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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 25 declined, 4 accepted (29 total, 13.79% accepted)

Space

+ - Japanese Scientists want to launch Paper Airplane

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "Japanese Scientists have unveiled a plan to launch paper airplanes into space. The airplanes will be released in space (not flown there), and their successful trip back down to earth it is hoped — will revolutionize the design of re-entry vehicles. In early February a prototype just over 7.1 centimetres long and five centimetres wide survived Mach 7 speeds and broiling temperatures up to 230 degrees Celcius in a hypersonic wind tunnel.

One problem the project faces, is "there is no way to track the paper craft or predict when or where they may land." Critics claim this alone makes the entire project completely pointless. I disagree, this reminds me of the research recently into 'micro satellites' — maybe micro satellites of the future will be circuits printed on paper and formed into maple-keys for landing on planets or asteroids. Exciting stuff."
The Internet

+ - Bell Canada Disrupting Internet Use

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "Bell Canada and Rogers, two of Canada's largest Internet Providers have begun load-balancing and traffic re-routing across their networks this past week. Disruptions to regular Internet use have caused many Internet Users and even other providers to complain. Apparently, Bell didn't feel the need to tell wholesalers that their bandwidth would now be throttled. Coincidentally, Bell has also admitted this week to purposely throttling Peer to Peer traffic solely to disrupt filesharing. To add to the outcry, a National Labour Union has joined the fight and is urging the Canadian Radio & Television Commission to curb interference by these two mega-ISPs.

I know from my own experience this past week — just loading common web sites like facebook can be extremely frustrating. A traceroute shows multiple, slow hops across Bell Canada servers, giving me response times of 1 to 2 seconds just to load a web page.

The repercussions to Bell and Rogers (if any at all) will determine the future of Internet Service across all of Canada. This could be the end of real high-speed Internet as we know it. eh (included for authenticity)."
Announcements

+ - Squid Beaks May Revolutionize Engineering

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "For years the razor sharp beak Squid use to eat their prey have posed a puzzle to scientists. Squid are incredibly soft and fragile, but have a beak as dense as rock and sharp enough to break through hard shells. Scientists have long wondered why the beak doesn't hurt the Squid itself as they use it. New research has just been published in the Friday Edition of "Journal Science" that appears to explain the phenomenon. A detailed article is available online at the CBC web site.

One of the teams researchers described the squid beak as, "like placing an X-Acto blade in a block of fairly firm Jell-O and then trying to use it to chop celery." — illustrating just how bizarre this appendage appears to be. Careful examination shows the beak itself is actually formed in a gradient of density, becoming harder out towards the tip of the beak.

Understanding this gradient relationship may revolutionize Engineering, anywhere "interfaces between soft and hard materials [are required]." One of the first applications researchers imagine would be in Prosthetic Limbs."
Earth

+ - Google Raises Awareness of "Earth Hour"

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "If you're a regular Google Search Engine user, you may notice the site appears drastically different today. Google has changed their home page background to black and now displays the notice, "We've turned the lights out. Now it's your turn". Google is trying to raise awareness of Earth Hour — an annual event where citizens all over the globe turn out their lights for one hour to raise awareness of environmental change.

Google is careful to explain that by darkening their web site, they're not actually saving any electricity — which is an interesting answer to a question I never considered. When I saw the page all dark and black, I thought some sort of cataclysmic event had just occured and this was Googles version of a flag at half-mast. Maybe in a way that's exactly what this is. A better explanation can be found at Google and on the site they ultimately link to."
The Internet

+ - The Goat's Birthday

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "The infamous goat-see web site turns 10 years old today (Tuesday May 22, 2007). While links to the 'notorious shock site' have been the bane of slashdot's existence — it none the less has become an iconic folk-hero of the web in the last 10 years its been online. Its history is long and diverse, with numerous hidden references and tributes in games and G-rated copycats paying tribute to the site the world over. So while we can censor a link to the actual site, let us toast its success in shocking us repeatedly for the past 10 years."
The Internet

+ - Vimeo Admits Falling Short Of Competition

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "Prettybored blogger Wes Clark recently wrote a scathing review of Vimeo — the Video Clip Sharing Community Site made famous by the talents of 'Streeter Seidell and Amir Blumenfeld'. Vimeo's own Jakob Lodwick was quick to respond, admitting that Vimeo falls short of its competitors and is suffering from a lack of staff.

The entire article with Jakob's response is available by clicking here."
The Internet

+ - Vimeo Responds to Harsh Criticism

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "Jakob Lodwick of Vimeo responds to a private bloggers article on the flaws of Vimeo for sharing video clips. The article is very critical of Vimeo's ability to stand out from the competition, and points out that their most popular producers have chosen Vimeo only because they work for them, or are being promoted by the company. The article is available by clicking here."
The Internet

+ - Vimeo Gets Harsh Scrutiny

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "A small time blog has recently scrutinized Vimeo's entire structure and future as a video-sharing site. While this wouldn't normally be newsworthy, Vimeo's own Jakob Lodwick responds — admitting that Vimeo has been understaffed and falls short of established sites like YouTube and Break.com. The article criticizes that Vimeo's best spokespeople are attracted to the site solely due to Vimeo's aggressive promotion of their clips, not because it has anything better to offer the general members."
Biotech

+ - Scientists Expose Weak DNA in HIV

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced Thursday that they had discovered a very promising, "weak spot" in the HIV Virus. The HIV virus, a progenitor to full blown "Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome" or AIDS has eluded all attempts at a vaccine since it was discovered sometime in the 1970's. The major problem with developing a vaccine initially was isolating the virus. Conventional viruses are often defeated with existing drugs, or after being tested against new compounds. HIV has been unique, and staggering in it's ability to resist all attempts at treatment by mutating its' own genetic code. HIV is able to resist, with great effectiveness, any drug or combination drug-therapy that is used against it.

So far, our best efforts have been slowing down progression of the disease — but the number of people infected every year is rising and victims are estimated at 1.4 Million in North American alone, last year. Discovering a chain of vulnerable DNA on the HIV virus gives researchers a very exact target that can not resist damage."
Programming

+ - Developing Web Sites to Identify Browser's Country

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "I have a question that seems pretty simple, but time and again I've had looong discussions with other web developers relating to this topic. Nobody really seems to have a good answer.

How do you make your web site identify a browser's country? I'm doing a custom shopping cart application for a company and google doesn't give me any very good results. It would be best to _not rely_ on a pay service that does origin ID's based on IP — because this isn't worth a recurring subscription to my client. If an organization made this information publicly available I could code my own lookup database, even if it took 10 hours to complete.

The problem isn't the cost, it's that my client can't justify a recurring-cost for what this provides to them ; and I don't want to be called back in six months or a year to change _my code_ because the proprietary software or web-based protocol for doing these lookups has changed on the providers end.

Any ideas on how to do this yourself? Is there a publicly available database of IP assignments to various ISPs by country?"
Math

+ - Squaring With The Magic Triangle

Submitted by
Ace905
Ace905 writes "Looking through some archives, I came across a recent article on 'How to Square With A Magic Triangle'. Although the topic sounds a little dry at first, I can't count the number of times I've had a very real and practical need to square-something in my house, or the office. From The Article itself, " There are thousands of reasons why you would have to square-something, [...] ex: You're buying a new house, and you want to check how straight the walls are ". I've found this _so useful_ with furniture, hanging pictures — it even inspired an algorithm I needed to create for a java based game. So I'm presenting the article here for all you slashdotter's to peruse. I find a little how-to once in a while is a nice break from the news blurbs on product releases, and *yawn* Vista."

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