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Submission + - Solar Cycle Linked to Global Climate ( 2

Matt_dk writes: "Establishing a key link between the solar cycle and global climate, new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) shows that maximum solar activity and its aftermath have impacts on Earth that resemble La Niña and El Niño events in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The research may pave the way toward better predictions of temperature and precipitation patterns at certain times during the Sun's cycle, which lasts approximately 11 years."

Protecting the Apollo Landing Sites From Later Landings 339

R3d M3rcury writes "The Lunar X-Prize is a contest offering $20 million to the first private organization to land and maneuver a robotic rover on the moon. There is also a $1 million bonus to anyone who can get a picture of a man-made object on the moon. But one archeologist believes that 'The sites of early lunar landings are of unparalleled significance in the history of humanity, and extraordinary caution should be taken to protect them.' He's concerned that we may end up with rover tracks destroying historic artifacts, such as Neil Armstrong's first bootprint, or that a mistake could send a rocket slamming into a landing site. He calls on the organizers to ban any contestant from landing within 100KM of a prior moon landing site. Now he seems to think this just means Apollo. What about the Luna and Surveyor landers? What about the Lunokhod rovers? Are they fair game?"
The Courts

RIAA Victim Jammie Thomas Gets a New Lawyer 241

newtley writes "Only days after Brian Toder, her previous legal representative, had decided discretion was the better part of valour, leaving her fend for herself against the RIAA, Jammie Thomas says another lawyer has come forward with an offer of pro bono help. He's K.A.D. Camara from Camara & Sibley in Houston, Texas, says Jammie. And, 'He's the youngest person in history to graduate from Harvard Law school with honors,' she points out. Nor will her retrial be delayed, as was expected. It'll now go forward in June 15, as slated. 'I'm so happy!' Jammie said."
The Media

News Corp Will Charge For Newspaper Websites 453

suraj.sun writes "Rupert Murdoch says having free newspaper websites is a 'flawed' business model. Rupert Murdoch expects to start charging for access to News Corporation's newspaper websites within a year as he strives to fix a 'malfunctioning' business model. Encouraged by booming online subscription revenues at the Wall Street Journal, the billionaire media mogul last night said that papers were going through an 'epochal' debate over whether to charge. 'That it is possible to charge for content on the web is obvious from the Wall Street Journal's experience,' he said."
United States

Do We Really Need a National Climate Service? 358

coondoggie writes "I suppose it's natural for Washington to try and wrap issues up in a tidy legislative package for bureaucratic purposes (or perhaps other things more nefarious). But one has to wonder if we really need another government-led group, especially when it comes to the climate and all the sometimes controversial information that entails. But that's what is under way. Today the House Science and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing on the need for a National Climate Service, that could meet the increased demand for climate information, the committee said. The NCS would provide a single point of contact of information climate forecasts and support for planning and management decisions by federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; and the private sector."
Social Networks

Facebook Users Get Lower Grades In College 284

Hugh Pickens writes "According to a survey of college students Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users. The study by Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University, found that Facebook user GPAs are in the 3.0 to 3.5 range on average, compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users and that Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week. Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else. 'I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied.' One hypothesis is that students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook or that students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music. 'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades. But perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online.' As for herself, Karpinski said she doesn't have a Facebook account, although the co-author of the study does. 'For me, I think Facebook is a huge distraction.'"

YouTube Halts Uploads and Comments In Korea 76

adeelarshad82 quotes with this disconcerting bit from what many people rank the world's best-connected country: "YouTube users in Korea are no longer able to upload new videos or comment on existing ones. The changes come in response to the country's recent Cyber Defamation Law. Enacted on April 1st, the law requires users of all sites with more than 100,000 uniques a day to provide real names and national ID numbers, in order to curb anonymous comments."
The Almighty Buck

Should Good Indie Games Be More Expensive? 150

spidweb writes "Indie gaming blog The Bottom Feeder has an article on why independent games should be more expensive. The enforced low prices on XBox Live, Amazon, and iTunes might feel good now, but they'll kill off the variety and depth gamers are hoping indie developers can provide. From the article: 'Every year, life is getting more and more expensive. Insurance. Rent. Food. And, at the same time, games are getting cheaper and cheaper, sometimes as cheap as a dollar, as we engage in a full speed race to the bottom. This is not going to help developers stay in business. This is not how a healthy industry is maintained.'"

Was the Amazon De-Listing Situation a Glitch Or a Hack? 396

Miracle Jones writes "As Amazon struggles to re-list and re-rank gay, lesbian, and adult books on their website after massive public outcry against the secretive partitioning process, they are claiming that the entire situation was not the result of an intentional policy at all, are not apologizing, and are instead insisting that the situation was the result of 'a glitch' that they are now trying to fix. While some hackers are claiming credit for 'amazonfail,' and it is indeed possible that an outside party is responsible, most claims have already been debunked. How likely is it that Amazon was hacked versus the likelihood of an internal Easter weekend glitch? Or is the most obvious and likely scenario true, and Amazon simply got caught implementing a wildly-unpopular new policy without telling anyone?"

When Politicians Tax Violent Video Games 315

talien79 writes "Taxing video games has a storied history in state legislatures. The reality is that video games, violent or otherwise, simply make too much money to be stopped. But taxing them is a viable compromise, a 'sin tax' of sorts similar to that levied on cigarettes. This article reviews the time-honored tactic of politicians pandering to their base: taxing violent video games."

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"