k2backhoe writes: Here is an interesting article claiming, counter-intuitively, that hitting pure water with infra-red laser light can cool it. The Russians hypothesize that this particular wavelength excites a thin layer of water on the surface to become excited and bind endothermically with adjacent H2O. This drops the surface temperature by 2K for a few minutes. Before getting too excited about a new kitchen appliance that does for the fridge what the microwave did for the oven, remember this is was also the Russions that gave us polywater (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywater) in the late 60s.
1080bogus writes: "Handgun-wielding robbers who burst into a video-game store in Harford County over the weekend made off with more than just cash. They also stole more than 100 copies of the highly anticipated "Call of Duty: Black Ops." The Black Ops games stolen Saturday night had been set aside for sale on Tuesday, said Monica Worrell, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office. Fans across the country have pre-ordered copies to avoid missing out." I'm glad I bought mine through Steam. I don't have to worry about burglars or lines.
coondoggie writes: The US Department of Justice this week said it was looking to boost the research and development of technology that could significantly bolster new forensic tools for digital evidence gathering. The DoJ's research and development arm, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) said it was particularly interested in tools targeting forensic tools for mobile cellular devices; cloud computing environments; VoIP communication and vehicle computer systems.
An anonymous reader writes: Ars Technicareports that "US Representative Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA) today announced the Freedom And Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007 (FAIR USE Act). The bill's aim is to help put an end to the madness circulating around the general imbalance that has befallen copyright in recent years."
from the chicken-or-the-ogg dept.
nadamsieee refers us to a piece up at Wired on the fallout from Microsoft's recent courtroom loss to Alcatel-Lucent over MP3 patents. From the article: "Alcatel-Lucent isn't the only winner in a federal jury's $1.52 billion patent infringement award against Microsoft this week. Other beneficiaries are the many rivals to the MP3 audio-compression format... Now, with a cloud over the de facto industry standard, companies that rely on MP3 may finally have sufficient motivation to move on. And that raises some tantalizing possibilities, including a real long shot: Open-source, royalty-free formats win."
from the keeping-software-out-from-under-lock-and-key dept.
uglyduckling writes "The British Government has issued a response to a recent petition calling for 'the Prime Minister to make software patents clearly unenforcible'. The answer is reassuring but perhaps doesn't go far enough, and gives no specific promises to bring into line a patent office that grants software patents (according to the petition) 'against the letter and the spirit of the law'. The Gowers Review that it references gives detailed insight into the current British position on this debate, most interestingly recommending a policy of 'not extending patent rights beyond their present limits within the
areas of software, business methods and genes.'"
"The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a high school teacher from Arizona sentenced to 200 years in jail for possessing child pornography. [..] The state of Arizona argued each image of child abuse was a separate crime so the sentences had to run consecutively."
Class Act Dynamo writes: "The United States Supreme Court today refused to hear the appeal of a high school teacher who was sentenced to over 200 years in prison for possessing thousands of child pornography images in Arizona. The justices declined without comment to hear the case. His attorneys argued that the sentence (10 years per image for the 20 images presumably leading to indictment) was disproportionate to the crime. I put this under Your Rights Online even though those rights really don't include possessing child pornography. However, what do Slashdotters think? Was the punishment appropriate for the crime? Think of the children!..but not in the way that this teacher apparently was."