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+ - SPAM: engineer jailed over £58,000 stolen kit

Submitted by viralMeme
viralMeme (1461143) writes "An engineer who sold £58,000 of kit stolen from the UK's National Air Traffic Control Centre on eBay to pay off a credit card debt was jailed for 15 months on Monday ..

The judge discounted defence arguments that Woffinden had wiped the information after hearing that the accused lacked the requisite skills to do the job properly, the Daily Mirror reports."

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+ - HT Superconductors to build Grid Interconnect->

Submitted by physburn
physburn (1095481) writes "Some big and cold is appearing in Clovis, New Mexico. Somewhere in a triangle between, Roswell (UFO), Alberqueue (Left Turn), and Armillo (Do you know the way), a 22.5 square mile, a triangle of High Temperature Superconductor pipeline is to be build. Each leg of the triangle can carry 5GW of electricity. The purpose to load balance and sell electricity between America's three power grids. Previously the Eastern Grid, Western Grid and Texan Grid have been seperate, preventing cheap electricity being sold from one end of America to the other. The Tres Amiga Superstation as it is to be called, will final contact the three grids. The superstation is also design to link renewable solar and wind power in the Grids, and is to use HTS wire from American Superconductor. Some 23 years after its invention today is day HTS came of age.
came of age."

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Games

+ - Games For Windows Live: Still Not Cutting It->

Submitted by
Thomas Cross
Thomas Cross writes "Games for Windows Live was and is a peculiar endeavor, even for a giant company like Microsoft. It has attempted (and continues to attempt) to provide a suite of mostly redundant services to PC gamers and PC users. From match-making to messaging to voice-chat, most of GFWL’s vaunted “services” are incredibly easy to come by on a PC. Even when they aren't, Microsoft's ham-handed implementation serves as a major road block to many. In the age of Stardock and Steam, GFWL is aging badly."
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+ - Dyson unveils fan-less desk fan->

Submitted by CNETNate
CNETNate (1469133) writes "James Dyson — British creator of the Dyson vacuum cleaners — has shown off his latest invention: a hollow 10-inch desk fan that uses no blades to pump out air. Dyson's PR department has done a smashing job of getting some of the biggest news sites in Britain to simply quote from the press release, but the technical innovation behind the Dyson Air Multiplier fan is intriguing. But one question remains: why has this been launched in the fall?"
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+ - Yahoo Settles Advertiser Class Action->

Submitted by gateur
gateur (840898) writes "After years of fighting, Yahoo has finally agreed to settle a class action suit filed for their resale of click advertising to disreputable sites. As expected, Yahoo claims they have settled only to move past the matter and refuses to admit to their unsavory past actions. As one of those members of the class who lost thousands of dollars to click fraud promoted by Yahoo through their partner sites, I wonder whether the $4 million they must pay the law firm will cause them to mend their ways. After all, the loss of a sufficient number of advertisers to make their ad platform financially viable didn't seem to do the trick."
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+ - SPAM: Will technology change sex?

Submitted by destinyland
destinyland (578448) writes "In the future, "Conventional sex will likely persist...but only as a small subset of a much larger space of pleasurable activities which have been deliberately engineered," according to the futurist magazine H+. They asked radical techs (including the legendary Ray Kurzweil) to describe futuristic "sex after the Singularity", discovering visions of a "post-neurological brain" and "more complex activities that generate even more pleasure and connection between people." The CTO of FutureMax even suggests "The primary purpose of the Singularity will be seen, after the fact, to be Awesome Sex," and concludes: "I love the future. Bring it on.""
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Comment: Re:WTF (Score 3, Insightful) 349

by dlthomas (#29341961) Attached to: Placebos Are Getting More Effective

That guy misses the point.

There is an apparent change here, evidenced by the fact that new tests of old drugs are giving poorer relative results while giving similar absolute results.

It may be due to better testing methods. It may be that there was fraud in the earlier tests which has been gradually weeded out. It may be that people in studies are culturally more eager to please and so are (consciously or unconsciously) making larger lifestyle changes when they enter the study. It may be (as stipulated in TFA) an increased confidence in pharmacology leading to a larger impact of those "other less clear and tangible effects" that PalMD nods to. It is not simply representative of the failure of pharma to find worthwhile new drugs - the fact that old drugs wouldn't pass muster puts the lie to that. What is interesting is that standards have implicitly risen, and no one understands why. This is news, this is interesting, and this should be investigated.

Comment: Re:Like any partially treated wart (Score 1) 275

by dlthomas (#29320561) Attached to: MPAA Pushes Once Again To Close the Analog Hole

IMHO, a better strategy is a short, definite length (say, 14 years - the original maximum term?).

My reasoning is that we can therefore look at something that says "(C) 1994" and know that it's out of copyright, and something that says "(C) 1996" and know it's not (unless the author's placed it in the public domain earlier).

Comment: Re:Like any partially treated wart (Score 1) 275

by dlthomas (#29320515) Attached to: MPAA Pushes Once Again To Close the Analog Hole

They aren't bound by law to take the job in the first place. If they feel their duty to the shareholders in their position is requiring them to act unethically, they should quit. Their duty to the shareholders cannot require them to act illegally (although they may be replaced if they don't, in a lax regulatory climate).

Comment: Re:hire a lawyer IS a practicle step. (Score 1) 221

by dlthomas (#29320495) Attached to: How To Survive a Patent Challenge?

But if you know of a vaguely related patent, and in your expert opinion deem it to be unrelated, you're placing yourself at the mercy of the court - if they decide differently, you're liable for treble damages.

My understanding is that the "correct" thing to do is to hire a lawyer, before you set about inventing anything. Have them do a thorough search, and never look at any patents yourself until they expire.

Of course, this means that inventing anything costs at least the price of a patent lawyer, shutting out the small players - which is why patents should only apply to industries where the cost of research is so high that it dwarfs the price of the patent lawyer (so, y'know, NOT SOFTWARE) and probably not a few other areas as well.

Comment: Re:Story meaning? (Score 2, Insightful) 313

by dlthomas (#29320191) Attached to: How 136 People Became 7 Million Illegal File-Sharers

It does not "obviously" amount to theft. It *is* illicit, and it may be immoral (see Free Rider Problem), but it is not theft. If I steal 10 M&Ms from you, you have 10 fewer M&Ms - not the case if I download your song, in which case you have less than you otherwise would have *if and only if* I would otherwise have paid for it. This clearly is not the case for, say, college students with tens of thousands of dollars "worth" of media on their hard drive.

As for legal uses of "file-sharing" technologies, well - how about the entire world-wide web? We're sharing files...

Specifically P2P file-sharing technologies? Linux ISOs and WoW updates, to name two common legal uses.

Finally, I for one have an emotional reaction to assertions that technology should be restricted unless I can make you understand what it is for - and I don't even personally use any P2P software at the moment.

Robotics

+ - Super-Smart AI Will Need to be Super-Motivated Too->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Neurobiologist Ed Boyden has an article in Technology Review discussing the potential pitfalls of creating a super-intelligent artificial intelligence without also building in some sort of motivation. Most visions of a Technological Singularity are concerned purely with creating highly intelligent machines, but Boyden worries that such machines might quickly realize the futility of existence and "decide to play video games for the remainder of its existence". From the article: "Intelligence, as commonly defined, isn't enough to impact the world all by itself. The ability to pursue a goal doggedly against obstacles, ignoring the grimness of reality (sometimes even to the point of delusion--i.e., against intelligence), is also important. Most science-fiction stories prefer their artificial intelligences to be extremely motivated to do things--for example, enslaving or wiping out humans, if The Matrix and Terminator II have anything to say on the topic. But I find just as plausible the robot Marvin, the superintelligent machine from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, who used his enormous intelligence chiefly to sit around and complain, in the absence of any big goal"."
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Power

+ - How to Build a Low Power Home Server?

Submitted by thetartanavenger
thetartanavenger (1052920) writes "My home server is at the end of it's tether and in desperate need of an upgrade, but this time I'm wanting to do it right. All it does is act as a file server and a few other low-usage daemons so processing power is not important here. As it's an always on server I'd like to minimize it's power usage as much as possible, at the very least when not in use, so I was wondering in which direction the community would recommend to do so. Expandability is essential so a large number of SATA ports are a must but other than that what hardware would you go for?"

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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