While you were sleeping, innovation was not crying in court after being informed it was to spend time in chokey. Instead it was poring over data received courtesy of an FOIA request, picking the right smiley face, and then facing deportation. Oh, innovation, what will we do without you?
1. The East Coast might be enjoying a heatwave, but weather further south isn’t exactly endearing itself to the Gulf states. With oil found in Lake Pontchartrain and Barataria Bay, it’s causing spats between the state of Louisiana and scientists as they work out how to handle the spill. Two of the men who are used to dealing with situations such as this one are profiled: well-killer John Wright, and Lee Wilson, emergency services expert.
2. Last year, the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit had its emails hacked. Today, the inquiry into the affair publishes its report, at 8 a.m. EST, and The Guardian is liveblogging the event. The leaked email addresses have led to some pretty unsavory behavior, such as Internet threats to U.S. climatologists, and it’s worth reading the Beeb’s environment analyst, Roger Harrabin’s musings on the subject.
3. Memo to the U.S. Government’s technology czar: If you want to find out how have an unsuccessful online policy, look across the Atlantic. There’s been a lot of huffing and puffing about government overspend on its official Web sites over the past month, and Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s tech editor, has delved into the case of a Web site that was rumored to have cost £105 million to build and maintain. Urk! The Telegraph has been investigating government apps through a Freedom of Information request. A total of £126 million was spent on online ventures by Her Majesty’s Government between 2009 and 2010.
4. Anti-whaling campaigner Peter Bethune, he of the Sea Shepherd conservation society, has been given a two-year jail sentence, suspended for five years, by a Japanese court. The 45-year-old will be deported to New Zealand later this month. Shades of Flight of the Conchords, I think.
5. Finally, browser wars are back! Mozilla has rolled out Firefox 4 in beta form. Feedback takes the form of smiley and scowly faces, with “Firefox makes me happy/sad because” buttons to click on.