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+ - Water clouds tentatively detected just 7 light-years from Earth->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Astronomers have found signs of water ice clouds on an object just 7.3 light-years from Earth—less than twice the distance of Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to the sun. If confirmed, the discovery is the first sighting of water clouds beyond our solar system. The clouds shroud a Jupiter-sized object known as a brown dwarf and should yield insight into the nature of cool giant planets orbiting other suns."
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+ - Comcast tells government that its data caps aren't actually "data caps"-> 1

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Customers must pay more if they exceed limits—but it’s not a cap, Comcast says.

For the past couple of years, Comcast has been trying to convince journalists and the general public that it doesn’t impose any “data caps” on its Internet service.

That’s despite the fact that Comcast in some cities enforces limits on the amount of data customers can use and issues financial penalties for using more than the allotment. Comcast has said this type of billing will probably roll out to its entire national footprint within five years, perhaps alongside a pricier option to buy unlimited data.

“There isn't a cap anymore. We're out of the cap business,” Executive Vice President David Cohen said in May 2012 after dropping a policy that could cut off people's service after they use 250GB in a month. Comcast's then-new approach was touted to "effectively offer unlimited usage of our services because customers will have the ability to buy as much data as they want.""

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+ - Exomoon Detection Technique Greatly Expands List of Potential Habitable Systems

Submitted by Luminary Crush
Luminary Crush (109477) writes "Most of the detected exoplanets thus far have been gas giants which aren't great candidates for life as we know it. However, many of those planets are in fact in the star's habitable zone and could have moons with conditions more favorable. Until now, methods to detect the moons of such gas giants have been elusive, but researchers at the University of Texas, Arlington have discovered a way to detect the interaction of a moon's ionosphere with the parent gas giant from studies of Jupiter's moon Io. The search for 'Pandora' has begun."
Education

Free Law Casebook Project Starts With IP Coursebook 17

Posted by timothy
from the good-way-to-start dept.
An anonymous reader writes Duke Law School's James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins just published a CC licensed, freely downloadable textbook called "Intellectual Property Law and the Information Society." (Which includes a discussion of whether and when the term "intellectual property" is a dangerous misnomer). The book is apparently part of an attempt to lower what the authors describe as the "obscene cost" of legal textbooks. "This is the first in a series of free digital/low cost print legal educational materials to be published by Duke's Center for the Study of the Public Domain—starting with statutory supplements aimed at the basic classes. The goal of this project... is to improve the pricing and access norms of the world of legal textbook publishing, while offering the flexibility and possibility for customization that unfettered digital access provides. We hope it will provide a pleasant, restorative, competitive pressure on the commercial publishers to lower their prices and improve their digital access norms." The book's "problems range from a video of the Napster oral argument to counseling clients about search engines and trademarks, applying the First Amendment to digital rights management and copyright or commenting on the Supreme Court's new rulings on gene patents.. [The book] includes discussions of such issues as the Redskins trademark cancelations, the Google Books case and the America Invents Act."

+ - Free Law Casebook Project: Starts with IP Coursebook->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Duke Law School's James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins just published a CC licensed, freely downloadable textbook called "Intellectual Property Law and the Information Society." http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/o... (Which includes a discussion of whether and when the term "intellectual property" is a dangerous misnomer). The book is apparently part of an attempt to lower what the authors describe as the "obscene cost" of legal textbooks. "This is the first in a series of free digital/low cost print legal educational materials to be published by Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain—starting with statutory supplements aimed at the basic classes. The goal of this project... is to improve the pricing and access norms of the world of legal textbook publishing, while offering the flexibility and possibility for customization that unfettered digital access provides. We hope it will provide a pleasant, restorative, competitive pressure on the commercial publishers to lower their prices and improve their digital access norms."
The book's "problems range from a video of the Napster oral argument to counseling clients about search engines and trademarks, applying the First Amendment to digital rights management and copyright or commenting on the Supreme Court’s new rulings on gene patents.. [The book] includes discussions of such issues as the Redskins trademark cancelations, the Google Books case and the America Invents Act.""

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Businesses

Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report 142

Posted by timothy
from the ethics-schmethics dept.
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The folks over at The Verge claim that 'Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors.' Interviews and documents apparently show Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, following a playbook with advice designed to prevent Lyft from flagging their accounts. 'Uber appears to be replicating its program across the country. One email obtained by The Verge links to an online form for requesting burner phones, credit cards, and driver kits — everything an Uber driver needs to get started, which recruiters often carry with them.' Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds? The so-called sharing economy seems just as cutthroat — if not more so — than any other industry out there."

+ - Uber Has a Playbook for Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The folks over at The Verge claim that 'Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors.' Interviews and documents apparently show Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, following a playbook with advice designed to prevent Lyft from flagging their accounts. 'Uber appears to be replicating its program across the country. One email obtained by The Verge links to an online form for requesting burner phones, credit cards, and driver kits — everything an Uber driver needs to get started, which recruiters often carry with them.' Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds? The so-called sharing economy seems just as cutthroat — if not more so — than any other industry out there."
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+ - Some raindrops exceed their terminal velocity->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New research reveals that some raindrops are “super-terminal” (they travel more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity). The drops are the result of natural processes—and they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. Whereas all drops the team studied that were 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate."
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Techdirt: German Regulator Rejects German Newspapers' Cynical Attempt To Demand Cash From ->

From feed by feedfeeder
Back in June we wrote about the ridiculous and cynical attempt by a number of big German newspaper publishers, in the form of the industry group VG Media, to demand 11% of Google's gross worldwide revenue on any search that results in Google showing a snippet of their content. We noted the hypocrisy of these publishers seeking to do this while at the same time having done nothing to remove themselves from Google's search -- and, in fact, using Google's tools to help them rank higher in search results. In other words, these publishers know that ranking high helps them... and yet then still demanded cash on top of that.

VG Media had specifically filed an arbitration request with the German government, but it has now been rejected. And, while German regulators didn't go so far as to say they found the claim laughable, they did the regulator-speak equivalent:

“Sufficient suspicion is always necessary to initiate an abuse procedure. The complaint from VG Media did not establish this,” Andreas Mundt, president of Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement on Friday.
Those poor, poor newspapers will just have to go back to accepting free traffic from Google, via Google News (a site that doesn't have ads in Germany). Whatever will they do now?

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Programming

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video) 92

Posted by Roblimo
from the hey-kids-get-off-my-code dept.
Bob Pendleton calls his blog "The Grumpy Programmer" because he's both grumpy and a programmer. He's also over 60 years old and has been programming since he was in his teens. This pair of videos is a break from our recent spate of conference panels and corporate people. It's an old programmer sharing his career experiences with younger programmers so they (you?) can avoid making his mistakes and possibly avoid becoming as grumpy as he is -- which is kind of a joke, since Bob is not nearly as grumpy as he is light-hearted. (Transcript covers both videos. Alternate Video Link One; Alternate Video Link Two)

Google News Sci Tech: Hewlett-Packard recalls 6 million power cords over fire hazard - Reuters->

From feed by feedfeeder

Reuters

Hewlett-Packard recalls 6 million power cords over fire hazard
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) is recalling about 6 million computer power cords after 29 reports of the cords melting or charring, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Tuesday. The recalled item, the LS-15 AC...
HP Recalls 5 Million Laptop Power CordsKMBZ
Hewlett-Packard recalls 5 million AC power cordsWKRC TV Cincinnati

all 94 news articles

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GNU is Not Unix

MediaGoblin 0.7.0 "Time Traveler's Delight" Released 48

Posted by timothy
from the like-rupert-murdoch dept.
paroneayea (642895) writes "The GNU MediaGoblin folks have put out another release of their free software media hosting platform, dubbed 0.7.0: Time Traveler's Delight. The new release moves closer to federation by including a new upload API based on the Pump API, a new theme labeled "Sandy 70s Speedboat", metadata features, bulk upload, a more responsive design, and many other fixes and improvements. This is the first release since the recent crowdfunding campaign run with the FSF which was used to bring on a full time developer to focus on federation, among other things."

+ - Hackers Will Leak Syrian Stock Exchange Database Unless Assad Tackles ISIS->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "A group of hackers took down the website of Syria's only stock exchange this afternoon and are threatening to leak the exchange's database unless president Bashar al-Assad takes military action against the Islamic State.

The group, called Project Viridium, says that over the last several weeks, they've infected several Islamic State operatives' computers and have provided the Assad government with information about their whereabouts."

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+ - MediaGoblin 0.7.0 "Time Traveler's Delight" released

Submitted by paroneayea
paroneayea (642895) writes "The GNU MediaGoblin folks have put out another release of their free software media hosting platform, dubbed 0.7.0: Time Traveler's Delight. The new release moves closer to federation by including a new upload API based on the Pump API, a new theme labeled "Sandy 70s Speedboat", metadata features, bulk upload, a more responsive design, and many other fixes and improvements. This is the first release since the recent crowdfunding campaign run with the FSF which was used to bring on a full time developer to focus on federation, among other things."

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