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Submission + - Electronics Made From Hemp (acs.org)

MTorrice writes: A low-cost chemical process can turn hemp fiber into carbon nanomaterials. Researchers used the materials to make devices called supercapacitors that provide quick bursts of electrical energy. Supercapacitors made with the hemp nanosheets put out more power than commercial devices can.

Submission + - 41% Of San Francisco's Serious Crime Is Gadget Theft (itworld.com) 1

jfruh writes: Between November 2012 and April 2013, 579 people in San Francisco had cell phones or tablets stolen from them — making up 41% of what San Francisco police consider "serious" crimes. A quarter of those robberies involved the display of a knife or a gun. On several days in that period, cell phone thefts were the only serious crimes that occured. San Francisco is a particularly gadget-happy place, of course, but similar numbers come from police departments in Washington D.C. and New York. Smartphones are in some ways the perfect thing to steal: they're small, they have a high resale value, and the people using them are often not paying attention to their surroundings.
Mars

Submission + - NASA:Dry ice snow lands on Mars – no word on school closings (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "NASA said today new data show carbon dioxide-based snow, or what's more commonly known as dry ice, falls on the Red Planet's south pole -the only known such weather in our solar system.
Frozen carbon dioxide requires temperatures of about minus 193 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 125 Celsius) and the new analysis is based on data from observations in the south polar region during southern Mars winter in 2006-2007, identifying a tall carbon dioxide cloud about 300 miles (500 kilometers) in diameter persisting over the pole and smaller, shorter-lived, lower-altitude carbon dioxide ice clouds at latitudes from 70 to 80 degrees south."

Piracy

Submission + - MPAA Sends Out Anti-Piracy Propaganda to US Presidential Candidates (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: MPAA is reportedly sending out a list of key points to the two frontrunner US presidential candidates and even to the folks at congress. The key “talking points” include words of praise for Hollywood and its contribution to the US economy and the thousands of jobs it brings along with it. The document also stresses that Hollywood brings technological innovation. Going back to its original points on copyright strategies, MPAA is trying to promote the need of new copyright protection strategies and need to open door for legislation similar to already shelved Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Books

Submission + - Playing at the World: A Huge New History of Gaming (wired.com)

disconj writes: Over at Wired, Ethan Gilsdorf interviews Jon Peterson, author of the new book Playing at the World . Gilsdorf calls it 'a must read,' though he cautions it 'is not intended for a general audience. It’s a book for geeks, about geeks.' It is apparently an insanely-detailed history of role-playing games and wargames, including everything from Prussian kriegsspiel up to Dungeons & Dragons and the beginning of computer RPGs (but none of that heathen stuff after 1980). Peterson says in the interview that he wanted to write a history of these games 'worthy of the future they are creating.' He apparently spent five years on the project, including unearthing a huge trove of previously-unknown historical documents.

Submission + - Gentle robotic tentacles (newscientist.com)

An anonymous reader writes: George Whitesides and colleagues at Harvard University have been developing a series of "soft" robots with a lighter touch. Their latest creation is a robotic tentacle that can twist around a flower without damaging it.

Submission + - Tenenbaum to SCOTUS: let's get this debate rolling (techdirt.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Joel Tenenbaum has filed a reply brief in support of his petition for certiorari to the US Supreme Court, in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, trying to get the Court to take on the thorny issue of copyright statutory damages in the age of mp3 files and micropayments."
Space

Submission + - Beamed Core Antimatter Propulsion: Engine Design and Optimization (arxiv.org)

Ashenkase writes: A conceptual design for beamed core antimatter propulsion is reported, where electrically charged annihilation products directly generate thrust after being deflected and collimated by a magnetic nozzle. Simulations were carried out using the Geant4 (Geometry and tracking) software toolkit released by the CERN accelerator laboratory for Monte Carlo simulation of the interaction of particles with matter and fields. Geant permits a more sophisticated and comprehensive design and optimization of antimatter engines than the software environment for simulations reported by prior researchers. The main finding is that effective exhaust speeds Ve ~ 0.69c (where c is the speed of light) are feasible for charged pions in beamed core propulsion, a major improvement over the Ve ~ 0.33c estimate based on prior simulations.
Medicine

Submission + - MIT's low-level radiation studies are faulty (sagepub.com)

__aaqpaq9254 writes: MIT came out with a press release yesterday (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/prolonged-radiation-exposure-0515.html) claiming that low-level, prolonged exposure to radiation poses little risk to DNA. However, severe problems seem to exist with their data, including the fact that one study they cite (Muirhead 2009) contradicts their conclusion. Their study also relied on experiments with mice, while the epidemiological studies in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Radiation Issue relied on humans, and a great many more of them. This link is to the Bulletin's Table of Contents; access is free for another week or so.
United States

Submission + - Feds Tie Themselves In Legal Knots Arguing For Domain Forfeiture In Rojadirecta (techdirt.com)

TheGift73 writes: "If you don't recall, among the various domains that ICE and the DOJ seized last year were two domains — rojadirecta.com and rojadirecta.org — held by a Spanish company, Puerto 80. After extended negotiations to try to get the government to return the domain names, Puerto 80 finally sued the government to get them back. Almost immediately after, the government filed to forfeit the domains (seizing property is supposed to be a temporary thing — if the owner wants it back, the government has to file for forfeiture to keep it permanently). Thus there are two semi-parallel issues going on here. Either way, the judge rejected the request to return the domains prior to the trial, and while the appeal on that process is ongoing, back in the district court, the fight over forfeiture has continued.

Last December (actually the same day that the government was handing back the Dajaz1 domain in a similar dispute), the lower court dismissed the forfeiture claim — saying that the government failed to plead willful copyright infringement, which is necessary to show criminal copyright infringement. However, it allowed the government to refile, which it did. The two sides have filed their latest motions in the case, and once again, it appears that they're talking about two totally different things. In fact, reading through the government's filing, it appears that they either have no understanding of the law itself, or have twisted themselves into such a tight knot, that they're not sure how to get out of it."

Japan

Submission + - Japanese researchers transmit 3Gbps using terahertz frequencies (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a new wireless transmission system that works above all currently regulated spectrum frequencies. The new system works at the range of 300GHz to 3THz (terahertz), which is the Far Infrared (FIR) frequencies of the infrared spectrum. That spectrum is currently totally unregulated by any country or standards organization in the world, making it ripe for development of new technologies. So far the Japanese researchers have transmitted data at 3Gbps, but in theory speeds of up to 100Gbps should be possible."

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