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U of MI Produces Strongest Laser Ever 244

eldavojohn writes "Weighing in at a mere 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter and containing a measly 300 terawatts of power, the University of Michigan has broken a record with a 1.3-micron speck wide laser. It's about two orders of magnitude higher than any other laser in the world and can perform for 30 femtoseconds once every ten seconds — some of the researchers speculate it is the most powerful laser in the universe. 'If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory ... To achieve this beam, the research team added another amplifier to the HERCULES laser system, which previously operated at 50 terawatts. HERCULES is a titanium-sapphire laser that takes up several rooms at U-M's Center for Ultrafast Optical Science. Light fed into it bounces like a pinball off a series of mirrors and other optical elements. It gets stretched, energized, squeezed and focused along the way.'" And ... cue the evil chortling.

Annals of Improbable Research Goes Free Online 50

prostoalex writes "The Annals of Improbable Research, a scientific publication that hosts the annual Ig Nobel awards, has decided to offer its publication free online, reports. According to the journal Web site, visitors can view HTML articles with low-res images or download low-res PDFs for free. High-resolution PDFs and 'traditional on-the-toilet-readable paper-and-ink' issues are still available for a subscription fee."

Stem Cell Lines Derived to Avoid Immune Rejection 41

stemceller brings us a story about an experiment that was published online in the journal Cloning & Stem Cells. The paper demonstrated that embryonic stem cells can be used to develop therapeutic cells which will not provoke an immune response from a significant portion of the population. This comes alongside news that UC Irvine researchers have found a method of sorting stem cells that should be "quicker, easier and more cost-effective than current methods." The Cloning & Stem Cells publication states: "It is likely that treatment of large numbers of patients by cell therapy will only be possible if methods are found using any one cell line to treat very large numbers of patients. This very exciting paper represents a significant step forward towards the use of such cells in cell therapy."

Exploit Found to Brick Most HP and Compaq Laptops 294

Ian Lamont writes "A security researcher calling himself porkythepig has published attack code that can supposedly brick most HP and Compaq laptops. The exploit uses an ActiveX control in HP's Software Update. It would 'let an attacker corrupt Windows' kernel files, making the laptop unbootable, or with a little more effort, allow hacks that would result in a PC hijack or malware infection.' The same researcher last week outlined a batch of additional vulnerabilities in HP and Compaq laptops, for which HP later issued patches."

Ham Radio Operators Are Heroes In Oregon 326

An anonymous reader writes "We all know the impact that Ham radio can have in emergencies, but that often slips by the public and the authorities. Not so in Oregon, where a day after getting inundated with torrential rains and winds and suffering from the usual calamities those cause, Oregon's Governor called the local Ham radio operators heroes. When discussing how the storm affected communications, the governor stated: "I'm going to tell you who the heroes were from the very beginning of this...the ham radio operators." Kudos to the Oregon Ham operators for helping out in a bad situation, and getting the recognition they deserve."

Submission + - China pressuring US for cheap green-technologies (

Trintech writes: "At a U.N. conference on climate change, China is asking developed nations like the US to offer cutting-edge renewable technology to poor developing countries at a reduced price. American companies though are not receptive to selling their technologies at a reduced price and also worry that countries like China will not respect the intellectual-property rights of their technologies. China argues that this is for the public good and will help combat climate change."
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - SPAM: Sun to dangle prize money over open-source efforts

alphadogg writes: Sun Microsystems on Wednesday will release details of a new award program meant to spur growth and activity within the company's open-source efforts, according to a post by Sun's open-source officer. The award program will involve the OpenSolaris, GlassFish, OpenJDK, OpenSPARC, NetBeans and communities, according to Phipps. "This is a great opportunity for members of these open-source communities to take their passion and creativity and push the innovation boundaries — and get paid in the process," he wrote.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Canadian passport applications easily seen online (

scorilo writes: "Other people's information can be easily accessed by creating a passport application online and then altering characters in your browser's address bar and going to that URL. The flaw was discovered by Jamie Laning, an IT worker at Algonquin Automotive, in Huntsville, Ontario. The available data includes SINs, driver's licence numbers, mailing addresses, business and phone numbers, federal ID card numbers and even a firearms licence number. Passport Canada claims the flaw has been fixed, but Globe and Mail found that this is not the case. Canada does not have legislation requiring organizations to disclose security breaches, unlike in the US, where a majority of the states have enacted such legislation."
The Internet

Submission + - Yahoo! Japan, eBay Link Online Auctions Across Bor (

Jadeite2 writes: "From ANN. "Yahoo! Japan Corp. and eBay Inc. announced on Tuesday that the two companies will link their online auction services, and thus give American bidders easier access to Japanese auctions, and vice-versa. Although eBay is the dominant online auction service in many countries including the United States and Canada, it fell so far behind Yahoo's Japanese auction service that eBay pulled out of the Japanese market in 2002.""

Submission + - Spammers Hijacking My Domain Name 1

TW Atwater writes: "My wife and I run a small Mom and Pop business and we have a website and email accounts. I set up a catch-all account to trap misaddressed messages. It also works well for one-shot submissions to sites that demand an email address.

Now, for the second time my catch-all email account was flooded this morning with notices of rejections and undeliverable email from dozens of ISPs. In every case the rejected email was from a non-existent account. The headers indicate the origin of these emails is in Poland, and (no surprises here) the subject is Viagra.

Aside from the feeling of having been violated, I worry that if this happens often enough I may find my domain blocked as a SPAM source. Also, I will eventually have to explain to clients that we are not advertising Viagra.

I've run nmap on my router and computer and am confident that the messages are not being run through my box. My hosting is with GoDaddy.

The question for Slashdot is how can I protect myself from having my domain name hijacked by SPAMMERS? Is there anything that can be done about the nitwit ISPs who don't bother to check if the SPAM actually came from the domain in the return address before they contribute to the useless information cluttering up the internet?

Thanks, Slashdot.

My signature is missing."

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.