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Comment Re:Damn (Score 5, Insightful) 417

The problem is that the air is too thin. The area on the blades of a helicopter is much smaller than an airplane, and they depend much more on high velocity moving large volumes of air over those blades. There is very little air at those altitudes, and it is extremely difficult to control a helicopter. Correction for imbalanced weight is particularly difficult, and that's what you have when you try to pick up a body with a rope.

Comment Re:Silly gun nut (Score 4, Informative) 420

The winner is FDR, with Japanese internment. Second is John Adams, with the alien and sedition acts. The president with the net record for granting most freedoms goes, strangely enough, to Andrew Johnson, under whom the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments came into effect (no slavery, and equal protection under law).
The Courts

Jack Thompson Disbarred 522

Sockatume writes "The Florida Supreme Court has approved Judge Dava Tunis' recommendations for the permanent disbarment of John B. "Jack" Thompson, with no leave to reapply and $43,675.35 in disciplinary costs. The ruling is a step up from the enhanced disbarment that had been suggested by the prosecution, which would have forbidden him from reapplying for ten years. Thompson has 30 days to appeal the ruling before the disbarment is permanent. Thompson responds to the ruling."

It's Not a Flying Car - It's a Drivable Airplane 243

waderoush writes "Aviation enthusiasts have been dreaming of flying cars since the 1940s. But in an old machine shop in Woburn, MA, a team of MIT aero/astro grads is building what could be the first practical airplane that's also certified for highway driving. Angel-funded startup Terrafugia, headed by 2006 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winner Carl Dietrich, hopes to have its first full-scale proof-of-concept vehicle ready to show off at July's AirVenture aviation festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin."

Schoolboy Corrects NASA's Math On Killer Asteroid 637

spiracle writes "A German schoolboy, Nico Marquardt, has revised NASA's figures for the chances that the Apophis asteroid will hit earth. Apparently if the asteroid hits a satellite in 2029, its path could be diverted enough to cause it to collide with Earth on the next orbit, in 2036. NASA had calculated the chances as 1 in 45,000 but the 13-year-old, in his science project, made it 1 in 450. NASA agreed." Update: 04/16 16:47 GMT by Z : This is not entirely accurate, it turns out — more details.

Apple Sends Cease-and-Desist To the Hymn Project 444

Troed writes "Tools for removing DRM from iTunes-purchased songs (myFairTunes7, QtFairUse6) have been available from the Hymn Project Web site for some time. These are legal in many countries. But on the 20th Apple sent a Cease and Desist note to Hymn's ISP, forcing the site admins to remove all download links. It is speculated that this is due to a new tool being created (Requiem) that attacks Apple's FairPlay DRM through cryptographic means instead of by copying the unprotected music from memory while it is being played. But since the tools are no longer available (after several days there are still no public mirrors), discussion around this topic has died out. Many users buy music from the iTunes store and rely on DRM removal to be able to play the content on their mobile phones. Apple may be on dangerous ground here, since those users might now start checking out competing services."

Command Line Life Partner Wanted 503

emj writes "Craiglist offers an interesting approach to finding a life partner , summmary: "There is a sad truth to the world today. I am part of a dying breed of people known as "shell users." ... Because there are fewer and fewer of us, I must help keep our lineage alive. I am looking for someone to help me do this. I need a woman (obviously) who is willing to raise a child with me in the method of Unix."."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Anti-social site pokes fun at Facebook (

HUADPE writes: As reported by The McGill Daily there is yet another new way to over-connectedly rant against being over connected. The Anti-social site NOSO encourages you to "create NO connections by scheduling NO events with NO friends." When you sign up, you are assigned a random number in place of a name, and are invited to enter such details as "what you are not interested in, what schools you did not attend, what is not your favourite music, and what professions you do not practice."
The Courts

Ban On Price Floors Abandoned, Internet Prices May Rise 544

paro12 and i_like_spam informed us of a 5-4 decision by the US Supreme Court which abandons a 96-year-old ban on manufacturers and retailers setting price floors for products. The Slashdot community discussed the issue when the case was argued back in March. The ruling means that anti-competitive complaints based on price-fixing will have to be argued case-by-case and will be harder to prove. Discounts and discounters in all venues may be under pressure, with internet sales possibly the hardest hit. "Importantly, this case points a dagger at the heart of the most consumer-friendly aspects of the Internet. The Internet has shifted power to the consumer in two ways. First, it allows consumers to search for and gather information in a cost-effective, efficient manner. Second, it provides a low-cost means of retailing, making it easy for discounters to offer products to the public. This combination squeezes excess profits and inefficiencies out of product prices. Retail price maintenance seeks to short circuit this extremely consumer friendly process. By setting minimum prices, manufacturers can build in excess margins for themselves and for their favored retailers -- prices that consumers have no choice but to pay."

NBC Believes They Own Political Discourse 259

PoliSciASU writes "MSNBC has established draconian rules regarding the use of the Presidential Primary Debates on the internet. Some examples: '5. No excerpts may be aired after 8:30 pm on Saturday, May 26th. Excerpts may not be archived. Any further use of excerpts is by express permission of MSNBC only. 6. All debate excerpts must be taped directly from MSNBC's cablecast or obtained directly from MSNBC and may not be obtained from other sources, such as satellite or other forms of transmission. No portions of the live event not aired by MSNBC may be used.' Kevin Bondelli talks about why this is 'shameful and wrong'. Voters are missing out on the ability to actually have an engaged conversation about the candidates and their debate performances because of NBC's greed." Alexander Wolfe at InformationWeek and Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine share similar sentiments, and discuss the matter in different ways.

Beryl User Interface for Linux Reviewed 271

techie writes " has published a review of Beryl, a very cool looking UI for Linux. Matt Hartley writes, "This release, in my opinion, was the most over-hyped and bug-filled to date. You will have to really hit Technorati to see more of what I'm talking about, but Feisty is as buggy as the beta I tested a short time ago. After completely tossing into the wilds of the ubber-buggy "network-manager," anything running with Edgy supported RT2500 driver shows up, but it will not connect without a special script. Those of you who are on Feisty and need help with your RT2500 cards are welcome to e-mail me for the bash script."

Google Working on a Mobile Phone? 118

An anonymous reader writes "Are the boys from Mountain View planning a move into mobile hardware? has been encouraging analysts to dissect rumours that the search giant has designs on building a mobile. It says 'If Google were to get into the device game, it would be more likely to concentrate on the wi-fi side of things — perhaps a single-mode VoIP phone optimised for Google services such as Gmail.'"

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.