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Biotech

Submission + - Global Warming Causes Walrus Stampedes

davidwr writes: For Russian walruses, global warming kills.
This past Summer and Fall, walruses on the Russian side of the Bering Straight couldn't find enough ice so they hung back on the shoreline in very crowded conditions. When a predator or other surprise caused a rush to the water the animals stampeded, killing each other in numbers much higher than usual. Read more at Walruses Die; Global Warming Blamed [Associated Press].
Republicans

Submission + - GOP Congressman Blocking Links from Blogs->

An anonymous reader writes: Nebraska Republican Congressman Adrian Smith is putting up "404 Page Not Found" errors for any referring site on the "blogspot.com" domain. Smith's main critic is the Smith Watch blog, and this is likely an attempt to slow them down. The reaction of the Blogger.com techie who discovered it is priceless.
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It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - James Watson's Speech Blocked In A Race Row

bioluminescence writes: "Dr James Watson, who won the Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the structure of DNA, was due to speak at the venue on Friday. But the museum has cancelled the event, saying Dr Watson's views go "beyond the point of acceptable debate," reports BBC. "In an interview with The Sunday Times, the 79-year-old said he was 'inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa' because 'all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really'. He went on to say he hoped everyone was equal but that 'people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true'."
Censorship

Submission + - Nobel Bio Win: Blacks/Whites unequal intelligence

An anonymous reader writes: Okay, there is no way I am going to post this as anything other than an Anonymous Coward. James Watson, one of the three possibly greatest biologists since Darwin (Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin are the other two), thinks "there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples ... should prove to have evolved identically". He also states some other observations that are, at the very least, controversial. http://blogs.abcnews.com/scienceandsociety/2007/10/james-watson-dn.html

Anyway, when I submitted this, I was hoping that there would be a Section "Flamebait" and a Topic "Race" but because he IS a extremely famous scientist and this, at least, touches peripherally on his subject of expertise (as opposed to say William Shockley) I put it under the Section "Science". Secondly since at least one group has withdrawn an invitation for him to lecture, I put it under the Topic "Censorship".

So what do you think? (I'm sure we'll all know soon enough what you feel!).
Space

Submission + - Martian Volcanoes May Not Be Extinct->

ceoyoyo writes: "The Tharsis volcanoes on Mars show evidence they may have erupted within the last two million years and may still be dormant, not extinct. The three volcanoes also show evidence of erupting in a chain, much like the Hawaiian islands, with the southernmost showing the oldest lava flows and the northernmost the youngest. On Earth chains of volcanoes are produced when the crust moves over a magma plume in the mantle. On Mars, since there is no tectonic activity, the researchers theorized that the magma plumes themselves move under the fixed crust."
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Data Storage

Submission + - EU to ban leaded solder--Concern over tin whiskers->

MollyB writes: "A story on Yahoo notes: "First noticed in the 1940's, tin whiskers, or splinters have been known to cause circuit problems, especially on tin solder. From the article, "Now some electronics makers worry the destruction will be more widespread, and the dollar amounts more draining, as the European Union and governments around the world enact laws to eliminate the best-known defense — lead — from electronic devices. "The EU's decision was irresponsible and not based on sound science," said Joe Smetana, a principal engineer and tin whisker expert with French telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA. "We're solving a problem that isn't and creating a bunch of new ones." Further on, the controversy boils down to banning toxic metals outright, or using lead (for instance) -based solder sparingly to vastly reduce the potential for damage: "Trouble arises when the whiskers bridge separate parts of increasingly miniaturized circuit boards. They also can flake off and interfere with sensitive optics.""
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Music

Submission + - RIAA loses counterclaim lawsuit->

An anonymous reader writes: This is the case in which the Court had sustained 5 of the 6 counterclaims interposed by Ms. Del Cid.

The court sustained defendant's counterclaims for

-trespass to defendant's personal property based on the RIAA's having accessed files on Ms. Del Cid's computer without her permission,
-violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act based on the RIAA's unauthorized intrusion into defendant's computer,
-violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act,
-a declaratory judgment of non-infringement, and
-conspiracy to commit extortion, since defendant sufficiently alleged "a peculiar power of coercion possessed by Plaintiffs [by] virtue of their combination, which an individual alone would not possess".

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Novell

Submission + - Sun refuses LGPL code for Openoffice; Novell forks-> 1 1

TRS-80 writes: Kohei Yoshida wrote a long post on the history of Calc Solver, an optimization solver module for the Calc component of OpenOffice.org. After three years of jumping through Sun's hoops on his own time, Sun says it will duplicate the work because Kohei doesn't want to sign over ownership of the code. Adding insult to injury, Sun then invites him join this duplication. Because of Sun's refusal to accept LPGL extensions in the upstream code, Michael Meeks (who recently talked about Sun's OO.o community failings, and ODF and OOXML) has announced ooo-build (previously just for build fixes) is now a formal fork of OpenOffice to be located at http://go-oo.org/. Will Sun admit it's being a control freak or continue with pointless duplication?
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United States

Submission + - Texas Lawmakers Steal Votes-> 4 4

absentmindedjwc writes: "It appears lawmakers in Texas frequently walk around the house floor casting votes for members who are not at their seat. Some members are seen on video casting as many as 4 votes. One member goes on camera to justify this practice as necessary in order to allow fellow house members time for lunch and personal time.

Watch the video and determine for yourself if you think these people are doing this as a "favor" for their colleagues, or if they might just be stealing votes."

Link to Original Source
Privacy

Telecom Companies Seek Retroactive Immunity 177 177

kidcharles writes "Newsweek reports that a secretive lobbying campaign has been launched by telecommunications companies who are seeking retroactive immunity from private lawsuits over their cooperation with the NSA in the so-called 'terrorist surveillance program.' Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has claimed that lawsuits could 'bankrupt these companies.' The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over their cooperation in the domestic spying program. EFF legal director Cindy Cohen said of the lobbying campaign, 'They are trying to completely immunize this [the surveillance program] from any kind of judicial review. I find it a little shocking that Congress would participate in the covering up of what has been going on.'"
The Internet

Journal SPAM: When Net Neutrality Goes Away: The Internet as Cable TV

"Picture-worth-a-thousand-words Dept."
This informative InfoGraphic suggests the very real possibility of how tiered Internet pricing would work for residential customers, in the near future. Cory Doctrow, commenting on BoingBoing says: "I think that this is what it's really all about... where access to anything except

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.

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