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Cities View Red Light Cameras As Profit Centers 740

Houston 2600 writes "Chicago could rake in 'at least $200 million' a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today. The system pitched to the City Council's Transportation Committee by Michigan-based InsureNet would work only if insurance companies were somehow compelled to report the names and license plates of insured motorists. That's already happening daily in 13 states, but not here."

Brain Decline Begins At Age 27 381

krou writes "The BBC is reporting that a new study suggests that our mental abilities start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, and 27 could be seen as the 'start of old age.' The seven-year study, by Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia, looked at 2,000 healthy people aged 18-60, and used a number of mental agility tests already used to spot signs of dementia. 'The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability. Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60.'"

Wikileaks Pages Added To Australian Internet Blacklist 437

cpudney writes "The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has added several Wikileaks pages to its controversial blacklist. The blacklisted pages contain Denmark's list of banned websites. Simply linking to addresses in ACMA's blacklist attracts an $11,000 per-day fine as the hosts of the popular Australian broadband forum, Whirlpool, discovered last week when they published a forum post that linked to an anti-abortion web-site recently added to ACMA's blacklist. The blacklist is secret, immune to FOI requests and forms the basis of the Australian government's proposed mandatory ISP-level Internet censorship legislation. Wikileaks' response to notification of the blacklisting states: 'The first rule of censorship is that you cannot talk about censorship.'" So Australians aren't allowed to see what it is that the Danes aren't allowed to see?

UV-Resistant Micro-Organisms Discovered In the Stratosphere 156

junglee_iitk writes "Three new species of bacteria, which are not found on earth and highly resistant to ultraviolet radiation, have been discovered in the upper stratosphere by some Indian scientists. These bacteria, which do not match any species on earth, were found in samples collected through a balloon sent up to the stratosphere in April 2005. The payload consisted of a cryosampler containing 16 evacuated and sterilised stainless steel probes. Throughout the flight, the probes remained immersed in the liquid neon to create a 'cryopump effect.' These cylinders after collecting air samples from different heights ranging from 20 to 41 km were parachuted down and safely retrieved, it said." Here's the Indian Space Research Organisation's press release on the discovery. Adds an anonymous reader: "This paper in International Journal of Astrobiology [PDF] speculates how microorganisms reach the stratosphere."

Office Depot Employee — "We Changed Prices Too" 492

Avram Piltch writes "Last week, LAPTOP reported that Office Depot employees were routinely lying to customers about notebook inventory, telling them that systems were out of stock if they didn't want to buy extended warranties or tech services. Now LAPTOP has spoken to more Office Depot associates, one of whom goes by the name Alex and reports widespread altering of prices in his region. He says he even Photoshops higher price tags on clearance notebooks so that associates can tell customers that they're getting a free warranty or tech service, when the price has been raised to cover it. LAPTOP also talked to a representative from the FTC, who would not comment on Office Depot specifically, but said that the sales practices described by LAPTOP clearly violate federal law."

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.