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Movies

Truth in Ratings Act Reintroduced 302

dropgoal writes "Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas (and GOP presidential candidate) has reintroduced the Truth in Ratings Act. Like the previous version that failed to pass last year, Sen. Brownback's bill would make the FTC responsible for overseeing the video game ratings system and possibly result in a unified ratings system for games, movies, and TV. The ESRB would also have to review all game footage before issuing a rating. Currently, the ESRB hands out ratings after viewing a reel with representative content prepared by the developers. Sen. Brownback thinks that's not enough. 'Video game reviewers should be required to review the entire content of a game to ensure the accuracy of the rating. The current video game ratings system is not as accurate as it could be because reviewers do not see the full content of games and do not even play the games they rate', he said."
Mars

Mars Camera's Worsening Eye Problems 93

Mr_Foo writes "According to a Nature article, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE imager is suffering from a loss of peripheral vision. The problem surfaced less than a month after the orbiter reached Mars. One the camera's four color detectors has completely stopped working, and it is feared that the problems are spreading. Currently seven of the fourteen HiRISE's detectors are sending back corrupted data and although the issue is only creating a 2% loss of signal at this time it is expected to worsen. The lead investigator for the mission is quoted as saying the problem is systemic: 'In the broken detectors, extra peaks and troughs are somehow being introduced, causing... a "ringing" in the signal. "We don't know where the ringing is coming from," [the investigator] says.' Warming the electronics before taking images seems to help the problem. This effect might be one reason why the detectors on the cold periphery of the array were the first to pack up."
The Internet

Walmart Rejects Firefox and Safari 555

babooo404 writes "Last week, Walmart launched their online video download service. Immediately there were posts that the service did not work with the Firefox or Safari browsers. There was a collective, "WTF" when this happened as this is 2007, not 1997. Now it appears that reports are out that Walmart has completely turned off the ability to get into the application at all by Firefox, Safari or any other browser it does not like."
Power

Purdue Makes Trash To Electricity Generator 250

musicon writes "A group of scientists at Purdue University have created a portable refinery that efficiently converts food, paper, and plastic trash into electricity. The machine, designed for the U.S. military, would allow soldiers in the field to convert waste into power. It could also have widespread civilian applications in the future. Researchers tested the first tactical biorefinery prototype in November and found that it produced approximately 90 percent more energy than it consumed."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Release Date Announced 371

Croakyvoice writes "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, the seventh and final book in the best-selling series, has been scheduled for release at 12:01 a.m. on July 21, 2007, Scholastic announced today." A deluxe edition for collectors and enthusiasts is also planned with a simultaneous release.
Windows

Vista Family Discount Keys Found Not Compatible 394

acousticiris writes "Many (if not all) users who took advantage of Microsoft's Vista Family Discount have been issued invalid installation keys and cannot install Windows Vista Home Premium. Microsoft says, 'There is no expected time period for a fix at this time.' According to the article, the keys are valid for something, just not Windows Vista. Perhaps it's just too simple to issue these folks new keys and send them on their way."
Patents

New Patent Suit Threatens Bluetooth Standard 61

Aditi.Tuteja writes "A U.S. research institute has sued Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Matsushita-owned Panasonic for violating a patent on Bluetooth technology, potentially putting the free wireless standard at risk. The Washington Research Foundation, which markets technology from the University of Washington, is seeking damages from the three mobile-phone makers for using a radio frequency receiver technology without paying royalties. From the article: 'According to the lawsuit, Bluetooth-based computers, cell phones and headsets made by the companies have violated four patents for research done in the mid-1990s by Edwin Suominen when he was a student at the University of Washington. All four patents are now licensed by the Washington Research Foundation. The foundation's lead counsel on the case, Steven Lisa, said the court filing followed two years of informal attempts to resolve the issue with the major players in the industry.'"

UK Schools Bans WiFi Due To Health Concerns 535

Mantrid42 writes "Schools in the UK are getting rid of their WiFi network, citing health concerns from parents and teachers. The wireless emanations, parents fear, may be the root cause of a host of problems from simple fatigue to the possibility of cancer. A few scientists think younger humans may be more vulnerable to the transmissions, because of thinner skulls. From the article: "Vivienne Baron, who is bringing up Sebastian, her ten-year-old grandson, said: 'I did not want Sebastian exposed to a wireless computer network at school. No real evidence has been produced to prove that this new technology is safe in the long term. Until it is, I think we should take a precautionary approach and use cabled systems.'"

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