epa writes: The UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as the Patent Office) has been hit by a DDOS attack by an anti-intellectual property group. It has suspended its web-based online filing service, and is generally limited its on-line presence.
Sara Chan writes: The UK government plans to introduce legislation that will allow the police to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public. The information will include who is contacting whom, when and where and which websites are visited, but not the content of the conversations or messages. Every communications provider will be required to store the information for at least a year. Full story in The Telegraph.
Anonymous writes: Professor Fernando Galembeck, a UC chemist, is leading the study into the ways in which electricity builds up and spreads in the atmosphere, and how it could be collected. “Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future," he stated. "Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect.”
An anonymous reader writes: A film set to be released for free via BitTorrent has been denied a listing in the Internet Movie Database. The Tunnel is currently in production and despite pleas from the makers, IMDb won’t allow it on their site. The creators of this horror movie believe that because they have shunned an official distributor and chosen a BitTorrent model instead, this has put them at a disadvantage with the Amazon-owned site.
Thorfinn.au writes: A hundred million years ago, a triple-star system was traveling through the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy when it made a life-changing misstep. The trio wandered too close to the galaxy's giant black hole, which captured one of the stars and hurled the other two out of the Milky Way. Adding to the stellar game of musical chairs, the two outbound stars merged to form a super-hot, blue star.
This story may seem like science fiction, but astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope say it is the most likely scenario for a so-called hypervelocity star, known as HE 0437-5439, one of the fastest ever detected. It is blazing across space at a speed of 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) an hour, three times faster than our Sun's orbital velocity in the Milky Way. Hubble observations confirm that the stellar speedster hails from our galaxy's core.
An anonymous reader writes: A recent article in American Scientist describes the battle between Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA for the next generation hardware that will serve all our graphics needs. At the SIGGRAPH conference next week NVIDIA will present OptiX as their future platform for ray tracing entirely on GPUs, while Intel and AMD will be showing KeyShot which is entirely CPU driven. Around the corner AMD's Fusion architecture looks very interesting as well. Who will win this battle for realtime rendering? And when will we see ray tracing in games?
Cwix writes: "Google filed a lawsuit against Pacific WebWorks and other unnamed defendants for allegedly using the company's name and colorful logo to promote fraudulent work-at-home money-making schemes."
psmaster writes: I am an A+ certified 16 year old, going on 17. I am currently studying for Security+ and then Network+. I attend a technical school for half the day to learn all that I can. My question is a simple one: How can I get a decent part-time job working in the field? I have plenty of hands-on experience with fixing and troubleshooting computers and networks. I know, some might say to just do odd jobs for friends, but I am looking for a more steady income and most of my friends want the "friend discount". Any help would be much appreciated.
Shokaster writes: The Register reports that Virgin Media are to begin monitoring file sharing using a deep packet inspection system, CView, provided by Deltica, a BAE subsidiary. The trial will cover about 40% of customers, although those involved will not be informed. CView's deep packet inspection is the same technology that powered Phorm's advertising system. Initially Virgin Media's implementation will focus on music sharing and will inspect packets to determine whether the content is licensed or unlicensed, based on data provided by the record industry. Virgin Media emphasised that records will not be kept on individual customers and that data on the level of copyright infringement will be aggregated and anonymised.
Mopatop writes: The UK's largest cable ISP Virgin Media is following Comcast and Verizon in the recent trend of hijacking non-existent DNS requests. Instead of a traditional "not found" message, users are greeted with an advertisement-filled error page when attempting to visit a non-existent domain. Virgin have been playing by the book a lot recently, it's a shame that they've decided to hop on this worrying bandwagon.
The Narrative Fallacy writes: "Wired reports that with just a few weeks of training, you can learn to "see" objects in the dark using echolocation the same way dolphins and bats do. Acoustic expert Juan Antonio Martinez at the University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain has developed a system to teach people how to use echolocation, a skill that could be particularly useful for the blind and for people who work under dark or smoky conditions, like firefighters — or cat burglars. "Two hours per day for a couple of weeks are enough to distinguish whether you have an object in front of you," says Martinez. "Within another couple weeks you can tell the difference between trees and pavement." To master the art of echolocation, you can begin by making the typical "sh" sound used to make someone be quiet. Moving a pen in front of the mouth can be noticed right away similar to the phenomenon when traveling in a car with the windows down, which makes it possible to "hear" gaps in the verge of the road. The next level is to learn how to master "palate clicks," special clicks with your tongue and palate that are better than other sounds because they can be made in a uniform way, work at a lower intensity, and don't get drowned out by ambient noise. With the palate click you can learn to recognize slight changes in the way the clicks sound depending on what objects are nearby. "For all of us in general, this would be a new way of perceiving the world," says Martinez."
pmontra writes: The City of Venice, Italy, started to offer free Wi-Fi to residents (Google translation from the Italian source) on July 3 2009. Tourists and other visitors will pay 5 Euros a day for the service starting from September. The hot spots are connected to a ten thousand kilometers (6.250 miles) fiber optic LAN the City started deploying in the '90s. The first day of free Internet access has been celebrated with a digital treasure hunt in the channels of the lagoon city.