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The Military

Seven Arrested After Protesting Army Video Game Recruiting Center 433

GamePolitics writes "Seven anti-war protesters were arrested in Philadelphia on Saturday during a protest rally and march which targeted the Army Experience Center, a high-tech recruitment center which uses PC and Xbox games and simulations to attract potential recruits. GamePolitics was on hand to cover the protest, and took video of the arrests. A local news station also reported on the rally, and the Peace Action Network released a statement saying, "In its desperate approach to meet recruiting numbers, the military is teaching the wrong values to teenagers. Sugarcoating combat experience with virtual war is a dishonor to those with real war experience."
Linux Business

"Good Enough" Computers Are the Future 515

An anonymous reader writes "Over on the PC World blog, Keir Thomas engages in some speculative thinking. Pretending to be writing from the year 2025, he describes a world of 'Good Enough computing,' wherein ultra-cheap PCs and notebooks (created to help end-users weather the 'Great Recession' of the early 21st century) are coupled to open source operating systems. This is possible because even the cheapest chips have all the power most people need nowadays. In what is effectively the present situation with netbooks writ large, he sees a future where Microsoft is priced out of the entire desktop operating system market and can't compete. It's a fun read that raises some interesting points."

Developing Battery Replacement Infrastructure For Electric Cars 369

FathomIT sends in a NY Times profile of Shai Agassi, owner of a company named Better Place, who is working to build the infrastructure to support large numbers of small-scale charging spots for electric cars, as well as fast, automated battery swap stations. "The robot — a squat platform that moves on four dinner-plate-size white wheels — scuttled back and forth along a 20-foot-long set of metal rails. At one end of the rails, a huge blue battery, the size of a large suitcase, sat suspended in a frame. As we watched, the robot zipped up to the battery, made a nearly inaudible click, and pulled the battery downward. It ferried the battery over to the other end of the rails, dropped it off, picked up a new battery, hissed back over to the frame and, in one deft movement, snapped the new battery in the place of the old one. The total time: 45 seconds."
The Courts

RIAA Brief Attacks Free Software Foundation 554

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has requested permission to file a response to the amicus curiae brief filed by the Free Software Foundation in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Boston case against a Boston University grad student accused of having downloaded some song files when in his teens. In their proposed response, the RIAA lawyers personally attacked The Free Software Foundation, Ray Beckerman (NewYorkCountryLawyer), and NYCL's blog, 'Recording Industry vs. The People.' The 9-page response (PDF) — 4 pages longer than the document to which it was responding — termed the FSF an organization 'dedicated to eliminating restrictions on copying, redistribution, and modifying computer programs,' and accused the FSF of having an 'open and virulent bias against copyrights' and 'blatant bias' against the record companies. They called 'Recording Industry vs. The People' an 'anti-recording industry web site' and stated that NYCL 'is currently subject to a pending sanctions motion for his conduct in representing a defendant' (without disclosing that plaintiffs' lawyers were 'subject to a pending motion for Rule 11 sanctions for their conduct in representing plaintiffs' in that very case)."

Submission + - Gmail Now Tells You Who You Should Email (

MojoKid writes: "Gmail continues to improve their mail client interface and within the last month, we've seen additions such as an Undo Send feature and YouTube, Picasa, Flickr, Yelp Preview capabilities, as well as many other previous additions. Today, Gmail added a "suggest more recipients" feature which is useful but also a tad creepy. You see, the suggest more recipients feature can suggest people you should email based on previous conversations. In other words, if you've had threads going with a group of people, the next time you add a couple of those recipients to the address field, Gmail can recommend other people you might want to include as well."
The Courts

Submission + - Why Google is the New Pirate Bay 1

explosivejared writes: "Forbes is running a story discussing the verdict in the Pirate Bay case and its implications on file sharing, specifically with regard to Google. The article points out what most on /. already realize: Google provides essentially the same service that the Pirate Bay does. The Pirate Bay case may be far from over, accounting for appeals, but the Pirate Bay's assumption of being unchallengeable was shattered. The article raises the question of whether or not Google is untouchable in the matter. The story is quick to point out how the situation resembles a futile game of cat mouse, but given how the Pirate Bay's confidence was ultimately broken, is Google untouchable?"

Submission + - 83% of Businesses won't bother with Windows 7

Olipro writes: According to a survey conducted by Information Week, Most enterprises stated they won't bother with Windows 7 for at least a year as they simply continue to distrust that compatibility issues won't occur with their mission-critical software.

Costs of upgrading are also cited as a concern as economic uncertainty acts as a measure to dissuade businesses in the "investments" which, coupled with the fact that essentially Windows 7 will simply be Vista with tweaks (those of you who follow the server platform will know that Windows 7 will simply be an R2 release for Server 2008) — essentially the whole OS needs to hit the ground running or be doomed to a similar fate as Vista has been, though, bearing in mind the fact that a lot of Vista's headaches were primarily driver related; and also bearing in mind that as such, almost all hardware now has Vista drivers which will undoubtedly be compatible with 7... it's entirely plausible that uptake of Windows 7 will be better than expected.

The Million Dollar question will be whether the fact that XP -> Windows 7 requires a clean install will prove to be Microsoft's undoing.

Submission + - Thai gov't sets up snitch on fellow citizen site (

An anonymous reader writes: In a move that would make the old eastern German Stasi green with envy, the Thai government has modernized a system that allows citizens to snitch on fellow citizens. "Internet users are being urged to show their loyalty to the king by contributing to a new website called, which has been set up by a parliamentary committee. On the site's front page it is described as a means for Thai people to show their loyalty to the king by protecting him from what it calls misunderstandings about him. It calls on all citizens to inform on anyone suspected of insulting or criticising the monarchy." An large unknown population of political prisoners are currently being held for 3 to 15 years in Thai prisons for being interpreted as insulting the monarchy.

Submission + - $5 solar cooker in FT Climate Challenge Final (

Mr. Sunshine writes: "Energy use in developing countries is still in the stone age, causing deforestation, erosion, spinal injuries, smoke inhalation damage, time loss and all kinds of danger for women and children collecting firewood. Lack of cleaning methods for drinking water kills over 10 million mostly children every year.

A new ultra simple $5 solar cooker developed by Kyoto Energy in Kenya has the potential to solve many of these problems, and has been nominated to the final of the Financial Times Climate Challenge. It is up against 4 innovations for the developed world. The main sponsor is HP, and the jury that selected these 5 consists of luminaries such as HP CEO Mark Hurd, Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Richard Branson and Nobel Peace Price winner Dr. Rajendra Pachauri.

Help solve these severe problems by voting for the Kyoto Box at

What are the opinions of /. readers on this competiton? Is $75K enough to solve the problem or is this just another attempt at greenwashing from FT/HP et al? Are web based polling systems with unique IP addresses reliable for such purposes or can they be manipulated?"


Submission + - Top UK Scientist Predicts Global Crisis by 2030

Peace Corps Online writes: "Prof John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and Professor of Applied Population Biology at Imperial College, told the Sustainable Development UK 09 conference that growing world population will cause a "perfect storm" of food, energy and water shortages by 2030 with demand for food and energy jumping 50% by 2030 and for fresh water by 30%, as the world population tops 8.3 billion. "We head into a perfect storm in 2030, because all of these things are operating on the same time frame," Beddington says. "If we don't address this, we can expect major destabilization, an increase in rioting and potentially significant problems with international migration, as people move out to avoid food and water shortages." Beddington says improving agricultural productivity globally was one way to tackle the problem. "We need more disease-resistant and pest-resistant plants and better practices, better harvesting procedures," says Beddington. "Genetically-modified food could also be part of the solution. We need plants that are resistant to drought and salinity — a mixture of genetic modification and conventional plant breeding." Beddington says the concern now — when prices have dropped once again — was that the issues would slip back down the domestic and international agenda. "We can't afford to be complacent. Just because the high prices have dropped doesn't mean we can relax.""

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