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+ - Colin Powell, Hans Blix, and how the IAEA went from lapdog to watchdog in Iraq-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "This is an excellent book review and summary of the new book 'Dismantling the Iraqi Nuclear Programme: The Inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency, 1991-1998,' which tells the story of the transformation of the International Atomic Energy Agency from an ineffective inspection agency to a solid and assertive watchdog whose work In Iraq helped reduce Saddam Hussein's nuclear program to nothing. 'The story of the nuclear inspections in Iraq and the resulting transformation of the IAEA is not merely of historical interest. The debate over Iran today bears an uncanny resemblance to the Iraq debate of the 1990s...Without a full accounting of Iran’s nuclear activities past and present, the prospects of a durable diplomatic settlement are nil.' Great read."
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+ - Illinois Governor Wonders If Black Republicans Are Like Jewish Nazis-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Free Beacon reports, "Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is in some hot water with the Jewish community after his campaign tweeted—and then quietly deleted—several messages urging backers to read an article comparing black Republican voters to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis. Chicago Sun Times readers were stunned last week to find that writer Neil Steinberg has penned a column comparing black supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis against their brethren. “As a general rule, individuals will sell out the interests of their groups in return for personal benefit,” Steinberg wrote in his column, which claimed that Rauner is buying off the black community and its leaders. “It isn’t just a black thing. Jews collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping them to round up their own people in the hopes they’d be the last to go.” Quinn’s camp praised the piece and tweeted it out to supporters several times. The tweets were deleted after local Jewish community officials quietly communicated their outrage to the governor.""
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+ - 3D Printed houses are a reality!->

Submitted by mspohr
mspohr (589790) writes "China’s Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering company has released new images and further details on its 3D printed houses. The ten houses were built entirely out of recycled materials, in less than 24 hours.
The monstrous 3D printer measures 32-meters long, by 10-meters wide, by 6.6-meters high and is fully capable of printing the 200 square meter houses, in Shanghai’s Qingpu district. It uses a mixture of construction and industrial waste to produce each house. The inexpensive materials used during the printing process and the lack of labor, means each house can be printed for under $5,000, an impressive achievement for a relatively new construction process."

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Earth

+ - What if the earth stood still

Submitted by crus0e
crus0e (1173619) writes "As the german weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT reports [Google-translated link to the article], the german computer-scientist and expert for geographical information systems, Witold Fraczek, simulated how a total slowdown of the earth rotation would affect the shape and the appearance of mother earth. Though he does not claim his simulation to be perfectly correct, it seems to be a nice intellectual game to play."
Games

+ - Pay what you want: a sustainable business model?

Submitted by revealingheart
revealingheart (1213834) writes "As the 2010 comes to a close, this could be remembered as the year that pay-what-you-want pricing reached the mainstream. Along with the two Humble Indie Bundles, YAWMA offer a game and music bundle, and Rock, Paper and Shotgun reports on the curiously named Bundle of Wrong, made to help fund a developer who contracted pneumonia.

More examples include Reddit briefly offered their users to choose what to pay when they were in financial difficulties; the Indie Music Cancer Drive launched Songs for the Cure for cancer research; and Mavaru launched an online store where users can buy albums for any amount. Can pay-what-you-want become a sustainable mainstream business model? — or destined to be a continued experiment for smaller groups?"
Education

+ - Is it just us, or are kids getting really stupid?->

Submitted by krou
krou (1027572) writes "A feature at phillymag.com asks whether or not our kids are getting really stupid, arguing that the large cognitive load of constant data is making it harder to process information to any depth. 'Technology was supposed to set us free, to liberate us from mundane, time-consuming tasks so we could do great things, think great thoughts, solve humanity’s most pressing problems. Instead, our kids have been liberated to perform even more mundane, time-consuming tasks'. However, Elliot Weinbaum, a professor at Penn’s Graduate School of Education, and others argue that people are worrying unduly about illiteracy, or that kids don't know the days of the week. They also argue that computer activities such as gaming are providing valuable business skills: 'Over so many hours, [gamers have] learned how to master an incredibly complex system. These multi-person games that involve intra-functional teams — "guilds," they call them — organize their entrants the way some workplaces do. These are skills that corporate employers are very interested in.' The article is fairly long (nine pages in total) and ultimately concludes with the author's concern that 'we’re not just failing to engage with one another; we’re less and less willing to engage the world at large' and, ultimately, losing opportunities to develop '"our inwardness, our self-reflectiveness, our orientation to the unknown." In other words: a soul.'"
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Science

+ - Scientifically, You Are Likely In The Slowest Line-> 1

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "As you wait in the checkout line for the holidays, your observation is most likely correct. That other line IS moving faster than yours. That's what Bill Hammack (the Engineer Guy), from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois — Urbana proves in this video. Ironically, the most efficient set-up is to have one line feed into several cashiers. This is because if any one line slows because of an issue, the entry queue continues to have customers reach check-out optimally. However, this is also perceived by customers as the least efficient, psychologically."
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+ - Do Supernova Explosions Impact Earth Every Few Hun->

Submitted by
Phoghat
Phoghat writes "A University of Kansas research team is exploring the energy of cosmic rays and a possible link to massive prehistoric extinction events. Fossils and cosmic rays appear to have nothing in common. . But Adrian Melott, a professor at the University of Kansas, is doing work with high energy cosmic rays to investigate the possibility that one may be linked to the other."
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GUI

10 Dos and Don'ts To Make Sysadmins' Lives Easier 246

Posted by timothy
from the sorry-dave-can't-let-you-do-that dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Tom Limoncelli has a piece in 'Queue' summarizing the Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology's list of how to make software that is easy to install, maintain, and upgrade. FTA: '#2. DON'T make the administrative interface a GUI. System administrators need a command-line tool for constructing repeatable processes. Procedures are best documented by providing commands that we can copy and paste from the procedure document to the command line.'"

+ - Skype Slowly Restores Service To Users->

Submitted by CWmike
CWmike (1292728) writes "Skype continues to slowly recover after an outage caused by problems with its peer-to-peer interconnection system. The latest estimates say that 10 million users are now online, according to a blog post. Skype's outage began on Wednesday. Skype continues to slowly recover after an outage caused by problems with its peer-to-peer interconnection system. The latest estimates say that 10 million users are now online, according to a blog post. Skype's outage began on Wednesday."
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Technology

+ - FCC Chair Seeks Comcast-NBC Merger Conditions-> 1

Submitted by Anarki2004
Anarki2004 (1652007) writes "From the article: The head of the Federal Communications Commission proposed regulatory conditions Thursday to ensure that cable giant Comcast Corp. cannot stifle video competition once it takes control of NBC Universal. Comcast is seeking government approval to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. for $13.8 billion in cash and assets. The deal would create a media powerhouse that both produces and distributes content."
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Patents

+ - Will Patent Make NCAA Football Playoffs Impossible

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mark Cuban recently announced plans to create a college football playoff system, which many people (including President Obama) have been claiming has been needed for years. However, after doing so, Cuban received an odd emails, claiming that he'd better watch out, because a college football playoff system is patented and anything he did would likely infringe. The patent wasn't named, but Techdirt believes it has found the patent in question, along with another pending patent application (which has some amusing errors in it — such as an abstract that says it's about a boat fender, rather than a sports playoff system). So is it really true that some random guy in Arizona is the only person who can legally set up such a college football playoff system?"
Technology

+ - Aerial Video Footage of New York Taken By RC Plane->

Submitted by kkleiner
kkleiner (1468647) writes "Expert remote control pilot Raphael “Trappy” Pirker recently took his 54 inch Zephyr model plane on a harrowing tour of Manhattan and the surrounding area. The best part: his RC vehicle was fitted with a camera that wirelessly transmitted an amazing recording of everything it saw – Pirker was piloting his craft with this visual feed. As you can see in the video, the results were spectacular. The plane looks to be flying within a few feet of buildings and whizzing past bridges with ease. You have to check out around 2:01 when he starts to buzz right by the Statute of Liberty. Phenomenal! Could the new era of personal video recording be spreading to the sky?"
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Music

+ - Canadian court deciding on music-preview royalties->

Submitted by phorm
phorm (591458) writes "The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada is suing various telecommunications companies across Canada over the use of music "previews" (up to 30 seconds) for use as ringtones.

The CBC article is a bit short, but many questions could arise from the lawsuit. While the current lawsuit seems mainly targeted at ringtones, it could perhaps have a broader impact against sites which allow short previews of music, and what would the impact upon self-created ringtones (perhaps clipped from legally purchased music) be?"

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