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Should Dolphins Be Treated As Non-Human Persons? 785

Hugh Pickens writes "Dolphins have long been recognized as among the most intelligent of animals, but now the Times reports that a series of behavioral studies suggest that dolphins, especially species such as the bottlenose, have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self, can think about the future and are so bright that they should be treated as 'non-human persons.' 'Many dolphin brains are larger than our own and second in mass only to the human brain when corrected for body size,' says Lori Marino, a zoologist at Emory University. 'The neuroanatomy suggests psychological continuity between humans and dolphins and has profound implications for the ethics of human-dolphin interactions.' For example, one study found that dolphins can recognize their image in a mirror as a reflection of themselves — a finding that indicates self-awareness similar to that seen in higher primates and elephants. Other studies have found that dolphins are capable of advanced cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, artificial language comprehension, and complex social behavior, indicating that dolphins are far more intellectually and emotionally sophisticated than previously thought. Thomas White, professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University, has written a series of academic studies suggesting dolphins should have rights, claiming that the current relationship between humans and dolphins is, in effect, equivalent to the relationship between whites and black slaves two centuries ago."

Google Launches Nexus S Phone In UK and US 202

siliconbits writes "Google has made its second bid for a slice of the mobile phone market, with the launch of its Nexus S phone. The Samsung-built device comes less than 12 months after the launch of the firm's Nexus One, built by HTC, which failed to win over many consumers. The Nexus S will initially be launched in the UK and US, and will be available 'from the end of the month'."

TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure 393

mvdwege writes "The popular wiki TV Tropes, a site dedicated to the discussion of various tropes, clichés and other common devices in fiction has suddenly decided to put various of its pages behind a 'possibly family-unsafe' content warning, apparently due to pressure by Google withdrawing its ads. What puzzles me most is the content that is put behind this warning. TV Tropes features no explicit sexual content, and no explicit violence. It does of course discuss these things, as is its remit, but without actual explicit depictions. In fact, something as relatively innocuous as children being raised by two females, whatever the reason are put behind the content warning, even if the page itself doesn't take a stand on the issue, merely satisfying itself by describing the occurence of this in fiction."

MS Design Lets You Put Batteries In Any Way You Want 453

jangel writes "While its strategy for mobile devices might be a mess, Microsoft has announced something we'll all benefit from. The company's patented design for battery contacts will allow users of portable devices — digital cameras, flashlights, remote controls, toys, you name it — to insert their batteries in any direction. Compatible with AA and AAA cells, among others, the 'InstaLoad' technology does not require special electronics or circuitry, the company claims."
The Internet

First Non-Latin TLDs Go Online Today 302

eldavojohn writes "ICANN today switched on the country code top level domains for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, which are the first non-Latin TLDs available and are also fully readable right to left. Slashdot does not support them but you can find the TLDs in the BBC article. ICANN said it had 21 more requests for TLDs in 11 different languages. A quick note — if you do not have the language packs installed, you may experience unpredictable browser behavior in the URL bar. Right now countries like China and Thailand have implemented workarounds to achieve the same effect."

Google Nexus Rumored To Cost $530 Or $180 w/Plan 284

wkurzius writes "The new Google phone, the Nexus One, is rumored to cost $530 unlocked and will work on any GSM network. A subsidized version is also available for $180 and will get you a T-Mobile Even More Individual 500 Plan for 2-years with a $350 termination fee. Access to the phone is supposed to be invite only at first, with January 5th being the supposed release date."

Danish Expert Declares Vinland Map Genuine 210

MBCook writes "A Danish conservation expert named Rene Larsen has finished a 5-year study of the infamous Vinland Map and declared it genuine. 'All the tests that we have done over the past five years — on the materials and other aspects — do not show any signs of forgery,' he said at the press conference. He and his team studied the ink, the paper, and even insect damage. They believe that the ink, which was discovered in 1972 to contain titanium dioxide and thus supposedly was too new for the map to be genuine, was contaminated when sand was used to dry the ink."

The Technology of Neuromancer After 25 Years 203

William Gibson's Neuromancer was first published 25 years ago. Dr_Ken writes with an excerpt from an article at MacWorld that delves into the current state of some of the technology that drives the book: "'Neuromancer is important because of its astounding predictive power. Gibson's core idea in the novel is the direct integration of man and computer, with all the possibilities (and horrors) that such a union entails. The book eventually sold more than 160 million copies, but bringing the book to popular attention took a long time and a lot of word-of-mouth. The sci-fi community, however, was acutely aware of the novel's importance when it came out: Neuromancer ran the table on sci-fi's big three awards in 1984, winning the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and the Nebula Award.'"
Social Networks

Submission + - Pirate Bay Sued Over Simpson Book

imscarr writes: Ronald Goldman's father is taking legal action to stop a file-sharing Web site from posting O.J. Simpson's book, "If I Did It," about the slaying of his son and Simpson's ex-wife. Fred Goldman, who has the rights to the best-selling book, claims he has lost at least $150,000 since the popular Swedish site The Pirate Bay made the book available for free downloads, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gwXXBU9-InHgXXvu-dN7FNTkDe_gD8T7RRNG0
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - AT&T CEO Confirms 3G iPhone in 2008 (informationweek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told reporters at a meeting Thursday night that a 3G capable iPhone would be available "next year". There had previously been no confirmation of this rumor, but this may have stolen some of the thunder from the upcoming MacWorld in January.

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