An anonymous reader writes to mention NewScientist is reporting that a small force of robots designed to explode could help reveal an asteroid's inner structure. This could in turn allow scientists a better understanding of how to divert a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Earth. From the article: "The main spacecraft would stay a few dozen kilometers away, perhaps nudging the probes towards the asteroid using springs. Once on the surface, the protective spherical shell of each probe would open to allow the probe to scan the surface nearby. To reduce complexity and costs, the probes lack solar panels and run on battery power, limiting their lifetime to a few days. But each probe could still cover a lot of ground in that time, as they could be fitted with small thrusters to let them hop across the surface. Eventually the probes could detonate onboard explosives, sacrificing themselves for science one by one. Probes that had not yet detonated would listen for any seismic waves sent rippling out from the explosion, and the main spacecraft could observe the craters left behind. That would tell scientists about the asteroid's strength and internal structure."
Torus Kas writes "Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 was supposed to be due by December 4 and development is currently frozen. Apparently the saga was triggered by disenchantment towards funding of $6,000 for each of the 2 release managers to work full-time in order to speed up the development. Many unpaid developers simply put off Debian work to work on something else."
An anonymous reader writes "NeoSmart Technologies has a recap on Firefox 2.0 and its shortcomings. Aside from the technical aspects, the article raises some good questions about the Firefox 'community,' it's future, and what it's goals are at the end of the day. Their conclusion? Firefox 1.5 was a much better open-source project/community model than 2.0 ever will be, and that 'It seems Firefox has lost its way somewhere along the passage to fame.'"
theodp writes "Is there such a thing as a BusinessWeek Cover Jinx? Amazon was bitten by the success of its 1,000 Xboxes for $100 promotion, which brought the entire site to its knees for about 15 minutes on Thanksgiving Day. Singing the too-much-traffic blues on Black Friday were Wal-Mart and Disney."
Gray writes "École Secondaire Mont-Bleu has banned all personal electronic devices and suspended two 13-year-old girls after one uploaded to YouTube a camera phone video of their teacher yelling at the other. After the video was posted on the popular internet video site, the teacher was so embarrassed that he stayed home from work, where he remains on stress leave. The teachers' union is now trying to get all personal electronic devices banned from all schools in Western Quebec." Meanwhile, via the PVRBlog comes word that YouTube has helped raise CBS' ratings by some 7-9%. From that article: "CBS has uploaded more than 300 clips that have a total of 29.2 million views on YouTube, averaging 857,000 views per day, since the service launched on October 18. CBS has three of the top 25 most viewed videos this month (Nov.1-17), including clips from CBS's Tuesday night hit drama 'NCIS,' 'Late Show with David Letterman,' 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' and 'The Early Show.' The CBS Brand Channel is also one of the most subscribed channels of all time with more than 20,000 users subscribing to CBS programming on YouTube since the channel launch last month."
IZ Reloaded writes "Space Shuttle Discovery has a problem with the pipeline for an auxiliary power unit that controls the shuttle's hydraulic steering and braking maneuvers. CNN reports that the pipleline is leaking 'fuel' at about six drops per hour." From the article: "The leak is more likely nitrogen, but there is no way of knowing that, so NASA is treating the problem as if the leak were fuel ... If it is fuel, the current rate is still 100,000 times slower than what would cause a fire ... Just in case, NASA will turn on the power unit with the leak early Sunday as part of its normal testing and then see if the leak rate changes. If it does, NASA may burn off the hydrazine and shut down the power unit before the shuttle returns to Earth to eliminate any fire hazard.'"
An anonymous reader writes "eWeek is reporting that SpikeSource co-founder and CTO Murugan Pal and the Open Business Readiness rating have launched a new initiative designed to maximize open-source software knowledge across organizations. While they are targeting corporate and Wall Street CIOs and IT directors as members, the current plan is not to open membership of the new OpenBRR Corporate Community to all, but to offer it on an invitation-only basis 'to ensure that only trusted participants are coming into the system,' Pal said. This would allow members to discuss sensitive issues and share information without having to worry that it would be made widely public, he said."
theodp writes to mention a C|Net article about Chinese President Hu Jintao's historic first visit to the U.S.. The catch is that his first dinner won't be at the White House. It will be at Bill Gates' manse. From the article: "The approximately 100-person guest list is a who's who of the U.S. Pacific Northwest power elite, including Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz and Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire, said event organizers. The guests will undergo strict security checks before entering Gates' lodge-style, 66,000-square-foot home overlooking Lake Washington with a reported seven bedrooms, six kitchens, 24 bathrooms, a domed library, a reception hall and an artificial estuary stocked with salmon and trout. Gates and Gregoire are expected to introduce and welcome Hu, who will then offer a toast in front of the gathering."
<hole> IE: you suck