An anonymous reader writes "A couple of weeks ago Sourcefire announced end-of-life for version 0.94 of its free ClamAV antivirus package (and in fact has been talking about it for six months). The method that Sourcefire chose to retire 0.94 was to shut down the server that provided its service. Those who had failed to upgrade are scrambling now. Many systems have no choice but to disable virus checking in order to continue to process email. I am very glad I saw the announcement last week!"
Tibor the Hun writes "NPR reports that Susan Solomon, one of the world's top climate scientists, finds in her new study that global warming is now irreversible. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that even if we could immediately cease our impact on pollution and greenhouse gasses emissions, global climate change would continue for more than a thousand years. The reason is the saturation of oceans with carbon dioxide. Her study looked at the consequences of long-term effect in terms of sea-level rise and drought."
AtariKee writes "Universe Today is reporting that a small 10m asteroid, discovered earlier this month and named 2009 BD, is passing within 400,000 miles of Earth. Although the asteroid poses no threat to the planet, the site reports that the asteroid is still very interesting, as it may be a rare co-orbital asteroid (as in, shares the same orbit as Earth)."
ki1obyte writes "Earlier this year the Taiwanese firm Abit, once a leading-edge maker of computer mainboards and other components, was slated to shut down motherboard production by the end of 2008 and focus on consumer electronics devices. Now X-bit labs reports that Abit will cease to exist entirely after midnight on the last day of 2008 because the owner of the brand, Universal Scientific Industrial, is in the process of restructuring and cutting their costs."
An anonymous reader writes "At a Tokyo railway station above a flat-panel display hawking DVDs and books sits a small camera hooked up to some image processing software. When trials begin in January the camera will scan travelers to see how many of them are taking note of the panel, in part of a technology test being run by NTT Communications. It doesn't seek to identify individuals, but it will attempt to figure out how many of the people standing in front of an advertisement are actually looking at it. A second camera, which wasn't fitted at the station but will be when tests begin next month, will take care of estimating how many people are in front of the ad, whether they are looking at it or not."
Roland Piquepaille writes "University of Delaware (UD) scientists and engineers are currently working at the South Pole under very harsh conditions. This research team is one of the many other ones working on the construction of IceCube, the world's largest neutrino telescope in the Antarctic ice, far beneath the continent's snow-covered surface. When it is completed in 2011, the telescope array will occupy a cubic kilometer of Antarctica. One of the lead researchers said that 'IceCube will provide new information about some of the most violent and far-away astrophysical events in the cosmos.' The UD team has even opened a blog to cover this expedition. It will be opened up to December 22, 2008. I guess they want to be back in Delaware for Christmas, but read more for additional details and references, including a diagram of this telescope array built inside ice."
Afforess writes "For the past two years Microsoft and Novell have been working on the 'Moonlight' project. It is a runtime library for websites that run Silverlight. It should allow PCs running Linux to view sites that use Siverlight. Betanews reports 'In the next stage of what has turned out to be a more successful project than even its creators envisioned, the public beta of Moonlight — a runtime library for Linux supporting sites that expect Silverlight — is expected within days.' Moonlight 2.0 is already in the works."
If your significant other complains that you play too much World of Warcraft, just show them this article about a user named "Prepared." He plays an amazing 36 World of Warcraft accounts on 11 different computers at the same time. He is his own raid group. "It costs me exactly $5711 in subscription costs per year with 36 accounts on the 6 month pay schedule," he writes. "Not bad considering I'm looking at it like it's a hobby and there are more expensive hobbies out there than World of Warcraft."
According to NASA scientists, space smells a lot like my uncle's workshop. One can detect hints of fried steak, hot metal, and the welding of a motorbike. They have hired Steven Pearce, a chemist and managing director of fragrance manufacturing company Omega Ingredients, to recreate the smell in a laboratory. NASA will use his research to help train potential astronauts. Steven said, "I did some work for an art exhibition in July, which was based entirely on smell, and one of the things I created was the smell of the inside of the Mir space station. NASA heard about it and contacted me to see if I could help them recreate the smell of space to help their astronauts."
According to a study to be published in The Journal of Political Psychology, you can tell someone's political affiliation by looking at the condition of their offices and bedrooms. Conservatives tend to be neat and liberals love a mess. Researchers found that the bedrooms and offices of liberals tend to be colorful and full of books about travel, ethnicity, feminism and music, along with music CDs covering folk, classic and modern rock, as well as art supplies, movie tickets and travel memorabilia. Their conservative contemporaries, on the other hand, tend to surround themselves with calendars, postage stamps, laundry baskets, irons and sewing materials. Their bedrooms and offices are well lit and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags — especially American ones. Sam Gosling, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, says these room cues are "behavioral residue." The findings are just the latest in a series of recent attempts to unearth politics in personality, the brain and DNA. I, for one, support a woman's right to clean.
mcgrew writes "The question of how we loveless nerds managed to not be bred out of the species genome may have been answered. According to New Scientist, we have better sperm. According to the article, men who scored high on a battery of intelligence tests boasted high counts of healthy sperm, while low scorers tended to have fewer and more sickly little guys. ... Though the connections between brains and sperm were 'not awesome, they're there and highly significant.' All things held equal, good sperm and good brains go together." Don't start gloating yet. Another recent study found that the gene that makes you good at Halo also makes you a premature ejaculator. A study of 200 Dutch men found that those with a premature ejaculation problem all had a version of a gene that controls the release of serotonin. These men seem to "have very quick reflexes. They may be excellent at playing tennis or computer games." Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast.
Steve Jobs just got through announcing new MacBook lines in Cupertino. The MacBook, the Pro, and the Air all got revved. The old line of plastic-body MacBooks drops in price by $100, to $999. The new MacBooks have a metal body and multi-touch trackpad, just like the new Pros. The Pro features two NVidia graphics chips. Quoting Jobs: "With the 9400M, you get 5 hours of battery life, with the 9600M GT you get four hours of battery life. You choose." In summary: "We're building both [MacBook and Pro] in a whole new way. From a slab of aluminum to a notebook. New graphics. New trackpad, the best we've ever built. And LED-backlit displays that are far brighter, instant on, far more environmentally responsible." They are shipping today and should be in stores tomorrow. Oh, and one more thing: Steve's blood pressure is 110/70.
Orbity sends in a Boston Globe report on the unusual calm on the surface of the sun. The photos, many taken in more active solar times, are excellent — see the sequence from last year of a coronal mass ejection carrying away the tail of a comet. "The Sun is now in the quietest phase of its 11-year activity cycle, the solar minimum — in fact, it has been unusually quiet this year — with over 200 days so far with no observed sunspots. The solar wind has also dropped to its lowest levels in 50 years. Scientists are unsure of the significance of this unusual calm..." As if to be contrary, New Scientist mentions that the number of sunspots seem to be increasing.
coondoggie contributes this snippet from NetworkWorld: "You could probably see this one coming. With all of the confusion and money involved you knew there would be cyber-vultures out there looking to cash in. Well the Federal Trade Commission today issued a warning that indeed such increased phishing activities are taking place. Specifically the FTC said it was urging user caution regarding e-mails that look as if they come from a financial institution that recently acquired a consumer's bank, savings and loan, or mortgage. In many case such emails are only looking to obtain personal information — account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers — to run up bills or commit other crimes in a consumer's name, the FTC stated."
dizzymslizzy writes "With prompting from the Sunlight Foundation's Open House Project, the US Library of Congress announced today that its online database THOMAS will now generate persistent URLs, known as legislative handles, for legislation documents. As Free Government Info says, 'it is certainly nice to be able to link to legislation with a persistent link! But it would be much better if one could click to create a link rather than following a 600-word description of how to link on another page.' Still, this is a definite step forward for the Library of Congress and for government transparency. From THOMAS: 'Legislative Handles are a new persistent URL service for creating links to legislative documents from the THOMAS web site (http://thomas.loc.gov). With a simple syntax, Legislative Handles make it easy to type in legislative links to bibliographies, reference guides, emails, blogs, or web pages. Legislative Handles, for instance, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.110hconres196, are a convenient way to cite legislation.'