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+ - Microsoft, Chip Makers Working on Hardware DRM for Windows 10 PCs-> 1

Submitted by writertype
writertype writes: Last month, Microsoft began talking about PlayReady 3.0, which adds hardware DRM to secure 4K movies. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are all building it in, according to Microsoft. Years back, a number of people got upset when Hollywood talked about locking down "our content". So how important is hardware DRM in this day and age?
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+ - Russia ends effort to build a nuclear-powered rocket engine

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: The Russian government has decided to shut down its research project to build a nuclear rocket engine for interplanetary travel in space.

The idea of using nuclear power for propulsion in space has been around since the 1960s, and has shown great promise. It would provide far more power for less fuel than any existing engine. The U.S. unfortunately abandoned this research in the 1960s, partly because of the cut-backs after winning the space race and partly because of environmental protests that fear anything to do with nuclear. If the Russians had followed through, it would have given them an advantageous position in any competition to colonize the planets.

+ - Surgeon Swears Human Head Transplant Isn't a 'Metal Gear Solid' Publicity Stunt

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler writes: Dr. Sergio Canavero wants to become the first surgeon to perform a human head transplant. But some discerning gamers noticed that a doctor shown in the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V looks almost exactly like Canavero, leading some to speculate that it's all a viral marketing campaign for the upcoming game.
Canavero, however, filed a sworn affidavit with Italian police in which he said Konami illegally stole his likeness, and that he has nothing to do with the game.

+ - Irish Legislator Proposes Law That Would Make Annoying People Online A Crime->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Is Ireland looking to pass a law that would "outlaw ebooks and jail people for annoying others?" Well, no, not really, but that's the sort of unintended consequences that follow when laws are updated for the 21st century using little more than a word swap. (h/t Brian Sheehan)

Ireland has had long-standing laws against harassment via snail mail, telephones and (as of 2007) SMS messages. A 2014 report by the government's somewhat troublingly-named "Internet Content Governance Advisory Group" recommended updating this section of the law to cover email, social media and other internet-related transmissions.

Violators are looking at sentences ranging from 1-5 years and fines of up to €75,000 — all for doing something as minor as "causing annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety." In addition, the proposed amendment would provide for the seizure of devices used to send the annoying messages, including computers, cell phones — even the internet connection itself.

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+ - New documentary: When Women Code-> 2

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger writes: CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap is a documentary that premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film dives into why an industry that's supposed to think different, to move fast and break things has the demographic breakdown it does. The Atlantic has a Q&A with the director of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, which looks at the reasons behind the male-dominated world of software engineering.
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+ - Virtual Reality Games can Improve Memory Retention of Safety Instructions->

Submitted by vrml
vrml writes: Using a virtual reality (VR) headset to experience risky situations as immersive 3D games improves memory retention of passenger safety instructions, according to research published in the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and illustrated by a YouTube video. Researchers recruited occasional flyers: half of them played a VR gaming experience of an airliner water landing and evacuation, while the other half studied a real airline safety card. After one week, passengers who had studied the safety card suffered a significant loss of knowledge, while passengers who had played the VR game fully retained the safety knowledge gained. The research group has now made available its emergency water landing experience also for the Oculus Rift.
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+ - The Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway: Copyright Extension for Sound Recordings->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Despite no study, no public demands, and the potential cost to the public of millions of dollars, the Canadian government announced yesterday that it will extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performances from 50 to 70 years. The music industry did not raise term extension as a key concern during either the 2012 copyright reform bill or the 2014 Canadian Heritage committee study on the industry. For Canadians, the extension could cost millions of dollars as works that were scheduled to come into the public domain will now remain locked down for decades.
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+ - Federal agent smashes cellphone woman was using to record police activity...->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: After high-profile uses of force caught on video in places like South Carolina, New York and L.A.'s skid row, officers in the Southeast L.A. suburb had been told to take filming in stride. If you're not doing anything wrong, police brass reasoned, what do you have to worry about?

So on Sunday, when a lawman was caught on video snatching a woman's cellphone in South Gate as she recorded and smashing it on the floor, it was with relief that South Gate police said the officer wasn't one of their own but a deputy U.S. marshal.

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+ - MIT's New Tabletop Particle Detector Sees Individual Electrons->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Scientists at MIT have created a small, tabletop particle detector capable of identifying individual electrons within a cloud of radioactive gas. "As the radioactive krypton gas decays, it emits electrons that vibrate at a baseline frequency before petering out; this frequency spikes again whenever an electron hits an atom of radioactive gas. As an electron ping-pongs against multiple atoms in the detector, its energy appears to jump in a step-like pattern." The researchers use the detector to record the activity of 100,000 different electrons within the gas (abstract). They're hoping that with enough data about how the electrons bounce around, they'll be able to pinpoint the amount of energy released during these krypton atom decay events. Once they know how much energy is released, they can figure out the mass of a neutrino, which is also emitted during the decay.
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+ - Microsoft Announces Device Guard for Windows 10->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Microsoft is making big efforts to increase the security of Windows 10 and turn the new operating system into a robust working environment, so several new features will be available in this regard when it comes out. Redmond is adding yet another feature called Device Guard that would give organizations full control over the apps that are allowed to be launched on a device running Windows 10. The administrator is in control of what sources Device Guard considers trustworthy and it comes also with tools that can make it easy to locally sign Universal or Win32 apps that may not have been originally signed by the software vendor.
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+ - German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Following a four-month trial, a German court in Hamburg has ruled that the practice of blocking advertising is perfectly legitimate. Germany-based Eyeo, the company that owns Adblock Plus, has won a case against German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt. These companies operate Zeit.de, Handelsblatt.com, and Wiwo.de. Their lawsuit, filed on December3, charged that Adblock Plus should not be allowed to block ads on their websites. While the decision is undoubtedly a big win for users today, it could also set a precedent for future lawsuits against Adblock Plus and any other tool that offers similar functions. The German court has essentially declared that users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web.

+ - Japan looks to distributed control theory to manage energy market deregulation-> 1

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel writes: Japan’s power industry is currently centralized, but it aims to deregulate by around 2020. Coupled with this major structural market change, the expansion of thermal, nuclear and renewable power generation will place additional demands on the management of the country’s energy market. Researchers from the Namerikawa lab at Keio University are working with control engineers, power engineers and economists to designing mechanical and control algorithms that can manage this large-scale problem.
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