11/26/2010

The Pirate Bay Appeal Verdict: Guilty Again

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The verdict against three people associated with The Pirate Bay just been announced. The Swedish Appeal Court found Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström guilty of “contributory copyright infringement” and handed down prison sentences ranging from 4 to 10 months plus damages of more than $6.5 million in total.

pirate bayIn April last year the Stockholm Court sentenced the ‘The Pirate Bay Four’ to one year in prison and a fine of $905,000 each. The defendants immediately announced that they would appeal the decision and the case went before the Appeal Court two months ago.

Today, Friday November 26, the Swedish Appeal Court announced its decision. Compared to the District Court ruling, the court has decreased the prison sentences for the three defendants, but increased the damages that have to be paid to the entertainment industries.

Oxygen detected on Saturn’s moon Rhea

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A spacecraft has tasted oxygen in the atmosphere of another world for the first time while flying low over Saturn’s icy moon, Rhea.

Nasa’s Cassini probe scooped oxygen from the thin atmosphere of the planet’s moon while passing overhead at an altitude of 97km in March this year.

Until now, wisps of oxygen have only been detected on planets and their moons indirectly, using the Hubble space telescope and other major facilities.

Instruments aboard Cassini revealed an extremely thin oxygen and carbon dioxide atmosphere that is sustained by high-energy particles slamming into the moon’s surface and kicking up atoms, molecules and ions.

11/25/2010

Bunny-crushing videos stir Chinese online anger

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A group of “crush fetishists” has caused an online storm in China after uploading graphic videos showing attractive young Chinese women crushing small rabbits.

In the widely circulated videos, several smiling women are seen in turn cuddling and playing with small bunnies just before crushing them as other giggling girls look on.

In one scene, a young woman places a bunny on a table before covering it with a plate of glass and sitting on it for about a minute. She then lifts the glass up to reveal the lifeless bunny, blood oozing from its snout.

Another of the girls dispatches one of the rodents by crushing it under her high heels.

The videos have sparked a heated response from web-users, who launched what is known in China as a “flesh search” — an effort to reveal the girls’ true identities.

Jury: SAP must pay nemesis Oracle $1.3 billion

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle Corp.’s courtroom clash with archenemy SAP AG has paid off handsomely.

A jury on Tuesday ordered SAP to pay $1.3 billion - more than half of its total profit last year - for a subsidiary’s skullduggery in stealing a stockpile of software and customer-support documents from password-protected Oracle websites.

The German software company was caught off guard by the size of the verdict. It had only set aside $160 million for anticipated damages, and already paid $120 million of that to Oracle’s lawyers.

11/8/2010

New Android Smartphones Serve up 3D–Without the Glasses

Filed under: — Aviran

3D smartphones will soon be a reality–if you live in Japan, that is. Two upcoming Sharp smartphones will offer a 3D-capable display. These two new Android powered phones, known as the Galapagos 003SH and 005SH, won’t just house any regular 3D screen. Instead, they’ll be based around an autostereoscopic 3D display developed by Sharp itself, which means that you’ll be able to view 3D content without the need for pesky 3D glasses. After all, who would want to wear 3D glasses just to use their smartphone?

But what 3D content will these portable devices have? Sharp detailed that a range of 3D movies and games will be made available for the smartphones. The game lineup will include the likes of Resident Evil (BioHazard), Megaman, and Konami Mobile Baseball titles. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, both devices will be capable of taking 3D pictures.

Beyond the devices 3D capabilities, both of the handsets will come with Android 2.2 (Froyo), and they’ll include a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 3.8-inch display, as well as the usual Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities.

Urbee Is the First Car Made By a 3-D Printer

Filed under: — Aviran

3-D printing has already resulted in advances in manufacturing (as well as tiny stop-motion animation), but now taking it one step further is the Urbee hybrid: the world’s first 3-D printed car, developed by Kor Ecologic and Stratasys.

The Urbee was created using Stratasys’ Dimension 3-D printers and Fortus 3-D Production System. The full-scale prototype is not yet complete, but all of the exterior components, including the glass, will be entirely printed by additive manufacturing – printing layer upon layer of material until you end up with a car in front of you.

Canadian scientists transform human skin into blood

Filed under: — Aviran

Canadian scientists have transformed pinches of human skin into petri dishes of human blood — a major medical breakthrough that could yield new sources of blood for transfusions after cancer treatments or surgery.

The discovery, by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., could one day potentially allow anyone needing blood after multiple rounds of surgery or chemotherapy, or for blood disorders such as anemia, to have a backup supply of blood created from a tiny patch of their own skin — eliminating the risk of their body’s immune system rejecting blood from a donor.

Researchers predict the lab-grown blood could be ready for testing in humans within two years.

The achievement, published Sunday in the journal Nature, raises the possibility of personalizing blood production for patients for the first time.

“This is a very important discovery. I think it represents a seminal contribution” to the rapidly evolving field of stem-cell research, said Michael Rudnicki, scientific director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network and director of the Regenerative Medicine Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

“That one can play with the fate of a cell and force it sideways into something that it doesn’t at all resemble, and then being able to use it, is tremendously exciting.”

The procedure is also relatively simple. It involves taking a small piece of skin just centimetres in size, which would require only a stitch to close, extracting fibroblasts — abundant cells in the skin that make up the connective tissue and give skin its flexibility — and bathing them in growth factors in a petri dish. Next, by adding a single protein that binds to DNA and acts as an on/off switch, the researchers turned on or off some 2,000 genes and reprogrammed the skin cells to differentiate or morph into millions of blood progenitors — the cells the produce blood.

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