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Comment Use to protect communications? (Score 3, Interesting) 122

A thought off the top of my head... Can the digital lock provisions be used to protect personal communications? People are very worried about eavesdropping/profiling of their online activity-- wouldn't applying a 'digital lock' of even a trivial sort make place the eavesdroppers outside the law?

Obviously, strong encryption can protect your communications. But this is potentially something different-- you aren't guaranteeing the security of your communication, but rather, shifting the legal burden of violation onto some of the parties who sought to create the law in the first place...

For example, what if your bittorrent tracker information is protected by a digital lock?

Comment Re:Logical Reason for the Dearth (Score 3, Insightful) 314

The problem with software in academia is that it is often devoted to a sole purpose. It is not a generalized solution -- conversely -- it's often a demonstration of a solution so specific that it's never been done.

Absolutely true. And much of the software is nearly unusable by anyone else-- it was built by the researchers to validate their own work, not to be used by others. If you've ever tried to use any code generated by grad students, it is often buggy, brittle, inflexible, indecipherable, etc... (I'm a late-stage PhD student, so I've run into this MANY times...) And that's the code that the researchers saw fit to release to the public-- imagine what the stuff that wasn't released looks like.

Portables (Apple)

Hands-On With the New MacBooks 128

Paige Philuer writes "Macworld has a hands-on article examining the new MacBook and MacBook Pro — not a quickie look from Tuesday's event, but a lengthy, in-depth look with laptops they actually have in their offices. Some interesting observations: No FireWire on the MacBook; the TrackPad doesn't feel like you're running your finger across a pane of glass, though that's what it is; and switching between graphics cards in the MacBook Pro requires you to log out." Reader Bourbon contributes three links at CNET related to the new models, too: a positive written review (giving a score of 8/10 to the new MacBook), a video review, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the new models are machined.

Submission + - New Theory Explains Periodic Mass Extinctions

i_like_spam writes: The theory that the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid impact, the K-T extinction, is well known and supported by fossil and geological evidence. Asteroid impact theory does not apply to the other fluctuations in biodiversity, however, which follow an approximate 62 million-year cycle. As reported in Science news, a new theory seems to explain periodic mass extinctions. The new theory found that oscillations in the Sun relative to the plane of the Milky Way correlate with changes in biodiversity on Earth. The researchers suggest that an increase in the exposure of Earth to extragalatic cosmic rays causes mass extinctions. Here is the original paper describing the finding.

Without life, Biology itself would be impossible.