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Anonymous Takes Down DOJ, RIAA, MPA and Universal Music 649

First time accepted submitter EW87 writes "Shortly after a federal raid today brought down the file sharing service Megaupload, hackers aligned with the online collective Anonymous have shut down sites for the Department of Justice, Universal Music Group and the RIAA. 'It was in retaliation for Megaupload, as was the concurrent attack on,' Anonymous operative Barrett Brown tells RT on Thursday afternoon."
Music Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy 1005

zacharye writes "Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down notorious file-sharing site and charged the service's founder with violating piracy laws. The Associated Press broke the story on Thursday, reporting that the indictment accuses's owner with costing copyright holders including record labels and movie studios more than $500 million in lost revenue."

Submission + - Adblock To Allow Non-Intrusive Ads By Default ( 1

bonch writes: Starting in version 2.0, Adblock Plus will allow 'non-intrusive ads' by default in order to encourage advertisers to switch to better ways of advertising. Criteria for whitelisting includes static ads only and at most one script that delays page load. Outcry has been negative enough to lead the developer to disable comments to the blog post.

Submission + - Giant asteroid crash altered Mercury's spin (

An anonymous reader writes: Mercury may once have orbited the Sun in a synchronous rotation, according to new calculations that suggest a collision with a large asteroid may have knocked Mercury into its unusual orbit.

Man Becomes Artist When He Sleeps 130

During the day 37-year-old Lee Hadwin is a nurse with no particular love or talent for art, but when he sleeps it's a different story. Lee has been sleep-drawing since he was 4 and is now quite good. Some of his pieces have sold for six figures. Despite numerous tests, doctors can't explain how he's able to draw and paint while he's not conscious, or even what stage of sleep he's in while he works. From the article: "Still, the North Wales native doesn't want to make art his career. He never studied art, and is lousy at drawing when awake. 'Art has never interested me at all,' says Hadwin, as quoted by the BBC. But just in case, he now prepares by leaving a sketchpad, brushes, and other art supplies in his bedroom."

More Schools Go To 4-Day Week To Cut Costs 614

Hugh Pickens writes "As schools return to session in South Dakota, more than one-fourth of students in the state will only be in class from Monday through Thursday as budget constraints lead school districts to hack off a day from the school week. Larry Johnke, superintendant of the Irene-Wakonda school district, says the change will save his schools more than $50,000 per year. In order to make up for the missing day, schools will add 30 minutes to each of the other four days and shorten the daily lunch break. 'In this financial crisis, we wanted to maintain our core content and vocational program, so we were forced to do this,' says Johnke. Experts say research is scant on the effect of a four-day school week on student performance, but many of the 120 districts that have the shortened schedule nationwide say they've seen students who are less tired and more focused, which has helped raise test scores and attendance. Others say that not only did they fail to save a substantial amount of money by being off an extra day, they also saw students struggle because they weren't in class enough and didn't have enough contact with teachers."

Submission + - Chinese Propaganda Accidentally Reveals Cyberwar (

An anonymous reader writes: A Chinese military propaganda video aired in mid-July inadvertently showed a Chinese military university launching cyberattacks against U.S. websites. The Epoch Times reports the video shows 'custom-built Chinese software apparently launching a cyber-attack against the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, by using a compromised IP address belonging to a United States university.' A screen in the video also reveals 'the name of the software and the Chinese university that built it, the Electrical Engineering University of China's People's Liberation Army.'
The Internet

Web Surfing At Work Can Boost Productivity 134

An anonymous reader writes "The Wall Street Journal reports on a study into productivity and efficiency in the workplace, which found that people who are given a break to surf the web return to their work with 'lower levels of mental exhaustion, boredom and higher levels of engagement.' Researchers tested against two other groups; one continued working, and one was given a break that did not involve web browsing. They concluded that 'browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function.' In contrast, dealing with personal email was 'particularly distracting.' In the end, the researchers recommended that employers loosen restrictions on employee web access." This backs up a similar study out of Australia from a couple years ago.

Wikipedia Losing Contributors, Says Wales 533

derGoldstein writes "According to an AP report, 'Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the nonprofit company that runs the site is scrambling to simplify editing procedures in an attempt to retain volunteers.' He explained, 'We are not replenishing our ranks... It is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important.' Despite Wikipedia's wide-reaching popularity, Wales said the typical profile of a contributor is 'a 26-year-old geeky male' who moves on to other ventures, gets married and leaves the website."

Submission + - McAfee Denied Accusing China in Cyberwar (

hackingbear writes: In an interview with Chinese official Xinhua news agency,McAfee said no direct evidence suggests a particular nation such as China is behind Operation Shady RAT, a five-year cyber campaign discovered by McAfee. Alperovitch told Xinhua that they "don't have direct evidence that conclusively points to a particular nation state" behind the scheme. So the same online security industry that has propagated Chinese cyber threats in front of Western media denies they made such suggestion in China, another of their major market. Is there really a cyberwar going on? Or is it really a marketing campaign aim to grab money from taxpayers around the world?

Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World 510

ErichTheRed writes "This Computerworld piece actually got me thinking — it basically says that there are few good 'starter languages' to get students interested in programming. I remember hacking away at BASIC incessantly when I was a kid, and it taught me a lot about logic and computers in general. Has the level of abstraction in computer systems reached a point where beginners can't just code something quick without a huge amount of back-story? I find this to be the case now; scripting languages are good, but limited in what you can do... and GUI creation requires students to be familiar with a lot of concepts (event handling, etc.) that aren't intuitive for beginners. What would you show a beginner first — JavaScript? Python? How do you get the instant gratification we oldies got when sitting down in front of the early-80s home computers?"

Submission + - Renewable Energy Might Not Be 2

lee1 writes: "Physicist Axel Kleidon of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
in Jena, Germany has shown that it is a mistake to consider the wind and
waves to be truly renewable energy sources. Build enough wind farms to
replace fossil fuels, he says, and we would reduce the energy available
in the atmosphere and actually accelerate climate change. We know from
thermodynamics that only a modest fraction of the solar energy reaching
Earth is available as 'free energy' we can use, taking the form of
winds, ocean currents, and lifting of evaporated water. The rest becomes
heat, which is not available to do work. By building wind and wave farms, we
will be converting part of the sun's useful energy into thermal energy.
The effects of this would probably show up first in the wind farms
themselves, where the gains expected will be less than predicted as the
energy of the Earth system is depleted. Kleidon’s calculations show
that the amount of energy which we can harness from the wind is reduced
by a factor of 100 if you take this into account. In addition, sucking that much energy out of the
atmosphere will alter precipitation, turbulence and the amount of solar
radiation reaching the Earth's surface. The effect
will be comparable to the results of doubling
atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Even current photovoltaic
designs will contribute to global warming, because they
convert only a small fraction of the light that hits them converting the rest to heat that warms the environment."

'Invisibility Cloak' Created Using Crystals 98

Zothecula writes "The quest to build a working 'invisibility cloak' generally focuses on the use of metamaterials – artificially engineered materials with a negative refractive index that have already been used to render microscopic objects invisible in specific wavelengths of light. Now, using naturally occurring crystals rather than metamaterials, two research teams working independently have demonstrated technology that can cloak larger objects in the broad range of wavelengths visible to the human eye. PDFs of the two similarly named research papers are available through"

UK ID Card Scheme Data Deleted For £400K 149

DaveNJ1987 writes "It will cost the British government only £400,000 to destroy the data for its failed ID card initiative. The data compiled by the National Identity Register, which was scrapped last year by the coalition government, will be disposed of for the relatively small sum — in government figures — Home Office minister Damian Green confirmed."

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