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Earth

1/3 of Amphibians Dying Out 467

Posted by kdawson
from the world-without-frogs dept.
Death Metal sends in a Scientific American article reporting that 2,000 of 6,000 amphibian species are endangered worldwide. A combination of environmental assaults, including global warming, seems to be responsible. "... national parks and other areas protected from pollution and development are providing no refuge. The frogs and salamanders of Yellowstone National Park have been declining since the 1980s, according to a Stanford University study, as global warming dries out seasonal ponds, leaving dried salamander corpses in their wake. Since the 1970s, nearly 75 percent of the frogs and other amphibians of La Selva Biological Station in Braulio Carrillo National Park in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica have died, perhaps due to global warming. But the really bad news is that amphibians may be just the first sign of other species in trouble. Biologists at the University of California, San Diego, have shown that amphibians are the first to respond to environmental changes, thanks to their sensitivity to both air and water. What goes for amphibians may soon be true of other classes of animal, including mammals."
Television

Sci-Fi Channel Merging TV Show with MMO 216

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the lord-british-unavailable-for-comment dept.
Erik J writes "In a fairly bold (and quite possibly stupid) move, the Sci-Fi Channel has announced plans to use missions and campaigns of players in their own developed MMO to shape and guide a new 'ongoing' television show. They hope to have the project up and ready to air by 2010, as they work with game developer Trion World Network to create 'the ultimate merging of the TV and gaming mediums.'"
Space

Making War On Light Pollution 437

Posted by kdawson
from the if-i-could-save-time-in-a-bortle dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Almost thirty years ago I worked in the Middle East helping install a nationwide communications system and had the opportunity to be part of a team doing microwave link tests across Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter. Something I've never forgotten were the astonishing nights I spent in the desert hundreds of miles from the nearest city where the absence of light made looking at the sky on a moonless night feel like you were floating in the middle of the galaxy. In Galileo's time, nighttime skies all over the world would have merited the darkest Bortle ranking, Class 1. Today, the sky above New York City is Class 9 and American suburban skies are typically Class 5, 6, or 7. The very darkest places in the continental United States today are almost never darker than Class 2, and are increasingly threatened. Read a story from the New Yorker on what we have lost to light pollution and how some cities are adopting outdoor lighting standards to save the darkness."
GNU is Not Unix

GPL Hindering Two-Way Code Sharing? 456

Posted by kdawson
from the thank-you-and-goodbye dept.
An anonymous reader writes "KernelTrap has some fascinating coverage of the recent rift between the OpenBSD developers and the Linux kernel developers. Proponents of the GPL defend their license for enforcing that their code can always be shared. However in the current debate the GPL is being added to BSD-licensed code, thereby preventing it from being shared back with the original authors of the code. Thus, a share-and-share-alike license is effectively preventing two-way sharing." We discussed an instance of this one-way effect a few days back.

Microsoft to Turn to Driver Quality Ratings System 333

Posted by samzenpus
from the four-stars dept.
QT writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Microsoft is finally trying to do something about PC driver problems. A new crash-report-driven Driver Quality Rating system will be used in Windows Vista to rate drivers. Drivers that rate poorly in real world use by users will lose their logo certification status, which would be bad news for OEMs and the device manufacturers themselves. Maybe now submitting crash reports will feel more useful? This is long overdue."

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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