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  1.  (10382.1)
    Busted: BitTorrent Pirates at Sony, Universal and Fox

    With increasing lobbying efforts from the entertainment industry against BitTorrent sites and users, we wondered whether these companies hold themselves to the same standards they demand of others. After some initial skimming we’ve discovered BitTorrent pirates at nearly every major entertainment industry company in the US, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Entertainment and NBC Universal. Busted.
  2.  (10382.2)
    Fantastic... THIS is something I could get behind and invest some time in.

    Eccentric town, Todmorden, growing ALL its own veg
  3.  (10382.3)
    @Seantaclaus - Todmorden is about 10 minutes drive from Hebden Bridge, where I'm moving to early next year. I'll see how good the produce is!
  4.  (10382.4)
    @Cat Vincent - I look forward to hearing about it. :)
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
    Unwatchable is a campaign to raise awareness about hte crimes currently being commited, especially toward women, in Congo :

    WARNING : it's pretty violent and graphic. NSFW and all that.

    I think the idea is "maybe western people will care more if they see it happening to white people"
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011 edited
    @Wood, well after that posting anything else makes you seem like a heartless arsehole.

    That's my cue:

    Burt Rutan and Paul Allen have announced plans for a new spacelaunch system which they claim will revolutionize space travel.

    Shrilk a new synthetic compound modeled on insect carapaces is claimed to be as strong as Aluminium and half the weight.
    It shoudl also be cheap sicne the main feedstock is chitin which is currently a waste product from shrimp and crab processing.
  5.  (10382.7)
    @Wood: I do have to ask you: "Especially toward women"?
  6.  (10382.8)
    Ursula LeGuin's awesome faerytale about Occupy Wall Street.

    Ninety-Nine Weeks: A Fairy Tale
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    @Ben Klumaster : I mean rape, of which women are the first victims. Sorry if my syntax is a bit off, I'm not a native English speaker.

    But yes, men are also raped, tortured and murdered.

    To quote the Unwatchable site (see my link in the previous post) :

    At least 5.5 million people have been tortured and murdered within the Congo since 1998. The Congo is the most dangerous place to be a woman or girl in the World. Men and boys are also targeted and terrorized.

    The most effective tactics used are rape and murder. Using rape as tactic of war is not only physically terrorizing, it is physiologically so damaging that the communities break apart into a form of social chaos, leaving no one to resist or challenge these armed groups.

    This method of war is recognized by the UN as a strategic tactic, Amnesty International has stated that rape is cheaper and more effective than bullets

    Armed groups Ransack villages for men and boys forcing them to kill their mothers and rape their sisters, so they have no one to returned home to. Many of the armed groups are controlled by fear and are occupied by men who have been forced to enlist. The men within these armed groups are unpaid and are often starving – essentially they are armed slaves. in order to survive they loot villages for money and food.
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011

    A eye opener on that topic. Frankly, I think it is somewhat under-reported. Rape of men is no less evil than of women (to be clear: no more, no less), and happens frighteningly frequently.
    • CommentAuthorEmperor
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas - columns of methane bubbles from the depths have been known for a bit now but the sheer scale of the new findings is shocking:

    "Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing," Dr Semiletov said. "I was most impressed by the sheer scale and high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them."

    This has been going through my head since reading that:

    Of course, there may be another explanation - I'm not sure which would be preferable.
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
    Judge approves in courtroom live tweeting

    First expected tweet?

    @JUDGE_OF_YOU: Man, bitch is ca-razy, dude shudda worn a cup. #judgetweet
  7.  (10382.13)

    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2011
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2011
    Here's something interesting--

    The New America Foundation's Open Network Initiative, a US State Department-funded project to build an "Internet in a suitcase" that can be dropped into repressive zones where protesters need network access and the state is trying to take it away. The project -- a very complex piece of technology -- has gotten to the point where it needs a live test, and lucky for the Open Network engineers, Occupy DC is just down the street, and that's a great testbed.

    Awesome technology, but it's very ironic that they're developing this when Congress are trying to censor the internet.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2011
    I think that the best way to build systems for internet access and mass communication in those countries would be to learn from people who've spent years learnign how to avoid government interception of their phone conversations - drug dealers.

    I'd set up a system of burner phones - use a sim for a day then dump it. Auto-relay calls through three or four burner phones.
  8.  (10382.17)
    Christopher Hitchens has died.

    Cue the gloating from right wing religious loons.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    Manipulating a single gene in fruit flies extends life by up to 50%. The same gene occurs in humans and appears to perform a similar function.

    A team consisting of researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California, Los Angeles, took the fruit fly ( (Drosophila melanogaster) and tweaked a gene in their intestinal stem cells known as dPGC-1, which is also found in human DNA and known as PGC-1. This resulted in the aging of the fruit flies' intestines being delayed and their lifespan being extended by as much as 50 percent.

    In flies and mammals, the PGC-1 gene regulates the number of mitochondria within an animal's cells. Mitochondria are often referred to as "cellular power plants" because they convert sugars and fats from food into the energy for cellular functions. Since previous studies had shown that calorie-restricted animals have greater numbers of mitochondria in their cells, the researchers set about investigating what would happen when the PGC-1 is forced into overdrive.

    Using genetic engineering techniques to boost the fruit fly equivalent of the PGC-1 gene resulted in the same kind of effects seen in organisms on calorie restricted diets - namely, greater numbers of mitochondria and more energy production. When the activity of the gene was accelerated in stem and progenitor cells of the flies' intestine, which serve to replenish intestinal tissues, these cellular changes corresponded with better health and longer lifespan.

    Depending on the method and extent to which the activity of the gene was altered, the flies lived between 20 and 50 percent longer than normal.
  9.  (10382.19)

    And so it begins :P
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    I think that the best way to build systems for internet access and mass communication in those countries would be to learn from people who've spent years learnign how to avoid government interception of their phone conversations - drug dealers.

    I'd set up a system of burner phones - use a sim for a day then dump it. Auto-relay calls through three or four burner phones.

    That makes a rather frightening amount of sense--the innate problem I see with the "internet in a suitcase" idea is that in places like the Middle East, it's going to undermind a lot of these revolutions. Those leaders can gain some support back by calling the revolution an "influence by the west."