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Comment: e.g. Lior Pachter's latest blog posts (Score 1) 136

by maubp (#46218675) Attached to: How Blogs Are Changing the Scientific Discourse

Lior didn't think much of two recent articles in Nature Biotechnology and attempted the traditional reply route, but the journal declined to publish it - so he blogged it:



Astronomers Locate Solar System Very Similar To Our Own 101

Posted by Zonk
from the i-think-it-is-awfully-pretty-out-there dept.
Smivs writes "Astronomers from St Andrews University in the UK have discovered a planetary system which looks much like our own. Dr Martin Dominik told BBC news: 'We found a system with two planets that take the roles of Jupiter and Saturn in our Solar System. These two planets have a similar mass ratio and similar orbital radius and a similar orbital period. The newfound planetary system, which orbits the star OGLE-2006-BLG-109L, is more compact than our own and is about five thousand light-years away. The OGLE planets were found using a technique called gravitational micro-lensing, in which light from the faraway planets is bent and magnified by the gravity of a foreground object, in this case a another star.'" Update: 04/08 12:26 GMT by Z : This story is talking about a subject we have already discussed.

EU Recommends Slashing Search Data Retention 93

Posted by Zonk
from the tracks-in-the-snow dept.
Wayland writes "The European Union's Article 29 Working Group has completed its PDF report on data protection and search engines. The group recommends that search engines only be allowed to hold onto search data for six months. 'To hang onto data for longer, search engine operators will need to show that such data is "strictly necessary" to offer the service. Google and others have long said that they need to retain data in order to refine search results, prevent click fraud, and launch new services like spell check (which, in Google's case, was built from user search data). In addition, the data that is kept will need to be guarded more closely. The working group concluded that IP addresses could be used to identify individuals; if not by the search engine itself, then by law enforcement or after a subpoena.'"
The Internet

+ - Facebook Relaunches Internet Inside Facebook->

Submitted by
NewsCloud writes "Facebook isn't just for people anymore. Facebook launched profile pages for businesses today: "Just like a Facebook user, businesses can start with a blank canvas and add all the information and content they want, including photos, videos, music and Facebook Platform applications. Outside developers have created a range of applications to enhance Facebook Pages, such as booking reservations or providing reviews of restaurant pages, buying tickets on a movie page or creating a custom t-shirt." Isn't this sort of like the Internet but inside Facebook (think AOL circa 1999)? Facebook is also launching a new advertising mechanism for friends to refer each other to their favorite businesses. i.e. if you click on the penile enlargement ad, your friends may read about it in your mini-feed."
Link to Original Source

+ - RFID Chips In School Uniforms

Submitted by blurker
blurker (1007141) writes "According to this Information Week article, a school in the UK is testing a student-tracking system based on RFID chips implanted in their uniforms: Ten schoolchildren in the United Kingdom are being tracked by RFID chips in their school uniforms as part of a pilot program. If the program proves successful as a way to hasten registration, simplify data entry for the school's behavioral reporting system, and ensure attendance, Trevor Darnborough, whose company, Darnbro, filed for a patent on securing RFID tags to clothing, hopes other schools will be interested, according to the Doncaster Free Press."

+ - Google will drive searchers to new iTunes rival

Submitted by maubp
maubp (303462) writes "According to Forbes and the BBC, some of the world's biggest record labels including Universal and SonyBMG have begun selling music through a new download service, challenging Apple by offering DRM free mp3 music at 99 cents per song. Gbox will also be getting traffic from an ad campaign on Google (who will not be getting a cut of any sales).

Sadly (from the average Slashdot reader's point of view) Gbox are only supporting Windows XP and Vista right now..."
Hardware Hacking

+ - DIY Geomapping your entire town - hackers vs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google and Microsoft are mapping major U.S. cities. But what about smaller towns. How many years do we have to wait if not forever. Could we map our own towns using inexpensive off the shelf hardware and software. There is an open source map software project http://openstreetmap.org./ But what about integrating cameras and GPS to collect data. How can small groups map their own towns? What cameras and GPS to collect bulk data?


Microsoft's Local SUV Armada vs Google's Streetview Fleet http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/battlemodo/microsofts-l ocal-suv-armada-vs-googles-streetview-fleet-283648 .php

Google Streetview Camera Car Fleet Set to Invade America http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/eye-on-you/google-stree tview-camera-car-fleet-set-to-invade-america-27922 2.php

Google Streetview Camera Vehicles Spotted All Over US http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/pics/google-streetview- camera-vehicles-spotted-all-over-us-283159.php

Link to Original Source
Wireless Networking

+ - Sprint to Offer WiMAX-enabled N800 Tablet

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "Sprint will offer a Mobile WiMAX-enabled version of Nokia's N800 Internet Tablet to North American customers next year, LinuxDevices reports. The new device will support Sprint's grand scheme of making WiMAX-based 4G wireless services available to over 100 million people during 2008. Sprint says Intel, Motorola, and Samsung are working on Mobile WiMAX chipsets, while LG, Samsung, Nokia, ZTE, and ZyXEL are developing consumer devices that will be usable on its new 4G network. According to Dr. Ari Jaaksi, Nokia's director of open source, WiMAX could change the cellular landscape, depending on how it's priced. First deployments will be in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington DC, followed by 16 other metropolitan areas in the U.S."

+ - Aussie Nightclubs 1500% increase in copyright fees

Submitted by psy
psy (88244) writes ""Nightclub promoters are outraged at a 1500 percent increase in the cost [to APRA] of playing copyrighted music to large crowds, saying customers will suffer along with proprietors and staff. Clubs used to pay a copyrighted music licence fee of 7c a person per night, but from today the figure will soar to $1.05 a person. The figure is based on capacity, so a club that holds 500 will pay $510 — even if only 100 people turn up. Organisers of dance parties have also been hit with the new fees, with the original charge of 20c per person jumping to $3.07. When DJs are meant to be the people helping to sell music and increase CD sales through free advertising, this seems like a backwards move."
United States

+ - EFF reports more USA PATRIOT act abuse

Submitted by A Name Similar to Di
A Name Similar to Di (875837) writes "From the EFF website:

In the wake of the inspector general's report, EFF filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking fundamental information about the FBI's misuse of the NSL authority, and a federal judge recently ordered the Bureau to release information responsive to EFF's request on a rolling basis.

On Friday, July 6, the FBI made its first disclosure of 1,138 pages of documents, all of which you can view here. (Please keep in mind that this is the first of many sets of documents we'll be receiving, so this material does not present a complete picture.) Here's what we've spotted that we think is most interesting so far.

+ - Elderly Woman Jailed for Not Watering Lawn

Submitted by i_like_spam
i_like_spam (874080) writes "BBC news is running a story about Betty Perry, a 70-year-old resident of Orem, Utah. Betty was cited and sent to jail for not watering her lawn. Like many other communities around the country, Orem (aka 'Family City USA') has rules mandating that residents maintain and water their lawns. In terms of privacy, is it right for communities to enforce lawn maintenance? And, in this day and age of energy and water conservation, shouldn't well-manicured lawns be a thing of the past?"

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.