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The Internet

Next G8 President Wants To "Regulate the Internet" 279

antispam_ben writes "The President of Italy, which will have the Presidency of the G8 starting January 1, says he wants to use the future position of Italy to 'Regulate the Internet.' Italy's President Berlusconi appears to be a cantankerous character, prompting riots when Italy last had the G8 presidency in 2001. This will no doubt be a serious effort, but knowing the fundamental design of the Internet involves routing around damage, the efforts could be more amusing than threatening." Update — 12/5 at 00:04 by SS: Reader fondacio noted that Silvio Berlusconi is Italy's Prime Minister, not its President. He is Italy's G8 representative, and Italy will hold the presidency in 2009.
Biotech

Mad Scientist Brings Back Dead With "Deanimation" 501

mattnyc99 writes "Esquire is running a a jaw-dropping profile of MacArthur genius Marc Roth in their annual Best and Brightest roundup, detailing how this gonzo DNA scientist (who also figured out how to diagnose lupus correctly) went from watching his infant daughter die to literally reincarnating animals. Inspired by NOVA and funded by DARPA, Roth has developed a serum for major biotech startup Ikaria that successfully accomplished 'suspended animation' — the closest we've ever come to simulating near-death experiences and then coming back to life. From the article: 'We don't know what life is, anyway. Not really. We just know what life does — it burns oxygen. It's a process of combustion. We're all just slow-burning candles, making our way through our allotment of precious O2 until it becomes our toxin, until we burn out, until we get old and die. But we live on 21 percent oxygen, just as we live at 37 degrees. They're related. Decrease the oxygen to 5 percent, we die. But, look, the concentration of oxygen in the blood that runs through our capillaries is only 2 or 3 percent. We're almost dead already! So what if we turn down the candle's need for oxygen? What if we dim the candle so much that we don't even have the energy to die?' " The writer Tom Junod engages in what Hunter Thompson once called "a failed but essentially noble experiment in pure gonzo journalism." If you can suspend your inner critic for a time, it's a fun ride.
Networking

The Other Side of the Sprint Vs. Cogent Depeering 174

Swoolley writes "A month back this community discussed the Sprint vs. Cogent depeering. Now a story I wrote for Forbes.com tells the inside story of the fight, based on the lawsuits the two companies filed against each other in Virginia state court. For once, thanks to those suits, the public gets to see the details of a confidential peering agreement between two of the Internet's largest autonomous systems, as well as the circumstances leading up to the depeering. (Which company is in the right? Read the facts and decide for yourself.) While some people have argued that the depeering is reason for more government regulation, the Forbes story makes the case that details of the recent Cogent vs. Sprint fight argue for exactly the opposite: keeping the Internet backbones free of government meddling."
Games

Entertainment Software Association Following RIAA? 204

cavis writes "My organization just received an e-mail from the Intellectual Property enforcement division of the Entertainment Software Association. It accuses one particular IP address with 'infringing the copyright rights of one or more ESA members by copying and distributing unauthorized copies of game products (through peer-to-peer or similar software/services).' It goes on to name the filename and the application: Limewire. Has anyone had any contact with this group? Are they following the RIAA's lead and pursuing litigation for peer-to-peer piracy? I'm just trying to evaluate what I am in for as I try to battle P2P within my network." Read on for more details.
Communications

Arranging Electronic Access For Your Survivors? 335

smee2 writes "In the past, when a family member died, you could look through their files and address books to find all the people and businesses that should be notified that the person is deceased. Now the hard-copy address book is becoming a thing of the past. I keep some contact information in a spreadsheet, but I have many online friends that I only have contact with through web sites such as Flickr. My email accounts have many more people listed than my address book spreadsheet. I have no interest in collecting real world info from all my online contacts. The sites where I have social contact with people from around the world (obviously) require user names and passwords. Two questions: 1. How do you intend to let the executors of your estate or family members know which online sites/people you'd like them to notify of your demise? 2. How are you going to give access to the passwords, etc. needed to access those sites in a way that doesn't cause a security concern while you're still alive?"
Privacy

Verizon Employees Fired For Snooping Obama's Record 344

longhairedgnome writes "The curiosity in President-elect Barack Obama's phone records came with a high price tag for Verizon Wireless employees. According to CNN, the workers who snooped on Obama's phone records have been fired. 'This was some employees' idle curiosity,' a company source told CNN and added 'we now consider this matter closed.' Justice served? What about legal possibilities?" Can we expect anyone who followed a warrantless wiretap from the Bush administration to also be fired then? I mean, they violated our privacy as well.
Microsoft

Ballmer Ordered To Testify In 'Vista Capable' Case 235

alphadogg writes "A federal judge in Seattle has ordered Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to testify in a class action lawsuit against Microsoft that alleges the company misled consumers in a marketing campaign for its Windows Vista operating system in which computers sold with an older Microsoft OS were labeled 'Vista Capable' when in fact they could only run a basic version of Vista. Ballmer has unique personal knowledge of facts surrounding the case, therefore he must face questioning, Judge Marsha Pechman of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle ruled, according to court documents released late Friday."
Space

SpaceX Successfully Tests Nine-Engine Cluster 182

the_other_chewey writes "At their test facility in Texas, SpaceX, the privately funded space-flight company, have successfully tested their nine-engine cluster which is planned to provide the heavy lifting capability for their Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy rockets. The firing lasted three minutes (a full 'mission duty cycle,' i.e. a simulated launch) under full power, delivering 3.8MN (or 855,000 lbs.) of thrust. SpaceX have made a video of the test available. The Waco Tribune has a short report about it, with comments by locals."
Cellphones

South Carolina Wants To Jam Cell Phone Signals 601

Corey Brook writes "The South Carolina state prison system wants the FCC to grant them and local officers permission to block cell phone signals. News has been out about the growing problem of them perps smuggling cell phones into prisons for a while now. Inmates use cell phones as commerce, to implement fraud, smuggle drugs and weapons, and to order hits. Of course, some may use it to just talk to a loved one any time they can." Hopefully movie theaters and restaurants do it next.
The Internet

EU Strikes Down French "3 Strikes" Copyright Infringement Law 271

Erris writes "Opendotdotdot has good news about laws in the EU: 'EU culture ministers yesterday (20 November) rejected French proposals to curb online piracy through compulsory measures against free downloading ... [and instead pushed] for "a fair balance between the various fundamental rights" while fighting online piracy, first listing "the right to personal data protection," then "the freedom of information" and only lastly "the protection of intellectual property." [This] indicates that the culture ministers and their advisers are beginning to understand the dynamics of the Net, that throttling its use through crude instruments like the "three strikes and you're out" is exactly the wrong thing to do.'"
Earth

Machine Condenses Drinking Water Out of Thin Air 438

longacre writes "A new $1,200 machine that uses the same amount of power as three light bulbs promises to condense drinkable water out of the air. On display at Wired Magazine's annual tech showcase, the WaterMill 'looks like a giant golf ball that has been chopped in half: it is about 3ft in diameter, made of white plastic, and is attached to the wall. It works by drawing air through filters to remove dust and particles, then cooling it to just below the temperature at which dew forms. The condensed water is passed through a self-sterilising chamber that uses microbe-busting UV light to eradicate any possibility of Legionnaires' disease or other infections. Finally, it is filtered and passed through a pipe to the owner's fridge or kitchen tap.'"
Google

Google Sorts 1 Petabyte In 6 Hours 166

krewemaynard writes "Google has announced that they were able to sort one petabyte of data in 6 hours and 2 minutes across 4,000 computers. According to the Google Blog, '... to put this amount in perspective, it is 12 times the amount of archived web data in the US Library of Congress as of May 2008. In comparison, consider that the aggregate size of data processed by all instances of MapReduce at Google was on average 20PB per day in January 2008.' The technology making this possible is MapReduce 'a programming model and an associated implementation for processing and generating large data sets.' We discussed it a few months ago. Google has also posted a video from their Technology RoundTable discussing MapReduce."
Education

How to Deal With an Aging Brain? 684

An anonymous reader writes "I'm sure this is something all older Slashdotters are aware of: as I get older my once-sharp brain is, well, getting worse. In particular, I'm not able to remember things as well as I once did. As a geek my capacity in this area was always what defined me as a geek. Nowadays things seem to go in OK, but then leak out. A few weeks later I've mostly forgotten. So, I ask Slashdot: how do you cope with your mind getting older? What's your trick? Fish-oil? Brain Training on the DS? Exercise? Or just trying harder to remember things?"
Networking

A Web App For Real-Time Collaborative Writing 157

adamengst writes in with good news for anyone who needs to collaborate remotely on a writing or editing project — coding too. It's especially good news for those using Windows and Linux. Mac users have had SubEthaEdit for a few years now. With EtherPad, two or more people can edit a document and see all the edits simultaneously. EtherPad's main differences from SubEthaEdit: it's a Web application that de facto supports many platforms without the need for a central Mac OS X host; and it's free. Here is a comparison of EtherPad and SubEthaEdit.
Supercomputing

E=mc^2 Verified In Quantum Chromodynamic Calculation 268

chirishnique and other readers sent in a story in AFP about a heroic supercomputer computation that has verified Einstein's most famous equation at the level of subatomic particles for the first time. "A brainpower consortium led by Laurent Lellouch of France's Centre for Theoretical Physics, using some of the world's mightiest supercomputers, have set down the calculations for estimating the mass of protons and neutrons, the particles at the nucleus of atoms. ... [T]he mass of gluons is zero and the mass of quarks is only five per cent. Where, therefore, is the missing 95 per cent? The answer, according to the study published in the US journal Science on Thursday, comes from the energy from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons. ... [E]nergy and mass are equivalent, as Einstein proposed in his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905." Update: 11/21 15:50 GMT by KD : New Scientist has a slightly more technical look at the accomplishment.

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