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The Courts

Judge Berates Prosecutors In Xbox Modding Trial 285

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-uppance-has-come dept.
mrbongo writes with this excerpt from Wired: "Opening statements in the first-of-its-kind Xbox 360 criminal hacking trial were delayed here Wednesday after a federal judge unleashed a 30-minute tirade at prosecutors in open court, saying he had 'serious concerns about the government's case.' ... Gutierrez slammed the prosecution over everything from alleged unlawful behavior by government witnesses, to proposed jury instructions harmful to the defense. When the verbal assault finally subsided, federal prosecutors asked for a recess to determine whether they would offer the defendant a deal, dismiss or move forward with the case that was slated to become the first jury trial of its type. A jury was seated Tuesday."
Censorship

YouTube Blocked In Pakistan 299

Posted by timothy
from the differential-fragility dept.
kokoko1 submits this snippet from The Telegraph, which reports that Facebook isn't alone — now YouTube, too, is being censored in Pakistan. "The blocking of YouTube comes a day after a Pakistani court blocked Facebook amid a growing row over a competition on the social networking website to design cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad." Update: 05/20 18:58 GMT by T : According to an anonymous reader, Wikipedia and Flickr are out, too.
Update: 05/21 12:11 GMT by KD : And now add Twitter to the blocked list. This post claims that more than 1,000 sites are being blocked in Pakistan.
Space

Jupiter Is Missing a Belt 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-holds-up-its-pants dept.
mbone writes "Jupiter just went through Superior Conjunction (i.e., went behind the Sun as seen from the Earth), so it has been out of view for a while. Now that it has returned, it is different — the South Equatorial Belt (SEB) is missing. The SEB has about 10 times the surface area of the Earth, so this is not a small change. Here are a series of photos of Jupiter's new look. The Great Red Spot typically inhabits the southern border of the SEB, but it doesn't seem to be affected by the change. It's a pity that this happened at Superior Conjunction, and that there is no satellite in Jupiter orbit, so details of the change are largely missing. The SEB has previously gone missing in 1973 and 1990. Since no one really knows what makes the Jovian belts, no one knows why they disappear either. If the belts are really just material from deeper layers coming to the surface, it is possible that the convection has stopped for some reason, or that high-altitude clouds have covered it over."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Modern Warfare 2 Surpasses $1 Billion Mark; Dedicated Servers What? 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the our-bark-is-worse-than-our-boycott dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog is running an interesting article contrasting everything Activision did "wrong" in creating and marketing Modern Warfare 2 with the game's unqualified success. Despite price hikes, somewhat shady review practices, exploit frustrations, and the dedicated server fiasco, the game has raked in over a billion dollars in sales. "There was only one way to review Modern Warfare 2: on the Xbox 360, in Santa Barbara, under the watchful eye of Activision. Accepting the paid trip, along with room and board, was the only way you were going to get a review before launch. Joystiq noted that this broke their ethics policy, but they went anyway. Who can say no to a review destined to bring in traffic? Shacknews refused to call their coverage a 'review' because of the ethical issues inherent in the situation, but that stance was unique. The vast majority of news outlets didn't disclose how the review was conducted, or added a disclaimer after the nature of the review was made public. This proved to Activision that if you're big enough, you can dictate the exact terms of any review, and no ethics policy will make news outlets turn you down."
Encryption

The Voynich Manuscript May Have Been Decoded 320

Posted by kdawson
from the ask-a-navajo dept.
MBCook sends word on a possible solution to the mystery of the Voynich Manuscript, which we last visited nearly 6 years ago. "The Voynich Manuscript has confounded attempts to decode it for nearly 100 years. A person named Edith Sherwood, who has previously suggested a possible link to DaVinci, has a new idea: perhaps the text is simply anagrams of Italian words. There are three pages of examples from the herb section of the book, showing the original text, the plaintext Italian words, and the English equivalents. Has someone cracked the code?"
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-who-knows-a-good-ps3-flight-sim dept.
bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Microsoft

Bill Gates Remembers 1979 310

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-don't dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Last week Gizmodo had a special celebration of 1979, the last year before a digital tsunami hit, that put Bill Gates in a nostalgic mood this week. Bill chimed in with his own memories of that seminal year when everything changed. 'In 1979, Microsoft had 13 employees, most of whom appear in that famous picture that provides indisputable proof that your average computer geek from the late 1970s was not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion,' wrote Gates. 'By the end of the year we'd doubled in size to 28 employees. Even though we were doing pretty well, I was still kind of terrified by the rapid pace of hiring and worried that the bottom could fall out at any time.' What made Gates feel a little more confident was that he began to sense that BASIC was on the verge of becoming the standard language for microcomputers. 'By the middle of 1979, BASIC was running on more than 200,000 Z-80 and 8080 machines and we were just releasing a new version for the 8086 16-bit microprocessor. As the numbers grew, we were starting to think beyond programming languages, too, and about the possibility of creating applications that would have real mass appeal to consumers.' Gates remembers that in 1979 there were only 100 different software products that had more than $100 M in annual sales and all of them were for mainframes. 'In April, the 8080 version of BASIC became the first software product built to run on microprocessors to win an ICP Million Dollar Award. Today, I would be surprised if the number of million-dollar applications isn't in the millions itself' writes Gates. 'More important, of course, is the fact that more than a billion people around the world use computers and digital technology as an integral part of their day-to-day lives. That's something that really started to take shape in 1979.'"
Image

Science Unlocks The Mystery Of Belly Button Lint 161 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the extreme-navel-gazing dept.
After three years of research, including examining 503 pieces of fluff from his own belly button, Georg Steinhauser has discovered a type of body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and draws them into the navel. Dr Steinhauser's observations showed that "small pieces of fluff first form in the hair and then end up in the navel at the end of the day." Chemical analysis revealed the pieces of fluff were not just made up of cotton from clothing. Wrapped up in the lint were also flecks of dead skin, fat, sweat and dust. Unfortunately, further study has failed to yield a hair or fiber that would give Dr. Steinhauser the last three years of his life back.
Linux

Linux Compatibility With VR Goggles? 170

Posted by kdawson
from the sees-things-we-don't dept.
WorldWarCheese writes "Many's the time I wish I had a little more mobility or comfort with my computer. Laptops are OK, but anyone interested can see right onto my screen; and a laptop doesn't quite have that 'cool' factor that VR goggles / headsets do. The problem is, whenever I've looked at the options, Linux compatibility is not mentioned. Is there a VR headset out there that is compatible with Ubuntu? If not, what could I do to make it compatible, and how feasible would that be?"
Movies

Majel Roddenberry Dies At 76 356

Posted by timothy
from the her-voice-prints-will-live-on dept.
unassimilatible writes "If there was ever a sad day for nerds, it's today, as Majel Barrett-Rodenberry has passed away. The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is best remembered as the gorgeous Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, the pesky and officious Lwaxana Troi from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and of course the ubiquitous voice of Star Trek computers in movies, TV, and animated films (who hasn't used her voice as a system sound on their PC?). Majel also attended Star Trek conventions yearly and was a producer of Andromeda. Fortunately, Majel just finished her voice over work for the computers in J.J. Abrams' latest Trek movie. I have to admit, this made me sad, just having caught up on the entire TNG and DS9 series on DVD."
Security

McCain Campaign Sells Info-Loaded Blackberry PDAs 165

Posted by timothy
from the quickly-unring-that-bell dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A news station in Washington D.C. has reported that the McCain Campaign has allegedly sold to reporters Blackberry handhelds with campaign-related information such as e-mail messages and phone numbers: 'We traced the Blackberry back to a staffer who worked for "Citizens for McCain" ... The emails contain an insider's look at how grassroots operations work, full of scheduling questions and rallying cries for support ... But most of the numbers were private cell phones for campaign leaders, politicians, lobbyists and journalists. "Somebody made a mistake," one owner told us. "People's numbers and addresses were supposed to be erased."'"
Caldera

+ - SCO Appeals->

Submitted by
Xenographic
Xenographic writes "As expected, SCO is appealing the Novell judgment because they believe that the judge was too 'hasty' in ruling against them. The SCO v. Novell case will be four years old next January 20th. While it is not likely to succeed, it will drag the case a while longer. Appeals usually take less time than the original case because there's no discovery phase and the appeals court only has to examine the work of the trial court. If time and money allow, we should probably expect them to appeal to the Supreme Court, as well as the subsequent denial of their petition for a writ of certiorari, which would bring a permanent end to the SCO v. Novell litigation. In an unrelated note, SCO is hiring. I love how one of the job requirements is 'reasoning ability', which requires that, 'The candidate must be able to think clearly and concisely.' Who knows how much trouble might have been avoided if they were more stringent in that requirement for previous hires."
Link to Original Source

Comment: RIAA = SCO? (Score 4, Interesting) 222

by CheechBG (#22349534) Attached to: RIAA's Attack On NewYorkCountryLawyer Fails
is it just me, or are there more and more similarities between the RIAA's public handling of these cases and the SCO ordeal? It seems like ever week or so another judge issues a smackdown to the RIAA's motions or momentum. I hope for the sake of the public that this doesn't drag on as long as the SCO trial did/is, but I can't help but draw the conclusion that the RIAA's path is ultimately doomed. If not doomed by the courts, then doomed by inciting subversion in their user base. It's just a shame that this has to affect so many more people than just SCO vs. Novell/IBM (and Linux users collectively)

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.

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