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Input Devices

Better Tools For Disabled Geeks? 228

layabout writes "We've seen tremendous advances in user interfaces over the past few years. Unfortunately, those UIs and supporting infrastructure exclude the disabled. In the same timeframe there has been virtually no advance in accessibility capabilities. It's the same old sticky keys, unicorn stick, speech recognition, text-to-speech that kind-of, sort-of, works except when you need to work with with real applications. Depending on whose numbers you use, anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 keyboard users are injured every year — some temporarily, some permanently. In time, almost 100% of keyboard users will have trouble typing and using many if not all mobile computing devices. My question to Slashdot: Given that some form of disability is almost inevitable, what's keeping you from volunteering and working with geeks who are already disabled? By spending time now building the interfaces and tools that will enable them to use computers more easily, you will also be ensuring your own ability to use them in the future." Follow the link for more background on this reader's query.
Earth

Building a Miniature Magnetic Earth 150

Doofus writes "There was an interesting story on NPR this morning about a geophysicist who has constructed a miniature earth to model the earth's dynamo effects. Dan Lathrop, a geophysicist at the University of Maryland, has constructed a 10-foot diameter stainless steel sphere. He intends to fill the sphere with molten sodium and spin the sphere to examine the propensity for the system to generate its own magnetic field. The article includes both video, in which Lathrop spins up the sphere, and audio, including the conversion of magnetic wave functions in prior experiments into audible sound: literally the music of the spheres."
Censorship

UK Teen Cited For Calling Scientology a "Cult" 995

An anonymous reader writes "A 15-year-old in the UK is facing prosecution for using the word 'cult' to describe the Church of Scientology at an anti-Scientology demonstration in London earlier this month. According to the City of London police at the scene, the teen was violating the Public Order Act, which 'prohibits signs which have representations or words which are threatening, abusive or insulting.' There's a video of the teen receiving the summons from the City of London police at the demonstration (starting about 1 minute in), and now he's asking for advice on how to handle the court case."
Censorship

China to Regulate Internet Map Publishing 279

hackingbear writes "After text, pictures, and videos, China starts regulating Internet map publishing (here is the google translation.) The government believes that Internet maps can represent the state's sovereignty and its political and diplomatic positions in the international community — and consequently, inaccurate maps could harm national interests and dignity, produce bad political influences, reveal national secrets and harm national security, in addition to harming consumer interests. So from now on, publishing maps would require approval and (yet another) license from the state survey bureau. That means Google, Yahoo, etc., need to remove China from the map; or maybe they just pay up some officials and their agents to acquire yet another license. And our newest 80Gbps DPI monsters need to be upgraded to identify maps together with porn."
The Courts

RIAA's Watchdog Affidavits For Your Reading Pleasure 22

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "MediaSentry, in an attempt to stonewall discovery in UMG v. Lindor, has turned over nothing other than a collection, apparently a complete collection, of its publicly filed affidavits. However, these do make interesting reading indeed, and as comments started trickling in on my blog, I realized that for the technically minded among you there are probably a number of good laughs in these materials. So in keeping with the Slashdot community's analysis of the RIAA's not very expert, 'expert' witness, I thought you might like to take a shot at its not very factual, 'fact' witness."
The Courts

RIAA's Watchdog Affidavits For Your Reading Pleasure 22

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "MediaSentry, in an attempt to stonewall discovery in UMG v. Lindor, has turned over nothing other than a collection, apparently a complete collection, of its publicly filed affidavits. However, these do make interesting reading indeed, and as comments started trickling in on my blog, I realized that for the technically minded among you there are probably a number of good laughs in these materials. So in keeping with the Slashdot community's analysis of the RIAA's not very expert, 'expert' witness, I thought you might like to take a shot at its not very factual, 'fact' witness."

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