vinsci writes: [...] Congress began debating a bill which would impose a mandatory 15 year federal jail term for leaking internal banking documents. At press time the bill was expected to pass after House Democrats agreed to a clause calling for construction of a firewall that would prevent Americans from accidently reading leaked banking documents published by websites hosted in other countries. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to criticism that the bill would violate the principles of open communication on which the internet was founded by saying "When this bill passes there will be serious jail time for reading leaked documents; if the firewall saves just one child from having to spend time in prison then it's worth it."
vinsci writes: The vital importance of the Amazon rainforest is
well known. As the largest tract of tropical
rainforest in the world, the region has unparalleled
biodiversity. It harbours one in 10 known species in
the world and one in five of all birds. The Amazon
rainforest supports the highest diversity of plant
species on Earth: depending where you are, you
can find from 150 to 900 individual trees per
hectare. The Amazon is also home to a diverse
array of indigenous communities, and its rich
natural resources base provides a source of
livelihoods for many both within and outside the
However, this treasure trove of our planet has not
escaped the gigantic appetite of unsustainable
development. At least 17% of the Amazon forest
has been destroyed, and much more is severely
threatened as the destruction continues. In the
words of the respected Amazon ecologist Dan
Nepstad, “The Amazon is a canary in a coalmine
for the Earth.”
The loss of tropical rainforest has a profound and
devastating impact on the world because
rainforests are so biologically diverse. The 1,220
new species in this report illustrate the richness of
biodiversity found in this the world’s largest
rainforest and river basin, and also how much there
is still to learn about this incredible biome.
The new species were found over the last 10 years, or about one new species every three days.
vinsci writes: R&D company Novel Concepts, Inc. has announced its new IsoSkin heat spreader material that dissipates heat 20 times more effectively than copper, according to the company. The thin (down to 500 microns) IsoSkin spreaders could eventually be used to replace the outer "skin" of portable electronics, thereby eliminating the need for heat sinks and fans that cool notebooks and PCs, ExtremeTech reports.
vinsci writes: "Leaked documents drawn up by the UK Home Office have revealed new plans for surveillance cameras that can see through clothing to be installed in the streets. Those in control of the system would effectively see everyone naked. The proposal has been presented to PM Tony Blair's working group on Security, Crime and Justice."