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Books

100 Years of Copyright Hysteria 280

Posted by kdawson
from the frothy-mouths dept.
Nate Anderson pens a fine historical retrospective for Ars Technica: a look at 100 years of Big Content's fearmongering, in their own words. There was John Philip Sousa in 1906 warning that recording technology would destroy the US pastime of gathering around the piano to sing music ("What of the national throat? Will it not weaken? What of the national chest? Will it not shrink?"). There was the photocopier after World War II. There was the VCR in the 1970s, which a movie lobbyist predicted would result in tidal waves, avalanches, and bleeding and hemorrhaging by the music business. He compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler — in this scenario the US public was a woman home alone. Then home taping of music, digital audio tape, MP3 players, and Napster, each of which was predicted to lay waste to entire industries; and so on up to date with DVRs, HD radio, and HDTV. Anderson concludes with a quote from copyright expert William Patry in his book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars: "I cannot think of a single significant innovation in either the creation or distribution of works of authorship that owes its origins to the copyright industries."
Science

New Superconductor World Record Surpasses 250K 271

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the and-a-new-hobby-is-born dept.
myrrdyn writes to tell us that a new superconductivity record high of 254 Kelvin (-19C, -2F) has been recorded. According to the article this is the first time a superconductive state has been observed at a temperature comparable to a household freezer. "This achievement was accomplished by combining two previously successful structure types: the upper part of a 9212/2212C and the lower part of a 1223. The chemical elements remain the same as those used in the 242K material announced in May 2009. The host compound has the formula (Tl4Ba)Ba2Ca2Cu7Oy and is believed to attain 254K superconductivity when a 9223 structure forms"
Power

LG Presents Solar Powered E-Book 139

Posted by timothy
from the overcomes-my-battery-objection-at-least dept.
MikeChino writes "At first glance, e-readers offer a great set of benefits over paper-bound books – they’re light, versatile, and a great alternative to lugging around a tote full of dead tree tomes on your next trip. However these new reading mediums have one glaring fault — can you imagine the frustration of running out of juice mid-sentence and halfway through Infinite Jest? LG's new solar e-book aims to address this issue by harnessing the sun's rays to power its display. The device features a 10 centimeter wide thin-film photovoltaic panel that can power the reader for a full day's worth of reading after 4-5 hours spent sitting in the sun."
Programming

Ted Dziuba Says, "I Don't Code In My Free Time" 619

Posted by timothy
from the your-allotment-of-seconds-on-earth dept.
theodp writes "When he gets some free time away from his gigs at startup Milo and The Register, you won't catch Ted Dziuba doing any recreational programming. And he wouldn't want to work for a company that doesn't hire those who don't code in their spare time. 'You know what's more awesome than spending my Saturday afternoon learning Haskell by hacking away at a few Project Euler problems?' asks Dziuba. 'F***, ANYTHING.'"
Science

+ - Yale Physicists Measure 'Persistent Current'->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "Current processors rely on wires mere nanometers wide and Yale physicists have successfully measured a theoretical 'persistent current' that flows through them when they are formed into rings. They also predict that this will help us understand how electrons behave in metals — more specifically the quantum mechanical effect that influences how these electrons move through metals. Hopefully this work will shed new light on what dangers (or uses) quantum effects could have on classical processors as the inner workings shrink in size. The breakthrough was rethinking how to measure this theoretical effect as they previously relied on superconducting quantum interference devices to measure the magnetic field such a current would create — complicated devices that gave incorrect and inconsistent measurements. Instead, they turned to nothing but mechanical devices known as cantilevers ('little floppy diving boards with the nanometer rings sitting on top') that yielded them a shocking full magnitude of precision in their measurements."
Link to Original Source
Earth

Algae First To Recover After Asteroid Strike 86

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-keep-the-little-green-guys-down dept.
pickens writes "The asteroid that impacted earth 65 million years ago killed off dinosaurs, but microalgae bounced back from the global extinction in about 100 years or less. Julio Sepúlveda, a geochemist at MIT, studied the molecular remains of microorganisms by extracting organic residues from rocks dated to the K-T extinction (in this research referred to as Cretaceous-Paleogene), and his results show that the ocean algae community greatly shrunk in size but only for about a century. 'We found that primary production in this part of the ocean recovered extremely rapidly after the impact,' says Julio Sepúlveda. Algae leave certain signatures of organic compounds and isotopes of carbon and nitrogen; bacteria leave different signatures. In the earliest layers after the asteroid impact, the researchers found much evidence for bacteria but little for algae, suggesting that right after the impact, algae production was greatly reduced. But the chemical signs of algae start to increase immediately above this layer. A full recovery of the ocean ecosystem probably took about a million years, but the quick rebound of photosynthesizing algae seems to confirm models that suggest the impact delivered a swift, abrupt blow to the Earth's environment."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany 625

Posted by Soulskill
from the ach-mein-leben dept.
D1gital_Prob3 tips news that Activision's recently-released shooter, Wolfenstein, is being recalled in Germany due to the appearance of swastikas in the game. Such symbols are banned in Germany, and the German version of the game went through heavy editing to remove them. Apparently, they missed some. Activision said, "Although it is not a conspicuous element in the normal game ... we have decided to take this game immediately from the German market." Reader eldavojohn points out a review that has screenshot comparisons between the two versions of the game.
Sci-Fi

+ - SPAM: Prime Time Science Fiction Show on the Brink of Ca

Submitted by Thelasko
Thelasko (1196535) writes "ABC's Defying Gravity, a show billed as "Grey's Anatomy in space," is on the brink of being canceled. I can't say I'm surprised since today was the first time I had heard of the show. Is this another example of major networks shunning prime time science fiction?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Almost 500 ghost ships->

Submitted by acer123
acer123 (88528) writes "The biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history lies at anchor east of Singapore. Never before photographed, it is bigger than the U.S. and British navies combined but has no crew, no cargo and no destination. A couple of years ago those ships would have been steaming back and forth, going at full speed. But now you've got something like 12 per cent of the world's container ships doing nothing. Some experts believe the ratio of container ships sitting idle could rise to 25 per cent within two years."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Opera Brings Tabs and More to Mobile Browsing->

Submitted by leetrout
leetrout (855221) writes "Opera announced today that they are releasing a beta of their new mobile browser. Calling it "The next generation of mobile browsing", the new browser touts some great features including tabs, speed dial, touch screen and keypad optimization, and a password manager.

"In this fifth-generation version, Opera Mini is staying true to the company's promise of a superior Web experience on any device. Introducing a new, sleek look and feel, Speed Dial bookmarks and tabs — together with Opera's renowned speed — make this new version of Opera Mini the easiest-to-use Web browser on a phone. Simply direct your phone's existing Web browser to http://m.opera.com/next, and download the Opera Mini 5 beta free of charge."

"

Link to Original Source
Earth

Mafia Sinks Ships Containing Toxic Waste 401

Posted by Soulskill
from the beware-mutant-fish dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "For years there have been rumors that the mafia was sinking ships with nuclear and other waste on board as part of a money-making racket. Now, BBC reports on a sunken vessel that has been found 30km off the coast of Italy. Murky pictures taken by a robot camera show the vessel intact, and alongside it are a number of yellow barrels with labels indicating the contents are toxic. The ship's location was revealed by Francesco Fonti, an ex-member of Calabria's feared 'Ndrangheta crime group, who confessed to using explosives to sink this vessel and two others as part of an illegal operation to bypass rules on the disposal of toxic waste. Experts are now examining samples taken from the wreck, and an official says that if the samples prove to be radioactive then a search for up to 30 other sunken vessels believed scuttled by the mafia would begin immediately. 'The Mediterranean is 0.7 percent of the world's seas. If in this tiny portion there are more than 30 (toxic waste) shipwrecks, imagine what there could be elsewhere,' says Silvestro Greco, head of Calabria's environment agency."
Space

First Rocky Exoplanet Confirmed 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the yo-adrian dept.
Matt_dk writes "The confirmation of the nature of CoRoT-7b as the first rocky planet outside our Solar System marks a significant step forward in the search for Earth-like exoplanets. The detection by CoRoT and follow-up radial velocity measurements with HARPS suggest that this exoplanet has a density similar to that of Mercury, Venus, Mars and Earth, making it only the fifth known terrestrial planet in the Universe. The search for a habitable exoplanet is one of the holy grails in astronomy. One of the first steps towards this goal is the detection of terrestrial planets around solar-type stars. Dedicated programs, using telescopes in space and on ground, have yielded evidence for hundreds of planets outside of our Solar System. The majority of these are giant, gaseous planets, but in recent years small, almost Earth-mass planets have been detected, demonstrating that the discovery of Earth analogues — exoplanets with one Earth mass or one Earth radius orbiting a solar-type star at a distance of about 1 astronomical unit — is within reach."

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire

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