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Biotech

Ancient Nubians Drank Antibiotic-Laced Beer 249

Posted by timothy
from the what's-a-nubian dept.
eldavojohn writes "A new analysis of millennia old mummy bones (abstract; full article is paywalled) shows high concentrations of tetracycline, which indicates empirical knowledge and use of antibiotics — most likely consumed in beer. The researchers traced the source of the antibiotics to the soil bacteria streptomyces present in the grain used to ferment the beer. Astonishingly enough, 'Even the tibia and skull belonging to a 4-year-old were full of tetracycline, suggesting that they were giving high doses to the child to try and cure him of illness.' The extent of saturation in the bones leads the scientists to assert that the population regularly consumed tetracycline antibiotics knowing that it would cure certain sicknesses."

Comment: Re:Shows how stupid "IP" really is (Score 1) 973

by Malfourmed (#32798090) Attached to: A Composer's-Eye View of the Copyright Wars

This guy can't even give coherent examples on why "piracy" is bad because he treats them like physical property.

Friend of mine is building a house. [snip]

But when I copy something, I'm not depriving someone of an original. If someone said "Hey, can I take your screwdriver for a few seconds, scan it in my computer and have my 3-D printer make me a replica?" I'd say sure. That is the closest thing to "piracy" in the physical world.

But when you copy something you're potentially depriving someone of income. Say the guy who makes screwdrivers. Not always, granted, but sometimes. And often enough for it to irk the guy who makes the screwdrivers.

Now let's say I wrote a song - it took a lot for me to write it, and it has been my full-time job for over twenty years to make sure that the songs I write go out into the world to be heard and sung. The way I support myself and my family is through the sale of those songs, on CD's, in sheet music, in tickets. Sheet music represents almost half of my yearly income. You seem to be saying that you should be able to take that song, that screwdriver, just take it for free, and go build your career and your happiness without ever compensating me.

...And to that I say, don't release it if it is -that- valuable to you. Seriously, there used to be a time not too long ago that if you published something it automatically pretty much became part of the public domain. One only needs to study where Shakespeare got the ideas for his plays to see that (and the majority of his stories would -not- be in the public domain today that he adapted)

It's valuable to him because he can release it and make money from it. It's the way he supports his family. It's almost half his yearly income.

If you don't want people using your stuff, don't release it. Don't write it down, don't publish it.

He wants to make a living doing what he's good at. That involves writing his stuff down and publishing it. Some people are willing to pay for his material, some aren't. Your argument is that just because some people copy his material without paying him, then he should give up the opportunity for any people to do so. It's like saying, if you don't want people to break into your house, then don't put in doors or windows. Just have four concrete walls and a roof. Sure, nobody will be able to get in, but it kinda defeats the purpose. Among other things, you'll starve.

And, for the record, there are some songs that he has chosen not to publish. Chosen being the operative word.

In short, this guy is a greedy, idiotic bastard, I really hope everyone boycotts him and urges others to do the same. He has no clue what he is talking about and as such will probably never achieve fame because hes obviously doing this simply as a profit motive and doesn't care about anyone else or about restoring sanity to copyright.

He's actually pretty famous in musical theatre circles. Not Lloyd Webber famous. Not Sondheim famous. But Jason Robert Brown famous. Say, not IE famous. Not Firefox famous. But Opera famous. And his shows and songs are pretty damn good.

And to characterise him as a "greedy, idiotic bastard" who's "obviously doing this simply as a profit motive" and who "doesn't care about anyone else" says more about your mindset than his. Does copyright need a level of sanity restored? Yeah. But this guy isn't Disney making a grab for rights in perpetuity. He's a guy trying to raise a family by doing something he has a talent for and loves doing. And the way he went about exploring an issue that affects him personally and detrimentally was, all in all, pretty cool. Did he threaten a lawsuit? No. Did he call on the *AAs? No. Did he track down the website's ISP and ask them to shut it down? No. Did he engage in dialogue with people in an attempt to make them see his point of view? Yes. Imagine that.

I should mention that I pirate music and download TV shows so I'm not coming at this from some holier-than-thou perspective. I know the arguments on both sides of the debate and it's certainly possible that the net effect of pirated material is actual to a creator's benefit. (At least in some instances and maybe many.) But that doesn't invalidate JRB's feeling - correctly or incorrectly as the case may be given his specific circumstances - of being deprived of earnings he's legally and (IMO) morally entitled to. And it sure as heck doesn't justify characterising him in such a crass manner.

The Courts

IBM, Intel Execs Arrested Over Insider Trading 198

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the things-are-tough-when-yer-rich dept.
An anonymous reader writes to share a report from The Register stating that executives from IBM and Intel have been arrested as a part of insider trading allegations. "According to a report from the Associated Press, six people were arrested today as part of an insider trading case, including Bob Moffat, senior vice president and general manager of IBM's Systems and Technology Group; Rajiv Goel, director of strategic investments at Intel Capital; Anil Kumar, a director at management consultancy McKinsey & Co; and Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of the $7bn Galleon Group hedge fund."
Portables

How Do You Manage Your SD Card Library? 485

Posted by kdawson
from the sticky-notes dept.
txmadman writes "Like a lot of my colleagues and all of my three children, I have several SD , mini-SD, and micro-SD cards for various purposes: cameras, cell phones, my laptop, etc. These things are handy to have around, offer easy and significant storage, but are very easily lost. We have also have run into some instances where it wasn't clear whose SD card was whose, and have also started to see a need for a storage mechanism. I have seen SD card 'wallets' and such, but have never seen anyone actually use one. So: How do you manage and keep track of your SD cards?"
Censorship

Australia Says No to Internet Censorship 209

Posted by timothy
from the war-of-attrition dept.
Brenton Fletcher writes "A nationwide protest rally against the internet censorship filter proposed by the Australian Labor Government was held today. Over 9,000 people were slated to attend. I was fortunate enough to go to the rally on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide, South Australia. I heard speeches from the Digital Liberty Coalition, the Green Left Weekly, and other concerned members of the public." Reader mask.of.sanity adds a link to ComputerWorld's photo-heavy coverage of the gatherings.
Biotech

Resurrecting the Mighty Mammoth, Cheaply 322

Posted by timothy
from the when-faster-and-cheaper-are-synonymous dept.
somanyrobots writes with an interesting followup in the New York Times to the earlier-reported substantial reconstruction of the woolly mammoth genome: "Scientists are talking for the first time about the old idea of resurrecting extinct species as if this staple of science fiction is a realistic possibility, saying that a living mammoth could perhaps be regenerated for as little as $10 million. The same technology could be applied to any other extinct species from which one can obtain hair, horn, hooves, fur or feathers, and which went extinct within the last 60,000 years, the effective age limit for DNA." (The Washington Post article linked from the earlier post was much more skeptical, calling such an attempt "still firmly the domain of science fiction." The New York Times article, while describing the process in similar terms, also calls attention to recent advances in sequencing DNA, as well as recoding DNA for cloning.)

Comment: Difference between CD and DVD (Score 3, Interesting) 586

by Malfourmed (#22861876) Attached to: Must a CD Cost $15.99?
In my opinion the key difference between music distribution and movie/TV distribution is that the latter has access to multiple revenue streams.

You make a movie and you show it at the theatres and get money. You sell the cable/free-to-air TV rights and get money. By the time you release it on DVD you've (hopefully) made back most of your production costs or are even showing a profit already.

You make a record on the other hand and when it's played on the radio (the equivalent of free-to-air TV distribution) you don't get any money; in fact it costs you (in marketing or other incentives) to get airplay. You have to make back all your production costs via CD sales. Granted, it doesn't cost as much to cut a CD as to make a (Hollywood) movie, but then there are only limited ways to get your money back, necessitating a higher unit-charge.

If labels would be able to charge radio stations to play their music (something highly unlikely to happen, by the way) I believe CD prices would likely fall.
Encryption

+ - Want an iPhone? Beware the iHandcuffs

Submitted by Nrbelex
Nrbelex (917694) writes "Giving David Pogue a break, the Times' Randall Stross makes a fresh and surprisingly accurate review of one of the biggest "features" in the upcoming iPhone and the iPod in general, 'fairplay'. Stross writes, 'If "crippleware" seems an unduly harsh description, it balances the euphemistic names that the industry uses for copy protection. Apple officially calls its own standard "FairPlay," but fair it is not.... You are always going to have to buy Apple stuff. Forever and ever.' Can mainstream media coverage help the battle over DRM or will this warning, like those of the pas, continue to go unnoticed?"

United States Cedes Control of the Internet 508

Posted by samzenpus
from the learning-to-share dept.
greenechidna writes "The Register is reporting that the U.S. is relinquishing control of ICANN. The story states: 'In a meeting that will go down in internet history, the United States government last night conceded that it can no longer expect to maintain its position as the ultimate authority over the internet. Having been the internet's instigator and, since 1998, its voluntary taskmaster, the US government finally agreed to transition its control over not-for-profit internet overseeing organization ICANN, making the organization a more international body.'"

The Forgotten Apple CEO 183

Posted by Zonk
from the more-than-he-could-chew dept.
Sabah Arif writes "Michael Spindler was supposed to be the savior of Apple. After four years at Apple, he was an executive vice president and had built Apple Europe to the point where it was providing 25% of Apple's revenues. Just the same, at the end of the day Spindler couldn't handle the stress or control the Apple organization. Low End Mac has an extensive biography of this figure in Apple's History." From the article: "Apple Europe ran out of a cramped 100 ft. office in Brussels and had only a few employees. Spindler had never worked at the startup before, but he liked it a lot. He had freedom to try almost anything he wanted. There were problems with working for such a young company, though. Spindler went without payment for almost six months because Apple didn't know how to move funds from California to Belgium."

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