Nom du Keyboard points out an Ars Technica report that the Sony Video Store on the Playstation Network is running some rather restrictive DRM. When purchasing movies, users are allowed just one download — even if they delete the movie to make space and want to download it again on the same machine. A Sony representative told Ars that users could be issued an extra download as a "one-time courtesy" with help from customer support. Quoting: "When we're discussing a system that seems to release new hardware configurations every few months and a company that actively encourages you to swap hard drives yourself, it appears users are going to run into problems if they ever decide they want to switch out their hard drive or even upgrade into a larger system; the information on the back-up utility makes it clear that video content can't be moved over to new system, although new hard drives should be safe. Sony claims that the PS3 is operating on a 10-year timeline: is one extra download, which you need to contact customer service to apply for, good enough for the next decade?"
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports that the US Congress is funding laser weapons for use in the near future. Low-power lasers called 'dazzlers' are already being used in Iraq to temporarily reduce a person's vision. High-power laser weapons would allow precision attacks that minimize civilian casualties. From the Post: 'The science board said tactical laser systems could be developed for broader use because they "enable precision ground attack to minimize collateral damage in urban conflicts." The report suggested, for example, that "future gunships could provide extended precision lethality and sensing." The board also proposed using lasers to protect against rockets, artillery, mortars and unmanned airborne vehicles by blasting them out of the sky. Last month, the Army awarded Boeing $36 million to continue development of a high-energy laser mounted on a truck that could hit overhead targets. But deployment is not expected until 2016, even if all goes well.'"
thebryce writes "From cyborg housemaids and waterpowered cars to dog translators and rocket boots, Japanese boffins have racked up plenty of near-misses in the quest to turn science fiction into reality. Now the finest scientific minds of Japan are devoting themselves to cracking the greatest sci-fi vision of all: the space elevator. Man has so far conquered space by painfully and inefficiently blasting himself out of the atmosphere but the 21st century should bring a more leisurely ride to the final frontier. Japan is increasingly confident that its sprawling academic and industrial base can solve those issues, and has even put the astonishingly low price tag of a trillion yen (£5 billion) on building the elevator. Japan is renowned as a global leader in the precision engineering and high-quality material production without which the idea could never be possible."
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast has discontinued its provided usenet service, once provided to all its high speed customers. First with the cap put on its customers several years ago on amount of traffic provided as part of the customer high-speed package, as of September 16, the service is no longer provided. Without fanfare, this bastion of the internet is being removed from the mainstream."
method9455 writes "Barack Obama has edited his official website on many issues, including a huge revision on the technology page. Strangely it seems net neutrality is no longer as important as it was a few months ago, and the swaths of detail have been removed and replaced with fairly vague rhetoric. Many technologists were alarmed with the choice of Joe Biden before, and now it appears their fears might have been well founded." Update: 09/22 18:07 GMT by T : Julian Sanchez of Ars Technica passed on a statement from an Obama campaign representative who points out that the changes in wording highlighted by Versionista aren't the whole story, and that more Obama tech-plan details are now available in a PDF, saying "there is absolutely no substantive change to our policy - folks who want more information can click to get our full plan."
Ian Lamont writes "In a strange turn of events, the Wikipedia entry for Deletionpedia — an online archive of deleted Wikipedia articles — is now being considered for deletion. The entry for Deletionpedia was created shortly after the publication of an Industry Standard article and a discussion on Slashdot this week. Almost immediately, it was nominated for deletion, which has sparked a running debate about the importance of the Wikipedia entry, Deletionpedia, and the sources that reference it. For the time being, you can read the current version of the Deletionpedia entry, while the Wikipedia editors carry on the debate."