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Comment Same reason as SACD and DVD-A never caught on (Score 1) 1162

People don't care about quality, they want convenience. SACD & DVD-A came around about the same time MP3 caught on. Once you could buy an iPod and carry around days worth of music, dealing with more discs just didn't make sense.

Now we have the same choice on the video-front. Blu-ray vs download/streaming. I can start watching something downloaded from iTunes or streaming on Netflix on one device (Living room TV, Office computer, Laptop, Tablet, etc...) then continue it wherever I want, whenever I want. (Netflix will even remember where I paused)

Obviously Blu-Ray is going to look better on the big-screen in the living room, just like SACD/DVD-A is going to sound better on the home-theater. Just doesn't matter when you are laying in bed, riding on the bus, or sitting in a hotel room across the country.

Sidenote: I'm sure it will come at some point, but Netflix/iTunes also hasn't forced me to sit through a commercial, or accused me of copyright infringement yet...


NASA Satellites to Predict Disease Outbreaks 67

coondoggie writes "NASA and its Applied Sciences Program will be using 14 satellites to watch the Earth's environment and help predict and prevent infectious disease outbreaks around the world. Through orbiting satellites, data is collected daily to monitor environmental changes. That information is then passed on to agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense who then apply the data to predict and track disease outbreaks and assist in making public health policy decisions. The use of remote sensing technology helps scientists predict the outbreak of some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases such as Ebola, West Nile virus and Rift Valley Fever."

MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed 299

Billosaur writes "Major League Baseball has just strengthened the case against DRM. If you downloaded videos of baseball games from before 2006, apparently they no longer work and you are out of luck., sometime during 2006, changed their DRM system. Result: game videos purchased before that time will now no longer work, as the previous DRM system is no longer supported. When the video is played, apparently the servers are contacted and a license obtained to verify the authenticity of the video; this is done by a web link. That link no longer exists, and so now the videos will no longer play, even though the MLB FAQ says that a license is only obtained once and will not need to be re-obtained. The blogger who is reporting this contacted MLB technical support, only to be told there are no refunds due to this problem."

Whose Laws Apply On the ISS? 344

Hugh Pickens writes "Whose laws apply if astronauts from different countries get into a fight, make a patentable discovery, or damage equipment belonging to another country while on the International Space Station? According to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, ratified by 98 nations, states have legal jurisdiction within spacecraft registered to them. When the space station was assembled from modules supplied by the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency (ESA), partners rejected an initial proposal that US law should prevail throughout the space station. "It was agreed that each state registers its own separate elements, which means that you now have a piece of the US annexed to a piece of Europe annexed to a piece of Japan in outer space, legally speaking," said Dr Frans von der Dunk of the International Institute of Air and Space Law at the University of Leiden. So what happens if a crime is committed in space? "If somebody performs an activity which may be considered criminal, it is in the first instance his own country which is able to exercise jurisdiction," Dr. von der Dunk added."

DirectX 10 Hardware Is Now Obsolete 373

ela_gervaise writes "SIGGRAPH 2007 was the stage where Microsoft dropped the bomb, informing gamers that the currently available DirectX 10 hardware will not support the upcoming DirectX 10.1 in Vista SP1. In essence, all current DX10 hardware is now obsolete. But don't get too upset just yet: 'Gamers shouldn't fret too much - 10.1 adds virtually nothing that they will care about and, more to the point, adds almost nothing that developers are likely to care about. The spec revision basically makes a number of things that are optional in DX10 compulsory under the new standard - such as 32-bit floating point filtering, as opposed to the 16-bit current. 4xAA is a compulsory standard to support in 10.1, whereas graphics vendors can pick and choose their anti-aliasing support currently. We suspect that the spec is likely to be ill-received. Not only does it require brand new hardware, immediately creating a minuscule sub-set of DX10 owners, but it also requires Vista SP1, and also requires developer implementation.'"

Space Hotel to Open in 2012 137

blackdefiance writes "The New York Times is reporting that firm plans for the first hotel in space are now in the works. Slated for a 2012 opening, 'Galactic Suite' will cost about $4 million for a three-day stay. 'They may have solved the issue of how to take a shower in weightlessness -- the guests will enter a spa room in which bubbles of water will float around. When guests are not admiring the view from their portholes they will take part in scientific experiments on space travel. Galactic Suite began as a hobby for former aerospace engineer Claramunt, until a space enthusiast decided to make the science fiction fantasy a reality by fronting most of the $3 billion needed to build the hotel. An American company intent on colonizing Mars, which sees Galaxy Suite as a first step, has since come on board, and private investors from Japan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates are in talks.'"

Submission + - Why we need to expand into space

Zentropa writes: Why do humans need to explore and colonise space? To save the planet and our species, argues an opinion piece in Cosmos, an Aussie science magazine, by its editor. Makes some good points, and come at it from an angle I hadn't condidered before — like that the universe DESERVES us. If you're a space fan as I am, and sick of those boring "why spend all that money in space when there ar so many problems here on earth", this gives some ammo.
United States

Submission + - Back to the Future in a 98-Year-Old Electric Car

stalebread writes: "NYTimes has an interesting article about the popularity of electric cars 100 years ago. The article focuses on Jay Leno's 1909 Baker Electric Coupe. From the article, "In an era in which gasoline-powered automobiles were noisy, smelly, greasy and problematic to start, [with] electric cars, ... [women] could simply drive to lunch, to shop, or to visit friends without fear of soiling their gloves, mussing their hair or setting their highly combustible crinoline dresses on fire. It'll go for about four or five hours on a single charge, at about 20 to 25 miles an hour. Its range is about 110 miles, just about what most electric cars made these days will do. So we really haven't come very far in a hundred years.""

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