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Programming

Submission + - Lazy clause algorithm makes decisions faster (itnews.com.au) 1

schliz writes: Australian researchers have developed a 'combinatorial optimisation' algorithm called the lazy clause generator, which combines low- and high- level programming techniques to solve problems like rostering, resource allocation and Sudoku. The algorithm is part of Government-funded NICTA's G12 constraint programming project, and could speed industrial decision making processes by "orders of magnitude" — however, its developer does not expect it to replace human managers "because in the end, people want to feel like they're in control of the process".
Games

Submission + - Confirmed: Steam Not Coming To Linux (digitizor.com) 5

dkd903 writes: A rumor has been going around for about four months that Valve was working on a Linux version of Steam and this had a lot of people in the Linux community very excited. But, Valve has now officially killed the rumor. And it is not what people wants to hear – there is no Linux version of Steam in development. Doug Lombardi, the Marketing VP of Valve Corporation, in an interview, has put an end to all the rumors by saying that they are not working on Steam for Linux right now.
Medicine

Submission + - Arthritis protein reverses Alzheimer’s sympt (scienceblog.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A protein found in sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis dramatically reduced Alzheimer's disease pathology and reversed the memory impairment of mice bred to develop symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease. Best of all, a synthetic form of the protein is already FDA approved and on the market for treating certain cancer-related conditions. "We were pretty amazed that the treatment completely reversed cognitive impairment in 20 days," said one of the lead researchers in the new study. In addition to regaining memory, brains of treated mice showed more than a 50-percent decrease in beta amyloid, the sticky clumps of plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
Space

Submission + - Yet another Jupiter impact (reusable headline) (planetary.org) 1

SEWilco writes: Yet another optical flash on Jupiter has been spotted. The obvious explanation is that it's due to an impact event. If it is an impact, it's probably the third sighting in 14 months. Either large impacts are happening more often or they've been happening a lot more often than was previously believed. There are now many more automated telescopes with TV cameras watching the skies, so we're probably simply looking more often.
Government

Submission + - Philly requiring bloggers to pay $300 (washingtonexaminer.com) 1

Kurofuneparry writes: Pennsylvania generally and Philadelphia specifically have had a number of budget issues and some bloggers are seeing the results. From the article: "yes, cash-strapped cities can’t very well ignore potential sources of income. But at the same time, there must be some room for discretion and common sense."
News

Submission + - 9th Circuit Rules Copyright Preempts Right of Publ (blogspot.com) 1

David Weiskopf writes: This past week, in Jules Jordan Video vs. 144942 Canada (August 16, 2010), in which Plaintiff (an adult film star) sued Defendant for its pirating and redistributing of plaintiff's films, the Ninth Circuit held, in what I consider to be a very troubling ruling, that the Plaintiff's (California-based) right of publicity claim was preempted by his available claims for copyright infringement under federal copyright law. Specifically, in reversing the lower District Court and vacating the judgment in favor of plaintiff, the Court's three judge panel (which included Judge Kozinski, who, you might remember, famously dissented from the Ninth Circuit's Order rejecting the suggestion of an en banc hearing in Wendt vs. Host International, Inc., based in part on his argument that the Ninth Circuit should have found that that the right of publicity claim at issue was preempted by the the actors' federal copyright claims) held that "[Plaintiff's] right of publicity claim falls within the subject matter of copyright, and that the rights he asserts are equivalent to the rights within the scope of Section 106 of the Copyright Act. The essence of [Plaintiff's] claim is that [Defendants] reproduced and distributed the DVDs without authorization. [Plaintiff's] claim is under the Copyright Act." The Court's primary reasoning appears based on the facts of the case, where the Court makes clear that Defendant's infringing acts were comprised solely of reproducing and distributing pirated DVDs; Defendant did not otherwise use Plaintiff's name or likeness in promoting the fake DVDs, but simply redistributed the illicitly made copies containing the original and otherwise properly authorized performance (likeness) of Plaintiff.
Patents

Submission + - Apple patents tech to record iPhone thieves (goodgearguide.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "A new Apple patent proposes a mechanism to catch iPhone thieves: it would record the voice of the current user of the phone, take photographs of the user, geotag the photograph and activate the accelerometer to "determine a current mode of transportation of the electronic device." (View the patent itself here. [PDF])"
Hardware

Submission + - Small Plug-in solar panels coming out in 2011

KindMind writes: Clarian Power, a Seattle startup, is promising "plug-in" solar panels at $600 to $800 installed per panel for homeowners and small businesses. A typical installation is three panels, at around $2400 installed. These generate about 200 watts a panel, so a three panel systems would be 800 watts A single panel would save 30 to 40 kilowatt hours per month, translating to around $50 a year in energy cost savings. The estimated payback for a setup like this is estimated at four years, with tax credits and rebates taken into account. This is a supplemental power system, for replacing outside utility power, not for selling back to the utility company. The target date to have these for sale is sometime in 2011.

Submission + - Better Way to Grow Stem Cells Developed

An anonymous reader writes: Human pluripotent stem cells, which can become any other kind of body cell, hold great potential to treat a wide range of ailments, including Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. However, scientists who work with such cells have had trouble growing large enough quantities to perform experiments — in particular, to be used in human studies.Furthermore, most materials now used to grow human stem cells include cells or proteins that come from mice embryos, which help stimulate stem-cell growth but would likely cause an immune reaction if injected into a human patient. To overcome those issues, MIT chemical engineers, materials scientists and biologists have devised a synthetic surface that includes no foreign animal material and allows stem cells to stay alive and continue reproducing themselves for at least three months.
Space

Submission + - Non-profit manned space rocket launching in a week (copenhagensuborbitals.com) 2

Plammox writes: Well not really manned in the first go, as this is the first test of the boosters and space craft in combination with the sea launch platform they built. The catch? All of this is a non-profit project based on voluntary labour and sponsors. How will they get the launch platform out in the middle of the Baltic sea to perform the test? With the founder's home built submarine pushing it, of course. Enjoy the pictures.
Cellphones

Submission + - National Park Service Says Tech Enabling Stupidity 2

theodp writes: The National Park Service is finding technology to be a double-edged sword. While new technologies can and do save lives, the NPS is also finding that unseasoned hikers and campers are now boldly going where they never would have gone before, counting on cellphones, GPS, and SPOT devices to bail them out if they get into trouble. Last fall, a group of hikers in the Grand Canyon called in rescue helicopters three times by pressing the emergency button on their satellite location device. When rangers arrived the second time, the hikers complained that their water supply tasted salty. 'Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued,' said a spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park. 'Every once in a while we get a call from someone who has gone to the top of a peak, the weather has turned and they are confused about how to get down and they want someone to personally escort them. The answer is that you are up there for the night.'

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