macslocum writes "Ambiguity surrounds the real impact of digital book piracy, notes Brian O'Leary in an interview with O'Reilly Radar, but all would be better served if more data was shared and less effort was exerted on futile DRM. 'The publishing industry should be working as hard as we can to develop new and innovative business models that meet the needs of readers. And what those look like could be community-driven. I think of Baen Books, for example, which doesn't put any DRM restrictions on its content but is one of the least pirated book publishers. As to sales, Paulo Coelho is a good example. He mines the piracy data to see if there's a burgeoning interest for his books in a particular country or market. If so, he either works to get his book out in print or translate it in that market.'"
eldavojohn writes "Over a hundred years after the death of its author, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be released in a censored format, removing two derogatory racial slurs: 'injun' and 'nigger.' The latter appears some 219 times in the original novel but both will be replaced by the word 'slave.' An Alabama publisher named NewSouth Books will be editing and censoring the book so that schools and parents might provide their children the ability to study the classic without fear of properly addressing the torturous history of racism and slavery in The United States of America. The Forbes Blog speculates that e-readers could provide us this service automatically. Salon admirably provides point versus counterpoint while the internet at large is in an uproar over this seemingly large acceptance of censorship as necessary even on books a hundred years old. The legendary Samuel Langhorne Clemens himself once wrote, 'the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter,' and now his own writing shall test the truth in that today."
techmuse writes "In a veritable Who's Who of Doctor Who, 10th Doctor David Tennant is marrying Georgia Moffett, the daughter of 5th Doctor Peter Davison, who played the Doctor's daughter in an episode of Doctor Who. Except that the Doctor's daughter was a clone of the Doctor, which meant that she really was Who. So a newer Doctor is marrying an older Doctor's daughter, who is a clone of the newer doctor, but only has half the DNA of the older Doctor."
An anonymous reader writes "Tripped out old rockers Pink Floyd have inked a deal with EMI to allow single tracks by the band to be peddled as digital downloads. The remains of the band was in court less than a year ago, arguing that cutting up their albums and selling individual tracks undermined the 'artistic integrity' of their work. Now, though they've given in to the Man, and the likes of Money, Shine on you Crazy Diamond and Comfortably Numb will soon no doubt be available as 99p downloads on iTunes. Have a cigar."
The Bad Astronomer writes "The exceptionally talented astrophotographer Thierry Legault captured a picture extraordinary even for him: the space station passing in front of the Sun while the Sun was being partially eclipsed by the Moon! He traveled all the way from France to the Sultanate of Oman to take this amazing shot. I have more information about the picture itself on the Bad Astronomy blog, but you should go to Thierry's website to see more amazing pictures he's taken over the years. They're simply jaw-dropping."
RulerOf writes "Just over a year after hiring IceFrog, the lead developer of the wildly popular DotA Allstars mod for Warcraft III, and the speculation surrounding Valve's recent trademark filing for the 'DotA' name, Valve has officially announced Dota 2. Gameplay of Dota 2 is being ported 'exactly' from the current DotA Allstars and includes every hero, but vast improvements are being made to the game including VoIP, a coaching system, in-game rewards, and AI that takes over for disconnected players. Lastly, it all runs on top of the Source engine. (GameInformer's website appears to be struggling right now though, as they had an exclusive on this story.)"
An anonymous reader writes "It appears that Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones and her lawyer were so upset by a comment on the site TheDirty.com that they missed the 'y' at the end of the name. Instead, they sued the owner of TheDirt.com, whose owner didn't respond to the lawsuit. The end result was a judge awarding $11 million, in part because of the failure to respond. Now, both the owners of TheDirty.com and TheDirt.com are complaining that they're being wrongfully written about in the press — one for not having had any content about Sarah Jones but being told it needs to pay $11 million, and the other for having the content and having the press say it lost a lawsuit, even though no lawsuit was ever actually filed against it."
eldavojohn writes "President Barack Obama has announced that on August 31st the United States will cease all combat operations in Iraq, although 50,000 troops will remain until the end of 2011. It's been a long seven-and-a-half years, with no guarantee of this announcement actually signifying the end of violence. Pundits are already speculating on whether or not this withdrawal speech is 'Mission Accomplished 2.' It's possibly the most significant confirmation of and commitment to a withdrawal the world will hear from the United States in Iraq."
Bruce Perens writes "Japan's IKAROS satellite, which earlier performed the first successful demonstration of a solar sail, has broken more new ground. Liquid-crystal displays — yes, like in your video monitor — were fabricated into strips on the edges of the solar sail. By energizing some of the LCDs and changing the reflective characteristics of parts of the sail from specular to diffuse, JAXA scientists successfully generated attitude control torque in the sail, changing the spacecraft's orientation."
BergZ writes "Scientists from around the world are providing even more evidence of global warming. 'A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record,' the annual State of the Climate report declares. Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, including Canada, the report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its analysis of 10 indicators that are 'clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable.'"
wisebabo writes "A wallpaper utility (that presents purloined copyrighted material) 'quietly collects personal information such as SIM card numbers, text messages, subscriber identification, and voicemail passwords. The data is then sent to www.imnet.us, a site that hails from Shenzen, China.'"
relliker notes Toshiba's announcement of the SCiB, a battery we have been following for years. (As usual, use NoScript to avoid the incredibly annoying timed begging popup on Gizmag's site.) Here is Toshiba's SCiB site. The battery's specs claim 6,000+ charge/deep-discharge cycles with minor capacity loss, safe rapid charging to 90% in 5 minutes, and enhanced safety regarding overheating or shorting out. It could make its way into electric vehicles before long.
An anonymous reader writes "Julian Assange, the man behind WikiLeaks, explains why he feels it is right to encourage the leaking of secret information. He maintains that the more money an organisation spends on trying to conceal information, the more good it is likely to do if leaked. For Assange, leaked intelligence reveals the true state of governments, their human rights abuses, and their activities, it's what the 'history of journalism is.' On the media's role in making information available to the public, Assange maintains that 'the rest of the world's media is doing such a bad job that a little group of activists is able to release more of that type of information [classified documents] than the rest of the world press combined.'"
krou sends this snip from the Maine Civil Liberties Union: "The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber, who faces as much as sixteen years in prison if found guilty of violating state wiretap laws because he recorded video of an officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop. ... Once [the Maryland State Police] learned of the video on YouTube, Graber's parents' house was raided, searched, and four of his computers were confiscated. Graber was arrested, booked, and jailed. Their actions are a calculated method of intimidation. Another person has since been similarly charged under the same statute. The wiretap law being used to charge Anthony Graber is intended to protect private communication between two parties. According to David Rocah, the ACLU attorney handling Mr. Graber's case, 'To charge Graber with violating the law, you would have to conclude that a police officer on a public road, wearing a badge and a uniform, performing his official duty, pulling someone over, somehow has a right to privacy when it comes to the conversation he has with the motorist.'" Here are a factsheet (PDF) on the case from the ACLU of Maryland, and the video at issue.
Caledfwlch writes with a followup to news we discussed a couple days ago about a study that found only 0.3% of torrents to be legal. (A further 11% was described as "ambiguous.") TorrentFreak looked more deeply into the study and found a number of flaws, suggesting that the researchers' data may have been pulled from a bogus tracker. Quoting: "Here's where the researchers make total fools out of themselves. In their answer to the question they refer to a table of the top 10 most seeded torrents. ... the most seeded file was uploaded nearly two years ago (The Incredible Hulk) and has a massive 1,112,628 seeders. The torrent in 10th place is not doing bad either with 277,043 seeds. All false data. We're not sure where these numbers originate from but the best seeded torrent at the moment only has 13,739 seeders; that's 1% of what the study reports. Also, the fact that the release is nearly two years old should have sounded some alarm bells. It appears that the researchers have pulled data from a bogus tracker, and it wouldn't be a big surprise if all the torrents in their top 10 are actually fake." They also take a cursory look at isoHunt, finding that 1.5% of torrent files come from Jamendo alone, "a site that publishes only Creative Commons licensed music."