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The Courts

Breathalyzer Source Code Ruling Upheld 520

Posted by timothy
from the show-your-work-please dept.
dfn_deux writes "In a follow up to a 2005 story where Florida judge Doug Henderson ruled that breathalyzer evidence in more than 100 drunk driving cases would be inadmissible as evidence at trial, the Second District Court of Appeal and Circuit Court has ruled on Tuesday to uphold the 2005 ruling requiring the manufacturer of the Intoxilyzer 5000, Kentucky-based CMI Inc, to release source code for their breathalyzer equipment to be examined by witnesses for the defense of those standing trial with breathalyzer test result being used as evidence against them. '"The defendant's right to a fair trial outweighed the manufacturer's claim of a trade secret," Henderson said Tuesday. In response to the ruling defense attorney, Mark Lipinski, who represents seven defendants challenging the source codes, said the state likely will be forced to reduce charges — or drop the cases entirely.' ... What this really means is that outside corporations cannot sell equipment to the state of Florida and expect to hide the workings of their machine by saying they are trade secret. It means the state has to give full disclosure concerning important and critical aspects of the case."
Communications

Storing Photons In a Solid State Device 68

Posted by timothy
from the next-year-in-vending-machines dept.
bondisthebest writes in with a report from IEEE Spectrum: "Physicists in Switzerland, led by Nicolas Gisin of the University of Geneva, reported last week in Nature that they have made a solid-state device capable of storing photons for as long as 1 microsecond. The invention will aid in the development of light-based quantum-cryptography networks, which are theoretically impervious to hacking but are currently limited in range to a few dozen kilometers, primarily because of a lack of a suitable way to store the quantum state of photons."
Education

ACM Urges Obama To Include CS In K-12 Core 474

Posted by kdawson
from the little-algol-and-less-fortran dept.
jmcbain writes "The ACM issued a set of recommendations supporting Barack Obama's stated goal of making science and mathematics education a national priority at the K-12 level. The ACM is urging the new administration to include Computer Science as an integral part of the nation's education system. 'The new Administration can play an important role in strengthening middle school education, where action can really make a difference, to introduce these students to computer science,' said ACM CEO John White." Is CS such a basic subject, at the level of science or math, that it makes sense to (try to) teach its principles to every elementary school child?
Space

Do We Live In a Giant Cosmic Bubble? 344

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-live-in-my-own-universe dept.
Khemisty writes "Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation. Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario. If we were in an unusually sparse area of the universe, then things could look farther away than they really are and there would be no need to rely on dark energy as an explanation for certain astronomical observations. 'If we lived in a very large under-density, then the space-time itself wouldn't be accelerating,' said researcher Timothy Clifton of Oxford University in England. 'It would just be that the observations, if interpreted in the usual way, would look like they were.'"

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