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Submission + - "Solar rainstorm" filled the first oceans (arxivblog.com) 1

KentuckyFC writes: "The origin of the oceans is a major mystery for planetary geologists. Now a new analysis by Japanese scientists indicates that the most likely source of water is the cloud of dust and gas from which the solar system formed, the so-called solar nebula. That means the oceans were filled when the Earth passed through a cloud of water causing a "solar rainstorm" of fantastic proportions"
The Internet

Submission + - How to stop commerial use of copyleft material?

An anonymous reader writes: The Guild Wiki, an extremely popular fan-made wiki for documenting Guild Wars, was originally supported by donations, then later advertisements — supposedly just enough to break even. Just the past week, the owner of the domain name surprised this wiki community by revealing that he had sold the domain name and his services dumping the database to Wikia, a commercial entity that intends to profit from Guild Wiki's content.

The problem is much of Guild Wiki's content falls under Creative Commons by-nc-sa license, which denies the commercial use of licensed material. Arena.net created their own community run wiki to serve as the in-game help system, because they didn't think they could use the material on Guild Wiki commercially.

If Wikia continues to serves ads over Guild Wiki's content, how can the thousands of contributors to the site stop them without going to the expense/trouble of hiring attorneys (or the crude path of mass vandalism)? If it turns out the site owner has been making a profit all along from ads, what's the remedy?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - The World's Most Polluted Sites

Hugh Pickens writes: "Blacksmith Institute has just published their annual list of the world's most polluted sites. Sumqayit in Azerbaijan leads the list with its toxic legacy of heavy metal, oil and chemical contamination from its days as a center of chemical production with local Azeris suffering cancer rates 22 to 51 percent higher than their countrymen "As much as 120,000 tons of harmful emissions were released [in Sumqayit] on an annual basis, including mercury," says Richard Fuller, founder of Blacksmith. "There are huge untreated dumps of industrial sludge." Blacksmith compiles their list by comparing the toxicity of the contamination, the likelihood of it getting into humans and the number of people affected. An article from Scientific American says that despite the massive pollution, it would be relatively easy and cheap to clean up the most dangerous hazards at these contaminated sites. For example, it would cost just $15,000 to save an estimated 350 lives by simply digging up radioactive contaminated soil from the Mayak plutonium facility that had been deposited on the shore of the Techa River in the Russian town of Muslyomova. Similar cost-effective efforts are underway across the globe. "For about $200, the cost of a refrigerator, we are able to save someone's life," Fuller says."

Submission + - Satellites pick up distortion of space-time (sciencedaily.com)

Lucas123 writes: "Two X-ray satellites have picked up a distortion of the space-time continuum around three super-dense neutron stars, lending additional credence to Einstein's prediction in his theory of relativity. A similar rippling effect on the fabric of space has been seen around black holes, but this is the first time the phenomenon has been seen around a neutron star. 'It shows that the way neutron stars accrete matter is not very different from that of black holes, and it gives us a new tool to probe Einstein's theory," says NASA Goddard Space Center scientist Tod Strohmayer."
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - New Jersey teen cracks iPhone network lock

dispatch writes: From MSNBC, "A teenager in New Jersey has broken the lock that ties Apple's iPhone to AT&T's wireless network, freeing the most hyped cell phone ever for use on the networks of other carriers, including overseas ones." He has posted directions on how to do it on his blog which while they are interesting to read are probably a bit above the average cell phone user's head. Also, it is important to note that unfortunately at the moment the only other carrier that can handle the iPhone is T-Mobile.

How AT&T or Apple will respond has yet to be seen but it should be interesting. Will either argue intellectual property? Do they even have a position? Would AT&T have any kind of recourse against people using T-Mobile or T-Mobile itself? Will other carries start supporting the iPhone? Will a new market pop up for iPhone modders/over seas sales?

Submission + - Microsoft DRG: "Evangelism is War" (edge-op.org)

Fan of Weird Rob writes: "Groklaw readers have uncovered an interesting old file from Comes v. Microsoft concerning Microsoft's DRG (Developer Relations Group) and how they "evangelize" standards. This document harks back to when they were fighting OpenDoc, but the strategies are very familiar to anyone watching Microsoft fight ODF. There are too many choice bits to ever quote them all, but it strongly emphasizes that the DRG doesn't exist to help developers, it exists to help Microsoft. One of the best ways to crush your enemies (Sun, IBM, Novell, Apple, etc.) is to disrupt their alliances, but you should attack directly only when there are no other options. ISVs are called "pawns", and "Evangelism is War," whereas a Jihad is "a road trip." With standards, "Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat." Naturally, they also say such things as "we're the good guys!" and "Simple rule to live by: Never Lie." Just below that rule, they say: "Be selective in which truths you emphasize.""

Submission + - Zero-G Germs Return to Earth (space.com)

Raver32 writes: "Astronauts weren't the only living things aboard the space shuttle Endeavour that landed safely this week — a precious payload of germs, grown and frozen in zero-gravity, also returned to Earth. Researchers sent up sealed containers of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, the germs responsible for many diseases in patients with weakened immune systems. David Niesel, a microbiologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said the experiment will help scientists explore the risks of getting sick in space. "There's a decline in people's immune function the longer they're in the space environment, and it's been shown that other bacteria also alter their properties in microgravity," Niesel said. "They grow faster, they tend to be more virulent and resistant to microbial treatment." The S. pneumoniae bacteria are normally harmless, but Niesel said they never turn down opportunities to exploit weak immune systems and turn into full-blown disease. For astronauts on long spaceflights, he said, the germs could prove to be dangerous. "Strep pneumoniae is a very potent pathogen in people who are immunosuppressed," he said. "It's the No. 1 cause of community-acquired pneumonia and a leading mediator of bacteremia [bacterial blood infections] and meningitis.""
Data Storage

Submission + - Best USB thumb drive for keychain

Lumpy writes: "After having to replace my 8th USB thumbdrive I have had attached to my key chain in 2 years because of failures I was starting to wonder,What have other slashdotters found as their best choice in a USB thumb drive?

I love having one on my key chain, but 95% of these things have a port cover that gets lost in the first 10 minutes, have a really bad design for attaching to the key chain so you lose the drive completely, or are incredibly bad quality, my last designer leather on with leather cover strap comes to mind.

What do you use for your always with you most important usb thumb drive? What is the most durable that will take getting dropped in a puddle or survive living on a key chain?"

Submission + - Scientists prove Schrödinger's cat with l (physorg.com)

0ddity writes: "Australian and French scientists have made another breakthrough in the technology that will drive next generation computers and teleportation. The researchers have successfully superposed light beams, which produces a state that appears to be both on and off at once. Light beams that are simultaneously on and off are vital for the next-generation super computers which should be faster than current computers based on bits, that are either on or off. Previously, only smaller light particles had been superposed and the group has also proved a quantum physics theory known as Schrödinger's cat. http://www.physorg.com/news107177837.html"

Submission + - Develop multitasking applications with PHP V5

An anonymous reader writes: Many PHP developers believe that because standard PHP lacks threading capabilities, it's impossible for a practical PHP application to multitask. Not true... PHP doesn't support threading in the way other languages like the Java programming language or C++ do, but the examples in this article show that PHP can exploit in-process multitasking and has more potential for speed-ups than many realize.
Data Storage

Backing Up Laptops In a Small Business? 293

Bithmus writes "I have been tasked with finding a way for our company to handle our laptop backups. We currently have nightly backups of our servers, but no backups of laptops. In our business we develop, implement, and sell another company's software; I guess that makes us a Valued Added Reseller. During development our consultants will create copies of a customer's database on MSDE on their laptops. If a hard drive crashes, all of the work done on that laptop is lost. There are other files that need to be saved, but the databases are really the important items. Ideally these databases would be stored on the SQL servers and the other files stored on the file server, but this is not happening. What do Slashdot readers do to protect data on laptops or computers outside of a local network?"

Submission + - Crowther's Original Adventure Source Code Found!

drxenos writes: I don't know how many of you are fans of old-school text adventures (interactive fiction), but Will Crowther's original Fortran source code has been located in a backup of Don Wood's old student account. For fans like me, this is like finding the Holy Grail. link: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.int-fictio n/browse_thread/thread/607acaf1a279d4dd/bd53b672a1 85d177#bd53b672a185d177

Submission + - Ted Stevens' Home Raided

el_munkie writes: It appears that the home of Senator Ted Stevens is in the process of being raided by the FBI and the IRS. According to the article, a remodeling project at Stevens' home and the involvement of Veco, an oil company, are the focus of the raid.

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Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming