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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.'"
Government

City Laws Only Available Via $200 License 411

MrLint writes "The City of Schenectady has decided that their laws are copyrighted, and that you cannot know them without paying for an 'exclusive license' for $200. This is not a first — Oregon has claimed publishing of laws online is a copyright violation." This case is nuanced. The city has contracted with a private company to convert and encode its laws so they can be made available on the Web for free. While the company works on this project, it considers the electronic versions of the laws its property and offers a CD version, bundled with its software, for $200. The man who requested a copy of the laws plans to appeal.

Comment Re:Robot discovers Humans "unnecessary"... (Score 1) 250

This is a worst case solution since it would imply that the brain is not understood yet.

That's not too bad. When we build one of those, we can afford it with a probe facility that it can use to observe and manipulate its own brain or clones thereof. It can then find out how its brain works and tell us, or code up a minimal AI if we want that.

Music

Wal-Mart Ends DRM Support 231

An anonymous reader writes "So, you thought you did well to support the fledgling music industry by purchasing your tracks legally from the Wal-Mart store? Well, forget about moving these tracks to a new PC! Since they started selling DRM-free tracks last year, there's no money to be made in maintaining the DRM support systems, and in fact, support is being shut down. Make sure you circumvent the restrictions by burning the tracks to an old-fashioned CD before Wal-mart 'will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from Walmart.com.' Support ends October 9th."
Music

Submission + - Universal Music Classics and Jazz goes DRM-free (guardian.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: With little fanfare seems Universal in the UK has made its classical and jazz catalog available DRM-free (Guardian story: http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2206558,00.html actual site: http://www.classicsandjazz.co.uk/). That's 1000s of albums from what looks like a decent range of classical / jazz labels (Verve, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon etc.). Is this the beginning I hope?
Science

Causes of Death Linked To Weight 385

An anonymous reader writes to mention that while a couple of years ago researchers found that overweight people have a lower death rate than people with a normal weight, it may be more complicated than that. "Now, investigating further, they found out which diseases are more likely to lead to death in each weight group. Linking, for the first time, causes of death to specific weights, they report that overweight people have a lower death rate because they are much less likely to die from a grab bag of diseases that includes Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, infections and lung disease. And that lower risk is not counteracted by increased risks of dying from any other disease, including cancer, diabetes or heart disease."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How do you get the best value building a PC?

ObiWanStevobi writes: Although I should ask before hand, I recently ordered everything I need to build a new PC. The high points of the system are a 3.2 Pentium D, ASUS ATX SLI Ready Motherboard, SLI Ready power supply, and GeForce 8500 Graphics card. I also added a DVDRW, DVDROM/CDRW combo drive, 250 Gig Seagate HD, 2 Gigs Kingston RAM, and a Wireless NIC. All of this in an ATX Mid Tower. Grand Total of ~$600. The best part is that I don't have Vista pre-installed.

Now this is not a great machine by current standards, but it is alot more bang for the buck than you can get from a manufacturer. I used TigerDirect and NewEgg to get all the hardware. Those are the sites I typically use at work and have been pretty reliable for me. But what I wonder is what everyone else is using to build their PCs. Where are you getting the most value these days?

Anyone have any particularly great machines they put together for much less than you would expect? What are your favorite discount hardware sites, or any to stay away from?
The Courts

Submission + - "Jihadist James Bond" Sentenced for Websit (guardian.co.uk)

Nadsat writes: "In London, a 23 year-old man was sentenced for 10 years for posting online suicide vest guides and videos of the killings of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl. He went by the handle "irhabi007," which combines the Arabic word for terrorist and the code name for James Bond. The sentencing judge said he was a danger, even though "he came no closer to a bomb or a firearm than a computer keyboard.""
Input Devices

Submission + - Determining where a ball hits a target 4

thezaxis writes: I am looking for a technology or some ideas on how to go about determining (electronically) where a weighted tennis ball hits a 2 dimensional target (wall for arguments sake). The position would need to be determined within a diameter of about 50 to 100mm. This should ideally be via optical, laser or similar method rather than electromechanical sensors to eliminate wear or damage from continuous impact of the balls. The entire target area would typically be in the order of 5m x 5m.
The Internet

Submission + - Dead webmasters online?

wikinerd writes: "I'm looking to create a list of still-operational websites (or other online presences) whose webmaster has died and their content is not updated anymore. Could you help me to make a list of such dormant websites? Practically, if the server fees are paid in advance and the hardware is taken care by a datacentre sysadmin, a website can probably remain online for a few months or years after the death of its webmaster with no one to take care of the content. Sites maintained by relatives or friends obviously don't fall into this category. While in the past most content was written in books, which were preserved after the death of the author, nowadays many people publish online, but apart from Internet Archive there seems to be no guarantee that their writings will be preserved for future generations after their death. I'm looking for ways to "save" worthy content present in such websites, but I'm a bit unsure how to handle issues of intellectual property. Shall I assume that the content of a dead webmaster's site is owned by their heirs? How can one locate and contact the copyright owner of a dead person?"
Space

Submission + - Deathbed confession swears by Roswell aliens (news.com.au)

hellbreaker writes: "Lieutenant Walter Haut, the public relations officer at Roswell base in 1947, died last year; but he left behind a sworn affidavit (to be opened in the event of his death) describing a spacecraft, and little green men that he himself witnessed. Okay, maybe not green, but this just brings the whole question back: what exactly happened there?"
Software

Submission + - Estimating software development costs 1

ZigZagHerring writes: As a financial manager in charge of projecting software development costs and other costs associated with the development process, I find myself a bit lost. As the co-founder of a startup for institutional investment analysis software, I have the financial skills to deploy complex analysis but not the estimation skills to forecast costs of software development. Where would a financial whiz with a slight technical background go about finding procedures for producing ballpark software development cost figures?
The Courts

Submission + - TorrentSpy Ordered By Judge to Become MPAA Spy

PC Guy writes: TorrentSpy, one of the world's largest BitTorrent sites, has been ordered by a federal judge to monitor its users. They are asked to keep detailed logs of their activities which must then be handed over to the MPAA.

Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy's attorney responded to the news by stating:

"It is likely that TorrentSpy would turn off access to the U.S. before tracking its users. If this order were allowed to stand, it would mean that Web sites can be required by discovery judges to track what their users do even if their privacy policy says otherwise."

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