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Government

+ - UK govt fires drugs adviser for telling truth 2

Submitted by
David Gerard
David Gerard writes "Professor David Nutt of Imperial College was chairman of the British government's advisory committee on the misuse of drugs — until today. On Wednesday night, he gave a speech ahead of a paper noting that on the basis of harm, alcohol was far more dangerous than ecstasy or cannabis. Today, Home Secretary Alan Johnson has fired Professor Nutt, saying that "It is important that the government's messages on drugs are clear and as an advisor you do nothing to undermine them." Such as inconvenient matters of reality-based thinking, apparently. He did this just in time for the six o'clock news, and the press is up in arms. Channel 4 journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy notes with amazement that "nobody will come on to defend Alan Johnson. They all prefer to issue statements that can't be questioned." It's already being tagged the War on Science."

Comment: Re:Don't worry, Olive! (Score 1) 229

by Jon Chatow (#26334053) Attached to: Image of Popeye Enters Public Domain In the EU

Another interesting aspect of copyright is religion. Religion is one of the fundamental aspects of society. Religious texts are published, copies, and scrutinized by both true believers and critics. Can you imagine the Roman Catholic Church claiming copyright over the Bible?

Interestingly, the Authorised Version (or "King James Bible", as many people call it informally), which is the basis of most Bibles currently available in English, is under perpetual copyright in the UK*, though I believe no other jurisdiction recognises this, and it is made available at no charge by the Church Commissioners who administer the copyright on behalf of the Crown.

* - Technically, not perpetual; the author it deemed to be the Throne (i.e., the meta-physical "human" embodiment of the Sovereign - a natural person), rather than James I himself, so it has the copyright of life+70; until and unless the UK becomes a republic, the author is deemed to still be 'alive'. Who said IPR wasn't intruiging? ;-).

Comment: Re:they sure aren't usable... (Score 1) 88

by Jon Chatow (#25543973) Attached to: London Is Still World's Wi-Fi Access Point Capital

London also needs to understand the idea of running their subway all night. It was insane that I had to take a taxi to St. Pancras because the train to Paris was boarding before the tube started running for the day.

Yes, well, the network was built without track redundancy (for all but a negligible part of the network, there's exactly one set of tracks in each direction). It's stupid, and we (Humanity) learnt to do it better in later subways (like New York). That's what you get for being first in the world.

There's not much that could be done about it. I recall seeing a guesstimate price for "fixing" the problem - that is, building an entire secondary network - at US$50 billion. Not exactly in reach.

Back on-topic, I did find this story somewhat surprising; I certainly don't find there to be WiFi APs everywhere I go. Maybe I'm just unlucky. :-)

The Internet

+ - Virgin deflowered by Wikipedia

Submitted by
lee
lee writes "Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of Virgin Group, is matching one for one all donations to Wikimedia Foundation for a 24 hour period. When this period began, a link to Virgin Unite was placed in the site notice on all Wikimedia projects. A mere twelve (12) minutes later their site was down for the count due to overwhelming traffic. As of now the site notice is no longer pointing directly to the Virgin Unite site, but instead redirects to an article on the Wikimedia Foundation wiki. One Wikipedia editor blogged this here."
Censorship

+ - Wikipedia no longer accessible from China

Submitted by
empaler
empaler writes "The respite was very short for the Chinese wikipedians - reported in the Inquirer, Wikipedia is now inaccessible in China. However, it is unclear whether this is recession to earlier censorship policy or just an error. From the article: "So far it is not clear if the problems are technical or if they are part of a formal ban as there has not been a comment from the Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Information Industry.". A lengthier article is available at Prison Planet, who broke the story."
Space

+ - Fastest Spinning Black Hole Ever Found

Submitted by
brian0918
brian0918 writes "NewScientist reports that researchers in Cambridge have detected a black hole spinning at nearly 1,000 times per second — the fastest ever recorded. From the article: 'McClintock's team examined a black hole in our galaxy called GRS 1915+105, which lies about 36,000 light years away. They found the innermost stable orbit around GRS 1915 is so close that the black hole must be spinning at nearly 1000 times per second. The finding supports the idea that only fast-spinning stars can collapse to create powerful explosions called long gamma-ray bursts.' Also see the relevant journal article published in The Astrophysical Journal."
PlayStation (Games)

+ - PS3 sold at a loss

Submitted by staaktdenarbeid
staaktdenarbeid (620908) writes "While everyone thinkgs the PS3 is too expensive, a teardown found out that Sony sells the console at a loss. From the article in EETimes: The combined materials and manufacturing cost of the PS3 is $806 for the model equipped with a 20-Gbyte hard disk drive (HDD) and $840 for the higher end 60-Gbyte HDD version, according to a preliminary estimate of expenses by iSuppli's teardown analysis service. Sony is taking a loss of roughly $307 on the lower-end model and $241 on the higher end model."

An IP Environmentalism for Culture and Knowledge? 210

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the made-up-words dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An article by James Boyle in the FT argues that we are (slowly) moving towards a 'cultural environmentalism' that tries to protect the public domain in the way that the environmental movement tries to protect the natural ecology. Apparently there will be a (free) conference at Stanford on the subject soon, organized by Larry Lessig's Center there."

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