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Earth

Giant Impact Crater Found In Australia 109

Posted by timothy
from the convict-labor-can-fill-it-back-in dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the largest meteorite impacts in the world has been discovered in the South Australian outback by geothermal researchers. It may explain one of the many extinction events in the past 600 million years, and may contain rare and exotic minerals. The crater is said to have been 'produced by an asteroid six to 12 km across' — which is really big!"

+ - Amazon Prohibits Associates From Using All Pay-Per->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon Inc, has privately contacted Associates that Amazon will withold all earnings from Associates that bid on any generic words on sites such as Google.

Amazon claims that Associates bidding on generic words such as "books", "literature", "poultry", "widget" , etc, are violating Amazon's Associate Agreement, because it might match with phrases like "Amazon widget" or "Amazon poultry".

Associates who bid on any PPC terms will have their complete earnings withheld, and their accounts closed.

Unfortunately, Associates who publicly state that it happened, will have their accounts closed and all earnings withheld. Amazon makes slight changes to each email so they can track anyone who posts the email publically, and to make it difficult to find other Associates who complain publically about the issue."

Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon wins First Amendment privacy case.->

Submitted by
arbitraryaardvark
arbitraryaardvark writes "A federal court has ruled that North Carolina can't get Amazon's records of who buy what books. The Volokh conspiracy, a legal blog, reports
http://volokh.com/2010/10/26/north-carolina-department-of-revenues-demand-for-amazon-customer-records-violates-the-first-amendment/#more-38569
that the Western District of Washington ruled that customers have a First Amendment right to privacy against North Carolina's tax collectors, in Amazon v Lay.
http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/2010-10-25-AmazonvLay-Order.pdf
"The First Amendment protects a buyer from having the expressive content of her purchase of books, music, and audiovisual materials disclosed to the government. Citizens are entitled to receive information and ideas through books, films, and other expressive materials anonymously. ""

Link to Original Source
Wine

+ - Making superconductor with the help of red wine?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Apparently someone in Japan seriously think so.

On July 27, 2010, the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) of Japan announced that it has created a superconducting material with a critical temperature (Tc) of 8K (–265C) by immersing an inorganic compound into liquor and boiling it for twenty-four hours at about 70C.

Dr. Yoshihiko Takano and his group at NIMS were researching a method of doping solid-phase FeTe1-XSX using oxygen as the carrier, and discovered that while doping was not possible in an oxygen only atmosphere, the material exhibited superconductivity after prolonged exposure in air. This suggested that water (or OH bases) were involved, leading researchers to try immersing materials in various alcohol-water solutions, and investigate the introduction of oxygen ions through chemical reaction.

After a discouraging lack of results, Dr. Youichi Kamihara of the Tokyo Institute of Technology (one of the discoverers of iron-based superconductors, now at Keio University) suggested Dr. Takano trying liquor at a party in laboratory. While he said it half in jest, Takano was astonished to discover that it worked, and worked well.

Of the various liquors they tried, red wine boosted superconductivity the most effectively. As there seems to be no correlation between alcohol concentration and superconductivity, it is thought the result must be due to come component in the wine other than alcohol. Takano commented "FeTe1-XSX is a layered compound, and it is possible that the oxygen ions are diffused between the layers by a chemical reaction. I suspect some component in the wine is acting as a catalyst.""

Link to Original Source
Patents

Red Hat Settles Patent Case 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-it-go-away dept.
darthcamaro writes "Red Hat has settled another patent case with patent holding firm Acacia. This time the patent is US Patent #6,163,776, 'System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and relational system.' While it's great that Red Hat has ended this particular patent threat, it's not yet clear how they've settled this case. The last time Red Hat tangled with Acacia they won in an Texas jury trial. 'Red Hat routinely addresses attempts to impede the innovative forces of open source via allegations of patent infringement,' Red Hat said in a statement. 'We can confirm that Red Hat, Inc and Software Tree LLC have settled patent litigation that was pending in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.'"
Role Playing (Games)

Free Realms Approaches the Five-Million-Player Mark 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the price-is-right dept.
A few days ago at Comic-Con, Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley spoke about the success of Free Realms, their free-to-play MMORPG that relies on microtransactions for a business model. The game was released at the end of April, and by mid-June there were upwards of three million registered users. Now that total is approaching five million, with no sign of slowing down. Min Kim, another panelist at the discussion, said, "When people started talking about it back in 2003 or 2004, people said Western games would never want to do this, to play a game for free and then buy items. And now everybody is saying, 'We're going to have microtransactions as part of our business model.'"

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.

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