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+ - 217 Damaged US passport chip strands travelers->

Submitted by
caseih
caseih writes "Damaging the embedded chip in your passport is now grounds for denying you the ability to travel in at least one airport in the US. Though the airport can slide the passport through the little number reader as easily as they can wave it in front of an RFID reader, they chose to deny a young child access to the flight, in essence denying the who family. The child had accidentally sat on his passport, creasing the cover, and the passport appeared worn. The claim has been made that breaking the chip in the passport shows that you disrespect the privilege of owning a passport, and that the airport was justified in denying this child from using the passport."
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Space

+ - 213 Electric Rockets Are Set to Transform Space Flight->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The spectacle of a booster rocket lifting off a launch pad atop a mass of brilliant flames and billowing smoke is an iconic image of the Space Age. Such powerful chemical rockets are needed to break the bonds of Earth’s gravity and send spacecraft into orbit. But once a vehicle has progressed beyond low-earth orbit (LEO) chemical rockets are not necessarily the best way to get around outer space. That’s because chemical propulsion systems require such large quantities of fuel to generate high speeds, there is little room for payload.

As a result rocket scientists are increasingly turning to electric rockets, which accelerate propellants out the back end using solar-powered electromagnetic fields rather than chemical reactions. The electric rockets use so much less propellant that the entire spacecraft can be much more compact, which enables them to scale down the original launch boosters."

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Games

+ - 161 Unconstitution video game law costs California $2 Million-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In hopes of protecting the children of California from the ravages of violent video games, then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attempted to push through a law that would fine retailers $1000 for each infraction of selling a violent game to an underage child. However, in the wake of appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the law, California is now forced to pay the legal fees of all parties to the tune of $2 million dollars"
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Apache

+ - 175 Apache 2.4 Takes Direct Aim at Nginx->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "The world's most popular web server is out with a major new release today that has one key goal — deliver more performance than ever before. Improved caching, proxy modules as well as new session control are also key highlights of the release.

"We also show that as far as true performance is based — real-world performance as seen by the end-user- 2.4 is as fast, and even faster than some of the servers who may be "better" known as being "fast", like nginx," im Jagielski, ASF President and Apache HTTP Server Project Management Committee, told InternetNews.com

"

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Moon

+ - 160 Moon may contain magma->

Submitted by
rivin2e
rivin2e writes "It would seem our neighbor, the moon, has something hidden bellow the surface. "Images collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter hints the moon has probably seen tectonic activity within the last 50 million years." It would appear from the article that the moon is changing alot more than we think, even if it doesn't seem like it.

I for one, am still waiting for that big black obelisk to be dug up."

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Programming

+ - 187 New Opa S4 release puts forward new "ORM" for MongoDB->

Submitted by phy_si_kal
phy_si_kal (729421) writes "The new, open source, Opa web programming language just hit version 0.9.0 "S4", six month after its last major release.
Apart from a new syntax more similar to JavaScript, the new releases focuses on mongoDB integration.
Opa now features something similar to ORM except that mongoDB is a non-relational, document-oriented database and Opa a functional, non-object-oriented language.
The new functionality makes the NoSQL database even easier to use as all language-database calls are automated. And the mapping of functional datastructures to documents could even be much better than current ORM approaches and solve the object-relational impedance mismatch."

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Privacy

+ - 167 Transparency Grenade Instantly Collects and Leaks Sensitive Data ->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "If you thought Wikileaks was a disruptive idea, the transparency grenade is going to blow you away. This tiny bit of hardware hidden under the shell shaped like a classic Soviet F1 hand grenade allows you to leak information from anywhere just by pulling a pin. The device is essentially a small computer with a powerful wireless antenna and a microphone. Following detonation, the grenade intercepts local network traffic and captures audio data, then makes the information immediately available online."
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Science

+ - 169 Europe plans exascale funding above U.S. levels->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The European Commission last week said it is doubling its multi-year investment in the push for exascale computing from [euro]630 million to [euro]1.2 billion (or the equivalent of $1.58 billion). They are making this a priority even as austerity measures are imposed to prevent defaults. China, meanwhile, has a five year plan to deliver exascale computing between 2016-20. The Europeans announced the plan the same week the White House released its fiscal year 2013 budget, which envisions a third year of anemic funding to develop exascale technologies. Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy science budget asked for nearly $91 million in funding for the efforts in the current fiscal year; it received $73.4 million. DOE science is trying for about $90 for exascale for 2013. There's more funding tucked in military and security budgets. The U.S. wants exascale around 2018, but it has yet to deliver a plan or the money for it."
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Education

+ - 170 Tech Billionaire-Backed Charter School Under Fire

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "'As a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm,' boasts the billionaire-backed NewSchools Venture Fund, 'we raise philanthropic capital from both individual and institutional investors, and then use those funds to support education entrepreneurs who are transforming public education.' One recipient of the NewSchools' largesse is The Noble Network of Charter Schools, which received a $5,300,000 NewSchools "investment", as well as a $1,425,000 grant from NewSchools donor Bill Gates. One way that Noble Street College Prep has been transforming education, reports the Chicago Tribune, is by making students pay the price — literally — for breaking the smallest of rules (sample infractions). Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended Noble after a FOIA filing revealed the charter collected almost $190,000 in discipline "fees" — not "fines" — last year from its mostly low-income students, saying the ironically exempt-from-most-district-rules charter school gets 'incredible' results and parents don't have to send their children there. Beyond the Noble case, some are asking a bigger question: Should billionaires rule our schools? David Morris thinks not: 'This year, governments may lose $50 billion because of tax deductions taken overwhelmingly by the rich for charitable givings intended primarily to enhance their status with their brethren or to attack the public sector. We can't stop the rich from using their money for their own purposes. But we should not add insult to injury by giving them huge amounts of public sums to attack the public sector.' Got a problem with kicking kids out of a Bill Gates-backed charter school to free up the building for one bankrolled by HP CEO Meg Whitman, David?"
Programming

+ - 148 The 10 rules of a Zen Programmer->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Zen is usually used as term to describe "reducing overhead". In the 10 rules of a Zen Programmer the author (who is Zen buddhist) explains how actual Zen philosophy might fit to the modern programming world. The storygives an refreshing new view and some inspiration for day to day work, even when Zen programming is not meant for everybody."
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Linux

+ - 162 Apple orphans Linux CUPS features- handicaps open source printing

Submitted by
donadony
donadony writes "CUPS, is the printing standard that open source projects have used successfully to convert desktops and computers to become printer servers, allowing plug-in, modular type of printing. However, now Apple after it acquired it from its developer Michael Sweet, at Easy Software Products, in 2007, has chosen to abandon certain Linux exclusive features, and continuing with popular Mac OS X features.The changeover is being attempted by Appleto set new printing standards that will not require ‘drivers’ in the future. However, the journey in between from the present ‘driver-only’ printers that communities across the world are engaged to Apple’s printer-utopia, just got tougher and essentially involves more work for Linux users."
AMD

+ - 153 KDE KWin May Drop Support For AMD Catalyst Drivers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The KWin window manager maintainer for KDE is looking at removing the legacy OpenGL 1.0 renderer from the KWin code-base due to the costs of supporting legacy hardware. This means dropping support for non-GL2+ graphics cards, which are all over six years old, but in the process would mean that for now there is no longer any support for the AMD Catalyst driver on the KDE desktop. Due to driver bugs, AMD's proprietary Catalyst software only works well with the GL1 renderer even though their latest hardware supports OpenGL 4."
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Idle

+ - 272 Mathematical parrot reveals his genius with posthumous paper->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "Even in death, the world’s most accomplished parrot continues to amaze. The final experiments involving Alex – a grey parrot trained to count objects – have just been published. They show that Alex could accurately add together Arabic numerals to a sum of eight and three sets of objects, putting his mathematical abilities on par with (and maybe beyond) those of chimpanzees and other non-human primates (abstract http://www.springerlink.com/content/q08n44457x236ln6/)."
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