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Scientists Cut Greenland Ice Loss Estimate By Half 414

bonch writes "A new study on Greenland's and West Antarctica's rate of ice loss halves the estimate of ice loss. Published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the study takes into account a rebounding of the Earth's crust called glacial isostatic adjustment, a continuing rise of the crust after being smashed under the weight of the Ice Age. 'We have concluded that the Greenland and West Antarctica ice caps are melting at approximately half the speed originally predicted,' said researcher Bert Vermeeersen."

Submission + - FCC to vote on reconsidering broadband regulations (

crimeandpunishment writes: Today the battle over broadband takes a big step forward. The Federal Communications Commission will vote to begin taking public comments on different paths toward regulating high-speed Internet connections. Those options include a proposal to define broadband access as a telecommunications service subject to "common carrier" obligations....a proposal that's pitting phone and cable companies versus the big Internet companies, and members of Congress versus each other. The process could end up tied up in court for years.

Justice Not As Blind As Previously Thought 256

NotSoHeavyD3 writes "I doubt this is much of a surprise but apparently Cornell University did a study that seems to show you're more likely to get convicted if you're ugly. From the article: 'According to a Cornell University study, unattractive defendants are 22 percent more likely to be convicted than good-looking ones. And the unattractive also get slapped with harsher sentences — an average of 22 months longer in prison.'"

Submission + - ACTA internet chapter leaked - bad for everyone (

roju writes: Cory Doctorow is reporting on a leaked copy of the "internet enforcement" portion of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). He describes it as reading like a "DMCA-plus" with provisions for third-party liability, digital locks, and "a duty to technology firms to shut down infringement where they have 'actual knowledge' that such is taking place." For example, this could mean legal responsibility shifting to Apple for customers copying mp3s onto their iPods.

Submission + - Massive Solar Updraft Towers Planned for Arizona (

MikeChino writes: Australia-based EnviroMission Ltd recently announced plans to build two solar updraft towers that span hundreds of acres in La Paz County, Arizona. Solar updraft technology sounds promising enough: generate hot air with a giant greenhouse, channel the air into a chimney-like device, and let the warm wind turn a wind turbine to produce energy. The scale of the devices would be staggering — each plant would consist of a 2,400 foot chimney over a greenhouse measuring four square miles. The Southern California Public Power Authority has approved EnviroMission as a provider, although there’s still plenty of work to be done before the $750 million, 200 megawatt project can begin.

Submission + - CIA Teams Up With Scientists to Monitor Climate ( 1

MikeChino writes: The CIA has just joined up with climate researchers to re-launch a data-sharing initiative that will use spy satellites and other CIA tools to help scientists figure out what climate change is doing to cloud cover, forests, deserts, and more. The collaboration is an extension of the Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis program (canceled in 2001) and it will use reconnaissance satellites to track ice floes moving through the Arctic basin, creating data that could be used for ice forecasts.
The Courts

Submission + - Does cheap technology undermine this court ruling? (

bfwebster writes: Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor who focuses on legal issues regarding information technology (I own a copy of his book "Computer Crime Law") raises an interesting issue about a 2001 Supreme Court decision (Kyllo v. United States) that prohibited police from using a thermal imaging device on a private home without a warrant. (The police were trying to detect excess heat coming from the roof of a garage, as an indication of lamps being used to grow marijuana inside.) The Court made its decision back in 2001 because thermal imaging devices were "not in general use" and therefore represented a technology that required a warrant. However, Kerr points out that anyone can now buy such thermal imaging devices for $50 to $150 from Amazon, and that they're advertised as a means of detecting thermal leakage from your home. In light of that, Kerr asks, is the Supreme Court's ruling still sound?

Submission + - Photovoltaic Eye Implant Gives Sight to the Blind (

MikeChino writes: Researchers at Stanford University recently announced that they have developed a new artificial retina implant that uses photovoltaic power and could help the blind see. The problem with previous implants was that there was no way send power to the chip in order to process light and data inside the eye, so the new device uses miniature photovoltaic cells to provide power the chip as well as to transmit data through the eye to the brain. The new device has great promise to help people afflicted by the loss of photoreceptor cells by using the power of the sun.

Submission + - Microsoft's home networking cloud services? (

bizwriter writes: A patent application filed by Microsoft published last Thursday suggests that the company is planning cloud services to configure home networks and provide a number of other maintenance activities, such as user authentication and device provisioning. In other words, it would be an automated way for consumers to let someone remotely manage their home networks.

Submission + - Knowledge Sharing is good for the employee? 2

cachimaster writes: This is an "Ask Slashdot" Submission, I don't know if it's ok to submit it here.
I want to ask the slashdot community if knowledge sharing is good for the individual employee. As an employee I have to share my knowledge to the rest of my company in the form of courses, etc. Its clear than the company, and therefore the humanity at a whole benefits for the sharing of information. But what about the individual employee?

Submission + - Analysis of CRU Files Concludes They Were Leaked ( 3

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes: Through an analysis of the files themselves, and not their content, Lance Levsen concludes that the CRU files were leaked. Here is his conclusion:

"It is most likely that the FOI Officer at the University put it on an anonymous ftp server or that it resided on a shared folder that many people had access to and some curious individual looked at it.

If as some say, this was a targeted crack, then the cracker would have had to have back-doors and access to every machine at UEA and not just the CRU. It simply isn't reasonable for the FOI Officer to have kept the collection on a CRU system where CRU people had access, but rather used a UEA system.

Occam's razor concludes that "the simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one". The simplest explanation in this case is that someone at UEA found it and released it to the wild and the release of wasn't because of some hacker, but because of a leak from UEA by a person with scruples."

The significance being that a leak indicates a worker unhappy with the integrity of the organization. Or someone who likes ot make big messes.

Submission + - Cdn Record Industry Facing $60B Copyright Lawsuit (

An anonymous reader writes: Michael Geist is reporting that the four major record labels that comprise the Canadian Recording Industry Association have been hit with the largest copyright infringement lawsuit in Canadian history. A class action claims $60 billion in damages for unauthorized and unpaid uses of recordings. The record labels openly admit at least $50 million in liability but believe working to pay the outstanding amounts "would be an unproductive use of time". The plaintiffs, led by the estate of jazz musician Chet Baker, are also seeking punitive damages given the strict enforcement of copyright by the same labels against consumers.

Submission + - RIM Blackberry center of new patent case

NotNormallyNormal writes: RIM is the center of a newly filed patent infringement case by Prism Technologies LLC. It has also filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission which has the ability to stop the import of all products from entering the U.S. if it determines that an unfair trade practice, such as patent infringement, has occurred. Prism singled out the Blackberry Curve 8330 as one device infringing on the patent. The Blackberry Curve 8330 was the top-selling consumer smart phone in the U.S. last quarter, beating out Apple Inc.’s iPhone. According to one American Trade Lawyer, "It’s not really the damages that force you to settle (the civil trial); it’s the threat of an import ban (by the ITC)." RIM is apparently challenging the patent in federal court.

Submission + - Windmills Arranged Like School of Fish: 100x Power (

sciencehabit writes: Engineers have always spread electricity-generating windmills out over many hectares of land, because the turbulence caused by leading windmills drastically reduces the efficiency of any windmill behind it. A new design solves this problem by using turbines that turn on a vertical, rather than a horizontal axis, and takes up 100 times less land to generate the same power.

Submission + - Google Launches Public DNS Resolver (

AdmiralXyz writes: Google has announced the launch of their free DNS resolution service, called Google Public DNS. According to their blog post, Google Public DNS uses continuous record prefetching to avoid cache misses- hopefully making the service faster- and implements a variety of techniques to block spoofing attempts. They also say that (unlike an increasing number of ISPs), Google Public DNS behaves exactly according to the DNS standard, and will not redirect you to advertising in the event of a failed lookup. Very cool, but of course there are questions about Google's true motivations behind knowing every site you visit...

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]