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Government

China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott 360

Posted by timothy
from the friends-of-un-friends dept.
c0lo writes "Not only did China decline to attend the upcoming Nobel peace prize ceremony, but urged diplomats in Oslo to stay away from the event warning of 'consequences' if they go. Possibly as a result of this (or on their own decisions), 18 other countries turned down the invitation: Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Reuters seems to think the 'consequences' are of an economic nature, pointing out that half of the countries with economies that gained global influence during recent times are boycotting the ceremony (with Brazil and India still attending)."
Image

Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters 610 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-personal-detective-day dept.
No longer satisfied with your crinkled doctor's note, a growing number of corporations are hiring "Hooky Detectives." Private investigator Rick Raymond says he's staked out bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings and even funerals looking for people using sick days. From the article: "Such techniques have become permissible at a time when workers are more likely to play hooky. Kronos, a workforce productivity firm in Chelmsford, Mass., recently found that 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they're not sick — almost a 20 percent increase from statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008."
Crime

Student Googles Himself, Finds He's Accused of Murder 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the be-careful-what-you-search-for dept.
University of Florida student Zachary Garcia was more than a little surprised to find out he was wanted for murder after Googling his name. It turns out the police were looking for a different man but had mistakenly used Garcia's photo. From the article: "Investigators originally released a driver's license photo of Zachary Garcia — spelled with an 'A' — but it was Zachery Garcia — spelled with an 'E'— who was charged in connection with the crime."
Biotech

Chip Allows Blind People To See 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the bionic-eye dept.
crabel writes "3 blind people have been implanted with a retinal chip that allowed them to see shapes and objects within days of the procedure. From the article: 'One of the patients surprised researchers by identifying and locating objects on a table; he was also able to walk around a room unaided, approach specific people, tell the time from a clock face, and describe seven different shades of gray in front of him.'"
Music

Ozzy Osbourne's Genome Reveals Some Neanderthal Lineage 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the born-to-rock dept.
ByOhTek writes "CNN reports that in July, rocker Ozzy Osbourne became one of few to submit his blood to have his full genome sequenced and analyzed. The results are in, and it turns out his genome reveals some Neanderthal lineage. What does Ozzie have to say about it? 'I was curious, given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years - not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol... there's really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why,' he wrote."
Privacy

Big Brother In the School Cafeteria? 425

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-an-A-in-cafeteria dept.
AustinSlacker writes "An Iowa school district's lunch program asks children as young as 5 years old to memorize a four-digit PIN code so it can monitor what they eat in the school cafeteria - prompting some parents to claim it's an unhealthy case of 'Big Brother.' An over reaction by parents or an unnecessary invasion of privacy?"
Australia

Fine-Structure Constant Maybe Not So Constant 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the variety-is-the-spice-of-life dept.
Kilrah_il writes "The fine-structure constant, a coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, has been measured lately by scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has been found to change slightly in light sent from quasars in galaxies as far back as 12 billion years ago. Although the results look promising, caution is advised: 'This would be sensational if it were real, but I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply systematic errors' in the data, comments cosmologist Max Tegmark of MIT. Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., acknowledges that 'it's a competent team and a thorough analysis.' But because the work has such profound implications for physics and requires such a high level of precision measurements, 'it needs more proof before we'll believe it.'"
Image

Winnie-the-Pooh Parodied In Wookie-the-Chew 58 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the oh-bother dept.
pickens writes "Erik Hayden writes in the Atlantic that children will see endearing portraits of Chewbacca rendered in the style of "Winnie-the-Pooh" in the book of drawings "Wookie the Chew," a tribute to the combined genius of George Lucas, A.A.Milne and E.H.Sheppard, by artist James Hance released on September 1st. Samples from the book are available at Hance's web site. Hance bases his right to parody Winnie-the-Pooh on Fair Use as parody under which certain uses of copyrighted works, which would otherwise be considered infringing, are permissible. Interestingly enough, the rights to the original Winnie-the-Pooh were the subject of an 18-year feud in which Walt Disney corporation fought off a challenge to its ownership of the rights ending in 2009 when a judge in Los Angeles struck out a claim against Disney lodged by the family of Stephen Slesinger, a comic book pioneer who bought the copyright to Pooh in 1930 from the bear's British creator, A.A. Milne. Stories of Pooh's adventures were originally created by Milne in the 1920s, based on a toy bear owned by the author's son, Christopher Robin."
Image

The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally 703 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the giving-truth-the-bump dept.
jamie writes "A grassroots campaign has begun to get Stephen Colbert to hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to counter Glenn Beck's recent 'Restoring Honor' event. The would-be rally has been dubbed 'Restoring Truthiness' and was inspired by a recent post on Reddit, where a young woman wondered if the only way to point out the absurdity of the Tea Party's rally would be if Colbert mirrored it with his own Colbert Nation.'"
Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the frugal-cutting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."
Piracy

Study Claims $41.5 Billion In Portable Game Piracy Losses Over Five Years 316

Posted by Soulskill
from the fair-and-balanced dept.
Gamasutra reports that Japan's Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association conducted a study to estimate the total amount of money lost to piracy on portable game consoles. The figure they arrived at? $41.5 billion from 2004 to 2009. Quoting: "CESA checked the download counts for the top 20 Japanese games at what it considers the top 114 piracy sites, recording those figures from 2004 to 2009. After calculating the total for handheld piracy in Japan with that method, the groups multiplied that number by four to reach the worldwide amount, presuming that Japan makes up 25 percent of the world's software market. CESA and Baba Lab did not take into account other popular distribution methods for pirated games like peer-to-peer sharing, so the groups admit that the actual figures for DS and PSP software piracy could be much higher than the ¥3.816 trillion amount the study found."
Image

OH Senate Passes Bill Banning Human-Animal Hybrids 197 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-centaurs-allowed dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The sci-fi movie Splice seems to have scared the Ohio's State Senator Steve Buehrer. The Ohio Senate has passed Sen. Buehrer's bill banning 'the creation, transportation, or receipt of a human-animal hybrid, the transfer of a nonhuman embryo into a human womb, and the transfer of a human embryo into a nonhuman womb.' So much for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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