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+ - UK ISPs to send non-threatening letters to pirates->

Submitted by echo-e
echo-e (47269) writes "A deal has been made between groups representing content creators and ISPs in the UK concerning how the ISPs should respond to suspected illegal file sharers. In short, the ISPs will send letters or emails with an "educational" rather than threatening tone, alerting users to legal alternatives. The rights holders will be notified of the number of such alerts that have been sent out, but only the ISPs will know the identity of the offenders. Only four of the UKs ISPs have agreed to the "Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme" so far, but the remaining ISPs are expected to join the programme at a later stage. The debate between rights holders and ISPs has raged on for years. This agreement falls short of the of the proposals put forward by the rights holders groups, but the ISPs have argued that it is not their responsibility to police users and that a legal process already exists for going after individuals."
Link to Original Source

+ - First Details of Chinese Spacecraft's Asteroid Encounter

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Chinese aerospace engineers have revealed, for the first time, details about their Chang’e-2 spacecraft’s encounter with the asteroid Toutatis last month. They have plenty to boast of: The asteroid flyby wasn’t part of the original flight plan, but engineers adapted the mission and navigated the satellite through deep space.

Exactly how close Chang'e-2 came to Toutatis is still unclear. The article states that the first reports “placed the flyby range at 3.2 km, which was astonishingly—even recklessly—tight. Passing within a few kilometers of an asteroid only 2 to 3 km in diameter at a speed of 10 730 meters per second could be described as either superb shooting or a near disaster.” If the Chinese spacecraft did pass that near, it could provide a “scientific bonanza” with data about the asteroid’s mass and composition."

+ - Quantum physics explanation for smell->

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "The theory that our sense of smell has its basis in quantum physics events is gaining traction, say researchers.

The idea remains controversial, but scientists reporting at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, are slowly unpicking how it could work.

The key, they say, is tiny packets of energy, or quanta, lost by electrons.

Experiments using tiny wires show that as electrons move on proteins within the nose, odor molecules could absorb these quanta and thereby be detected.

If the theory is right, by extending these studies, an "electronic nose" superior to any chemical sensor could be devised.

In 1996, Luca Turin, now of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, suggested that the "vibrational modes" of an odorant were its signature.

Molecules can be viewed as a collection of atoms on springs, and energy of just the right frequency — a quantum — can cause the spring to vibrate.

Since different assemblages of molecules have different characteristic frequencies, Turin proposed, these vibrations could act as a molecular signature.

The idea has been debated in the scientific literature, but presentations at the American Physical Society meeting put the theory on firmer footing.

Most recently, Dr Turin published a paper showing that flies can distinguish between molecules that are chemically similar but in which a heavier version of hydrogen had been substituted."

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Super Principia Mathematica 325

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This is not an ordinary book and extraordinary would still be an understatement. Robert Louis Kemp has built a plateau of quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D.) in math, physics and logic; defined as his Super Principia Mathematica. Beyond brilliant, Kemp has worked on his book for over two decades, sacrificing personal comfort and financial security to laboriously bring to fruition his textbook style, hardback, expertly illustrated principles to the understanding level prevailed by most people. By 'most people' he means those who have a basic understanding of mathematics, geometry, algebra, calculus, physics and most importantly possessing the curiosity to learn." Read on for the rest of Gary's review.

Comment: Re:My take (Score 1) 337

by echo-e (#33134904) Attached to: Oscilloscopes For Modern Engineers?

You want to get the most scope for your money, but like any good tool, you want it to last a long time, so expect to pay out a bit more for quality and performance. I purchased a LeCroy WaveJet after graduation, and it still meets all my needs. The only thing I don't like about it is the noisy fan. LeCroy's WaveJet line does a quite well with packing a lot of feature into a reasonably priced scope. Tek and Agilent don't really have a product comparable to the WaveJet - it sits right between the low end and mid range products from these companies. Having said that, if you can afford a mid range scope from Agilent, they are great - the fastest and most responsive (digital) scopes I've ever used. On the Tek end of things, they still make the most user friendly and solidly built scopes out there - I feel like I could knock a Tek scope off my desk, and it would still work perfectly when I pick it up off the floor.

All things considered, I think you should try to double your budget - $2k just isn't enough to make a future-proof investment. With the way electronics is evolving, I wouldn't consider buying a scope with less than 200MHz bandwidth and a deep memory (at least 500kpts).


UN Officials Remove Poster Mentioning Chinese Firewall 409

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-spell-hypocricy dept.
At a UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum in Egypt, anti-censorship group Open Net Initiative was startled by a demand from UN officials to remove a poster mentioning Chinese Net censorship. When ONI refused the request, security personnel arrived and took away the poster. The group was promoting a new book, Access Controlled, a survey of Internet censorship, filtering, and online surveillance. A witness said, "The poster was thrown on the floor and we were told to remove it because of the reference to China and Tibet. We refused, and security guards came and removed it. The incident was witnessed by many." Here is a video of the removal.

Doing Internet Searches Boosts Older Brains 65

Posted by kdawson
from the you-are-what-you-search dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Medical News Daily reports that researchers have found signs of enhanced neural stimulation in parts of the brain that control decision-making and reasoning when they scanned the brains of middle-aged and older first-time Internet users after only seven days of performing Internet searches. 'We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,' says Dr Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. At the start of the study, the participants performed Internet searches while the researchers took fMRI scans of their brains to track changes in blood flow in the brain and record subtle changes in neural activity. After practicing searching the Internet for 7 days over 2 weeks at home, the brains of the Internet novices showed activity in the same regions as before, but this time there was new activity in the middle frontal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus, the parts of the brain that are important for working memory and decision-making. 'You can exercise your mind by using the Internet, but it depends on how it's used,' adds Small. 'If you get hooked on gambling or eBay shopping, that may not be positive.'"

Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan 515

Posted by kdawson
from the genetic-papers-please dept.
cremeglace writes "Scientists are dismayed and outraged at a new project by the UK border agency to test DNA, hair, and nails to determine the nationality of asylum seekers and help decide if they can enter the UK. 'Horrifying,' 'naive,' and 'flawed' are among the words geneticists and isotope specialists have used to describe the 'Human Provenance pilot project.' The methods being used to determine ancestry include fingerprinting of mitochondrial DNA and isotope analysis of hair and nails. ScienceInsider blog notes that it is 'not clear who is conducting the DNA and isotope analyses for the Border Agency,' and that the agency has not 'cited any scientific papers that validate its DNA and isotope methods.' There is also a followup post with more information on the tests that are being used, and some reactions from experts in genetic forensic analysis. This story was first reported in The Observer on Sunday."

Birdsong Studies Lead To a Revolution In Biology 117

Posted by kdawson
from the growing-a-new-one dept. covers research that began with the study of birdsong and ended by overturning the common belief that adult animals can't produce new brain cells. "Deconstructing birdsong may seem an unlikely way to shake up biology. But [Fernando] Nottebohm's research has shattered the belief that a brain gets its quota of nerve cells shortly after birth and stands by helplessly as one by one they die — a 'fact' drummed into every schoolkid's skull. [Nottebohm] demonstrated two decades ago that the brain of a male songbird grows fresh nerve cells in the fall to replace those that die off in summer. The findings were shocking, and scientists voiced skepticism that the adult human brain had the same knack for regeneration. ... Yet, inspired by Nottebohm's work, researchers went on to find that other adult animals — including human beings — are indeed capable of producing new brain cells. And in February, scientists reported for the first time that brand-new nerves in adult mouse brains appeared to conduct impulses — a finding that addressed lingering concerns that newly formed adult neurons might not function."

"Right To Repair" Bill Advances In Massachusetts 478

Posted by kdawson
from the not-open-source-but-it's-a-step dept.
Wannabe Code Monkey sends along an article from the Patriot Ledger about an effort in Massachusetts to pass a "Right to Repair" bill. "Since the advent of congressionally mandated computers in vehicles more than 15 years ago (for emissions), cars have evolved into complex machines that are no longer just mechanical. Computers now monitor and control most systems in the car from brakes to tire pressure and all the electronics and engine fluids... [and] car manufacturers continue to hold back on some of the information that your mechanic needs in order to properly repair your car and reset your codes and warning lights... Massachusetts is now poised to solve this problem and car-driving consumers should pay attention this fall when the Massachusetts Legislature takes up landmark legislation that would force manufacturers to respect the right of consumers to access their own repair information. The legislation, known as Right to Repair, is seen by car manufacturers as a threat to the lucrative service business in their dealerships and they are massing their lobbyists on Beacon Hill in an effort to defeat it."

An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.