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+ - The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the 50-Year Copyright Itch

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Victoria Shannon writes in the NYT that fifty years ago was a good year for music with the Beatles appearing on Billboard’s charts for the first time, the Rolling Stones releasing their first album, the Supremes with five No. 1 hits and Simon and Garfunkel releasing their debut album. The 50-year milestone is significant, because music published within the first half-century of its recording gets another 20 years of copyright protection under changes in European law. So every year since 2012, studios go through their tape vaults to find unpublished music to get it on the market before the deadline. The first year, Motown released a series of albums packed with outtakes by some of its major acts, and Sony released a limited-edition collection of 1962 outtakes by Bob Dylan, with the surprisingly frank title, “The Copyright Extension Collection, Vol. I.” In 2013, Sony released a second Dylan set, devoted to previously unreleased 1963 recordings. Similar recordings by the Beatles and the Beach Boys followed. This year, Sony is releasing a limited-edition nine-LP set of 1964 recordings by Dylan, including a 46-second try at “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which he would not complete until 1965. The Beach Boys released two copyright-extension sets of outtakes last week. And while there's no official word on a Beatles release, last year around this time, “The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963” turned up unannounced on iTunes."

+ - Geoengineering Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Scientists from the University of Leeds have proposed that brighter ships' wakes, created by reducing their component bubbles' sizes, could increase their reflectivity and produce a cooling effect on the climate. The technology is touted as being available and simple, but side-effects might include such things as wetter conditions in some regions. Still, compared to many speculative geoengineering projects, "The one advantage about this technology — of trying to generate these tiny 'micro-bubbles' — is that the technology does already exist," according to Leeds' Prof Piers Forster."

+ - Schneier explains how to protect yourself from Sony-style attacks (you can't)->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Bruce Schneier has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal discussing the Sony attack. He says, "Your reaction to the massive hacking of such a prominent company will depend on whether you’re fluent in information-technology security. If you’re not, you’re probably wondering how in the world this could happen. If you are, you’re aware that this could happen to any company.""
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+ - The Dominant Life Form in the Cosmos is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won’t look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It’s likely they won’t be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way.
Susan Schneider, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, joins a handful of astronomers, including Seth Shostak, director of NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, NASA Astrobiologist Paul Davies, and Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick in espousing the view that the dominant intelligence in the cosmos is probably artificial. In her paper “Alien Minds," written for a forthcoming NASA publication, Schneider describes why alien life forms are likely to be synthetic, and how such creatures might think."

+ - Quantum physics just got less complicated->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From phys.org:
Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.
Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one."

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+ - New Zeus Variant Targets Users Of 150 Banks

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new variant of the infamous Zeus banking and information-stealing Trojan has been created to target the users of over 150 different banks and 20 payment systems in 15 countries, including the UK, the US, Russia, Spain and Japan. Chthonic, as the variant has been named by Kaspersky Lab researchers, shares a lot of similarities with previous Zeus variants. The malware is capable of collecting system information, stealing saved passwords, logging keystrokes, recording video and sound via the computer's webcam and microphone, grabbing the contents of online forms, injecting web pages and fake windows, and allows criminals to connect to the infected computer remotely and use it to carry out transactions."

+ - Hector the Stick Insect-Inspired Robot Takes its First Steps->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Hector, the stick insect-inspired robot built by a research team at Bielefeld University in Germany that was first announced in 2011, could be forgiven for feeling lonely as the only one of its kind in world, but has lately been too busy learning to walk to worry on its unique status. It is hoped that Hector, which stands for Hexapod Cognitive autonomously Operating Robot, will benefit not only roboticists but also biologists interested in animal movement."
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+ - Nicholas Negroponte on the Future of Learning: Nanobots Will Hack the Brain->

Submitted by giulioprisco
giulioprisco (2448064) writes "Nicholas Negroponte describes future nanobots hacking our neurons to make us learn faster and better. Able to communicate wirelessly with each other and with the external world, the nanobots would hack the brain like read/write computer memory. Negroponte says: '[I]n theory you could load Shakespeare into your bloodstream and as the little robots get to the various part of the brain they deposit little pieces of Shakespeare or the little pieces of French if you want to learn how to speak French. So in theory you can ingest information.'"
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+ - Bidding in Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A government auction of airwaves for use in mobile broadband has blown through presale estimates, becoming the biggest auction in the Federal Communications Commission’s history and signaling that wireless companies expect demand for Internet access by smartphones to continue to soar. And it’s not over yet. Companies bid more than $34 billion as of Friday afternoon for six blocks of airwaves, totaling 65 megahertz of the electromagnetic spectrum, being sold by the F.C.C. That total is more than three times the $10.5 billion reserve price that the commission put on the sale, the first offering of previously unavailable airwaves in six years."

+ - Space rock impacts not random->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "When it comes to small space rocks blowing up in Earth’s atmosphere, not all days are created equal. Scientists have found that, contrary to what they thought, such events are not random, and these explosions may occur more frequently on certain days. Rather than random occurrences, many large airbursts might result from collisions between Earth and streams of debris associated with small asteroids or comets. The new findings may help astronomers narrow their search for objects in orbits that threaten Earth, the researchers suggest."
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+ - Google challenges us on the Future of Energy-> 1

Submitted by TheRealHocusLocus
TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) writes "Google's Ross Koningstein and David Fork have published a interesting article at IEE Spectrum that describes the impetus behind the REC Initiative and sobering conclusions on the most popular renewable energy sources today. It also issues a challenge: not only must we find a source that is theoretically cheaper than coal, "What’s needed, we concluded, are reliable zero-carbon energy sources so cheap that the operators of power plants and industrial facilities alike have an economic rationale for switching over soon---say, within the next 40 years."

It makes good sense, a 40 year deadline. Energy is the catalyst of our modern life, as substantial as any physical product. Cheap base load electricity delivered by grid is the running water of the industrial age. Its effect on quality of life and economic health is analogous to the effect of clean drinking water on public health. Robert Hargraves is one who has also been promoting a carbon-neutral energy source that might provide electricity cheaper than coal and provide raw process heat for making synfuels. What other game-changing ideas are out there?"

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+ - 20 years: is this the oldest blog still active?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Steve Jackson, over at Steve Jackson Games (you may remember them getting raided by the Secret Service back in 1990 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S..., or GURPS, Car Wars,Munchkin, etc...) has been updating their Daily Illuminator blog for 20+ years. OK, 20+1 day, but still. He makes the claim that their blog is the oldest still active and I figured Slashdot would be best suited to validate or refute this claim.

So gang, is there an older blog than this one? Is there a ranking by age somewhere that is simply overlooked?"

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+ - Activists Discover Evidence of St. Petersburg's River of Poop ->

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior (537106) writes "Two weeks ago, a group of St. Petersburg ecologists conducted a test in Novoye Devyatkino, a suburb about 12 miles outside the city, of the local sewer system. In a study they titled “Feces Travel,” the activists dropped ten miniaturized, waterproofed GPS-tracking units down the toilet of a single apartment home and began mapping the devices’ signals.

On their website, the ecologists claim the trackers spilled out directly into the open-air waterways outside the building, without encountering even the most rudimentary sewage filtration. From Novoye Devyatkino, five of the devices reached the open waters of Neva Bay, where the units’ batteries appear to have died."

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+ - Intel Is Hitting The Wall On Moore's Law->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Fifty years ago, Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors engineers were managing to squeeze onto a chip was doubling every two years. Four years later, Moore co-founded Intel, a company that elevated this observation into a law and put it at the heart of its business. But now, with chip engineering reaching the point where components are measured in terms of individual molecules, Moore's Law may have reached it's limits — with dire results for Intel."
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+ - Win8.1 broken update redux - Severe problems with November Update

Submitted by BUL2294
BUL2294 (1081735) writes "Microsoft's latest update for Windows 8.1, KB3000850 / November Update has been causing a myriad of problems with certain programs. The difficulties are being discussed on Microsoft Community Support, Reddit, MSFN, Neowin, and ASKVG.

Looking over the forums, this update breaks Avast Antivirus (forum discussion) and Classic Shell (forum discussion). Problems with Avast are particularly acute and may impact System Restore. Other prevalent issues include the inability to sleep or shutdown, issues with Internet Explorer and Control Panel, and inability to boot into Safe Mode to roll back the update. Some users have indicated that they need to reinstall Windows 8.1 completely. At least Microsoft learned the error of their ways after the April & August updates, and has made KB3000850 optional (for now)..."

Software production is assumed to be a line function, but it is run like a staff function. -- Paul Licker