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Space

+ - NASA Tests Alternative Crew Escape Launch System->

Submitted by Boccaccio
Boccaccio (762644) writes "NASA on Wednesday successfully tested it's MLAS alternative launch escape system designed for the new Orion Crew module. MLAS, or Max Launch Abort System, is named after the inventor of the crew escape system on the Mercury program, Maxime (Max) Faget and consists of 4 rocket motors built into a fairing that encloses an Orion module during Launch. MLAS is designed to pull the crew away from the main rocket stack during the critical first 2.5 minutes of flight in the event of a catastrophic failure. The advantage of the MLAS system over the more traditional LAS (Launch Abort System) is that it reduces the total height of the rocket lowering the centre of gravity and adding stability and potentially allowing higher fuel load. You can watch a video of the launch at the NASA website here and there are also a bunch of pictures."
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Programming

+ - 4kb ought to be enough for everyone->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Vizworld.com writes about 'A spectacular youtube video making the rounds this week of some fantastic showy mountainous terrain. What you may not know is that this is completely CG scenery, created in a mere 4 kilobytes of code.' This 4kb intro was released this month by Rgba and TBC at the German demo party Breakpoint 2009 and not surprisingly won the 4kb intro competition. The file can be downloaded from Pouët.net http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=52938 (optimized for newer GPUs like 8800gtx or hd4850 according to the coder. Virus warnings are false positives caused by dynamic packing). Those with low end GPUs can watch it on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YWMGuh15nE"
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Earth

+ - Shipping Container House wins 2009 AIA award-> 1

Submitted by
Boccaccio
Boccaccio writes "The American Institute of Architects has just announced the results for best architecture in 2009 and amongst the winners is a sweet shipping container house, Cinco Camp in Brewster, Texas.
Shipping container housing is cheaper, quicker and more environmentally friendly than regular housing and finally seems to becoming accepted in America in the same way as it has been in Europe for years."

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The Internet

+ - Search this Calvin & Hobbes database while you

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes ""While you can" meaning before Univeral Press has its lawyers go all RIAA on it. Universal rained on a similar site's parade, and the proprietor of "The Calvin and Hobbes Searchable Database" says he's concerned that the same fate awaits his project, which has depended on a legion of volunteers to transcribe more than 3,000 individual C&H strips, all of which are made available for a look-see — free.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1214 1"
Patents

+ - British Government against 'pure' software patents

Submitted by
uglyduckling
uglyduckling writes "The British Government has issued a response to a recent petition calling for 'the Prime Minister to make software patents clearly unenforcible'. The answer is reassuring but perhaps doesn't go far enough, and gives no specific promises to bring into line a patent office that grants software patents (according to the petition) 'against the letter and the spirit of the law'. The Gowers Review that it references gives detailed insight into the current British position on this debate, most interestingly recommending a policy of 'not extending patent rights beyond their present limits within the areas of software, business methods and genes.'"
The Internet

+ - Pirate Bay abandons bid for own nation

Submitted by tomp76
tomp76 (1069062) writes "Perhaps it was all just a joke. Or perhaps The Pirate Bay, despite being one of the largest bit torrent trackers in the world, isn't really as powerful as its supporters would like to believe. That, at least, is the impression given by one of the founders in this interview. The plans for a copyright-free nation have been scaled down considerably: "We have $20,000 and we are looking at some alternatives. Really we just want somewhere we can name The Pirate Bay, so we can look on Google Maps and find ourselves there.""
Security

+ - Sandia backhacker talks about ordeal

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Shawn Carpenter a former network intrusion analyst at Sandia National Laboratories says he was intimated and threatened by his supervisors after he shared information from an internal network investigation with the FBI and Army intelligence. Carpenter was fired from Sandia in Jan 2005 because of what Sandia claimed was his improper sharing of confidential information. Carpenter, says he did so in the national interest, after his back-hacking activities showed that the intruders who had broken into Sandia belonged to a Chinese hacker group called Titan Rain that had carried out similar attacks against other government and commercial networks. He recently was awarded $4.3 million for wrongful termination by a New Mexico jury. http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?com mand=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9011832&intsrc=hm_ list"
Bug

+ - Vanishing Honeybees will affect future crops

Submitted by
daninbusiness
daninbusiness writes "Across the US, beekeepers are finding that their bees are disappearing — not returning while searching for nectar and pollen. This could have a major impact on the food industry in the United States, where as much as 14 billion dollars' worth of agriculture business depends on bees for crop pollination. Reasons for this problem, dubbed "colony collapse disorder" are still unknown. Theories include viruses, some type of fungus, poor bee nutrition, and pesticides. TFA is in the New York Times (login may be required)."

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