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Sci-Fi

Canadians Miss Out On Doctor Who Season Finale 303

darthcamaro writes "Canadians were among the last people in the world to get the season 4 finale of Doctor Who which already aired in the UK and Australia. The Canadian public broadcaster — CBC — decided to cut out nearly 20 minutes from the episode, leaving fans wondering what was going on. Doctor Who isn't the easiest show to follow at the best of times — but Canadians are now up in arms (or at least hockey sticks) over their taxpayer-funded broadcaster's lack of respect for SciFi hosers."
Image

Prescription Handguns For the Elderly and Disabled Screenshot-sm 1093

Repton writes "Thanks to the Second Amendment, even the elderly have the right to keep and bear arms. The problem is that many of the guns out there are a bit unwieldy for an older person to handle. However, the inventors of the Palm Pistol are planning to change all that with a weapon that is ideal for both the elderly and the physically disabled. In a statement submitted to Medgadget, the manufacturer, Constitution Arms, has revealed the following: 'We thought you might be interested to learn that the FDA has completed its "Device/Not a Device" determination and concluded the handgun will be listed as a Class I Medical Device.' Physicians will be able to prescribe the Palm Pistol for qualified patients who may seek reimbursement through Medicare or private health insurance companies."
Security

Now From Bruce Schneier, the Skein Hash Function 139

An anonymous reader writes "Bruce Schneier and company have created a new hash function called Skein. From his blog entry: 'NIST is holding a competition to replace the SHA family of hash functions, which have been increasingly under attack. (I wrote about an early NIST hash workshop here.) Skein is our submission (myself and seven others: Niels Ferguson, Stefan Lucks, Doug Whiting, Mihir Bellare, Tadayoshi Kohno, Jon Callas, and Jesse Walker). Here's the paper."
Communications

EA Forum Ban Will Now Mean EA Game Ban 549

An anonymous reader writes "A post on the EA Support Forums from APOC, online community manager for Electronic Arts, outlines a new policy for their new forums, saying users who earn a ban based on their behavior in the forums will be locked out of all of the EA games tied to that account: 'Well, its actually going to be a bit nastier for those who get banned. Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you'd actually be banned from your other EA games as well since it's all tied to your account. So if you have SPORE and Red Alert 3 and you get yourself banned on our forums or in-game, well, your SPORE account would be banned to. It's all one in the same, so I strongly recommend people play nice and act mature. All in all, we expect people to come on here and abide by our ToS. We hate banning people, it makes our lives a lot tougher, but it's what we have to do.'" Update: 10/31 12:36 GMT by T : Not so! Pandanapper writes "After a flood of complaints the EA community moderator APOC corrects his statement about how banning you from the forums bans you from your game access as well:"That said, the previous statement I made recently (that's being quoted on the blogs) was inaccurate and a mistake on my part. I had a misunderstanding with regards to our new upcoming forums and website and never meant to infer that if we ban or suspend you on the forums, you would be banned in-game as well. This is not correct, my mistake, my bad."
The Courts

Canadian Court Rules "Hyperlink" Is Not Defamation 120

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a landmark ruling, a Canadian court has ruled that a web site's publication of hyperlinks to an allegedly defamatory web site is not in and of itself a 'publication,' and therefore cannot in and of itself constitute defamation. In a 10-page decision [PDF], Crookes v. Wikimedia, Sup. Ct., British Columbia, Judge Keller dismissed the libel case against Jon Newton, the publisher of p2pnet.net, which was based on the fact that his article contained links to the allegedly defamatory site, since hyperlinks, the Court reasoned, are analogous to footnotes, rather than constituting a 'republication.' Mr. Newton was represented in the case by famous libel, slander, and civil liberties lawyer Dan Burnett of Vancouver, British Columbia."
Space

Black Holes May Not Grow Beyond Certain Limit 201

xyz writes "Do black holes increase in size indefinitely? According to an analysis by astronomers at Yale and the European Southern Observatory, the maximum size a black hole may reach is only few tens of billion of solar masses. The limit was calculated using an analysis of what may happen to the gas surrounding a black hole which has reached few tens of billions of solar masses. It is thought that black holes of such size heat the surrounding gas to a temperature where the radiation pressure begins blowing outer layers into space."
Security

Alarm Raised On Teenage Hackers 213

Arno Igne writes to tell us that the number of underage participants in "high-tech" crimes has risen steeply in recent history. Reporting children as young as 11 swapping credit card details and asking for hacks, many are largely unskilled and thus more likely to get caught and arrested. "Communities and forums spring up where people start to swap malicious programs, knowledge and sometimes stolen data. Some also look for exploits and virus code that can be run against the social networking sites popular with many young people. Some then try to peddle or use the details or accounts they net in this way. Mr Boyd said he spent a lot of time tracking down the creators of many of the nuisance programs written to exploit users of social networking sites and the culprit was often a teenager."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Second Penny Arcade Game Due Out This Week 68

Hothead Games has announced that the second episode of the Penny Arcade: On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness series is coming out this Wednesday, and they've released a trailer showing off some of the gameplay. ACG has an interview with Hothead's Joel DeYoung discussing the series and explaining some of the decision-making that went into its development. The game will launch for Linux, Mac, PC, and Xbox Live, with a PS3 version coming later. Feedback from players of the first game in the series inspired a $5 decrease in price this time around.
Space

One of HST's Cameras Is Back In Action 47

StupendousMan writes "One of the two big cameras aboard the Hubble Space Telescope is the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, or WFPC2 for short. As the most recent HST status report indicates, the camera was recently powered up again and sent commands to take some test images. Today (Sunday, Oct 26), I received E-mail from a colleague at STScI indicating that the calibration images were 'nominal.' That's NASA-speak for 'fine and dandy.' The E-mail goes on to say 'The data look nominal, indicating that Hubble optical imaging capabilities are in fine shape. (We can expect more glorious Hubble images in the near future.) ... Science with WFPC2 has resumed, and plans are underway to restore ACS/SBC to service this coming week.' Let's hope that the other big instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), also comes back to life successfully. We should find out in just a week or so."
Software

OpenOffice.org V3.0 Sets Download Record, 80% Windows 451

thefickler writes "The newest version of OpenOffice, version 3.0, has set a download record in its first week of availability. Most surprising is the fact that over 80% of downloads were from Windows users. As one commentator noted, when it comes to a choice between almost identical software (e.g. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice), price is the determining factor."
Communications

US Army Sees Twitter As Possible Terrorist "Operation Tool" 320

Mike writes "A draft US Army intelligence report has identified the popular micro-blogging service Twitter as a potential terrorist tool. A chapter titled 'Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter' notes that Twitter members reported the July Los Angeles earthquake faster than news outlets and activists at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis used it to provide information on police movements. 'Twitter is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives,' the report said. The report goes on to say, 'Terrorists could theoretically use Twitter social networking in the US as an operation tool.' Just wait until the Army finds out about chat rooms and email!"
Operating Systems

Best OS For Netbooks and Underpowered Tablets? 272

vigmeister writes "I hopped on the netbook bandwagon early this year in a rather odd fashion by picking up an outdated portable tablet (Fujitsu P1510) which just about matches the latest, greatest netbooks for their performance and portability features, while nipping them by managing to give me a better battery life. I've been happy using XP Tablet on this machine until recently, when I started thinking that by optimizing the OS for targeted use, I may be able to squeeze more out of the device. So, my questions are: What OS would you recommend for a netbook/outdated laptop? Usage is typically light — web surfing (with multimedia), email, word processing, spreadsheet and reading PDFs. Also, what OS would you recommend for a ultraportable tablet? Usage is similar to a netbook; there's a little more document editing going on, and good handwriting recognition and note-taking software would be great." Read on for further details about vigmeister's question.
Medicine

Half of American Doctors Often Prescribe Placebos 238

damn_registrars writes "'Half of all American doctors responding to a nationwide survey say they regularly prescribe placebos to patients. The results trouble medical ethicists, who say more research is needed to determine whether doctors must deceive patients in order for placebos to work.' The study just quoted goes on to say that the drugs most often used as placebo are headache pills, vitamins, and antibiotics. Studies on doctors in Europe and New Zealand have found similar results."
Businesses

How To Deploy a Game Console In the Office? 310

SkydiverFL writes "Does anyone have an idea for a good solution for using a game console (Xbox 360, PS3, etc.) with a laptop and / or external monitor? I am planning to set up each of my developers at the office with a shiny new Xbox 360, surround headphones, and Gold memberships. The only catch is that I have to do it 'gracefully.' I would be grateful for any input on the technical setup and politics (how to get it in and how to work through the politics)." Read on for further details on the situation.

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