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Majel Roddenberry Dies At 76 356

unassimilatible writes "If there was ever a sad day for nerds, it's today, as Majel Barrett-Rodenberry has passed away. The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is best remembered as the gorgeous Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, the pesky and officious Lwaxana Troi from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and of course the ubiquitous voice of Star Trek computers in movies, TV, and animated films (who hasn't used her voice as a system sound on their PC?). Majel also attended Star Trek conventions yearly and was a producer of Andromeda. Fortunately, Majel just finished her voice over work for the computers in J.J. Abrams' latest Trek movie. I have to admit, this made me sad, just having caught up on the entire TNG and DS9 series on DVD."

Small Asteroid On Collision Course With Earth 397

musatov writes "There's talk on The Minor Planet Mailing List about a small asteroid approaching Earth with a 99.8% probability of colliding. The entrance to the Earth's atmosphere will take place October 7 at 0246 UTC (2:35 after this story goes live) over northern Sudan, releasing the energy of about a kiloton of TNT. The asteroid is assumed to be 3-4 meters in size; it is expected to burn up completely in the atmosphere, causing no harm. As a powerful bolide, it may put on quite a show in the sky. For those advanced enough in astronomy to observe, check the MPEC 2008-T50 and MPEC 2008-T64 circulars. NASA's JPL Small Body Database has a 3D orbit view. The story has been already picked up by CNN and NASA."

Commerce Department Pushing For New "Copyright Czar" 294

TechDirt is reporting that those all-too-familiar "stats" surrounding the cost of piracy are being trotted out in an attempt to push through a new "Copyright Czar" position. "In urging President Bush to sign into law the ProIP bill, which would give him a copyright czar (something the Justice Department had said it doesn't want), the US Chamber of Commerce is claiming that 750,000 American jobs have been lost to piracy. Yet, it doesn't cite where that number comes from."

Senate Votes To Empower Parents As Censors 418

unlametheweak recommends an Ars Technica report that the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill requiring the FCC to explore what "advanced blocking technologies" are available to parents to help filter out "indecent or objectionable programming." "...the law does focus on empowering parents to take control of new media technologies to deal with undesired content, rather than handing the job over to the government. It asks the FCC to focus the inquiry on blocking systems for a 'wide variety of distribution platforms,' including wireless and Internet, and an array of devices, including DVD players, set top boxes, and wireless applications."

Mimicking Electric Eel Cells 71

An anonymous reader writes "A team of US researchers has asked the following question in the new field of systems biology: 'Do we understand how a cell produces electricity well enough to design one, and to optimize that design?' They believe it should be possible to build artificial cells replicating the electrical behavior of electric eel cells. In fact, such artificial cells could deliver better performance — as much as 40% more energy than real eel cells, a computer model suggests. They could be used to power medical implants and other small devices."

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