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Talk of the day

Published April 25, 2007


Sale separates Stewart from empire's roots

Martha Stewart has sold the gray clapboard 19th century farm house in Westport, Conn., where she started her catering and home-decorating empire more than 30 years ago. The 4-acre estate built in 1805, which the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. called Turkey Hill Farm, includes a three-bedroom, two-bath house, a heated pool, and more than 4 acres of orchards and gardens. The estate has been a centerpiece of Stewart's business, served as her first television studio and has been featured in her magazine, books and on her TV show. It was put on the market in June for $8.9-million. The final sale price was not disclosed.

Wiki gets wacky and puts out CD

Wikipedia's advocates like to tout its dynamic nature: Volunteers can quickly respond to new developments and errors in the collaborative online encyclopedia by adding or changing entries themselves. So it may seem odd that Wikipedia volunteers are now working on a static version on CD, a preliminary version of which was released earlier this month. The goal is to extend Wikipedia to those with limited or no Internet access. With Wikipedia, anyone may add, edit or even delete entries regardless of expertise. Since its founding in 2001 by Jimmy Wales of St. Petersburg, the reference has grown to more than 1.7-million articles in the English language alone. The Wikipedia CD will have only a subset of that - about 2,000 articles, with a heavy emphasis on geography, literature and other topics that won't change the way current events and controversial subjects might.

Boeing teams with IRobot for vehicles

IRobot, a maker of automated vacuums, and Boeing said they will develop small-sized unmanned ground vehicles for the military, civil and commercial markets. The planned robot will weigh less than 30 pounds and enable users to conduct remote reconnaissance and gather real-time intelligence while "remaining out of harm's way," said IRobot of Burlington, Mass., in a statement. Boeing, the second-largest U.S. defense contractor, and IRobot plan to use off-the-shelf technology as much as possible to "rapidly produce and deploy the new robot." The machine, named SUGV Early, is slated for delivery next year.

Wal-Mart makes move in spy game

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been recruiting former military and government intelligence officers for a branch of its global security office aimed at identifying threats to the world's largest retailer, including from "suspect individuals and groups." Wal-Mart's interest in intelligence operatives comes as it is defending itself against allegations by a fired security employee that it ran surveillance operations against targets including critics, dissident shareholders, employees and suppliers. Wal-Mart has denied wrongdoing. Wal-Mart posted ads in March on its own Web site and sites for security professionals for "global threat analysts" with a background in government or military intelligence work.

[Last modified April 25, 2007, 01:18:38]

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