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Censorship

Submission + - The French government can now censor the internet (google.com)

Psychophrenes writes: A new episode in french internet legislation.
French ministers have passed a bill (original in french) allowing the government to add any website to a black list, which access providers will have to enforce. This black list will be defined by the government only, without requiring the intervention of the legal system.
Although originally intended against pedo-pornographic websites, this bill is already outdated, as was hadopi in its time, and instead paves the way for a global censorship of the "french internet".

Patents

Submission + - Appeal wins ThumbDrive maker a trademark (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that “thumb drive” is not a generic term and therefore ThumbDrive is worthy of trademark protection. Says the law firm that represented the maker of ThumbDrive, Trek 2000 International: “Fearing that its highly-valuable ThumbDrive trademark would go the way of other unique and famous marks that became generic and lost all their value – such as aspirin, e-mail, zipper and escalator – Trek engaged in a lengthy legal battle to avoid this fate.” And they won, despite multiple previous denials by the patent and trademark office.

Submission + - BMW temporarily burns logo into viewers' retinas (wired.com)

GameboyRMH writes: "BMW, in a video advertisement for their S1000R sportbike playing in German movie theaters, temporarily burned their logo into viewer's retinas as part of the ad, by projecting a bright flash of light through a cutout onto the back of the theater screen. The article includes a video showcasing the use of the effect, the ad itself, and viewers' reactions.

How long will it be before you'll have to wear sunglasses inside the mall to keep special offers from being burned into your retinas?"

Submission + - Britain, not Sweden, wants to jail Assange (guardian.co.uk)

horza writes: The Swedish government has denied it appealed against Assange being released on bail, and the British government confirmed they are the ones that are asking the court to have Assange jailed indefinitely pending extradition hearings. Assange's lawyers are shocked, claiming this directly contradicts what they were told by the British prosecution.
Facebook

Submission + - Google Will Kill Chrome OS Next Year (businessinsider.com)

Pigskin-Referee writes: Gmail creator Paul Buchheit is putting Google's new Chrome OS on a deathwatch.

He writes on FriendFeed: "Prediction: ChromeOS will be killed next year (or "merged" with Android)." His reasoning for why Chrome is toast: "Because ChromeOS has no purpose that isn't better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display)"

While it sounds like a bold statement, he also adds, "I was thinking, 'is this too obvious to even state?', but then I see people taking ChromeOS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason."

He's 100% correct about Chrome. We've been thinking about this too. What problem does Chrome solve? We're stumped.

Buchheit left Google years ago to start FriendFeed, which was a Twitter rival. Twitter won out and Facebook bought FriendFeed. He spent a few years at Facebook and is now with Y Combinator.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/gmail-creator-paul-buchheit-predicts-google-kills-chrome-os-next-year-2010-12#ixzz18HeZrKlb

Science

Pumpkin Pie increases Male Sex Drive 173

Dr. Alan Hirsch, Director of Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Center, says the key to a man's heart, and other parts, is pumpkin pie. Out of the 40 odors tested in Hirsch's study, a mixture of lavender and pumpkin pie got the biggest rise out of men ages 18 to 64. That particular fragrance was found to increase penile blood flow by an average of 40%. "Maybe the odors acted to reduce anxiety. By reducing anxiety, it acted to remove inhibitions," said Hirsch.
Books

Submission + - Bibliophiles Arbitrage Used Books with a PDA

Pickens writes: "In a good example of how the internet and informationally efficient markets can create new niche opportunities for the self employed, Michael Savitz writes at Salon how he makes a living armed with an a laser bar-code scanner fitted to a Dell PDA. Savitz haunts thrift stores and library book sales to scan hundreds of used books a day and instantly identify those that will get a good price on Amazon Marketplace. "My PDA shows the range of prices that other Amazon sellers are asking for the book in question," writes Savitz. "Those listings offer me guidance on what price to set when I post the book myself and how much I'm likely to earn when the sale goes through." Savitz writes that on average, only one book in 30 will have a resale value that makes it a "BUY" but that he goes through enough books to average about 30 books sold per day and earn about $1,000 a week in profit. "If I can tell from a book's Amazon sales rank that I'll be able to sell it in one day, I might accept a projected profit of as little as a dollar. The more difficult a book will be to sell, the more money the sale needs to promise." Savitz writes that people scanning books sometimes get kicked out of thrift stores and retail shops and that libraries are beginning to advertise that no electronic devices are allowed at their sales. "If it's possible to make a decent living selling books online, then why does it feel so shameful to do this work?" concludes Savitz. "The bibliophile bookseller, and the various other species of pickers and flippers of secondhand merchandise, would never be reproached like this and could never be made to feel bad in this way.""

Submission + - Hobbit film finally gets green light (stuff.co.nz)

An anonymous reader writes: After much kerfuffle and uncertainty, the Hobbit film has finally been greenlit. Peter Jackson to direct, to be shot in 3D in New Zealand.
Google

Submission + - Google Wave to Live On as 'Wave in a Box' (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "Google Wave will morph into an application bundle for real-time collaboration, according to a blog post by Google Wave engineer Alex North. 'We will expand upon the 200K lines of code we've already open sourced (detailed at waveprotocol.org) to flesh out the existing example Wave server and Web client into a more complete application or "Wave in a Box,"' North said, adding that the future of the recently flat-lined Google service will be 'defined by your contributions. We hope this project will help the Wave developer community continue to grow and evolve,' he said."
Security

Submission + - ‘Robin Hood’ code in Zeus v3 robs from (itnews.com.au)

schliz writes: Cybercriminals have used a new, targeted version of banking trojan Zeus to pilfer £675,000 in one month, iTnews reports. The malware, Zeus v3, targeted accounts with more than £800 at one UK bank. It was distributed by third-party providers (like advertisement managers) on UK news and events sites, used Eleonore and Phoenix exploit kits, and was not identified by commonly used antivirus software including products from Kaspersky, McAfee, Fortinet and Symantec.
Announcements

Knuth Plans 'Earthshaking Announcement' Wednesday 701

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Donald Knuth is planning to make an 'earthshaking announcement' on Wednesday, at TeX's 32nd Anniversary Celebration, on the final day of the TUG 2010 Conference. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know what it is. So far speculation ranges from proving P!=NP, to a new volume of The Art of Computer Programming, to his retirement. Maybe Duke Nukem Forever has been ported to MMIX?" Let the speculation begin.

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