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Submission + - Researchers discover that sand behaves like water (

Xeger writes: "University of Chicago researchers have found that streams of sand can behave similar to liquids, forming water-like droplets when poured from a funnel. To obtain these results they dropped their expensive high-speed camera from a height of several meters and observed the sand forming into droplets — something that shouldn't happen without surface tension! These findings suggest that conventional engineering wisdom about sand, dirt and other grainy materials needs to be rethought, and that it might be possible to apply fluid dynamics to some solids problems!"

Submission + - IT workers to get priority on flu pandemic vaccine (

inkslinger77 writes: "If an avian flu pandemic strikes the US, some IT workers in critical industries may get vaccinated before their co-workers or even their family members do, according to a draft version of a government report that attempts set a vaccination pecking order. Pregnant women, toddlers, homeland and national security personnel, members of the military and health care workers are at the top of the proposed list. Closely following them are telephony and IT communications workers."

Submission + - How To Fill Up Your WordPress Sidebar With Ads (

Anonymous Coward writes: "On my new blog I had a tall sidebar, and I wanted to fill it with ads. Google didn't turn up any code to do it, then I realized I'd never seen it done. Most blogs have long pages with a few hardcoded ad blocks at the top. The article explains how to embed Amazon code and fill up the sidebar to the bottom of the text."

Feed Techdirt: Trademark Law Gone Mad: JJ Sues American Red Cross Over Use Of Red Cross (

Trademark law can do funny things, especially in this age where many IP lawyers and the popular press have misrepresented the purpose of trademarks. It's reached a point where many people now believe that trademark law is about ownership and control -- when it was really designed for consumer protection (so that consumers wouldn't be tricked into buying "Bob's Cola" thinking it was "Coca Cola"). A bunch of people have been submitting this latest story of trademark-gone-mad, where health-care products conglomerate Johnson Johnson is suing the American Red Cross for violating its trademark on (you guessed it) the red cross symbol. The thing is, Johnson Johnson may be on the correct side of the law in this case -- though, the wrong side of decency and common sense. JJ does own the trademark on the red cross symbol and has had a licensing arrangement with the ARC for over a century. However, the ARC has been licensing the symbol to make branded products such as "baby mitts, nail clippers, combs, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers and humidifiers." The ARC then sells these products as a way of raising money for all of its good work. Based on trademark law, of course, JJ will claim that it needs to protect the trademark or risk losing it entirely. But, that only shows one of the more ridiculous aspects of trademark law. And, it's not like JJ is going in with a light touch on this either. The lawsuits wants these products destroyed and is also seeking punitive damages. That's going well beyond the "we're forced to protect the trademark under the law" claim. It just makes them look like a bunch of bullies who would kick babies if it would make them money. While JJ was clearly concerned about the value of its trademark, it's not clear if they realized the value of good PR.

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