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Helium Leads to Geothermal Energy Resources 317

Roland Piquepaille writes "When we think about alternative sources of energy, we often forget the potential of geothermal energy resources. In fact, it has been estimated that accessible geothermal energy in the U.S. represents 90 quadrillion kilowatt-hours or 3,000 times the country's total annual energy consumption. So far, it has been difficult and expensive to locate good sources of geothermal energy. But now, two U.S. researchers have found a new method which doesn't require drilling. They are using the ratio of helium isotopes in surface waters to point to the best sources of geothermal energy."

Canada's New DMCA Considered Worst Copyright Law 234

loconet writes "The government of Canada is preparing to attempt to bring a new DMCA-modeled copyright law in Canada in order to comply with the WIPO treaties the country signed in 1997. (These treaties were also the base of the American DMCA.) The new Canadian law will be even more restrictive in nature than the American version and worse than the last Canadian copyright proposal, the defeated Bill C-60. Among the many restrictive clauses in this new law, as Michael Geist explains, is the total abolishment of the concept of fair use: 'No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing.' Geist provides a list of 30 things that can be done to address the issues."

Best Way to Build a Searchable Document Index? 216

Blinocac writes "I am organizing the IT documentation for the agency I work for, and we would like to make a searchable document index that would render results based on meta tags placed in the documents, which include everything from Word files, HTML, Excel, Access, and PDF's." What methods or tools have others seen that work? Anything to avoid?

Ticket Tracking and Customer Management? 236

An anonymous reader writes "Like many Slashdot readers, I'm sure, I run a small side business doing IT consulting in addition to my day job. I'm looking for a good open-source ticket tracking system that I can run under Linux, preferably one that also has some customer management features. I'd like to be able to maintain a separate record for each job, along with time tracking, work logs, and information about the customer. Much of what I see on Sourceforge is, as usual, pre-pre-pre-alpha with no actual code. Does anyone have any suggestions for a project that might fit my needs?"
The Courts

Should Chimps Have Human Rights? 1019

An anonymous reader writes "A Brazilian court has already issued a writ of habeas corpus in the name of a chimp. And now an Austrian court may well decide that a chimpanzee is a 'person' with what up until now have been called human rights." From the story in the Guardian/Observer: "He recognizes himself in the mirror, plays hide-and-seek and breaks into fits of giggles when tickled. He is also our closest evolutionary cousin. A group of world leading primatologists argue that this is proof enough that Hiasl, a 26-year-old chimpanzee, deserves to be treated like a human. In a test case in Austria, campaigners are seeking to ditch the 'species barrier' and have taken Hiasl's case to court. If Hiasl is granted human status — and the rights that go with it — it will signal a victory for other primate species and unleash a wave of similar cases."

Don't Google "How To Commit Murder" Before Killing 387

An anonymous reader alerts us to a murder trial in New Jersey in which Google and MSN searches were used against a woman accused of killing her husband. In the days before the murder, prosecutors say the defendant searched for "How To Commit Murder," "instant poisons," "undetectable poisons," "fatal digoxin doses," and gun laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Her husband was killed with a gun procured in Pennsylvania. The crime occurred in 2004; of course, people now know to be careful about their searches.
The Internet

Net Neutrality to Win Big on Capitol Hill? 154

The New York Times has weighed in again on Net Neutrality, this time with a hopeful message of change in the near future due to the shift of power in the House and Senate. The opinion piece takes a look at Ron Wyden in the Senate and Edward Markey in the House who have both promised to lead the charge to pass a net neutrality bill in the coming months. Lessig, on the other hand, has a somewhat more cynical view of the new Congress.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Drinking Alcohol May Extend Your Life 548

Adolytsi writes "MSNBC has an interesting article on an Italian study on alcoholism. While the obvious notion of overconsumption of alcohol being detrimental to one's health is supported, apparently drinking it in moderation can actually extend your lifespan. A study on over 1 million drinkers and 94,000 deaths yielded the results: "According to the data, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol — up to four drinks per day in men and two drinks per day in women — reduces the risk of death from any cause by roughly 18 percent, the team reports in the Archives of Internal Medicine. However, "things radically change" when consumption goes beyond these levels, study leader Dr. Augusto Di Castelnuovo, from Catholic University of Campobasso, said in a statement. Men who have more than four drinks per day and women who have more than two drinks per day not only lose the protection that alcohol affords, but they increase their risk of death, the data indicates.""

NASA Avoids "Happy New Year" On Shuttle 181

ClickOnThis noted that NASA is actually avoiding a Shuttle in Space over New Years. It says "The worry is that shuttle computers aren't designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space December 31 or January 1. 'We've just never had the computers up and going when we've transitioned from one year to another,' said Discovery astronaut Joan Higginbotham. 'We're not really sure how they're going to operate.'" You may notice some deja vu while reading this story. Sorry. Not much happens on Sundays :)

TiVo May Be a Buyout Target 149

Moose writes "Ars Technica has a piece up about the takeover rumors surrounding TiVo, now that it has a lawsuit win to boost its chances in the marketplace. From the article: 'It appears that TiVo is at a major crossroads, with brilliant technology under what now appears to be enforceable patents and a rapidly growing subscriber base, but with larger players in the TV market lurking just out of sight, possibly with pen to checkbook already. The DVR innovator seems to have little control over its own destiny now, and future success may rest in the hands of the legal system. Godspeed, TiVo.'"

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.