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Medieval Copy Protection 226

An anonymous reader writes "In medieval times a 'book curse' was often included on the inside cover or on the last leaf of a manuscripts, warning away anyone who might do the book some harm. Here's a particularly pretty one from Yale's Beinecke MS 214: 'In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. In the one thousand two hundred twenty-ninth year from the incarnation of our Lord, Peter, of all monks the least significant, gave this book to the [Benedictine monastery of the] most blessed martyr, St. Quentin. If anyone should steal it, let him know that on the Day of Judgment the most sainted martyr himself will be the accuser against him before the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.'"

Skin-Based Display Screens From Nanotech Tattoos 200

destinyland writes "Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York is developing flexible nanotubes inserted under the skin to create a handheld display — inside your hand. They wirelessly receive data and display reminders and text messages, and the concept has also been broadened to suggest endlessly programmable digital tattoos, while Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics is also exploring the concept of the body as 'a platform for electronics and interactive skin technologies'." That middle link is quite old, but is still loaded with interesting links.

Next-Gen Nuclear Power Plant Breaks Ground In China 426

An anonymous reader writes "The construction of first next-generation Westinghouse nuclear power reactor breaks ground in Sanmen, China. The reactor, expected to generate 12.7 Megawatts by 2013, costs 40 billion Yuan (~US$6 billion; that's a lot of iPods.) According to Westinghouse, 'The AP1000 is the safest and most economical nuclear power plant available in the worldwide commercial marketplace, and is the only Generation III+ reactor to receive Design Certification from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.' However, Chinese netizens suspect China is being used as a white rat to test unproven nuclear technologies (comments in Chinese)." Update: 04/20 07:28 GMT by T : As several readers have pointed out, this plant will generate much more than 12.7 Megawatts -- more like 1100 MWe.

Anonymous Network I2P 0.7.2 Released 231

Mathiasdm writes "The Invisible Internet Project, also known as I2P, has seen its 0.7.2 release (download). I2P uses multiple encryption layers, and routing through several other computers to hide both sender and receiver of messages. On top of the network, regular services such as mail, browsing, file sharing and chatting are supported. This release (and all of the releases since 0.7) is at the start of a new development period, in which the I2P developers wish to spread the word about the secure network. This new release includes performance improvements, a first edition of an experimental new desktop interface and security improvements (by limiting the number of tunnels a single peer can participate in)."

12 Small Windmills Put To the Test In Holland 510

tuna writes "A real-world test by the Dutch province of Zeeland (a very windy place) demonstrates that small windmills are a fundamentally flawed technology (PDF of tests results in Dutch, English summary). Twelve much-hyped micro wind turbines were placed in a row on an open plain. Their energy yield was measured over a period of one year (April 1, 2008 — March 31, 2009), the average wind velocity during these 12 months was 3.8 meters per second, slightly higher than average. Three windmills broke. The others recorded ridiculously low yields, in spite of the optimal conditions. It would take up to 141 small windmills to power an average American household entirely using wind energy, for a total cost of 780,000 dollars. The test results show clearly that energy return is closely tied to rotor diameter, and that the design of the windmill hardly matters."
Data Storage

Rugged Linux Server For Rural, Tropical Environment? 236

travalas writes "Last year I moved to Rural Bangladesh. My work is pretty diverse, everything from hacking web apps to designing building materials. Increasingly a Linux VM on my MacBook Pro is insufficient due to storage speed/processing constraints and the desire to interface more easily with some sensor packages. There are a few issues that make that make a standard server less than desirable. This server will generally not be running with any sort of climate control and it may need to move to different locations so would also be helpful if it was somewhat portable. The environment here is hot, humid and dusty and brutal on technology and power is very inconsistent so it will often be on a combination of Interruptible Power Supply and solar power. So a UPS is a must and low power consumption desirable, so it strikes me that an Integrated UPS a la Google's servers would be handy. Spec wise it needs to be it needs to be able to handle several VM's and some other processor storage intensive tasks. So 4 cores, 8GB of ram and 3-4 TB of SATA storage seems like a place to start for processing specs. What sort of hardware would you recommend without breaking the bank?"

Stem Cell Treatment To Cure the Most Common Cause of Blindness 126

The Times Online reports that researchers from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London and Moorfields eye hospital have developed stem cell therapy that can treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness. They are currently moving the treatment through the regulatory approval process, and clinical trials are expected to start within two years. Quoting: "Under the new treatment, embryonic stem cells are transformed into replicas of the missing cells. They are then placed on an artificial membrane which is inserted in the back of the retina. ... [Professor Pete Coffey, director of the London Project to Cure Blindness] said the treatment would take 'less than an hour, so it really could be considered as an outpatient procedure. We are trying to get it out as a common therapy.'
The Courts

Pirate Bay Court Loss Won't Stop the Flow of Files 358

Adrian Lopez writes "According to PC World, 'Hollywood may have won a battle, but the war against piracy is far from over. Unauthorized file sharing will continue (and likely intensify), if not through The Pirate Bay, then through dozens of other near identical swashbuckling Web sites. ... What Hollywood needs to remember is sites like The Pirate Bay are like weeds. When you try to kill one, they grow back even stronger. In this case, The Pirate Bay already moved most of its servers to the Netherlands, a move that could keep the site running even if The Pirate Bay loses its appeal.'"

Internet Archive Seeks Same Online Book Rights As Google 67

Miracle Jones writes "Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive has jumped on Google's 'Authors Guild' settlement and asked to be included as a party defendant, claiming that they ought to get the same rights and protections from liability that Google will receive when the settlement is approved by federal court. From the Internet Archive's letter to Judge Denny Chin: 'The Archive's text archive would greatly benefit from the same limitation of potential copyright liability that the proposed settlement provides Google. Without such a limitation, the Archive would be unable to provide some of these same services due to the uncertain legal issues surrounding orphan books.'"

Looking To Spammers To Solve Hard AI Problems 271

An anonymous reader writes "With bots getting closer to beating text-based CAPTCHAs for good, New Scientist points out that when they do, OCR technology will at least have advanced. The article goes on to suggest that whatever kind of reverse Turing Test that comes next should be chosen to motivate spammers to solve other pressing AI problems, such as image recognition. Are there any other problems that criminal crowdsourcing could help with?"

MIT Tracking Campus Net Connections Since 1999 125

An anonymous reader writes "MIT has been monitoring student internet connections for the past decade without telling them. There is no official policy and no student input." The Tech article says, though, that the record keeping is fairly limited in its scope (connection information is collected, but not the data transferred) and duration (three days, for on-campus connections).

Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station 633

schwit1 writes "A report from The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research says that Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away. Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia's Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m. A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded."

FBI and States Vastly Expand DNA Collection, Databases 203

Mike writes "Starting this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will join 15 states that collect DNA samples from those awaiting trial, and will also collect DNA from detained immigrants. For example, this year, California began taking DNA upon arrest, and expects to nearly double the growth rate of its database (PDF), to 390,000 profiles a year, up from 200,000. Until now, the federal government genetically tracked only convicts, however law enforcement officials are expanding their collection of DNA to include millions of people who have only been arrested or detained, but not yet convicted. The move, intended to 'help solve more crimes,' is raising concerns about the privacy of petty offenders and people who are presumed innocent."

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.