence or anything that is not strictly “G-Rated.” The world here is more structured and safer, says Kunimasa Hamaoka, who oversees “meet-me” at digital marketing company Transcosmos Inc.

“This will be a place where people can enjoy themselves with a sense of safety — like Disneyland,” Hamaoka told the Associated Press. “There’s total freedom to act in ‘Second Life,’ which requires individual responsibility. It’s very American. Almost everything is OK, including evil.”

Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, technology in the Computing Blog, and creating a home in the Home Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog