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Submission + - /. Beta comments don't work, users upset. (slashdot.org) 4

magic maverick writes: Since the new /. Beta came to light, many /. users and commentators have tried it out. However, they are almost universally condemning the new commenting system. It simply isn't as good as the so called Classic system. Some users, however, haven't a bad thing to say. Mainly because they haven't had a chance to even use the new system. It simply doesn't load. One user, Magic Maverick , who lives in a third-world country with crappy Internet, had this to say:

I come to /. for the comments, but with the new Beta, I can't even see anything! It just says:

''Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments. Try again... na-nu, na-nu!

It seems like the "developers" need to take some advice from people who actually know what they are doing. I'm happy to help explain what graceful degradation means if they like...

Submission + - Slashdot goes kerplunk 4

An anonymous reader writes: dice abandons slashdot classic look forcing long-time users to abandon slashdot.

Submission + - Global warming 'confirmed' by independent study 2

chrb writes: The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project — an independent study of Earth's historical temperature record partly funded by climate sceptics including the Koch brothers — has released preliminary results that show the same warming trend as previous research. Project leader and physics professor Richard Muller, of the University of California, has stated that he was "surprised" at the close agreement, and it "confirms that these studies were done carefully". The study also found that warming in the temperature record was not caused by poor quality weather monitoring stations — thus rejecting a frequent claim of sceptics. Climate sceptic Stephen McIntyre has previously said "anything that [Muller] does will be well done" So, does this finally settle the argument over whether global warming is real?

Submission + - Sceptics prove Climate change is really happening (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The Berkeley Earth Project which was established as an independent group to investigate climate change, funded by a number of climate sceptics including the Koch brothers has 'confirmed' the existence of global warming. Lead by professor Richard Muller, the team used historical temperature data from weather stations around the world to investigate global trends.

"Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK," said Professor Muller (source: BBC).

So now we all agree, we can get on with finding ways to live on Earth without destroying it/us.

Submission + - Marx may have been right (hbr.org)

Black Sabbath writes: While communism has been declared dead and buried (with a few stubborn exceptions), Karl Marx's diagnosis of capitalism's ills seem quite bang on the money. Harvard Business Review blogger Umair Haque lists where Marx may have been right.

Submission + - German parliament backs nuclear exit by 2022 (physorg.com)

fysdt writes: "The German parliament sealed plans Friday to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, making the country the first major industrial power to take the step in the wake of the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant.

The nuclear exit scheme cleared its final hurdle in the Bundesrat upper house, which represents the 16 regional states, after the legislation passed the Bundestag lower house with an overwhelming majority last week.

Germany's seven oldest reactors were already switched off after Japan's massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing reactors to overheat and radiation to leak.

A further reactor has been shut for years because of technical problems."

The Internet

Submission + - IP addresses ‘not enough’ for legal ac (which.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A judgment issued today by Judge Birss in the Patents County Court has derailed the threatening letter-writing activities by legal firms such as ACS:Law in pursuit of illegal file-sharers.

In his judgment, Judge Birss questioned whether IP addresses could be used as sound evidence in identifying someone and accuse them of illegal file-sharing. He reasoned that IP addresses were not enough, citing unsecured home wireless networks and the fact that an IP address doesn’t identify the individual that is alleged to have illegally file-shared.


Submission + - Why Geim never patented graphene (nature.com)

gbrumfiel writes: Andre Geim won this year's Nobel prize in physics for graphene, but he never patented it. In an interview with Nature News, he explains why

We considered patenting; we prepared a patent and it was nearly filed. Then I had an interaction with a big, multinational electronics company. I approached a guy at a conference and said, "We've got this patent coming up, would you be interested in sponsoring it over the years?" It's quite expensive to keep a patent alive for 20 years. The guy told me, "We are looking at graphene, and it might have a future in the long term. If after ten years we find it's really as good as it promises, we will put a hundred patent lawyers on it to write a hundred patents a day, and you will spend the rest of your life, and the gross domestic product of your little island, suing us." That's a direct quote.

Submission + - Should the Patent Authority be Outlawed

previewlounge writes: Amazon patented the "one-click" purchase button .. or system ... or technique ...

Is this a methodology? Is this an intellectual property? If so, who cares? Amazon does, and so do hundreds of thousands of patent applicants applying for their own patents.

Facebook has patented the GPS-based social network function of "automatically locating web-based social network members".
Facebook did not develop GPS systems, and neither did Amazon develop the system of commerce, the system of purchasing at shops.
To purchase by clicking one button is common sense. To allow a patent on this, is (imho) an offense against society and commerce.

Where does common sense start and commercially enforceable "ownership" begin?

If a patent is granted, a wide range of implications accompany this; most importantly for general populations, the implications are financial ... and creative.

This Patent Authority who gives out these patents is supported by law, however if the general good of society is being compromised, should the systems and methods be allowed to be patented? Should the international network of Patent and Trademark Offices be outlawed?

Submission + - Google Spent $100M Defending Viacom Lawsuit (lawshucks.com)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Lawsuits are never cheap, even if you're on the winning side. But not many cost as much as Viacom's lawsuit against Google. They won before trial and even so Google spent $100 million dollars defending themselves. Incidentally, Viacom is appealing the ruling, so it's not even over yet. Perhaps its no wonder our rights are vanishing online when it takes $100M to protect just one of them."

Submission + - MapQuest launches Open Data Mapping (wsj.com)

solevita writes: MapQuest has announced that it will provide maps based on OpenStreetMap data, as well as investing a million dollars into the project to improve US resources: “We fundamentally believe that community-contributed mapping will be better than any closed platform". From the article:

The company, a subsidiary of AOL, plans to announce Friday morning that it is launching a site in the U.K. based on a project called OpenStreetMap, which is dedicated to user-created mapping. The OpenStreetMap project has caught on most quickly in Europe, which is why MapQuest is starting there, but AOL also will devote $1 million to support the growth of open-source mapping in the U.S. The site has a U.K. address — http://open.mapquest.co.uk/ — but users can navigate to user-created maps from any country.


Submission + - Congress Eyes Reform of Wiretapping Law

oxide7 writes: As location-based technologies become a facet of every mobile device on the market, lawmakers are showing more concern with how law enforcement might use them — and what the limits of the law are. At a hearing held Thursday by the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), lawmakers heard from several quarters on reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986.

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill