Paul Fernhout writes: The CS Monitor has an article about how leading fashion designers lobby to copyright their work to curb the knockoff industry. From the article: 'ABS and a growing number of other companies can copy these designs, most with minor alterations — different ruffles on the Versace skirt, for instance, or a single dress instead of two pieces on Blanchett's outfit — because unlike music and movies, fashion apparel cannot be copyrighted. Some industry analysts, and some consumers, applaud this, calling imitation the life-blood of the fashion world. Designers call it bad copyright law, and say even if it's legal, copying someone else's designs is at least unethical. A new federal bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) of Virginia in 2006 and backed by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, would allow individuals to copyright a design for three years. CFDA executive director Steven Kolb expects the bill to be reintroduced this month. But as battle lines are being drawn, many cultural observers say this is more than a struggle over the future of a trillion-dollar global industry. It's also a window into changing American ideas about ownership and ethical behavior.'
SeaDour writes: The Cassini spacecraft has recently entered a highly-inclined orbit around Saturn, revealing some never-before-seen images of the planet's ring system as seen from above and below the planet. "Finally, here are the views that we've waited years for," said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute. "Sailing high above Saturn and seeing the rings spread out beneath us like a giant, copper medallion is like exploring an alien world we've never seen before. It just doesn't look like the same place. It's so utterly breath-taking, it almost gives you vertigo." The spacecraft will eventually return to its standard orbit parallel to the ring plane in late June.
davids-world.com writes: "Richard Stallman is planning to step down as head maintainer of the GNU Emacs project. In an e-mail to fellow Emacs developers, he today asked for candidates to succeed him. RMS wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor in 1975 at MIT's AI Lab. Seen by many as the founder and chief advocate of the free software movement, Stallman has also been actively involved in Emacs' development. GNU Emacs 22, due soon, will be the first major release of the editor since 2001."
FiReaNGeL writes: "University of Delaware researchers have developed an inexpensive, nonchlorine-based technology that can remove harmful microorganisms, including viruses, from drinking water. The new technology could dramatically improve the safety of drinking water around the globe, particularly in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over a billion people — one-sixth of the world's population — lack access to safe water supplies. Four billion cases of diarrheal disease occur worldwide every year, resulting in 1.8 million deaths, primarily infants and children in developing countries. Eighty-eight percent of this disease is attributed to unsafe water supplies, inadequate sanitation and hygiene."
Graeme Brown has invented a substance which can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The substance, dubbed Planetite, is derived from the naturally occurring mineral crystal Zeolite.
Brown says Planetite can absorb carbon dioxide and separate the molecule into carbon and oxygen which can be re-used.