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Government

+ - US finally backs international space "code of cond->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Perhaps it was the concern that the nearly 14 ton Russian Mars probe would land smack-dab on the White House or maybe they just come to their senses, the US State Department today said it would indeed work with the European Union and other countries to develop a formal space code of conduct.
Of particular concern is the growing amount of space trash and how the world can go about eliminating or controlling the problem. There is also the desire to keep space free of military weaponry."

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China

+ - China's Newest Train Hits 500 km/h->

Submitted by
kkleiner
kkleiner writes "What did China get for Christmas? A train set that goes 500 km/h. The experimental bullet train, which can reach top speeds over 310 mph, was debuted on December 25th in Qingdao in Shangdong Province. Inspired by the shape of ancient Chinese swords, the aerodynamic CRH series train can deliver 22,800 kW of power to its load. The sword-train, created by CSR Corp. Ltd. is part of a “faster test train project” aimed at advancing an already impressive national railway system. With this latest feat of engineering, China is again demonstrating its commitment to creating the infrastructure that will sustain the emerging nation in the 21st Century."
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Hardware

+ - Scammers replacing iPads with bags of clay in Cana->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A group of thieves in Canada managed to upset a number of legitimate consumers come Christmas morning when they opened their iPad 2 packaging to find nothing but a bag of clay, in some cases even the charger had been replaced with clay.

What the scammers had managed to do was purchase iPad 2s, remove the tablet, and then make up the weight and shape with clay. They also had the necessary tools and materials to professionally reseal the iPad 2 box so it looks as if it had never been opened. The stores accepted the tablets back as returns without further checks because they were sealed, and then proceeded to resell them to other customers."

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Technology

+ - Printing a Home: The Case for Contour Crafting-> 1

Submitted by ambermichelle
ambermichelle (2318196) writes "It can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to build a 2,800-square-foot, two-story house in the U.S., mostly because human beings do all the work. Within the next five years, chances are that 3D printing (also known by the less catchy but more inclusive term additive manufacturing) will have become so advanced that we will be able to upload design specifications to a massive robot, press print, and watch as it spits out a concrete house in less than a day. Plenty of humans will be there, but just to ogle.

Minimizing the time and cost that goes into creating shelters will enable aid workers to address the needs of people in desperate situations. This, at least, is what Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor of engineering and director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies, or CRAFT, at the University of Southern California, hopes will come of his inventions."

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Image

Parrots Can Dance 104

Posted by kdawson
from the elephants-too dept.
juuri sends in an NPR article about the consensus created among scientists that some birds actually dance to music. "The results of this study are reported in the journal Current Biology, along with another scientific paper inspired by YouTube videos of dancing animals. Adena Schachner is a graduate student in the psychology department of Harvard University. She says she was familiar with the idea that some people had made videos of birds supposedly dancing. ... She and her colleagues eventually analyzed more than 5,000 videos. 'Imagine watching YouTube eight hours a day for a month,' she says. 'That's pretty much what we did. It was amusing for perhaps the first couple of hours.'" juuri adds, "While this makes them somewhat unique in the animal world, as only three animals are now known to dance by verifiable proofs, what struck me more was that this was the first time YouTube had helped forge a new scientific understanding. Given the explosive growth of uploading videos and people watching them, what other new understandings and popular misconceptions will be proven or disproved due to this emerging media?"

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"

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