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Censorship

Submission + - Nuclear Info Kept Secret From Public and Congress

Thermite writes: On March 6, 2006 an accident occured at Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, Tennessee. According to reports almost 9 gallons of highly enriched uranium in solution spilled and almost went into a chain reaction. Before the accident in 2004 the NRC and The Office of Naval Reactors had changed the terms of Nuclear Fuels license so that any correspondence with Nuclear Fuel Services would be marked "official use only". From the article: 'While reviewing the commission's public Web page in 2004, the Department of Energy's Office of Naval Reactors found what it considered protected information about Nuclear Fuel Service's work for the Navy.' The result was that the public and Congress were both left in the dark for 13 months regarding this and other issues at the facility.
Quickies

Submission + - New FingerprintingTechnique to Reveal Race and Sex (telegraph.co.uk) 1

Tech.Luver writes: "Telegraph reports, " A new fingerprinting technique that can identify the race and sex, and possibly the diet of suspects has been developed. Scientists have shown that using a gelatine-based gel and high-tech chemical analysis can provide significant clues to a person?s identity even if police do not hold existing fingerprint records. ""
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Futurama Movie Set for November 27th (tvsquad.com)

kevin_conaway writes: "TV Squad informs us that the new Futurama movie will be available on November 27th. The show will return as a full-length high-def film sold on DVD. It will be followed by three additional films, and each film will be divided into four episodes each to be aired on Comedy Central. So, that's 4 DVD movies or 16 new episodes depending on how you look at it."
Power

Submission + - Turn The Deserts Green by Killing Desal Costs (wordpress.com)

cakilmer writes: "I visited the Annual American Membrane Technology Association meeting in Las Vegas last week. These membranes support water desalination. 15 or 20 new plants are in planning stage to be built along coastal California. But there's no new water sources for the southwest. People are still streaming in and the big Hoover dam is half full and falling. What to do? The answer is to invest the money to collapse the cost of water desalination and transport so water in the western deserts is as cheap as water on the East Coast. Is this doable? You bet."
Quickies

Submission + - Russia hopes to win back the North Pole

mernil writes: "Santa Claus might soon be a Russian citizen. At least, that is the hope of well-known Arctic explorer Artur Chilingarov, who will lead Arctic 2007, one of the biggest expeditions in the history of polar research. [...] Chilingarov acknowledges the expedition's geopolitical goal: "We want to prove that Russia is a great polar power." A titanium capsule with the Russian flag will be dropped to the bottom as evidence of this. In other words, Russia will publicly stake its claim to the North Pole."
Power

Submission + - Change Google Background Color To Save Energy?

i_like_spam writes: Recent commentary at Nature Climate Change describes an on-going debate about the energy savings associated with the background colors used by high-traffic websites such as Google and the NYTimes. A back of the envelope calculation has suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. In response, a new version of Google called Blackle was created. However, other calculations by the Wall Street Journal suggest minimal energy savings. Who is right in this debate? Should web designers also consider potential energy savings when choosing colors for their sites?
Power

Submission + - Google Changes Background Color To Save Energy 6

i_like_spam writes: Commentary at Nature Climate Change describes an on-going debate about the energy savings associated with the background colors used by high-traffic websites such as Google and the NYTimes. Some back of the envelope calculations have suggested energy savings of 750 Megawatt hours per year if Google switched their background from white to black. Google responded by creating Blackle. Other calculations by the Wall Street Journal, however, suggest minimal energy savings. Who is right in this debate? And, should designers also consider potential energy savings when choosing colors for their websites?
Biotech

Submission + - Americans Clueless About Cancer Risks (cancer.org)

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that a surprising number of Americans believe scientifically dubious claims concerning cancer, and that the groups with the greatest burden of cancer are the most likely to be misinformed. For example, the majority of survey respondents didn't think smoking was more likely to cause lung cancer than pollution — despite 87% of lung cancer cases being due to smoking. The most interesting finding was that people who described themselves as knowing the most about cancer were more likely to have false beliefs. Participants who labeled themselves as "very informed" about cancer were more likely to believe underwire bras cause breast cancer, or that quitting smoking did nothing to reduce cancer risks. The article abstract is availabe from the journal Cancer."
Privacy

Submission + - FBI Requires a Warrant to Install Spyware

mrogers writes: The FBI requires a warrant to install spyware on a suspect's computer, according to a new appeals court ruling. An earlier ruling had appeared to grant the FBI permission to install spyware under the weaker provisions applied to pen registers, which record the telephone numbers or IP addresses contacted by a suspect. However, yesterday's amendment made it clear that the pen register provisions only apply to equipment installed at the suspect's ISP.

The FBI recently used spyware to determine the source of a hoax bomb threat, as reported here and here.
Biotech

Submission + - Nursing Home Cat Can Sense Death (yahoo.com) 1

Raver32 writes: "When Oscar the Cat visits residents of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, the staff jump into action — Oscar can sense within hours when someone is about to die. In his two years living in Steere's end-stage dementia unit, Oscar has been at the bedside of more than 25 residents shortly before they died, according to Dr. David Dosa of Brown University in Providence. He wrote about Oscar in the New England Journal of Medicine. "It's not that the cat is consistently there first," Dr. Joan Teno, a professor of community health at Brown University, who sees patients in the unit. "But the cat always does manage to make an appearance, and it always seems to be in the last two hours.""
Privacy

Submission + - MPAA: Plagarism good, Piracy bad? 1

BillGatesLoveChild writes: The MPAA is fast to complain about their Intellectual Property being violated, but have no qualms about violating the Intellectual Property of others. The SMH reports another case of a Hollywood Studio plagarizing a film as their own. Adam Sandler's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007) is a tale of two firemen who pretend to be gay to get domestic partner benefits. Curiously Paul Hogan's Strange Bedfellows (2004) made three years earlier, is also a tale of two firemen who pretend to be gay to get domestic partner benefits. Universal Studios issued a statement claiming "the similarities are purely coincidental". The producers of "Strange Bedfellows" are amused but not convinced.

This isn't the first time, with similar accusations being made against Spielberg's Julie Newmar (1995) vs Priscilla (1994) and Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America" which the courts found was stolen from writer Art Buchwald. Add to that "Hollywood Accounting" fleecing artists (The Forest Gump movie didn't pay the author a cent in royalties), the Record Industry doing the same and the MPAA itself caught yet unrepentant for pirating movies. Before The Senate rushes off to do their bidding, shouldn't the MPAA and RIAA be ordered to clean up their own houses?
Books

Submission + - Harry Potter and a Goblin's Take on Copyright (scienceaddiction.com)

DevanJedi writes: "Here's a passage from page 517 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : (Ron's brother Bill is warning Harry against trusting a goblin Griphook.) "You don't understand, Harry, nobody could understand unless they have lived with goblins. To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is the maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs. [...] They have, however, great difficulty with the idea of goblin-made objects passing from wizard to wizard. [...] They consider our habit of keeping goblin-made objects, passing them from wizard to wizard without further payment, little more than theft." These goblins sound like our friendly neighborhood MPAA/RIAA lawyers!"
Intel

Submission + - VIA to compete with AMD and Intel @ 1333Mhz bus (techreport.com)

athloi writes: "According to a report by DigiTimes, VIA plans to introduce a brand new processor architecture in the first quarter of 2008. The architecture will materialize in a processor core code-named Isaiah, which will feature 64-bit support, 65nm process technology, 1MB of L2 cache, a 1333MHz bus, as well as virtualization and ECC memory support. http://www.techreport.com/onearticle.x/12933"
Mozilla

Submission + - Mozilla and Thunderbird to Split Up? (mozillazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Mitchell Baker's latest blog entry is an Email Call to Action discussing the future of Thunderbird and its role in Mozilla. Because of Mozilla's extreme focus on Firefox and the web, they feel Thunderbird isn't getting the attention it deserves, and thus that they "should find a new, separate organizational setting for Thunderbird." Three options are briefly explored: a Thunderbird foundation, a new Thunderbird subsidiary of the Mozilla foundation, and releasing Thunderbird as a community project like SeaMonkey. They're hoping to start a public discussion on Thunderbird's future, and are seeking additional ideas for how to handle this.
Censorship

Submission + - Lynch law prevalent on Wikipedia 7

bheading writes: Recently a pal of mine logged into Wikipedia (where he has contributed many articles on Turkey, politics, amateur radio, and other matters over the past few years) to find that he'd been blocked as a sockpuppet — this despite the fact that he posts under his real name. So, he logged in at work to submit a request to be unblocked — and found that his work address was already blocked. He then submitted the request protesting his innocence as soon as he got home — but awoke the following morning to find that his home IP had also now been blocked as having been used by a sockpuppet. Then, Gerry blogged the matter to bring his problem to the attention of other friendly Netizens, others who weighted in to protest his innocence found themselves blocked as well. Further investigation has shown that the formal Wikipedia blocking process was not followed, leading to suspicions of political bias. Wikipedia's getting to be a rough place if you can be silenced for your political views, then silenced automatically for merely attempting to protest that decision — and then your friends get silenced for coming to your aid. Have any other Slashdotters encountered problems like this lately ?

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