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NASA

The Sun Unleashes Coronal Mass Ejection At Earth 220

astroengine writes "Yesterday morning, at 08:55 UT, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a C3-class flare erupt inside a sunspot cluster. 100,000 kilometers away, deep within the solar atmosphere (the corona), an extended magnetic field filled with cool plasma forming a dark ribbon across the face of the sun (a feature known as a 'filament') erupted at the exact same time. It seems very likely that both eruptions were connected after a powerful shock wave produced by the flare destabilized the filament, causing the eruption. A second solar observatory, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, then spotted a huge coronal mass ejection blast into space, straight in the direction of Earth. Solar physicists have calculated that this magnetic bubble filled with energetic particles should hit Earth on August 3, so look out for some intense aurorae — a solar storm is coming."
Star Wars Prequels

George Lucas C&Ds 'Lightsaber Laser' 481

dward90 writes "George Lucas thinks that bulky, handheld lasers shouldn't be produced because they are his intellectual property. From CNN: 'George Lucas wants to force a laser company to stop making a new, high-powered product he says looks too much like the famous lightsaber from his classic sci-fi series. Lucasfilm Ltd. has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Hong Kong-based Wicked Lasers, threatening legal action if it doesn't change its Pro Arctic Laser series or stop selling it altogether.'"
The Courts

Hollywood Nervous About Kagan's Fair Use Views 239

Of the many commentaries and analyses springing up about Obama's Supreme Court nominee, this community might be most interested in one from the Hollywood Reporter. Reader Hugh Pickens notes that Hollywood may have reason to be nervous about the nomination of Elena Kagan to be the next US Supreme Court justice. "As dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009, Kagan was instrumental in beefing up the school's Berkman Center for Internet & Society by recruiting Lawrence Lessig and others who take a strongly liberal position on fair use in copyright disputes. And Kagan got an opportunity to showcase her feelings on intellectual property when the US Supreme Court asked her, as US Solicitor General, to weigh in on the big Cablevision case. 'After Cablevision announced in 2006 that it would allow subscribers to store TV programs on the cable operator's computer servers instead of on a hard-top box, Hollywood studios went nuts, predicting that the days of licensing on-demand content would be over,' writes Gardner. Kagan's brief compared remote-storage DVRs to VCRs (PDF), brought up the Sony/Betamax case, and lightly slapped Cablevision on the wrist for not making fair use a bigger issue. 'It sounds to us like Kagan would love the Court to determine when customers have a fair-use right to copy, which should cheer those on the copy-left at the EFF, and worry many in the entertainment industry.' On the minus side, Kagan has surrounded herself with entertainment industry advocates in the Justice Department."
Earth

Aral Sea May Recover; Dead Sea Needs a Lifeline 131

An anonymous reader writes "It's a tale of two seas. The drying up of the Aral Sea is considered one of the greatest environmental catastrophes in history, but the northern sector of the sea, at least, is showing signs of life. A dam completed in 2005 has increased the North Aral's span by 20 percent, and birds, fish, and people are all returning to the area. Meanwhile, the Dead Sea is still in the midst of precipitous decline, since too much water is being drawn out of the Jordan River for thirsty populations and crops. To keep the sea from shrinking more, scientists are pushing an ambitious scheme called the 'Red-Dead conduit,' which would channel huge amounts of water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. However, the environmental consequences of such a project may be troubling."
Space

Geomagnetic Storm In Progress 110

shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.
Censorship

Venezuela's Last Opposition TV Owner Arrested 433

WrongSizeGlass writes "AP is reporting the owner of Venezuela's only remaining TV channel that takes a critical line against President Hugo Chavez was arrested Thursday. 'Guillermo Zuloaga, owner of Globovision, was arrested on a warrant for remarks that were deemed "offensive" to the president,' Attorney General Luisa Ortega said. This comes on the heels of last week's story titled Venezuela's Chavez To Limit Internet Freedom."
Businesses

An Artist's View of the Modern Music Biz 210

An anonymous reader writes "A member of the band OK Go wrote an interesting open letter giving an artist's perspective on the current state of the music business and how labels finance producing, distributing, and marketing music and music videos. A very insightful perspective of 'both sides': the argument that music and music videos are meant to be heard and, in the case of the latter, seen by a wide audience; and the argument that the money needs to come from somewhere. Unfortunately, the letter doesn't address the perspective outsiders have of outlandish salaries in the music labels, but it is interesting nonetheless." Their new video is not bad either.

Comment Re:Why wasn't Monsanto required to reveal this inf (Score 2, Interesting) 766

That's the reason why it was accepted:
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_1178620772383.htm

"In conclusion, the Panel considers that the information available for MON 863 addresses the outstanding questions raised by the Member States and considers that MON 863 will not have an adverse effect on human and animal health or the environment in the context of its proposed use."

While I am not at all fan of Monsanto, I have to say that in the past research on GM crops has been highly polarized and there has been a lot of poor science from both sides. Let's wait and see how this study classifies.

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