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Space

+ - 134 Cosmic Rays still a mystery as IceCube array fails to find Neutrinos->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "The failure of ghostly subatomic messengers called neutrinos to show up at an Antarctic telescope has knocked down a major astrophysical theory involving some of the most dramatic explosions in the universe. The IceCube telescope monitors a cubic kilometre of iceMovie Camera beneath the South Pole for neutrinos of various types, including the cosmic variety. Vertical strings of detectors frozen into the ice watch for flashes of blue light emitted when neutrinos strike. The energy of the neutrino determines its source. One source of neutrinos was thought to be explosions known as gamma ray bursts (GRBs) and IceCube has been looking for neutrinos occurring at the same time as GRBs. From May 2009 to May 2010, gamma-ray satellite observatories saw 190 GRBs. Theory predicts that IceCube should have seen a handful of neutrinos at the same time, from the same region of the sky. But today IceCube reports that it saw absolutely nothing – a serious blow to a cascade of processes astrophysicists thought they understood."
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Government

+ - 170 Mandatory 'Big Brother' Black Boxes In All New Cars From 2015-> 1

Submitted by Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk (629978) writes "A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards.

Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for “Mandatory Event Data Recorders” to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so.

“Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,” states the bill."

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Patents

+ - 139 UnwiredPlanet/Openwave keen to announce it is becoming a Patent Troll->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "Openwave, a pioneer of smartphone internet and once a major player, has just announced a "major milestone" after selling off its legitimate businesses but keeping its patent chest handy. Under its original 1996 name of Unwired Planet, the company plans to use the patents that it has in chasing down money from other more successful businesses.

"As we complete the sale of our product businesses, we will continue to focus on a multi-pronged strategy to realize the value of our unique patent portfolio," — CEO Mike Mulica."

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Games

+ - 286 If You Resell Your Used Games, The Terrorists Win-> 1

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Game designer Richard Browne has come out swinging in favor of the rumored antipiracy features in the next-gen PlayStation Orbis and Xbox Durango. "The real cost of used games is the damage that is being wrought on the creativity and variety of games available to the consumer," Browne writes. Browne's comments echo those of influential programmer and Raspberry Pi developer David Braben, who wrote last month that "...pre-owned has really killed core games. It's killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk." Both Browne and Braben conflate hating GameStop (a thoroughly reasonable life choice) with the supposed evils of the used games market. Braben goes so far as to claim that used games are actually responsible for high game prices and that "prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells." Amazingly, no game publishers have stepped forward to publicly pledge themselves to lower game prices in exchange for a cut of used game sales. Publishers are hammering Gamestop (and recruiting developers to do the same) because it's easier than admitting that the current system is fundamentally broken."
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Space

+ - 160 Mystery company may be an asteroid mining project->

Submitted by MMatessa
MMatessa (673870) writes "From The Verge: MIT's Technology Review has just gotten news of a mysterious new project that claims it will "create a new industry and a new definition of 'natural resources.'" Space exploration company Planetary Resources will be unveiled in a conference call on Tuesday, April 24th. Besides the audacious announcement, which promises to "overlay two critical sectors — space exploration and natural resources — to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP," what makes this unique is its high-profile support group. The venture is backed by Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, director James Cameron, and politician Ross Perot's son, among others."
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The Courts

+ - 156 Piracy Lawsuits for Dummies->

Submitted by
Skapare
Skapare writes "TorrentFreak is reporting that John WIley & Sons is demanding a jury trial in a case of alleged copying of several "... for Dummies" book titles involving 4 named defendants. Mainstream coverage is at BBC.

This is a case to watch because the main evidence is IP addresses, which in an RIAA case expert testimony had desrcibed as "erroneous, unprofessional, and borderline incompetent". I wonder if the printer did it."

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DRM

+ - 218 Judge Grudgingly awards $3.6 Million in DRM Circumvention Case->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "The case involves an online game, MapleStory, and some people who set up an alternate server, UMaple, allowing users to play the game with the official game client, but without logging into the official MapleStory servers. In this case, the people behind UMaple apparently ignored the lawsuit, leading to a default judgment. Although annoyed with MapleStory (The Judge knocked down a request for $68,764.23 — in profits made by UMaple — down to just $398.98), the law states a minimum of $200 per infringement. Multiply that by 17,938 users of UMaple... and you get $3.6 million. In fact, it sounds like the court would very much like to decrease the amount, but notes that "nevertheless, the court is powerless to deviate from the DMCA's statutory minimum." Eric Goldman also has some further op-ed and information regarding the case and judgement."
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Twitter

+ - 110 Twitter plans to give control of their patents to their engineers->

Submitted by Acapulco
Acapulco (1289274) writes ""With the IPA (Innovator's Patent Agreement) employees can be assured that their patents will only be used as a shield rather than as a weapon." Said Twitter's Engineering VP.

In the blog he also said "Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of these inventions. However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally call the “IPA”."

The BBC has other details on the story."

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Desktops (Apple)

+ - 97 When did "PC" and "Microsoft Windows" become synonymous?->

Submitted by JrbuPTur
JrbuPTur (1997730) writes "There seems to be a common theme emerging in game descriptions lately; they market themselves towards "PC and Mac". Naturally I'd assume that it would run on Linux — but that's not what they mean. So far I've backed 7 games on Kickstarter, and ALL of them do this. If you search the Kickstarter project descriptions for "Mac" or "Linux", you'll see it: Nekro, Leisure Suit Larry, Starlight Inception, The Banner Saga, Shadowrun Returns, Wasteland 2, and Double Fine Adventure. Many of the people who created these projects are programmers who made software for IBM compatible PCs back in the day. I refuse to believe they are unable to make this distinction, so are they just catering to the masses? As a side note, all 7 projects have actually pledged to create a Linux version of their game."
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The Internet

+ - 150 Online therapy: Taking mental health services out of the office->

Submitted by
techgeek0279
techgeek0279 writes "Web-based psychotherapy is emerging as an alternative to conventional therapy sessions, with Skype and other telecommunication technologies serving as platforms through which patients can communicate with their therapists from miles away. At first, video conferencing was used to provide therapy for patients in supervised facilities such as prisons, rural clinics, and veteran’s healthcare facilities. But the trend is expanding and now many patients are finding it easier to talk to a therapist from the comfort of their living rooms. Online psychotherapy sites dedicated to providing web-based therapy sessions are on the rise. Breakthrough.com is one such site and has enrolled 900 therapists over a two-year time span. There is also the Telemental Health Institute, an online training institution for telepsychiatry and online psychotherapy services."
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The Courts

+ - 136 Verizon sued for false advertising about broadband->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "It seems that the days of getting "Up to" this or that speed may be coming closer to the end. A suit against Verizon, which is trying to become a class action suit, is putting some of these many shadier promises to light. This isn't just about the "up to" speeds being marketed though. In this case, a woman was convinced to upgrade her account from a 768k top speed account to a 1.5 Mb top speed account — at $10 more per month — only to find that her line could only handle the 768k, based on her distance from the CO. She then had a Verizon rep tell her she should downgrade her account, but the company was unwilling to reimburse her for the higher fees she paid on a level of service she couldn't technically get."
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User Journal

+ - 178 Journal: Cap'n Time Crunch

Journal by karniv0re

Fuck, I am stressed.

I slept horribly last night with dreams about this project. One dream was weird - Gared O'Donnel from Planes Mistaken For Stars was playing a show, and gave me a new book of his to read. The book
featured many technical specifics about my company and project. I was like, "Gared! I didn't know you worked here before!" Yeah, that one was stupid.

Blackberry

+ - 214 Panopticon Jr: A psych prof captures daily communication of 175 Texas teens->

Submitted by nonprofiteer
nonprofiteer (1906180) writes "A University of Texas-Dallas developmental psychology professor has used a $3.4 million NIH grant to purchase Blackberries for 175 Texas teens, capturing every text message, email, photo, and IM they've sent over the past 4 years.Half a million new messages pour into the database every month. The researchers don't "directly ask" the teens about privacy issues because they don't want to remind them they're being monitored.

So many legal and ethical issues here. I can't believe this is IRB-approved. Teens sending nude photos alone could make that database legally toxic.

And then there's the ethical issue of monitoring those who have not consented to be part of the study, but are friends with those who have. When a friend texted one participant about selling drugs, he responded, “Hey, be careful, the BlackBerry people are watching, but don’t worry, they won’t tell anyone.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - 216 Does Anyone Repair Electronics Any More?-> 1

Submitted by futuristic
futuristic (649463) writes "The comments on this article are an interesting read, covering a wide span of interest and experience in component-level electronics repair. Personally I enjoy harvesting components and assemblies for re-use and am looking forward to refurbishing a 1970's analog synthesizer my son recently acquired."
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Technology

+ - 156 Dummy with functioning artery system allows surgeons to develop skills->

Submitted by
techgeek0279
techgeek0279 writes "The Cybram 001 Cybernetic Brain Artery Model simulates the functioning of the cerebral blood vessels, so doctors can practice performing actual operations on the brain. Developed through joint research by Fuyo and the Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, the life size plastic body contains a blood vessel system that runs from the groin to the cerebral artery, as well as a circulation pump and pressure control circuit used to realistically simulate blood flow and pressure in the body."
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Earth

+ - 171 Google Earth adds citizen balloon images->

Submitted by
garymortimer
garymortimer writes "The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science announced today that community-generated open source maps — captured from kites and balloons — have been added to Google Earth. The 45 plus maps are the first aerial maps produced by citizens to be featured on the site, and are highlighted on the Google Lat Long Blog.

The Public Laboratory is an expansion of the Grassroots Mapping community. During an initial project mapping the BP oil spill, local residents used helium-filled balloons and digital cameras to generate highresolution D.I.Y “satellite” maps documenting the extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — at a time when there was little public information available. Expanding the toolkit beyond aerial mapping, Public Laboratory has been growing into a diverse community, both online and offline, experimenting with new ways to produce information about our surroundings. The lab’s DIY kits cost less than $100 to assemble."

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Patents

+ - 251 Fark.com founder Drew Curtis links patent trolls with 'terrorists'->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Other than the shifty eyes and faint smell of cheap aftershave, it’s often hard to identify a patent troll. The derogatory term "patent troll" describes a company established as a legal entity solely to make cash through patent lawsuits — stifling creativity and emptying the bank accounts of even the smartest Silicon Valley start-up. According to a 2011 report by the Boston University School of Law, patent trolls have cost U.S. companies about $500 billion in lost capital. Drew Curtis, the founder of Fark.com, calls them terrorists to be avoided at all costs. “It boils down to one thing: don’t negotiate with terrorists,” Curtis said during a talk at the TED 2012 conference in Long Beach, Calif. He explained how he won a patent dispute over e-mail newsletters by refusing to settle."
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Science

+ - 161 Brain Implants Help Paralyzed Monkeys Get a Grip->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Spinal cord injuries cause paralysis because they sever crucial communication links between the brain and the muscles that move limbs. A new study with monkeys demonstrates a way to re-establish those connections. By implanting electrodes in a movement control center in the brain and wiring them up to electrodes attached to muscles in the arm, researchers restored movement to monkeys with a temporarily paralyzed hand. The work is the latest promising development in the burgeoning field of neuroprosthetics."
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Government

+ - 162 Asian Call Center Workers Trained With U.S. Tax Dollars->

Submitted by
gManZboy
gManZboy writes "Despite President Obama's recent call for companies to "insource" jobs sent overseas, it turns out that the federal government itself is spending millions of dollars to train foreign students for employment in some booming career fields--including working in offshore call centers that serve U.S. businesses.

The program is called JEEP, which stands for Job Enabling English Proficiency. It's available to college students in the Philippines through USAID. That's the same agency that until a couple of years ago was spending millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money to train offshore IT workers in Sri Lanka.

Congressman Tim Bishop (D-New York), told about the program on Tuesday, called it "surprising and distressing." Bishop recently introduced a bill that would make companies that outsource call centers ineligible for government contracts."

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