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The Internet

Murdoch To Explore Blocking Google Searches 549

In another move sure to continue the certain doom looming over classic publications, Rupert Murdoch has elaborated on the direction he would take in an effort to monetize the content that his websites deliver by attempting to block much of Google's ability to scan and index his news sites. "Murdoch believes that search engines cannot legally use headlines and paragraphs of news stories as search results. 'There's a doctrine called "fair use," which we believe to be challenged in the courts and would bar it altogether,' Mr Murdoch told the TV channel. 'But we'll take that slowly.'"
Space

Possible Dark Matter Signs At the Core 234

Scientific American has a piece on speculation that dark matter may be behind diffuse radiation in the galactic center. Beginning in 2003, researchers led by Douglas Finkbeiner noticed a curious excess of microwave radiation in the WMAP data, after all known sources of such radiation were accounted for. Data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope resulted in a similar anomaly in gamma rays. "A paper posted to the physics preprint Web site arXiv.org on October 26 and submitted to the Astrophysical Journal points to a possible signature of dark matter in the Milky Way, although the study's authors are careful to keep their observations empirical and table such speculation... In the new paper [the researchers] describe the Fermi gamma-ray haze and make the claim that it confirms the synchrotron origin of the WMAP microwave haze. And as with the microwave haze, the authors argue that the electrons responsible for the gamma-ray haze appear to originate from an unknown astrophysical process. ... 'We are absolutely in the process of exploring the Fermi haze in the context of dark matter physics,' [one of them] says."
Businesses

Microsoft Interns Still Feel the Love 293

theodp writes "Despite layoffs and a blip in earnings, the Chicago Trib reports that Microsoft's summer interns still enjoy the VIP treatment. Although there were 20% fewer of them this year than last, still 85% of the interns are offered full-time jobs. In addition to being paid $4,600-$6,000 a month, a housing stipend, and relocation costs for the summer, the 600 or so Microsoft apprentices enjoyed other perks — such as a police escort to speed their way to a private museum party where they screened the most recent Harry Potter movie and were given a free Xbox 360. 'You feel like royalty to be escorted by police,' said Joriz De Guzman, an intern working toward his MBA at Wharton. BTW, before he got mixed up with those MBA-types, De Guzman earned some fame as the Doogie Howser of computer science."
Microsoft

Celebrate Your Next Birthday At the Microsoft Store 301

theodp writes "Chuck E. Cheese, meet Bill H. Gates. A leaked PowerPoint posted at Gizmodo provides a glimpse of what Microsoft's retail shops may look like, noting that you'll even be able to pay to celebrate your birthday there. Some of the stores that were profiled for ideas were Nike, Nokia, Sony, Apple, and AT&T. Microsoft's take on the Genius Bar is the Answers Bar (aka Guru Bar, Windows Bar)."
Privacy

Submission + - The NSA wiretapping story nobody wanted (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "They sometimes call national security the third rail of politics. Touch it and, politically, you're dead. The cliché doesn't seem far off the mark after reading Mark Klein's new book, "Wiring up the Big Brother Machine ... and Fighting It." It's an account of his experiences as the whistleblower who exposed a secret room at a Folsom Street facility in San Francisco that was apparently used to monitor the Internet communications of ordinary Americans. Amazingly, however, nobody wanted to hear his story. In his book he talks about meetings with reporters and privacy groups that went nowhere until a fateful January 20, 2006, meeting with Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Bankston was preparing a lawsuit that he hoped would put a stop to the wiretap program, and Klein was just the kind of witness the EFF was looking for. He spoke with Robert McMillan for an interview."
Television

Submission + - Neighbourhood Cable Co. ? 1

An anonymous reader writes: With the US deadline for transition to over the air digital TV and Canada not far behind, everyone is buying antennas and amplifiers to receive the best signal possible. Being that I live in a house and have a 50ft tower for ham radio, I had an idea. Since I have no problem receiving distant stations but none of my neighbours have such a beast, why can't we some how share what channels I receive? Running coax isn't an option and kinda defeats another goal of being open to everyone. Privacy is also of utmost importance so slingboxes probably wouldn't work too well for this.

I have a few ideas about how it can be done and one I'm leaning toward is sharing over a mesh type network (ala wifi) via multicast to anyone who can hear. Obviously that presents some issues of its own. Ideal would be something small and embedded I could mount on the tower or a single box with multiple dual tuner cards in it.

Having two tier service by running cat5 or fiber is possible (their cost to run the cable) as well but there should still be an open way to watch over wifi. I'm not looking to make a profit off it though.

So what are some other possibilities to consider? Has anyone else tried this? In trailer parks or apartment buildings for example?

Comment Re:Cute robot (Score 5, Interesting) 197

Your post reminds me a little of the "Postal Experiments" that I remember reading about amongst some comments here on Slashdot nearly 10 years ago:

We sent a variety of unpackaged items to U.S. destinations, appropriately stamped for weight and size, as well as a few items packaged as noted. We sent items that loosely fit into the following general categories: valuable, sentimental, unwieldy, pointless, potentially suspicious, and disgusting.

It's tough to say what my personal favorite was, but I think the helium-filled balloon at least deserves special mention. :-)
Communications

State Dept E-mail Crash After "Reply-All" Storm 384

twistah writes "It seems that a recent 'reply-all storm' at the State Department caused the entire e-mail infrastructure to crash. A notice sent to all State Department employees warned of disciplinary actions which will be taken if users 'reply-all' to lists with a large amount of users. Apparently, the problem was compounded by not only angry replies asking to be taken off the errant list, but by the e-mail recall function, which generated further e-mail traffic. One has to wonder if capacity planning was performed correctly — should an e-mail system be able to handle this type of traffic, or is it an unreasonable task for even the best system?"

Comment Re:Why number pads? (Score 5, Informative) 523

> why did the phone guys make theirs upside-down?

Go to the "Keyboards" section of this course outline and follow the link to the PDF copy of the "Bell Labs 1960 study". In short, it's because that configuration ranked highly for inputting phone numbers. If you take a look at the image provided of the button-based phone's predecessor you'll see that 7, 8, 9, and 0 are at the bottom and 1, 2, and 3 are at the top. I'd guess that made that structure more familiar to the test subjects, along with the fact that English is read from left to right, and from ... in case you hadn't noticed ... top to bottom. With those two points in mind, my question to you is, why are the keys on numeric keypads and calculators upside-down? :-)
Biotech

Scientists Identify a Potentially Universal Mechanism of Aging 359

cybergenesis2008 points us to a summary of research out of Harvard Medical School in which a set of genes known to affect aging in yeast was found to affect aging in mice as well. The genes, called sirtuins, perform two particular tasks; regulating which genes are "on" and "off," and also helping to repair damaged DNA. As an organism ages, the frequency of damage to DNA increases, leaving less time for the sirtuins' regulatory tasks. The increasingly unregulated genes then become a significant factor in aging. Realizing this, the researchers "administered extra copies of the sirtuin gene [to the mice], or fed them the sirtuin activator resveratrol, which in turn extended their mean lifespan by 24 to 46 percent." We discussed the plans for this research a few years ago.
Censorship

IOC Trademarks Part of Canadian National Anthem 412

gravis777 sends us to BoingBoing for news that the International Olympic Committee has trademarked a line from the Canadian National Anthem and is threatening to sue anyone who uses it. The line in question is "with glowing hearts." "The committee is so serious about protecting the Olympic brand it managed to get a landmark piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons last year that made using certain phrases related to the Games a violation of law. The list includes the number 2010 and the word 'winter,' phrases that normally couldn't be trademarked because they are so general."

Comment Re:I have true unlimited (Score 5, Informative) 656

I was a Speakeasy customer for about 3 years.

Then they were bought by Best Buy. I learned about it right here on Slashdot. It took me a while but I dropped them by the end of that year. And yes, my decision to drop them was based 100% on who their new owner was.

In my area, Speakeasy had always just been a reseller of Covad's services. So, I went with Covad instead and cut out the middle-man. It's been about a year now and I have no complaints. The only thing I had trouble with was technician incompetence during the installation. I had a similar experience during the installation of my original Speakeasy service (which, as I said, was always just re-sold Covad service, so it came as no surprise to me).

Just like it was with Speakeasy though, once the installation stupidity had been bulldozed through, everything has been fine with Covad.

I will do everything I can to avoid supporting the Best Buy corporation. Hence no more money of mine will go to Speakeasy. They are absolutely not the company they used to be.

It doesn't surprise me at all that a Best Buy employee would post here with praise for their Speakeasy brand. That's what you are, anonymous coward ... a Best Buy employee. Are you wearing one of their shirts when you pick up the phone and answer, "Speakeasy"?
Star Wars Prequels

LucasArts Embargoes "Clone Wars" Reviews 603

An anonymous reader writes "George Lucas CGI 'Clone Wars' movie has premiered to reviews ranging from MSNBC's 'Ugly animation and an uninspired storyline drag down the film' to AintItCool's 'I hated the film. HATED IT. REALLY HATED IT.' Critics have noted the animation style, music and slapstick humor had more than a passing similarity to Pixar's Toy Story, and wondered if the introduction of new action figures (sorry, characters) like Baby Jabba Hutt and Jabba the Hutt's Gay Uncle may have taken the franchise a bridge too far. Lucas responding by enforcing an embargo, forcing the reviews to be taken down. While sites like AintItCool.com responded, by then it was just a little too late. Still, the CGI eye candy will make it popular with kids. If the 'Clone Wars' movie can't save the galaxy, can it at least save the franchise?"
The Courts

ABA Judges Get an Earful About RIAA Litigations 349

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "I was afforded the opportunity to write for a slightly different audience — the judges who belong to the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association. I was invited by the The Judges Journal, their quarterly publication, to do a piece on the RIAA litigations for the ABA's Summer 2008 'Equal Access to Justice' issue. What I came up with was 'Large Recording Companies vs. The Defenseless: Some Common Sense Solutions to the Challenges of the RIAA Litigations,' in which I describe the unfairness of these cases and make 15 suggestions as to how the courts could level the playing field. I'm hoping the judges mod my article '+5 Insightful,' but I'd settle for '+3 Informative.' Here is the actual article (PDF). (If anyone out there can send me a decent HTML version of it, I'll run that one up the flagpole as well.)" Wired is helping to spread the word on Ray's article.

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