The largest benefit of this research is in refining our understanding of how solar systems form. This has very real applications in helping us to understand our solar system and extends to topics like the distribution of resources throughout the inner planets and asteroids. You're right that earth has problems, but if any of us want to continue to enjoy our standard of living (or anything enjoyed after ~1900s), we cannot restrict ourselves to the earthen resources.
No one (of repute) is talking about traveling to 581g to meet our fellow life forms. Space travel beyond our solar system is infeasible according to current physics, it's out of the question. Looking at other planets may allow us to answer some of the most fundamental questions on our existence; in this case how did life arise and how common is it.
The life the article refers to is any form of cellular organism. We've found life all over the earth, in many regions previously considered inhospitable to life. We know (believe strongly) that life can arise from liquid water, so if we find a planet whose orbit places it in the collection of orbits that allow for liquid water to exist, it is no stretch to say that life is possible there. 581g certainly does not look like earth, but it doesn't need to.
But at the expense of future discoveries. The real challenge is to convey exactly what was discovered and what that may lead to. Right now, these observations are helping refine our solar system formation theories, which allow better estimates on the probability of life arising in similar conditions as on earth.
If you omitted the first sentence I'd take your comment as satire. The entire premise behind disruptive entrants is that they see a new "business space" that is usually tangentially related to the dominant one. Big companies are so very focused on having "...new models coming out every year" that they miss the actual growth environment. So, no, unless one of the major automakers releases a (practical) flying car in 2011, they are not developing disruptive products (I've not seen one in the 2011 previews yet...).
This is a great example of the power of Twitter. This kind of frank conversation with an elected representative is largely unprecedented.
Twitter is evolving, but notice that Cory is able to speak to both Moore and the subjects of Moore's tweets, and that every word is public.
So, who can tell me what the tax or levy on spray paint is? Though I don't have stats, I'd wager that urban graffiti does more actual harm to property owners, municipalities, and local communities than 'piracy' does to the multimedia industry. It's rather ridiculous that victims or local governments self-finance the removal of graffiti, an actual, physical harm, while these taxes do not. The ridiculity of this proposal quickly becomes apparent once we extract it from the narrow view of copyright and intellectual property...
So thinking about the incredible success of Blair Witch and Paranormal Adventures and Iron Sky's potential, is the next step beyond donation offering shares in the production? Fans/customers would direct support the production and have the potential to get a slice of the profit, enticing them to contribute more and earlier in production. Film makers/bands would need to be careful in the terms of the agreement, but supporters would likely experience better returns than state lotteries...
I love adblock plus and have disabled it on techdirt. I hope you get some exorbitant rate for accepting ads with sounds, because they are incredibly annoying. Perhaps you could help your advertisers understand that they if have any hope for a click they should avoid annoying your readers...
The special audacity here is that many, if not all online lyric databases are user-submitted transcriptions. Listeners are not scanning and posting their cd jackets but writing what they hear as they listen to the song; I've seen many inaccurate transcriptions but at least the sites are trying to fulfill a consumer desire. I can't see how the labels have any claim to the lyrical content; the order of words in a song seem like a fact.
Scientific debate must be supported by hard science and reasoned theory; online comments are a poor platform for this sort of rigorous debate. A reader's first reaction to the methods and conclusions of a paper are useful and should be able to be shared, but these online comments are not a substitute for a follow-on experiment that corrects the flaws in the predecessor.
Online commenting would be a useful addition to scientific communities, but journals could add more value if they expressed the evolution of a theory over multiple peer-reviewed articles and include recommendations for future work (taken from article comments and suggestions for improvement included in the papers).
"We accept the contract which is the law of the land to teach our inventions via a patent(s). There is considerable cost involved in teaching beyond the act of inventing."
Exterior to Ronald's and Mike's debate, I question how much 'teaching' patents actually do. Contrast Instructables.com with the USPTO and it's pretty apparent that patents are much more focused on protecting ideas than 'promoting the progress...' Patents are instructive, but their teaching utility is bound by the legalese that keeps obvious patents from being seen for what they are.
Techdirt has had this sort of patent improvement discussion multiple times but I've never seen any information on how 'skilled in the art' patent examiners actually are. If you have two companies conducting breakthrough research, I'd argue that only those who are at the forefront can say whether the newest iteration is non-obvious, despite what the larger profession or public may think.
Consider also how your proposal would benefit/facilitate/protect 'independent invention;' if the patent's exact methods are not freely available than its difficult to claim the invention has been copied.