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Submission + - Arecibo Observatory's Future in Doubt

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The future is hazy for the legendary Arecibo radio observatory in Puerto Rico, a 'jewel of space instruments'. The New York Times reports that the National Science Foundation, which pays for the observatory's operation, has slashed Arecibo's annual budget from $10.5 million to $8 million, and may close it altogether in four years, imperiling its historic work, including its detection of the near-Earth asteroid KW4 eight years ago. "The planetary science community is in danger of losing one of its instrumental crown jewels," Donald K. Yeomans, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics."

Submission + - Adobe Online Photoshop coming soon !

An anonymous reader writes: Adobe Systems has committed to shipping a beta version of its online image-editing tool, Photoshop Express, this year, and said it will be complete in 2008.
                                          "By late this year, we anticipate having a beta version," said John Loiacono, senior vice president for Adobe Creative Solutions, speaking at the 6sight digital imaging conference. And next year, the online service will be "available to anyone," he said.Photoshop Express is a profoundly important project, and Adobe's schedule indicates that its repercussions are near-term and not academic.
The Internet

Submission + - MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed

Billosaur writes: "Found via BoingBoing, Major League Baseball has just strengthened the case against DRM. If you downloaded videos of baseball games from MLB.com before 2006, apparently they no longer work and you are out of luck. MLB.com, 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 MLB.com 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."

Submission + - Microsoft's XO Laptop Strategy... Huh? 2

gbulmash writes: "Microsoft is spending a "non-trivial" amount of money to get Windows XP working on the OLPC project's XO laptop. But why? Despite the conjecture that the Linux-based XO could convince millions of people in the developing world that they don't need Windows and build a huge base of developers for Linux, there still remains the question of how Microsoft would convince owners of XO laptops to buy and install Windows XP over the functional Linux-based OS already on it. It's doublful that Microsoft could encourage or coerce Negroponte to put XP on the machine, so whose arms will they twist?"

Submission + - Fair Use or DMCA Violation? (movielandmarks.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A friend and I came up with a very cool idea for a Google Map mashup. Movie filming locations combined with YouTube video clips and photos of the precise filming location. We setup up shop at MovieLandmarks.com and we've been banging away at the code and adding landmarks for the last month. It is almost ready to 'go public', but we've run into a snag.

YouTube just pulled some of our short video clips for DMCA violations. These clips were of specific filming locations, and were less than a minute long in most cases. Similar clips, from the same movie of over 5 minutes are still available on Youtube! What gives?

Our goal is to create a Movie Landmark search engine, linking fan sites and filming location information from around the web in one location, using Google Maps to present it in a unique way (ie. no cartoon bubbles!). We've implemented photo caching so that hits to our site don't unexpectedly suck up the bandwidth of sites being linked to, and we always provide links to the sources for the material we display.

So what do you think? Is this fair use of these Movie clips? And even if it is (I think so, but I'm biased), what can we do about it? We're just 2 guys with a great idea, not the means to take on the film industry. In the long run this benefits them — we are promoting their films, and hopefully selling a few through our Amazon Associate account. But they obviously don't see it that way.

The Courts

Submission + - State Senator files lawsuit against God (google.com)

Geoffrey.landis writes: "A Nebraska state senator just filed a civil lawsuit against God.

"Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused 'widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants.'"

He's apparently trying to make some kind of point."


Submission + - Russian court aquits former owner of allofmp3.com (themoscowtimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Moscow's Cheremushkin District Court has acquitted Denis Kvasov, former owner of the music download website allofmp3.com, of violating intellectual property laws, reports Moscow Times.

The court has cited insufficient evidence of criminal activity — a question of fact — without touching the question of law of whether the site's activities (had they been proven by the prosecution) actually violated Russian copyright law. Yekaterina Sharapova, the trial's presiding judge, said: "I want to draw particular attention to the sloppy job done by prosecutors in collecting and analyzing the facts."

According to the Moscow Times, though, the allofmp3.com case is far from over. Two more criminal trials are scheduled to take place: one against Vladimir Mamotin, the media director of MediaServices, the parent company of allofmp3.com, and another against the company itself.

allofmp3.com has been a long subject of controversy. According to the licensing agreement, it pays a percentage of its revenue to the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society, which in turns pays individual rights holders of the songs. However, western music labels claim that ROMS's licensing agreement violates their intellectual property rights.


Submission + - Dan Rather uncovers flaws in touchscreen voting

goombah99 writes: Dan Rather Reports has posted a lengthy YouTube teaser of their upcoming touchscreen voting expose (to air tuesday at 8 or 11pm ET) This is sort of a "60-minutes" style investigation of touchscreen voting. It's apparently not a rehash either. Rather turns up some new evidence such as tracking down the dilapidated plant where the ES&S ivotronic touchscreens were assembled. There they were having a 30 to 40% rejection rate on the screen themselves. Apparently the issue here was a rush to market to meet the election schedule. They needed lots of machines, fast. So plant workers say the rejects got shipped too. The "rush to market" aspect demonstrates an often overlooked strength of the use of open source software with commodity hardware and a multiple vendor business model like open voting consortium. This should be much less subject to single source point failures and has a built-in adversarial oversight nature that might lend some quality control. I just hope their conclusion is not "we need perfect machines and perfectly trained operators" and instead is we need a different approach that is transparent, robust and self correcting in the face of errors.

Submission + - AT&T censors anti-Bush lyrics (go.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "The rock band Pearl Jam is upset after lyrics critical of President Bush were censored out of a live webcast of Lollapalooza last weekend by AT&T. The telecom company has apologized and said that the editing of the lyrics was a mistake that should not have happened. (ABCNEWS)"

Submission + - Advanced Wii Opra functionality (kotaku.com)

mehemiah writes: "This from Kotaku who got it from neogaf but now its commming to you here, where web developers hang out. Opera now has a page on the Wii Remote API. Kotaku sums it up best, " It breaks down not only how exactly the Wii Remote is compatible with Opera on the Wii, but also shows how developers can get the Wii's browser to not just recognise four Wii Remotes at once, but have them all interact with the screen. Which should be good news for anyone big on playing, or crafting, Wii-specific web games.""

Submission + - Cat Predicts Death with Alarming Accuracy

bagsc writes: Oscar the Cat is not your typical friendly feline. When people are really ill at his nursing home, he curls up next to them until they die. In fact, according to a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, he has predicted the deaths of 25 patients, and is almost never wrong. Many news sites have reported this. Compassionate furry companion to the ill, or stealer of souls? You decide.

Submission + - The Science of Relighting the Sun (popularmechanics.com)

ntmokey writes: Popular Mechanics has 10 questions for Dr. Brian Cox,, a physicist at the largest particle physics lab and scientific advisor for the movie Sunshine, a sci-fi flick where the sun is dying and needs to be revived. Surprisingly, there is actually a lot of good science that went into the making it, despite the unavoidable Hollywood stretches here and there. Cox talks about the feasibility of the sun's lifecycle actually being interrupted, and whether we could really bring it back if it started to fizzle.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Multi-Gigabit Wireless To Make Wires Obsolete (sciencedaily.com)

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Researchers at Georgia Tech are investigating the use of extremely high radio frequencies to achieve broad-bandwidth and high data transmission rates over short distances, eliminating the need for wired connections in offices and data centers. Within as little as three years, multi-gigabit wireless approach could result in next generation home multimedia and wireless data connections able to transfer an entire DVD in seconds. From ScienceDaily: 'The research focuses on RF frequencies around 60 gigahertz (GHz), which are currently unlicensed — free for anyone to use — in the United States. GEDC researchers have already achieved wireless data-transfer rates of 15 gigabits per second (Gbps) at a distance of 1 meter, 10 Gbps at 2 meters and 5 Gbps at 5 meters. At 10 Gbps, you could download a DVD from a kiosk to your cell phone in five seconds, or you could quickly synchronize two laptops or two iPods.'"

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