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The Courts

Supreme Court Rules For Monsanto In Patent Case 579

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-your-seeds-are-belong-to-us dept.
Pigskin-Referee writes in with news of the Supreme Court's decision in a dispute between Monsanto and an Indiana farmer over patented seeds. "The Supreme Court has sustained Monsanto Co.'s claim that an Indiana farmer violated the company's patents on soybean seeds that are resistant to its weed-killer. The justices, in a unanimous vote Monday, rejected the farmer's argument that cheap soybeans he bought from a grain elevator are not covered by the Monsanto patents, even though most of them also were genetically modified to resist the company's Roundup herbicide. Justice Elena Kagan says a farmer who buys patented seeds must have the patent holder's permission. More than 90 percent of American soybean farms use Monsanto's 'Roundup Ready' seeds, which first came on the market in 1996."
Education

Alaskan Middle Schoolers Phish Their Teachers 215

Posted by timothy
from the deadliest-catch dept.
lukej writes "In Ketchikan, Alaska a small group of unidentified students gained access to school owned computers by using phishing techniques on their teachers. The then used the elevated access to remotely control their peers computers. Fortunately the school administrators seem to have a taken a realistic and pragmatic viewpoint of the situation, although no official punishment has yet been determined. '"Kids are being kids," (Principal) Robinson said, adding that he was surprised something like this had not already occurred. "They're going to try to do what they try to do. This time we found out about it."'" And no one got arrested.
Music

V&A Scraps Napalm Death Gig For Fear Decibel Levels Will Damage Sculptures 79

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the slaves-to-the-grind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Victoria and Albert Museum has cancelled an 'experimental' concert by a death metal rock band amid fears that the high decibel levels could destroy some of its most treasured artefacts, including Ming vases and priceless sculptures. The British band planned to play inside a specially-constructed ceramic sculpture with the idea that the piece would explode under the force of hits such as Order of the Leech and Fear, Emptiness, Despair" I believe this "death metal rock" is known as "grindcore." Maybe they should book Manowar next.
Microsoft

Will Microsoft Sell Off Its Entertainment Division? 404

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-it-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Forbes analyst Adam Hartung has predicted that Microsoft will sell off its entertainment division, which includes Xbox, in the coming years. He even goes so far as to list Sony or Barnes & Noble as potential buyers. Lets forget how crazy this sounds for a moment and focus on the reasons why Hartung believes such a sale will happen. It basically comes down to Windows 8, and how poorly it is selling. Combine that with falling sales of PCs, the Surface RT tablet not doing so great, the era of more than one PC in the home disappearing, and Microsoft has a big problem. The problem not only stems from the PC market not growing, but because Microsoft relies so heavily on Windows and Office for revenue. With that in mind, Hartung believes Steve Ballmer will do anything and everything to save Windows, including ditching entertainment and therefore Xbox."

Comment: SCSI drive in a musical instrument (Score 1) 272

by whyde (#38343706) Attached to: The oldest hard drive I'm still using is ...

The oldest hard drive I'm still actively using holds patches and sample data in a keyboard--a little 200MB SCSI drive. I think it may eventually outlive the keyboard itself. At one point in time, the keyboard itself also had the largest RAM of any computer I owned, at a whopping 64MB. When I was driving it back and forth from college, the keyboard was insured for more than the car it was in.

Comment: Jeff Atwood had a good take on this (Score 1) 149

by whyde (#36924024) Attached to: Analyzing Long-Term SSD Failure Rates

Any thread on SSD failures should include a link to Jeff Atwood's blog entry on the topic:

I feel ethically and morally obligated to let you in on a dirty little secret I've discovered in the last two years of full time SSD ownership. Solid state hard drives fail. A lot. And not just any fail. I'm talking about catastrophic, oh-my-God-what-just-happened-to-all-my-data instant gigafail. It's not pretty.

Full post here: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/the-hot-crazy-solid-state-drive-scale.html

Space

Double Eclipse Photographed, Sun, Moon, and ISS 159

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-pretty dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "The exceptionally talented astrophotographer Thierry Legault captured a picture extraordinary even for him: the space station passing in front of the Sun while the Sun was being partially eclipsed by the Moon! He traveled all the way from France to the Sultanate of Oman to take this amazing shot. I have more information about the picture itself on the Bad Astronomy blog, but you should go to Thierry's website to see more amazing pictures he's taken over the years. They're simply jaw-dropping."

Comment: When did we become afraid of everything? (Score 2) 225

by whyde (#34422724) Attached to: Denver Bomb Squad Takes Out Toy Robot

I'm waiting for the day when some nutjob fashions a piece of doggie-poo looking substance out of brown-painted C4 with an embedded motion-sensitive detonator.

There, I've said it. Let everyone be scared of any stray pile of poop laying on a city sidewalk. Perhaps then, when we try to ban dogs completely, people may wake up and see that it's just not worth going through life terrified of everything.

Ugh.

Comment: Re:Whole movie shot in single shot (Score 1) 295

by whyde (#34261102) Attached to: Long Takes In the Movies, Antidote To CGI?

While I found Russian Ark technically fascinating, it was otherwise very difficult to sit through because the viewer becomes aware early on that they are watching a visual gimmick unfold. Instead of paying attention to the plot, I was distracted by the single-shot nature of it, and how they were going to pull it off.

I'd liken this to experiments like Timecode which use similar gimmicks and long shots, but are otherwise slightly awkward to view.

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.

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