iFive: Gawker in Palin Legal Trouble, Branson’s Eco Prize, Google TV Loses Viacom, Cloud Computing, WikiLeaks’ Next Huge Exposé

While you were sleeping, other people were already innovating, inventing, making news. So here’s Monday’s early info, digested into manageable chunks for you.

The TSA airport screening procedures, which some label as “too late” and which others label “invasive anti-constitutional violations” are getting some top-level interest: Over the weekend President Obama said he was working to “balance” security needs with the privacy of millions of air travelers. The procedures aren’t going away, but maybe the prez can do something about training the TSA better? Anyway–on with the news:


1. Gawker’s in trouble again. Well, sorta: Over the weekend a judge ordered the site to take down the leaked pages it had published from Sarah Palin’s upcoming text America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag (yes–it’s really titled that). Gawker’s move was deemed a “copyright violation” but other sites have the content too, and the book is published this week. So the legal mess is really just beginning–the hearing is scheduled for November 30th.

2. Nobody can suck CO2 from the air, or so it seems: A $25 million prize offered by Richard Branson to anyone who could invent tech to perform the feat is still unclaimed, since 2007. The Virgin Earth Challenge is intended to spur innovation of a system to reverse some of the gas damage that causes global warming, but NIMBYism and engineering difficulties are apparently stopping it from being won.

3. Google TV’s woes just worsened, as Viacom is now blocking all its content from Google’s web TV effort. This means that Google’s overly complex system is all but useless as an actual “TV,” since there’s no significant content on it from any of the big networks. Is it a play in favor of Apple and Boxee? Only time will tell.

4. Cloud computing just got a huge boost: The White House is pushing an initiative to curb inefficiencies and reduce waste from the government’s tech installations, and one way it’ll do so is to embrace cloud computing strategies. Maybe the idea will help with over-budget, under-performing federal IT spends too.

5. WikiLeaks is about to divulge more secrets. Many more, according to the site: Up to seven times as many as the secret files it leaked about the Iraq war. We don’t know what it’s about, but we are 99.9% certain it’ll be hugely controversial, and land the website in even more legal worry.

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