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Education

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead 228

Posted by timothy
from the less-on-your-plate dept.
grrlscientist writes "A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct."
Earth

Sticky Rice Is the Key To Super Strong Mortar 194

Posted by timothy
from the what-can't-sticky-rice-do? dept.
lilbridge writes "For over 1,500 years the Chinese have been using sticky rice as an ingredient in mortar, which has resulted in super strong buildings, many of which are still standing after hundreds of years. Scientists have been studying the sticky rice and lime mortar to unlock the secrets of its strength, and have just determined the secret ingredient that makes the mortar more stable and stronger. The scientists have also concluded that this mixture is the most appropriate for restoration of ancient and historic buildings, which means it is probably also appropriate for new construction as well."
Google

Google Wins European Trademark Victory 39

Posted by timothy
from the kleenex-runs-scared dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "A European court has ruled in Google's favor, saying that allowing advertising customers to use the names of other companies as search keywords does not represent a trademark violation. The court also went on to say that Google's AdWords program is protected by a European law governing Internet hosting services. Google's main line of defense was claiming that companies that want to extend trademark law to keywords are really interested in 'controlling and restricting the amount of information that users may see in response to their searches.' The decision is the first in a series of decisions from the court about how trademark rights can be used to restrict information available to users. Google is currently battling several trademark keyword cases in the US, including a case against Rosetta Stone, Inc."
GNOME

Ubuntu's "Lucid Lynx" Enters Beta 366

Posted by timothy
from the but-that-danged-button-arrangement-sucks dept.
ActionDesignStudios writes "The upcoming release of Ubuntu, titled 'Lucid Lynx,' has just entered the beta cycle. Alongside the usual desktop and server versions, a special version has been released that is designed to run on Amazon's EC2 cloud service. This release of Ubuntu does away with the brown 'Human' Gnome theme we've all become accustomed to, replaced by a new version Canonical says is inspired by light. The new release also includes much better integration with social networking services such as Twitter, identi.ca and Facebook, among others."
Australia

Good Language Choice For School Programming Test? 407

Posted by timothy
from the 'strailian's-too-difficult dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Australian Informatics Olympiad programming test is being run in a couple of months. I'm an experienced programmer and I'm thinking of volunteering to tutor interested kids at my children's school to get them ready. There will be children of all levels in the group, from those that can't write 'hello world' in any language, to somewhat experienced programmers. For those starting from scratch, I'm wondering what language to teach them to code in. Accepted languages are C, C++, Pascal, Java, PHP, Python and Visual Basic. I'm leaning towards Python, because it is a powerful language with a simple syntax. However, the test has a run-time CPU seconds limit, so using an interpreted language like Python could put the students at a disadvantage compared to using C. Is it better to teach them something in 2 months that they're likely to be able to code in but possibly run foul of the CPU time limit, or struggle to teach them to code in a more complicated syntax like C/C++ which would however give them the best chance of having a fast solution?"
Games

8-Year Fan-Made Game Project Shut Down By Activision 265

Posted by Soulskill
from the of-doors-and-ways-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Activision, after acquiring Vivendi, became the new copyright holder of the classic King's Quest series of adventure game. They have now issued a cease and desist order to a team which has worked for eight years on a fan-made project initially dubbed a sequel to the last official installment, King's Quest 8. This stands against the fact that Vivendi granted a non-commercial license to the team, subject to Vivendi's approval of the game after submission. After the acquisition, key team members had indicated on the game's forums (now stripped of their original content by order of Activision) that Activision had given the indication that it intended to keep its current fan-game licenses, but was not interested in issuing new ones."
Australia

Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Over R4 Mod Chip Piracy 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.
schliz writes "The Federal Court has ordered an Australian distributor to pay Nintendo over half a million dollars for selling the R4 mod chip, which allows users to circumvent technology protection measures in Nintendo's DS consoles. The distributor, RSJ IT Solutions, has been ordered to cease selling the chip through its gadgetgear.com.au site and any other sites it controls, as well as paying Nintendo $520,000 in damages."
Wii

Wii Hardware Upgrade Won't Happen Soon 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-show-ugly-mario-in-hd dept.
As high-definition graphics become more and more entrenched in this generation of game consoles, Nintendo has had to deal with constant speculation about a new version of the Wii that would increase its capabilities. Today, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime bluntly denied that a hardware revision was imminent, saying, "We are confident the Wii home entertainment console has a very long life in front of it." He added, "In terms of what the future holds, we've gone on record to say that the next step for Nintendo in home consoles will not be to simply make it HD, but to add more and more capability, and we'll do that when we've totally tapped out all of the experiences for the existing Wii. And we're nowhere near doing that yet."
Biotech

One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

Posted by timothy
from the would-never-leave-the-house dept.
dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"
Games

Game Endings Going Out of Style? 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the to-be-continued dept.
An article in the Guardian asks whether the focus of modern games has shifted away from having a clear-cut ending and toward indefinite entertainment instead. With the rise of achievements, frequent content updates and open-ended worlds, it seems like publishers and developers are doing everything they can to help this trend. Quoting: "Particularly before the advent of 'saving,' the completion of even a simple game could take huge amounts of patience, effort and time. The ending, like those last pages of a book, was a key reason why we started playing in the first place. Sure, multiplayer and arcade style games still had their place, but fond 8, 16 and 32-bit memories consist more of completion and satisfaction than particular levels or tricky moments. Over the past few years, however, the idea of a game as simply something to 'finish' has shifted somewhat. For starters, the availability of downloadable content means no story need ever end, as long as the makers think there's a paying audience. Also, the ubiquity of broadband means multiplayer gaming is now the standard, not the exception it once was. There is no real 'finish' to most MMORPGs."
Games

How To Judge Legal Risk When Making a Game Clone? 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the ask-a-lawye-oh-wait dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm an indie game developer making a clone of a rather obscure old game. Gameplay in my clone is very similar to the old game, and my clone even has a very similar name because I want to attract fans of the original. The original game has no trademark or software patent associated with it, and my clone isn't infringing on the original's copyright in any way (all the programming and artwork is original), but nevertheless I'm still worried about the possibility of running afoul of a look and feel lawsuit or something similar. How do I make sure I'm legally in the clear without hiring an expensive lawyer that my indie developer budget can't afford?"

Comment: Re:Westerners (Score 5, Informative) 269

by midnightJackal (#30661598) Attached to: Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels

I wonder if Westerners are accepted at these places?

As with all things in Japan, it depends. Westerners will be allowed in if they satisfy the requirements posted on the wall at the reception area. In most cases, anyone with tattoos will be barred entry (since tattoos == yakuza in japan).

Also, most capsule hotels are exclusively for men because it reduces the risk of rape (versus co-ed). There are one or two capsule hotels in Tokyo that I could find that are exclusively for women, but since the whole point of a capsule hotel is to provide a place for a salaryman (read: regular joe schmoe employee) to catch some sleep after a night of drinking and missing his last train home, it doesn't often happen that a woman would *need* to stay in a capsule hotel. Especially since Japanese society still largely encourages women to abandon their careers once they have children. And, as we all know, Japanese women are expected to be baby making machines , so *not* having children isn't really seen as an option.

Disclaimer: I lived in (albeit rural) Japan from 2005-2007, and I'm female. I looked for capsule hotels when I was there, and there were few that would accept me. My views on women's rights and societal expectations in Japan may be somewhat biased by my small-town life there, as even in Canada small-town women get exposed to fewer options and seemingly have fewer acceptable life choices than those in major cities.

Image

Best Man Rigs Newlyweds' Bed To Tweet During Sex 272

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-feed dept.
When an UK man was asked to be the best man at a friend's wedding he agreed that he would not pull any pranks before or during the ceremony. Now the groom wishes he had extended the agreement to after the blessed occasion as well. The best man snuck into the newlyweds' house while they were away on their honeymoon and placed a pressure-sensitive device under their mattress. The device now automatically tweets when the couple have sex. The updates include the length of activity and how vigorous the act was on a scale of 1-10.
Censorship

Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

Posted by timothy
from the your-ethics-may-vary dept.
bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.

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