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Food Activist's Life Becomes The Life of Brian 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-are-all-individuals dept.
krou writes "After food activist and author Raj Patel appeared on The Colbert Report to promote his latest book, things seemed to be going well, until he began to get inundated with emails asking if he was 'the world teacher.' In events ripped straight from The Life of Brian, it would seem that Raj Patel's life story ticks all the boxes necessary to fulfill prophecies made by Benjamin Creme, founder of religious sect Share International. After the volume of emails and inquiries got worse, Patel eventually wrote a message on his website stating categorically that he was not the Messiah. Sure enough, 'his denial merely fanned the flames for some believers. In a twist ripped straight from the script of the comedy classic, they said that this disavowal, too, had been prophesied.'"
Censorship

North Korea's Own OS, Red Star 316

Posted by timothy
from the linux-is-sometimes-for-communists dept.
klaasb writes "North Korea's self-developed computer operating system, named 'Red Star,' was brought to light for the first time by a Russian satellite broadcaster yesterday. North Korea's top IT experts began developing the Red Star in 2006, but its composition and operation mechanisms were unknown until the internet version of the Russia Today TV program featured the system, citing the blog of a Russian student who goes to the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang."
Image

One Quarter of Germans Happy To Have Chip Implants 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the identified-coward dept.
justice4all writes "If it means shorter lines at the supermarket, a quarter of Germans would be happy to have a chip implanted under their skin. The head of Germany's main IT trade body told the audience at the opening ceremony of the CeBIT technology exhibition that one in four of his countrymen are happy to have a microchip inserted for ID purposes."
Earth

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

Posted by kdawson
from the so-many-notes-mister-mozart dept.
DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."
Open Source

Myst Online: Uru Live Returns As Free-To-Play 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the uru-is-dead-long-live-uru dept.
agrif writes "Shorah b'shemtee! Uru Live has been released for free, as a first step towards opening its source. This game, an MMO released by the makers of Myst and Riven in 2003, has been canceled, zombified, resurrected, canceled again, and is now about to be released as open source to its dedicated fan base. Massively has written a brief newbie guide if you're unfamiliar with the game."

Comment: Cable news paraphrasing Climate change research? (Score 1) 1136

by Game-Set-Match (#31166090) Attached to: A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow
I'm not sure about Global Climate Change/Warming, but from what I can tell people seem to be taking what cable news told them (Super Hurricanes till the end of time) and seeming to think that an official organization IPCC (thirty-two national academies of different countries) or a number of other organizations. If somebody can link to an seemingly official/reputable site that did make a wild claim and prove me wrong go for it. Also, would anybody explain to me why scientists seem to have a consensus on it. Alternatively what other evidence besides net rise of temperature + higher Co2 levels= global climate change is there for Global Climate change?
Earth

Breaking the Squid Barrier 126

Posted by timothy
from the calimari-for-the-5000 dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."
Medicine

Brain Surgery Linked To Sensation of Spirituality 380

Posted by timothy
from the applied-psychology dept.
the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma." One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."
Nintendo

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Tops 10 Million Sales 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the it'sa-me-mario dept.
According to a report from Japanese publication Nikkei Net, Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. Wii has now sold 10 million copies worldwide. The game needed only 45 days to pass the already impressive sales numbers of Super Mario Galaxy. Quoting Gamasutra: "NSMB Wii has sold 3 million units in Japan, where it launched on December 3; 3 million copies in Europe, where it launched November 20, and 4.5 million units in North America, where it launched November 15. Super Mario Galaxy has sold 4.1 million units in North America since 2007. The game's design hearkens back to the two-dimensional, side-scrolling style of earlier Mario titles ... The numbers would seem to suggest that these traits successfully generated more mass appeal for NSMB Wii than for the three-dimensional and far less familiar Super Mario Galaxy, which sent the plumber navigating more innovative spherical space environments."
The Almighty Buck

Virtual Currency Becomes Real In South Korea 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the license-to-print-money dept.
garylian writes "Massively is reporting that the South Korean Supreme Court has stated that virtual currency is the equivalent of real-world money. For those of you who might not be drawing the link, the core there is that selling in-game currency for real money is essentially just an exchange of currency and perfectly legal in South Korea. This could have sweeping implications for RMT operations the world over, not to mention free-to-play games and... well, online games in general. The official story is available online from JoongAng Daily."
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."
Image

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-and-cover dept.
garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"
Image

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269

Posted by samzenpus
from the living-in-the-hive dept.
afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.

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