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Comment: Re:Jack and Coke? (Score 1) 398

by metaomni (#30104356) Attached to: Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks May Be Illegal

Perhaps, but (and this is venturing into territory where I'm making more assumption than I am restating known facts), I believe it's outside the FDA's jurisdiction to cover beverages mixed at points of purchase or in the home - I believe the former would likely fall to state health departments (or, I suppose, specific action by Congress), adn the latter jeez, I don't even know who, if anyone, would regulate that.

Again, I think this whole debate is silly, especially here in slashdot. The FDA hasn't BANNED these mixtures. What they're asking for is proof that it's safe. The FDA operates under a null hypothesis that assumes all additives are dangerous until proven otherwise (proven as GRAS). I think that's pretty reasonable when it comes to federal regulation of food and beverage products, and if it truly isn't a big deal as many commenters seem to think, then the companies can come up with the requisite evidence and caffeine as an additive in alcoholic beverages gets added to the GRAS list.

Comment: Re:Jack and Coke? (Score 1) 398

by metaomni (#30104074) Attached to: Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks May Be Illegal

As has been laid out in detail elsewhere in the comments section, the problem isn't a matter of type -- it's a matter of degree. Most of the drinks in question are not the functional equivalent of a rum and coke. We're talking more along the lines of a no-doze with a shot of rum as a chaser.

They're basically asking the mfg's to show why it's GRAS to have that much caffeine mixed with alcohol (my guess is they won't be able to).

Comment: Re:Jack and Coke? (Score 1) 398

by metaomni (#30103838) Attached to: Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks May Be Illegal

To everyone who is going to make a similar comment, please please please RTFA.

This has nothing to do with banning Jack & Coke, Red Bull + Vodka, etc. You're free to get smashed and caffeinated at the same time until you keel over in twitchy delirium. All the FDA has indicated is that they haven't authorized caffeine as an additive to alcoholic beverages AS THEY COME FROM THE MANUFACTURER. Well, more specifically, they're asking the makers why they thought they didn't have to clear it with the FDA.

Comment: Litigated before (Score 5, Informative) 865

by metaomni (#29943466) Attached to: Apple Says Booting OS X Makes an Unauthorized Copy
This has actually been litigated before -- as crazy as it sounds, courts HAVE consistently held that booting a computer (and thus loading it to memory) does create a copy. End-users are granted a license to do so, and here Pystar doesn't have such a license. Crazy yes -- but Apple is on solid precedential ground in claiming so.

Comment: Re:Palm Got What They Deserved (Score 1) 600

by metaomni (#29515431) Attached to: USB-IF Slaps Palm In iTunes Spat
[citation needed] First, this has nothing to do with the DMCA - this has to do with the USB spec and the USB-IF (and Palm's forging of another company's USB Vendor ID, in violation of their contractual agreement with the consortium). Second, even if this did have to do with the DMCA, the "compatibility exception" you speak of isn't really in the statute. It allows for limited reverse engineering, which isn't what happened here -- this is purely circumvention. Even then, if you look at the case history the courts have pretty much viewed the reverse engineering exception as swamped by the weight of the anti-circumvention provisions. I'm not saying the DMCA is good -- but it is the law, and well, it's not even really applicable here.
Math

Distributed.net Finds Optimal 25-Mark Golomb Ruler 265

Posted by timothy
from the unique-and-in-duplicate dept.
kpearson writes "Distributed.net's 8-year-old OGR-25 distributed computing project has just proven conclusively that the predicted shortest 25-mark Golomb ruler is optimal. 'The total length of the ruler is 480, with marks at positions: 0 12 29 39 72 91 146 157 160 161 166 191 207 214 258 290 316 354 372 394 396 431 459 467 480. (This ruler may alternatively be expressed in terms of the distance between those positions, which is how dnetc displays them: 12-17-10-33-19-...).' 124,387 people participated in the project and two people found the shortest ruler, one on October 10, 2007 and the other on March 24, 2008."
Cellphones

Analog Cellular Shutdown To Hit Built-In Devices 173

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-hear-you-now dept.
Nick Kilkenny sends us an AP article on the imminent shutdown of the US analog cellular network, now 24 years old. The network is scheduled to go dark on Feb. 18, 2008; some users, such as OnStar, are stopping analog service at the end of this year. Here's a list of devices and industries that will be affected by the shutdown. (Cellular telephony won't be affected much.) "The shutdown date has been known years in advance, but some industries appear to have a had a problem updating their technologies and informing their customers in advance... General Motors Corp., which owns OnStar, started modifying its cars after the 2002 decision by the Federal Communications Commission to let the network die, but some cars made as late as 2005 can't use digital networks for OnStar, nor can they be upgraded. For some cars made in the intervening years, GM provides digital upgrades for $15." Update: 12/22 22:25 GMT by KD : Replaced two registration-required links.
Space

Cause of Aurora Borealis Confirmed 172

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-not-eskimo-ghosts-more's-the-pity dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There are reports that satellites have aided scientists in confirming why the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) exists. 'New data from NASA's Themis mission, a quintet of satellites launched this winter, found the energy comes from a stream of charged particles from the sun flowing like a current through twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting Earth's upper atmosphere to the sun. The energy is then abruptly released in the form of a shimmering display of lights.'"

MPlayer Developers Interviewed 220

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the people-who-do-stuff dept.
cruocitae writes "Three of the MPlayer developers just gave an interview, talking about the "mysterious" versioning system of their software and shared a few secrets about the upcoming releases, for example some words about the long-awaited Windows GUI, and of course, DVD menus. Project integrity also was a subject.."

US Plans Lunar Motel 355

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the vacation-destinations dept.
OffTheLip writes "The US is planning to build a permanent lunar base which will support future visits to Mars. The living conditions on the moon presents a variety of challenges from medical to construction. Contingency planning would be critical but some feel the challenges presented on the moon will be less than Mars. The moon is closer to Earth, the atmosphere is less harsh and, unlike Mars, water does not exist. Is this the start of the next space race?"

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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