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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 100 declined, 16 accepted (116 total, 13.79% accepted)

+ - The Film Event of the Year: SHARKNADO

Submitted by Nova Express
Nova Express (100383) writes "Tonight, the long wait is finally over, as one of the most anticipated movie events of the year, if not the century, makes it's debut. I'm speaking, of course, about Sharknado . It premiers tonight at 9 PM ET on the SyFy Channel, though its direct to TV debut will deprive it of all its rightful Oscar nominations. In other Sharknado related news, Moe Lane wonders if people have prepared themselves spiritually for the glory that is Sharknado ("After 100 years of filmmaking, we’ve reached the summit...recognize the divine when you’re in its presence"), and here's a look at the geniuses at The Asylum who produced this masterpiece of modern cinema. Trailer below the fold."
Lord of the Rings

+ - SF Writer Sees The Hobbit Dressed as Galadriel for Charity->

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "Science fiction writer John Kessel declared that "nobody could pay me enough money to go see The Hobbit. Well, maybe someone could, but nobody is going to.” The Internet being what it is, different levels of challenges were quickly instituted to raise funds for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's of America's Emergency Medical Fund. $2,500 later, Kessel saw the movie. Dressed as Galadriel. And yes, there are pics."
Link to Original Source
Books

+ - Margaret Atwood Launches SF Magazine->

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "Today Margaret Atwood, with financial backing from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, announced she was launching a new science fiction magazine, Loquacious Cephalopod. . “I’ve always been gratified by the unconditional love I’ve received from the science fiction community for works such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin," she said, "and Loquacious Cephalopod is a way to return that love." The first issue has already lined up some very big SF writers, including Greg Egan and Jerry Pournelle."
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Politics

+ - SOPA Sponsor Lamar Smith Gets Primary Challenger->

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "Though general public outrage caused the House shelve consideration of SOPA (and the Senate to shelve PIPA), SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) continues to support the bill, saying that "The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store" and saying SOPA just needs to be reworked. Further, Smith is still sponsoring another bill, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (HR 1981), which would impose fairly onerous Internet data retention and tracking provisions for ISPs. In light of that, several Republican groups opposed to SOPA have been calling for a primary challenge to Smith for the Texas 21st Congressional District. Now a primary challenger has come forth in the person of former Sheriff Richard Mack, most famous in the gun rights community for his role in a lawsuit that got key provisions of the Brady Bill overturned. But Mack will have an uphill race, since Smith has more than $1.3 million in campaign funds on hand."
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+ - Obama Nominates RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General->

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes ""President Barack Obama nominated former Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. on Monday to serve as the nation’s solicitor general." Verrilli's most notable cases have been killing Grokster and fighting YouTube on behalf of Viacom. I would say "Meet the new boss, same as he old boss," but since Bush never nominated an RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General, I'd have to say that in this instance he's actually worse."
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Sci-Fi

+ - Project Gutenberg Pirating In-Copyright SF->

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "Recently a lot of science fiction stories from the 1950s and 60s (including work from still-living authors like Frederik Pohl and Jack Vance) have been showing up on Project Gutenberg as being in the public domain. However, according the science fiction writer Greg Bear and his wife Astrid Anderson Bear (daughter of Poul Anderson, some of whose works were among those put up) Project Gutenberg has made a mistake: 'After conducting legal research on the LEXIS database of legal cases, decisions, and precedents, we have demonstrated conclusively that PG was making incorrect determinations regarding public domain status in many, many works that originally appeared in magazine form...In general, Project Gutenberg is doing a tremendous service by making available texts that have truly long since fallen out of copyright, but they are clearly overstepping their original mandate. They are not merely exploiting orphan works, but practicing a wholesale kidnapping of works that are under copyright protection.'"
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+ - Congress to Consider Domain-Blocking COICA Bill->

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "If you thought Congress was finished doing the bidding of copyright holders, guess again. "Congress is set to once again consider the Sen Leahy's Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeit Act, a truly awful bill (with the appropriately awful acronym 'COICA'...The bill would allow the Attorney General to institute an in rem action against the domain name of any Internet site 'dedicated to infringing activities,' defined to include any site that 'engages in' copyright or trademark-infringing activities where those activities, 'taken together,' are 'central to the activity' of the site. The court would then be authorized to issue injunctions, not against the offending website, but against 'the domain name' itself, ordering the domain name registrar where the target site's domain name was registered, and the domain name registry responsible for maintaining the authoritative database of names for the target site's top-level domain, to 'lock out' the domain name (and therefore prevent access to the site through use of the domain name). The court could also enjoin any of the thousands of Internet Service Providers, or any 'operator of a nonauthoritative domain name server' (a category that includes virtually all ISPs or operators of networks linked to the Internet), ordering them to 'take technically feasible and reasonable steps designed to prevent [the] domain name from resolving to that domain name's Internet protocol address'""
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Sci-Fi

+ - WisCon disinvites Elizabeth Moon as GoH over Islam->

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "WisCon, a Wisconsin science fiction convention, has disinvited next year's Guest of Honor Elizabeth Moon over comments about 9/11 and the Ground Zero Mosque she made on her blog. Moon is a popular Nebula-award-winning author, as well as an ex-Marine. WisCon states that their convention "encourages discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class." Evidently certain types of debate are not allowed."
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Microsoft

+ - Apple Overtakes Microsoft in Market Cap->

Submitted by
Lawrence Person
Lawrence Person writes "In one of the most remarkable turnarounds in business history, Apple has overtaken rival Microsoft as both the largest tech company in the world, and as the second largest company in the world in market capitalization, trailing only ExxonMobile. "As of Wednesday's close, Apple's market capitalization was $222.12 billion, slipping past Microsoft's $219.18 billion value." Also, observations that Microsoft is a far more profitable company than Apple are badly out of date: "Apple has almost caught up with Microsoft in terms of revenue. In fiscal 2000, Microsoft's revenue of $22.9 billion was roughly three times Apple's. This fiscal year, Microsoft is expected to generate revenue of $61.65 billion and Apple $59 billion." This reversal of Apple's fortunes under Steve Jobs must irk not only Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, but also pro-Microsoft tech pundits, many of whom have repeatedly predicted Apple's outright demise."
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Movies

+ - The Science (or lack thereof) of Iron Man 2

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "Howard Waldrop and I reviewed Iron Man 2 over at Locus Online. Though we enjoyed the film, I spent a fair amount of time explaining how it not only strains scientific plausibility, but breaks it and stomps on the pieces until they're kindling. For example: the particle accelerator Tony Stark builds in his basement in about a day, which includes an optical prism to bend the beam, despite the fact prisms bend light, not streams of accelerated matter. I also go into more detail on the issue in my blog, where I talk about the inherently looser scientific underpinnings of comic book heroes, and how the "anything goes" ethos of something like the sprawling Marvel Universe strains credibility further. "If you’re watching a film about a man who can build a miniature fusion reactor the size of a smoke detector out of scrap metal, at what point can you really step off Mr. Toad’s Deeply Unlikely Ride?""
Sci-Fi

+ - Stross, Doctorow to pen sequel to Atlas Shrugged

Submitted by
Nova Express
Nova Express writes "Locus Online is reporting that Prometheus Award-winning SF writers Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow have been selected to write Atlas Rebound, an authorized sequel to Ayn Rand best-selling novel Atlas Shrugged. "Atlas Rebound features the teenage children of the founders of Galt's Gulch rebelling against their elders and traveling out into a world devastated by John Galt's strike, where they develop their own political philosophy with which to rebuild.""

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