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Education

Submission + - Principal urges parents to ban social networks. (networkworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A story of another clueless administrator trying to control what students do outside of class. Anthony Orsini, principal at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, N.J., does not seem to be a reasonable person. From an e-mail sent to parents:

"It is time for every single member of the BF Community to take a stand! There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! ... Let me repeat that — there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None."

Media

Wikipedia's Assault On Patent-Encumbered Codecs 428

An anonymous reader writes "The Open Video Alliance is launching a campaign today called Let's Get Video on Wikipedia, asking people to create and post videos to Wikipedia articles. (Good, encyclopedia-style videos only!) Because all video must be in patent-free codecs (theora for now), this will make Wikipedia by far the most likely site for an average internet user to have a truly free and open video experience. The campaign seeks to 'strike a blow for freedom' against a wave of h.264 adoption in otherwise open HTML5 video implementations."
Microsoft

Microsoft Pushes For Single Global Patent System 495

Xerolooper writes "What would the world be like if everyone could enjoy the same patent system we use in the USA? From the article: 'A senior lawyer at Microsoft is calling for the creation of a global patent system to make it easier and faster for corporations to enforce their intellectual property rights around the world.' They have already attracted opposition from the open-source community and the Pirate Party. According to the article, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will be meeting in Geneva on the 17th and 18th of September."
Businesses

Apple Rumored To Want To Buy Twitter 325

OSXGlitch writes "A post on TechCrunch this morning extends the rumor that Apple wants to buy Twitter with part of their massive cash reserve (estimated at nearly $29B). The Twitterverse is alive with speculation that the price being discussed is $700 million. This goes against reports that Twitter's founders aren't interested in selling, and that they estimate the value of the company at around $250 million. Two questions: How do we all feel about the possibility of Apple owning Twitter? And, can Twitter decline an offer that is nearly three times their estimated worth?"
Censorship

Germany Institutes Censorship Infrastructure 235

An anonymous reader writes "Germany's government has passed a draft law for censorship of domains hosting content related to child pornography. A secret list of IPs will be created by the BKA, Germany's federal police; any attempted access to addresses on this list is blocked, logged (the draft seems to contradict press reports on this point) and redirected to a government page featuring a large stop sign. The law has not yet passed the assembly, however five of the largest ISPs have already agreed to voluntarily submit to the process even without a law in place. Critics argue that with the censorship infrastructure in place, the barrier for blocking access for various other reasons is very low. The fact that the current block can easily be circumvented may lead to more effective technologies to be used in the future. There are general elections as well as elections in several of the states later this year."
The Courts

Has Microsoft's Patent War Against Linux Begun? 644

Glyn Moody writes "Microsoft has filed a suit against TomTom, 'alleging that the in-car navigation company's devices violate eight of its patents — including three that relate to TomTom's implementation of the Linux kernel.' What's interesting is that the intellectual property lawyer behind the move, Horacio Gutierrez, has just been promoted to the rank of corporate vice president at Microsoft. Is this his way of announcing that he intends going on the attack against Linux?"
Earth

Spiraling Skyscraper Farms For a Future Manhattan 403

Mike writes "One of three finalists in this year's Evolo Skyscraper Competition, Eric Vergne's Dystopian Farm project envisions a future New York City interspersed with elegantly spiraling skyscraper farms. The biomorphic structures harness cutting-edge technology to provide the city with its own self-sustaining food source while dynamically altering the fabric of city life."

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