An anonymous reader writes "The oceanographers aboard RRS Discovery were expecting the winter weather on their North Atlantic research cruise to be bad, but they didn't expect to have to negotiate the highest waves ever recorded in the open ocean. Wave heights were measured by the vessel's Shipborne Wave Recorder, which allowed scientists from the National Oceanography Centre to produce a paper titled 'Were extreme waves in the Rockall Trough the largest ever recorded?' It's that paper, in combination with the first confirmed measurement of a rogue wave (at the Draupner platform in the North Sea), that led to 'a surge of interest in extreme and rogue waves, and a renewed emphasis on protecting ships and offshore structures from their destructive power.'"
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silentbrad writes, with bits and pieces from the Globe and Mail: "A number of Canadian media companies have joined forces to try to shut down a free music website recently launched by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., claiming it threatens to ruin the music business for all of them. The group, which includes Quebecor Inc., Stingray Digital, Cogeco Cable Inc., the Jim Pattison Group and Golden West Radio, believes that CBCmusic.ca will siphon away listeners from their own services, including private radio stations and competing websites that sell streaming music for a fee. The coalition is expected to expand soon to include Rogers Communications Inc. and Corus Entertainment Inc., two of the largest owners of radio stations in Canada. It intends to file a formal complaint with the CRTC, arguing that the broadcaster has no right under its mandate to compete with the private broadcasters in the online music space. ... 'The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing,' said Stingray CEO Eric Boyko, whose company runs the Galaxie music app that charges users $4.99 a month for unlimited listening. 'There is a cost to everything, yet CBC does not seem to think that is true.' ... The companies argue they must charge customers to offset royalty costs which are triggered every time a song is played, while the CBC gets around the pay-per-click problem because it is considered a non-profit corporation. ... Media executives aren't the only ones who have expressed concern. When the CBC service was launched in February, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers said that when it set a flat fees for the more than 100,000 music publishers it represents, it never envisioned a constant stream of free music flooding the Internet."
gurps_npc writes "Robert Krampf, who runs the web site 'The Happy Scientist,' recently wrote in his blog about problems with Florida's Science FCAT. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is an attempt to measure how smart the students are. Where other states have teachers cheating to help students, Florida decided to grade correct answers as wrong. Mr. Krampf examined the state's science answers and found several that clearly listed right answers as wrong. One question had 3 out of 4 answers that were scientifically true. He wrote to the Florida Department of Education's Test Development center. They admitted he was right about the answers, but said they don't expect 5th graders to realize they were right. For this reason they marked them wrong. As such, they were not changing the tests. Note: they wouldn't let him examine real tests, just the practice tests given out. So we have no idea if FCAT is simply too lazy to provide good practice questions, or too stupid to be allowed to test our children."
MrSeb writes "Hot on the heels of the most successful storage mediums of all time — MiniDisc and Zip disks — Sony has announced the Optical Disc Archive, a system that seems to cram up to 30 Blu-ray discs into a single, one-inch-thick plastic cassette, which will have a capacity of between 300GB and 1.5TB. As far as I can tell, the main selling point of the Optical Disc Archive is, just like MiniDisc, the ruggedness of the cassettes. Optical discs themselves are fairly resistant to changes in temperature and humidity, and the cassettes are dust and water resistant. What is the use case for these 1.5TB MiniDiscs, though? In terms of pure storage capacity, tape drives are still far superior (you can store up to 5TB on a tape!) In terms of speed and flexibility, hard drives are better. If you're looking for ruggedness, flash-based storage is smaller, lighter, and can easily survive a dip in the ocean. The Optical Disc Archive might be good as extensible storage for TV PVRs, like TiVo and Sky+ — but as yet, we don't even know the cost of the system or the cassettes, and I doubt either will be cheap."
AstroPhilosopher writes "The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a Thai student who was fined $600,000 for re-selling textbooks. Trying to make ends meet, the student had family members in Thailand mail him textbooks that were made and purchased abroad, which he then resold in the U.S. It's a method many retailers practice every day. 'Discount sellers like Costco and Target and Internet giants eBay and Amazon help form an estimated $63 billion annual market for goods that are purchased abroad, then imported and resold without the permission of the manufacturer. The U.S.-based sellers, and consumers, benefit from the common practice of manufacturers to price items more cheaply abroad than in the United States. This phenomenon is sometimes called a parallel market or grey market.'"
imac.usr writes "The Virginia Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a case brought by a Fairfax County resident alleging that the county's school board members violated the state's Freedom of Information Act. The suit alleges that board members colluded to close an elementary school in the county through rapid exchange of emails with each other. The state's FOIA rules stipulate that such exchanges can not constitute 'virtually simultaneous interaction' and that any assemblage of three or more members constitutes a formal meeting which must be announced. The article notes similar suits are popping up across the country, highlighting one of the difficulties governments face in balancing communication with transparency."
Weezul writes "Paramount's 'Worldwide VP of Content Protection and Outreach' Al Perry has insinuated that Louis CK making $1 million in 12 days means he isn't monetizing. Al Perry asserted that 'copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations, and that even if people like Louis C.K. decide not to do so, that's a choice and not a requirement.' Bonus, Slashdot favorite Jonathan Coulton apparently grossed almost half a million last year."
This is an interview with All Hands Active's Josh Williams. He shows us a project the group is doing in conjunction with Eastern Michigan University's Bright Futures Institute for the Study of Children, Families, and Communities. This is just one project, and maybe not the most exciting one they do, but it's something simple they can (and do) cart around to schools and other remote locations. They use a laser cutter for this simple project, not because it's really needed, Josh says, but because "any excuse to use a laser cutter is a good excuse."
An anonymous reader writes "Google co-founder Sergey Brin has listed three threats to Internet freedom: Facebook, Apple, and governments that censor their citizens. Brin's comments were made to The Guardian: 'The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.'"
mikejuk writes "You can build a computer out of all sorts of things — mechanical components, vacuum tubes, transistors, fluids and ... crabs. Researchers at Kobe University in Japan have discovered that soldier crabs have behaviors suitable for implementing simple logic and hence — with enough crabs — you can achieve a complete computer. The Soldier crab Mictyris guinotae has a swarming behavior that is just right for simple logic gates (PDF). When two crab swarms collide they fuse to make a single swarm — and this is enough to build an OR gate."
An anonymous reader writes "Not being content with the state of open source graphics drivers for Linux, a developer working for Texas Instruments has reverse-engineered his competitor's (Qualcomm) driver and written an open-source Snapdragon driver. With being tainted by legal documents at Texas Instruments, the developer, who is also involved with Linaro, had no other choice but to work on an open source graphics driver for his competitor in his free time. The open source Qualcomm Snapdragon/Adreno driver is called Freedreno."
An anonymous reader writes "Another Mac OS X Trojan has been spotted in the wild; this one exploits Java vulnerabilities just like the Flashback Trojan. Also just like Flashback, this new Trojan requires no user interaction to infect your Apple Mac. Kaspersky refers to it as 'Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a' while Sophos calls it at 'SX/Sabpab-A.'"
Fluffeh writes "The World Bank is taking steps toward greater transparency. It announced recently that it would be instituting a new 'Open Access policy for its research outputs and knowledge products' beginning July 1. The policy's full title is 'World Bank Open Access Policy for Formal Publications,' and the Bank says it will apply to 'manuscripts and all accompanying data sets... that result from research, analysis, economic and sector work, or development practice... that have undergone peer review or have been otherwise vetted and approved for release to the public; and... for which internal approval for release is given on or after July 1, 2012,' as well as the final reports prepared by outside parties for the Bank. Over 2,100 books and papers from 2009-2012 are already available in the repository"
suraj.sun writes "We've seen quite a few Android malware discoveries in the recent past, mostly on unofficial Android markets. There was a premium-rate SMS Trojan that not only sent costly SMS messages automatically, but also prevented users' carriers from notifying them of the new charges, a massive Android malware campaign that may be responsible for duping as many as 5 million users, and an malware controlled via SMS. Ars Technica is now reporting another Android malware discovery made by McAfee researcher Carlos Castillo, this time on Google's official app market, Google Play, even after Google announced back in early February that it has started scanning Android apps for malware. Two weeks ago, a separate set of researchers found malicious extensions in the Google Chrome Web Store that could gain complete control of users' Facebook profiles. Quoting the article: 'The repeated discoveries of malware hosted on Google servers underscore the darker side of a market that allows anyone to submit apps with few questions asked. Whatever critics may say about Apple's App Store, which is significantly more selective about the titles it hosts, complaints about malware aren't one of them.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Canada Post has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Geolytica, which operates GeoCoder.ca, a website that provides several geocoding services including free access to a crowd-sourced, compiled database of Canadian postal codes. Canada Post argues that it is the exclusive copyright holder of all Canadian postal codes and claims that GeoCoder appropriated the database and made unauthorized reproductions. GeoCoder compiled the postal code database by using crowdsourcing techniques, without any reliance on Canada Post's database, and argues that there can be no copyright on postal codes and thus no infringement (PDF)."