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Submission + - 10,000 Shipping Containers Lost At Sea Each Year (

kkleiner writes: "Right now, as you read this, there are five or six million shipping containers on enormous cargo ships sailing across the world’s oceans. And about every hour, on average, one is falling overboard never to be seen again. It’s estimated that 10,000 of these large containers are lost at sea each year. This month the Monterray Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) sent a robotic sub to investigate a shipping container that was lost in the Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2004. What’s happened to the sunken shipment in the past seven years? It’s become a warren for a variety of aquatic life on the ocean floor, providing a new habitat for species that might otherwise not be attracted to the area."

Submission + - CryoEnergy Storage at 1/4 the Cost of Batteries (

An anonymous reader writes: One of the major issues with renewable energy technologies like solar and wind power is that energy generation tends to be intermittent — i.e. the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. Therefore, in order for such technologies to be capable of meeting our needs without the support of fossil fuels, we need to find effective and commercially viable ways to store energy. Highview Power Storage recently unveiled a new tech that holds great promise for energy storage — the CryoEnergy System (CES). CES takes excess energy generated and uses it to run refrigeration units which cool air down to a temperature of -196C (-320.8F), at which point it liquefies. The liquid air, also known as cryogen, can be stored in an insulated tank, and at times of peak-demand, when the direst output of existing energy sources cannot meet the demands of a power grid, this liquid air is released to generate energy.

Submission + - Restrictive APIs

mixednuts writes: I own a software company and we often build mobile applications that work with other line of business software. In one particular industry we have noticed an alarming trend where the vendor sells the customer an API, but restricts the software that can connect to it. As an example, if the client had in house development staff, which they almost never do, they can develop against the API, but they cannot engage a third party to develop apps for them that use the API. We've dealt with legal counsel several times when the customer tries to get us involved to develop an app for them, and in most cases back down because we don't have the resources to fight that kind of battle.
In most cases the vendors cite IP infringement saying that the API is their property, and in others they might allow third party developers but claim that any software that calls an API method automatically becomes open source — likely to prevent third parties from building for-profit software against their system.
I understand the case for SaaS models where they require registration and can restrict or throttle the usage, but I think the IP claim is bogus since we aren't using any copyright material such as an SDK or library. I also can't see how they can enforce any type of derivative work licensing on the API since, by it's nature, you don't embed any copyrighted code into the software that calls the API.
So what do you think Slasdotters, can an exposed API method be considered IP, and do you think these companies have any legal ground to restrict the customer's use of their API?

Submission + - Friends Don't Let Geek Friends Do Finance

theodp writes: If Vivek Wadhwa remade Pinocchio, instead of The Coachman luring naughty boys to Pleasure Island to engage in mischievous behavior and be transformed into donkeys, you might find Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein luring bright engineering grads to Wall Street to, well, engage in mischievous behavior and be transformed into, well, asses. While the practice of poaching engineering talent slowed after the economy tanked in 2008, Wadhwa is dismayed to report that thanks to hundred-billion-dollar taxpayer bailouts, investment banks have recovered and gone back to their old, greedy ways, snagging engineering grads who might otherwise solve the world's problems, making them financial offers they can't refuse, and morphing them into quants, investment bankers and management consultants. 'Not only are the investment banks siphoning off hundreds of billions of dollars from our economy with financial gimmicks like CDOs,' writes Wadhwa, 'they are using our best engineering graduates [25% of MIT grads in '06] to help them do it. This is the talent that our country has invested so much resource in producing.' He concludes: 'Let's save the world by keeping our engineers out of finance. We need them to, instead, develop new types of medical devices, renewable energy sources, and ways for sustaining the environment and purifying water, and to start companies that help America keep its innovative edge.' Amen, but how 'ya gonna keep 'em down on the Engineering farm after they've seen Wall Street?

Submission + - Using the Open Records Law to Intimidate Critics ( 4

Layzej writes: On March 15 Professor Bill Cronon posted his first blog. The subject was the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in influencing recent legislation in this state and across the country. Less than two days later his university received a communication formally requesting under the states Open Records Law copies of all emails he sent or received pertaining to matters raised in the blog.

Remarkably, the request was sent to the universities legal office by Stephan Thompson of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, with no effort to obscure the political motivations behind it. In a recent editorial the New York Times notes that demanding copies of e-mails and other documents is the latest technique used by conservatives to silence critics.


Submission + - Google Starts Testing Google Music Internally (

Krystalo writes: Google employees have begun testing Google Music internally. Talks with at least some of the top publishers and four largest record labels are still ongoing. The delays are largely due to the fact that Google is negotiating for cloud music rights and not just the authorization to distribute the songs themselves. The search giant wants to be able to store users' existing music libraries on the company's servers. Labels are in similar discussions with Apple.

Submission + - Judge to US Gov't: Don't Use Microsoft's Cloud (

jfruhlinger writes: A judge has granted an injunction stopping the US Department of the Interior from moving forward with the adoption of Microsoft's cloud services ... an injunction sought by Google, which of course has its own suite of cloud offerings. Google claimed that the Interior Dept. failed to consider other options as required.

Submission + - Looking for a good news source on the web

schklerg writes: I have been looking for a good news (non-techie) RSS feed that gives at least somewhat unbiased news coverage and leaves out the tabloid garbage. Does such a resource exist? Where do you go for a good "World News" type of feed?

Submission + - Dark energy/dark matter may be calculation error (

An anonymous reader writes: Errors in the way physicists estimate the effects of dark matter and dark energy on the leftover heat from the Big Bang has thrown their existence into doubt, say British scientists.

Submission + - SCO Asked O'Gara to Smear Groklaw (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "PJ of Groklaw has found some really interesting documents coming out of the never-ending SCO trial. Specifically, in SCO v. Novell, SCO doesn't want the jury to find out about the email Blake Stowell (then a PR guy for SCO) sent to Maureen O'Gara that asked her to 'send a jab PJ's way.' For those who don't remember that far back in the SCO saga, the 'jab' was when O'Gara wrote an inaccurate, rambling and irrelevant 'exposé' on PJ which got O'Gara fired for violating journalistic ethics after angry readers complained to the publisher—an act which caused Ms. O'Gara to tell SCO, 'I want war pay.' For those wondering how they can keep going after that final judgment against SCO over a year ago. It's hard to do the saga justice without glossing over everything, but the short version is that SCO ran to bankruptcy after they were mostly dead, but before becoming completely dead. That automatically stopped all the cases against SCO due to standard bankruptcy court rules, then SCO effectively re-litigated a bunch of issues via bankruptcy court rules. Currently, they're accusing Novell of 'slander of title' over copyrights that two different courts have ruled that SCO does not own, and we're waiting to see if a jury will reach the same conclusion. They're also trying to use the company's lawsuits as assets and to sell them to various SCO insiders so that the legal wranglings can continue even if nothing is left of SCO. From the very start, SCO has always been the type to fight dirty."

Submission + - Microsoft says Google acts raise antitrust issues 2

An anonymous reader writes: Oh ... the irony: Microsoft Corp made its most vehement and public attack on Google Inc on Friday, calling its internet rival's actions potentially anti-competitive, and urging victims to file complaints to regulators.The broadside comes days after a Microsoft-owned business, along with two other small online companies, complained to European Union regulators about Google's operations there. Microsoft is also fighting a plan by Google to digitize millions of books, currently under scrutiny by the Department of Justice.

Submission + - The (Involuntary) Unification of Linux ( 1

jbChrisLAS writes: A look back over the last few years of Desktop Linux usage shows stunning trends that would seem to indicate a process of natural selection for desktop Linux, one that's leading to a unified Linux Desktop.

Submission + - Man HIV Free 2 Years After Stem Cell Treatment (

kkleiner writes: According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, a stem cell transplant performed in Germany has unexpectedly removed all signs of HIV from a 42 year old American patient. The unnamed white male was treated two years ago for Leukemia with a dose of donor stem cells and his HIV RNA count has dropped to zero and remained there since. While the treatment was for Leukemia, Dr. Gero Hutter and colleagues at the Charite Universitatsmedizen in Berlin had selected the stem cell donor for his HIV resistant genes. While there are still many questions unanswered, this is the first such case of stem cells treating HIV that has been reported in a NEJM-caliber publication.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What's up with Bluetooth? 1

willoughby writes: If I go to the Logitech website & check out wireless mouses I see 12 wireless of which 2 are Bluetooth. At the Kensington website there are 17 wireless mouses but only 2 are Bluetooth. Obviously I haven't kept up with wireless technologies but I thought Bluetooth was developed mainly with mouses & keyboards in mind. Are manufacturers shunning the technology or are users avoiding it? Are there problems with Bluetooth devices which a shopper should be aware of?

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus