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Submission Exoplanet Count Blasts Through the 1,000 Barrier->

astroengine writes: The first 1,000 exoplanets to be confirmed have been added to the Europe-based Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. For the last few weeks, astronomers (and the science media) have been waiting with bated breath as the confirmed exoplanet count tallied closer and closer to the 1,000 mark. Then, with the help of the Super Wide Angle Search for Planets (SuperWASP) collaboration, the number jumped from 999 to 1,010 overnight. All of the 11 worlds are classified as "hot-Jupiters" with orbital periods from less than 2 days to 8 days.
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Submission Gold in Trees May Hint at Buried Treasure-> 1

sciencehabit writes: Money may not grow on trees, but gold does—or at least it accumulates inside of them. Scientists have found that trees growing over deeply buried deposits of gold ore sport leaves with higher-than-normal concentrations of the glittering element. The finding provides an inexpensive, excavation-free way to narrow the search for ore deposits.
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Submission China to Tap Combustible Ice as New Energy Source-> 1

lilbridge writes: Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water, have been discovered in the tundra undra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air.
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Submission The Long Shadow of Y2K

Hugh Pickens writes: "It seems like it was only yesterday when the entire world was abuzz about the looming catastrophe of Y2K that had us both panicked and prepared. Ten Years ago there were doomsday predictions that planes would fall from the sky and electric grids would go black, forced into obsolescence by the inability of computers to recognize the precise moment that 1999 rolled over to 2000 and for many it was a time to feel anxious about getting money out of bank accounts and fuel out of gas pumps. "Nobody really understood what impact it was going to have, when that clock rolled over and those digits went to zero. There was a lot of speculation they would reset back to 1900," says IT professional. Jake DeWoskin. The Y2K bug may have been IT's moment in the sun, but it also cast a long shadow in its wake as the years and months leading up to it were a hard slog for virtually everyone in IT, from project managers to programmers. "People were scared for their jobs and their reputations," says CIO Dick Hudson, Staffers feared that if they were fired for failing to remedy Y2K problems, the stigma would prevent them from ever getting a job in IT again. "Then there was the fear that someone like Computerworld would report it, and it would be on the front page," Hudson adds. Although IT executives across the globe were confident that they had the problem licked, a nagging fear followed them right up until New Year's Eve. While most people were out celebrating the turn of the century, IT executives and their staffs were either monitoring events in the office or standing by at home. Afterwards came the recriminations and backlash as an estimated $100 billion was spent nationwide for problems that turned out to be minimal. Others says the nonevent was evidence the Y2K effort was done right. "It was a no-win situation," says Paul Ingevaldson. "People said, 'You IT guys made this big deal about Y2K, and it was no big deal. You oversold this. You cried wolf.' ""

Submission What Would Have Entered the Public Domain Tomorrow->

An anonymous reader writes: "Casino Royale, Marilyn Monroe’s Playboy cover, The Adventures of Augie March, the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Crick & Watson’s Nature article decoding the double helix, Disney’s Peter Pan, The Crucible"... "How ironic that Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, with its book burning firemen, was published in 1953 and would once have been entering the public domain on January 1, 2010. To quote James Boyle, "Bradbury’s firemen at least set fire to their own culture out of deep ideological commitment, vile though it may have been. We have set fire to our cultural record for no reason; even if we had wanted retrospectively to enrich the tiny number of beneficiaries whose work keeps commercial value beyond 56 years, we could have done so without these effects. The ironies are almost too painful to contemplate."
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Comment Re:Overdrive (Score 1) 349

How is "Mickey" going to get a valid SSN# or driver's license number? Without one of those, most states (all, AFAIK) won't approve his voter registration.

ACORN and other voter registration groups are REQUIRED to submit all signed forms to the state, even if they're incomplete, obviously fraudulent, etc. They can flag suspected forms to call them to the state's attention, but the state makes the final call over whether the voter is legitimate--which is the way it should be. Otherwise, registration groups might throw out forms based on political party or other criteria.

If "Mickey" can vote, that means he either has a fake identity, or his registration was approved without state oversight. In neither case is the voter registration organization culpable.
Role Playing (Games)

A Look At the Warhammer Community 169

Gamasutra is running a story examining the development of the Warhammer Online community since its recent launch. The author explains how the gameplay and rules tend to affect social interaction. GamerDNA has a related piece looking at numbers for actual players involved with Warhammer's launch, and how it's affecting populations in other MMOs. "Getting on the computer to play WAR apparently reminded the WAR fanatics that they had a computer, because overall, their gameplay went up as a whole. They logged in more often to titles like COD4, Oblivion, and even AOC. But the MMO bug bit hard, and logins to LOTRO and EVE more than doubled after the launch of WAR."

Bill To Add Accountability To Border Laptop Search 495

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) has introduced a bill that would add accountability to the DHS searches conducted upon the laptops of those crossing the border. Specifically, it would require the issue of receipts to those who had their property confiscated so that it could later be returned, would limit how long the DHS can keep laptops, would require them to keep the laptop's information secure, and would create a way to complain about abuse. Finally, the DHS would be required to keep track of how many searches were done and report the details to Congress. Rep. Sanchez also has also issued a statement about the proposed bill."

Drug Halts Decline In Alzheimer's Patients 222

ljw1004 writes "Alzheimer's researchers are divided on whether the disease is caused by 'beta amyloid' (a peptide found in Alzheimer brains) or by 'tau protein' (normally used for cellular scaffolding, but can aggregate out of control and destroy neurons). Today in Chicago a new drug has been announced that stops tau aggregation and appears to have halted Alzheimer's-related decline in 300 clinical trial patients. The drug is known as 'rember.' Do you have friends or family who appear to be on the road to dementia? Here is an online questionnaire, part of one used in the clinical trial to diagnose dementia. (Disclosure: I made the online questionnaire, and my father is one of the scientists behind the drug.)"

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