gerddie writes: Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world's ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.
One team, lead by Matt Bradford, made their observations starting in 2008, using an instrument called "Z-Spec" at the California Institute of Technology’s Submillimeter Observatory, a 33-foot (10-meter) telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Follow-up observations were made with the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy (CARMA), an array of radio dishes in the Inyo Mountains of Southern California.
The second group led, by Dariusz Lisused, used the Plateau de Bure Interferometer in the French Alps to find water. In 2010, this team serendipitously detected water in APM 8279+5255, observing one spectral signature. Bradford's team was able to get more information about the water, including its enormous mass, because they detected several spectral signatures of the water.
gerddie writes: ASCAP (the same folks who went after Girl Scouts for singing around a campfire) appears to believe that every time your musical ringtone rings in public, you're violating copyright law by "publicly performing" it without a license. At least that's the import of a brief [2.5mb PDF] it filed in ASCAP's court battle with mobile phone giant AT&T.
gerddie writes: Cryptohippie published what may be called a first attempt to describe the "electronic police state".
Based on information available from different organizations, like Electronic Privacy Information Center, Reporters Without Borders or Freedom House, countries were rated on 17 criteria how close they are already to an electronic police state. Not very surprisingly one finds China, North Korea, White Russia and Russia at the top of the list, but then the UK, the United States, Singapore, Israel, France and Germany follow.
gerddie writes: Heisereports (in German), that Amazon (German) flexed it's muscles over a dispute with the music industry. Labels like SonyBMG, Warner Music, Universal Music and EMI admonished Amazon for selling import-CD that are cheaper then European releases. Amazon showed its market power by not only removing the disputed CDs from the shop, but also a lot of EU-releases of these companies. For a few days, nearly all top-100 titles of SonyBMG and Warner, and many CDs of Universal and EMI were not available at Amazon, the strongest online-seller in Germany. After talks, the European releases of the CDs are available again and the disputed imports are not.
However, the issue is not yet settled, commented one of the music industry managers to Spiegel Online. Amazon gave "no comment".