Another day, another dozen WikiLeaks stories, several of which revolve around money. PayPal has given in to pressure to release WikiLeaks funds, though they still won't do further transactions. Mobile payment firm Xipwire is attempting to take PayPal's place. "We do think people should be able to make their own decisions as to who they donate to." PCWorld wonders if the WikiLeaks' money woes could lead to great adoption of Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer currency system we've discussed in the past. Meanwhile, Representative Ron Paul spoke in defense of WikiLeaks on the House floor Thursday, asking a number of questions, including, "Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on WikiLeaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?" The current uproar over WikiLeaks has prompted Paul Vixie to call for an end to the DDoS attacks and Vladimir Putin to break out a metaphor involving cows and hockey pucks.
jamie passes along a report about research from MIT's Man-Vehicle Laboratory into using "superhero-style" skinsuits to combat the effects of extended stays in microgravity on bone density in astronauts. (Abstract.) Quoting: "Astronauts lose 1 to 2 percent of their bone mass for each month they spend in space. As far back as the Gemini missions, conditioning exercise regimes have been used to slow the rate of bone loss, but a 2001-2004 NASA-sponsored study showed that crew members aboard the International Space Station were still losing up to 2.7 percent of their interior bone material and 1.7 percent of outer hipbone material for each month they spent in space. ... With stirrups that loop around the feet, the elastic gravity skinsuit is purposely cut too short for the astronaut so that it stretches when put on — pulling the wearer's shoulders towards the feet. In normal gravity conditions on Earth, a human's legs bear more weight than the torso. Because the suit's legs stretch more than the torso section, the wearer's legs are subjected to a greater force — replicating gravity effects on Earth." See? Seven of Nine's outfit was inspired by science after all.