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Submission + - Next Mars mission selected for funding (

Dr Bip writes: Flush with the good news coming from Mars, NASA has announced that JPL has won funding for the next mission to Mars. It seems that the lander will be carrying a self-driving mole developed by the german space agency (DLR). Commiserations to the two other projects that were also in the selection finale (TiME and CHopper).

Note the DLR mole's last attempt to get to Mars was with the Bealge 2 lander, fingers crossed for this second attempt.


Submission + - Fed-up Doc Creates App to Streamline Doctor-Patient Communication (

awjourn writes: "Bariatric surgeon Michael Nusbaum was annoyed that he couldn't answer text messages from patients without violating federal privacy regulations. So he created an electronic medical record on steroids--an app that allows patients to communicate with their doctors about their healthcare via their smartphones, without violating any laws. About 35,000 doctors and patients are using the app, which is about to be released to the general public."

Submission + - Man Convicted of Issuing Competing Currency ( 15

roman_mir writes: This FBI file is about a North Carolina man, who is convicted of minting silver coins, which compete with the currency issued by the US Mint.

The 67 year old is is facing 15 years of prison time and $250,000 fine as well as confiscation of $7,000,000 worth of silver and silver coins.

Following an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, von NotHaus, the founder and monetary architect of a currency known as the Liberty Dollar, was found guilty by a jury in Statesville, North Carolina, of making coins resembling and similar to United States coins; of issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and of conspiracy against the United States.

Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage.

In coordination with the Department of Justice, on September 14, 2006, the United States Mint issued a press release and warning to American citizens that the Liberty Dollar was “not legal tender.”

Article I, section 8, clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to Congress the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof.

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

Of-course the value of the US dollar under the US government has been in steady decline ever since the creation of the Federal reserve bank. Here is some data on how much value US dollar lost only in the last 25 years.

US Mint does not like competition, so it would be interesting to see its take on JP Morgan announcing that they are accepting physical gold as collateral with its counterparties.


Submission + - Instructions Can Hinder Children Self-Explorations (

Kilrah_il writes: How best to educate children? Do we tell them what we think they need to know or do we let them explore on their own, aimlessly? A recent study (warning: paywall), tried to answer this question by building a toy with many features and letting children play with it. One group of children got a lesson beforehand by study author, Elizabeth Bonawitz, a lesson that showed the working of one feature of the toy. The other group didn't get any instruction.
The children which got a lesson played with what they were shown, but didn't try other features, while the other group discovered on their own all the features of the game.


Submission + - Tunisian government stops internet filtering. (

Nrrqshrr writes: In an effort to save his governement's leftovers, the Tunisian president Ben Ali announced many changes varying from "Last presidence term" to price drops. One of the most notable declarations was the "Assurance that freedom of speech will not be trampled."
Indeed right now sites like Youtube and Dailymotion are available again, along with many other "sensitive" sites like Reporters Sans Frontière or the LGBT Center.
Yet, many websites, among which 4chan, mysteriously return a 404 error.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.