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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 10 declined, 1 accepted (11 total, 9.09% accepted)

Medicine

+ - Canadians invent "mind-reading" scanner->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "Canadian researchers have developed a mind-reading scanner.

The prototype device "allows a kind of mind-reading, using near-infrared light to decipher the brain's response when a person is offered a choice of two objects. In a study of nine healthy adults, published this month in the Journal of Neural Engineering, the scientists were able to decode a person's preference for one of two drinks displayed on a computer screen with an average accuracy of 80 per cent."

So far the technology only allows researchers to see through a scanner darkly, and they have many more tests planned to determine the device's accuracy, but it could eventually be used to give people with diseases such as severe cerebral palsy the ability to speak through a computer merely by thinking."

Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Senior surprised to be on no-fly list->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "A 66-year-old retired school secretary from Vancouver Island discovered recently she was on international no-fly lists, and no one is telling her why. While boarding a domestic flight in Canada, Glenda Hutton was asked to step aside because her name was "on a list." Later, she was cleared to take flights in Canada but has been warned that if she tries to take a flight to another country, she might find it difficult to get back on the plane or even leave the country again.

The Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Information Program told her they would not do anything unless she had a problem travelling to the U.S. Obviously, she is wary to get their help by flying to the U.S. to see whether or not she gets arrested.

She and her husband, a retired military veteran, are worried and upset because the uncertainty has forced them to cancel their retirement travel plans. They have already had to cancel a cruise to Alaska for fears she may be arrested or jailed if they got off the boat.

She isn't the only Canadian hassled by some unviewable, secret no-fly list. A Quebec music producer had to change his last name to avoid constant hassles travelling to the U.S.

Immigration lawyer Greg Boos in Bellingham, Washington says her case may be a "false positive" and that her name may be similar to someone on the list, someone may have stolen her identity or her name on the list may be an error."

Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - Apple threatens to sue school over logo->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "Apple's lawyers have threatened to sue the Victoria School of Business and Technology over the web design school's corporate logo it has used since 2005.

A letter from Apple's Toronto law firm requested the school stop using its logo, an apple inset with a mountain and the letters "VSBT," because it "reproduces, without authority, our client's Apple Design Logo which it widely uses."

The school's owner and vice-president say the logo uses an apple because it's a "traditional representation of education" and cannot be confused with the Apple logo.

"It's 100 per cent unique. It's an original idea that came from a flow and a process we worked through here in the office," vice-president Christopher Boag said. "We've never had anyone make a comparison between the Apple logo and the VSBT logo."

The school has a poll on its website asking people to vote on whether or not they think the logos could be confused."
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Earth

+ - Atmosphere-scrubbing technology really works->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "A University of Calgary climate change scientist has developed a machine capable of removing CO2 from the air.

What's different from other technologies is that instead of putting CO2 capture devices at the source, like on a coal-fired power plant's smokestack, for example, Robert Keith's "air capture machines will be able to literally remove the CO2 present in ambient air everywhere."

In demonstrating the technology in practice, Keith and his team used a custom-built tower to capture CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide. The tower unit was able to capture the equivalent of approximately 20 tonnes per year of CO2 on a single square metre of scrubbing material — which amounts to the average level of emissions produced by one person each year in North America.

Keith said the air capture machines could be built anywhere — for example, a company in Fort McMurray, Alberta (centre of oilsands development) could build a machine where it's cheapest (China) to scrub CO2 out of the atmosphere, and the net result would be the same as if the machine was built next to the CO2-polluting industry."
Link to Original Source

Security

+ - Hackers compromise, mock LHC security->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "A group of Greek hackers managed to compromise security systems surrounding one of the four "eyes" of the Large Hadron Collider.

The hackers didn't appear to have malicious intent, but wanted to show the inadequacies of the security system, according to reports. The competition may be to blame for the breach:

"We think that someone from Fermilab's Tevatron (the competing atom smasher in America) had their access details compromised," said one of the scientists working on the machine. "What happened wasn't a big deal, just goes to show people are out there always on the prowl."

The LHC is the biggest scientific experiment ever built and will be used to make advances in quantum and particle physics, and hopefully better explain the origins of the universe.

But apparently, as Professor Farnsworth would say, the security team "sucks bosons.""

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Wii

+ - Strong Bad game on PC, Wii->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "Telltale Games' new episodic game series, "Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People," is coming to the Wii's WiiWare download service as well as to the PC on August 11:

Telltale Inc., the leader in interactive episodic entertainment, is announcing that "Homestar Ruiner", the first of five monthly Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People episodes, will premiere Monday, August 11. "Homestar Ruiner" will release on Nintendo's WiiWareTM download service in North and South America and worldwide on PC simultaneously. WiiWare availability for Europe, Australia and New Zealand will follow shortly.

As far as I know, this is a first for point-and-click adventure games and may help revive the genre for the masses.

Strong Bad is one of the most well-known characters from the homestarrunner.com website.

Says Telltale CEO Dan Connors: "This is how we always envisioned episodic gaming — monthly releases, straight into the living room."

Telltale is perhaps best-known for its Sam and Max: Freelance Police series."

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Robotics

+ - Cuddle the creepy robo-baby->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "It looks like a cross between Yoda, Jason and a toilet seat, and it's programmed to love.

David McGoran cradles his baby in his arms. As he looks down into its big, dark eyes, it turns its head towards him and blinks, looking contented as it curls a bony white finger around his hand.

But the "baby" is not human. And it looks more like the evil Gollum from "The Lord Of The Rings" movies except in a hemp romper suit with cloth ears than a gurgly infant.

Meet Heart Robot, a flexible, plastic puppet with robotic features that has been programmed to react to sound, touch and nearby movements.

Haley Joel Osmont ain't got nothing on this creepy robot boy. Apparently it's some kind of social experiment from the UK."
Link to Original Source

Music

+ - CRIA attacks$ 5 unlimited download idea->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "The National Post is reporting the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) is attacking the Songwriters Association of Canada proposal that every Canadian Internet user pay $5 a month for unlimited music downloads.

"The primary marketplace for records completely collapses, to be replaced by a levy system," said CRIA president Graham Henderson. "What you are basically saying is, 'OK, we are going to let the government run this.'"
Can't say their reaction is really a surprise.
The article also states:

More than 80% of Canada's musicians earn less than $15,000 annually.
I guess that's just because there's not a lot of demand for Newfie fiddle music or bagpipes best-of compilations."

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Privacy

+ - Plans for Canadian DMCA could be doomed->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "Michael Geist reports legislation to create a Canadian version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have been delayed again, possibly because of massive public outcry through Facebook, from educators, MPs, op-ed pieces and possibly even because of opposition from the industry itself. That's right, Canada's biggest ISPs have banded together to oppose the proposed new legislation and suggest their own solution, which include allowances for expanded fair dealing, private copying, no liability for ISPs and legislation that concentrates its wrath on commercial pirates instead of penny-ante downloaders and seeders:

"while those who infringe copyright on a commercial scale or to the material prejudice of rights holders should be subject to appropriate penalties, courts should have more flexibility to limit damages in circumstances where there is only minimal harm to rights holders resulting from the conduct."
"

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The Internet

+ - Teens choose Facebook over counsellors->

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "In the aftermath of tragedy, high school students in New Brunswick, Canada are choosing to use Facebook and the Internet as an outlet for their grief rather than speak face-to-face with counsellors at their school. But although it might be easier to be emotional online, is it really healthier in the long run?"
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - No 'violent' games in VA shooter's dorm

Submitted by
Jabbrwokk
Jabbrwokk writes "The FBI's search warrant shows that there was no evidence of video games in VA Tech killer Seung Hi's dorm room.
The article contains a list of what the FBI did recover, all what you'd expect to find in a college dorm room (although booze, drugs and porn don't appear on the list).
The computer taken from the dorm may be found after further investigation to contain games on the hard drive, but so far there is no evidence that Seung Hi played violent video games, nor that there is any connection between violent video games and Seung Hi's shooting spree, despite attempts by the usual suspects to blame games for the actions of seriously disturbed individuals."

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