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Television

Submission + - ActiveVideo wins $115M suit against Verizon (cio.com.au)

swandives writes: TV infrastructure company ActiveVideo has won a US$115 million judgment against Verizon Communications for infringement of its patents.

ActiveVideo sells CloudTV, an infrastructure for delivering programming, Web content and applications to any TV set-top box and a variety of other home electronics, such as Blu-ray players. ActiveVideo sued Verizon in May 2010, alleging that the carrier violated four of its patents in the FiOS TV service that runs on Verizon's fiber-to-the-home network.

Government

Submission + - Murdoch's Drone at The Daily Might Be Illegal (forbes.com)

nonprofiteer writes: The News Corp iPad newspaper has a drone they've been using for news gathering — mainly flying it over disaster zones in N. Dakota and Alabama. However, FAA regulations on drones are mighty restrictive at the moment, and they're not to be used for commercial purposes (tho law enforcement is free to let them fly). FAA now examining Daily's use of its drone. Could set a precedent for how private businesses can use them.

Comment Re:Never 100% safe (Score 1) 132

The problem with anonymity, of course, is that it can be used for good or for bad.

On the one hand, these researchers are (admirably) trying to circumvent censorship put in place by repressive regimes. Of course, these regimes do not even care about Tor as they do not have the resources to attack it. Tor-Schmor, they will just throw a switch and cut off all internet access, period. On the other hand, we have sophisticated western organizations like the CIA and FBI that are hellbent on breaking Tor for the ostensible purpose of rooting out child porn and terrorism.

Who will win is anybody's guess.

Submission + - Missing: Multi-Channel Analog Audio on Blu-ray Pla (techofthehub.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It seems we have a mystery on our hands. Consumer electronic companies have decided to omit 5.1 or 7.1 analog audio outputs on the latest crop of Blu-ray players? A plot to get us to all buy new home theater receivers?
The Hub @TechoftheHub

Submission + - Edinburgh Scientists Build Greener Carbon Nanotube

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have created a tiny device that improves on existing forms of memory storage, opening the way to fast MP3 players, smartphones and cameras that use much less energy than current models. Usually, an electronic device converts data into signals that are stored as binary code. This latest method uses a tiny mechanical arm to translate the data into electrical signals. This allows for much faster operation and uses much less energy compared to conventional memory storage.

Submission + - Fighting fires with beams of electricity (gizmag.com) 2

cylonlover writes: It's certainly an established fact that electricity can cause fires, but a group of Harvard scientists have presented their research on the use of electricity for fighting fires. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Ludovico Cademartiri told of how they used a unique device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame over one foot tall. Almost immediately, he said, the flame was extinguished. On a larger scale, such a system would minimize the amount of water that needed to be sprayed into burning buildings, both saving water and limiting water damage to those buildings.
Firefox

Submission + - Firefox 4 and IE9 Begin the Race (arstechnica.com)

derGoldstein writes: ars has a short comparison of how Firefox 4 and IE9 fared since their recent launches: "It's worth noting that neither browser has been rolled out to regular end users via the standard update channels yet—the statistics are based entirely on voluntary downloads by early adopters". Though this information is obviously preliminary, Microsoft gave all non-IE browsers a considerable advantage by not allowing their newest browser to run on Windows XP.
Government

Submission + - Hackers break into Australian PM's PC (delimiter.com.au)

daria42 writes: In what appears to be one of the largest breaches of Government security since the Wikileaks saga, it appears that international spy agencies, which may be Chinese, have hacked the PC of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, as well as a number of other senior ministers. It looks like nobody's safe these days, even with a ring of government security systems around you. The only question now remains whether any of the hundreds of emails apparently stolen will make their way into the public domain.
EU

Submission + - Europe Plans to Ban Cars From Cities By 2050 (motorauthority.com) 4

thecarchik writes: Can you imagine a future--thirty-nine years from now--where there are no engines humming, no exhaust smells, no car sounds of any kind in the city except the presumably Jetsons-like beeping of EVs? The European Commission, the governing body of the European Union, can, and it has a transportation proposal aiming to do just that by 2050.

Paris was the first city to suggest a ban on gas guzzlers in their city core, but this ban takes it to whole different level by planning to ban all cars completely from the city streets. While Paris was motivated by reduced pollution, the EU is focused on wider scope of reduced foreign oil dependence, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased jobs within the EU, and improved infrastructure for future economic growth.

Submission + - How Risky is a Nuclear Doomsday Machine? (wordpress.com)

Martin Hellman writes: "How risky is it to build a nuclear arsenal that has the ability to destroy civilization? That is the fundamental question raised in my paper “How risky is nuclear optimism?” in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. While nuclear deterrence is not usually referred to as a Doomsday Machine, its other name, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), brings out its similarity to the contraption in Stanley Kubrik's 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove. It is time to start Defusing the Nuclear Threat by dismantling our Doomsday Machine!"
Power

Submission + - Artificial leaf could provide limitless energy (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Nearly all the energy we use on this planet starts out as sunlight that plants use to knit chemical bonds. Now, for the first time, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a potentially cheap, practical artificial leaf that does much the same thing—providing a potentially limitless source of energy that’s easy to tap.

The new device is a silicon wafer about the shape and size of a playing card coated on either side with two different catalysts. The silicon absorbs sunlight and passes that energy to the catalysts to split water into molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is a fuel that can be either burned or used in a fuel cell to create electricity, reforming water in either case. This means that in theory, anyone with access to water can use it to create a cheap, clean, and available source of fuel.

News

Submission + - China to overtake US on science in two years (bbc.co.uk) 1

An anonymous reader writes: China is set to overtake America in scientific output as soon as 2013 — far earlier than expected. Chinese research spending has grown by 20% per year since 1999, now reaching over $100bn, and as many as 1.5 million science and engineering students graduated from Chinese universities in 2006. "I think this is positive, of great benefit, though some might see it as a threat and it does serve as a wake-up call for us not to become complacent." However the report points out that a growing volume of research publications does not necessarily mean in increase in quality.

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