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Businesses

PayPal Withholding Indie Game Dev's €600,000 Account 775

epee1221 writes "Markus Persson, a.k.a. Notch, the developer of Minecraft, posted on his development blog today that PayPal limited his account with unspecified cause on August 25th. Since then, payments for the alpha version of Minecraft have continued accumulating while Notch has been unable to withdraw them, and the account now contains over €600,000. PayPal recently told him it may take up to two more weeks for things to get sorted out and that if they conclude that there is funny business involved, they will keep the money." This unfortunate news followed an announcement a few days ago that he and a friend would be starting a studio of their own to continue development on Minecraft and start working on a new project.
Medicine

Robot With Knives Used In Robotics Injury Study 132

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that German researchers, seeking to find out what would happen if a robot handling a sharp tool accidentally struck a human, set out to perform a series of cutting, stabbing, and puncturing tests. They used a robotic manipulator arm, fitted with various sharp tools (kitchen knife, scalpel, screwdriver) and performed striking tests at a block of silicone, a pig leg, and at one point, even the arm of a human volunteer. Volunteer, really?! The story includes video of the tests."
Privacy

Former Head of CIA Think Tank Talks Privacy, Technology 147

blackbearnh writes "Carmen Medina, until recently, helped run the analysis side of the house at the CIA. She also ran the agency's think tank, the Center for the Study of Intelligence. A self-proclaimed heretic, she has a number of controversial views about how we gather intelligence and how technology is changing the game. She talked to O'Reilly Radar about this and other topics, including the possible ways that intelligence analysis could be crowdsourced, why government technology procurement is so broken, and how the public may need to readjust its views on what things such as privacy mean. Medina said, 'Government is viewed as inefficient and wasteful by American citizens. I would argue that one of the reasons why that view has grown is that they're comparing the inefficiency of government to how they relate to their bank or to their airline. Interestingly enough, for private industry to provide that level of service, there are a lot of legacy privacy barriers that are being broken. Private industry is doing all sorts of analysis of you as a consumer to provide you better service and to let them make more profit. But the same consumer that's okay with private industry doing that is not okay, in a knee-jerk reaction, with government doing that. And yet, if government, because of this dynamic, continues not to be able to adopt modern transactional practices, then it's going to fall further behind the satisfaction curve.'"
Robotics

ISS To Get Man Cave 123

Nancy_A writes "There might be a new favorite hang-out for astronauts aboard the International Space Station later this year. The Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) will become a permanent module on the station, and will be brought up on the STS-133 mission, scheduled for September 2010. The new module might provide a haven for astronauts to get away from it all. '"The thought is, the PMM might become sort of a 'man cave,'" said Mike Kinslow, the Boeing payload manager at the Kennedy Space Center. "It won't have all the background noise of fans, computers and other equipment running like in the laboratories, so it will be a quieter atmosphere that might appeal to the astronauts during their off-duty hours."' Plus, NASA's Robonaut 2, or R2 will be brought up on the same flight. Any chance R2 could be programmed to serve drinks or bring food into the man cave?"
Earth

Chemical Pollution Is Destroying Masculinity 773

myrdos2 writes "A host of common chemicals is feminizing males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people. Many have been identified as 'endocrine disruptors' or gender-benders because they interfere with hormones. Communities heavily polluted with gender-benders in Canada, Russia, and Italy have given birth to twice as many girls as boys, which may offer a clue to the mysterious shift in sex ratios worldwide. And a study at Rotterdam's Erasmus University showed that boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys. It also follows hard on the heels of new American research which shows that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminized genitals. It is calculated that 250,000 babies who would have been boys have been born as girls instead in the US and Japan alone. And sperm counts are dropping precipitously. Studies in more than 20 countries have shown that they have dropped from 150 million per milliliter of sperm fluid to 60 million over 50 years."
Announcements

Submission + - Canadian DMCA protest (boingboing.net) 1

ThePurpleBuffalo writes: Cory Doctorow has announced that Jim Prentice will be in Calgary, Alberta, Canada tomorrow (Saturday, 2007-12-10) and that this might be the best chance to fight the Canadian DMCA. From the article: "If you're a Canadian and you want to talk to Industry Minister Jim Prentice about his proposal for a Canadian DMCA, a copyright law that's even worse than the ten-year-old American legislation that resulted in lawsuits against 20,000+ Americans without stopping infringement or paying artists, now's your chance!"
Censorship

Submission + - OiNK is taken down by Interpol, admin arrested 2

QuietR10t writes: Scott Gilbertson from Wired raises an interesting point: "However, there is one interesting quote in the IFPI's press release. Jeremy Banks, head of the IFPI's Internet Anti-Piracy Unit, says in the press release: "OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of pre-release music online. This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure. This was a worldwide network that got hold of music they did not own the rights to and posted it online." (emphasis mine)

The IFPI seems to be making a distinction of scale between professional piracy groups and friends sharing files, even if, so far as I know, copyright laws in Britain (and the U.S.) make no such distinctions."
http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/10/oink-is-the-lat.html

There are also rumors of investigation into users, but with 180k users I'm not sure they would know where to start.
Microsoft

Submission + - Moore: Critics of 360 Hardware 'Need a History Les (gamedaily.com)

njkid1 writes: "GameDaily is proud to present Peter Moore's FINAL Xbox interview — GameDaily was literally his last appointment on the final day of E3. They grilled the (now former) Xbox exec on 360's hardware problems, the console's continued struggles in Japan, and more. He also tells GameDAily that Microsoft's "plans for price cuts have been laid out for years" and he knows "exactly" when they'll happen. Dig in..."

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