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Space

Geomagnetic Storm In Progress 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the sky-is-falling dept.
shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.
Image

Amazon Reviewers Take on the Classics 272 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-of-the-beholder dept.
Not everyone is a fan of great literature. In particular, reviewers on Amazon can be quite critical of some of the best loved classics. Jeanette DeMain takes a look at some of the most hated famous books according to some short tempered reviewers. One of my favorites is the review of Charlotte's Web which reads in part, "Absolutely pointless book to read. I felt no feelings towards any of the characters. I really didn't care that Wilbur won first prize. And how in the world does a pig and a spider become friends? It's beyond me. The back of a cereal box has more excitement than this book. I was forced to read it at least five times and have found it grueling. Even as a child I found the plot very far-fetched. It is because of this horrid book that I eat sausage every morning and tell my dad to kill every spider I see ..."
The Almighty Buck

Health Care Reform 2044

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it-comes-to-this dept.
It appears that today might be the end of a very long road to health care reform. There's been a lot of debate on the subject really leading back before the election. The mainstream sounds like an echo chamber, so I'm hoping you guys have better insight. Will this bill do what the administration claims to do, or is it as bad for the future of America as Fox says?
The Courts

JPL Background Check Case Reaches Supreme Court 112

Posted by timothy
from the faster-boys-if-you-want-your-pay dept.
Dthief writes "A long-running legal battle between the United States government and a group of 29 scientists and engineers of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, has now reached the US Supreme Court." At issue: mandatory background checks for scientists and engineers working at JPL, which they allege includes snooping into their sexual orientation, as well as their mental and physical health.

Microsoft Demos Three Platforms Running the Same Game 196

Posted by Soulskill
from the pick-up-and-play dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft's Eric Rudder, speaking at TechEd Middle East, showed off a game developed in Visual Studio as a singular project (with 90% shared code) that plays on Windows with a keyboard, a Windows Phone 7 Series prototype device with accelerometer and touch controls, and the Xbox 360 with the Xbox gamepad. Interestingly, not only is the development cross-platform friendly, but the game itself (a simple Indiana Jones platformer was demoed) saves its place and lets you resume from that spot on whichever platform you happen to pick up."
Earth

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Posted by kdawson
from the revenge-of-the-lawn dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 458

by Emphron (#31142104) Attached to: Operation Titstorm Hits the Streets

The question that I want to ask, is why so many Americans etc want to get involved in what is our own choice here in Australia. As a nation we generally like and expect some censorship. What is that to you? What is it to Anonymous? It's our nation and we can do as we like with it.

We elected this government and the previous one which planned the censorship originally. Unlike the USA we actually do have a pretty democratic system here. Let us run our country as we like!

What's this crap about "as a nation" What gives you the right to speak for Australia? As an Australian I *hate* the idea of any censorship and I don't bloody want it and I don't bloody expect it. But what pisses me off almost as much is the fact that it won't bloody work and it'll only slow down my already bloody pitiful excuse for broadband.

Government

AU Gov't Still Wants ISPs To Solve Illegal Downloads 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the beaten-but-not-defeated dept.
bennyboy64 writes "Australia's Minister for Communications wants internet providers and the film industry to sit down and work out a solution to stop illegal movie downloads, despite a judge ruling in favor of an internet provider not being responsible for policing illegal downloads. The film studios first dragged internet provider iiNet into the Federal Court back in November 2008, arguing that the ISP infringed copyright by failing to take reasonable steps — including enforcing its own terms and conditions — to prevent customers from copying films and TV shows over its network."
Image

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment: Re:This is one of occasions wher... (Score 1) 845

by Emphron (#30617944) Attached to: Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect
Well the intent of the new law is to outlaw: "publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted". So the stated objective is not to require you to believe anything, but to require us all to treat other people's beliefs with respect. But whatever the stated intent, it is a very silly law. I am a Christian, in fact, an unpaid minister in the Anglican communion. But I do not want this law, I do not need its protection - and neither does my faith community. I am not even sure that I would not be breaking this law every time I went to Mass, because my recitation of the creed could be considered deeply offensive to Jews and Moslems. The point is, I think, that whatever people may or may not say, the choice about wether I am outraged remains entirely mine. If you speak things about Jesus that I consider offensive, it is up to me to decide whether I am outraged, or whether I react with compassion and understanding. Since Jesus famously forgave the people crucifying him, I am fairly sure what reaction He would expect of me. This legislation seeks to penalise *you* for any immaturity in *my* response to your speech. That seems absurd and utterly unworkable. If a prosecution is ever brought, it will play out in the European Court of Human Rights.

Comment: Re:Got one. Love it. (Score 1) 118

by Emphron (#28189471) Attached to: A Real-World Test of the Verizon MiFi
I agree. I'll get one when they launch in Australia. I guess the reason these 3G plans are so expensive is that business travellers are prepared to pay this much to stay in connected. If you do most of your work in the office, or at home then why bother. But if you travel for work, and can't afford to be out of connection, it is a pretty useful device. Here in Australia, 3G performance is pretty slow and unpredictable. I get pretty cranky about it, but there isn't a viable alternative.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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