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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

From http://bna.com:
FED CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS UPHOLDS SKYLINK DMCA DECISION
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a lower court decision involving garage door openers and the DMCA. The court ruled that a dismissal of the case was appropriate, concluding that "contrary to Chamberlain's assertion, the DMCA emphatically did not "fundamentally alter" the legal landscape governing the reasonable expectations of consumers or competitors; did not "fundamentally alter" the ways that courts analyze industry practices; and did not render the pre-DMCA history of the GDO industry irrelevant." Case name is Chamberlain Group v. Skylink Technologies. Decision at
http://laws.findlaw.com/fed/041118.html

FLORIDA OFFICIALS DEFY JUDGE'S E-VOTING RECOUNT RULING
Election officials in Florida say a new rule barring hand recounts in 15 counties with touchscreen voting systems will remain in place until after today's primary, despite a judge's invalidation of the rule. The officials plan on keeping the rule until a 30-day appeal period expires.
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/9540316.htm
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From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php:
Public Release: 31-Aug-2004
Conservation Biology
Modest climate change could lead to substantially more and larger fires
The area burned by wildfires in 11 Western states could double by the end of the century if summer climate warms by slightly more than a degree and a half, say researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington.

Public Release: 1-Sep-2004
Social Science History
Men from early middle ages were nearly as tall as modern people
Northern European men living during the early Middle Ages were nearly as tall as their modern-day American descendants, a finding that defies conventional wisdom about progress in living standards during the last millennium. Men living during the early Middle Ages (the ninth to 11th centuries) were several centimeters taller than men who lived hundreds of years later, on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.
National Science Foundation
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Nature 431, 47 - 49 (02 September 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02884

Inscribed matter as an energy-efficient means of communication with an extraterrestrial civilization

CHRISTOPHER ROSE1 AND GREGORY WRIGHT2

It is well known that electromagnetic radiation—radio waves—can in principle be used to communicate over interstellar distances. By contrast, sending physical artefacts has seemed extravagantly wasteful of energy, and imagining human travel between the stars even more so. The key consideration in earlier work, however, was the perceived need for haste. If extraterrestrial civilizations existed within a few tens of light years, radio could be used for two-way communication on timescales comparable to human lifetimes (or at least the longevities of human institutions). Here we show that if haste is unimportant, sending messages inscribed on some material can be strikingly more energy efficient than communicating by electromagnetic waves. Because messages require protection from cosmic radiation and small messages could be difficult to find among the material clutter near a recipient, 'inscribed matter' is most effective for long archival messages (as opposed to potentially short "we exist" announcements). The results suggest that our initial contact with extraterrestrial civilizations may be more likely to occur through physical artefacts—essentially messages in a bottle—than via electromagnetic communication.
http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/Dynapage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v431/n7004/abs/nature02884_fs.htm

Animal behaviour: Use of dung as a tool by burrowing owls
DOUGLAS J. LEVEY, R. SCOT DUNCAN & CARRIE F. LEVINS
http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eQFI0BfwT60Ch0RsN0Ag
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