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Music

Submission + - Canada may tax legal music downloads 3

FuriousBalancing writes: MacNN reports:

Canadians may soon pay a small tax on every legal music store download, says a new measure (PDF) sanctioned by the Copyright Board of Canada. Requested by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the tax would apply at least 2.1 cents to every individual song download and 1.5 cents per track for complete albums. Subscription download and streaming services would themselves be charged between 5.7 and 6.8 percent of a user's monthly fees. Minimum fees would also apply for every larger download or subscription. The new tax would be retroactive to January 1st, 1996.
Space

Submission + - Ancient oceans on Venus (newscientist.com)

Maggie McKee writes: "Venus, which is now hellishly hot, may have been cooler and wetter in the past, before a runaway greenhouse effect took over. Previous research suggests any oceans it had could have survived for 2 billion years, long enough for life to emerge. But scientists can't know for sure how long the water lasted until they have proof, and now David Grinspoon and Mark Bullock suggest the evidence may be locked in a hardy mineral called tremolite. Most of the planet appears to be covered with lava, but future robotic missions could target areas that may harbor the mineral. "We know at least locally and regionally where we have bits of older terrain that poke up through the volcanic plains," says Ellen Stofan of University College London. "All of a sudden, Venus may go from a place where we thought life never had a chance to take hold, to possibly a real player in the story of life in our solar system and the evolution of habitable planets.""
Links

Submission + - 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Debunked (maniacworld.com)

derrida writes: "To support the controlled-demolition theory, conspiracy theorists attack the official NIST report by insisting that fire doesn't melt steel. What NIST actually does claim is that the fires were sufficient enough to weaken the steel to the point where they would fail — structurally. This video attempts to debunk the 9/11 conspiracy theorists one at a time."
Power

Submission + - New legislation for nuclear safety (reformer.com)

mdsolar writes: "Recent problems at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant have spurred Congresspeople from Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to introduce legislation that would allow State governors to request independent safety reviews of nuclear power plants that exclude NRC employees that usually work on that plant and include non-NRC employees. The review model is based on one that found problems at Maine Yankee before it closed. Problems at Vermont Yankee have included a cooling tower collapse, a SCRAM caused by an ungreased valve and failure of a safety system during the SCRAM. The plant is coming off of heightened review after shipping nuclear material with insufficient shielding. The plant's application for a 20 year license extention is also currently under review."
Announcements

Submission + - Automotive X-Prize Reveals First 31 Teams

An anonymous reader writes: The Automotive XPRIZE announced yesterday the first 31 teams to have signed on for the competition to build 100 mpge (mile-per-gallon equivalent) automobiles. The list contains obvious contenders like electric bike vendor ZAP, electric truck peddler Phoenix Motorcars, Munich's überefficient Loremmo AG, and Elon Musk-backed Tesla Motors as well as Cornell University and a laundry list of other less well known names. There's even a team commited to an Open Source-like license. Notable is the total absence of any established manufacturer. Contrary to expectations of a Big Auto win, could the AXP be up for grabs?
Education

Submission + - Linux as a Short-Lived Project

LinuxNut writes: Continuing their historical series looking at the early Linux kernels, KernelTrap is discussing the 0.02 and 0.03 kernels released in late 1991. Though the actual source code has been lost to time, the article offers an interesting collection of emails by Linux creator Linus Torvalds about his new operating system, 'for hackers by a hacker.' Version 0.02 was the first usable release, gaining the ability to run programs such as gcc if compiled on Minix. Version 0.03 fixed buffer-cache issues that made it possible to compile gcc from Linux. Interestingly enough, at this point Linus thought of Linux as a short-lived project saying, 'wait for Hurd if you want something real. It's fun hacking it, though (but I'm biased).' Though not short-lived, Linux has continued to prove to be fun to hack.
Power

Submission + - Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Lost

ScrappyLaptop writes: In 56 of Ohio's 88 counties, ballots and election records from 2004 have been "accidentally" destroyed, despite a federal order to preserve them — it was crucial evidence which would have revealed whether the election was stolen. From http://www.alternet.org/story/58328/ :

Under federal and Ohio law, all ballots and election records from federal races must be preserved for 22 months after Election Day, which fell on Sept. 2, 2006. While election integrity activists and reporters from a Columbus website, FreePress.org, had sought the ballots and other election records soon after the presidential election, Blackwell would not allow county boards to release the ballots, citing court challenges to the 2004 results and a 2005 suit from the League of Women Voters alleging the state was not following the newest federal election law, the Help America Vote Act.

On Sept. 11, 2006, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the election boards "to preserve all ballots from the 2004 Presidential election, on paper and in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this Court."

Somehow, the counties never got the message:

"Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages as requested in (Brunner's) Directive 2007-07 due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions," wrote Butler County Board of Election Director Betty McGary and Deputy Director Lynn Kinkaid in a May 9 memo. "Several boxes containing all the wire-bound ballot pages were discarded into a Rumpke dumpster. The dumpster would have been emptied into the local landfill."

"The Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Board of Elections was unable to transfer the unvoted precinct ballots and soiled precinct ballots," wrote John Williams, Hamilton County Director of Elections on May 16, 2007. "To the best if my knowledge, the above ballots were inadvertently shredded between January 19th and 26th of '06 in an effort to make room for the new Hart voting system."

"No one could remember the disposition of said ballots," wrote Mike Keeley, of Clermont County's Board of Elections on May 10, 2007, referring to the "unvoted" or unused ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

In Warren County, where county election officials said on Election Day that the FBI had declared a homeland security alert — which they later retracted — ballots were diverted to a warehouse before counting. The local media was not allowed to observe the vote count. According to a letter from the Warren County Board of Election to Brunner's office, the election board cannot find 22,000 unused ballots from the election.

"The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election," said Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, which filed voter suppression suit. "We're in the process of addressing where to go from here with the Ohio Attorney General's office."

"On the one hand, people will now say you can't prove the fraud," he said, "but the rule of law says that when evidence is destroyed it creates a presumption that the people who destroyed evidence did so because it would have proved the contention of the other side."

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