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Government

Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries 730

Third Position writes "Many of us yearn for a return to one golden age or another. But there's a community of bloggers taking the idea to an extreme: they want to turn the dial way back to the days before the French Revolution. Neoreactionaries believe that while technology and capitalism have advanced humanity over the past couple centuries, democracy has actually done more harm than good. They propose a return to old-fashioned gender roles, social order and monarchy."
Government

Republican Proposal Puts 'National Interest' Requirement On US Science Agency 382

ananyo writes "Key members of the U.S. House of Representatives are seeking to require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to justify every grant it awards as being in the 'national interest.' The proposal, included in a draft bill from the Republican-led House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and obtained by Nature, would force the NSF to document how its basic science grants benefit the country. The requirement is similar to one in a discussion draft circulated in April by committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). At the time, scientists raised concerns that 'national interest' was defined far too narrowly. The current draft bill provides a more expansive definition that includes six goals: economic competitiveness, health and welfare, scientific literacy, partnerships between academia and industry, promotion of scientific progress, and national defense. But many believe that predicting the broader impacts of basic research is tantamount to gazing into a crystal ball. 'All scientists know it's nonsense,' says John Bruer, president of James S. McDonnell Foundation and former co-chair of an NSF task force that examined requiring scientists to state the 'broader impacts' of their work in grant applications."
PC Games (Games)

Game Devs Predict Death of Flash, Installed Games 295

New submitter rescendent writes "In an interview with Massively, Illyriad Games developers Ben Adams and James Niesewand predict the death of Flash, the rise of HTML5, and a long-term shift away from installed games. Quoting: 'The major advantages that boxed set or download games have had over browser-based games are local storage and direct access to the graphics and audio engines. Those barriers are being smashed apart by HTML5. ... Especially for MMO game developers, I personally don't believe that developers have any real long-term choice about embarking on this path or not. Ultimately, I believe it's either browser-based or obsolescence. If you don't do it, your competitors will, and they'll be making games that work identically on more device platforms, on more browsers, on more operating systems. It's going to take a very long time to get there, though, but this change has begun now, and we firmly believe that HTML5 is the future.' With Microsoft joining the ranks of Apple and not supporting Flash in Windows 8, there's definitely a risk to Flash. But will browser-based games really replace installed games?"
EU

EU Ministers Seek To Ban Creation of Hacking Tools 248

alphadogg writes "Justice Ministers across Europe want to make the creation of 'hacking tools' a criminal offense, but critics have hit back at the plans, saying that they are unworkable. Ministers from all 27 countries of the European Union met on June 9 to discuss European Commission proposals for a directive on attacks against information systems. But in addition to approving the Commission's text, the ministers extended the draft to include 'the production and making available of tools for committing offenses.' This is problematic, as much legal and legitimate software could be put to criminal use by hackers. The draft mentions 'malicious software designed to create botnets or unrightfully obtained computer passwords,' but goes no further in attempting to clarify what 'tools' might be subject to criminal sanctions."
United States

2010 Election Results Are In 1530

The election results are in, and there are one trillion web pages now up helping you find out what happened. The short story is that the Republicans cleaned up, although the Democrats maintain a one-seat majority in the Senate. The GOP now has 239 seats in the house, giving them a huge lead over the Dems' 183.
Businesses

iPad Is Destroying Netbook Sales 911

Hugh Pickens writes "Fortune magazine reports that sales growth of low-cost, low-powered netbooks peaked last summer at an astonishing 641% year-over-year growth rate but netbook sales fell off a cliff in January and shrank again in April — collateral damage, according to Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, from the January introduction and April launch of the iPad. In support of Huberty's theory, she offers a Morgan Stanley/Alphawise survey conducted in March which found that 44% of US consumers who were planning to buy an iPad said they were buying it instead of a netbook or notebook computer. In related news, Apple announced that it sold its one millionth iPad last week, just 28 days after its introduction on April 3. 'One million iPads in 28 days — that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone,' says Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. 'Demand continues to exceed supply and we're working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.'"
The Almighty Buck

Crytek Thinks Free Game Demos Will Soon Be Extinct 379

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Develop: "The CEO of indie studio Crytek has defended EA's divisive 'premium downloadable content' strategy, while also predicting the extinction of free game demos. ... Crytek's co-founder Cevat Yerli said he wasn't sure that a demo of Crysis 2 was going to be released. He said: 'A free demo is a luxury we have in the game industry that we don't have in other industries such as film. Because we've had this free luxury for so long, now there are plans to change this people are complaining about it. The reality is that we might not see any free game demos in the long term. ... Yes it is quite unpopular, but this is a messaging issue. The problem with any new strategy like this is it initially may appear as a blood-hungry, money-grabbing strategy. But I think there is a genuine interest here to give gamers something more than a small demo released for free. Really, what this is, is an attempt to salvage a problem. The industry is still losing a lot of money to piracy as the market becomes more online-based. So it’s encouraging to see strategies outlined to combat this.'"
Earth

Utah Assembly Passes Resolution Denying Climate Change 787

cowtamer writes "The Utah State Assembly has passed a resolution decrying climate change alarmists and urging '...the United States Environmental Protection Agency to immediately halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and withdraw its "Endangerment Finding" and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of climate data and global warming science can be substantiated.' Here is the full text of H.J.R 12." The resolution has no force of law. The Guardian article includes juicy tidbits from its original, far more colorful, version.
Spam

Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Spam Law 255

Skater writes "The Washington Post is reporting that the Virginia Supreme Court has struck down the anti-spam law that was used to convict spammer Jeremy James, on the grounds that the ability to be anonymous was more important than the problem of spam. Strangely, the same court only a few months ago upheld the law. 'The court noted that "were the 'Federalist Papers' just being published today via e-mail, that transmission by Publius would violate the [current Virginia] statute." The court suggested that the law does not limit its restrictions on spam to commercial or fraudulent e-mail, or to unprotected speech such as pornography or defamation. And when the state suggested that the court merely tailor a restriction to the law within its opinion, the court declined.'"
Software

Norman & Spolsky - Simplicity is Out 381

guanxi writes ""As simple as possible, and no simpler", you might have heard a few time, or KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). No more! The new hot trend is complexity: '[I]f you think simplicity means ... "does one thing and does it well," then I applaud your integrity but you can't go that far' says Joel Spolsky. 'Why are Yahoo! and MSN such complex-looking places? Because their systems are easier to use [than Google]' explains Donald Norman, who also also tells us that Simplicity Is Highly Overrated. Are they trying to make a subtler point, are they just consultants making a splash, or complexity the Next Big Thing in design?" From the 'highly overrated' article: "After touring the store my two friendly guides and I stopped outside to where two new automobiles were on display: two brand new Korean SUVs. Complexity again. I'm old enough to remember when a steering wheel was just a steering wheel, the rear view mirror just a mirror. These steering wheels were also complex control structures with multiple buttons and controls including two sets of loudness controls, one for music and one for the telephone (and I'm not even mentioning the multiple stalks on the steering column). The rear view mirror had two controls, one to illuminate the compass the other simply labeled "mirror," which lit a small red light when depressed. A rear view mirror with an on-off switch? The salesperson didn't know what it did either."

U.S. Classrooms Torn Between Science and Religion 1115

Dystopian Rebel writes "A New Jersey public-school history teacher was recorded telling his students that they 'belong in Hell' if they do not accept Jesus. The teacher, who is also a Baptist Pastor, lied later when he was asked by the school principle what he said to the students. Unfortunately for this dodge, a student recorded the teacher's 'lesson'." From the article: "The student and his parents have requested that the teacher's anti-scientific remarks be corrected in open class, and that the school develop quality control procedures to ensure that future classes are not proselytized and misinformed. They have also referred the matter for disciplinary action. No apology has been forthcoming from the teacher or from the school."

Jack Thompson's Violent Game Bill Signed Into Law 368

simoniker writes "Louisiana Democratic Representative Roy Burrell's HB1381 bill, covering violent videogames, has been signed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco. The law takes effect immediately, the latest in a very long line of video game-related bills specific to one U.S. State. The measure proposed by HB 1381, which was drafted with the help of controversial Florida attorney and anti-game activist Jack Thompson, allows a judge to rule on whether or not a videogame meets established criteria for being inappropriate for minors and be subsequently pulled from store shelves. A person found guilty of selling such a game to a minor would face fines ranging from $100 to $2,000, plus a prison term of up to one year. Needless to say, the ESA will likely be mounting a legal challenge to this bill in the very near future."

FTC Says More Regulation Needed For Games 149

simoniker writes "The FTC has testified in detail to Congress that, though the game industry has 'made progress' in regulating the marketing of violent video games, 'more needs to be done.' It also revealed that it's conducted undercover surveys into whether underage gamers can buy M-rated games. It also commented: that '...the Commission will continue to monitor closely developments in the area and will initiate actions, such as the case challenging the marketing of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when appropriate.' Will we see the FTC stepping in more often in controversial cases regarding violent video games?"

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