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Submission + - 6th Circuit Rules Email Search Requires Warrant (

DarkVader writes: Fourth Amendment Protects E-Mail From Warrantless Government Surveillance, Federal Court Rules The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled in United States v. Warshak that the government cannot search email stored on a commercial ISP server without a warrant, and has ruled portions of the Stored Communications Act of 1986 that declare email left on an ISP server longer than six months to be "abandoned porperty" as unconstitutional as applied to searches of email.

Submission + - Internet Petitions Stephen Colbert To Hold 'Restor (

jamie writes: "A grassroots campaign has begun to get Stephen Colbert to hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to counter Glenn Beck's recent "Restoring Honor" event. The would-be rally has been dubbed "Restoring Truthiness" and was inspired by a recent post on Reddit, where a young woman wondered if the only way to point out the absurdity of the Tea Party's rally would be if Colbert mirrored it with his own "Colbert Nation.""

Best OSS CFD Package For High School Physics? 105

RobHart writes "I am teaching a 'physics of flight' unit to grade 11 Physics students. Part of the unit will have the students running tests on several aerofoils in a wind tunnel. I also want to expose them to a Computational Fluid Dynamics package which will allow them to contrast experimental results with those produced by the CFD package. There are a number of open source CFDs available (Windows- or Linux-based are both fine), but I don't have much time to evaluate which are the simplest to use in terms of setting up the mesh, initial conditions, etc. — a very important issue as students do not have much time in this unit." Can anyone offer insight about ease of use for programs in this niche?

Submission + - Britain's BPI goes after Google -- with US DMCA ! ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The BPI, the RIAA's UK counterpart, has gone up against the Holiest of Holies, American online advertising conglomerate Google, says Chilling Effects. The BPI contributed to the British government's Digital Ecomy bill, complete with its ACTA Three Strikes and you're Off The Net element, with hardly a murmur from the UK lamescream media. Now Chilling Effects quotes a missive directed at Gargle by the BPI. It states, in part, "We have identified the following links that are available via Google's search engine, and request the following links be removed as soon as possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by our members ... " And what's even more interesting is: this British 'trade' outfity is using the American DMCA to attack Google. Can it do that?

Minnesota Introduces World's First Carbon Tariff 303

hollywoodb writes "The first carbon tax to reduce the greenhouse gases from imports comes not between two nations, but between two states. Minnesota has passed a measure to stop carbon at its border with North Dakota. To encourage the switch to clean, renewable energy, Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012 ... Minnesota has been generally pushing for cleaner power within its borders, but the utility companies that operate in MN have, over the past decades, sited a lot of coal power plants on the relatively cheap and open land of North Dakota, which is preparing a legal battle against Minnesota over the tariff."

Submission + - LED Bulbs Lifecycle Energy Costs Calculated ( 1

necro81 writes: The NY Times is reporting that a new report from Osram, a major lighting manufacturer, has calculated the total lifecycle energy costs of LED lightbulbs and found that they are approximately 20% that of incandescents. While it is well known that LED bulbs use a fraction of the energy of incandescents to produce the same amount of light, it has been unproven if the higher manufacturing energy costs made the technology a net gain. The study found that manufacturing and distribution energy costs of all lightbulb technologies is only about 2% of their total lifetime energy cost — a tiny fraction of the energy used to produce light.

Comment Re:Sales Tax (Score 1) 272

I believe if Walmart wanted to, they could either offer postal deliver (within 2 days) or even home delivery. Their distribution model is second to none, however,they're offering the lower price. This lower price can entice you pick it up at their store, while there you may remember some other things that you wanted to buy.

Comment Re:Heathrow (Score 1) 1095

The food is good *so long as you stay in the cities and towns*.

Try eating at some small village pub in the middle of nowhere and you will be served Chicken L'Orange swimming in the most disgusting lake of liquid grease you've ever seen. I should have just ordered bangers and mash. True story.

However, the food is good in London itself. And in Jedburgh (on the A68 near the English-Scottish border), there is (or was) a wonderful little restaurant, with a fine selection of wines, whose head chef is (or was) a tiny, young Scottish woman with bright blond spiky hair. The meal was excellent. Wish I could remember the name of the place.

The upshot is, as long as you're in London or a largish town, the food is good. Even excellent.

(As an aside, I told my greasy chicken l'orange tale of woe to an englishman on a flight once, and he tried to convince me that I could find fare just as bad in the french countryside [i.e. away from the cities and towns]. I'm not sure I believe him - I've heard a great deal about "the ordinary excellence of the everyday french cook". I'm looking forward to testing his hypothesis one day!)

Comment Re:It's not that simple (Score 1) 978

Second major weight loss is from 108kg to 94kg. It's still ongoing, with the final goal being 80kg again. This time I didn't want to loose muscle, so joined the local gym and took professional advise.

You know what I do? Play squash once or twice a week.

Seriously, I don't get all these people paying a fucking fortune to join a gym and get 'professional advice' when there's a sport out there that effectively exercises just about every muscle in your body, intensely, for an hour, as well as giving your heart a good workout. And, it's fun to play. And, it's a damn sight cheaper than a gym.

Go play squash, people. You'll enjoy it!

Comment Re:Teach 'em something useful (Score 1) 256

Digging into programming microcontrollers will be a stretch for a lot of your students at that grade (though admittedly I don't know what programming interfaces the devices mentioned use... If it's straightforward enough, go for it).

Programming a pic using C or assembly probably would be torture, an arduino using python not so much. I think it'd be awesome, and could actually be useful if any of the kids become engineers. Many (probably most) of the EE/CompE senior projects require at least some level of microcontroller programming, and most students are just woefully unprepared, and most of the CS students at my school have never done any real hardware programming; Some exposure on the high school level could be really beneficial to the kids who think they want to go into tech fields and those that don't. And blinky LED projects are always fun (I was so excited I got it working in my lab 'cause I'd never done any pic programming before.)

Comment Re:biotech rocks (Score 1) 197

for most of the people who object to GM crops, some previously incurable disease is a much larger problem than food supply

GM crops aren't going to solve hunger. There is more than enough food grown to feed everyone even without GM. The problem is with economics and greed.

My only beef against GM crops is I don't think one should be able to patent a life form.

Comment Why do people keep thinking (Score 1, Insightful) 220

that life requires carbon or water? Life on Earth does, but that's just because our planet happens to have a temperature which allows for liquid water, a large amount of water and an atmosphere which is 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. We have 4.5 billion years of experience with this kind of life but absolutely nothing in terms of any other form of life.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg