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Robotic Mold 118

Canis Lupus writes to mention that researchers from the University of West England are designing the world's first biological robot, constructed from mold. The robot, "Plasmobot," will be created using vegetative slime mold called plasmodium (Physarum polycephalum) that is commonly found in forests, gardens, and most damp places in the UK. "This new plasmodium robot, called plasmobot, will sense objects, span them in the shortest and best way possible, and transport tiny objects along pre-programmed directions. The robots will have parallel inputs and outputs, a network of sensors and the number crunching power of super computers. The plasmobot will be controlled by spatial gradients of light, electro-magnetic fields and the characteristics of the substrate on which it is placed. It will be a fully controllable and programmable amorphous intelligent robot with an embedded massively parallel computer."
The Internet

Bell Proposing Usage-Based Billing 238

Idiomatick writes "Bell Canada is attempting to impose UBB on its wholesale customers. As Bell was given a last-mile monopoly in much of Canada by the government, they are required to follow rules set up by the CRTC; this includes leasing their lines to competitive ISPs. And they are given a directive by the CRTC to provide competitive speeds to said ISPs. Teksavvy has informed its customers that were this to go through, the current monthly cap would be quartered and the cost for exceeding it would be 'multiple times more than our current per Gigabyte rate of $0.25/GB on overages.' They have also helpfully included a link where you can send your comments/concerns to the CRTC directly."
The Internet

Norwegian Websites Declare War On IE 6 349

Eyvind A. Larre writes "A large and rapidly growing campaign to get users to stop using IE6 is being implemented throughout Europe. 'Leading the charge is, an eBay-like site that is apparently the largest site for buying and selling goods in all of Norway (Finn is Norwegian for "Find"). Earlier this week, posted a warning on its web page for visitors running IE 6. The banner, seen at right, urges them to ditch IE 6 and upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.' The campaign is now spreading like fire on Twitter (#IE6), and starting to become an amazing effort by big media companies to get rid of IE6! The campaign also hit Wired some hours ago."
United States

Iowa Seeks To Remove Electoral College 1088

Zebano writes "Since changing the US constitution is too much work, the Iowa senate is considering a bill that would send all 7 of Iowa's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election. This would only go into affect after enough states totaling 270 electoral votes (enough to elect a president) adopted similar resolutions."

Astronomers Find Stars 7 Billion Light Years Away 142

StArSkY writes "The Age has an article about an international team of astronomers that has discovered 14 galaxies, opening up a new era of 'galaxy hunting'. Using an infrared instrument in Chile (the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope ) — the researchers have been able to look through the glare of 20 Quasar's to identify previously obscured galaxies. 'Light from the newly found galaxies comes from the time the universe was about 6 billion years old, less than half its current age. By studying the light, the researchers have determined they are starburst galaxies that form lots of new stars -- the equivalent of 20 suns a year. Dr Murphy, who began working on the project while a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, described the results as a great leap forward. The findings have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. '"

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.