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The Almighty Buck

+ - Congress Asks Universities to Curb "Piracy"

The Illegal Subset of the Integers writes: "According to Ars Technica, Congress has sent letters to 19 universities identified by the RIAA and MPAA has havens for copyright infringement. In it, they not only seek to discover what these universities are doing to dissuade students from infringing activities, but give the implied threat. House Judiciary Committee member Lamar Smith (R-TX) was quoted as saying, "If we do not receive acceptable answers, Congress will be forced to act." One wonders, though, what the universities are supposed to due when international disrespect for imaginary property rights is so widespread that there are currently over two million hits on Google for a certain oft-posted illegal number, up from the three hundred thousand hits from sometime yesterday."
Portables

+ - Mini DNA replicator could benefit world's poor

bob_calder writes: "From New Scientist: A pocket-sized device that runs on two AA batteries and copies DNA as accurately as expensive lab equipment has been developed by researchers in the US. The device has no moving parts and costs just $10 to make. It runs polymerase chain reactions (PCRs), to generate billions of identical copies of a DNA strand, in as little as 20 minutes. This is much faster than the machines currently in use, which take several hours. Victor Ugaz of Texas A&M University Journal reference: Angewandte Chemie International Edition (DOI: 10.1002/anie.200700306)"
Google

+ - Google branches out into hardware

Nefarious Wheel writes: "In frustration at our very large enterprise's somewhat antiquated document management system, I went to Google and typed in "Web-based document management systems" and, lo and behold, this turned up (rather unsurprisingly in retrospect) as paid link #1 http://www.google.com.au/enterprise/gsa/index.html /

So it looks like Google is branching out into hardware. Is this new or am I just late to the party? This is the first time I've seen any reference to Google selling its own branded hardware. Nice looking 1RU and 2RU units, too. Options list is awesome. (Note to editors — not affiliated with brand)"

Nanotechnology May Be Used To Regenerate Tissues, Organs->

Research at Northwestern University has shown that a combination of nanotechnology and biology may enable damaged tissues and organs to heal themselves. In a dramatic demonstration of what nanotechnology might achieve in regenerative medicine, paralyzed lab mice with spinal cord injuries have regained the ability to use their hind legs six weeks after a simple injection of a purpose-designed nanomaterial.
Link to Original Source
Music

+ - Harvard Law Prof Urges University to Fight RIAA

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Distinguished Harvard University Law School Professor Charles Nesson has called upon Harvard University to fight back against the RIAA and stand up for its students: "Students and faculty use the Internet to gather and share knowledge now more than ever....Yet "new deterrence and education initiatives" from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) threaten access to this vibrant resource. The RIAA has already requested that universities serve as conduits for more than 1,200 "pre-litigation letters." Seeking to outsource its enforcement costs, the RIAA asks universities to point fingers at their students, to filter their Internet access, and to pass along notices of claimed copyright infringement. But these responses distort the University's educational mission....... One can easily understand why the RIAA wants help from universities in facilitating its enforcement actions against students who download copyrighted music without paying for it. It is easier to litigate against change than to change with it. If the RIAA saw a better way to protect its existing business, it would not be threatening our students, forcing our librarians and administrators to be copyright police, and flooding our courts with lawsuits against relatively defenseless families without lawyers or ready means to pay. We can even understand the attraction of using lawsuits to shore up an aging business model rather than engaging with disruptive technologies and the risks that new business models entail...... But mere understanding is no reason for a university to voluntarily assist the RIAA with its threatening and abusive tactics. Instead, we should be assisting our students both by explaining the law and by resisting the subpoenas that the RIAA serves upon us. We should be deploying our clinical legal student training programs to defend our targeted students......""
Censorship

+ - No 'violent' games in VA shooter's dorm

Jabbrwokk writes: "The FBI's search warrant shows that there was no evidence of video games in VA Tech killer Seung Hi's dorm room.
The article contains a list of what the FBI did recover, all what you'd expect to find in a college dorm room (although booze, drugs and porn don't appear on the list).
The computer taken from the dorm may be found after further investigation to contain games on the hard drive, but so far there is no evidence that Seung Hi played violent video games, nor that there is any connection between violent video games and Seung Hi's shooting spree, despite attempts by the usual suspects to blame games for the actions of seriously disturbed individuals."

Scientists Shatter World Records With Length Of Latest Carbon Nanotube Arrays->

Engineering researchers have developed a novel composite catalyst and optimal synthesis conditions for oriented growth of multiwall CNT arrays. They lead the world in synthesis of extremely long aligned carbon nanotube arrays. Carbon nanotubes are of great interest because of their outstanding mechanical, electrical and optical properties. Intense research has been undertaken to synthesize long aligned CNTs because of their potential applications in nanomedicine, aerospace, electronics and many other areas.
Link to Original Source
Games

Games Less Engrossing Than Other Media? 93 93

The British Board of Film Classification recently released a study describing players' reactions to videogames. The synopsis of their findings makes for fascinating reading. "Gamers are starting to play at a younger age, even as the average age of gamers is increasing. Males and females differ greatly in taste in games, how long they play, and how involved they are in the gameplay. Negative press about a game significantly increases it's sales and many young gamers choose games based on word of mouth. Games provide a sense of achievement, unlike passive mediums like television. Active participation decreases the tendency to 'forget' your experiencing a fantasy vs. non-interactive visual mediums. Gamers find violence in television and movies more upsetting than violence in games. While parents agree that games should be regulated, some still consider the whole genre as 'kid's toys', even games that may include adult content." One of the most controversial findings is the assertion that games are less engrossing than other media, with players having less of an emotional connection to in-game events than the events in a book or movie. The Wonderland blog offers up the full report as well as commentary on their findings.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.

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