leighklotz writes "In an update to the little green men story of not-life-on-Mars, NASA has twittered: 'The buzz this weekend was due to an interesting soil chemistry finding, still preliminary, but now avail here:' where 'here' is NASA Spacecraft Analyzing Martian Soil Data. The exciting bit: 'Within the last month, two samples have been analyzed by the Wet Chemistry Lab of the spacecraft's Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, suggesting one of the soil constituents may be perchlorate, a highly oxidizing substance.' Also, 'NASA will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss these recent science activities.'"
schliz alerts us to a story out of the UK PC distribution channel. It seems that the percentage of systems pre-installed with Linux has gone up 28 times since Vista shipped, from 0.1% in January 2007 to 2.8% last June. Still not huge numbers, but Apple did OK for years with similar market share figures. Linux's headway comes in the face of the marketing money that manufacturers pass out to distributors, money that has historically been important to their profits: "In the late 1990s competition was so keen that distributors were said to sell at or below cost and take their profit direct from the marketing funds they received from vendors. Vendors nowadays keep watch to see their marketing funds are actually spent on marketing, but distribution runs on single figure profits and vendor marketing funds are a crucial aid."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Apparently the RIAA's 'big gun' didn't fare so well this morning in Duluth, when he tried to persuade the judge in Capitol v. Thomas that the part of the Copyright Act which says 'by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending', can be disregarded. According to an in-person account by Wired.com the Judge indicated that he is likely to grant a mistrial, setting aside the $222,000 jury verdict based upon his incorrect jury instruction, and that he will probably hand down his decision in September. Just yesterday some of the same lawyers got rebuffed by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in their attempt to argue that Cablevision's online storage for its customers constitutes a copyright infringement, in Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings. There, too, the content owners had argued that the wording of the Copyright Act did not mean what it said. There, too, the Court politely but firmly disagreed."