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Earth

MIT Unveils Portable, Solar-Powered Water Desalination System 117 117

An anonymous reader writes "A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Field and Space Robotic Laboratory has designed a new solar-powered water desalination system to provide drinking water to disaster zones and disadvantaged parts of the planet. Desalination systems often require a lot of energy and a large infrastructure to support them, but MIT's compact system is able to cope due to its ingenious design. The system's photovoltaic panel is able to generate power for the pump, which in turn pushes undrinkable seawater through a permeable membrane. MIT's prototype can reportedly produce 80 gallons of drinking water per day, depending on weather conditions."
Image

Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality? 735 Screenshot-sm 735

e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."
Science

Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269 269

cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.
Wii

+ - Big overhead smash in Wii Sports Tennis

hitnews writes: "http://www.hitnews.net/big-overhead-smash-in-wii-s ports-tennis/ Linsey Fryatt is based in London and writes for stuff.tv — the website of the magazine of the gadget. Not many UK folks have a Wii, what with all 50,000 selling out on day one (last Friday). But I guess if you work for one of the leading game console review publications, you'll have a few of these kicking around. And so it is that Linsey got in touch. In her own words:"

Mayday 23: World Population Becomes More Urban Than Rural->

There's no big countdown billboard or sign in Times Square to denote it, but Wednesday, May 23, 2007, represents a major demographic shift, according to scientists from North Carolina State University and the University of Georgia: For the first time in human history, the earth's population will be more urban than rural.
Link to Original Source
Media (Apple)

Apple Sues Over iGasm Ads 342 342

funkeymonkeyman writes "Apple is less than pleased with an interesting new peripheral for the iPod which promises to 'take your appreciation of music to a whole new level.' Legal action has been taken against Ann Summers, the manufacturers of the new device, specifically for the similarity of the iGasm advertisements to the iconic iPod silhouette ads. The CEO of the adult retail chain replied to the threat cheerily, 'Perhaps I can send them an iGasm to put a smile back on their faces.'"

The Drawbacks of Anonymous Surfing 233 233

BlueCup writes to tell us that one reporter decided to give anonymous web surfing a shot, and found it to be much more trouble than it was worth. Many users take advantage of Tor and other anonymous web browsing tools, but is the amount of hassle worth the effort it takes to remain anonymous?

Will the Solve-the-Riddle Hiring Trend Affect IT? 579 579

An anonymous reader wonders: "It's probably harder to find a good developer, than for a developer to find a job. Seems to be a Google-riddle trend; rather than caring about references/diplomas/resumes, employers are using solve-this-and-you-have-a-job approach, not even caring about any usual information. Does that give decent graduates/talented unexperienced devs/homegrown coders a chance at the corporate job, or does it alienate potential matches?"

"If you own a machine, you are in turn owned by it, and spend your time serving it..." -- Marion Zimmer Bradley, _The Forbidden Tower_

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