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Submission + - A new tax on storing devices hits Italy ( 1

musuruan writes: A new tax is striking Italy. The government has approved a new law that tax every storing device including mobile phones to compensate for piracy. And it isn't very cheap. For example, an external hard disk bigger that 250Gb will cost you an additional 28.98 euro.The income will go to the Italian Publishers' and Editors' Society (SIAE). A tax on recordable CDs and DVDs was introduces some years ago. The only result was that the market for these recordable media collapsed because consumers shopped abroad, especially in Luxembourg, to buy them at much lower prices. I expect the same thing will happen this time. Original article is in Italian.

Submission + - 50' wide space object too small to cause damage? (

schwit1 writes: From an AP story: A mystery object from space is about to whizz close by Earth on Wednesday. It won't hit our planet, but scientists are stumped by what exactly it is.

Astronomers say it may be space junk or it could be a tiny asteroid, too small to cause damage even if it hit. It's 33 to 50 feet wide at most.

NASA says that on Wednesday at 7:47 a.m. EST, it will streak by, missing Earth by about 80,000 miles. In the western United States it may be bright enough to be seen with a good amateur telescope.

What's the energy released by a 50 foot wide rock traveling at five miles a second?

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus