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Space

+ - Moon landing missing link. 1

Submitted by shoetick
shoetick (666) writes "So, we landed on the moon. We left a flag. We have over the years some really great telescopes. What does the flag look like now? How long would it take to spot the flag from earth? Haven't we been tracking the moons orbit and wouldn't it be easy to calculate the mark? If not, does this aid the skeptics?"
Microsoft

+ - Mom blasts Ballmer over kid's crappy Vista OS-> 6

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "While on stage at a Gartner's ITxpo conference today, Ballmer got an ear-full from the mother of a 13-year-old girl who said after installing Vista on her daughter's computer she decided only two days later to switch back to XP because Vista was so difficult. Ballmer defended Vista saying: "Your daughter saw a lot of value"; to which the mother replied: "She's 13." Ballmer said that Vista is bigger than XP, and "for some people that's an issue, and it's not going to get smaller in any significant way in SP1. But machines are constantly getting bigger, and [it's] probably important to remember that as well." Says the mother: "Good, I'll let you come in and install it for me.""
Link to Original Source
Linux Business

+ - RedHat: Customers Can Deploy Linux with Confidence->

Submitted by
mrcgran
mrcgran writes "Eweek is reporting: "Red Hat is assuring its customers that they can continue to deploy its Linux operating system with confidence and without fear of legal retribution from Microsoft, despite the increasingly vocal threats emanating from the Redmond, Wash., company. In a scathing response to Ballmer's remarks, Red Hat's IP team said the reality is that the community development approach of free and open-source code represents a healthy development paradigm, which, when viewed from the perspective of pending lawsuits related to intellectual property, is at least as safe as proprietary software. "We are also aware of no patent lawsuit against Linux. Ever. Anywhere," the team said in a blog posting."
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Announcements

+ - It's International talk like a pirate day

Submitted by
Late-Eight
Late-Eight writes "It Be that time of year again Arrr! For the last five years September the 19th has been known as International talk like a pirate day, this invented holiday was created by John Baur & Mark Summers as a joke way back in 1995. But it wasn't until they submitted a letter in 2002 about their made-up holiday to humour columnist Dave Barry that it became global known. So for today at least you have a valid excuse for talking like a pirate, just don't go over board, Arrr!"
Sci-Fi

+ - Scientist suggests super-sticky Spidey suit

Submitted by Stony Stevenson
Stony Stevenson (954022) writes "A professor from the Polytechnic of Turin has developed a method for building a suit that could allow humans to cling to vertical surfaces like the comic book hero Spider-man.

The suit would use a similar principle used by geckos and spiders, which possess millions of tiny hairs on their limbs allowing them to stick to surfaces. Adhesion strength drops exponentially as the surface area and weight increases, so creating the same effect in a human-sized subject has been considered impossible.

"By using something like nanotubes we should be able to create sufficient attractive force to easily support a human, and by laying them out a hierarchical structure, the user should be able easily detach each limb in a simple peeling motion," said Professor Pugno. He predicted that we could see such suits by 2017, but added that they will need to be adhesive enough, easily detachable and self-cleaning if they are to be feasible."
Encryption

+ - Art Theft Prevention?

Submitted by
Skye-of-Cydonia
Skye-of-Cydonia writes "Recently, I seem to have been a target for art theft, having mysteriously discovered various pieces of my DeviantART gallery — usually digital art — scattered across the internet. I logged onto my account this morning to find a note: a notice that now, my work is being sold on eBay, without my permission. Obviously this is illegal, and against UK, Ireland and International law, so I took the action of reporting it to eBay in the hope that it will be sorted. Although, that might not stop them entirely from perhaps submitting it elsewhere — perhaps in places that I am unaware of. I was wondering, Slashdot, if there is perhaps a way that I could prevent this — or digitally alter my artwork to be 'encrypted' to some extent. The only issue with prevention of my work being stolen like that, is that people will not be able to view it where submitted. I've already altered all of the work in my DeviantART gallery to contain watermarks, so that they cannot be used. But that doesn't stop them from stealing work from my website, Moons of Mars. I'd hate to have to upload everything again and place watermarks on all of my work — so perhaps there might also be a way that I could do something much easier. I'm not entirely sure what to expect as a response, or suggestion, but right now, I'm desperately in need of a way of securing my art from further theft like this, and I'll blindly take any offers."
Supercomputing

+ - Student and professor build budget supercomputer->

Submitted by Luke
Luke (666) writes "This past winter Calvin College professor Joel Adams and then Calvin senior Tim Brom built Microwulf, a portable supercomputer with 26.25 gigaflops peak performance, cost less than $2,500 to construct, becoming the most cost-efficient supercomputer anywhere that Adams knows of. "It's small enough to check on an airplane or fit next to a desk," said Brom. Instead of a bunch of researchers having to share a single Beowulf cluster supercomputer, now each researcher can have their own. What would you do with a personal supercomputer?"
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Bug

+ - Giant spider web spurs sticky debate-> 1

Submitted by
Raver32
Raver32 writes "Entomologists are debating the origins of a massive spider web, which runs more than 180 metres and covers several trees and shrubs, found in Texas. Officials at Lake Tawakoni State Park, near Willis Point, find the web both amazing and somewhat creepy. "At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland," park superintendent Donna Garde said. "Now it's filled with so many mosquitoes that it's turned a little brown. There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs." Experts are debating whether the web is the work of social cobweb spiders working together, or a mass dispersal where the arachnids spin webs to move away from one another."
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NASA

+ - NASA checks coastal waters from space

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "Using NASA satellite imagery, researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) in St. Petersburg have found that it is possible to monitor coastal water quality. This means that water quality can be checked daily rather than monthly as done by traditional methods which involves expensive boat surveys. This information can be crucial for resource managers devising restoration plans for coastal water ecosystems. According to the researchers, this method can be applied to coastal waters worldwide with little changes — providing that resource managers have access to data from NASA satellites. Read more for additional references and images showing the water quality of Florida's Tampa Bay and how it decreases in winter months compared to summer."
Space

+ - Lunar Eclipse Next Tuesday Morning->

Submitted by
Raver32
Raver32 writes "Tuesday morning, Aug. 28 brings us the second total lunar eclipse of 2007. Those living in the Western Hemisphere and eastern Asia will be able to partake in at least some of this sky show. The very best viewing region for viewing this eclipse will fall across the Pacific Rim, including the West Coast of the United States and Canada, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand and eastern Australia. All these places will be able to see the complete eclipse from start to finish. Europeans will miss out on the entire show, as the Moon will be below the horizon during their mid and late morning hours."
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Biotech

+ - Milestone In The Regeneration Of Brain Cells->

Submitted by
Raver32
Raver32 writes "The research group of Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz at the Institute of Stem Cell Research of the GSF — National Research Centre for Environment and Health, and the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, has achieved an additional step for the potential replacement of damaged brain cells after injury or disease: functional nerve cells can be generated from astroglia, a type of supportive cells in the brain by means of special regulator proteins. The majority of cells in the human brain are not nerve cells but star-shaped glia cells, the so called "astroglia". "Glia means "glue", explains Götz. "As befits their name, until now these cells have been regarded merely as a kind of "putty" keeping the nerve cells together. A couple of years ago, the research group had been already able to prove that these glia cells function as stem cells during development. This means that they are able to differentiate into functional nerve cells. However, this ability gets lost in later phases of development, so that even after an injury to the adult brain glial cells are unable to generate any more nerve cells. In order to be able to reverse this development, the team studied what molecular switches are essential for the creation of nerve cells from glial cells during development. These regulator proteins are introduced into glial cells from the postnatal brain, which indeed respond by switching on the expression of neuronal proteins. In his current work, Dr. Benedikt Berninger, was now able to show that single regulator proteins are quite sufficient to generate new functional nerve cells from glia cells. The transition from glia-to-neuron could be followed live at a time-lapse microscope. It was shown that glia cells need some days for the reprogramming until they take the normal shape of a nerve cell. "These new nerve cells then have also the typical electrical properties of normal nerve cells", emphasises Berninger. "We could show this by means of electrical recordings"."
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Robotics

+ - Software for reverse engineering the human brain->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "In his book, "The Singularity is Near", Ray Kurzweil says the future of artificial intelligence may be in reverse engineering the human brain. Now, scientists at the University of Colorado have released software, dubbed "Emergent," that is aimed at allowing you to do just that. Using the ODE library for realistic physics, you can construct a robot with a simulated brain in a simulated world with a simulated body. I've seen neural network software before, but seeing a robot with his brain hovering over his head in 3D was a bit..shocking to say the least. Especially in light of this recent Oxford paper which asks, "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?." I was even able to "lesion" his brain and see his performance go down. Could this approach possibly bootstrap us into real artificial intelligence? Will these new simulated robotic overlords someday assimilate us?"
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Power

+ - Nanotechnology boosts solar cells performance

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "Physicists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have improved the performance of solar cells by 60 percent. And they obtained this spectacular result by using a very simple trick. They've coated the solar cells with a film of 1-nanometer thick silicon fluorescing nanoparticles. The researchers also said that this process could be easily incorporated into the manufacturing process of solar cells with very little additional cost. Read more for additional references and a photo of a researcher holding a silicon solar cell coated with a film of silicon nanoparticles."

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