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Amazon Overcharging Publishers For Tax 184

00_NOP writes "Amazon is taking fire in the UK for insisting that publishers pay them for 20% VAT (sales tax) when in fact the online retailer is only paying 3% VAT. 'The firm is able to wield such power over publishers because it has a near monopoly of the UK digital book publishing market. According to reliable estimates, it sells nine out of 10 ebooks in the UK, while using its Luxembourg tax status to wring more profitable terms from publishers. ... In private, British authors and publishers express fears that Amazon's dominance will send the industry into further decline.' Given that the Kindle is rubbish at displaying maths and science and that Amazon is as dangerous a monopoly as Microsoft ever was, is it not time that regulators and consumers stood up to them?" Amazon is also facing criticism right now for allegedly shutting down a woman's account and remotely wiping her Kindle, then refusing to provide information about why it did so.

China Pirates Austrian Village Screenshot-sm 150

First time accepted submitter thecoolstacks writes "Knockoff Apple Stores are one thing...but a knockoff Austrian village? That's some hardcore piracy right there, but we guess leave it China to do what it does best. From the article: 'After a year of construction and a price tag of $940 million dollars, the Chinese have successfully recreated the Austrian village of Hallstatt in its entirety over in the Southern Guangzhou Province. And let’s just say not every Austrian’s a fan of having their UNESCO heritage site ripped off. But since China is Austria’s second largest trading partner, what are you gonna do?'"
Lord of the Rings

Hobbit Film Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second 607

bonch writes "Warner Bros. aired ten minutes of footage from The Hobbit at CinemaCon, and reactions have been mixed. The problem? Peter Jackson is filming the movie at 48 frames per second, twice the industry standard 24 frames per second, lending the film a '70s era BBC-video look.' However, if the negative response from film bloggers and theater owners is any indication, the way most people will see the movie is in standard 24fps."
Hardware Hacking

A Hacked WiFi Router, an API, and a Toy Bus: It's the Ambient Bus Arrival Monito 53

JohnGrahamCumming writes "In this simple project, a hacked Linksys WRT54GL talks to a public API to get real-time bus information, and displays the times of the next buses on a model bus. Never miss the bus again! 'It's possible to reflash the Linksys with a custom Linux installation that lets me control the box completely (and still use it as a wireless router). There are various project, but I used OpenWRT. With OpenWRT it's possible to SSH into the box and treat it as any Linux server (albeit a rather slow one). But there's plenty of power to grab bus times and update an LED display connected to the WRT54GL's serial port. "

What Does Sunset On an Alien World Look Like? 94

The Bad Astronomer writes "Using real data from Hubble Space Telescope of a planet orbiting another star, exoplanetary scientist Frédéric Pont created a lovely image of what sunset would look like from HD209458b, nicknamed Osiris, a planet 150 light years away. The Hubble data gave information on the atmospheric absorption of this hot Jupiter planet, and, coupled with models of how the atmosphere was layered, Pont was able to create a realistic looking sunset on the planet. The big surprise: the star looks green as it sets! Sodium absorption sucks out the red colors and blue is scattered away, leaving just the green hues to get through. It's a lovely application of hard scientific knowledge."

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling