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Submission + - Language Creation Society says Klingon language isn't covered by copyright

AmiMoJo writes: Earlier this year Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios filed a lawsuit against the makers of a Star Trek inspired fan film, accusing them of copyright infringement. In their amicus brief, which actually uses Klingon language, the Language Creation Society lists many examples of how Klingon has evolved, and it specifically disputes Paramount’s earlier claims that there are no human beings who communicate using the Klingon language. “In fact, there are groups of people for whom Klingon is their only common language. There are friends who only speak Klingon to each other. In fact, at least one child was initially raised as a native speaker of Klingon." As such, Paramount should not be allowed to claim copyright over the entire Klingon language, both in written and spoken form. The language is a tool for people to communicate and express ideas, something people should be allowed to do freely under U.S. law, LCS argues.

Paramount's copyright claims have already started to having a chilling effect on Star Trek fan series. Star Trek Continues is currently running a fundraiser campaign to produce more episodes, and in a video message Vic Mignogna, who plays Kirk, mentions that fans have been unwilling to support them due to fears over legal action. The campaign has 5 days to left to go, and the team is trying to reach a reduced goal of $200k, down from the original $300k they were hoping for.
Privacy

Submission + - Disney Wants to Track You With RFID (nbcnews.com) 3

Antipater writes: Disney parks and resorts have long had a system that combined your room key, credit card, and park ticket into a single card. Now, they're taking it a step further by turning the card into an RFID wristband (called a "MagicBand"), tracking you, and personalizing your park experience, targeted-ad style.

"Imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park," wrote Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a blog posting on Monday. "With MyMagic+, guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that’s better for everyone."

Disney does go on to talk about all the things you can opt out of if you have privacy concerns, and the whole system seems to be voluntary or even premium.

Submission + - Anti-drone laser demonstrated in Germany (bbc.co.uk)

metamarmoset writes: Rheinmetall Defense, a German defence and automotive company, have demonstrated a 50kW laser system which can track and shoot down UAV's with a range of 1km.
The company's press release highlights their future plans, including a 60kW system, combining laser systems with automatic cannon fire and a 1kW laser system mounted on a TM-170 armoured personel carrier.

Science

Submission + - Animation to the fore in cancer study

ACXNew writes: There is something called "cancer metastasis" which is the escape and spread of primary tumor cells, a common cause of cancer-related deaths and very poorly understood. When tumor cells break through a blood vessel's wall, the stickiness of the blood tears off the tumor cells and scientists do not know the physical forces involved in the process. Using Active Shape Model , a statistical technique that animators use to create furry monsters, the researchers could compute the fluid forces acting on the cell.
Android

Submission + - Android fragmentation rears its ugly head once again (bgr.com) 2

zacharye writes: Google updated its Android version tracker on Monday, revealing that the latest version of its mobile operating system — Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — has more than doubled its installed base over the past month. Unfortunately, that only carries Google’s current Android build to a 2.9% share of all devices. Combined with Honeycomb, this means that as of March 2nd, just 6.2% of Android devices are now running a modern version of Android. Meanwhile, the bulk of Android devices run the 15-month-old Gingerbread operating system (63.7%) and the second most popular version of the platform is the 23-month-old Froyo OS (23.1%). First unveiled in October 2009 and currently at 6%, Android 2.1 Eclair is still found on nearly as many devices as Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich combined...
NASA

Submission + - NASA's Kepler mission extended for two years (nasa.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: A report just released from NASA's senior review panel recommends extending the Kepler mission, initially for two years. "Kepler is not only a unique source of exoplanet discoveries, but also an organizing and rallying point for exo-planet research. It has enabled remarkable stellar science." The scaled-down budget for the extended mission was broadly expected to include funding only for continued operations and management, with no funding for science. Astronomers have already started seeking private funding to continue their Kepler-related work, through crowd-funding websites like PetriDish and FundaGeek, as well as through the non-profit Pale Blue Dot project.

Submission + - We Can Survive Killer Asteroids — But It Won't Be Easy (wired.com)

dsinc writes: Neil deGrasse Tyson on how we could deal with this very real threat; in 2029 we'll be able to know whether, seven years later, Apophis will miss Earth or slam into the Pacific and create a tsunami that will devastate all the coastlines of the Pacific Rim.
Privacy

Submission + - ACLU: Most US police don't seek warrants before tracking cell phones (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Many law enforcement agencies across the U.S. track mobile phones as part of investigations, but only a minority ask for court-ordered warrants, according to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union. More than 90 law enforcement agencies said they track mobile phones during investigations, but only six reported receiving court-approved warrants after demonstrating that there's probable cause of a crime, according to an ACLU report http://www.aclu.org/protecting-civil-liberties-digital-age/cell-phone-location-tracking-public-records-request based on public information requests filed by the group last year.
IBM

Submission + - IBM to develop telescope data analysis system (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: IBM is developing new data management and analysis technologies for what will be the world's largest radio telescope. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), due to become operational in 2024, will produce so much data that even tomorrow's off-the-shelf computers will have difficulty processing all of it, the company predicted. "This is a research project to find out how to build a computer system," to handle exabytes' worth of data each day, said Ton Engbersen, an IBM researcher on the project. The Netherlands has granted IBM and the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) a five-year grant of $43.6 million to design a system that can ingest the massive amounts of data that SKA will produce.
United States

Submission + - Confidentiality Expires for 1940 Census Records

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "In spring of 1940, the Census Bureau sent out more than 120,000 fact-gatherers, known as "enumerators," to survey the nation's 33 million homes and 7 million farms. Now as the 72 years of confidentiality expires, the National Archives website buckled under the load as the 1940 census records were released and 1.9 million users hit the archives servers in the first four hours the data went public and at one point, the Archives said, its computers were receiving 100,000 requests per second. Data miners will have the opportunity to pick and chip through more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps and other sociological minutiae. What will we learn from this mother lode? The pivotal year 1940 "marked the beginnings of a shift from a depressed peacetime to a prosperous wartime," says David E. Kyvig, author of Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1939. The vast data dump, Kyvig says, will allow historians "to look closely at particular communities and how people within them were doing in terms of employment, income and material comforts." The 1940 census was the first Census that looked deeper into the details of much of American life. "As we see how the country evolved over the subsequent 20 years, where we have aggregate census data ... we ought to be able to see more clearly how government spending bettered everyday life, confirmed Keynesian economic theory and revealed that, before the war, the New Deal did too little, rather than too much, to stimulate the U.S. economy.""
Technology

Submission + - It's all in the eyes for lie detecting computer (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: If the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey taught us anything, it’s that computers know when we’re telling a lie. While that may not actually be the case for most computers in real life, it could be if they’re running a program created by scientists from the University at Buffalo. Building on a previous psychological study, the team produced software that allowed a computer to assess a speaker’s eye movements, to determine whether or not they were telling the truth in a prerecorded conversation. It turns out that the computer was able to correctly able to spot their lies with 82.5% accuracy. According to the researchers, a trained human interrogator only manages a success rate of about 65%.
Iphone

Submission + - World's Creepiest iPhone App Pulled After Outcry 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Ben Grubb reports that an iPhone app that essentially allowed users to stalk women nearby using a location-based social networking service has been pulled from the iTunes app store by its developer after an outcry of criticism including a comment by Gizmodo labelling the "Girls Around Me" app as the "world's creepiest" app and a comment in The New York Times Bits blog, which said it "definitely" won the prize for being "too creepy". The "Girls Around Me" app utilized publicly available data to show a map with women who had checked-in to locations nearby using Foursquare and let users view Facebook information of those ladies if they had tied their Facebook account to their Foursquare account and if their Facebook account privacy settings were lax enough to allow any user to access it. The promotional website used for marketing the app states that the service "helps you see where nearby girls are checking in, and shows you what they look like and how to get in touch, adding "In the mood for love, or just after a one-night stand? Girls Around Me puts you in control! Reveal the hottest nightspots, who's in them, and how to reach them". Foursquare yanked the Girls Around Me app's access to its data, which in turn led to the app's developer removing it from iTunes as it didn't work properly. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the company behind the app defended its creation: "Since the app's launch till last Friday nobody ever raised a privacy concern because, again, it is clearly stated that Girls Around Me cannot show the user more data than [what Foursqure or Facebook] already does.""
Power

Submission + - Bacteria converts carbon dioxide into liquid fuel (extremetech.com) 1

MrSeb writes: "A team at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have genetically engineered a microorganism that converts carbon dioxide into isobutanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol, both of which could be used as a fuel source for cars, or other combustion engines. Called Ralstonia eutropha H16, the bacterium uses electricity to fixate carbon dioxide into alcohols (which are merely carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen arranged in a different order). In theory the hydrogen atoms could be produced by solar panels, but for safety reasons the team instead created formic acid using electricity, and then the bacteria feasts on the formic acid to produce alcohol. Ultimately, what the UCLA researchers have built is an electro-bioreactor that turns electricity into liquid fuel — which in a world that wants to use electricity instead of gasoline, but where the infrastructure just isn’t there yet, this bacterium could be the perfect stepping stone. Imagine a car that converts CO2 into fuel as it drives along, either as a hybrid setup or as the primary power source. It also opens up the possibility of near-infinite fuel cells that could replace lithium-ion batteries."
Space

Submission + - Clocking an Accelerating Universe: First Results from BOSS (scienceworldreport.com)

fishmike writes: "Some six billion light years ago, almost halfway from now back to the big bang, the universe was undergoing an elemental change. Held back until then by the mutual gravitational attraction of all the matter it contained, the universe had been expanding ever more slowly. Then, as matter spread out and its density decreased, dark energy took over and expansion began to accelerate."
Apple

Submission + - Fair Labor Association Releases Foxconn Apple Labor Report (tekgoblin.com)

tekgoblin writes: "The Fair Labor Association has been investigating working condition for workers of Foxconn facilities located in China. The FLA reported that it interviewed some 35,000 workers at Foxconn factories in Guanian, Longhua, and Chengdu. They also reported that of the 35,000 workers they interviewed only 4% of them were under the age of 18 with 16 being the legal working age in China."

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