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Education

Collaborative Academic Writing Software? 328

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the but-shouldn't-academics-be-good-at-learning-new-things dept.
Thomas M Hughes writes "Despite its learning curve, LaTeX is pretty much the standard in academic writing. By abstracting out the substance from the content, it becomes possible to focus heavily on the writing, and then deal with formatting later. However, LaTeX is starting to show its age, specifically when it comes to collaborative work. One solution to this is to simply pair up LaTeX with version control software (such as Subversion) to allow multiple collaborators to work on the same document at one time. But adding Subversion to the mix only seems to increase the learning curve. Is there a way to combine the power of LaTeX with the power of Subversion without scaring off a non-technical writer? The closest I can approximate would be to have something like Lyx (to hide the learning curve of LaTeX) with integrated svn (to hide the learning curve of svn). However, this doesn't seem available. Google Docs is popular right now, but Docs has no support for LaTeX, citation management, or anything remotely resembling decent formatting options. Are there other choices out there?"
Government

Canadian Labour Congress Considers Reversal On IP Policy 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the consistency-is-overrated dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian Labour Congress is considering a dramatic reversal of its stance on copyright and IP policy. CLC is comparable to the US AFL-CIO, but Canada is over 30% unionized. The campaign 'we must change copyright and IP law to fight evil counterfeiters and copyright pirates' is actually succeeding in Canada. Quoting the CLC's new policy resolution: '... this critical issue requires a far-reaching response involving legislative and regulatory reform, policy change, and allocation of proper resources to combat the problems. The Canadian government must be given the structure and resources to mount a sustained attack on this pervasive problem, both within Canada and internationally. The criminal and civil laws in Canada must provide adequate deterrence. And consumers must be educated that counterfeiting and piracy are not victimless, nuisance crimes, but instead strike at the heart of our long term economic security.'"
Movies

Majel Roddenberry Dies At 76 356

Posted by timothy
from the her-voice-prints-will-live-on dept.
unassimilatible writes "If there was ever a sad day for nerds, it's today, as Majel Barrett-Rodenberry has passed away. The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is best remembered as the gorgeous Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, the pesky and officious Lwaxana Troi from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and of course the ubiquitous voice of Star Trek computers in movies, TV, and animated films (who hasn't used her voice as a system sound on their PC?). Majel also attended Star Trek conventions yearly and was a producer of Andromeda. Fortunately, Majel just finished her voice over work for the computers in J.J. Abrams' latest Trek movie. I have to admit, this made me sad, just having caught up on the entire TNG and DS9 series on DVD."
Data Storage

Researchers Create Graphite Memory 10 Atoms Thick 135

Posted by timothy
from the comes-with-convenient-pink-rectangular-prism dept.
CWmike writes "Researchers at Rice University have demonstrated a new data storage medium made out of a layer of graphite only 10 atoms thick. The technology could potentially provide many times the capacity of current flash memory and withstand temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius and radiation that would make solid-state disk memory disintegrate. 'Though we grow it from the vapor phase, this material [graphene] is just like graphite in a pencil. You slide these right off the end of your pencil onto paper. If you were to place Scotch tape over it and pull up, you can sometimes pull up as small as one sheet of graphene. It is a little under 1 nanometer thick,' Professor James Tour said."
Games

Jack Thompson Facing Disbarment Trial 258

Posted by Zonk
from the facing-the-music dept.
pwizard2 writes "Gamepolitics reports that controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson faces the start of an ethics trial this morning, a process which could ultimately see him disbarred. The review board has set aside the entire week to hear details on the case. 'Over the weekend, Thompson turned to the Florida Supreme Court in an apparent effort to block this morning's trial from moving forward. In one court filing Thompson asserted that he was willing to accept a 90-day suspension of his license to practice law. The embattled attorney claimed that such an offer had been on the table, but that the Florida Bar was now seeking his permanent disbarment.'"
Graphics

+ - Picture scaling error in graphical softwares->

Submitted by
Eric Brasseur
Eric Brasseur writes "Every picture scaling software I could test makes a gross error: the gamma of the picture being scaled is not taken into account. This makes that for example a pixel that should be at 50% brightness can get only 22% brightness. Depending on the kind of picture, the damage can be quite important. I wrote a page to explain the whole: www.4p8.com/eric.brasseur/gamma.html"
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Stephen Hawking To Fly On Zero Gravity Plane

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "MSNBC reports that British physicist Stephen Hawking will experience a zero gravity airplane flight on April 26. Although the 65-year-old professor is disabled from a neurodegenerative disease, he will be able to make the flight with assistance and medical monitoring. 'As someone who has studied gravity and black holes all of my life, I am excited to experience, firsthand, weightlessness and a zero-gravity environment,' said Hawking. 'I am thankful to Zero Gravity Corp. for making this experience available to the general public, especially for disabled individuals.' The weightless flight will be a step towards Hawking's goal of a suborbital spaceflight with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic."
Software

+ - Wil Wheaton reviews Linux audio players

Submitted by ForeverFaithless
ForeverFaithless (894809) writes "Wil Wheaton has reviewed several popular audio players on Linux, including XMMS, Amarok, and Banshee. Wil comes to the conclusion that Amarok is his favorite of the bunch, stating "I have never loved a music player as much as I love Amarok, and I've never had as much fun flipping through my library and learning more about my favorite artists.""
Google

+ - Google Summer of Code Program Overhauled

Submitted by
lisah
lisah writes "Though at first glance Google's Summer of Code (SOC) 2007 looks pretty much the same as last year's event, it turns out much of the program has been overhauled based on feedback from past participants. The biggest change is the amount of lead time given to applicants and mentoring organizations in the hopes of increasing the applicant pool and allowing everyone to be better organized once the program gets officially underway on May 28. SOC organizers say they are also aware that slow payment to last year's participants has been a bone of contention and they are taking steps to 'make sure that the problem is diminished or will not happen again.'""

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