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Books

Submission + - Harry Potter Ending Allegedly Leaked (kaos-krew.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Scans of the table of contents and epilogue of the final Harry Potter book are circulating on the internet. The epilogue, 'Nineteen Years Later', reveals the fates of the major characters. Harry Potter fans should be advised to stay away from the internet and other media until they finish the book.
Biotech

Submission + - Scientific Study of Coffee Bean Aroma

CupOJoe writes: Chemists from the University of Munich have performed a detailed analysis of green coffee beans. Using Gas Chromatography and GC-Mass Spectrometry, they concluded that after nine months of storage in tropical conditions, the coffee would take on an increased apple, clove, and smoky aroma. The smoky chemical had never been observed in coffee before, but has previously been observed in marijuana. Apparently, it is a very good indicator that the beans have spoiled. Their advice is to keep coffee cool and dry during storage.
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Patient bleeds dark green blood (bbc.co.uk)

throup writes: "BBC News is reporting a story (originally from The Lancet — registration required) about a patient who bled dark green blood in the operating theatre. Unlike Mr Spock, this case is nothing to do with Vulcan heritage but apparently linked to a medical condition, brought on by the patient's medication, where sulphur is combined in haemoglobin molecules."
Patents

Submission + - Company aims to patent security patches (eweek.com)

Jonas Maebe writes: "Someone thought up another way to profiteer from the software patent system: when a security hole is discovered, they'll try to patent the fix in order to collect money when the affected vendors close the hole in their product.. The company in question is not shy about its intentions: Intellectual Weapons will only consider vulnerabilities in high profile products from vendors with deep pockets. Let's be thankful for yet another way software patents are used to promote science and the useful arts."
Enlightenment

Submission + - Stop global warming - One square of TP at a time

An anonymous reader writes: There are a lot of ways that have been proposed to reduce global warming, but singer Sheryl Crow's idea is one that would likely meet with some resistance. In an effort to conserve trees, Ms. Crow would like to see toilet paper usage reduced to a single square of toilet paper per visit. From her website: "Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required." http://www.sherylcrow.com/news.aspx?nid=7786
Security

Submission + - Wep security cracked even quicker

Madas writes: Researchers in Technical University Darmstadt have managed to crack Wep security faster than ever before. It's all done with some tool called aircrack-ptw. They only need 40,000 packets to find the key and that only takes a minute (it used to take about 40 minutes). Is anyone still using WEP? They shouldn't be after reading this!
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - OpenBSD in a GPL violation?

Yenya writes: "In a message sent to OpenBSD developers as well as the linux-wireless and bcm43xx-devel lists, Michael Buesch, the main developer of the Linux bcm43xx driver for Broadcom WiFi devices, wrote:

[...]We believe that you might have directly copied code out of bcm43xx (licensed under GPL v2), without our explicit permission, into bcw (licensed under BSD license). There are implementation details in bcm43xx that appear exactly the same in bcw. These implementation details clearly don't come from the open specifications at bcm-specs.sipsolutions.net or bcm-v4.sipsolutions.net.
The bcm43xx driver is being developed as a clean room design, based on the reverse-enginered specs, created by another team. As it seems now, the bcw driver in question might just be removed from the OpenBSD source."
Privacy

Submission + - Death threats or freedom of speech?

magman writes: Kathy Sierra, author of several java books, posted on her blog about death threats and sexual harassment from several named "prominent" bloggers. Is it easier to cross the line between freedom of speech and harassment online than it is in real life?

"For the last four weeks, I've been getting death threat comments on this blog. But that's not what pushed me over the edge. What finally did it was some disturbing threats of violence and sex posted on two other blogs... blogs authored and/or owned by a group that includes prominent bloggers. People you've probably heard of. People like respected Cluetrain Manifesto co-author Chris Locke (aka Rageboy)."
The Courts

Submission + - iFilm infringement could land Viacom in hot water

Radio Silence writes: Infringing videos on iFilm could undermine Viacom's case against YouTube. Although it's arguably not a nest of infringement like YouTube, iFilm appears to host more than a handful of videos for which its corporate parent Viacom does not own the copyright. More importantly, Viacom isn't engaging in the kind of proactive infringement identification practices it expects of YouTube, which may cause problems for them in court. 'if Viacom isn't willing to take the same steps with iFilm that it wants YouTube to take with copyrighted content, Viacom may have a harder time making its case before the judge presiding over the case. "It would have some persuasive value with a judge if YouTube says 'look, they're ranting and raving about all this infringement occurring on my site and they're not doing anything about it themselves,'" said copyright attorney Greg Gabriel.'
Intel

Submission + - High schooler is awarded $100,000 for research

wired_LAIN writes: A teenager from Oklahoma was awarded $100,000 in the Intel Science Talent Search competition for building an inexpensive and accurate spectrograph that can identify the specific characteristics of different kinds of molecules. While normal spectrographs can cost between $20,000 and 100,000 to build, her spectrograph cost less than $500 dollars. The 40 finalists' projects were judged by a panel of 12 scientists, all well established in their respective fields. Among the judges were Vera Rubin , who proved Dark Matter, and Andrew Yeager, one of the pioneers of stem cell research. My only question is: why aren't these kids given more media coverage?
The Internet

Submission + - Authority from nothingness at Wikipedia

CurtMonash writes: ""Everybody knows" that Wikipedia shouldn't be regarded as an authoritative source on anything. Well, Tom Relly of Register makes a compelling case, by way of anecdote, that mainstream journalists don't know actually this. And that makes for an interesting circularity:
  • Wikipedia is full of claims that are sourceable in principle, but aren't actually sourced.
  • Mainstream journalists use information from Wikipedia, even if it is not further sourced.
  • Those very articles can be viewed as authoritative for Wikipedia's own sourcing purposes.
  • Thus, unsourced information could, by virtue of having been placed in Wikipedia, grow to be regarded as authoritative by Wikipedia itself.


This phenomenon needs a name, and I am helpfully offering one: Circlesourcing. So how long will it now take for Wikipedia to have an entry of that name?"
Google

Submission + - Google: Ship your 3TB datasets to us

Billabong writes: Google's Chris DiBona says that the company has a plan to let scientists swap massive datasets. How does a scientist get a three terabyte dataset to Google HQ? In a shipping crate, of course. From the article: "The principle behind Google's program is that the bandwidth of a shipping crate full of hard drives should not be underestimated. DiBona said that Google has developed a combination of drive arrays (in a small form factor case) and packaging that can be sent to the source of the data: 'We bought some hard-sided foam packing cases, not unlike the roadie cases you'd see at a concert, and ship the arrays in them. We've gone through a couple of different models and have settled on a model that can ship about three terabytes of data in a case,' DiBona said." NASA is even using the service to host a 120 terabyte monster set from the Hubble.
Handhelds

Submission + - Legislators Ponder BlackBerry Pileups

WSJdpatton writes: "During the morning rush hour on Dec. 5, the driver of a blue Dodge Caravan was traveling north on Interstate 5 outside Seattle when he took his eyes off the road to scan an email on his BlackBerry, the State Patrol says. And that's how he hit the white Mazda, which clipped the green Honda, which rammed the black Toyota SUV before spinning into the other lane and plowing into a city bus. Nobody was seriously hurt. But the episode sparked a chain reaction of a different sort in the state legislature, in the form of a bill that would make it a crime to "operate a motor vehicle while reading, writing or sending electronic messages."
Forget DWI. The big new traffic-safety issue is DWT: driving while texting. As electronic devices become ever more important in people's lives, lawmakers are wrestling with a whole new class of modern "distracted driving" issues."
Google

Submission + - ASK and Yahoo caught in bogus campaign

An anonymous reader writes: The recent "Information Revolution" campaign littered across London's underground has been unveiled as the duplicitous sham that it is. Posters and flyers lead readers to question the legitimacy of information obtained from a market leading single supplier i.e. Google, and attract readers attention to 'join them' in their Ché Guevara-esque revolt. The online campaign (http://information-revolution.org) develops the theme, quoting unsupported statistics such as 75% of people in the UK access online information via a single provider, and making tenuous links between using single suppliers of online search and having limited choice when watching television news channels. The reality of the campaign is far from laudable, as the provider of the Web site is online PR firm Profero (http://www.profero.com/uk/) whose clients include ASK and Yahoo (search marketing). Fortunately the bloggers drawn to the site were sharp enough to smell the rat that lurked behind the well glazed exterior, and by and large snubbed the spurious arguments being put forward as part of this ad campaign, to the extent that the web editors were forced to concede ground and amend their opening blog entries. The only questions being ASK'ed now are who is clearing their desk following this disastrous attempt to underestimate the intelligence of their target audience.
PlayStation (Games)

God of War 3 and God of War PSP Official 39

GOWfreak writes "Oh his blog covering the God of War 2 launch event at the PlayStation store in San Francisco, 1UP editor Matt Leone revealed a whole ton of stuff on the future of the God of War series. The biggest news is that God of War 3 is coming to PS3 and it will have rumble (first confirmation of rumble coming back to PS3!) and 1080p resolution. There's even talk of it having co-op play. Director Cory Barlog also spoke about the God of War PSP game. 'It is epic. It is big. There are hooks in the PSP story that I actually wrote from one of my first stories for God of War 2.'"

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