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Submission + - Dinosaur extinction may have been caused by two major events

ACXNew writes: The most-studied mass extinction in Earth history happened 65 million years ago and is widely thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. New University of Washington research indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.
The well-known second event is believed to have been triggered by an asteroid at least 6 miles in diameter slamming into Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. But new evidence shows that by the time of the asteroid impact, life on the seafloor – mostly species of clams and snails – was already perishing because of the effects of huge volcanic eruptions on the Deccan Plateau in what is now India..

Submission + - Can You Quit Google? (

itwbennett writes: "Quitting Google isn't easy, but if you value your privacy, it might be well worth doing. Tom Henderson spent 7 days freeing himself from Google's tentacles. Here's how he did it, starting with purging Google's traces from your browser, computer, and phone, and then finding alternatives for all those services he'd come to rely on."

Submission + - Linux Desktop: Business Desktop BAD, Consumer Desktop TERRIBLE 2

mourngrym1969 writes: Not a scoop, but a discussion. I hate Windows, but like everyone else, use it every day. Tried (again, time number six over the last 15 years), to run linux exclusively for both work and home use. I even allowed myself the installation of VMWare Workstation and was willing to run some essentials in Windows 7 VM through Unity. But after two weeks, I am booted over to Windows again. Why? Drivers, printing, TV on my PC, NETFLIX, Visio, Adobe software (not flash), VMWare Workstation Stability, NVidia Drivers, Multimonitor support (rotation), composite desktop, etc, etc, etc... Why have we not been able to get our act together and get a usable linux desktop (working 'well' on one monitor is not sufficient)?

Submission + - Firefox Finally Gets Gstreamer Multimedia Backend! (

An anonymous reader writes: So what does this mean? I believe not much yet for the enduser, at least this is a very nice infrastructure change to enable stuff like hardware acceleration e.g. on mobile devices. And from my point of view also a good separation: Do one thing and do it well. Let gstream do the multimedia stuff and Mozilla all that compositing.

Submission + - Relinquishing copyright on death

dadioflex writes: Whitney Houston's death prompted Sony to make a mistake that would have seen their profits from her album sales quadruple, or more.

I was browsing wikipedia, looking at comics and their creators, and saw that Dave Sim has made arrangements for the copyright to his revolutionary Cerebus comics to be transferred to the Public Domain on his death.

My initial thought was "wow", an already cool guy got a lot cooler.

So I want to Ask Slashdot, have any other creators arranged to give away, or given away, the copyright to their works to the vast mass of humanity when they die?

Submission + - Chromium-Based Remixes Worth Trying (

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp takes an in-depth look at six Chromium-based spinoffs that bring privacy, security, social networking, and other interesting twists to Google's Chrome browser. 'When is it worth ditching Chrome for a Chromium-based remix? Some of the spinoffs are little better than novelties. Some have good ideas implemented in an iffy way. But a few point toward some genuinely new directions for both Chrome and other browsers.'"

Submission + -'s new DRM flash content prevents Linux (

DougDot writes: "On or about January 15, Amazon apparently re-encoded much of their instant video content so that a new DRM-enabled flash player is required to view it. When Amazon customers selects one of the newly encoded video selections via browser, the message "Updating video..." appears with a yellow status bar.

The update then fails for any Linux user running a 64-bit system for which the 64-bit version of the Adobe flash player had been installed. On Linux Mint and Ubuntu systems, this 64-bit version of the flash player is installed by

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer

After about a week and a half of receiving apologies, but no solution from Amazon, one Linux user presented a partial work-around on this Amazon discussion forum:

Here's the partial work-around (thanks, Andy)

Doug, it runs fine on my Mint 12 after HAL is installed. My OpenSuSe box never had the problem, and I just simply can't do anything on my BSD box (understandably). My guess is that Amazon changed the streaming player to probe something in your hardware like MAC address for DRM, but Flash Access uses HAL to accomplish this task although HAL has been obsolete for Debian-derived distros for some time now.

I think your player update is failing before it completes, correct? You don't see the error message everyone sees here ("your player could not be updated"). You can follow the steps below but since I don't know how your system is configured, please perform them at your own risk.

1. Remove/rename .adobe and .macromedia from your home directory cd mv .adobe adobe.old mv .macromedia macromedia.old

2. Remove Flash sudo apt-get --purge remove adobe-flashplugin

3. Install Flash sudo apt-get install adobe-flashplugin

4. Verify you have the latest Flash by going to:

5. Test with your Firefox or Chrome (not Epiphany)

Please make sure your hald is running.

— The problem with this work-around is that it removes the 64-bit version of the Adobe flash plugin, and installs the 32-bit version which performs horribly on 64-bit Mint/Ubuntu installations. The 32-bit version of the player is not accelerated, and the video is jerky/stop-action.

Lot's of people are complaining that they cannot play new video content for which they have complained. All because Amazon decided to deploy DRM enabled content without properly testing on Linux.

I'm curious if Amazon will fix this, or just let us 64-bit Linux users hang out to dry."

The Internet

Submission + - Petition to investigate the MPAA for bribery (

An anonymous reader writes: From TorrentFreak:
The public has started a petition asking the White House to investigate comments made by MPAA CEO Chris Dodd a few days ago on Fox News. Closing a tumultuous week of wide protest against PIPA and SOPA – two MPAA backed anti-piracy bills – Dodd threatened to stop the cash-flow to politicians who dare to take a stand against pro-Hollywood legislation. Clear bribery, the petition claims, and already thousands agree.


Submission + - While Being Held without Bail, Megaupload drops Un (

bs0d3 writes: Not so long ago, a legal video was taken down by repetitive DMCA requests to youtube. In response, megaupload filed a lawsuit against Universal Music. This past week, megaupload was raided by US authorities and forced offline, which is costing megaupload millions of dollars in damage. Today; while in US custody, megaupload has mysteriously dropped their lawsuit against Universal Music.

Submission + - NASA: Solar blasts decreased orbital debris in 201 (

coondoggie writes: "While high-levels of solar activity is not good news for satellites, GPS and electronics they can have one benefit: such massive solar bursts can decrease the amounts of dangerous orbital debris. In fact the NASA Orbital Debris Program Office today said the increase in solar activity over the past year actually decreased the number of cataloged debris in Earth orbit during 2011. This increase in the Sun's activity, known as the solar maximum is expected to peak next year."

Submission + - Microsoft supporting SOPA/PIPA with Bing/MSN cover

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft appears to be passively endorsing the SOPA legislation through selective news coverage of the issue. While CNN, BBC, and AlJazeera all consider ths front-page worthy, Bing News is almost silent on the issue. MSNBC is careful to only refer to the bills as "anti-piracy legislation". MSN is running a poll (pic) about the protest on their front page with "I like it" "I hate it" "I hate it" "No opnion" as the four choices.

Submission + - SOPA Still Alive and Breathing (

An anonymous reader writes: Lamar Smith, author of the Stop Online Piracy Act, says that the bill is far from dead. After the congressional retreat is over in February, SOPA will return to the house floor. Smith says he will be working in a bipartisan fashion to pass this piece of...legislation, what changes can we expect to see?

Submission + - Lamar Smith & Bosses Call Wikipedia Blackout A (

sfcrazy writes: Lamar Smith, the sponsor of SOPA, was elected to represent the people, but he is doing a nice job representing the MPAA. Not only he is he 'ignoring' the opposition of the 'people' against SOPA and PIPA, but also he is mocking organisations like Wikipedia. Now this is what Lamar has to say about Wikipedia's blackout against his black bill:

“It is ironic that a website dedicated to providing information is spreading misinformation about the Stop Online Piracy Act," Smith said in a statement on Tuesday. "The bill will not harm Wikipedia, domestic blogs or social networking sites. This publicity stunt does a disservice to its users by promoting fear instead of facts. Perhaps during the blackout, Internet users can look elsewhere for an accurate definition of online piracy."

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