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Power

Plastic and Fuel That Grow On Trees 188

Tim Hanlon writes "Biofuels continue to lead the field in the search for a renewable, environmentally friendly replacement for crude oil. Besides its use in the transport industry, crude oil is also used to produce conventional plastics and chemical products such as fertilizers and solvents. Now chemists have learned how to convert plant biomass directly into a chemical building block that can be used to produce not only fuel, but also plastics, polyester, and industrial chemicals, cheaply and efficiently."
Biotech

Submission + - Plastic and fuel that grows on trees (gizmag.com)

Tim Hanlon writes: Biofuels continue to steal the spotlight when it comes to the search for a renewable, environmentally friendly replacement for crude oil. While that's understandable when considering the transport industry, crude oil is also used in the production of conventional plastics and chemical products such as fertilizers and solvents. Now chemists have learned how to convert plant biomass directly into a chemical building block that can not only be used to produce fuel, but also plastics, polyester and industrial chemicals cheaply and efficiently.
Microsoft

ODF Alliance Warns Governments About Office 2007 ODF Support 312

omz writes "The ODF Alliance has prepared a Fact Sheet for governments and others interested in how Microsoft's SP2 for Office 2007 handles ODF. The report revealed 'serious shortcomings that, left unaddressed, would break the open standards based interoperability that the marketplace, especially governments, is demanding.'"
Censorship

Craigslist Fights Back, Sues SC Atty General 286

FredMastro writes "Craigslist has now stepped past just asking for an apology. The Wall Street Journal and CNet report that Craigslist is fighting back. 'Craigslist said it has sued South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, in the latest escalation of a battle over adult-oriented ads on the company's site. Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist's chief executive, said in a blog post that the company filed its suit in federal court in South Carolina. ...'" Unfortunately, the WSJ's piece requires a subscription, but reader Locke2005 adds a link to coverage in the San Jose Business Journal.
Patents

Microsoft Patents the Crippling of Operating Systems 394

theodp writes "On Tuesday, Microsoft was granted US Patent No. 7,536,726 (it was filed in 2005) for intentionally crippling the functionality of an operating system by 'making selected portions and functionality of the operating system unavailable to the user or by limiting the user's ability to add software applications or device drivers to the computer' until an 'agreed upon sum of money' is paid to 'unlock or otherwise make available the restricted functionality.' According to Microsoft, this solves a 'problem inherent in open architecture systems,' i.e., 'they are generally licensed with complete use rights and/or functionality that may be beyond the need or desire of the system purchaser.' An additional problem with open architecture systems, Microsoft explains, is that 'virtually anyone can write an application that can be executed on the system.' Nice to see the USPTO rewarding Microsoft's eight problem-solving inventors, including Linux killer (and antelope killer) Joachim Kempin, who's been credited with getting Microsoft hauled into federal court on antitrust charges." Sounds like the mechanism by which Microsoft sells one version of Vista to all users, and lets users upgrade to higher-tier flavors of the OS after cash changes hands.
Displays

Where Are the High-Res Head-Mounted Displays? 384

vivian writes "Ever since 1996, when I first set eyes on a Sony GlassTron head-mounted display in Japan, I have been awaiting a lightweight, head-mounted display that actually has decent resolution and doesn't look like a brick tied to your face. The closest contender to date seems to be the WRAP 920AV from Vuzix, and they are partially transparent too, which is great, but as with every other unit I have found, they only offer video quality — 640x480. Given that there have been a number of other discussions on Slashdot, I can't be the only one here who is eagerly awaiting something that could actually be a viable alternative to a PC monitor — especially for gaming or 3d graphics work. Perhaps we could petition a manufacturer to make what we actually want? Something with a minimum of 1024x768 @30-60hz refresh, say, and capable of stereo vision. Extra karma if they incorporate head tracking."

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