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The Courts

Submission + - Judge dismisses case against Steve Jobs et al

Andy_R writes: "On Wednesday, a california judge dismissed the lawsuit brought against Steve Jobs and others over the long-running backdated stock options saga that caused the resignation of Apple's CFO Fred Anderson and general counsel Nancy Heinen. The judge ruled that as Apple's share price did not fall, investors could not prove they lost out, so there was no basis for a case."
United States

Submission + - Ruling protects employee property, even old yogurt (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "All that crap in your cubical? And that Chinese take-out in the company fridge from 1983? It's safe — for now. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today employees must be notified before their belongings are tossed. The ruling stemmed from a University of Texas professor who had all his stuff thrown out by his employer without his consent. More precisely, University of Texas at San Antonio professor Philip Stotter wasn't given adequate notice before his lab was closed and its contents thrown in the trash. In the Houston Chronicle, employment lawyer Michael Muskat, said the thorny case involving a university and a former chemistry professor raises several possible constitutional questions for public employers vigilant about protecting their employees from the hazards of old food."For example, is the receptionist's week-old tuna sandwich considered personal 'property' under the due process clause of the Constitution?" http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/21954"

Submission + - SPAM: Google shown favoritism by Web admins, study shows

alphadogg writes: Web site policy makers are playing favorites and Google is the big beneficiary, say Penn State researchers. The research team created a search engine called BotSeer used to examine more than 7,500 Web sites, and found a pro-Google bias in terms of which search engine Web crawlers were or were not allowed access. "We expected that robots.txt files would treat all search engines equally or maybe disfavor certain obnoxious bots, so we were surprised to discover a strong correlation between the robots favored and the search engines' market share," one Penn State researcher said.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Japanese high tech toilet makers aim for USA (japanesecustomer.com)

Peter Hanami writes: "Japanese high tech toilet makers are now aiming for the USA. The washlet may be soon become a household word in the USA. Japanese high tech toilets are a luxury item that once tried are hard to resist. A heated seat, a bidet, air freshner and some models even dry, meaning the user doesn't need to use toilet paper. A must have item in Asia, will Japanese high tech toilets find a place in the USA market?"

Submission + - In Memory of Dave Morse, Amiga Co-Founder, '43-'07 (rebol.com)

mlauzon writes: "David Morse, Amiga Computer's co-founder passed away last week. I will remember him always.

Dave, was always an inspiration to me... not only from back in the old Amiga days, but in the early days of NTG (3DO), Interactive Partners, and VideoStream, the company we built together. Then, in more recent years, his interest and contribution to my vision of REBOL and IOS.

Dave was my model for how to be cool in business, and I respected him immensely for it. How many meetings I sat and watched Dave in action, or should I say, perfectly timed silence. Dave was the master of the dramatic pause... during a negotiation, purchase, contract. He knew the timing, and what it took to make the deal.

Few people have taught me so much during my life... as a role model and leader. It did not matter if we were presenting our vision to ATT, Time Warner, or Kleiner Perkins in front of Vinod Khosla, Steve Wynn and Michael Milken, Dave was always calm and trusting about it. "We'll do the best we can. If it doesn't work out, there are others who are interested." His calmness was reassuring, and it served as my strength.

Dave was one of those guys who would sit through a board meeting, say almost nothing, then at the end of the meeting would say just one sentence or two, and they would be a perfectly formed gem of thought and plan of action — the optimal direction for the company, whatever company it was.

Dave, thanks for teaching me so much. Thanks for your trust, and for making so many visions a reality. I will dearly miss you.

Source: Carl Sassenrath, CTO, REBOL Technologies"


Joss Whedon Back on TV 289

tokenhillbilly writes "Joss Whedon of 'Buffy' and 'Firefly' fame has signed on to do another TV series on Fox starring Eliza Dushku (Faith from 'Buffy'). The series is going to be called Dollhouse, and the story surrounds a group of people 'programmed' to do missions out of a sort of high-tech dorm. '[The series] follows a top-secret world of people programmed with different personalities, abilities and memories depending on their mission. After each assignment -- which can be physical, romantic or even illegal -- the characters have their memories wiped clean, and are sent back to a lab (dubbed the "Dollhouse"). [The] show centers on Dushku's character, Echo, as she slowly begins to develop some self-awareness, which impacts her missions.'"

Submission + - eComStation Release 2.0 RC3 available

Kim Haverblad writes: "Serenity Systems has released eComstation v2.0 RC3 that is an OEM-version of IBM:s OS2 Warp v4.52. It's great news for the OS2 users still hanging around since it supports dual and quad core CPU:s which IBM original code didn't support. The full press release can be found at OS2 World.Com where there also are technical notes with more specific updates."

Submission + - Pagan Holidays Allowed As Excused Absences (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Marshall University (in West Virginia) has started allowing students to apply for excused absences for pagan holidays. It is thought to be the first program in the US to explicitly include paganism with other religions.
The Internet

Submission + - Writers Guild May Strike Over Internet Residuals

Dr. Eggman writes: Ars Technica is reporting on rumblings out of the Writers Guild of America over Internet distributed video (called 'the new media') residuals. Writers get paid "residuals" whenever a show they've worked on or a movie they've helped write gets sold on DVD or aired in syndication, and these residuals can make up a healthy part of a working scriptwriter's income. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) insists that the residual rate for new media uses be fixed at the current DVD rate. The WGA, however, disagrees with the AMPTP and wants increases both DVD and new media residuals. Negotiation have been ongoing for months now, with no resolution and now the WGA are threatening with a strike. If a prolonged strike occurs, we run the risk of being flooded with even more reality TV, and less scripted shows.

Submission + - Dislike a Relative? Turn Them in as a Terrorist! 9

Stanislav_J writes: A Swedish man who had less than fond feelings for his daughter's hubby, took advantage of the son-in-law's trip to America by reporting him to the FBI as a terrorist. The e-mail, which the father-in-law admits to sending, earned him a libel charge after his poor son-in-law was arrested on his arrival in Florida, handcuffed, interrogated, and placed in a cell for 11 hours before being released.

It's a brief article, but dovetails nicely with the recent Slashdot story about "The War on the Unexpected." That article touched on many examples of well-meaning, but misguided and paranoid citizens reporting innocent activities to the authorities. In the current climate, the potential also exists for maliciously false and far from well-meaning reports made to the Feds about people one simply doesn't care for, or those made merely as a sick prank.

While the man admitted to sending the e-mail to the FBI, he claims he thought no harm would come from it because "he did not think the US authorities would be stupid enough to believe him." To quote the great philosopher Bugs Bunny, 'Nyahh....he don't know us very well, do he?'

Volcanoes May Have Caused Mass Extinctions? 210

Hugh Pickens writes "According to recent research, huge amounts of sulphur dioxide released by volcanic eruptions may have had more to do with wiping out dinosaurs than the meteorite strike at Chicxulub on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Marine sediments drilled from the Chicxulub crater have revealed that that the mass extinctions occurred 300,000 years after Chicxulub hit Earth. The Deccan volcanism was a long cumulative process that released vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. '"On land it must have been 7-8 degrees warmer," says Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller. "The Chicxulub impact alone could not have caused the mass extinction, because this impact predates the mass extinction."' Keller also postulates a second larger and still unidentified meteor strike after Chicxulub, that left the famous extraterrestrial layer of iridium found in rocks worldwide and pushed earth's ecosystem over the brink. But where's the crater? "I wish I knew," says Keller."

Submission + - Transferring More Than Data, Why So Hard?

An anonymous reader writes: A friend of mine asked me how to transfer his data from his old laptop to his new laptop. In particular, he was interested in the big three types of files on most personal computers these days: documents, music, and photos. "I know where I keep all my files, so I just copy them over to where I want them on the new computer, right?" Well, he's right for one of three categories of files: documents. But when I asked him if he was interested in preserving his iTunes playlists, song ratings, and album art or his Picasa photo albums (basically, any of his "metadata"), he gave me the "of course" look. Little did he know the headache that awaited him, none of that information moves when you simply copy or backup files. http://www.techconsumer.com/2007/11/02/transferring-more-than-data-why-so-hard/
The Media

Submission + - An application for Berkeley's Nanotube radio

jmichaelg writes: Hot on the heels of yesterday's article about Berkeley's nanotube radio receiver comes this Los Angeles Times article about John Kanzius, a former radio technician who was diagnosed with cancer. Kanzius, who has no medical background, applied his radio skills to his cancer with the intent of baking the cancer. Between chemotherapy treatments, he built a radio transmitter in his garage. To find the ideal radio receiver, he teamed up with Richard Smalley , the 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner, who was also being treated for cancer. Smalley gave him two vials of nanoparticles which, when heated by Kanzius' radio transmitter, destroyed 100% of cancerous cells in a petri dish. The task now is to design a delivery mechanism based on antibodies that'll transport the particles an in-vivo cancer. Kanzius is listed as a co-author on a peer-reviewed paper to be published in the December issue of Cancer.

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