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Education

Academic Publishers Ask The Impossible In GSU Copyright Suit 221

Posted by timothy
from the they'd-settle-for-infinity-minus-one dept.
Nidi62 writes "A Duke University blog covers the possible ramifications of a motion in the copyright case against Georgia State University. Cambrigde, Oxford, and Sage have proposed an injunction that would first enjoin GSU to include all faculty, employees, students. All copying would have to be monitored and limited to 10% of a work or 1000 words, whichever is less. No two classes would be allowed to use the same copied work unless they paid for it, essentially taking fair use out of the classroom. Along with this, courses would be allowed to be made up of only 10% copied material, the other 90% must be either purchased works or copies that have been paid for by permission fees. And, if this isn't enough, the publishers also want access to all computer systems on the campus network, to monitor compliance and copying. 'This proposed order, in short, represents a nightmare, a true dystopia, for higher education....Yet you can be sure that if [these] things happen, all of our campuses would be pressured to adopt the "Georgia State model" in order to avoid litigation.' Disclosure: I am currently a graduate student at Georgia State University."

Comment: Re:Really (Score 1) 379

by meregistered (#33749538) Attached to: Does A Company Deserve the Same Privacy Rights As You?
I know there have already been a large number of comments on this one but giving corporations ANY of the rights of individuals is a very bad idea (look @ copyright law and the lameness with which corporations utilize it). It's already scary enough that our insane judicial system has granted them the rights of Freedom of Speech...
Media

Smokescreen, a JavaScript-Based Flash Player 356

Posted by kdawson
from the now-to-optimize dept.
Tumbleweed writes "How to make Steve Jobs your mortal enemy: Smokescreen, a 175KB, 8,000-line JavaScript-based Flash player written by Chris Smoak at RevShock, a mobile ad startup, and to be open-sourced 'in the near future.' From Simon's blog: 'It runs entirely in the browser, reads in SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded audio, and turns them into base64 encoded data: URIs, then stitches the vector graphics back together as animated SVG. ... Smokescreen even implements its own ActionScript bytecode interpreter.' Badass!"
Microsoft

Ballmer Says Microsoft Wasted Time On Vista 375

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the developers-developers-developers dept.
Stoobalou writes "In a chat with fellow CEOs at Microsoft's 14th annual CEO Summit, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer came close to admitting Vista was a dog. 'How do you get your product right? How do you help the customer? How do you be patient?' he asked, as if he knew the answer. What he did know was that Microsoft spent too many years building Windows Vista. 'We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation,' he said." You can also watch video of the speech, but 31 minutes of Ballmer is a lot of Ballmer.
Displays

HP Making a Dick Tracy Watch For the Military 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-peace dept.
eldavojohn writes "HP announced a device like Dick Tracy's watch, with a target user base being the US military. CNN describes it as 'a flexible display that shows maps and other strategic information to soldiers in remote combat fields. The watch's screen will be made of plastic and it will run on solar energy, making it less likely to malfunction or run out of power in a tense scenario.' HP says a prototype will be done within a year. This new device hinges on recent display technology that HP says it has been developing for 10 years. The flexible displays are a mere 50 microns thick."
Power

10,000 Cows Can Power 1,000 Servers 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the cattle-computing dept.
CWmike writes "Reducing energy consumption in data centers, particularly with the prospect of a federal carbon tax, is pushing vendors to explore an ever-growing range of ideas. HP engineers say that biogas may offer a fresh alternative energy approach for IT managers. Researchers at HP Labs presented a paper (download PDF) on using cow manure from dairy farms and cattle feedlots and other 'digested farm waste' to generate electricity to an American Society of Mechanical Engineers conference, held this week. In it, the research team calculates that 'a hypothetical farm of 10,000 dairy cows' could power a 1 MW data center — or on the order of 1,000 servers. One trend that makes the idea of turning organic waste into usable power for data centers is the moves by several firms to build facilities in rural locations, where high-speed networks allow them to take advantage of the cost advantages of such areas. But there are some practical problems, not the least of which is connecting a data center to the cows. If it does happen, the move could call for a new take on plug and play: plug and poo."
Image

Scientists Implant Biofuel Cells Into Rats 164 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-the-matrix dept.
RedmondChris writes "A team of scientists from Joseph Fourier University in France have successfully implanted biofuel cells into rats, generating 6.5 microwatts by harnessing the power of glucose. From the article: 'The device uses enzymes to harvest energy from glucose and oxygen found naturally in the body. Past attempts at using such a device in animals have failed because the enzymes have required acidic conditions or were inhibited by charged particles in the fluid surrounding cells. But Philippe Cinquin and his team from Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, overcame these obstacles by confining selected enzymes inside graphite discs that were placed into dialysis bags. Glucose and oxygen flowed into the device, but enzymes stayed in place and catalyzed the oxidation of glucose to generate electrical energy.'"
Earth

New Estimates Say Earth's Oceans Smaller Than Once Believed 263

Posted by timothy
from the deeper-than-my-love-for-you dept.
Velcroman1 writes with this snippet from Fox News: "Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor."
Earth

"Argonaut" Octopus Sucks Air Into Shell As Ballast 72

Posted by timothy
from the 8-legs-good dept.
audiovideodisco writes "Even among octopuses, the Argonaut must be one of the coolest. It gets its nickname — 'paper nautilus' — from the fragile shell the female assembles around herself after mating with the tiny male (whose tentacle/penis breaks off and remains in the female). For millennia, people have wondered what the shell was for; Aristotle thought the octopus used it as a boat and its tentacles as oars and sails. Now scientists who managed to study Argonauts in the wild confirm a different hypothesis: that the octopus sucks air into its shell and uses it for ballast as it weaves its way through the ocean like a tiny submarine. The researchers' beautiful video and photographs show just how the Argonaut pulls off this trick. The regular (non-paper) nautilus also uses its shell for ballast, but the distant relationship between it and all octopuses suggests this is a case of convergent evolution."
Firefox

76% of Web Users Affected By Browser History Stealing 130

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the seems-like-it-should-be-more dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Web browser history detection with the CSS:visited trick has been known for the last ten years, but recently published research suggests that the problem is bigger than previously thought. A study of 243,068 users found that 76% of them were vulnerable to history detection by malicious websites. Newer browsers such as Safari and Chrome were even more affected, with 82% and 94% of users vulnerable. An average of 63 visited locations were detected per user, and for the top 10% of users the tests found over 150 visited sites. The website has a summary of the findings; the full paper (PDF) is available as well."
Biotech

Should a New Technology Change the Patent System? 159

Posted by kdawson
from the exclusivity-in-perpetuity dept.
linuxizer writes "Congress seems poised to turn an effort to create a pathway for generic biotech drugs, such as Remicade, into the exact opposite. Instead of the 5-year protection that traditional pharmaceuticals get, or the 0-year protection that the FTC recommends, the bill offers 12-year exclusivity with renewability for minor changes. The issue is highly charged, with activists waging a campaign to change the bill. Yet it also raises interesting questions for other technologies. To what extent do the traditional contours of patent law need to change in response to new technologies with a different set of market realities (biotech drugs are 22 times more expensive on average, and development costs for generics will be substantially higher) and in what direction? Need every new technological category get its own patent rules, and how do those rules get decided?"
Medicine

Doing Internet Searches Boosts Older Brains 65

Posted by kdawson
from the you-are-what-you-search dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Medical News Daily reports that researchers have found signs of enhanced neural stimulation in parts of the brain that control decision-making and reasoning when they scanned the brains of middle-aged and older first-time Internet users after only seven days of performing Internet searches. 'We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,' says Dr Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. At the start of the study, the participants performed Internet searches while the researchers took fMRI scans of their brains to track changes in blood flow in the brain and record subtle changes in neural activity. After practicing searching the Internet for 7 days over 2 weeks at home, the brains of the Internet novices showed activity in the same regions as before, but this time there was new activity in the middle frontal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus, the parts of the brain that are important for working memory and decision-making. 'You can exercise your mind by using the Internet, but it depends on how it's used,' adds Small. 'If you get hooked on gambling or eBay shopping, that may not be positive.'"
Databases

MySQL Cofounder Says Oracle Should Sell Database To a Neutral 3d Party 207

Posted by timothy
from the richard-stallman-agrees dept.
alphadogg writes "Oracle should resolve antitrust concerns over its acquisition of Sun Microsystems by selling open-source database MySQL to a suitable third party, its cofounder and creator Michael 'Monty' Widenius said in a blog post on Monday. Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun is currently being held up by an investigation by the European Commission. The Commission's main concern seems to be MySQL, which was acquired by Sun in January 2008 for $1 billion. A takeover by the world's leading proprietary database company of the world's leading open source database company compels the regulator to closely examine the effects on the European market, according to remarks made by Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes last month. The key objective by Widenius is to find a home outside Oracle for MySQL, where the database can be developed and compete with existing products, including Oracle's, according to Florian Mueller, a former MySQL shareholder who is currently working with Monty Program AB on this matter." Richard Stallman agrees.
Networking

Apple, Others Hit With Lawsuit On Ethernet Patents 304

Posted by kdawson
from the innovation-prevention dept.
bth nods an AppleInsider story on a patent troll who has gotten hold of fundamental Ethernet patents and is wielding them broadly. Three guesses which US Appeals Court the lawsuit was filed in. "A Texas company has targeted a number of technology companies, including Apple, in a new lawsuit regarding a handful of computer networking patents issued in the 1990s. ... 3Com Corporation was granted four patents from 1994 to 1998 pertaining to network adapters. Two deal with the automatic initiation of data transmission, and one addresses 'host indication optimization.' ... The company's Web site states that U.S. Ethernet Innovations was founded 'to continue 3Com Corporation's successful licensing program related to a portfolio of foundational patents in Ethernet technology.' A press release from the company states that it is the 'owner of the fundamental Ethernet technology developed and sold by 3Com Corporation in the 1990s,' suggesting it purchased the patents. ... In addition to Apple, the lawsuit names Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, Hewlett Packard, Sony, and Toshiba as defendants."

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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