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Earth

Climatic Research Unit Hacked, Files Leaked 882

Posted by kdawson
from the playing-dirty dept.
huckamania was one of many readers to write with the news that the University of East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Unit was hacked, and internal documents released. Some discussion and analysis of the leaked items can be found at Watts Up With That. The CRU has confirmed that a breach occurred, but not that all 61 MB of released material is genuine. Some of the emails would seem to raise concerns about the science as practiced — or at least beg an explanation. From the Watts Up link: "[The CRU] is widely recognized as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change. Consisting of a staff of around thirty research scientists and students, the Unit has developed a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, including the global temperature record used to monitor the state of the climate system, as well as statistical software packages and climate models. An unknown person put postings on some climate skeptic websites that advertised an FTP file on a Russian FTP server. Here is the message that was placed on the Air Vent today: 'We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.' The file was large, about 61 megabytes, containing hundreds of files. It contained data, code, and emails apparently from the CRU. If proved legitimate, these bombshells could spell trouble for the AGW crowd." Reader brandaman supplied the link to the archive of pilfered data. Reader aretae characterized the emails as revealing "...lots of intrigue, data manipulation, attempting to shut out opposing points of view out of scientific journals. Almost makes you think it's a religion. Anyone surprised?" And reader bugnuts adds, for context: "These emails are certainly taken out of context, whether they are legitimate or fraudulent, which adds to the confusion."
Science

LHC Shut Down By Transformer Malfunction 293

Posted by timothy
from the it's-only-broken-if-you-look dept.
Ortega-Starfire writes "A 30-ton transformer in the Large Hadron Collider malfunctioned, requiring complete replacement on the day the LHC came online. No one at CERN reported any problems, and they only released this data once the Associated Press sent people to investigate rumors of problems. I guess it's hard to just sweep a 30-ton transformer breaking under the rug."
Data Storage

A Walk Through the Hard Drive Recovery Process 238

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-dead-jim dept.
Fields writes "It's well known that failed hard drives can be recovered, but few people actually use a recovery service because they're expensive and not always successful. Even fewer people ever get any insights into the process, as recovery companies are secretive about their methods and rarely reveal any more information that is necessary for billing. Geek.com has an article walking through a drive recovery handled by DriveSavers. The recovery team did not give away many secrets, but they did reveal a number of insights into the process. From the article, "'[M]y drive failed in about every way you can imagine. It had electro-mechanical failure resulting in severe media damage. Seagate considered it dead, but I didn't give up. It's actually pretty amazing that they were able to recover nearly all of the data. Of course, they had to do some rebuilding, but that's what you expect when you send it to the ER for hard drives.'" Be sure to visit the Museum of Disk-asters, too.
The Courts

Geek Wins Copyright Lawsuit Against Corporation 616

Posted by kdawson
from the david-1-goliath-0 dept.
Chris Gregerson writes "I work as a stock photographer/web developer. I saw a photo of mine used in Vilana Financial's full-page phone book ad. They wouldn't pay the licensing fee, and I wrote about it online (mirror). They sued me for defamation, producing a sales agreement signed by one ' Michael Zubitskiy' (who they said took the photo and sold the rights to them). I sued them for copyright infringement, and they added claims against me for trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices, and tortuous interference. There was a trial I'll long remember on the 5th of November, and the judge recently issued her verdict (PDF; mirror). She ruled Vilana Financial forged the sales agreement and willfully infringed my photos, and awarded me $19,462. All claims against me were denied. I represented myself during the litigation."
Books

Pirate Yourself, Become a Best-Seller 288

Posted by kdawson
from the old-time-religion dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "It sounds like a dotcom-era business plan: 1) give it away, 2) ???, 3) make pots of money. Author Paulo 'Pirate' Coelho leapt out of obscurity and onto the best-seller list by giving away his books on the Net. The best-selling author of 'The Alchemist' will even help you pirate his books via his blog. His publishers were not pleased, but then his books went from selling 1,000 copies to 100,000 and then over a million. He gives special credit to pirate translators who are making his work accessible to a wider audience and convincing more people to read his book."

Comment: Re:The best new feature would be... (Score 1) 260

by Seehund (#20887369) Attached to: Amiga Inc. Reveals Further Info About Amiga OS5

I can understand if Apple doesn't want to let go of OS X like that, because they after all sell a lot of hardware this way, but isn't AmigaOS 4 is in such a horribly sorry state that Amiga Inc would only win on having it support other hardware platforms better?
Yes, of course. That is if they were ever interested in making OS4 a profitable (or at least financially self-sustainable) product. It is clear that this was never their intention.

AInc had no interest in OS4, i.e. a continuation of the "classic" AmigaOS. Instead they believed it to be possible to live off simply owning the brand Amiga, and having it applied to games for mobile phones and a renamed version of Tao's "Intent" (also dead now, BTW).

Then came Hyperion, a small company that ported old Windows games to AmigaOS, MacOS and Linux, and nagged at AInc to get permission to make OS4. So far, so good. Unfortunately, they also brought along a hardware vendor, Eyetech, in the deal. OS4 had been reduced to a means for a shady computer dealer to resell outdated and dysfunctional $500 "Teron" motherboards for $900 with a new "AmigaOne" sticker to a tiny group of ignorant trademark fanatics.

AmigaOS was killed there and then (2002). They've had nearly 6 years to re-negotiate a new distribution scheme for OS4, one that doesn't include an unnecessary "hardware partner", but they've chosen not to do this. Neither did the following death of PowerPC (on the desktop, at least) seem to affect their perception of reality. The losses and ensuing lawsuits and bickering between these "AmigaOne Partners" is just sweet poetic justice. It's a bit sad that Eyetech got away from their "AmigaOne" scam with a relatively (for an "Amiga" company) hefty profit, but I doubt they'll be able to do business in the computer field again.

BTW, anything AInc/McEwen says about an "OS5" is just bullshit, of course. Why is this on Slashdot? Does the general /. audience really appreciate the entertainment value of all this, like we hardened Amiga community members do?
Toys

+ - Pioneer invents the 'Superhero Suit'.->

Submitted by Fantastic Lad
Fantastic Lad (198284) writes "Its rock-hard surface can take a full-on assault from a baseball bat, yet remains flexible enough to allow you to kick, leap and roll with perfect ease. Its unique molecular structure means that while providing armoured protection against crude concrete and even barbed wire, it remains light enough to allow you to run at high speed. It sounds like the stuff of Batman comics — but the superhero suit is here. Identified as a major breakthrough that could impact on every sector from the military to motor sports, the revolutionary shock-absorbent material d3o is taking the world by storm. Blessed with the kind of properties your average costumed crime fighter would kill for, it is being hailed as an invention with the potential to change entire industries and save real lives. — Fine, but what happens when I 'Flame On'?"
Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

Is Gentoo in crisis? 199

Posted by Hemos
from the well-yeah-probably dept.
TheCoop1984 writes "A recent article on distrowatch, and an extended thread on the gentoo forums, have pointed out that gentoo is not what it used to be. Daniel Robbins came back and went again after only a few days, developer turnover is as high as ever, personal attacks on the mailing lists are common, and people are generally not happy about the current state of affairs. Is gentoo rotting from the inside, and can anything be done about it?"
Music

Finding an Innovation SSI 2001 Soundcard? 105

Posted by Cliff
from the a-piece-of-computer-audio-history dept.
Yvan256 asks: "I've been looking for over 15 years for the Innovation SSI 2001 soundcard. It's a very old and extremely rare ISA card, based on the SID 6581 chip of the Commodore 64. Yes, I am aware of the HardSID (I've got one), but it's not hardware compatible with the SSI 2001 (different method of accessing the SID registers). The SSI 2001 is about the only card missing from my soundcards collection. I am aware of the IBM Music Feature, I have one. It's just not on the webpage yet. Please note, this collection is about the different technologies that came out at the beginning of the soundcards era, not the thousands of SoundBlaster clones that were available (including the Pro Audio Spectrum series). So, if anyone has an Innovation SSI 2001, or know where I could get one, please tell me."

A Criticism of Race Portrayal in Games 141

Posted by Zonk
from the not-everyone-is-equal-in-gta dept.
Joystiq points out (and comments incitefully on) a two-part examination of African-American roles in videogames on the site Black Voice News. Series author Richard Jones takes the videogame industry to task for the numerous poor images that young black people have to compare themselves to. He singles out Carl Johnson, the protagonist of GTA: San Andreas as an example. Jones also acknowledges that 'the video game industry is all about money', pointing out the unfortunate lack of black designers and illustrators in the industry to sway the creative choices of publisheres and developers. He gives a call to arms to black players, saying they should focus some of their passion on the skills required to make games. They'd get rich, he says, and work to reverse some of the negative stereotypes that non-whites are subject to in games. The Opposable Thumbs blog takes a critical look at his argument, offering up another side to the story. While it's obvious that Mr. Jones doesn't have a great grasp on the games industry itself, he would seem to make a few valid points as well.
Software

The Future of Packaging Software in Linux 595

Posted by Zonk
from the come-together-right-now dept.
michuk writes "There are currently at least five popular ways of installing software in GNU/Linux. None of them are widely accepted throughout the popular distributions. This situation is not a problem for experienced users — they can make decisions for themselves. However, for a newcomer in the GNU/Linux world, installing new software is always pretty confusing. The article tries to sum up some of the recent efforts to fix this problem and examine the possible future of packaging software in GNU/Linux."
Science

World's Largest Tropical Glacier Vanishing 462

Posted by Zonk
from the no-rest-for-the-chilly dept.
Socguy wrote with a link to a CBC article about the rapidly disappearing Peruvian glacier known as the Quelccaya ice cap. The world's largest tropical glacier was a hot topic this past Thursday at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Glaciologist Lonnie Thompson, and a team of Ohio state scientists, produced the stunning news that Quelccaya and similar formations are melting at a rate of some 60 metres per year. While polar ice caps have commanded attention in the discussion of global warming to date, these tropical caps are crucial to the well-being of ecosystems relying on an influx of mountain stream fresh water.
Censorship

Congress Hears From Muzzled Scientists 664

Posted by kdawson
from the global-mmpphhhh dept.
BendingSpoons writes "More than 120 scientists across seven federal agencies have been pressured to remove the phrases 'global warming' and 'climate change' from various documents. The documents include press releases and, more importantly, communications with Congress. Evidence of this sort of political interference has been largely anecdotal to date, but is now detailed in a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on this issue Tuesday; the hearing began by Committee members, including most Republicans, stating that global warming is happening and greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are largely to blame. The OGR hearings presage a landmark moment in climate change research: the release of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC report, drafted by 1,250 scientists and reviewed by an additional 2,500 scientists, is expected to state that 'there is a 90% chance humans are responsible for climate change' — up from the 2001 report's 66% chance. It probably won't make for comfortable bedtime reading; 'The future is bleak', said scientists."
Amiga

AmigaOS 4 415

Posted by kdawson
Second five-eighth writes "The Amiga is alive and sort of well (you can get the OS, but not the hardware), and Ars Technica has a review of the final version of AmigaOS 4. New features include limited memory protection, 3D display drivers, an improved suite of applications (the bounty for porting Mozilla to AmigaOS has yet to be claimed), and much better 680x0 emulation. Perhaps most telling, the reviewer was able to move his daily writing workflow from Windows XP to AmigaOS 4.0: 'Not only was it possible to do this, but having done so I feel no urge to switch back. It is nice to not have any distractions when working — there is no waiting for the system to swap out when switching between major applications, no constant reminders for updates or to download new virus definitions and even if the worst happens and the system locks up, it takes only seven seconds to reboot and get back to a functional desktop.'"
Games

'Over 30' Section For Games Stores? 220

Posted by Zonk
from the early-20s-soldiers-not-old-enough-to-play-violent-games dept.
A New York law introduced by Representative Keith Wright seeks just that, a section for gaming stores that keeps 'violent games' under lock and key, and is accessible only to people over 30. The law is one of two poorly-thought pieces of legislation being considered by New York state's legal system. From the 1up article: "The history of the courts striking down such legislation goes just about as far back as politicians who attempt to bolster their own image by capitalizing on the public fear and hysteria over the bogeyman of video gaming. It's interesting to note that recently, courts have begun penalizing entities who purposely waste their time with attempts at passing frivolous and unconstitutional anti-videogame legislation. You'd think might deter motions like [these] somewhat, wouldn't you?" Update: 01/19 04:10 GMT by Z : As ahecht points out in the comments 1up has things wrong here. There is only one bill, and it restricts violent games from being sold to those under 18 only. Line 5 of the bill's text is the section in question.

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