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Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality? 735

e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."
The Courts

RIAA Confusion In Tenenbaum & Thomas Cases? 229

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "There seems to be a bit of confusion in RIAA-land these days, caused by the only 2 cases that ever went to trial, Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset in Minnesota, and SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, in Boston. In both cases, the RIAA has recently asked for extensions of time. In Thomas-Rasset, they've asked for more time to make up their mind as to whether to accept the reduced verdict of $54,000 the judge has offered them, and in Tenenbaum they've twice asked for more time to prepare their papers opposing Tenenbaum's motion for remittitur. What is more, it has been reported that after the reduction of the verdict, the RIAA offered to settle with Ms. Thomas-Rasset for $25,000, but she turned them down."
Earth

Dinosaur Feather Color Discovered 219

anzha writes "Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were? For at least some, that's no longer true. Scientists working in the UK and China have closely examined the fossils of multiple theropods and actually found the colors and patterns that were present in the fossilized proto-feathers. So far, the answer is orange, black and white in banded and other patterns. The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead. If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. And colorful!"
Television

CBS Refuses To Preserve Jack Benny Footage 323

goosman writes "The president of the International Jack Benny Fan Club had the opportunity to review some holdings of the CBS vaults while assisting them with some transfers. In the vaults she found 25 shows on film that were unreleased, but in the public domain. The IJBFC offered to pay for the digitization and preservation of these shows; they got a letter of enthusiastic support from the Benny estate. CBS has so far refused to allow this preservation to happen." BoingBoing and TechDirt have both covered this act of cultural destruction.
The Almighty Buck

NY Times To Charge For Online Content 488

Hugh Pickens writes "New York Magazine reports that the NY Times appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of debate inside the paper, the choice has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system. The decision to go paid is monumental for the Times, and culminates a yearlong debate that grew contentious, people close to the talks say. Hanging over the deliberations is the fact that the Times' last experience with pay walls, TimesSelect, was deeply unsatisfying and exposed a rift between Sulzberger and his roster of A-list columnists, particularly Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd, who grew frustrated at their dramatic fall-off in online readership. The argument for remaining free was based on the belief that nytimes.com is growing into an English-language global newspaper of record, with a vast audience — 20 million unique readers — that would prove lucrative as web advertising matured. But with the painful declines in advertising brought on by last year's financial crisis, the argument that online advertising might never grow big enough to sustain the paper's high-cost, ambitious journalism — gained more weight."
Mars

Options Dwindling For Mars Spirit Rover 120

coondoggie writes "NASA says it is narrowing a short list of things its scientists can do to extricate its stuck Mars Spirit rover. They are exploring a couple remaining options, such as driving backwards and using Spirit's robotic arm to sculpt the ground directly in front of the left-front wheel, the only working wheel the arm can reach. The amount of energy that Spirit harvests each day, however, is declining, as autumn days shorten on southern Mars. 'At the current rate of dust accumulation, solar arrays at zero tilt would provide barely enough energy to run the survival heaters through the Mars winter solstice.' NASA is currently analyzing results of a Jan. 13th attempt to move the spacecraft that involved a very slow rotation of the wheels. Earlier drives in the past two weeks using wheel wiggles and slow wheel rotation produced negligible progress toward extricating Spirit, NASA stated."
GUI

Programming With Proportional Fonts? 394

theodp writes "Betty or Veronica? Mary Ann or Ginger? Proportional or Monospaced? There's renewed interest in an old blog post by Maas-Maarten Zeeman, in which M-MZ made the case for programming with proportional fonts, citing studies that show proportional fonts can be read 14% faster than fixed-width fonts. Try it for a couple of weeks, he suggests, and you might like it too. Nowadays, Lucida Grande is M-MZ's font of choice on OS X, and he uses Lucida Sans on Windows. Helvetica, anyone?"
Image

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Duke Nukem Forever Not Dead? (Yes, This Again) 195

kaychoro writes "There may be hope for Duke Nukem Forever (again). 'Jon St. John, better known as the voice of Duke Nukem, said some interesting words during a panel discussion at the Music and Games Festival (MAGFest) that took place January 1 – 4 in Alexandria, Virginia, according to Pixel Enemy. Answering a question from the crowd regarding DNF, St. John said: "... let me go ahead and tell you right now that I'm not allowed to talk about Duke Nukem Forever. No, no, don't be disappointed, read between the lines — why am I not allowed to talk about it?"'"
Image

Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone 643

JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer, who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."
Medicine

Scientists Turn Wood Into Bone 118

Bob the Super Hamster writes "The BBC is reporting that scientists in Italy have developed a method to convert rattan wood into a bone-like substance. The bone replacement is currently being tested in sheep, where, when inserted into the area of a fracture, it joins with the existing bone and eventually fuses. Unlike other bone replacements, this one actually has load-bearing ability and also naturally fuses with the existing bone. Additionally, since it is porous like real bone, nerves and blood vessels can pass through it."
Space

Aboriginal Folklore Leads To Meteorite Crater 233

An anonymous reader writes "An Australian Aboriginal dreaming story has helped experts uncover a meteorite impact crater in the outback of the Northern Territory. From the article: 'One story, from the folklore of the Arrernte people, is about a star falling to Earth at a site called Puka. This led to a search on Google Maps of Palm Valley, about 130 km southwest of Alice Springs. Here Hamacher discovered what looked like a crater, which he confirmed with surveys in the field in September 2009.'"
Power

Massive Solar Updraft Towers Planned For Arizona 572

MikeChino writes "Australia-based EnviroMission Ltd recently announced plans to build two solar updraft towers that span hundreds of acres in La Paz County, Arizona. Solar updraft technology sounds promising enough: generate hot air with a giant greenhouse, channel the air into a chimney-like device, and let the warm wind turn a wind turbine to produce energy. The scale of the devices would be staggering — each plant would consist of a 2,400 foot chimney over a greenhouse measuring four square miles. The Southern California Public Power Authority has approved EnviroMission as a provider, although there’s still plenty of work to be done before the $750 million, 200 megawatt project can begin."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Framerates Matter 521

An anonymous reader writes "As more and more games move away from 60fps, the myth of the human eye only being able to detect 30fps keeps popping up. What's more, most people don't seem to realize the numerous advantages of a high framerate, and there's plenty of those."

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