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cmarkn (31706) writes "PEOPLE explode. One minute they may be relaxing in a chair, the next they erupt into a fireball. Jets of blue fire shoot from their bodies like flames from a blowtorch, and within half an hour they are reduced to a pile of ash. Typically, the legs remain unscathed, sticking out grotesquely from the smoking cinders. Nearby objects (a pile of newspapers on the armrest, for example) are untouched. Greasy fat lies on the floor. For centuries, this gruesome way of death has been debated, with many people discounting it as a myth. But spontaneous human combustion is real and we think we can show how it happens." Link to Original Source top
cmarkn (31706) writes "The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe’s highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights.
The decision appeared to reflect recognition by European Union officials of the political obstacles. Protests against the agreement were staged earlier this month in several European capitals — including Berlin, Helsinki, Paris and Vienna — by critics who say the agreement would stifle free speech and access to information.
The hacking group known as Anonymous claimed responsibility last week for a new series of hacks against the US Federal Trade Commission and consumer rights websites. The sites were replaced with a violent German-language video satirizing ACTA.
ACTA has been under negotiation for years. Its drafters say it is needed to harmonize international standards to protect the rights of those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion goods, and a range of other products that often fall victim to piracy and intellectual property theft.
The U.S. has signed the agreement. Others include Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. Mexico and Switzerland participated in the negotiations but have not yet signed.
The EU and 22 EU Member States signed ACTA on 26 January 2012 in Tokyo. Although the European Council — the European Union heads of government — unanimously approved ACTA in December, for the EU to be a party to the treaty, all 27 member countries would have to formally ratify it." Link to Original Source top
Swiss Govt report: piracy not costing media compan
cmarkn (31706) writes "Swiss media companies have been after the government to do something about piracy. The government studied the problem and said downloading movies and music will stay legal.
Going further, TorrentFreak reports the Swiss report found that those who download media files tend to spend more on media than those who don't. Even a Dutch government report from earlier this year, critical of downloading, admitted music downloaders went to more concerts, and game downloaders purchased more games. The idea that downloading replaces media spending has been disproved, at least according to the Swiss report." Link to Original Source top
cmarkn (31706) writes "The widespread belief is that government intervention is the key to getting the country out of a serious economic downturn. The example often cited is President Franklin D. Roosevelt's intervention, after the stock market crash of 1929 was followed by the Great Depression of the 1930s, with its massive and long-lasting unemployment.
This is more than just a question about history. Right here and right now there is a widespread belief that the unregulated market is what got us into our present economic predicament, and that the government must "do something" to get the economy moving again. FDR's intervention in the 1930s has often been cited by those who think this way." Link to Original Source top
cmarkn (31706) writes "ComputerWorld reports that IBM is planning to more than double the speed of its servers from 2.2 GHz to 5 GHz, and start shipping these by the middle of this year. Moreover, they plan to do this without turning these servers into power-guzzling toasters by making them more efficient, using “small, 65-nanometer-process geometry, high-bandwidth buses running as fast as 75GB per second and voltage thresholds as low as 0.8 volts”. They hope to reach new customers in commercial database and transaction processing, while holding on to their current servers’ financial and high-performance computing users."