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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Cultural Impacts of Room Temperature Superconductors? 1

Bananatree3 writes: While we have fanciful visions produced for us like in the movie Avatar, the question still remains: What are the most likely cultural, societal and political effects to stem from the introduction of room temperature superconductors? How would the global economy be impacted? How would the nature of warfare change? What are the cultural pros and cons of such a shift?

As with all paradigm shifts in technology, there is always a dramatic change in how human civilization functions when compared to prior generations. Room temperature superconductors would pave the way for a whole new level of technological innovation.

Submission + - Amazon Acquires Kiva Systems (

alstor writes: "Amazon is acquiring robotic warehouse manufacturer Kiva Systems for $775 million. Kiva has deployed their autonomous warehouse systems for companies like Staples, Office Depot, Gap, and Zappos, so it will be interesting to see how the acquisition by Amazon will affect these deployments to businesses that, to varying extents, compete with Amazon. From the technology standpoint, it will be very exciting to see how much of Kiva's technology Amazon will deploy to some of their numerous existing warehouses, or develop new autonomous ones."

Submission + - The BSA's "nauseating" anti-piracy tactics (

Barence writes: "The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has been accused of heavy-handed tactics that could drive small companies to incriminate themselves.

The Microsoft-backed piracy watchdog generates a quarter of its cases by offering employees cash rewards for informing on their own employer. “It is basically harvesting allegations from disgruntled employees and farming them out to expensive law firms," one small business owner told PC Pro, who said he was "nauseated" by the tactics.

The BSA then sends out a letter demanding the business owner fill out a software audit, or potentially face court action — even though the BSA has no power to demand such an audit and hasn't pursued a court case in five years. “It’s designed to scare the recipient into thinking that they’re obliged to provide certain information when, in fact, it’s difficult to see that they are,” said a leading IT lawyer."

Comment Re:FLOSS in Europe - In reality (Score 1) 210

But still, according to the report, the majority of FLOSS developers live in Europe :
The combined FLOSS (MERIT/FP5) and FLOSS-US (Stanford) developer surveys form the largest survey-based dataset (4282 cases) providing the geographical distribution of developers (see Figure 17). According to these surveys, more than three fifths of the worldwide FLOSS developer community live in the EU, one fifth in North America, and another one fifth or so live in other countries.

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