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Infringement 'Detrimental To the Public Health, Safety' 348

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has declared that copyright infringement 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.' You might laugh, but that means they can close up a property for up to one year for violations of the anti-infringement ordinance [PDF] and the owner can be fined $1,000 for each infringing work produced on site. Not to mention the penalties in the PRO-IP Act, which just sailed through the House."

Using X-ray Radiography To Reveal Ancient Insects 67

1shooter writes "Researchers in France are using a synchrotron as a giant X-ray machine to peer into the insides of opaque amber to reveal insects dating from the age of dinosaurs. 'The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, produces an intense, high-energy light that can pierce just about any material, revealing its inner structure... From more than 600 blocks, they have identified nearly 360 fossil animals: wasps, flies, ants, spiders.' The process reveals detailed 3D images that can be used to make near-perfect enlarged scale models of the bugs using a 'plastic printer.'"
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Plant Tycoon - the perfect plant simulation game! (

hiddenobjectgames writes: "Plant Tycoon Game
From the creators of Fish Tycoon and the epic Virtual Villagers series comes Plant Tycoon, a great new plant simulation where you grow plants, harvest seeds, and sell adult plants in the Nursery to make money. Monitor your plants health, age and maturity and be careful of dehydration and..."


Submission + - New Storm Worm twist uses Tor as a vector (

An anonymous reader writes: Seems like the Storm botnet that was behind the last two waves of attacks is also responsible for this new kind of social-engineering based attacks, using spam to try and convince users of the necessity of using Tor for there communications. They "kindly" provide a link to download a trojaned version of Tor. This blog entry has a link to the original post on or-talk mailing list which has some samples of the messages.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Polybius remake (

An anonymous reader writes: "The bizarre rumors about this game are that it was supposedly developed by some kind of weird military tech offshoot group, used some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA or something, kids who played it woke up at night screaming, having horrible nightmares."

Although Polybius probably never existed, a PC remake has been made of it. A very psychedelic vector graphics game, a bit like Tempest on acid.

Check the link at -it-will-kill-you.html for some background detail and links to the game.


Submission + - Electronic Wallpaper 'Grows' From Your Photos

instar writes: A Swedish scientist has developed what he calls "Autonomous Wallpaper." Using a bluetooth cell phone, you can upload pictures to the wall, where they will be transformed into one of 6 predefined flower shapes. From Discovery News: "A prototype software program converts pixels from cell phone images into unique flower shapes and then uploads them to a wall. Once on the wall, the flowers become autonomous agents, grow and interact with other flowers, and then eventually die." I'm not one for flowery wallpaper, but it's a neat concept.
The Almighty Buck

Would You Pay Pennies For Game Features? 64

Friday at GDC Austin saw the day starting with a keynote that may seem unusual to players unfamiliar with the Asian online gaming market. Nexon is a major player from the country of South Korea, boasting a handful of titles that see more users in a month than many well-known online games made here in the US. All of the company's titles, regardless of genre, have one thing in common: they're free to play, sort of. Microtransactions, the practice of paying a very small amount of money for an object or service, is what provides Nexon its revenue ... and plenty of revenue it is. Nexon America's director Min Kim gave a discussion on the realities of rolling Microtransaction-based titles out in the states, with a case study of the success of Maple Story's launch in our country.

New Bill to Clarify Cellphone Contracts 177

theorem4 writes to tell us that US Senators today unveiled legislation designed to empower cell phone customers across the nation by providing more protections and guaranteed options. "The Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act of 2007 will require wireless service providers to share simple, clear information on their services and charges with customers before they enter into long-term contracts; a thirty-day window in which to exit a contract without early termination fees; and greater flexibility to exit contracts with services that don't meet their needs."

G.I. Joe No Longer the Real American Hero? 548

Advocate123 writes "Clearly, Hollywood has forgotten the, 'Real American Hero.' G.I. Joe originally symbolized the American WWII soldier and a great generation. Now Hollywood celebrities are going to turn him into a international multicultural coed task force with no government affiliations. Isn't anything sacred to these people?"

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long