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Earth

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."
XBox (Games)

Modded Xbox Bans Prompt EFF Warning About Terms of Service 254

Last month we discussed news that Microsoft had banned hundreds of thousands of Xbox users for using modified consoles. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now pointed to this round of bans as a prime example of the power given to providers of online services through 'Terms of Service' and other usage agreements. "No matter how much we rely on them to get on with our everyday lives, access to online services — like email, social networking sites, and (wait for it) online gaming — can never be guaranteed. ... he who writes the TOS makes the rules, and when it comes to enforcing them, the service provider often behaves as though it is also the judge, jury and executioner. ... While the mass ban provides a useful illustration of their danger, these terms can be found in nearly all TOS agreements for all kinds of services. There have been virtually no legal challenges to these kinds of arbitrary termination clauses, but we imagine this will be a growth area for lawyers."
Science

Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"
Google

Submission + - FCC Opens Inquiry of Apple's Ban of Google Voice (wsj.com)

tolydude writes: Apple recently banned Google voice apps on the iPhone. Well, the FCC did not take it lightly and, according to this Wall Street Journal article, is investigating: "In letters sent late Friday to the two companies and AT&T Inc., the FCC asked why Apple rejected the Google Voice application for the iPhone and removed related applications from its App Store. The letter also seeks information on how AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier, was consulted in the decision, if at all." Here's the actual letter.
Movies

Submission + - There is no HD DVD, Only DVD in BOTH Formats (betanews.com)

cybrthng writes: "In a single statement Collins made in the now famous "We're not at war with Bluray" article there was one nugget everyone failed to grasp and I quote: "Foremost is compatibility. All new movie titles from Universal and soon Warner will be combination (or twin-format) discs — HD DVD on one side and standard DVD on the other. This means that HD DVD discs will also play on older DVD players, which is crucial for portability.". No Distinction between HD-DVD or DVD means a single SKU with both movies and complete market domination over night. (Well, after re-tooling of fabs). Not only that but its one heck of a segway to allow people to adopt HD-DVD players at their own pace without risk of obsolescence."
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun's Trading Symbol Going from SUNW to JAVA

Mortimer.CA writes: Straight from Jonathon Schwartz's weblog, Sun is changing their ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA: 'JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that's inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). [...] To be very clear, this isn't about changing the company name or focus — we are Sun, we are a systems company, and we will always be a derivative of the students that created us, Stanford University Network is here to stay. But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category — and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol.'
Portables

Submission + - Verizon Quietly Disables BlackBerry GPS (usnews.com) 1

Jesse Schulman writes: "Research in Motion (RIM) has been known for providing some of the latest and greatest technology in its BlackBerry devices. Well one company doesn't think you should be able to use that great technology which you pay big bucks for. The BlackBerry 8830, which is sold under Verizon and Sprint, is one of the first "World Phones" offered from both companies. And at a price of $519-549 one would think this phone could do just about anything. Well it can, at least if you buy the Sprint version of the phone. Verizon has secretly disabled one of the best features of this new expensive phone. RIM added the following about the new capabilities of this phone: "The BlackBerry 8830 smartphone houses a proprietary, autonomous GPS receiver. This receiver is able to calculate the handheld's location relying solely on GPS satellites with no input from cellular towers. While the device does have assisted GPS, i.e. A-GPS capability, it houses a "full" GPS system similar in nature to GPS systems used by GPS-only car kits and mobile devices. This is designed to be accessible by second- and third-party applications such as BlackBerry Maps, Google Maps, and TeleNav." Also locked is the SIM card slot so that it can only be used with a Verizon SIM card, whatever that is. However Sprint allows you to use any SIM card when traveling abroad."

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