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NASA

Obama's Space Plan — a Conservative Argument 433

Posted by timothy
from the who-is-this-conservative-paleface? dept.
MarkWhittington writes "The Obama space proposal, which seeks to enable a commercial space industry for transportation to and from low Earth orbit while it cancels space exploration beyond LEO, has sparked a kind of civil war among conservatives. Some conservatives hate the proposal because of the retreat from the high frontier and even go so far as to cast doubt on the commercial space aspects. Other conservatives like the commercial space part of the Obama policy and tend to gloss over the cancellation of space exploration or even denigrate the Constellation program as 'unworkable' or 'unsustainable.'"
Spam

Project Honey Pot Traps Billionth Spam 118

Posted by timothy
from the spam-sequestration dept.
EastDakota writes "Project Honey Pot today announced that it had trapped its 1 billionth spammer. To celebrate, the team behind the largest community sourced project tracking online fraud and abuse released a full rundown of statistics on the last five years of spam. Findings include: spam drops 21% on Christmas Day and 32% of New Year's Day; the most spam is sent on Mondays, the least on Saturdays; spammers found at least 956 different ways to spell VIAGRA (e.g., VIAGRA, V1AGRA, V1@GR@, V!AGRA, VIA6RA, etc.) in mail received by the Project; and much more."
Earth

Lifecycle Energy Costs of LED, CFL Bulbs Calculated 400

Posted by kdawson
from the pla-hol dept.
necro81 writes "The NY Times is reporting on a new study from Osram, a German lighting manufacturer, which has calculated the total lifecycle energy costs of three lightbulb technologies and found that both LEDs and CFLs use approximately 20% of the energy of incandescents over their lifetimes. While it is well known that the newer lighting technologies use a fraction of the energy of incandescents to produce the same amount of light, it has not been proven whether higher manufacturing energy costs kept the new lighting from offering a net gain. The study found that the manufacturing and distribution energy costs of all lightbulb technologies are only about 2% of their total lifetime energy cost — a tiny fraction of the energy used to produce light." The study uses the assumption that LEDs last 2.5 times longer than CFLs, and 25 times longer than incandescents.
Linux

Chrome OS, Present and Future 132

Posted by kdawson
from the ooh-shiny dept.
Many readers are submitting stories related to Google Chrome OS. ruphus13 points out a GigaOm opinion piece about how, if users end up rejecting its current cloud-only focus, the nascent OS may succeed as a netbook secondary operating system alongside Windows (in company with secondaries based on other Linux flavors, including Android). Engadget reviews a Chrome OS on a USB key setup that is claimed to offer eye-opening performance compared to running under virtualization. And an anonymous reader notes the 0.1 beta release of ChromeShell, which installs a "Chrome OS-like" environment that boots to the Chrome browser in ~3 seconds; users can switch to Windows later as desired.

Comment: Not a surprise (Score 5, Interesting) 632

by Capmaster (#30227440) Attached to: Contributors Leaving Wikipedia In Record Numbers
When 'deletionists' destroy the work people are putting in, it's not surprising when the people who have put that work into Wikipedia leave the site. There's only a finite amount of things that can be written about and as Wikipedia progresses, the articles that are created must become more and more obscure. But with those kinds of articles effectively banned from Wikipedia, the only editors it needs around are those that upkeep the existing articles.
Space

Fewer Than 10 ET Civilizations In Our Galaxy? 642

Posted by kdawson
from the black-rectangles dept.
Al writes "The Fermi Paradox focuses on the existence of advanced civilizations elsewhere in the galaxy. If these civilizations are out there — and many analyses suggest the galaxy should be teeming with life — why haven't we seen them? Carlos Cotta and Álvaro Morales from the University of Malaga in Spain investigate another angle by considering the speed at which a sufficiently advanced civilization could colonize the galaxy. Various analyses suggest that using spacecraft that travel at a tenth of the speed of light, the colonization wavefront could take some 50 million years to sweep the galaxy. Others have calculated that it may be closer to 13 billion years, which may explain ET's absence. Cotta and Morales study how automated probes sent ahead of the colonization could explore the galaxy. If these probes left evidence of a visit that lasts for 100 million years, then there can be no more than about 10 civilizations out there."
Security

Nmap 5.00 Released, With Many Improvements 73

Posted by timothy
from the ok-now-release-another-nsfw-introduction dept.
iago-vL writes "The long-awaited Nmap Security Scanner version 5.00 was just released (download)! This marks the most important release since 1997, and is a huge step in Nmap's evolution from a simple port scanner to an all-around security and networking tool suite. Significant performance improvements were made, and dozens of scripts were added. For example, Nmap can now log into Windows and perform local checks (PDF), including Conficker detection. New tools included in 5.00 are Ncat, a modern reimplementation of Netcat (with IPv6, SSL, NAT traversal, port redirection, and more!), and Ndiff, for quickly comparing scan results. Other tools are in the works for future releases, but we're still waiting for them to add email and ftp clients so we can finally get off Emacs!"
Education

HTML Tags For Academic Printing? 338

Posted by timothy
from the gedankenexperiment-draws-cries-of-use-ps-or-pdf dept.
meketrefi writes "It's been quite a while since I got interested in the idea of using html (instead of .doc. or .odf) as a standard for saving documents — including the more official ones like academic papers. The problem is using HTML to create pages with a stable size that would deal with bibliographical references, page breaks, different printers, etc. Does anyone think it is possible to develop a decent tag like 'div,' but called 'page,' specially for this? Something that would make no use of CSS? Maybe something with attributes as follows: {page size="A4" borders="2.5cm,2.5cm,2cm,2cm" page_numbering="bottomleft,startfrom0"} — You get the idea... { /page} I guess you would not be able to tell when the page would be full, so the browser would have to be in charge of breaking the content into multiple pages when needed. Bibliographical references would probably need a special tag as well, positioned inside the tag ..." Is this such a crazy idea? What would you advise?
Communications

SolarNetOne Wants Stable Internet Connections For Developing Nations 73

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the where-there-is-no-internet dept.
There are many initiatives to bring tech to developing areas of the globe; things like OLPC, Geekcorps, and UN programs. One new approach from SolarNetOne strives to allow users in those developing areas to have access to an internet connection without having to depend on unreliable infrastructure. "Each SolarNetOne kit is a self-powered communications network. Energy is produced from a solar array sized to each locale's latitude and predominant weather conditions. The generated power is stored in a substantial battery array, and circuit breakers and electronics protect the gear from overloads and other perturbations. A basic kit includes five 'seats,' implemented as thin clients connected through a LAN to a central server. The networking gear also includes a long-range, omnidirectional WiFi access point, and a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) device. Each kit also includes all the cables and wires required to assemble the system, so few additional materials are required for an installation."
Earth

Frank Herbert's Moisture Traps May Be a Reality 226

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-a-dry-heat dept.
Omomyid writes "In the seminal science fiction book 'Dune,' Frank Herbert envisioned the Fremen collecting water from the air via moisture traps and dew collectors. Science Daily reprints a press release from the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, where scientists working with colleagues from Logos Innovationen have developed a closed-loop and self-sustaining method, no external power required, for teasing the humidity out of desert air and into potable water."
Transportation

Computers Key To Air France Crash 911

Posted by kdawson
from the who-or-what-do-you-trust dept.
Michael_Curator writes "It's no secret that commercial airplanes are heavily computerized, but as the mystery of Air France Flight 447 unfolds, we need to come to grips with the fact that in many cases, airline pilots' hands are tied when it comes to responding effectively to an emergency situation. Boeing planes allow pilots to take over from computers during emergency situations, Airbus planes do not. It's not a design flaw — it's a philosophical divide. It's essentially a question of what do you trust most: a human being's ingenuity or a computer's infinitely faster access and reaction to information. It's not surprising that an American company errs on the side of individual freedom while a European company is more inclined to favor an approach that relies on systems. As passengers, we should have the right to ask whether we're putting our lives in the hands of a computer rather than the battle-tested pilot sitting up front, and we should have right to deplane if we don't like the answer."

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