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Submission + - Australian Elections Result In Hung Parliament (abc.net.au) 1

ajdlinux writes: For the first time since World War II, Australia has a hung parliament. The future of the Government now lies in the hands of the five independent and Green MPs, who will decide over the next few days which party they will back to form the next government. The Labor Party's National Broadband Network is now in doubt, but it at least seems the internet filter won't go ahead now that the Greens have the balance of power in the Senate.

Submission + - Jack Horkheimer a.k.a. "The Star Hustler" Dies 1

krswan writes: I'll bet many readers had their interest in astronomy fanned by Jack Horkheimer through his long running "Star Hustler" (later changed to "Star Gazer") program on PBS. His joy and enthusiasm for basic naked-eye astronomy was contagious, and more than once got me in big trouble as a kid for sneaking outside when his show ended at 12:05am trying to find whatever he was presenting that week. Nice story at Sky and Telescope, including the epitaph he already wrote for himself...

"Keep Looking Up was my life's admonition,
I can do little else in my present position."

Submission + - BBC Lowers HDTV bitrate, users notice

aws910 writes: According to an article on the bbc website, BBC HD lowered the bitrate of their broadcasts by almost 50% and are surprised that users noticed. From the article: "The replacement encoders work at a bitrate of 9.7Mbps (megabits per second), while their predecessors worked at 16Mbps, the standard for other broadcasters". The BBC claims "We did extensive testing on the new encoders which showed that they could produce pictures at the same or even better quality than the old encoders..." I got a good laugh off of this, but is it really possible to get better quality from a lower bitrate?

Submission + - Time Warner Cable to "Roll Over or Get Tough"? (rolloverorgettough.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Time Warner Cable are running a campaign that asks customers whether they should "Roll Over or Get Tough" with TV networks that are asking for up to 300% price hikes for their programming. From their site:

The networks shouldn't be in the driver's seat on what you watch and how much you pay. You're our customers, so help us decide what to do. Let us know if you want us to Roll Over, or Get Tough. We're just one company, but there are millions of you. Together, we just might be able to make a difference in what America pays for its favorite entertainment.

Earlier this year TWC sought to impose sky-high tiered pricing for its ISP customers, but finally relented in April after much heavy criticism.


Submission + - Lossless Loses

EddieSpinola writes: Everyone knows that lossless codecs like FLAC produce better sounding music than lossy codecs like MP3. Well that's the theory anyway. The reality is that most of us can't tell the difference between MP3 and FLAC. In this quick and dirty test, a worrying amount of subjects rated the MP3 encodes higher than the FLAC files. Very interesting, if slightly disturbing reading! http://www.trustedreviews.com/mp3/review/2009/11/18/Sounds-Good-To-Me/p1

Submission + - Scientology a 'criminal organisation' (abc.net.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Australian senator describes Scientology as a criminal organisation in a speech to parliament, saying they should be investigated by the police.

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.