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Input Devices

Project Natal Pricing and Release Date Revealed 156

tekgoblin writes "According to Edge-online.com, their source says that we can expect Microsoft's Project Natal to cost around $149. 'The figure for the standalone unit is significantly higher than a previous sub-£50 estimate, but less than pricing recently suggested by European retailers. It’s also more expensive than Sony’s Natal rival, Move, which will be available later this year with a game for less than $100.'"
Science

Submission + - "Argonaut" Octopus Sucks Air Into Shell as Ballast (discovermagazine.com)

audiovideodisco writes: Even among octopuses, the Argonaut must be one of the coolest. It gets its nickname—"paper nautilus"—from the fragile shell the female assembles around herself after mating with the tiny male (whose tentacle/penis breaks off and remains in the female). For millennia, people have wondered what the shell was for; Aristotle thought the octopus used it as a boat and its tentacles as oars and sails.

Now scientists who managed to study Argonauts in the wild confirm a different hypothesis: that the octopus sucks air into its shell and uses it for ballast as it weaves its way through the ocean like a tiny submarine. The researchers' beautiful video and photographs show just how the Argonaut pulls off this trick. The regular (non-paper) nautilus also uses its shell for ballast, but the distant relationship between it and all octopuses suggests this is a case of convergent evolution.

Censorship

Modern Warfare 2 Not Recalled In Russia After All 94

thief21 writes "After claims that console versions Modern Warfare 2 had been recalled in Russia due to complaints from politicians and the gaming public over the infamous airport slaughter scene, it turns out the stories were completely untrue. Activision never released a console version of the game in Russia." Instead, they simply edited the notorious scene out of the PC version. They did this of their own volition, since Russia doesn't have a formal ratings committee.
Security

Submission + - Signficant Flaw in Apache in the Wild (ckers.org)

Zerimar writes: A signficant flaw in Apache that can lead to a fairly trivial DoS attack is in the wild. Apache 1.x, 2.x, dhttpd, GoAhead WebServer, and Squid are confirmed vulnerable, while IIS6.0, IIS7.0, and lighttpd are confirmed not vulnerable. As of this writing, Apache Foundation does not have a patch availble.
The Internet

Submission + - Comcast to bring IPv6 to residential US in 2010 (internetnews.com) 7

darthcamaro writes: We all know that IPv4 address space is almost gone — but we also know that no major US carrier has yet migrated its consumer base either. Comcast is no upping the ante a bit and has now said that they are seriously gearing up for IPv6 residential broadband deployment soon.

"Comcast plans to enter into broadband IPv6 technical trials later this year and into 2010," Barry Tishgart, VP of Internet Services for Comcast said. "Planning for general deployment is underway."


United States

Submission + - Bill ready to ban ISP caps in the US

xclr8r writes: Ars has a story on Eric Massa a congressman representing a district in western New York has a bill ready that would start treating Internet providers like a utility and stop the use of caps. Nearby locales have been used as test beds for the new caps so this may have made the constituents raise the issue with their representative.
Windows

Submission + - Microsoft Backtracks, Extends XP For OEMs To 2011 (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Just hours after a noted research analyst criticized Microsoft's plans to limit sales of Windows XP PCs, the company said it would extend the aged operating system's lifespan in the post-Windows 7 world to as late as April 2011. On Tuesday, Michael Silver of Gartner blasted the company's decision, saying it would make it more difficult for companies to manage their PCs, and more expensive to upgrade them to Windows 7 down the road. Microsoft's new policy: 'Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate customers will have the option to downgrade to Windows XP Professional from PCs that ship within 18 months following the general availability of Windows 7 or until the release of a Windows 7 service pack, whichever is sooner, and if a service pack is developed,' a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail. 'This is good,' said Silver. '[But] still not great.' His concern is over the 'out' Microsoft gave itself. 'The new policy is 18 months or SP1 delivery, whichever is sooner,' he said. 'It means that if SP1 shows up in six or eight months, the date suddenly moves in.'"
Media

Submission + - RubyOnRails.org Domain Registration Lost 1

Tyler Larson writes: "It seems that official Ruby On Rails website (rubyonrails.org) has turned into a parked advertising page. The WHOIS record for the domain lists the registrant as "Next Angle", administered by "BuyDomains.dk LLC". David Heinemeier Hansson filed two years ago for a trademark on the phrase "ruby on rails," and he may or may not be able to use it to reclaim the associated domain name. It seems clear, however, that if BuyDomains has legitimately taken ownership of the domain--which currently has a Google PageRank of 7/10--they will not let it go without either a drawn-out fight or a very large payment.

For many organizations, their domain name has become their identity. What precautions do you take to make sure it doesn't get taken from you? What sort of contingency plan can you implement in the case that it does?"
The Courts

Appeals Court Rules Against Google On Keyword Ads 39

Eric Goldman writes "The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Google in Rescuecom v. Google (PDF), a trademark infringement lawsuit over Google's keyword advertising practices. The court said: 'The Complaint's allegations that Google's recommendation and sale of Rescuecom's mark to Google's advertisers, so as to trigger the appearance of their advertisements and links in a manner likely to cause consumer confusion when a Google user launches a search of Rescuecom's trademark, properly alleges a claim under the Lanham Act.' While this result hampers Google's ability to end trademark lawsuits early, the case is still at an early stage and Google could still win."
Space

ESA Launches GOCE To Map Earth's Gravity 81

DSG2 sends in an ESA press release which reads in part: "This afternoon, the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite developed by the European Space Agency was lofted into a near-Sun-synchronous, low Earth orbit by a Rockot launcher lifting off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. GOCE is the first of a new family of ESA satellites designed to study our planet and its environment in order to enhance our knowledge and understanding of Earth-system processes and their evolution, to enable us to address the challenges of global climate change. In particular, GOCE will measure the minute differences in the Earth's gravity field around the globe." One consequence of mapping the planet's geoid in finer detail is that ocean currents can be limned more accurately. This BBC article from 2007 goes into some detail about this application.
Education

Texas Board of Education Supports Evolution 344

somanyrobots writes with this excerpt from the Dallas News: "In a major defeat for social conservatives, a sharply divided State Board of Education voted Thursday to abandon a longtime state requirement that high school science teachers cover what some critics consider to be 'weaknesses' in the theory of evolution. Under the science curriculum standards recommended by a panel of science educators and tentatively adopted by the board, biology teachers and biology textbooks would no longer have to cover the 'strengths and weaknesses' of Charles Darwin's theory that man evolved from lower forms of life. Texas is particularly influential to textbook publishers because of the size of its market, so this could have a ripple effect on textbooks used in other states as well."
Mars

Lots of Pure Water Ice At Mars North Pole 176

brink2012 writes "Planum Boreum, Mars' north polar cap contains water ice 'of a very high degree of purity,' according to an international study. Using radar data from the SHARAD (SHAllow RADar) instrument on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), French researchers say the data point to 95 percent purity in the polar ice cap. The north polar cap is a dome of layered, icy materials, similar to the large ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica, consisting of layered deposits, with mostly ice and a small amount of dust. Combined, the north and south polar ice caps are believed to hold the equivalent of two to three million cubic kilometers (0.47-0.72 million cu. miles) of ice, making it roughly 100 times more than the total volume of North America's Great Lakes, which is 22,684 cu. kms (5,439 miles). The study was done by researchers at France's National Institute of Sciences of the Universe (Insu), using the Italian built SHARAD radar sounder on the US built MRO. SHARAD looks for liquid or frozen water in the first few hundreds of feet (up to 1 kilometer) of Mars' crust by using subsurface sounding. It can detect liquid water and profile ice. Mars southern polar cap was once thought to be carbon dioxide ice, but ESA's Mars Express confirmed that it is composed of a mixture of water and carbon dioxide. The study on Mars north polar cap appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union."
The Courts

RIAA Tries To Appeal Order Allowing Internet TV Court Broadcast 209

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has appealed the order entered several days ago allowing the January 22nd hearing in SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum to be streamed over internet TV. Additionally, they've made a motion for a stay. I'm just a country lawyer, but as far as I know: (a) it's not possible to appeal the order, (b) it was procedurally improper and ineffective to file a notice of appeal, and (c) it was improper to direct their motion for a stay to the District Court Judge. Well, let's hope the arguments in the First Circuit will be streamed, too. Meanwhile, one commentator wonders why the tooth and nail opposition to broadcasting, since the professed aim of the litigations was to 'educate' the public?"

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