I welcome the change. Call me cynical, but I just don't have confidence my Member of Parliament would be able to handle the pressure of managing detainees.
CaptainCrunchyApple writes "According to cnet.co.uk the oft-rumoured Apple Tablet PC is actually very real, and on its way soon. CNET claims to have spoken to an anonymous tipster at Asus who claims to be working with Apple to produce the tablet. 'We're guessing it'll be based on Intel Core architecture, a tweaked version of Leopard, and have all the multi-touch, CoverFlow goodness we've seen in the iPhone and iPod touch. All this begs the question: Can Apple turn the Tablet PC into a success when previous attempts have failed? The short answer is 'yes'. Any company that can make a mobile phone with no buttons, no picture messaging, slow Web access and no video capture into the most desirable phone on the planet can easily make tablets popular.'"
Identity Missing writes "An Ohio laboratory has produced genetically modified mice which 'can run five to six kilometres at a speed of 20 meters per minute on a treadmill, for up to six hours before stopping,' as well as a number of other remarkable feats. An enzyme called phosphoenolypyruvate carboxykinases (PEPCK-C) is apparently responsible, and we should hope that the scientists are correct in saying that athletes won't be modifying their genes any time soon to get it, because it apparently makes the mice more aggressive. If anyone feels a super villain coming on, at least we can rely on these Mighty Mice. A video demonstrates just how much these little guys beat the competition."
News.com tallies up the minor annoyances early adopters have experienced dealing with the newest version of OS X. From a change in folder design to install issues, and beyond to lack of support for Java 6, Mac users have had more to grumble about than usual in the last week. Just the same, the article notes, there have been no major problems and (compared to other OS launches) Leopard kicked off fairly well. "Let's give thanks to the early adopters, however masochistic they may be. You can do all the QA in the world before releasing an operating system, and it's not going to compare to what happens when the unwashed masses get their hands on the product. Microsoft's Windows Vista had years of developer releases, and was released to manufacturing several weeks before it went on sale to the general public. Still, compatibility problems cropped up because it's extremely difficult to anticipate what people are running, and in what combination. It's easier for Apple because it tightly controls its hardware and software, and because there are fewer potential combinations in the wild, but it's still a Herculean task."
An anonymous reader writes "FiringSquad has recently written a 14-page article on building a 'reference' home theater. They go through step-by-step and define all of the issues you need to think about when going with a new home theater setup. Exceptionally detailed but also easy to read."
Damon Tog notes a Wired blog posting featuring quotes from a juror who took part in the recent RIAA trial. Some excerpts: "She should have settled out of court for a few thousand dollars... Spoofing? We're thinking, "Oh my God, you got to be kidding."... She lied. There was no defense. Her defense sucked... I think she thought a jury from Duluth would be naive. We're not that stupid up here. I don't know what the f**k she was thinking, to tell you the truth."
Hugh Pickens writes "With backing from the White House and congressional leaders, and subsidies like the $500 million in risk insurance from the Department of Energy, the nuclear industry is experiencing a revival in the US. Scientific American reports that this week NRG Energy filed an application for the first new nuclear power plant in the US in thirty years to build two advanced boiling water reactors (ABWR) at its South Texas nuclear power plant site doubling the 2700 megawatts presently generated at the facility. The ABWR, based on technology already operating in Japan, works by using the heat generated by the controlled splitting of uranium atoms in fuel rods to directly boil water into steam to drive turbines producing electricity. Improvements over previous designs include removing water circulation pipes that could rupture and accidentally drain water from the reactor, exposing the fuel rods to a potential meltdown, and fewer pumps to move the water through the system. NRG projects it will spend $6 billion constructing the two new reactors and hopes to have the first unit online by 2014."
westlake writes "Sounds like the plot for a B-movie, doesn't it? Germs go into space and come back stronger and deadlier than ever. Except, it really happened. In a medical experiment, salmonella carried about the space shuttle in the fall of 2006 proved far more lethal to lab mice than their earth-bound source. 90% dead vs. 60% dead in twenty-six days, with half the mice dying at 1/3 the oral dose. Apparently 167 genes in the space-evolved strain had changed. The likely cause: In microgravity the force of fluids passing over the cells is low, similar to conditions in the gastrointestinal tract, and the cells adapted quickly to the new environment."
Mike writes "London has 10,000 crime-fighting CCTV cameras which cost £200 million but an analysis of the publicly funded spy network has cast serious doubt on its ability to help solve crime. In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average. The study found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any. Could this be an effective argument against the proliferation of cameras or will politicians simply ignore the facts and press ahead?"
Khyber notes that yesterday a vote in the US Senate fell four votes short of what was needed to restore habeas corpus — the fundamental right of individauls to challenge government detention. Here is the record of the vote on the Cloture Motion to restore Habeas Corpus. Article 4 of the US Constitution states that habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in cases of rebellion and invasion when the public safety may require it.
An anonymous reader writes "During a political rally at the University of Florida, an annoying student was tasered while attempting to ask Senator Kerry (D-MA) some questions regarding the 2004 election. Police are looking into whether excessive force was used to prevent the student from going over his alloted question period." There are also several YouTube videos available of the incident.
mikesd81 writes "A manager at a GameStop has been suspended for instituting a 'games for grades' policy. 'Brandon Scott says he started a unique new policy in his store to promote good grades in school but now his employer has sent him to detention for speaking out of turn. Scott says he's been suspended by GameStop in the wake of his unconventional "games for grades" policy at an Oak Cliff store.' Apparently, on his own, Scott decided to stop selling video games to any school-age customer unless an adult would vouch for the student's good grades."
willith writes "James Oliver Rigney Jr, author of the long-running fantasy series The Wheel of Time and better known to millions of fans by the pen name Robert Jordan, died on 16 Sept 2007 from cardiac amyloidosis. Jordan announced he had been diagnosed with the disease in March 2006 and vowed to beat the odds, but determination and gumption sometimes just aren't enough in the face of a disease with a median survival time of just over two years. Jordan was in the process of writing the twelfth and final book in the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, but the book was not slated for release until 2009 and is still incomplete. While there is hope that the book will still be finished from Jordan's notes, this is devastating news to all of us who have been reading the series since 1990."
holy_calamity writes "Two research teams have independently made quantum computers that run the prime-number-factorising Shor's algorithm — a significant step towards breaking public key cryptography. Most of the article is sadly behind a pay-wall, but a blog post at the New Scientist site nicely explains how the algorithm works. From the blurb: 'The advent of quantum computers that can run a routine called Shor's algorithm could have profound consequences. It means the most dangerous threat posed by quantum computing - the ability to break the codes that protect our banking, business and e-commerce data - is now a step nearer reality. Adding to the worry is the fact that this feat has been performed by not one but two research groups, independently of each other. One team is led by Andrew White at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and the other by Chao-Yang Lu of the University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei.'"