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Robotics

+ - DARPA Semifinalists Selected

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "DARPA has selected thirty-six teams as Urban Challenge semifinalists to participate in the National Qualification Event. Both the webcast and press release can be found on the official site: here. Dr. Tony Tether reports that only 1 of the top 5 previous teams was rated in the top 5 of teams this year and 3 of the top 5 were not in the challenge finals last year."
XBox (Games)

+ - Microsoft starts banning modified 360 consoles.

Submitted by Tiger Nachos
Tiger Nachos (666) writes "Microsoft has started to ban XBOX 360 consoles with modified drive firmware. Posts on the official XBOX.com site confirm the bans. It appears that there are some glitches, as some users with modified firmware claim not to be banned, and other users with unmodified systems also claim to be banned. Like the original wave of bans on the original XBOX console, Microsoft only appears to be banning the modified system, and not the user account. Moving the user account to an unmodified system allows users to continue playing online over the Xbox LIVE service. http://gamerscoreblog.com/team/archive/2007/05/17/ 545414.aspx and http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox1data/sep/EEZAuFAEuA jENKDCMV.php discuss the ban."
Biotech

+ - Vitamin C prevents addiction?

Submitted by
PsiPsiStar
PsiPsiStar writes "I've been interested for some time in the effect of ascorbate (non-acidic Vitamin C) on drug detoxification (via glutathione renewal). They tell you in health class that there's nothing you can do to make a drunk sober up more quickly, however ascorbate in large doses does a great job. (Avoid the sugary stuff. Sugar prevents the absorption of larger doses of Vitamin C.)

Here's one study suggesting that ascorbate may allow morphine to be used without danger of dependence or addiction, with the analgesic effects preserved.

This seems especially promising, given the tremendous failure of many drug treatment programs. "
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft bans modified Xbox 360s from Xbox Live

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has now officially started banning Xbox 360s that have had their DVD drive firmware modified from Live, possibly using information brought in by the Crackdown-originated Halo 3 beta downloads. Scene site forums have already collapsed under traffic, and Microsoft has officially confirmed that they are banning modded Xbox 360s to keep the online playing field fair and level."
Google

Google Wins Nude Thumbnail Legal Battle 204

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the over-for-now dept.
eldavojohn writes "Google is currently fighting many fronts in its ability to show small images returned in a search from websites. Most recently, Google won the case against them in which they were displaying nude thumbnails of a photographer's work from his site. Prior to this, Google was barred from displaying copyrighted content, even when linking it to the site (owner) from its search results. The verdict: "Saying the District Court erred, the San Francisco-based appeals court ruled that Google could legally display those images under the fair use doctrine of copyright law." This sets a rather hefty precedence in a search engine's ability to blindly serve content safely under fair use."
Education

+ - New Form of Matter Created

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "Researchers created a new form of matter which seems to be a cross between a laser and a superconductor. From the article, "The new state is a solid filled with a collection of energy particles known as polaritons that have been trapped and slowed." For those of you who surpass me in physics, the full text of the research is available from the Journal Science."
Data Storage

+ - Holographic storage to be commercialized this fall

Submitted by
prostoalex
prostoalex writes "The Guardian takes a look at the current developments in the world of holographic storage. Despite being available in research for over 40 years, the technology is getting commercialized only now, with InPhase Technologies launching its 600 GB write-once disk and a drive this fall. What avout the price? "The first holographic products are certainly not mass-market — a 600GB disc will cost around $180 (£90), and the drive costs about $18,000. Potential users include banks, libraries, government agencies and corporations.""
Businesses

+ - Clickfraud Study Renews Debate

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "Google & Yahoo! have been studied to determine the amount of activity that is click fraud. From the article, "After reviewing a handful of Web sites since last August, Fair Isaac believes 10 to 15 percent of the advertising traffic is "pathological," indicating a likelihood of click fraud, said Joseph Milana, the company's chief scientist of research and development.""
Microsoft

+ - Top 10 reasons Microsoft loves/hates open souce

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Over the years, Microsoft has had some pretty harsh words (and actions) for the open source community in general and for Linux in particular. And with news this week that the company reportedly wants open source software users to pay royalties on 235 alleged patent violations, the relationship is obviously changing. We take a look at five ways Microsoft is embracing open source or Linux and five ways it is doing to battle against those same forces. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/051407-micro sft-open-source.html"
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft says open source violates 235 patents

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft top lawyer Brad Smith alleges that the Linux kernel violates 42 Microsoft patents, while its user interface and other design elements infringe on a further 65. OpenOffice.org is accused of infringing 45, along with 83 more in other free and open-source programs."
Portables

+ - A "Bill of Lights" to restrict LEDs on com

Submitted by
PetManimal
PetManimal writes "Mike Elgan has had it with useless lights on gadgets and computers. He singles out the Palm Treo and the Dell XPS gaming laptops as being particularly bad with the use of unnecessary lights, and also cites the plethora of LEDs on desktop PCs and peripherals:

My PC and other computing equipment make my office look like a jet cockpit. I have two LCD monitors, each of which has two indicator lights that flash even when the PC is turned off. The attached sound control has a light on it. My keyboard has multiple lights. The power cord has lights, the printer has lights, and the power button is illuminated. My cable modem and Linksys router flash like crazy all the time. Together, these useless lights create a visual cacophony of blinking, multicolored lights that make me feel like I'm taking part in a NASA stress test for astronaut candidates.
Elgan calls on manufacturers to respect his "Gadget Bill of Lights" to restrict the use of nag lights and allow users to turn them off. He also says the industry should pay more attention to industrial design when creating new products."
Privacy

+ - A list of "rat" universities?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With more and more stories of Universities "ratting out" their students to the like of the RIAA, is there any place where a list of univerisities privacy policies are posted? A report card of how universities are doing with protecting their student's rights?"
The Matrix

+ - Music sharing a social, not ethical, issue

Submitted by
athloi
athloi writes "Recent studies by two Kent State University professors suggest that file sharing and downloading music is "more of a social phenomenon than an economic one." As one article related,

> "That is," say the researchers, "downloaders of free, so-called 'pirate' music
> seemed to be more motivated by the social aspect of trading and sharing music with
> other music enthusiasts rather than the proposition of saving money on music
> purchases."


In other news, students are finding out the hard way that downloading is where the law intrudes on what they see as a fun, social hobby and a way to interact with other kids.

> Barg couldn't imagine anyone expected her to pay $3,000 — $7.87 per song — for
> some 1980s ballads and Spice Girls tunes she downloaded for laughs in her dorm room.


Socialization has been the promise of the music industry for teenagers since the 1940s, justifying its sale of a cheap product at high prices through years of marketing portraying rock music as a way to socialize teenagers and introduce them to interaction with others (since they don't have exciting jobs, neurotic sex lives and life insurance to gab about like adults)."

User hostile.

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