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Earth

Scientists Propose Plan To Re-Freeze the Arctic (inhabitat.com) 400

Kristine Lofgren writes: In case you've been under a rock for the past 20 years, the Arctic is melting super fast. Certain *ahem* governments are dragging their feet doing anything about it, which means the planet could be in for a spectacular meltdown within the next 20 years. But a clever bunch of scientists have hatched a plan to re-freeze the Arctic using wind-powered pumps that will bring water to the surface, allowing it to freeze. This new layer of ice could last well into the summer, which is vital, because scientists think summer Arctic ice could be gone by 2030 -- and that causes a whole chain of terrible events that will only make our climate change problem much, much worse. The plan has a $500 billion price tag, but that's pocket change compared to the cost of dealing with an ice-free Arctic. The study has been published in The American Geophysical Union's journal Earth's Future. You can read more about the study via The Guardian.
Chrome

Chrome's Sandbox Feature Infringes On Three Patents So Google Must Now Pay $20 Million (bleepingcomputer.com) 103

An anonymous reader writes: After five years of litigation at various levels of the U.S. legal system, today, following the conclusion of a jury trial, Google was ordered to pay $20 million to two developers after a jury ruled that Google had infringed on three patents when it designed Chrome's sandboxing feature. Litigation had been going on since 2012, with Google winning the original verdict, but then losing the appeal. After the Supreme Court refused to listen to Google's petition, they sent the case back for a retrial in the U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas, the home of all patent trolls. As expected, Google lost the case and must now pay $20 million in damages, in the form of rolling royalties, which means the company stands to pay more money as Chrome becomes more popular in the future.

Comment Re:Let's hope they don't succeed... (Score 4, Insightful) 55

Copyright violation is not theft. And if it were, it would be pretty hard to steal something that is not (lovemaking or otherwise) available anyway. And if the girlfriend was born on this side of the pond, she had the right to see anything she wanted to see. After WW II, we were granted the right to receive all signals as a basic freedom (the Germans had made listening to free radio stations a crime). I know the industry wants to take all rights away, including the fundamental ones, but for now the radio freedom is still a fundamental part of being a free citizen.

Comment ... in a private and secure manner (Score 4, Insightful) 229

your Web app can communicate with nearby Bluetooth devices in a private and secure manner, using the Web Bluetooth API

Given the fact that even the battery API was abandoned for privacy reasons, I just don't believe it is ever possible to do this securely and privately. This is just an attack vector begging to be exploited.

Google

Google Abandons Their Google Hangouts API (techcrunch.com) 150

"Once again we're seeing the hazards of developing using a third party service API," writes Slashdot reader BarbaraHudson, reporting that Google "will be discontinuing support for the Google Hangouts API going forward... Google Hangouts is now so insignificant that the cancellation didn't even rate an official blog post. As reported by TechCrunch, "just an updated FAQ and email notification to developers active on the API, forwarded to us by one of these devs." TechCrunch writes: As Google pushes Duo as its consumer video chat app and relegates Hangouts to the enterprise, it's dropping the flexibility to build these kinds of experiences. The email explains... "We understand this will impact developers who have invested in our platform. We have carefully considered this change and believe that it allows us to give our users a more targeted Hangouts desktop video experience going forward."
TechCrunch calls the move "a casualty of Google's fragmented messaging app strategy and the neglect of Hangouts itself." While some apps will continue working -- for example, integration with Slack -- their API's FAQ now ends with a reminder that "Users of apps will see a notice in the call letting them know that the app they're using will no longer work after April 25th."

Comment Re:Just develop shields already... (Score 2) 64

Extremely hard. On earth, there is an atmosphere that limits the speed of projectiles. Pieces of rock in space can be sent at very large speeds at your precious spacecraft. It takes some really heavy armour plates to shield against them. And "heavy" is the dirtiest word in space travel.

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