VVrath writes "Following Tuesday's story about MuseScore releasing its open source recording of the Goldberg Variations, the Musopen project has released ProTools files from its open source recording project. The final edited recordings are still being worked on but it seems we're living in very interesting times regarding open source classical music."
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ideonexus writes "Republicans in North Carolina are floating a bill that would force planners to only consider historical data in predicting the sea-level rise (SLR) for the state as opposed to considering projections that take Global Warming into account. NC-20, the pro-development lobbying group representing twenty counties along the NC coast, is behind the effort and asserts that the one-meter prediction would prohibit development on too much land as opposed to SLR predictions of 3.9 to 15.6 inches." Scientific American has an acerbic take on the bill.
Gunkerty Jeb writes "Two financial industry groups, the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Financial Services Roundtable, announced on Thursday that they have applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to operate two top level Internet domains, .bank and .insurance, on behalf of the financial services industry. In a published statement, the groups said that they had applied for .bank and .insurance to 'provide the highest security for the millions of customers conducting banking and insurance activities online.' The move comes as the U.S. Congress is set to begin hearings on e-banking fraud on Friday."
judgecorp writes "The up-market London borough of Kensington and Chelsea has lost its chance for BT fast fibre. After residents objected to the ugly fibre cabinets, and the council repeatedly refused permission to install them in historic sites, BT has said the borough will not get its fast BT Infinity product at all. The borough says it doesn't need BT, as Richard Branson's Virgin Media has got it more or less covered."
New submitter ArmageddonLord writes "Small, out-of-pocket cash exchanges are still the stuff of everyday life. In 2010, cash transactions in the United States totaled $1.2 trillion (not including extralegal ones, of course). There will come a day, however, when you'll be able to transfer funds just by holding your cellphone next to someone else's and hitting a few keys — and this is just one of the ways we'll wean ourselves off cash. In 'The Last Days of Cash,' a special report on the future of money, we describe the various ways that technology is transforming how we pay for stuff; how it's boosting security by linking our biometric selves with our accounts; and how it's helping us achieve, at least in theory, an ancient ideal — money that cannot be counterfeited."
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from NetSecurity.org: "A Chinese computer programmer that was charged with stealing the source code of software developed by the U.S. Treasury Department pleaded guilty to the charge on Tuesday. The 33-year-old Bo Zhang, legally employed by a U.S. consulting firm contracted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, admitted that he took advantage of the access he had to the Government-wide Accounting and Reporting Program (GWA) in order to copy the code onto an external hard disk and take it home." Just such things make me think that the default setting for software created with public money should be released with source code anyhow, barring context-specific reasons that it shouldn't be.
Did you know that cockroaches have such large nerves in their legs that you can poke into their legs almost at random and hit a nerve with an electrode so you can stimulate that leg with hip-hop music and and watch it move? And that you can easily order the parts to do this at home or at school? You can. And supplies to perform many other neuroscience experiments, too. Amaze your friends! Learn how neurons work! Gross out squeamish people! All that (and more) is what Backyard Brains is about.
Mark.JUK writes "It's enough to make grown IT workers cry. German cable operator Kabel Deutschland claims to have become the first provider to successfully achieve a real-world internet connection speed of 4700Mbps (Megabits per second) after they hooked up to a local school's test account in the city of Schwerin. The ISP, which usually delivers more modest speeds of up to 100Mbps to home subscribers, used its upgraded 862MHz network, channel bonding, and the EuroDocsis 3.0 standard to achieve the stated performance. But don't expect to get this kind of speed tomorrow; right now there's no demand for it among home users, and you probably couldn't afford the bandwidth anyway." ("No demand at its current price," at least.)
An anonymous reader writes "Eric Stackpole is a NASA engineer and avid outdoorsman. He is the chief designer of a cheap, portable underwater ROV that could change the way we explore our oceans. And he wants to make it so cheap and easy to build that anyone can do it. The device in question is the OpenROV, a small, lasercut contraption powered by several C-cells, a small, cheap computer and a webcam. Right now the price per vehicle is around $500-$600, As with all open source hardware projects, further development will likely drastically reduce the price. Or you can buy a kit for $750 and support the project, once the Kickstarter gets going."
benfrog writes "ISPs and financial-services companies would share data about computers made into botnets under a pilot program announced today by the Obama administration. From the article: 'The voluntary principles announced today include coordinating across sectors and confronting the problem globally. They were developed by the Industry Botnet Group, comprising trade groups including the Business Software Alliance and TechAmerica.' The White House is also backing a bill proposed by Joe Lieberman that would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of cybersecurity of vital systems such as power grids and transportation networks."
New submitter Screen404-O writes "During a radio interview, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell suggested that using unmanned drones to assist police would be 'great' and 'the right thing to do.' 'Increased safety and reduced manpower are among the reasons the U.S. military and intelligence community use drones on the battlefield, which is why it should be considered in Virginia, he says. ... McDonnell added Tuesday it will prove important to ensure the state maintains Americans' civil liberties, such as privacy, if it adds drones to its law enforcement arsenal.' Is this the next step toward militarizing our law enforcement agencies? How exactly can they ensure our privacy, when even the Air Force can't?"
New submitter polyphydont writes "Children of parents with low social status are less able to resist the temptations of technological entertainment, a fact that impedes their education and adds to the obstacles such children face in obtaining financial comfort later in life. As explained in the article, poor parents and their children often waste both their time and money on heavily marketed entertainment systems. Such families often accumulate PCs, gaming consoles and smart phones, but use them only for nonconstructive activities."
We mentioned yesterday Jeremy Hansen's run for the Vermont Senate. There are a lot of political races currently active in the U.S.; what makes Hansen's interesting (besides his background in computer science) is his pledge to use modern communication technology to provide a taste of direct representation within a representative democracy. He makes a claim not many candidates (and probably even fewer elected officials) ever will: "A representative should be elected who would work strictly as an advisor and make all policy and voting decisions based on the will of his or her constituents, regardless of personal opinion." To that end, Hansen says that if he's elected, he'll employ "an accessible online voting platform to allow discussion and voting on bills" for his constituents. He's agreed to answer questions about how such a system could work, and the nature of democracy in today's ultra-connected world, in which distance and communication delays are much smaller than they were even 20 years ago, never mind 200. So ask Hansen whatever questions you'd like about his plans and philosophy; as always, ask as many questions as you please, but please separate them into separate posts, lest ye be modded down.
coondoggie writes "Forty-nine percent of U.S. companies are having a hard time filling what workforce management firm ManpowerGroup calls mission-critical positions within their organizations. IT staff, engineers and 'skilled trades' are among the toughest spots to fill. The group surveyed some 1,300 employers and noted that U.S. companies are struggling to find talent, despite continued high unemployment, over their global counterparts, where 34% of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions."
ananyo writes with information on a new scheme to help uniquely identify authors in the face of ambiguous names. From the article: "In 2011, Y. Wang was the world's most prolific author of scientific publications, with 3,926 to their name — a rate of more than 10 per day. Never heard of them? That's because they are a mixture of many different Y. Wangs, each indistinguishable in the scholarly record. The launch later this year of the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), an identifier system that will distinguish between authors who share the same name, could soon solve the problem, allowing research papers to be associated correctly with their true author. Instead of filling out personal details on countless electronic forms associated with submitting papers or applying for grants, a researcher could also simply type in his or her ORCID number. Various fields would be completed automatically by pulling in data from other authorized sources, such as databases of papers, citations, grants and contact details. ORCID does not intend to offer such services itself; the idea is that other organizations will use the open-access ORCID database to build their own services."