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+ - Oyster Wears Glass Armor->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The windowpane oyster sports a shell so transparent and durable that some Indian and Philippine cities use the coverings as an affordable alternative to window glass. Yet windowpane oyster shells are made up of 99% calcite, a usually brittle material, with a small amount of organic material. A team of researchers wondered how the shellfish’s fingernail-thick armor could survive multiple blows while remaining transparent, a feat unmatched by humanmade materials. When forcefully jabbed with a diamond, the windowpane oyster shell resists shattering by dispersing 10 times more impact energy than raw calcite, the team reports . Peeking at the shell’s crystal structure using an electron microscope, the researchers discovered the oyster’s secret. When stressed, the shell’s crystal structure twists symmetrically, causing an atomic reorganization that forms a boundary quarantining any fractures that might form. This process, called deformation twinning, dissipates energy horizontally and allows the shell to survive multiple hits. The researchers say their work provides a natural template for developing sturdy, transparent materials for windshields and even see-through military armor."
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Government

+ - MA proposes two year jail term for online gambling

Submitted by tessaiga
tessaiga (697968) writes "The Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is trying to sneak a provision to criminalize online gambling. The bill, if passed, would make online gambling punishable by up to 2 years in prison and $25k in fines. Ironically, the provision is buried deep within a bill to allow the construction of three new casinos in Massachusetts to bring more gambling revenue into the state. "If you were cynical about it, you'd think that they're trying to set up a monopoly for the casinos," said David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Democratic House representative Barney Frank, who earlier this year introduced federal legislation to legalize regulated online gambling, also criticized the move as "giving opponents an argument against him." Indeed, groups such as the Poker Player's Alliance, who were previously supportive of Patrick's plans to open the new casinos, have already announced opposition to the bill because of the online gambling clause."
United States

+ - BBC Reported WTC7 Collapse Before it Happened.

Submitted by
zero_jd
zero_jd writes "A video was recently posted to Google which originally aired on BBC world between 16:54 and 17:36 EST on September 11th, 2001. In the video, a report came in that the Salomon Smith Barney building (aka: World Trade Center 7) had just collapsed due to a weakened structure. The report, however, had come in some twenty minutes prior to the actual collapse of the building. The video then cuts to a live correspondent in New York speaking with downtown Manhattan in the background. While she is discussing the collapse with the news anchor, WTC7 is clearly still standing in the background behind her. Then, just minutes before the building actually collapsed, her feed was abruptly cut. Despite Google Video containing numerous copyrighted BBC documentaries, another embarassing BBC moment (the taxi driver incident), and 9/11 conspiracy videos, several copies of this particular video were removed within 24 hours. New copies are curretly continuing to appear, but it seems abundantly clear that someone wants them taken away. The conclusions to be drawn are left to the reader, of course."
Space

+ - BBC Top Gear Launches Reliant Rocket

Submitted by slashmojo
slashmojo (818930) writes "After providing presenter Richard Hammond with a near death rocket car experience, BBC car show Top Gear reached for greater heights and brought new life (briefly) to a Reliant Robin by adding wings and strapping it to a rocket to make what looks remarkably like a space shuttle.

Amazingly it actually launched quite successfully before crashing back to earth spectacularly after a malfunction prevented the car detaching from the rocket for landing. The impressive reliant rocket was constructed in Manchester (UK) and fortunately none of the Top Gear presenters were on board this time as it was flown by remote control. More about the launch here."
Microsoft

+ - Malicious Vista Voice Recognition

Submitted by TitusC3v5
TitusC3v5 (666) writes "According to an article at BBC, there are some outstanding issues with Vista's new voice recognition abilities. Opening yet another hole for attackers to exploit, Microsoft insists that we shouldn't be alarmed. ""The firm also said that voice commands could not be used for privileged functions such as creating a new user or formatting a drive.""
Nintendo

+ - Can Nintendo Make It Back to the Top?

Submitted by
Jason McMaster
Jason McMaster writes "Over the last few generations, Nintendo has spent a lot of time in third place. The Wii, however, is the hottest item on the market right now. There are several different reasons that Nintendo fell out of grace before, and there's a chance that they will again. Giga Gamez sat down and talked with N'Gai Croal from Newsweek, Chris Baker from Wired and several others about what Nintendo could do right — and wrong — to change their current situation."
Debian

+ - Debian Router Project

Submitted by
An Anonymous Tank
An Anonymous Tank writes "The Debian Router project by Vadim Berkgaut has been around for a bit now, but InfoWorld is writing about it in the story Secure Linux Appliances in the Enterprise. The Debian Router project home page seems geared towards use as a basic Linux router, but the InfoWorld article outlines a lot of alternative uses for the Debian Router Project. Also, Vadim has made some major updates to the project in the past 8 months which gave it an improved build process and support for booting from compact flash, disk-on-module, or USB flash drives."
Data Storage

+ - Reduce Your Linux Memory Footprint

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A lack of physical memory can severely hamper Linux performance. In this article, learn how to accurately measure the amount of memory your Linux system uses. You also get practical advice on reducing your memory requirements using an Ubuntu system as an example.

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The Internet

+ - Startup to help bloggers blot out splogs

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "(Slashdot editors: Sorry about the resend, but I fear I may have sent an incorrect URL first time. If this posts, please use this one:

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1088 0

New service called Sentinel from startup Iwerx debuts at DEMO '07 this week and promises bloggers an easier and more effective means of curtailing the content and traffic thievery of sploggers. Given that 100,000 blogs are launched every day — and an alarming percentage of them are splogs — its easy to root for a startup headed down this path."
Mozilla

+ - Thunderbird 2 beta 2 out

Submitted by
BadhriNath
BadhriNath writes "The new thunderbird 2 beta 2 has been released. The existing beta 1 gets automatically upgraded to the new beta release. Some good enhancements include the folder view upon mouse over and a bit more customization of the new mail alerts. But still the alert needs improvement so that the mail can be accessed directly from the alerts. [Or is it that I dont know where to click on the alert ??]. Overall, the upgrade from beta 1 meets expectations with some nice enhancements and bugfixes."
Graphics

+ - Intel confirms discrete GPU plans

Submitted by
ryszards
ryszards writes "Intel have confirmed their reentry into the world of discrete graphics with a list of job openings for their Visual Computing Group. The careers page for the VCG makes note that the first focus is discrete, based on a many-core architecture and targetting the high-end, with a move down to embedded coming later.

This follows Intel's job postings for their Larrabee Development Group, with Larrabee now confirmed as the VCG. Therefore, after months (if not years) of rumors, a milestone has been reached. Intel has now declared, in their own words on their own site, "Look out, NVIDIA and AMD, here we come!". And with the microprocessor giant's previous commitments to open source drivers, the final product could become the choice of those running open OSes."
PlayStation (Games)

Journal: Sony PS3 Sales pass 2 million....two weeks late.

Journal by Schiper
Sony has shipped 1m PlayStation 3 consoles in Japan, the consumer electronics giant said yesterday, the day it hit that mark. However, the announcement was a tacit admission it has failed to hit the 2m-machine target it last year said to would reach by the end of 2006. Last week, Sony said it had shipped 1m PS3s in the US by the end of December. However, it only passed the 2m global shipments mark yesterday. It forecast

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?

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