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Submission + - Bird Flu Hits Southwest China, Two in Critical Condition with H5N1 Virus

An anonymous reader writes: Two human cases of bird flu have been reported this Sunday in the southwestern city of Guiyang, China. Both patients are in critical condition, according to the official Xinhua news agency. A 21-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus on Sunday after developing symptoms as early as February 2 and 3.

Submission + - Used Ebooks, the Ridiculous Idea that Could Also Destroy the Publishing Industry (vice.com)

pigrabbitbear writes: "Amazon has a patent to sell used ebooks. When I first scanned the headline, I thought it must be some Onion-esque gag, and I'm sure I wasn't alone. Used e-books? As in, rumpled up, dog-eared pdfs? Faded black-and-white kindle cover art, Calibri notes typed in the margins that you can't erase?

Barely-amusing image aside, used ebooks are for real. Or at least have a very real potential to become real. See, Amazon just cleared a patent for technology that would allow it to create an online marketplace for used ebooks--essentially, if you own an ebook, you would theoretically be able to put it up for sale on a secondary market.

The approved patent describes the process:

Digital objects including e-books, audio, video, computer applications, etc., purchased from an original vendor by a user are stored in a user's personalized data store ... When the user no longer desires to retain the right to access the now-used digital content, the user may move the used digital content to another user's personalized data store when permissible and the used digital content is deleted from the originating user's personalized data store."


Submission + - AMD Next-Gen Graphics May Slip To End of 2013, Not Necessarily A Bad Thing (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "AMD has yet to make an official statement on this topic, but several unofficial remarks and leaks point in the same direction. Contrary to rumor, there won't be a new GCN 2.0 GPU out this spring to head up the Radeon HD 8000 family. This breaks with a pattern AMD has followed for nearly six years. AMD recently refreshed its mobile product lines with HD 8000M hardware, replacing some old 40nm parts with new 28nm GPUs based on GCN (Graphics Core Next). In desktop, it's a different story. AMD is already shipping "Radeon HD 8000" cards to OEMs, but these cards are based on HD 7000 cores with new model numbers. RAM, TDP, core counts, and architectural features are all identical to the HD 7000 lineup. GPU rebadges are nothing new, but this is the first time in at least six years that AMD has rebadged the top end of a product line. Obviously any delay in a cutthroat market against Nvidia is a non-optimal situation, but consider the problem from AMD's point of view. We know AMD built the GPU inside Wii U. It's also widely rumored to have designed the CPU and GPU for the Xbox Durango and possibly both of those components for the PS4 as well. It's possible, if not likely, that the company has opted to focus on the technologies most vital to its survival over the next 12 months."

Submission + - Stop the Tarbosaurus Auction! (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Heritage Auctions in NYC plans to auction a 75% complete Tarbosaurus skeleton on Sunday despite protests from the Mongolian government that it was taken out of the country illegally.

The dismissive attitude of the auction house speaks volumes of their dedication to profit before science or law. Wired has an interesting dissection of several statements:

"The president of Heritage Auctions, Greg Rohan, wrote a snippy letter in response to the online petition trying to save the dinosaur for science. “You should all be aware that this auction has been publicicized [sic] broadly for 4 weeks,” Rohan wrote “and the Mongolian Governments request issued today less than 48 hours before the auction is unreasonable and inappropriate.” As if the timing of the protest has anything to do with whether the dinosaurs were obtained illegally or not. And, strangely, Rohan claims that the Tarbosaurus was discovered at a different time than what the auction’s official listing states. While the dinosaur’s description is clear that the tyrannosaur was excavated “within the past decade”, Rohan claimed that “Mongolia won its independence in 1921 and this specimen is obviously quite a bit older than that.” That’s quite a discrepancy, and I have no reason to take Rohan’s word for it. Based on what the official documents state – and the fact that no one even knew that tyrannosaurs existed in the Gobi until Tarbosaurus was described in 1955 – the dinosaur in question was undoubtedly collected during a time when Mongolia’s heritage laws were already in place."

Protests are planned and a petition (with Mongolian translation) is on change.org.

Got any other stolen artifacts you want them to fence for you?


Submission + - Where can I buy ROMs? 1

PktLoss writes: "I'm interested in building an arcade machine, following the footsteps of Cmdr Taco amongst many others. Not being all that interested in piracy, I need to find somewhere to buy games. Starroms used to be the kind of thing I was looking for, though with an incredibly short catalog. The MAME people have a few available for free (non-commercial), but this isn't going to sate my needs.

There's an entire cottage industry supporting this goal. People are ready to sell me plans, kits, buttons, joy sticks, glass marquees, and entire machines. That's fantastic, but where can I get the games? I refuse to believe that this entire industry is built on piracy."

Submission + - Microsoft shows off Windows 8 tablet concept (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: Microsoft on Tuesday showed off a concept tablet running an early version of its next-generation Windows 8 operating system during a Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference presentation. The company briefly showed off the mysterious tablet, which touted a user interface that looks very similar to the tech giant’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7.

Submission + - NASA Goes Earthbound With Sustainability Base (eweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "As NASA’s space programme winds down with the final mission of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the US space agency is looking to the future with a totally sustainable building, on planet Earth. The Sustainability Base.will generate more power than it uses, despite being located at the Ames Research Centre in California where air conditioning is a must."
The Military

Submission + - Wearable Computers and Portable Power (xconomy.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Last weekend, Silicon Valley VC Marc Andreessen called out "wearable computing" as a Next Big Thing. Now MC10, a three-year-old company making flexible electronics, is taking an old idea to new places. The startup is developing health sensors that conform to the human body, image sensors that curve like the retina, and stretchy solar cells (and other circuitry) that can be woven into the fabric of a tent or aircraft skin. Unlike organic or printed electronics, which tend to be inefficient, MC10 uses silicon islands linked by springy interconnects. It's still early, but the company has new backing from VCs, Reebok, and the U.S. government to develop wearable devices, mini-sensors, and portable power. Imagine a self-charging UAV with tiny cameras on board, and you can tell what the military wants out of this.

Submission + - AC/DC music attracts great white sharks (australiangeographic.com.au) 1

bazzalunatic writes: That's right, great white sharks can be lured underwater to cages by playing hits from AC/DC — specifically "Shook me all night long".

Some shark diving tour operators in Australia have found this curious fact. But it's not just music, as the sharks weren't attracted by other tunes.

One wonders if they'll be turned off by Celine Dion music — a new type of shark repellent perhaps?

Submission + - Embed A Video... Go To Jail? (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A few weeks ago, Slashdot had a post about the new bill in Congress to make streaming infringing videos a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail if just 10 people watch the video. As more details come out, the bill keeps looking worse and worse, as it appears that the definitions used in the bill would mean that merely embedding or linking to an infringing YouTube video could put you on the hook for jailtime. Obviously, supporters of the bill insist that's not who will be targeted with this bill, but just the fact that they could be should be worrisome enough. We've seen other laws "misused" in the past.

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