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Businesses

Study Says Fracking is Safe In Theory But Often Not In Practice 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the are-you-sure-you're-using-that-right? dept.
First time accepted submitter chadenright writes "A university study asserts that the problems caused by the gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' arise because drilling operations aren't doing it right. The process itself isn't to blame, according to the study, released today by the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin."
Education

School Sends Child's Lunch Home After Determining it Unhealthy 554

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-lunch-for-you dept.
halfEvilTech writes "A North Carolina mom is irate after her four-year-old daughter returned home late last month with an uneaten lunch the mother had packed for the girl earlier that day. But she wasn't mad because the daughter decided to go on a hunger strike. Instead, the reason the daughter didn't eat her lunch is because someone at the school determined the lunch wasn't healthy enough and sent it back home. What was wrong with the lunch? That's still a head-scratcher because it didn't contain anything egregious: a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice. But for the inspector on hand that day, it didn't meet the healthy requirements."
Books

A Memory of Light To Be Released January 8, 2013 228

Posted by timothy
from the photonic-release dept.
First time accepted submitter Hotawa Hawk-eye writes "Tor Books has announced that the release date for the final volume in the Wheel of Time series of books, A Memory Of Light, will be January 8, 2013. [Barring a Mayan apocalypse, of course.] The fantasy series, started by Robert Jordan and continued by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's death, will span 15 books and over 10,000 pages."
Earth

US Seismologist Testifies Against Scientists In Quake-Prediction Case 189

Posted by timothy
from the perfect-certainty-isn't-an-option dept.
ananyo writes with this snippet from Nature (for which this earlier Nature article is also background): "'The courthouse in L'Aquila, Italy, yesterday hosted a highly anticipated hearing in the trial of six seismologists and one government official indicted for manslaughter over their reassurances to the public ahead of a deadly earthquake in 2009. .... During the hearing, the former head of the Italian Department of Civil Protection turned from key witness into defendant, and a seismologist from California criticized Italy's top earthquake experts.' Lalliana Mualchin, former chief seismologist for the Department of Transportation in California, criticized the Italian analysis, which he says was based on a poor model. If the court agrees with Mualchin, the defendants could face up to 12 years in jail."
Businesses

Double Fine Adventure Will Be Available DRM Free For IOS, Android 117

Posted by timothy
from the wishing-for-an-open-source-sunset-clause dept.
New submitter Garth Smith writes "Tim Schafer has a video update for his crowdsourced project, Double Fine Adventure. Because of the nearly $2 million in funding, the budget is now large enough for language translations, voice acting, music, and more platforms. The XBox and PS3 are absent. I wonder what would the chances of a DRM-free release have been if funding had come from a traditional publisher?"
Databases

Oracle Claims Dramatic MySQL Performance Improvements 168

Posted by timothy
from the breathing-in-those-sulfurous-fumes dept.
New submitter simula67 writes "Oracle wins back some karma from the open source community by releasing MySQL cluster 7.2 with ambitious claims of 70x performance gains. The new release is GPL and claims to have processed over 1 billion queries per minute. Readers may remember the story about Oracle adding commercial extensions to MySQL."
Businesses

Aderall Or Nothing: Anatomy of the Great Amphetamine Drought 611

Posted by timothy
from the subtractitall-oddly-much-less-popular dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "To prevent hoarding of materials and their potential for theft and illicit use, the Drug Enforcement Agency sets quotas for the chemical precursors to drugs like Adderall. The DEA projects the need for amphetamine salts, then produces and distributes the materials to pharmaceutical companies so that they can produce their drugs. But with the number of prescriptions for Adderall jumping 13 percent in the past year, pharmaceutical companies claim that the quotas are no longer sufficient for supplying Americans with their Adderall. The DEA contends that their quotas do, in fact, meet demands, and that any shortages arise from pharmaceutical companies selectively producing only certain, typically name-brand and more expensive versions of ADHD medications."
Books

Booktype: An Open Source, Cross-Platform Approach To E-Book Publishing 87

Posted by timothy
from the no-presses-to-stop dept.
Despite Apple's protestation that the iBooks Author EULA was misinterpreted, the idea of a book publishing system that could be used to grab copyright of the prepared text is annoying — like the sort of EULAs that seem to give photo-sharing sites unlimited re-use rights of hosted personal photos. New submitter rohangarg points out a publishing system which shouldn't have such problems, and is nicely cross-platform besides: "A new open-source digital writing and publishing platform has been launched by non-profit group Sourcefabric. Booktype allows for collaborative editing and writing of books that can be easily outputted to on-demand print services and eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle, Nook, iPad, and more with a few simple clicks. Booktype source can be found here." The online demo also leads to some downloadable examples (as PDFs).
Censorship

Library.nu and Ifile.it Shut Down 336

Posted by timothy
from the no-books-for-you dept.
Ralph Spoilsport writes "A coalition of 17 publishing companies has shut down library.nu and ifile.it, charging them with pirating ebooks. This comes less than a month after megaupload was shut down, and SOPA was stopped. If the busting of cyberlockers continues at this pace and online library sharing dismantled, this under-reported story may well be the tip of a very big iceberg — one quite beyond the P&L sheets of publishers and striking at basic human rights as outlined in the contradictions of the UN Charter. Is this a big deal — a grim coalition of corporate power? Or just mopping up some scurvy old pirates? Or somewhere in between?" Adds new submitter roaryk, "According to the complaint, the sites offered users access to 400,000 e-books and made more than $11 million in revenue in the process. The admins, Fidel Nunez and Irina Ivanova, have been tracked down using their PayPal donation account, which was not anonymous. Despite the claims of the industry the site admins say they were barely able to cover the server costs with the revenue."
Android

HP CEO Says Google-Motorola Deal Could Close-Source Android 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the yeah-well-that's-just-like-your-opinion-man dept.
swandives writes "WebOS could be an important player in the long run as an open-source mobile OS, because Android could become closed source with Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility, Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said during a speech at the HP Global Partner conference in Las Vegas. It may take up to four years for the complete impact of webOS to be felt, Whitman said. HP has said it would release WebOS — originally developed by Palm for phones and tablets — to the open-source community. The company bought Palm in 2010 but late last year announced it will not make devices that use the software."
The Internet

SEC Decides Telcos Must Give Shareholders a Vote On Net Neutrality 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-for-a-vote dept.
suraj.sun writes with a link about a SEC decision that telecommunications companies must give shareholders an annual vote on wireless net-neutrality resolutions. "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has told AT&T and other telecommunications companies they must include a resolution supporting wireless net-neutrality in annual shareholder votes. In a letter posted on the SEC website, the agency asserted that net neutrality — the idea that Internet service providers must treat traffic equally — has become a significant policy consideration and can no longer be excluded from shareholder ballots. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel must now grant shareholder requests for votes this year on resolutions that would support net neutrality. In view of the sustained public debate over the last several years concerning net neutrality and the Internet and the increasing recognition that the issue raises significant policy considerations, we do not believe that AT&T may omit the proposal from its proxy materials, the SEC said in the Feb. 10 letter."
Music

Sony Raises Price of Whitney Houston's Music 30 Minutes After Death 507

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-not-right-but-it's-okay dept.
First time accepted submitter M.Nunez writes "Just 30 minutes after Whitney Houston died, Sony Music raised the price of Houston's greatest hits album, 'Ultimate Collection,' on iTunes and Amazon. Many technologists, including chairman of the NY Tech Meetup Andrew Rasiej, suggests that Sony should be boycotted for the move. In a tweet, Rasiej wrote, 'Geez Sony raised price on Whitney Houston's music 30 min after death was announced. #FAIL...We should boycott Sony.'"
Open Source

Why Open APIs Fall Far Short of Open Source 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-due-credit dept.
itwbennett writes "451 Group analyst Jay Lyman opined in a LinuxInsider column that because of open APIs, 'non-open source software is often open enough.' Not so, says ITworld blogger Brian Proffitt. Sure, open APIs are an easy way for a small developer to 'plug into a big software ecosystem,' but it's a trap. 'If open APIs are the only connector to a software project, the destiny of that code lies solely in the hands of the owners,' says Proffitt. 'Which means that anyone connecting into the application will have to deal with the changes imposed from the top down.'"
Open Source

The Unspoken Rules of Open Source Hardware 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the actions-speak-louder-than-words dept.
ptorrone writes "MAKE Magazine's article talks about some of the {unspoken} rules most/all the open-source hardware community seems to follow. Why? Because the core group of people who've been doing what is collectively called 'open source hardware' know each other — they're friends, they overlap and compete in some ways, but they all work towards a common goal: sharing their works to make the world a better place and to stand on each others shoulders and not each others toes : ) There will be some folks who agree strongly with what they've outlined as 'unspoken rules,' others, will completely disagree with many points too. That's great, it's time we start this conversation!"
Earth

In Hot Water: The Effects of Even Modern Nuke Plants On Water 303

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fish-hate-people dept.
Harperdog writes "Dawn Stover has a fascinating article on the newest nuclear power plant to get approval: the Blue Castle Project on the Green River in Utah. Stover details the enormous damage done by nuke plants on local water systems, and points out that the 1-2 punch of climate change and cooling systems is already taking a toll on the ability of nuclear power plants to operate, because in summer the water they use to cool systems with is too hot even before they use it (Tennessee Valley Authority is the example). "

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