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Submission Boxee Box Matures, Another Look At The Platform->

MojoKid writes: "Though D-Link actually started shipping the Boxee Box media player back in Q4 of last year, it was obvious that it needed a bit more polish to offer a reasonably satisfying experience. Since that time, Boxee has released a number of firmware and platform updates that enhance the device and bring new services, like full 1080p movie content from Vudu and what could be considered critical mass in mainstream movie rentals, Netflix. The Boxee Box has had time to mature and this full walk-through of the system shows it's actually an interesting alternative to competitive products in this class of device, like Apple TV, Google TV and Roku. There's still lots of work to be done in fleshing out services and content but the Boxee platform has a bit more polish behind it now."
Link to Original Source

Researchers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel 238

Julie188 writes "Researchers from the University of Virginia have found that current algae biofuel production methods consume more energy, have higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn. The researchers suggest these problems can be overcome by situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen — essential algae nutrients that otherwise need to come from petroleum."

Palm Pre and WebOS Get Native Gaming 49

rboatright writes "WebOS developers have been waiting, and with the 1.3.5 release, Palm's open source page suddenly listed SDL. Members of the WebOS internals team took that as a challenge and within 24 hours had a working port of Doom running in SDL on the Pre, in a webOS card. 48 hours later, they not only had Quake running, but had found in the latest LunaSysMgr the requirements to launch a native app from the webOS app launcher from an icon just like any other app. At the same time, the team demonstrated openGL apps running. With full native code support, with I/O available via SDL, developers now have a preview into Palm's future intent with regard to native code SDK's, and a hint of what's coming."

The Perfect Way To Slice a Pizza 282

iamapizza writes "New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article; 'The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-center, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-center cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighboring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?' This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of 'sharing' a pizza."

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

Submission Choose what to pay for Radiohead's new album->

Matt writes: Radiohead are offering their latest album as a download several weeks before the CD comes out, and you get to choose how much to pay. $1,000 or $0.00, it's entirely up to you. The band are free of a record contract for this, their seventh album, so are free to pursue as many wacky plans as they like.
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User Journal

Journal Journal: Radiohead to release digital download on honour system

The Times Online writes that Radiohead, having left EMI, is self-releasing its new album on its Web site as a digital download - and leaving the price up to the consumer. The Times does not note that the same album will be for sale in a physical format as well, at a predetermined price - £40 - and with lots of goodies.


Photosynthesis May Rely On Quantum Effect 234

forgethistory sends us to PhysOrg for a summary of new research suggesting that the near instantaneous energy transfer achieved by photosynthesis may rely on quantum effects. From the article: "Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria are able to transfer sunlight energy to molecular reaction centers for conversion into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. Speed is the key — the transfer of the solar energy takes place almost instantaneously so little energy is wasted as heat. How photosynthesis achieves this near instantaneous energy transfer is a long-standing mystery that may have finally been solved."

Journal Journal: Kinkos has your number 2

CNN is carrying an article about a "new" (or rather, newly disclosed) way to get your personal information.

Now, experts are warning that photocopiers could be a culprit as well.

That's because most digital copiers manufactured in the past five years have disk drives -- the same kind of data-storage mechanism found in computers -- to reproduce documents.

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?