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Comment Your answer depends on the local laws. (Score 1) 201

The first question is: which is the appropriate state?
Lets work through this.
The appropriate state is the state that has the ability to legislate to prohibit or permit the activity.
Since no one state has the ability to legislate over space or the moon or indeed anything extraterritorial, the legislation would have to prevent or permit the actual launch. (while it is on the ground, that is, within their jurisdiction)
This then means in Denmark it is the Danish government.

The second question is: is it illegal to launch because of the treaty?
Is the launch illegal just because Denmark has ratified the treaty (if they have indeed ratified it?), well perhaps.
Our local law here (Australia) is that the legislature must enact local laws that give effect to the treaty before the treaty itself has any effect.
The legal effect is not due to treaty ratification as that has no legal meaning, it is because local laws are enacted to give effect to the treaty that the activity might be prohibited or permitted. (Treaty ratification may give the legislature constitutional powers (under some circumstances) to enact local laws (as it does here). It's complicated.)

So the answers (I think) are that the Danish government is the only legislature that could prohibit the launch and that (if the legal precedent regarding treaties is similar then) unless there is a local law enacted to give effect to the treaty, the treaty is merely aspirational and not effective.

Submission + - Finnish Team Makes Diabetes Vaccine Breakthrough (

jones_supa writes: A team working at Tampere University, Finland has discovered the virus that causes type 1 diabetes. The enterovirus penetrates the pancreas and destroys insulin-producing cells, eventually causing diabetes. Researchers have looked at more than a hundred different strains of the virus and pinpointed five that could cause diabetes. They believe they could produce a vaccine against those strains. One virus type has been identified to carry the biggest risk. A vaccine could also protect against its close relatives, to give the best possible effect. A similar enterovirus causes polio, which has been almost eradicated in many parts of the world thanks to vaccination programmes. A prototype diabetes vaccine has already been produced and tested on animals. Taking the vaccine through a clinical trial would cost some 700 million euros. Some funding is in place from the United States and from Europe, but more is required. Professor Heikki Hyöty says that money is the biggest obstacle in moving to testing in humans, but he sees that people are interested in their research and that the funding problems will ultimately be solved.

Comment Noise Cancelling Headsets and a white noise (Score 1) 561

When I'm trying to study at home I find that listening to white noise works well.
(A white noise generator on a laptop/pc)
It masks the noises the family make pretty well.

Best done with a pair of headphones that actually surround the ear rather than earbuds.

Noise cancelling headphones might help filter out some of the distractions too.

Its far from perfect, but it works for me.

(I have a pair of Phillips noise cancelling earbuds... and I'd have to say that they are a waste of time and money. There is no perceivable difference when noise cancellation is activated. Other brands might fare better,I dont know. My experience with these has been poor.)

Comment Do consumers care about the OS? (Score 2) 218

Aside from technically literate consumers who might actually care whether their phone is powered by IOS, Symbian, Windows, or Android, would most consumers be able to meaningfully discriminate between these phone operating systems?

Wouldn't most consumers merely want a phone that works and some working apps for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc?

Comment Re:Boarding Passes with PDF417 barcodes (Score 2) 157

"finding out if I got the PreCheck lane would be nice in advance"

I am sure the terrorists would love to know this as well.

Obvious Terrorist Scenario: Fly around the US enough and get PreCheck status.
Use the barcode and the decoded information to determine which flight to strap on the suicide vest.
If you don't get PreCheck, then don't wear the vest.

I sincerely hope that the the TSA is not stupid enough to leave the decoding of the PreCheck status as something as trivial as an unecoded/plain text 'bit flip' from a barcode.

Surely the barcode decodes to a string that requires a strong private key to actually decipher?

Anything less would be negligent.

Comment Re:Foreman conflicted interests? (Score 1) 506

How can that be a Patent?

The USPTO are a joke!
(Didn't someone manage to patent the swing? It was later rejected after all the fuss made over it.. but how do you allow this sort of thing through your filters?)
How does something like this get past even the most basic technical assessment.

This patent was Filed in Feb 2002.
MythTV archives go back to May 2002. So the idea of 'device playback' of TV and video cant have been new at all.
Bit-torrent, Kazza, e-Mule, FTP, HTTP (and many more) were all available as file transfer mechanisms.
Disk storage and playback of video was old hat by then.

How does combing a few existing things in an obvious and non creative way, amount to a patent award?

In its "drawings" it describes the platters of a disk drive... what does that have to do with the idea of pulling down video content from a number of sources, and playback. Its just filler... deliberate technical obsfucation.

At best this is an obvious aggregation of existing ideas. At worst its a blatant attempt to cash in on the R&D efforts large corporations who might be working on implementing the obvious.

That foreman has a vested interest in successful patent litigation. The more ridiculous the standard this case sets, the better for him.

Comment Re:The Irish, being a compliant group... (Score 1) 341

That is spot on.
The parliament is free to set policy and law within its constitutional powers
Parliamentary law (statute law) aways overides court made 'common law'

Its only when laws conflict that the Judiciary get involved to try and sort the mess out, and then, sometimes the government might not win.
Of course the government is then free to remake the laws as it sees fit, within its constitutional framework, to ensure the desired outcome.
AND if we (the people) dont like the way thats working out, we can change it via our elected representatives.

So unless there is a constitutional law, that cannot be upset by legislation, that specifies some sort of right to have creative rights protected by the legislature; the 'music industry' is pissing its money away.

I wish them good luck with that. The only winners out of this one, will be the lawyers and their bank balances.

Comment Re:One person? (Score 2, Insightful) 252

If the problem is who gets the prize..
And that's the stumbling block, preventing widespread collaboration..
Set up your collective to donate to a charity, or the EFF, or Cowboy Neal... or something worthwhile.

Go on.. it'll be more fun than a LUG meeting.

How hard can it be to mobilise tens of thousands of Nerds..

(Unless its really windy.. these suckers arent getting to Australia.. so I cant help..)

They should release 99 luftballoons! Sorry. Unecessary 80's flash back there..


10 Worst Evolutionary Designs 232

JamJam writes "Besides my beer gut, which I'm sure has some purpose, Wired is running a story on the 10 Worst Evolutionary Designs. Ranging from baby giraffes being dropped 5-foot during birth to Goliath bird-eating spiders that practically explode when they fall from trees."

Company Makes Paper Out Of Wombat Poo 71

Creative Paper attracted worldwide interest for its paper made of kangaroo droppings in 2005. Well it's been four years and the best and brightest at Creative Paper haven't been sitting on their laurels. What's their great new idea? They have now launched a kind of paper made from wombat poo. Scat-obsessed Darren Simpson from Creative Paper says the paper is green or gold depending on the time of year the droppings are harvested. The wombat paper will be unveiled at an international paper conference in Burnie, Australia later this month.

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