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June 28th, 2005 | Work

Coming in September 2005:

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US Supreme Court Gives It To The Internet Good And Hard

June 28th, 2005 | researchmaterial

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that Internet file-sharing services may be sued by movie studios, a decision that could effectively shut down services widely used to view movies without paying and to watch TV shows stripped of advertising.

The case, MGM Studios v Grokster, was among the most closely watched technology cases since 1984, when the high court established the legality of the video-cassette recorder. On Monday, the justices decided services such as Grokster may be sued if the services encourage illegal file-swapping.

The verdict amounted to a victory for movie studios, TV networks and other content companies that feared their movies, sitcoms, dramas and other products would be distributed without effective control to whoever has a computer and access to a high-speed line.

In another closely-watched media case, the justices decided cable operators need not grant competing independent Internet-service providers access to the high-speed cable modems many consumers use to access the Internet.

Cable companies argued their privately built systems should not be regulated. The Internet service providers said access needs to be widely available for the Web to remain an open, vibrant medium…

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Zombie Dogs. ZOMBIE DOGS

June 27th, 2005 | researchmaterial

Scientists have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.

Pittsburgh’s Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject’s veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.

The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity. But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.

Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year…

(Thanks to Jason)

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Dead Foetus In Boy’s Gut

June 27th, 2005 | researchmaterial

Doctors in Bangladesh say they have removed a long-dead foetus from the abdomen of a teenage boy who was complaining of stomach pains.

They said the foetus would have become the boy’s twin had it grown normally in their mother’s womb. They said it was a case of an extremely rare condition where two foetuses are conceived as conjoined twins but one absorbs the other.

“After the operation we found a dead foetus weighing two kilograms (4.5lbs) in his abdomen,” Doctor MA Mazid said, the AFP news agency reports. “Apart from the head, all other limbs of the baby were developed.”

The condition is known as “foetus in foeto”, or inclusion twin…

(Found by James Everett, thanks)

Not So Great Moments In Smoking

June 27th, 2005 | researchmaterial

India’s recent decision to ban smoking in movies and on television has ignited controversy in the popular Bollywood film industry, despite government officials’ claims that such scenes glamorize tobacco use.

Bollywood, the most prolific film producer in the world, has a long history of portraying heroes and villains with cigarettes or hand-rolled “bidis” dangling from their lips.

But starting October 2, new films and television shows will be prohibited from showing actors smoking.

While some actors have expressed support for the new restrictions, filmmakers claim that the government is infringing on artistic expression. Indian director Shekhar Kapur, who helmed the 1997 Oscar-nominated film “Elizabeth,” expressed concerns that the new regulations could lead to further censorship.

“The Indian government has always thought themselves able to do whatever they feel is necessary to curtail artistic freedoms,” Kapur said. “The fear is not that we have to stop showing people smoking. The fear is that this is the beginning of a series of bans.”

Even Censor Board chief Sharmila Tagore called it “a decision taken in haste and very unaesthetic in taste…”