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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 33 declined, 6 accepted (39 total, 15.38% accepted)

+ - A new 'dirty snowball' found: VP113->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "Phil Plaitt in Slate is covering discovery of a new solar system object, known as VP113 (for now). The object is in a highly-elliptical orbit, currently at about 80 AU ... and that's its nearest point to the sun (perihelion). The furthest point is some 6 times that — putting it well into the Oort cloud."
Link to Original Source

+ - NSA Spies in World of Warcraft->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is reporting that the US and UK spy agencies 'patrol' online games (such as 'World of Warcraft' and 'Second Life') to keep an eye on terrorist communications. The NSA "allegedly warned that such online games could allow intelligence targets to hide in plain sight". The same group have extracted WoW account data, attempting to link it to Islamic extremism.

Certainly a potential for data mining here — but keep an eye on that next elf you meet... it could really be a spook."

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+ - Man stays legally dead, despite pulse->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "Donald Miller Jr of Ohio was declared legally dead in 1994, eight years after disappearing. He resurfaced in 2005, needing to regain his Social security number. His wife battled the case to declare him alive, as she was unable to repay the social security benefits she had received. The judge declared the man still dead, as there is only a three-year period to reverse the original ruling.

“I don’t know where that leaves you, but you’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned,” the judge said."

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+ - Fox sued by Suicide's widow->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "Fox news covered a police chase on JoDon Romero, live from a chopper, following his (alleged) theft of a car at gunpoint. Unwittingly (we hope) they also covered his suicide — broadcast live to his wife and three children, along with all other viewers.

The widow is suing fox for unspecified damages, claiming 'emotional distress'. Pity that off switch was too far away."

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+ - Apple under scrutiny for massive tax avoidance->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "Tweaktown are carrying news reported elsewhere; that Apple are under scrutiny for escaping some US$44billion (that's a billion, as per Carl Sagan) of taxes, between 2009 and 2012. CEO Tim Cook appeared/will appear before a Senate investigation on Tuesday.

Apple's testimony states that Apple 'pays all it's required taxes, both in this country and abroad' and that they do no use 'tax gimmicks'.

The case continues..."

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+ - Alexander Graham Bell speaks!->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "A Smithsonian recording of the voice of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone had been deemed too fragile to play or try to listen to, for 138 years. Modern technology has caught up, however, and scientists made ultra-high definition images of the disks, allowing the depth and contours of the wiggles and grooves to be accurately measured — and bring the voice back to life, without ever touching the recording physically."
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Robotics

+ - Your plastic pal who's fun to be with - or not-> 2

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC magazine pages have an article on human trust of robots. The article cites a poll (done on facebook so certainly well-sourced) over the 'best face' design for a robot that would be trusted. But we still distrust them — because (tfa states) they look unwell (or like corpses) and do not behave as expected.

So would you trust a robot? How about one with the "trusting face"?"

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Idle

+ - Osama Bin Laden: the Funpark -> 1

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is reporting that Abbottabad — the place where OBL was found and killed by US Special forces — is to build an amusement park. The new park will not be near the site (now demolished) but will feature mini-golf, water sports and rock cllimbing. Possibly to help time pass for future terrorists otherwise at a loss of how to fill their days?"
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Privacy

+ - Texas state RFID story: student loses appeal->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "Andrea Hernandez has lost her appeal to avoid wearing the RFID tag, covered elsewhere on Slashdot. Interestingly, Hernandez cited religious reasons for refusing to wear the device, referring to the item as 'the mark of the beast'. A clever appeal to religious freedom rather than civil liberties, perhaps?"
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Medicine

+ - Do flu vaccines give you flu?->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is covering the ins and outs of Flu vaccines. According to the article, the vaccine is approximately 60% effectice, and it is the World Health Organization (WHO) that decide what strains (to a maximum of 3) are prevalent each year, and recommend that to go into the vaccine. And surprisingly, (or not), the recommendations for each hemisphere of the globe can be different. So are you more likely to get the flu if you fly from London to Sydney after a jab?"
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Television

+ - BBC turn off CEEFAX service->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "After 38 years (1974-> 2012) the BBC's CEEFAX service has ceased transmission. The service gave on-line up-to-date textual information (albeit in condensed form) to TV viewers in the pre-Internet era and afterwards. An British ex-PM (John Major) states ..
"From breaking global news to domestic sports news, Ceefax was speedy, accurate and indispensable. It can be proud of its record.""

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Medicine

+ - IRIDOLOGIST A MAJOR FACTOR IN DEATH->

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "NZ's Auckland daily is covering (partly as a TV promotion) the story of a Naturopath (in this case, an iridologist) who was consulted by a woman with a 'cyst' on her skull. After 18 months of 'treatments', the woman died of the 'cyst', which was actually a cancer. The woman left behind a letter stating that the naturopath advised against consulting a doctor — and the naturopath in turn states that she did request the woman to see a doctor.

What's amazing is that the naturopath cannot be 'struck off', as she is exempt from such treatment by being in the 'alternative medicine' field."

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"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen

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