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Space

Space Station Marathon Starting This Weekend 61

Posted by timothy
from the this-calls-for-a-twitter-mashup dept.
RobGoldsmith writes with this snippet from Space Fellowship: "If you've never seen a spaceship with your own eyes, now's your chance. The International Space Station (ISS) is about to make a remarkable series of flybys over the United States. Beginning this 4th of July weekend, the station will appear once, twice, and sometimes three times a day for many days in a row. No matter where you live, you should have at least a few opportunities to see the biggest spaceship ever built."
Medicine

You, Too, Can Learn Echolocation 133

Posted by timothy
from the and-you-swear-this-isn't-a-joke dept.
The Narrative Fallacy writes "Wired reports that with just a few weeks of training, you can learn to 'see' objects in the dark using echolocation the same way dolphins and bats do. Acoustic expert Juan Antonio Martinez at the University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain has developed a system to teach people how to use echolocation, a skill that could be particularly useful for the blind and for people who work under dark or smoky conditions, like firefighters — or cat burglars. 'Two hours per day for a couple of weeks are enough to distinguish whether you have an object in front of you,' says Martinez. 'Within another couple weeks you can tell the difference between trees and pavement.' To master the art of echolocation, you can begin by making the typical 'sh' sound used to make someone be quiet. Moving a pen in front of the mouth can be noticed right away similar to the phenomenon when traveling in a car with the windows down, which makes it possible to 'hear' gaps in the verge of the road. The next level is to learn how to master 'palate clicks,' special clicks with your tongue and palate that are better than other sounds because they can be made in a uniform way, work at a lower intensity, and don't get drowned out by ambient noise. With the palate click you can learn to recognize slight changes in the way the clicks sound depending on what objects are nearby. 'For all of us in general, this would be a new way of perceiving the world,' says Martinez."
Data Storage

Rugged Linux Server For Rural, Tropical Environment? 236

Posted by timothy
from the crate-of-netbooks-and-solar-panels dept.
travalas writes "Last year I moved to Rural Bangladesh. My work is pretty diverse, everything from hacking web apps to designing building materials. Increasingly a Linux VM on my MacBook Pro is insufficient due to storage speed/processing constraints and the desire to interface more easily with some sensor packages. There are a few issues that make that make a standard server less than desirable. This server will generally not be running with any sort of climate control and it may need to move to different locations so would also be helpful if it was somewhat portable. The environment here is hot, humid and dusty and brutal on technology and power is very inconsistent so it will often be on a combination of Interruptible Power Supply and solar power. So a UPS is a must and low power consumption desirable, so it strikes me that an Integrated UPS a la Google's servers would be handy. Spec wise it needs to be it needs to be able to handle several VM's and some other processor storage intensive tasks. So 4 cores, 8GB of ram and 3-4 TB of SATA storage seems like a place to start for processing specs. What sort of hardware would you recommend without breaking the bank?"
The Internet

Lobby Groups Launch Full Assault For Canadian DMCA 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the sneak-it-through-while-everyone's-watching-playoff-hockey dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bill C-61, the previous attempt at a Canadian DMCA, may have failed, but it is clear that the music, movie, and business software industries are engaged in putting massive pressure on the Canadian government to bring it back. Lobbying records show several meetings each week with Government Ministers for CRIA, CMPDA, and Microsoft over the past month. Meanwhile, the CRIA is preparing a grassroots campaign in support of new copyright laws, even claiming that the current rules are costing jobs to truck drivers delivering CDs and DVDs."
Games

Valve Provides Details On Left 4 Dead Survival Pack DLC 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-new-take-on-not-dying dept.
A post on the Left 4 Dead blog shares details of the Survival Pack downloadable content due out next week. It will be free, and available for both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game. "Our goals for Survival Mode are to deliver a mode of play distinct from Campaign or Versus, have games that regularly last under ten minutes, and emphasize competition with team play through leaderboards. Survival Mode draws on the planning and communication aspects of a successful Finale or Crescendo event, while taking it to another level. It rapidly hits a fever pitch that only a well coordinated team will be able to successfully survive. ... Given the extreme pace of Survival Mode, the number of zombies killed in a single round often outnumbers an entire campaign."
Space

Space Sails Could Bring Used Rockets Back To Earth 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-about-a-space-hoover dept.
GordonCopestake writes "An article from New Scientist proposes that all new spacecraft have sails attached to bring them back to earth — a measure that would reduce the amount of garbage in space. From the article: 'The risk to spacecraft from a collision with space debris could be reduced by equipping launchers with a gossamer-thin "sail." The idea is to deploy the sail after the rocket has released its payload to amplify the drag of the last vestiges of the atmosphere, and so force the rocket out of orbit.'" Wired has a related story about the risks faced by the space shuttles as they share orbits with tons of drifting space debris. "... in the 54 missions from STS-50 through STS-114, space junk and meteoroids hit shuttle windows 1,634 times necessitating 92 window replacements. In addition, the shuttle's radiator was hit 317 times, actually causing holes in the radiator's facesheet 53 times."
Politics

Swedish Pirate Party Gains 3000 Members In 7 Hours 410

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the unintended-consequences dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Due to outrage over the verdict in The Pirate Bay trial, the Swedish Pirate Party has gained 3000 members in less than 7 hours. It is now bigger than 3 of the 7 parties represented in the Swedish parliament. 'Ruling means that our political work must now be stepped up. We want to ensure that the Pirate Bay activities — to link people and information — is clearly lawful. And we want to do it for all people in Sweden, Europe and the world, continues Rick Falk Vinge. We want it to be open for ordinary people to disseminate and receive information without fear of imprisonment or astronomical damages.'"
Role Playing (Games)

Crime Wave Thwarted in Second Life 183

Posted by Zonk
from the watch-what-you-walk-near dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "The Mercury News reports that a vulnerability in the way Second Life protects a user's money has been identified. Risks for users are reportedly limited because the researchers say the flaw can be quickly patched. The flaw exploits a known problem with Apple's QuickTime - when a virtual character passes by an infected object planted by hackers, the Second Life software activates QuickTime so it can play the video or picture. Hackers can direct the Second Life software to a malicious Web site that then allows them to 'take over the user's avatar and force it to hand over its Linden cash. Second Life is recommending that users disable streaming video playback in the Second Life viewer except when you are attending a known and trusted venue.' The hack raises tough questions for operators of virtual worlds. Should they be as secure as banks and guarantee the safety of money and property that characters in the world possess?"

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