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University Offers Class In Zombie Studies Screenshot-sm 118

Young people at The University of Baltimore will be able to study the zombie condition thanks to the newly available English 333. Students in the class will watch 16 classic zombie films and read zombie comics. Instead of writing a final research paper they may write a script or draw storyboards for their own zombie movie. Unfortunately the class doesn't seems to cover brain appreciation.
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Town Gets Patent On Being the Center of Europe Screenshot-sm 169

An anonymous reader writes "And you thought software patents were going to far? How about geography patents? Apparently, as a part of the weird fight over what place in Europe represents the 'geophysical center of Europe,' the Austrian town of Frauenkirchen has received a patent (Austrian patent AM 7738/2003) declaring it the center of Europe. Not clear how one 'infringes' on such a patent, but then again, it's not clear why anyone's patenting this either."
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Geek Squad Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter To God Squad Screenshot-sm 357

An anonymous reader writes "A Wisconsin priest has God on his car but Best Buy's lawyers on his back. Father Luke Strand at the Holy Family Parish in Fond Du Lac says he has received a cease-and-desist letter from the electronics retailer. From the article: 'At issue is Strand's black Volkswagen Beetle with door stickers bearing the name "God Squad" in a logo similar to that of Best Buy's Geek Squad, a group of electronics troubleshooters. Strand told the Fond du Lac Reporter that the car is a creative way to spur discussion and bring his faith to others. Best Buy Co. tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it appreciates what Strand is trying to do, but it's bad precedent to let groups violate its trademarks.'"
The Almighty Buck

EVE Player Loses $1,200 Worth of Game Time In-Game 620

An anonymous reader writes "Massively.com has reported that an EVE Online player recently lost over $1,200 worth of in-game items during a pirate attack. The player in question was carrying 74 PLEX in their ship's cargo hold — in-game 'Pilot's License Extensions' that award 30 days of EVE Online time when used on your account. When the ship was blown up by another player, all 74 PLEX were destroyed in the resulting blast, costing $1,200 worth of damage, or over 6 years of EVE subscription time, however you prefer to count it. Ow."
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The Science of Caddyshack Screenshot-sm 55

astroengine writes "Thirty years after the release of the cult classic comedy Caddyshack, Discovery News has geeked out and gone on the hunt for any trace amount of science they can find in the movie (video). From gopher territoriality to seismic deformation, from pool poop bacteria to the color of lightning, it turns out there's quite a lot of science to talk about..."
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School District Drops 'D' Grades Screenshot-sm 617

Students in one New Jersey school district will no longer be able to squeak by in class after the Morris County School Board approved dropping the D grade. Beginning in the fall students who don't get a C or higher will get an F on their report card. "I'm tired of kids coming to school and not learning and getting credit for it," said Superintendent Larrie Reynolds in a Daily Record report.
Open Source

Open Source OCR That Makes Searchable PDFs 133

An anonymous reader writes "In my job all of our multifunction copiers scan to PDF but many of our users want and expect those PDFs to be text searchable. I looked around for software that would create text searchable pdfs but most are very expensive and I couldn't find any that were open source (free). I did find some open source packages like CuneiForm and Exactimage that could in theory do the job, but they were hard to install and difficult to set up and use over a network. Then I stumbled upon WatchOCR. This is a Live CD distro that can easily create a server on your network that provides an OCR service using watched folders. Now all my scanners scan to a watched folder, WatchOCR picks up those files and OCRs them, and then spits them out into another folder. It uses CuneiForm and ExactImage but it is all configured and ready to deploy. It can even be remotely managed via the Web interface. Hope this proves helpful to someone else who has this same situation."
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Internet Screenshot-sm 92

MMBK writes "Our friends at JESS3 have unveiled The Ex-Blocker. It's a Firefox and Chrome plugin that erases all name and likeness of your ex from the Internet, even if they become a meme, or the president. You'll no longer have to threaten to delete your Facebook account or concoct an elaborate e-hoax to assuage the reality-shattering complications that are born from break-ups. Simply construct an Internet that omits bad vibes all together."
Earth

New Batfish Species Found Under Gulf Oil Spill 226

eDarwin writes "Researchers have discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish in the Gulf of Mexico, living right in the area affected by the BP oil spill. Researchers identified new species of pancake batfishes, a flat fish rarely seen because of the dark depths they favor. They are named for the clumsy way they 'walk' along the sea bottom, like a bat crawling."
United Kingdom

Boy Builds Wall-Climbing Machine Using Recycled Vacuums Screenshot-sm 96

Joe McIntosh writes "Hibiki Kono just might be a boy genius. The 13-year-old decided he wanted to climb vertical surfaces like his hero, Spiderman. So, he used two 1,400-watt recycled vacuum cleaners and a little bit of elbow grease to make a machine that allows him to scale walls. Kono has been scaling the walls of his UK school and has told the media that he hopes his invention will help window washers eliminate clumsy ladders from their daily routine."
Space

Astronomers Solve the Mystery of 'Hanny's Voorwerp' 123

KentuckyFC writes "In 2007, a Dutch school teacher named Hanny van Arkel discovered a huge blob of green-glowing gas while combing though images to classify galaxies. Hanny's Voorwerp (meaning Hanny's object in Dutch) is astounding because astronomers have never seen anything like it. Although galactic in scale, it is clearly not a galaxy because it does not contain any stars. That raises an obvious question: what is causing the gas to glow? Now a new survey of the region of sky seems to have solved the problem. The Voorwerp lies close to a spiral galaxy which astronomers now say hides a massive black hole at its center. The infall of matter into the black hole generates a cone of radiation emitted in a specific direction. The great cloud of gas that is Hanny's Voorwerp just happens to be in the firing line, ionizing the gas and causing it to glow green. That lays to rest an earlier theory that the cloud was reflecting an echo of light from a short galactic flare up that occurred 10,000 years ago. It also explains why Voorwerps are so rare: these radiation cones are highly directional so only occasionally do unlucky gas clouds get caught in the crossfire."
Math

Ranking Soccer Players By Following the Bouncing Ball 142

sciencehabit excerpts from an interesting report on statistics for soccer, in the stats-obsessed world of sports: "Only a handful of soccer ranking systems exist, most of which rely on limited information: the number of goals scored in a match, the number of goals assisted, and some indices of a match's difficulty and importance. ... So researchers turned to an unlikely source: social networks. Applying the kinds of mathematical techniques used to map Facebook friends and other networks, the team created software that can trace the ball's flow from player to player. As the program follows the ball, it assigns points for precise passing and for passes that ultimately lead to a shot at the goal. Whether the shot succeeds doesn't matter. Only the ball's flow toward the goal and each player's role in getting it there factors into the program's point system, which then calculates a skill index for each team and player."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Newsweek Easter Egg Reports Zombie Invasion 93

danielkennedy74 writes "Newsweek.com becomes the latest in a long list of sites that will reveal an Easter egg if you enter the Konami code correctly (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, enter). This is a cheat code that appeared in many of Konami's video games, starting around 1986 — my favorite places to use it were Contra and Life Force, 30 lives FTW. The Easter egg was probably included by a developer unbeknownst to the Newsweek powers that be. It's reminiscent of an incident that happened at ESPN last year, involving unicorns."
Music

Rock Band 3 To Include MIDI Keyboard 107

xbeefsupreme writes with news that Harmonix has officially demonstrated Rock Band 3's 25-key MIDI keyboard. From USA Today: "During the game, green, red, blue, yellow or orange keys flow on a 'stream' representing the notes to be played on five corresponding keyboard keys. In a new authentic Pro mode meant to help players segue to actual instruments, all 25 keys are used; the streams shifts left and right to cover the correct keys. The keyboard also works as a MIDI keyboard that can be connected to a computer. 'This is a real instrument and a real device,' says senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky." The game will also support more advanced "real" guitar controllers, which have six actual strings you can strum. Hit the link below to see the keyboard in use.
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New Gadget Tells You When To Take a Break Screenshot-sm 50

Kilrah_il writes "An Israeli company developed a gadget that measures your blood pressure and tells you when you are stressed and need to take a break from your computer. 'The user grasps two sensors shaped like computer mouses to measure the electric activity of the heart in minute detail. Software then combines the measurements with prerecorded personal details such as age and sex to calculate various indicators for stress and mood.' Looks like a must-have accessory for Slashdotters everywhere."

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