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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 12 declined, 4 accepted (16 total, 25.00% accepted)

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Submission + - SAP hit with $1.3 billion verdict in Oracle trial (

grassy_knoll writes: From the AP

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal jury on Tuesday ordered SAP AG to pay $1.3 billion to its archenemy, Oracle Corp., for stealing customer-support documents and software in a scheme to siphon off customers. The verdict amounts to more than half of SAP's total profit last year and stunned the German software maker. It had only set aside $160 million for anticipated damages, and already paid $120 million of that to Oracle's lawyers. The penalty is one of the largest on record for software piracy, and has the potential to reshape the business software landscape because of the extent of the damage to the pocketbook and reputation of one of its biggest players.

Submission + - How did Wikileaks do it? (

grassy_knoll writes: Related to the wikileaks video recently released and discussed previously the NY Times reports:

Somehow — it will not say how — WikiLeaks found the necessary computer time to decrypt a graphic video, released Monday, of a United States Army assault in Baghdad in 2007 that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the news agency Reuters. The video has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube, and has been replayed hundreds of times in television news reports.

Which is light on details; what encryption algorithm was used? Was this a brute force attack? Did someone pass the decryption keys to wikileaks along with the video? Something else?

Submission + - Obama: Don't be 'pessimistic' about clean energy ( 1

grassy_knoll writes: From the USA Today:

Again pushing his ideas for a new "clean energy" economy, President Obama identified a unique obstacle in remarks today: Pessimism. "It's the pessimistic notion that our politics are too broken and our people too unwilling to make hard choices for us to actually deal with this energy issue that we're facing," Obama told a crowd at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Submission + - Time to ditch climate policies? (

grassy_knoll writes: An article by the BBC reports that the London School of Economics' (LSE) Mackinder Programme and the University of Oxford's Institute for Science, Innovation & Society is advocating the G8 nations abandon current climate policy to instead focus on an approach based on improving energy efficiency and decarbonising energy supply.

LSE Mackinder programme director Gwyn Prins said the current system of attempting to cap carbon emissions then allow trading in emissions permits had led to emissions continuing to rise. He said world proposals to expand carbon trading schemes and channel billions of dollars into clean energy technologies would not work. "The world has been recarbonising, not decarbonising," Professor Prins said. "The evidence is that the Kyoto Protocol and its underlying approach have had and are having no meaningful effect whatsoever.


Submission + - Japan Scientists say global warming isn't man made (

grassy_knoll writes: The Register reports that the Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) has decided that Global Warming isn't man made:

Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission.

Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN's IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.

One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century has ceased.

The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is astonishing rebuke to international pressure, and a vote of confidence in Japan's native marine and astronomical research. Publicly-funded science in the West uniformly backs the hypothesis that industrial influence is primarily responsible for climate change, although fissures have appeared recently. Only one of the five top Japanese scientists commissioned here concurs with the man-made global warming hypothesis.

JSER is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel.

Social Networks

Submission + - Lori-Drew trial results in misdemeanor convictions (

grassy_knoll writes: As a follow up to an earlier story, the Lori Drew Cyber-Bullying Trial has resulted in misdemeanor convictions:

The Los Angeles federal court jury on Wednesday rejected felony charges of accessing a computer without authorization to inflict emotional distress on young Megan Meier. However, the jury found defendant Lori Drew guilty of three counts of the lesser offense of accessing a computer without authorization. The jurors could not reach a verdict on a conspiracy count. Prosecutors said Drew violated the MySpace terms of service by conspiring with her young daughter and a business assistant to create a fictitious profile of a teen boy on the MySpace social networking site to harass Megan. Megan, who had been treated for depression, hanged herself in 2006 after receiving a message saying the world would be better without her.


Submission + - Rector shutdown darkens south Florida ( 3

grassy_knoll writes: From the AFP News Agency

MIAMI, Feb 26, 2008 (AFP) — Five reactors at a nuclear power plant in Florida had gone down on Tuesday and two were now back online amid a massive power outage in the southern state, CNN reported. The report on the Turkey Point nuclear plant came as four million people had lost electricity in Miami and elsewhere in Florida, with traffic signals out and major delays on roads, authorities and media said.
So how fragile is the electrical grid, and just what technical problems could shut down five reactors?


Submission + - FBI Wiretaps canceled for non-payment. (

grassy_knoll writes: Apparently, the FBI hasn't been paying the telcos for the wiretaps they've initiated, so the telcos have canceled the wiretaps.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time. A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said. In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found.


Submission + - ADA and Web Sites (

grassy_knoll writes: Since the lawsuit filed by the National Federation of the Blind has just been granted Class action status, do you have any plans to ensure your web sites are ADA compliant?
It seems not all web sites must be:

Goldman said it's unclear what other Web sites might be covered by the ruling. "This doesn't mean that the ADA applies to all Web sites, but on the other hand, if there's a bricks-to-clicks type of business and there is some integration of the experience between the two, I think the court is saying that those sites need to comply with the ADA," he said.

Although there is certainly a push towards that:

Marc Maurer, the President of the National Federation of the Blind, said in a statement. "All e-commerce businesses should take note of this decision and immediately take steps to open their doors to the blind."
So, do you have any plans to ensure your sites are ADA compliant?

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Real and fake acupuncture beat back pain

grassy_knoll writes: The New York Times is reporting that acupuncture is more effective than conventional treatments in treating back pain.

The German study of nearly 1,200 patients, published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is the largest and most rigorous analysis yet of the use of acupuncture to treat back pain.
But there's also this:

Nearly half the patients in the acupuncture group reported significant relief, compared to just 27 percent in the conventional therapy group. But nearly as many people in the fake acupuncture group — 44 percent — also reported significant relief. Real acupuncture did reduce the need for pain medicine. Only 15 percent of patients who received real acupuncture used extra pain medication, but 34 percent of patients in the sham group and 59 percent of patients in conventional therapy needed extra pain pills.
So, why would the sham group score almost as well as the real group.. any why would both outscore conventional treatment?

Submission + - Jack Thompson faces suspension, psychological test (

grassy_knoll writes: The Florida Bar is proposing Jack Thompson submit to psychological testing and accept a 91-day suspension of his law license as part of a Florida Supreme Court mandated mediation.

From TFA, Thompson speaks:

"Mediation failed today because there was no mediation whatsoever... [Florida Bar official] Ms. Tuma not only did not move off her [suspension] demand one iota, not one smidgeon, but she instead upped her demand by requiring that Thompson undergo a battery of psychological tests as part of the fabulous deal The Bar offered him...
Ms. Tuma [sic] last demand going into the mediation was a 91-day suspension, and she opened and ended with that and a shrink's couch. This is bad faith...

This "mediation" was a charade... Finally, [Thompson] requests a status conference herein as soon as possible so that we can... shut this Star Chamber down. Thompson is not the one who needs a psych evaluation. "


Submission + - Official Sues Students Over MySpace Page

grassy_knoll writes: Two students are being sued by their principal for putting up a fake myspace page in her name.
From TFA:

Draker found out in April that someone had created a page on MySpace. It had been up about a month before she discovered it.

The site falsely identified Draker as a lesbian. Klasing said Draker, who is married and has small children, was "devastated." removed the page when Draker told them it wasn't hers.

One of the students also is facing criminal felony charges.

Bexar County Assistant District Attorney Jill Mata would not release information about the case, but confirmed that juvenile charges are pending against a local high school student involving retaliation and fraudulent use of identifying information. Both are third-degree felonies.

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