writes "A group of Harvard students, frustrated by the university’s refusal to shed fossil fuel stocks from its investment portfolios, is looking beyond protests and resolutions to a new form of pressure: the courts.
The seven law students and undergraduates filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts against the president and fellows of Harvard College, among others, for what they call “mismanagement of charitable funds.” The 11-page complaint, with 167 pages of supporting exhibits, asks the court to compel divestment on behalf of the students and “future generations.”"Link to Original Source
Presto Vivace (882157)
writes "Mystery of missing News Corp votes
A Saudi prince, a disappearing share bloc and an upset voting result has produced the first serious threat to the Murdoch family’s future control of News Corporation and 21st Century Fox. ... So what happened to the missing shares in the proposal to abolish the two classes? .
The 87.6 million shares voted against the proposal was 4.3 million shares short of the Murdoch/Alwaleed total. The result was a terrifyingly close margin for a family that has not faced a serious threat to its control in 60 years. .
Two theories have emerged in the confusing aftermath of the annual meeting to explain the missing shares..
First, that it was a stuff up. Prince Alwaleed’s executives ticked the Approve box on every proposal and didn’t realise they needed to oppose the share classes resolution. Implausibly, this means News Corp executives who knew the proxy numbers didn’t pick up the phone to call their firmest supporter to ask what was going on. The result was a shambles..
Alternatively, Prince Alwaleed split his vote, with a majority supporting the Murdochs, with whom he could still say he had kept faith in, but a significant stake opposing them..
Whatever the reason, there is no mistaking the message from shareholders.
Excluding the Murdoch and Alwaleed stock, less than 24 per cent of shareholders voted for Rupert Murdoch to remain on the News board, part of an across-the-board vote against directors by institutions.
writes "Regardless of party affiliation, I think this is probably one thing most of us on Slashdot can applaud:
"Link to Original Source
Republicans are about to take control of the US Senate. And when they do, one of the big items on their agenda will be the fight against patent trolls.
In a Wednesday speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) outlined a proposal to stop abusive patent lawsuits. "Patent trolls – which are often shell companies that do not make or sell anything – are crippling innovation and growth across all sectors of our economy," Hatch said.
Anita Hunt (lissnup) (2913179)
writes "In offering Detekt — a new tool to help identify government surveillance spyware on computers — for download from its website, is "non-government" organisation Amnesty International crossing a line into "anti-government" behaviour? How might this impact Amnesty's credibility when engaging with government on human rights issues?"Link to Original Source
writes "The cost of rooftop solar-powered electricity will be on par with prices of coal-powered energy and other conventional sources in all 50 U.S. states in just two years, a leap from today where PV energy has price parity in only 10 states, according to Deutsche Bank's leading solar industry analyst. The sharp decline in solar energy costs is the result of increased economies of scale leading to cheaper photovoltaic panels, new leasing models and declining installation costs, Deutsche Bank's Vishal Shah stated in a recent report. The cost of solar-generated electricity in the top 10 states for capacity ranges from 11-15 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh), compared to the retail electricity price of 11-37 c/kWh. Amit Ronen, a former Congressional staffer behind legislation that created an investment tax credit for solar installations, said one of the only impediments to decreasing solar electricity prices are fees proposed by utilities on customers who install solar and take advantage of net metering, or the ability to sell excess power back to utilities."Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "Two researchers say time disparities identified through the network of satellites that make up our modern GPS infrastructure can help detect dark matter. In a paper in the online version of the scientific journal Nature Physics, they write that dark matter may be organized as a large gas-like collection of topological defects, or energy cracks. “We propose to detect the defects, the dark matter, as they sweep through us with a network of sensitive atomic clocks. The idea is, where the clocks go out of synchronization, we would know that dark matter, the topological defect, has passed by.""Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "Shards Online has returned to Kickstarter with a refocused plan and a promise to match pledges dollar for dollar up to their goal. With just a week gone by they have already reached 75% of their goal. Project Lead Derek Brinkmann says "If Ultima Online and Neverwinter Nights had a love child, Shards Online would be the result. By combining the persistent virtual world of Ultima Online with the freedom of community run servers and the ability to act as a dungeonmaster in Neverwinter Nights, we are creating a paradise for roleplayers where you are no longer constrained by the rules handed to you by the development team." The team now has their sights set on their stretch goals like more animations for roleplayers and an extra game world to be released at Alpha."
Peter Eckersley (66542)
writes "Today EFF, Mozilla, Cisco and Akamai announced a forthcoming project called Let's Encrypt. Let's Encrypt will be a certificate authority that issues free certificates to any website, using automated protocols (demo video here). Launching in summer 2015, we believe this will be the missing piece that deprecates the woefully insecure HTTP protocol in favor of HTTPS."Link to Original Source
writes "The US Marshals office this week said it would auction off almost 50,000 or about $20 million worth of alleged Silk Road creator Robert Ulbricht’s Bitcoins. The auction, which is the second sale of Silk Road’s Bitcoin collection, will take place during a 6-hour period on Dec. 4 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. EST. Bids will be accepted by email from pre-registered bidders only, the US Marshall’s office stated. In June a more than $17 million in Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road take-down was auctioned off."Link to Original Source
writes "Robert S. Langer has more than 1000 patents, licensed to more than 300 companies. His academic articles have more than 163,000 citations, for an h-index of 203. He talks about science, graduate education in the sciences, entrepreneurship, and the connections among them."Link to Original Source
writes "A couple of years ago a scientist looking at dozens of MRI scans of human brains noticed something surprising: A large fiber pathway that seemed to be part of the network of connections that process visual information that wasn't mentioned in any modern-day anatomy textbooks. “It was this massive bundle of fibers, visible in every brain I examined,” said Jason Yeatman, a research scientist at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. “... As far as I could tell, it was absent from the literature and from all major neuroanatomy textbooks.”
With colleagues at Stanford University, Yeatman started some detective work to figure out the identity of that mysterious fiber bundle. The researchers found an early 20th century atlas that depicted the structure, now known as the vertical occipital fasciculus. But the last time that atlas had been checked out was 1912, meaning the researchers were the first to view the images in the last century. They describes the history and controversy of the elusive pathway in a paper published Nov. 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."Link to Original Source
Daniel Sadoc Menasche (3916953)
writes "Today BitTorrent has announced that artists are allowed to offer paid music and video bundles (http://gizmodo.com/bittorrent-now-lets-anyone-release-an-album-as-a-paid-f-1660014496). Bundles are content collections, such as albums of songs. After signing up for a “BitTorrent bundle”, a user can download any of the files in the bundle, learning about new content that he was unaware before (http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/14/bittorrent-paywall-science-fiction-series/). This not only boosts the popularity of the artists, but also improves the performance of the system and availability of content, as described in this scientific paper titled "Content availability and bundling in swarming systems” that appeared last year in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (http://www.dcc.ufrj.br/~sadoc/bundling.pdf). According to the researchers, the mean content download time comprises idle waiting for content to become available and active download time while content is available. If the increased availability due to bundling and the corresponding decrease in idle waiting are significant, bundling can allow users to download more content in less time, now with royalties flowing to the artists."Link to Original Source
writes "From Ars Technica:
The regulation of Google's search results has come up from time to time over the past decade, and although the idea has gained some traction in Europe (most recently with “right to be forgotten” laws), courts and regulatory bodies in the US have generally agreed that Google's search results are considered free speech. That consensus was upheld last Thursday, when a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Google's right to order its search results as it sees fit."Link to Original Source
writes "Nokia has sold its phone division to Microsoft and won't be able to make Nokia-branded devices until sometime in 2016. But it seems that the hardware giant won't die just like that. Welcome the Nokia N1 tablet, a surprise launch by the company. The device has and iPad-like design but runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. There's also a 64-bit Intel processor on the inside and a Nokia Z launcher."
writes "The USA Freedom Act, the leading contender for NSA reform, is set for a vote this week. The bill has some problems, but is a major step forward for surveillance reform. That's why we're asking you to call your Senator and urge them to support the USA Freedom Act. Here's a rundown of what's to come, what you need to know, and what may happen this week."