DAMN MY LIFE writes "I'm going to Central Michigan University in the fall. Upon examination of their poorly organized network usage policies, I'm worried that using their internet service will expose my web browsing habits, emails, and most importantly, passwords. Another concern I have is the 'Client Security Agent' that students are required to install and leave on their systems to use the network. Through this application, the IT department scans everyone's computer for what they claim are network security purposes. Of course, scanning a person's hard drive can turn up all kinds of things that are personal. Do all colleges have such extreme measures in place? Is there any way that I can avoid this? There are no wireless broadband providers available in the area, I already checked."
Scientists have found ten new emperor penguin colonies by spotting their skid marks on the Antarctic ice from satellite images (video on page). The ice around the penguins gets very dirty because they congregate in a small area in very large colonies for months. Peter Fretwell, Mapping Expert, British Antarctic Survey says, "What we find is that we can see the guano (excrement) from space. They stay in the same space in very large colonies for eight months of the year and the ice around them gets very dirty, and it's that that we can see on the satellite images."
Ed Pegg writes "Theo Gray demonstrates the Bacon Lance, a flaming meatsword that can cut through steel. Yes, with some ordinary bacon, and some pure oxygen, it's possible to cut through security doors. Form the article, 'I recently committed myself to the goal, before the weekend was out, of creating a device entirely from bacon and using it to cut a steel pan in half. My initial attempts were failures, but I knew success was within reach when I was able to ignite and melt the pan using seven beef sticks and a cucumber.' This comes out right after his profusely illustrated book of science experiments, Mad Science."
MBCook recommends Kacie Kinzer's tweenbots page, which documents some of her experiments with small, anthropomorphized robots that need help. Kinzer is writing a thesis (at the Center for the Recently Possible) centered around investigating whether people in New York City will help a cute little robot to get where it's going. "Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal."
Because Guitar Hero is lots of fun and playing guitar is lots of work? It takes a lot of time to get good at playing an instrument; not only do you have to master the technical playing of the guitar but you also have to gain a rudimentary knowledge of music theory and musicianship. Or you could just rock out to your favorite bands' songs with your friends. Not everyone who plays Guitar Hero wants to become a guitar master.
jeevesbond writes "Back in October of 2007 we discussed a bug that would dramatically shorten the life of laptops using Ubuntu. Ubuntu users will be glad to know that a fix has finally been released for Ubuntu versions 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04 (LTS). However, as this fix is not yet in the update repositories, anyone wishing to test it should follow these instructions for enabling the 'proposed' repository. Report your results on the original bug report. Happy testing!"