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Large, Slow Airships Could Move Buildings 184

Algorithmnast writes "The Economist has a short article on using big, slow-moving airships to move large objects without the need to dismantle them. The company mentioned, Skylifter, refers to the lifting ship as an 'aerial crane,' not a Thor weapon. It could easily help move research labs to new parts of the Antarctic, or allow a Solar Tower to be inserted into an area that's difficult to drive to, such as a mesa in New Mexico."

Study Claims $41.5 Billion In Portable Game Piracy Losses Over Five Years 316

Gamasutra reports that Japan's Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association conducted a study to estimate the total amount of money lost to piracy on portable game consoles. The figure they arrived at? $41.5 billion from 2004 to 2009. Quoting: "CESA checked the download counts for the top 20 Japanese games at what it considers the top 114 piracy sites, recording those figures from 2004 to 2009. After calculating the total for handheld piracy in Japan with that method, the groups multiplied that number by four to reach the worldwide amount, presuming that Japan makes up 25 percent of the world's software market. CESA and Baba Lab did not take into account other popular distribution methods for pirated games like peer-to-peer sharing, so the groups admit that the actual figures for DS and PSP software piracy could be much higher than the ¥3.816 trillion amount the study found."

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."

Comment online vs real life (Score 1) 446

I have two Twitter accounts and two Facebook ones. One with a fake name that I use for trolling, harassing celebrities, attempting to get laid and using applications that my real-life friends would scoff at me for. And one in my real name with very minimal personal info and nothing that could be damaging should a prospective employer search me out, simply to see what old mates are up to, stay 'in the loop' with my real life friends and receive PMs, (no one I know seems to use email any more. I always reply via gmail though - better the devil you know...) event invitations and stuff.

You deserve everything you get if you are naive enough to think that free social networking sites aren't going to use whatever information you disclose, however transparent their privacy policy is.

Submission + - Depeche Mode's Martin Gore subpoenaed in WoW Suit (

slick_shoes writes: Having unsuccessfully tried to sue (among others) Microsoft for "undue stress" over a broken Xbox 360 and Sony for banning him from the PSN, therefore violating his First Amendment rights in the past, Erik Estavillo has now filed suit against the makers of World of Warcraft. He is claiming that the game is a "harmful virtual environment" and its developers follow "sneaky and deceitful practices". Despite this, Estavillo admits he "relies on videogames heavily for the little ongoing happiness he can achieve in this life".

More bizzarely, he has subpoenaed the guitarist of UK gloom merchants Depeche Mode as an 'expert witness on melancholy' as "he himself has been known to be sad, lonely, and alienated, as can be seen in the songs he writes". Winona Ryder's love of Catcher in the Rye has also landed her with a subpoena to testify about "how alienation in the book can tie to alienation in real life videogames such as World of Warcraft.".

Estavillo is seeking $1m in damages.


Submission + - Star Trek Technology Is Today ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The gadgets that emerged in Star Trek on TV 40 years ago are not so futuristic anymore, as movie goers to the latest Star Trek movie, clutching their cell phones, demonstrate. While the possibility of warp drive was discussed on Slashdot the other day (, there's a lot more technology that became real ( a "tricorder" has become a bloodless medical probe, the no-kill phaser is reincarnated as the military's Active Denial System, and the universal translator is in use as the "Phraselator" used by troops in Iraq since 2003.

McDonald's UK CEO Blames Video Games for Childhood Obesity 321

BoingBoing is reporting that Steve Eaterbrook, McDonald's UK CEO, says that video games are leading the charge in obesity. He does have the decency to at least admit fatty foods are a part of the problem, but points the finger at interactive games for keeping kids indoors and not out burning off energy. "According to The Times, McDonalds UK is 'on the brink of its best year for two decades'. The firm has enjoyed six per cent like-for-like sales growth in the last year. More than 88 million visits were made to McDonald's restaurants last month, up 10 million on the previous year." Don't forget, we have known for ages that video games make us fat and mean.

Submission + - Researchers Simulate Rat's Brain ( 3

slick_shoes writes: Researchers working on the 'Blue Brain' project have developed a computer simulation of the neocortical column — the basic building block of the neocortex, the higher functioning part of our brains — of a two-week-old rat, and it behaves exactly like its biological counterpart. The machine that simulates this column is an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer. Project director Henry Markram believes that with the state of technology today, it is possible to build an entire rat's neocortex. From there, it's cats, then monkeys and finally, a human brain.

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