Normally, I'm not here, dah-links. Normally, I'm elsewhere. Usually on twitter or fb. And yes, I'm bettiwettiwoo there too. Bien sûr.
Panna National Park is now officially tiger free making it the second Indian tiger sanctuary to no longer have a tiger population. A census was conducted in the park, after authorities reported no Bengal Tiger sightings for a long time. Three years ago the park had a population of 24 tigers; however, none were found this year. Forest minister Rajendra Shukla is optimistic about the news and says, "Panna is our only park which has lost on this count. Three of state's reserve forests — Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench — have been adjudged among the best managed tiger reserves in the country."
coondoggie writes "Some work has begun on tracking and detecting the overabundance of space junk which has become a growing priority as all manner of satellites, rockets and possible commercial space shots are promised in the coming few years. Today Northrop Grumman said it grabbed $30 million from the US Air Force to start developing the first phase of a global space surveillance ground radar system. The new S-Band Space Fence is part of the Department of Defense's effort to detect and track what are known as resident space objects (RSO), consisting of thousands of pieces of space debris as well as commercial and military satellites. The new Space Fence will replace the current VHF Air Force Space Surveillance System built in 1961."
ewenc writes "A series of tattoos belonging to Otzi the 5300 year-old Tyrolean Iceman are made of soot, reports New Scientist. Mountain climbers discovered Otzi's mummified body in the Austrian-Italian alps in 1991. What's left of his skin was littered with simple cross and line markings. Electron microscopy and spectroscopy now show that Otzi's tats are made of double-bonded carbon indicative of soot, as well as silicate crystals that probably came from rocks surrounding a fire pit."
Meshach writes "An article in Ars Technica claims that 12% of internet users have actually responded to spam messages and tried to buy items. Although I find this hard to believe, it does explain why my spam folder is always full." Also in spam news, wjousts links to a Technology Review article about how spammers get your e-mail address, writing "E-mail addresses in comments posted to a website had a high probability of getting spammed, while of the 70 e-mail addresses submitted during registration at various websites, only 4 got spammed."
bfwebster writes "Over the last forty years, a small set of classic works on risks and pitfalls in software engineering and IT project management have been published and remained in print. The authors are well known, or should be: Gerry Weinberg, Fred Brooks, Ed Yourdon, Capers Jones, Stephen Flowers, Robert Glass, Tom DeMarco, Tim Lister, Steve McConnell, Steve Maguire, and so on. These books all focus largely on projects where actual software development is going on. A new book by Phil Simon, Why New Systems Fail, is likewise a risks-and-pitfalls book, but Simon covers largely uncharted territory for the genre: selection and implementation of enterprise-level, customizable, off-the-shelf (COTS) software packages, such as accounting systems, human resource systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. As such, Simon's book is not only useful, it is important." Read on for the rest of Bruce's thoughts on this book.
caitsith01 writes "ITNews reports that Australia's ever-unpopular Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy, has foreshadowed new action by the Australian Government to crack down on illegal file sharing under the guise of promoting the digital economy. Options apparently being considered include the controversial and previously reported French three-strikes approach and an approach which sounds suspiciously like New Zealand's even more dubious guilty-upon-accusation approach to filesharing. Needless to say, although the Government is consulting with 'representatives of both copyright owners and the Internet industry in an effort to reach an industry-led consensus on an effective solution,' arguably the most significant group — ordinary Internet users — are not being consulted. Senator Conroy is the man behind the crusade to 'protect' Australians from the horrors of the Internet with a mandatory, government-run blacklist, an effort which recently earned him the title of Internet Villain of the Year for 2009."
(While wishing all of you a Happy New Year &c!)
From all of me to all of you: A very Merry Christmas
turnkeylinux writes "Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. called off their joint advertising agreement just three hours before the Department of Justice planned to file antitrust charges to block the pact, according to the lawyer who would have been lead counsel for the government. 'We were going to file the complaint at a certain time during the day,' says Litvack, who rejoins Hogan & Hartson today. 'We told them we were going to file the complaint at that time of day. Three hours before, they told us they were abandoning the agreement.'"
Repton writes "Thanks to the Second Amendment, even the elderly have the right to keep and bear arms. The problem is that many of the guns out there are a bit unwieldy for an older person to handle. However, the inventors of the Palm Pistol are planning to change all that with a weapon that is ideal for both the elderly and the physically disabled. In a statement submitted to Medgadget, the manufacturer, Constitution Arms, has revealed the following: 'We thought you might be interested to learn that the FDA has completed its "Device/Not a Device" determination and concluded the handgun will be listed as a Class I Medical Device.' Physicians will be able to prescribe the Palm Pistol for qualified patients who may seek reimbursement through Medicare or private health insurance companies."
wiedzmin writes "A couple of very useful updates have just been released by Microsoft for the ever so popular Sysinternals tool set. The most notable one is ProcessMonitor v2.0 which will now include 'real-time TCP and UDP monitoring.' Another one, released earlier this year — Desktops 1.0, provides a very unique multi-thread way to get multiple desktops running on your Windows box."
With the entry to sub-orbital flight, and even orbital flight, becoming ever so slightly easier, the obvious thought of space porn kicks in. Who wouldn't want to see two or more people going at it like rabbits in a weightless environment (or at least trying to go at it like rabbits in a weightless environment)? Sadly, Virgin Galactic has turned down a $1 million offer to do just that. The offer was made by an unidentified party who was willing to put the money up front to do a space porn movie. Considering that a flight aboard VG costs $200,000 for a two-hour flight, $1 million doesn't seem too bad. Though how much you could actually do and perform in two hours is debatable. And what if one or more of the actors gets sick?
Their program now includes helmets and food.
Inventor Casey Jones says his creation uses ultrasound technology to recreate the effects of decades of aging by colliding alcohol molecules inside the bottle. Mr. Jones said, "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds. It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt." The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like a Dr. Who ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker. I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.