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Comment: Re:To Summarize (Score 1) 211

by mdfst13 (#47192273) Attached to: Amazon Confirms Hachette Spat Is To "Get a Better Deal"

Which seems a little strange in the context that they appear to have been the ones who decided to take this particular action as a way of slapping around Hachette.

Actually, these actions seem driven by them not having a contract rather than chosen by Amazon. Without a contract, Amazon can't be sure of filling pre-orders at the promised price. Without a contract, Amazon can't return unsold books. The result is that they can't allow pre-orders or order books they aren't sure they'll sell. It also may be that Amazon normally gets credit for warehousing books with limited sales.

This is what the business looks like when selling without a contract.

Without an actual look at the contract negotiations, it's hard to say who's to blame for the lack of a contract. Perhaps both are. Perhaps authors are to blame for not demanding better contracts (authors often make less for digital books than print books, even though publishers charge Amazon more for them). The only thing that we can say externally is that book prices are often ridiculous. There is no reason for the digital copy of a new bestseller to be more expensive than the print copy.

Privacy

Thousands of Whistle Blowers Vulnerable After Anonymous Hacks SAPS 132

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hacktivism-gone-wrong dept.
First time accepted submitter fezzzz writes "Anonymous performed a data dump of hundreds of whistle blowers' private details in an attempt to show their unhappiness with the SAPS (South African Police Service) for the Marikana shooting. In so doing, the identities of nearly 16,000 South Africans who lodged a complaint with police on their website, provided tip-offs, or reported crimes are now publicly available." Reader krunster also submitted a slightly more in depth article on the breach.

+ - Mozilla offering free phones in hopes of bolstering Firefox OS app developmen->

Submitted by abhi10abhi
abhi10abhi (2836149) writes "Attention HTML5 virtuosos: Mozilla is thirsty for your talents. So much, in fact, that the outfit is baiting developers with a free smartphone in the hopes they'll return the favor with fresh Firefox OS apps. In order to qualify for a device, you'll need to submit a proposal to Mozilla outlining the app you wish to build or port to its new mobile platform. If your pitch is accepted, the company will hook you up with a free Geeksphone Keon to thank you for your labor. Sure, the device's 3.5-inch HVGA display, 1GHz Snapdragon S1 processor, 512MB of RAM and 3-megapixel rear-facing camera are entry-level at best, but remember you're getting this handset gratis. The program is set to close at the end of the month or when supplies run out, whichever comes first. So, if you're interested in adding "Firefox OS developer" to your resume, hit up the source link to apply."
Link to Original Source

+ - Transfusions reverse aging and disease, drug isolated.->

Submitted by symbolset
symbolset (646467) writes "Published today in the journal Cell and reported by WBUR radio in this interview Drs Richard Lee and Amy Wagers have isolated GDF-11 as a negative regulator of age-associated cardiac hypertrophy. Through a type of transfusion called parabiotic or "shared circulation" in mice — one old and sick, the other young and well — they managed to reverse this age-associated heart disease. From there isolated an active agent GDF-11 present in the younger mouse but absent in the older which reverses the condition when administered directly. They are also using the agent to restore other aged/diseased tissues and organs. Human applications are expected within six years.

Since the basis for the treatment is ordinary sharing of blood between an older ill, and younger healthy patient, someone is likely to start offering the transfusion treatment somewhere in the world, soon, to those with the means to find a young and healthy volunteer. It may be time to have the discussion of the consequences of drastically prolonging human life."

Link to Original Source

+ - Girl Receives Synthetic Trachea Made With Her Stem Cells->

Submitted by kkleiner
kkleiner (1468647) writes "A toddler born without a trachea has received the first completely fabricated trachea that utilizes stem cells enabling her to live a normal life. Previously, related implants relied on a donor trachea that would act as a scaffold for the patient's stem cells. In this case, the scaffold is synthetic and made from nonabsorbable nanofibers, while the stem cells were harvested from the girl's bone marrow."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

Feds Drop CFAA Charges Against 'Hacker' Who Exploited Poker Machines 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the judge-who-know-what's-up dept.
FuzzNugget writes "According to Wired, the two CFAA charges that were laid against the man who exploited a software bug on a video poker machine have been officially dismissed. Says Wired: '[U.S. District Judge Miranda] Du had asked prosecutors to defend their use of the federal anti-hacking law by Wednesday, in light of a recent 9th Circuit ruling that reigned in the scope of the CFAA. The dismissal leaves John Kane, 54, and Andre Nestor, 41, facing a single remaining charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.' Kane's lawyer agreed, stating, 'The case never should have been filed under the CFAA, it should have been just a straight wire fraud case. And I'm not sure its even a wire fraud. I guess we'll find out when we go to trial.'"

+ - Grocery delivery is greener than driving to the store->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "Those trips to the store can take a chunk out of your day and put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But now University of Washington engineers have found that using a grocery delivery service can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half when compared with individual household trips to the store. Trucks filled to capacity that deliver to customers clustered in neighborhoods produced the most savings in carbon dioxide emissions, but there are even benefits with delivery to rural areas."
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Comment: Re:Jules Verne (Score 1) 203

by mdfst13 (#43527531) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Science Books For Middle School Enrichment?

Not only Jules Verne. What about H.G. Wells? I'd also include Arthur Conan Doyle. Most of the science fiction in Sherlock Holmes has turned into science fact, but in some ways that actually makes it more relevant for your purposes.

More recent classics would include the Heinlein juveniles (almost everything he wrote before Strange in a Strange Land plus some of what he wrote afterwards) and (as others mentioned) the Asimov books. The robot series is more for programmers than scientists, but there's quite a bit of interesting science floating around Asimov.

Not classics, but the Tom Swift and Danny Dunn books are oriented towards juveniles and promote science.

Power

Harvard Grid Computing Project Discovers 20k Organic Photovoltaic Molecules 125

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the by-your-powers-combined dept.
Lucas123 writes "In June, Harvard's Clean Energy Project plans to release to solar power developers a list of the top 20,000 organic compounds, any one of which could be used to make cheap, printable photovoltaic cells (PVCs). The CEP uses the computing resources of IBM's World Community Grid for the computational chemistry to find the best molecules for organic photovoltaics culled the list from about 7 million. About 6,000 computers are part of the project at any one time. If successful, the crowdsourcing-style project, which has been crunching data for the past two-plus years, could lead to PVCs that cost about as much as paint to cover a one-meter square wall." The big thing here is that they've discovered a lot of organic molecules that have the potential for 10% or better conversion; roughly equivalent to the current best PV material, and twice as efficient as other available organic PV materials.
The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-day-for-a-flight dept.
skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
DRM

Electronics Arts CEO Ousted In Wake of SimCity Launch Disaster 427

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the onward-to-ruin-the-next-company dept.
mozumder writes "The disastrous launch of SimCity took its first major toll, with EA CEO John Riccitiello being fired from his position and removed from the Board of Directors. It is unknown what effect this may have on the SimCity franchise or any future DRM of EA games, but clearly someone didn't think their cunning plan all the way through when they decided to implement always-on connections for single-player gaming."
The Almighty Buck

How a Programmer Gets By On $16K/Yr: He Moves to Malaysia 523

Posted by timothy
from the wouldn't-be-for-everyone dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you can make $10 and hour doing remote work, you can afford to live in Malysia. Make it $15 or $20, you can work 30 hours a week. Real money? Make it ten. This article talks about how John Hunter did it." Malaysia's not the only destination for self-motivated ex-pat programmers, of course. If you've considered doing this kind of sabbatical, or actually have, please explain in the comments the from-where-to-where details and reasons.
The Courts

Court: 4th Amendment Applies At Border, Password Protected Files Not Suspicious 194

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-doing-it-right dept.
An anonymous reader sends this Techdirt report on a welcome ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: ""Here's a surprise ruling. For many years we've written about how troubling it is that Homeland Security agents are able to search the contents of electronic devices, such as computers and phones at the border, without any reason. The 4th Amendment only allows reasonable searches, usually with a warrant. But the general argument has long been that, when you're at the border, you're not in the country and the 4th Amendment doesn't apply. This rule has been stretched at times, including the ability to take your computer and devices into the country and search it there, while still considering it a "border search," for which the lower standards apply. Just about a month ago, we noted that Homeland Security saw no reason to change this policy. Well, now they might have to. In a somewhat surprising 9th Circuit ruling (en banc, or in front of the entire set of judges), the court ruled that the 4th Amendment does apply at the border, that agents do need to recognize there's an expectation of privacy, and cannot do a search without reason. Furthermore, they noted that merely encrypting a file with a password is not enough to trigger suspicion."
DRM

+ - SimCity Launch Failure: A good case for DRM being bad for business->

Submitted by
earlzdotnet
earlzdotnet writes "The SimCity release happened, yet there are many people incapable of playing the game. Many can't install the game because the Origin servers providing the downloads are overloaded. This is to be expected. But, one cited reason for this is because they didn't allow preloading of the game at all. Even if you decided to buy a disk set instead of download it, you'll still have problems installing it because it still needs a few files from their servers that wasn't provided

One of it's primary features is multiplayer support. However, single player support appears to have taken a back seat. So, now even the lucky few that have managed to get it installed are having to wait in a queue to play the single player game because it requires a slot on their servers.

Although it's a best guess at this point, but one of the probable causes of all this happening is because they were trying really hard to prevent piracy. It's not easily possible to pirate a game if all the logic goes through their servers. However, by doing it in this manner, they have (like most DRM schemes) harmed the paying customers primarily. As a result of these failures, many people are steering clear of buying the game and even requesting refunds from EA."

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The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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