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Businesses

eBay's Ill-Timed Lifetime Achievement Webby 316

Posted by kdawson
from the do-as-I-say dept.
theodp writes "eBay CEO Meg Whitman will accept a special Webby Lifetime Achievement Award next month on behalf of the eBay Community, which has 'permanently changed the way people connect, discover and interact with each other.' Perhaps by then, people will have forgotten how eBay enabled buyer 'Blazers5505' to hook up with sellers like 'oneclickshooting' just weeks before the worst mass shooting in modern US history, prompting eBay to issue a gun-parts-don't-kill-students-guns-and-ammo-do statement that showed little evidence of its celebrated commitment to social consciousness. CEO Whitman, who received $11.1M last year for her leadership efforts, has kept a low profile since tooting eBay's trust-and-safety horn for Wall Street analysts two days after the Va. Tech rampage."
The Internet

The Virtual Teacher 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the aibo-ate-my-homework dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from Illinois and Florida are developing a networking system which will create virtual representations of real people to improve our knowledge. They will use artificial intelligence and natural language processing software to enable us to interact with these avatars. The goal of the project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is to give us the possibility to interact with these virtual representations as if they were the actual person, complete with the ability to understand and answer questions. We should see the results at the beginning of 2008 — if the researchers succeed."

Seeing Color in the Night 166

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the less-green-for-more-green dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "In 'Things that show color in the night,' the Boston Globe reports that a company named Tenebraex is helping color blind people to travel. But it's also developing goggles to help soldiers and physicians to see all colors at night, and not only the green color of current night vision systems. These goggles, which should become available this summer, will be sold for about $6,000 to the Army. But as states one of the founders of the company, with monochrome night vision, 'blood is the same color as water.' So these expensive night vision devices might be more targeted to Army physicians than to regular soldiers."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Linux - Apparently no more than Office

Submitted by
Cyvros
Cyvros writes "Linux Today mentions two comments ([1] and [2]) by "jerryleecooper" at ZDNet about why Linux cannot possibly succeed against Windows.

The reason? Linux runs on Windows. Apparently. From his second post:
"I hope you realise that windows is more than just Office ? Its a whole system that runs the computer from start to finish, and that is a very difficult thing to acheive. A lot of people dont realise this. ... Its just not possible that a freeware like the Linux could be extended to the point where it runs the entire computer fron start to finish, without using some of the more critical parts of windows. Not possible."

Whoa. Could this mean... Linux is no more than Office?"
Space

+ - NASA Confirms Solar Storm near 2012

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "`This week researchers announced that a storm is coming — the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.`

`Dikpati's forecast puts Solar Max at 2012. Hathaway believes it will arrive sooner, in 2010 or 2011.`

Anyone familiar with the Mayan Calendar? December 21, 2012 (13.0.0.0.0 in the Mayan Calendar) Coincidence?"
Censorship

Scientology Critic Arrested After 6 Years 1046

Posted by Hemos
from the running-to-standstill dept.
destinyland writes "Friday police arrested 64-year-old Keith Henson. In 2000 after picketing a Scientology complex, he was arrested as a threat because of a joke Usenet post about "Tom Cruise Missiles." He fled to Canada after being found guilty of "interfering" with a religion, and spent the next 6 years living as a fugitive. Besides being a digital encryption and free speech advocate, he's one of the original Burr-Brown/Texas Instruments researchers and a co-founder of the Space Colony movement."
Windows

Vista Family Discount Keys Found Not Compatible 394

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fits-a-different-lock dept.
acousticiris writes "Many (if not all) users who took advantage of Microsoft's Vista Family Discount have been issued invalid installation keys and cannot install Windows Vista Home Premium. Microsoft says, 'There is no expected time period for a fix at this time.' According to the article, the keys are valid for something, just not Windows Vista. Perhaps it's just too simple to issue these folks new keys and send them on their way."

Robotic Deer to Fight Illegal Hunting 325

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the low-tech-honey-pot dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "If you were a law enforcement official searching for hunters who don't follow the rules, what would be a good gift for you? In 'Robot Deer Captures Poachers,' Brian Bull, reporting from Mosinee, Wisconsin, writes that you can buy robotic decoys for deer, elks, moose and even bears. These life-like creatures are made of animal hides or skins attached to polyurethane foam bodies and equipped with remotely controlled motors allowing the head and tail to move. After you pay about $2,000 for such a robo-deer, you put it on a side road. All you have to do is wait for an illegal hunter trying to shoot the fake deer and fine him. Many officers have reported collecting well over $30,000 in fines with a single robot. Not a bad deal."
Space

+ - FAA releases Space Pilot requirements

Submitted by
JCOTTON
JCOTTON writes "The FAA has released the Human Space Flight Requirements for Crew and Space Flight Participants
(Section 3) Pilot Qualifications As proposed in the NPRM, 460.5 requires a pilot of a launch or reentry vehicle to possess and carry an FAA pilot certificate with an instrument rating. The FAA invited public comment on the proposed requirement and received differing views.....in addition to a pilot certificate, the FAA (should) require test pilot credentials or military supersonic experience ....this could be a better choice to operate the vehicle than a pilot.

What does the Slashdot Space Academy think about the minimum qualifications for space pilot?"
Security

Detecting Rootkits In GNU/Linux 142

Posted by kdawson
from the watching-your-back dept.
An anonymous reader sends note of a blog post on rootkit detection in GNU/Linux. The article mentions only two utilities for ferreting out rootkits — the first comment to the blog post lists three additional ones — but it could be useful for those who haven't thought about the problem much. From the article: "A rootkit... is a collection of tools that a cracker installs on a victim's computer after gaining initial access. It generally consists of log cleaning scripts and trojaned replacements of core system utilities such as ps, top, ifconfig and so on."

Former Spy Poisoned By Radiation In UK 432

Posted by Zonk
from the fishy-quite-fishy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BBC new is reporting the death of the ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with a major dose of radioactive polonium-210. But nobody knows how it got there. Suspicions have fallen upon the Russian security services (who deny involvement). The task of the pathologists now is to unpick what really killed him and how it was administered. Quite what techniques they will use to solve this puzzle is unclear." From the article: "A post-mortem examination on Mr Litvinenko has not been held yet. The delay is believed to be over concerns about the health implications for those present at the examination. But Roger Cox from the HPA said a large quantity of alpha radiation emitted from polonium-210 had been detected in Mr Litvinenko's urine."

Mars Hi-Res & Thermal Images Payoff 36

Posted by Zonk
from the pretty-redness dept.
eldavojohn writes "The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter & Mars Odyssey Orbiter took high resolution images (and shots of each other) earlier this year and after studying them, experts believe that there are too many boulders around the proposed Phoenix Mars Lander landing site. From the article, 'At the end of January 2007, scientists will meet to see if there is an obvious choice for a landing site. If not, they will keep analyzing the data until summer 2007. They are comparing HiRISE's data with that taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on the Mars Odyssey orbiter. Since boulders hold heat better than soil or sand, they show up in THEMIS images taken early in the morning.'"

Neutrinos are into physicists.

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