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Earth

Submission + - Realtime GPS weather forecasts via Google Maps (clickforweather.com)

Juneau writes: Check out GPS Solution's new way to get your weather forecast off the web. Get accurate and high resolution weather forecasts for any location — your home, favorite remote camping spot, a mountain top you plan to climb, or an offshore oil rig. Just use Google maps to navigate, click, and you see a 3-day forecast for wind, precipitation, and pressure. The forecast is generated with the "WRF" model — a joint development by NCAR and NOAA — it is run at 12 km horizontal and 30-min temporal resolution. The forecast uses GPS data — information based on the delay of the GPS signals in the atmosphere due to atmospheric water vapor — which helps improve the precipitation forecasts.

A cool feature of this web site is that you can generate links for specific locations which allows you to check the forecast for this location anytime with a single click. Click through for examples of Microsoft HQ, Google HQ, and the top of Mount Rainier.

It takes about a second to generate the forecast plots so you have to be a little patient. Also, presently forecasts are available only for the continental US and Eastern Asia — the language will change depending from where you click. Europe and other regions should be added soon.

Music

Submission + - SPAM: Tiny music files almost as good as MP3 ones

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Researchers at the University of Rochester have encoded a 20-second clarinet solo in a file smaller than a kilobyte. This is about 1,000 times smaller than regular MP3 files. But the sound is almost as good according to the scientists. The system works by 'recreating in a computer both the real-world physics of a clarinet and the physics of a clarinet player.' The researchers are also working on modeling other instruments and on a graphical user interface allowing 'normal' people to play music without almost any training. However, in our years of increased bandwidth and larger memories for our gadgets, I doubt that this music reduction in size can lead to a successful commercial product. But read more for additional details and references about this project which illustrates that 'small is beautiful.'"
The Internet

Time Warner Cable to Test Tiered Bandwidth Caps 591

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "According to a leaked internal memo, Time Warner Cable is testing out tiered bandwidth caps in their Beaumont, TX division as a way to fairly balance the needs of heavy users against the limited amount of shared bandwidth cable can provide. The plan is to offer various service tiers with bandwidth fees for overuse, as well as a bandwidth meter customers can use to help them stay within their allotment. If it works out, they will consider a nation-wide rollout. Interestingly, the memo also claims that 5% of subscribers use over 50% of the total network bandwidth."
The Courts

Submission + - Type host -l, pay $50,000+ and perhaps go to jail (spamsuite.com) 1

Joe Wagner writes: "In a written judgment that has only become public today, anti-spammer David Ritz has lost the SLAPP lawsuit filed by Jerry Reynolds filed for running "unauthorized" DNS lookups on their servers. Knowing "commands are not commonly known to the average computer user" can get you into serious peril in some judges' court rooms.

I kid you not. The Judge ruled that "In all intended uses of a zone transfer, the secondary server is operated by the same party that operates the primary server." The original complaint is here.

Ritz was a thorn in Reynolds' side during the years when Ritz was trying to get the Netzilla/Sexzilla porn spam operation to stop spamming. Reynolds has been quite aggressive in trying to get his past erased from the net (including forged cancel posts). The North Dakota Judge also awarded attorneys fee which could theoretically make the total bill over $500k for doing a domain zone transfer. Reynolds also filed a criminal complaint against Ritz which was on hold pending resolution of this trial.

Here is a literal worst-case scenario of what can happen when a court fails miserably to understand technology. The judge ruled:

Ritz has engaged in a variety of activities without authorization on the Internet. Those activities include port scanning, hijacking computers, and the compilation and publication of Whois lookups without authorization from Network Solutions.
The port scanning/hijacking computers is posting a test message through one of Verizon's machines to prove to Verizon they had an open relay — i.e. posting to 0.verizon.security via the relay a note to Verizon's security saying "What's it going to take to get you to secure this gaping hole in what you call your network," or words to that effect. Verizon apparently had no problem with the demo post and closed the relay.

Take note, for those anti-spammers out there, this Judge is ruling that if you post the whois record for a spammer's domain your are doing a malicious, tortious act.

There is a legal defense fund that was set up for his case. I believe he does not have the resources to appeal and this would be a very bad precedent to stand."

Biotech

Alzheimer's Treatment Mooted 79

aminorex writes "Enbrel (etanercept) has been immediately, markedly, and consistently effective in all Alzheimer's patients, according to a report in Science Daily. The original research article is available online at the Journal of Neuroinflammation web site. "We can see cognitive and behavioral improvement in a patient with established dementia within minutes of therapeutic intervention" comments one Journal editor." "All Alzheimer's patients" may be over-optimistic, but according to the article, though the research it concerns has been heavily focused on a single patient, "many other patients with mild to severe Alzheimer's received the treatment and all have shown sustained and marked improvement."

Feed Engadget: HTC said to be planning 2-3 Android-based handsets next year (engadget.com)

Filed under: Cellphones

There's not exactly a flood of information here, but HTC CEO Peter Chou reportedly let loose a few details about the company's plans during a recent analyst meeting, including the tantalyzing tidbit that it plans to release 2 or 3 Android-based handsets in 2008. While the so-called "Dream" handset (pictured above) would seem to be a sure bet for one of those, Chou apparently didn't drop any hints as to what we might be able to expect from the other handsets. In other HTC news, according to DigiTimes, Chou also said the company plans to release a non-Qualcomm-based 3G handset in the "near future," along with a new user interface that'll be "better than its current TouchFlo technology," with a couple of WiMAX / TD-WCDMA devices thrown in for good measure as well.

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