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Russian Scholar Warns Of US Climate Change Weapon Screenshot-sm 415

According to Russian political scientist, and conspiracy aficionado Andrei Areshev the high heat, and poor crop yields of Russia, and other Central Asian countries may be the result of a climate weapon created by the US military. From the article: "... Areshev voiced suspicions about the High-Frequency Active Aural Research Program (HAARP), funded by the US Defense Department and the University of Alaska. HAARP, which has long been the target of conspiracy theorists, analyzes the ionosphere and seeks to develop technologies to improve radio communications, surveillance, and missile detection. Areshev writes, however, that its true aim is to create new weapons of mass destruction 'in order to destabilize environmental and agricultural systems in local countries.'"
The Courts

US DOJ Says Kindle In Classroom Hurts Blind Students 492

angry tapir writes "Three US universities will stop promoting the use of's Kindle DX e-book reader in classrooms after complaints that the device doesn't give blind students equal access to information. Settlements with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Pace University in New York City and Reed College in Portland, Oregon, were announced Wednesday by the US Department of Justice. The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind had complained that use of the Kindle devices discriminates against students with vision problems."

New WoW Patch Brings Cross-Server Instances 342

ajs writes "World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion was staggered into 4 phases. The fourth and final phase, patch 3.3, was released on Tuesday. This patch is significant in that it will be the first introduction of one of the most anticipated new features in the game since PvP arenas: the cross-realm random dungeon, as well as the release of new end-game dungeons for 5, 10 and 25-player groups. The patch notes have been posted, and so has a trailer. The ultimate fight against the expansion's antagonist, the Lich King a.k.a. Arthas, will be gated as each of the four wings of the final dungeon are opened in turn — a process that may take several months. The next major patch after 3.3 (presumably 4.0) will be the release of Cataclysm, the next expansion."

Modeling the Economy As a Physics Problem 452

University of Utah physicist Tim Garrett has published a study that approaches the economy and its relation to global warming as a physics problem — and comes to some controversial conclusions: that rising carbon dioxide emissions cannot be stabilized unless the world's economy collapses or society builds the equivalent of one new nuclear power plant each day. The study was panned by economists and was rejected by several journals before its acceptance in the journal Climatic Change. "[Garrett discovered that] Throughout history, a simple physical constant... links global energy use to the world's accumulated economic productivity, adjusted for inflation. So it isn't necessary to consider population growth and standard of living in predicting society's future energy consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions. ... 'I'm not an economist, and I am approaching the economy as a physics problem,' Garrett says. 'I end up with a global economic growth model different than they have.' Garrett treats civilization like a 'heat engine' that 'consumes energy and does "work" in the form of economic production, which then spurs it to consume more energy,' he says. That constant is 9.7 (plus or minus 0.3) milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar. So if you look at economic and energy production at any specific time in history, 'each inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar would be supported by 9.7 milliwatts of primary energy consumption,' Garrett says. ... Perhaps the most provocative implication of Garrett's theory is that conserving energy doesn't reduce energy use, but spurs economic growth and more energy use."

Major Electronics Firms Support Ending Use of "Conflict Minerals" 198

tburton writes "The US House of Representatives yesterday released the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (HR 4128) to try and end the international trade of tungsten, tantalum and col-tan, the mining of which is accused of fueling violent rape and murder in eastern Congo. Since the very same minerals power the most popular consumer electronics from HP, Verizon, Nokia, RIM and Intel, the Information Technology Industry Council has quickly signed a statement of support. Advocacy groups are hopeful these commitments prove to be meaningful as consumers begin to question the end result of the supply chains powering their favorite gadget."

Pain-Free Animals Could Take Suffering Out of Farming Screenshot-sm 429

Philosopher Adam Shriver suggested that genetically engineering cows to feel no pain could be an acceptable alternative to eliminating factory farming in a paper published in Neuroscience. Work by neuroscientist Zhou-Feng Chen at Washington University may turn Shriver's suggestion a reality. Chen has been working on identifying the genes that control "affective" pain, the unpleasantness part of a painful sensation. He has managed to isolate a gene called P311, and has found that mice who do not have P311 don't have negative associations with pain, although they do react negatively to heat and pressure. This could end much of the concern about cruel farming practices, but unfortunately still leaves my design for the fiery hamburger punch in the unethical column.

UK Police Told To Use Wikipedia When Preparing For Court 180

Half-pint HAL tips news of UK prosecution lawyers who are instructing police to study information on Wikipedia when preparing to give expert testimony in court. "Mike Finn, a weaponry specialist and expert witness in more than 100 cases, told industry magazine Police Review: 'There was one case in a Midlands force where police officers asked me to write a report about a martial art weapon. The material they gave me had been printed out from Wikipedia. The officer in charge told me he was advised by the CPS to use the website to find out about the weapon and he was about to present it in court. I looked at the information and some of it had substance and some of it was completely made up.' Mr. Finn, a former Metropolitan Police and City of London officer and Home Office adviser, added that he has heard of at least three other cases where officers from around the country have been advised by the CPS to look up evidence on Wikipedia."

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.