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+ - Billion Tonne Comet May Have Missed Earth By A Few-> 1

Submitted by
afree87 writes "A re-analysis of historical observations at a Mexican observatory suggests Earth narrowly avoided an extinction event just over a hundred years ago. On 12th and 13th August 1883, an astronomer at a small observatory in Zacatecas in Mexico made an extraordinary observation. This month, Hector Manterola at the National Autonomous University of Mexico suggests these were fragments of a comet. "If they had collided with Earth we would have had 3275 Tunguska events in two days, probably an extinction event.""
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+ - Atmosphere Heated Up Before Japan Quake->

Submitted by afree87
afree87 (102803) writes "A new paper submitted to arXiv uses satellite data to contend that the ionosphere heats up before earthquakes. Observations from the DEMETER spacecraft show heat rising from the Pacific Ocean off Japan, spiking three days before the earthquake. "The thinking is that in the days before an earthquake, the great stresses in a fault as it is about to give cause the releases large amounts of radon.""
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+ - Universe May Be Infinite->

Submitted by afree87
afree87 (102803) writes "Analyzing the latest observations of the visible Universe, astronomers have found it is at least 250 times bigger than anything we can detect, and may indeed be infinite: "They say that the curvature of the Universe is tightly constrained around 0. In other words, the most likely model is that the Universe is flat. A flat Universe would also be infinite and their calculations are consistent with this too." In an infinite universe, every anime is real."
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Comment: Re:So will he accept? (Score 1) 117

by afree87 (#31541616) Attached to: Millennium Prize Awarded For Perelman's Poincaré Proof

Actually, I'd say it isn't even a linguistic but a cultural problem. The New Yorker employed a Russian guy to explain his reasoning; he is a sort of Russian hermit. Imagine if Tolstoy went up against a person like Yau. I think there would be mutual disgust and bad feeling towards the literary community at large. Such a thing probably happened here.


David Pogue Wants to Take Back the Beep 383

Posted by timothy
from the pogue-mahone-jerks dept.
David Pogue has distilled into useful form a long-standing complaint I have (and one reason I have long had a voice mail greeting that asked people not to leave me voicemail): cell phone companies set up the greeting, caller instructions, and playback system prompts in large part to maximize their revenue per user; by his calculations, the "mandatory 15-second voicmail instructions" from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and others is earning those companies something near a billion dollars a year in charges. Pogue suggests that users should "take back the beep," and to that end provides contact information for the largest cell carriers in order to register a complaint — and, more helpful in the short run, suggests ways in which to make better use of paid-for phone minutes by alerting callers how to bypass the annoying instructions.

+ - China Pulls the Plug on Facebook->

Submitted by
RadioOfficer writes "Recent events in China have clearly raised concerns among the Chinese authorities. Yesterday evening shortly before 8pm, access to Facebook was blocked in Shanghai and Google search was severely curtailed. While Twitter and youTube have been inaccessible in mainland China for some time now, Facebook had escaped a general blockade albeit suffering occasional brief interruptions. The events of yesterday evening have Shanghai residents and ex-pats concerned however, with many wondering if Facebook has now suffered the same fate as Twitter and youTube. Many fear Facebook will not return anytime soon... The Washington Post appears to be the first official news outlet to confirm the actions of the Chinese authorities."
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The Courts

+ - Prof. Nesson Ordered To Show Cause->

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Professor Charles Nesson, the Harvard law professor serving pro bono as counsel to the defendant in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum has been ordered to show cause why sanctions should not be issued against him for violating the Court's orders prohibiting reproduction of the court proceedings. The order to show cause was in furtherance of the RIAA's motion for sanctions and protective order discussed on Slashdot yesterday. The Judge indicated that she was 'deeply concerned' about Prof. Nesson's apparent "blatant disregard" of her order"
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+ - Spider builds life-size decoy of itself

Submitted by
Smivs writes "The BBC are reporting on a species of spider that makes life size relicas of itself, possibly to distract predators.The arachnid's behaviour also offers one explanation for why many spiders like to decorate their webs with strange-looking ornaments. Many animals try to divert the attentions of predators by becoming masters of disguise. Some try to avoid being seen altogether by using camouflage to blend in against a background, such as the peppered moth evolving motley wings that blend into tree bark, or stick insects that look like sticks.The spider may be the first example of an animal building a life-size replica of its own body."

+ - HP Laptops Ship with Gaping Security Hole-> 1

Submitted by Small revenge
Small revenge (666) writes "A zero-day flaw is several major HP laptop models could provide an easy way for hackers to take complete control of Windows machines, according to a warning from an independent security researcher. A successful attack simply requires that the laptop owner is lured to a malicious Web site while using Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The risks include remote code execution, remote system registry read/write access and remote shell command execution."
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+ - Erowid Goes Non-Profit->

Submitted by drwxrxrx
drwxrxrx (666) writes ""After two years of dealing with lawyers and red tape," Erowid, arguably the best collection of drug information online, has been approved for non-profit status. From the letter sent to members: "Receiving IRS approval is a big step in our goal towards making the Erowid project stable and sustainable over the long term.""
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... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"