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Businesses

EA Defends Itself Against Thousands of Anti-Gay Letters 1069

Posted by timothy
from the but-my-keyboard-only-has-26 dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "Video game publisher Electronic Arts has not only had to defend itself against 'worst company in America' labels, but GamesIndustry International has revealed that EA's been receiving thousands of letters protesting the inclusion of same-sex relationship content in games like Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The campaign against EA appears to be led by Florida Family Association and the Family Research Council. The letters threaten to boycott purchase of EA games if the company won't remove the LGBT content, and many allege that EA was pressured by LGBT activists to include the content, which they say is forcing LGBT themes on children playing the games. 'This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment,' said Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications."
Censorship

Delayed Outrage Over A Censored Site; What's a Better Way To Spread News? 214

Posted by timothy
from the you-don't-like-this dept.
Bennett Haselton is back with a thought provoking essay about not just an incident of Internet censorship on an American university campus, but a proposed method of propagating news, so that relevant stories aren't buried as easily by chance or time. Bennett writes: "The real scandal in the story of Arizona State University blocking students' access to the Change.org website, is not just that it happened, but that the block persisted for two months without being mentioned in the media. As a card-carrying member of the 'outrage grapevine,' I surely think we need a way to respond faster." Read on for the rest.
Power

DARPA Targets Computing's Achilles Heel: Power 100

Posted by timothy
from the never-a-good-time-to-buy-a-computer dept.
coondoggie writes "The power required to increase computing performance, especially in embedded or sensor systems has become a serious constraint and is restricting the potential of future systems. Technologists from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are looking for an ambitious answer to the problem and will next month detail a new program it expects will develop power technologies that could bolster system power output from today's 1 GFLOPS/watt to 75 GFLOPS/watt."
News

Christmas Always On Sunday? Researchers Propose New Calendar 725

Posted by Soulskill
from the metric-holidays dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a way to make time stand still — at least when it comes to the yearly calendar. Using computer programs and mathematical formulas, an astrophysicist and an economist have created a new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one which came before, and remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity."
Censorship

Go Daddy Reverses Course On SOPA 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the done-and-done dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Go Daddy has relented in the face of public pressure and will no longer support SOPA. 'Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation—but we can clearly do better,' Warren Adelman, Go Daddy's newly appointed CEO, said." Go Daddy was put under a tremendous amount of pressure from around the internet; a boycott had been organized for Dec. 29th, and several major sites threatened to pull their domains from Go Daddy, including Stack Overflow and I Can Has Cheezburger. The U.S. House Judiciary committee posted a list of companies who support SOPA (PDF).
Science

Japanese Use Wild Monkeys To Track Radiation 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the nuclear-plant-of-the-apes dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "Scientists in Japan are taking a novel approach to measuring the impact of radiation in a forest affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis: enlisting the help of local wild monkeys. Takayuki Takahashi, a professor of robotic technology at Fukushima University, told CNN Wednesday his team was working on a collar fitted with a dosimeter to measure radiation levels that could be fitted to the monkeys before they are released back into the wild. Takahashi said the experiment would help researchers understand how radiation in the forest can affect human beings, as well as wild animals. While human scientists have been monitoring radiation levels from the air, the use of monkey 'assistants' will give them a clearer idea of conditions on the ground."
Advertising

US Bans Loud Commercials 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the turn-it-down dept.
bs0d3 writes "On Tuesday, the FCC passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM. It's a law that states all commercials must run at the same volume as network newscasts. The same applies to network promos. The responsibility falls on cable providers like Comcast or charter. The law will not take effect until next year which leaves it plenty of time to be challenged in court by cable providers or advertisers."
Japan

Russian Scientists Say They'll Clone a Mammoth Within 5 Years 302

Posted by samzenpus
from the pleistocene-park dept.
Many scientists (mainly Japanese and Russian) have dreamed of cloning a mammoth over the years. When the mammoth genome was partially reconstructed in 2008, that dream seemed a bit closer. Besides the millions of dollars needed for such a project, the biggest hurdle was the lack of a good sample of mammoth DNA. That hurdle has now been cleared, thanks to the discovery of well-preserved bone marrow in a mammoth thigh bone. Russian scientist Semyon Grigoriev, acting director of the Sakha Republic's mammoth museum, and colleagues from Japan's Kinki University say that within 5 years they'll likely have a clone. From the article: "What's been missing is woolly mammoth nuclei with undamaged genes. Scientists have been on a Holy Grail-type search for such pristine nuclei since the late 1990s. Now it sounds like the missing genes may have been found."
The Courts

Ticketmaster Customers, Get Ready For Your (Tiny) Class-Action Payout 140

Posted by timothy
from the 16-million-for-the-lawyers dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you used Ticketmaster's website to buy tickets between October 21, 1999 and October 19, 2011, you're in for a windfall. Well, a $1.50 per ticket order windfall. Because of a proposed class action settlement, Ticketmaster is being forced to credit $1.50 per ticket order (up to 17 orders) to customers because they profited from 'processing fees' without declaring as much. And despite the reparations, Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions — they just have to say they're doing so on their website."
Music

RIAA Doesn't Like the "Used Digital Music" Business 300

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-owner-only dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica reports on the developing story between the RIAA and music reseller ReDigi, 'the world's first online marketplace for used digital music,' who first came online with a beta offering on October 11th, 'allowing users to sell "legally acquired digital music files" and buy them from others "at a fraction of the price currently available on iTunes.'' If the notion of selling 'used' digital content is challenged in court, we may finally receive a judicial ruling on the legality of EULAs that will overturn the previous Vernor v. Autodesk decision."
Education

Is American Innovation Losing Its Shine? 625

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-used-to-be-better dept.
kenekaplan writes "American ingenuity and innovation, the twin engine of the country's economy since World War II, is in danger of losing steam and job growth potential if federal legislators allow 'automatic' spending cuts to kick in next year rather than earmarking federal funds to advance education, research and manufacturing, according Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield."
Biotech

In-Vitro Muscle Cells, It's What's For Dinner 619

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-like-mom-used-to-grow dept.
wanzeo writes "Within the last decade, many of us have experienced the encroachment of ethics into our mealtime. Phrases such as vegetarian, vegan, organic, bST, GMO, etc. have become part of common grocery store advertising. The most recent addition to the list of ethically charged food is in-vitro meat, or meat that was cultured in a petri dish, and was never part of a live animal. The project has been brought to fruition by Mark Post, a biologist at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Grown using animal stem-cells on a nutrient medium, the nearly see-through strips of muscle would need to be stacked nearly 3,000 times to approach the thickness of a burger. The practice promises to be more humane, sustainable, and efficient than conventional meats, with one analysis suggesting it would, 'use 35 to 60 percent less energy, emit 80 to 95 percent less greenhouse gas and use around 98 percent less land.' In a world where nearly half of all crop production is used to feed livestock, a move towards artificial meat may be inevitable."

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