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Earth

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source 185

lilbridge writes "Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water — have been discovered in the tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air."
Wireless Networking

Best Pre-Paid Data Plan For a Visit To Germany? 153

code prole writes "With two upcoming trips to Germany, and no readily available Internet (Wi-Fi or otherwise) in the location where we'll be staying, I'm looking for a no-contract USB stick and pre-paid data plan. Vodafone has a huge selection of USB sticks but has proven to be unresponsive to questions about data plans. And the US-based T-Mobile Help Center was clueless about getting the device in Europe and using it there. Hopefully the Slashdot community has some suggestions. Any duds to avoid?"
Space

Super-Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby, Sun-Like Star 242

likuidkewl writes "Two super-earths, 5 and 7.5 times the size of our home, were found to be orbiting 61 Virginis a mere 28 light years away. 'These detections indicate that low-mass planets are quite common around nearby stars. The discovery of potentially habitable nearby worlds may be just a few years away,' said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC. Among hundreds of our nearest stellar neighbors, 61 Vir stands out as being the most nearly similar to the Sun in terms of age, mass, and other essential properties."
Patents

Should I Publish Or Patent? 266

BorgeStrand writes 'Patenting is an expensive process, even coming up with some sort of proof that your idea is unique (and thereby try to attract financing) may be prohibitive for the lone inventor. So what do you folks out there do when you come up with a good idea but don't have the means to patent it or market it to someone who will pay for the patenting process? And how much sense does it really make for the lone inventor to patent something? Would it make more sense to publish the whole idea, and make it (and my inventive brainpower) up for grabs? If my ideas are indeed valuable, what is the best way to gain anything from them without investing too much financially? What is your experience?'
Earth

Small Bird Astounds Scientists With 11,200km Flight 99

Zeb writes "Scientists are marveling over a small female bar-tailed godwit somewhere in New Zealand who has a world record for non-stop flying — an epic 11,200 kilometers. A major international study into the birds has been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B and it offers an explanation as to why the godwits fly so far from Alaska to New Zealand in a single bound. The birds flew non-stop for up to and covered more than 11,200km. The flight path shows the birds did not feed en route and would be unlikely to sleep." The linked Wikipedia entry claims an even longer trip record, of 11,570 kilometers.
Security

Al-Qaeda Web Sites Go Offline 284

thefickler writes "Four out of the five Al-Qaeda online forums have disappeared. The terrorist group used these forums to relay messages to its supporters. The four that have gone missing seem to have taken a hit back on September 10, the day before the annual video marking the 9/11 attacks was due to be disseminated. No one knows who is responsible for the sites' disappearance."

Feed Science Daily: Cheap And Easy Technique To Produce Hydrogen From Visible Light Is Almost Ready (sciencedaily.com)

There is a revolution in solar hydrogen on the horizon. The prospect for the wide spread use of hydrogen as a portable energy carrier is dependent on finding a clean, renewable method of production. A research group headed by a professor of electrical engineering is "only a couple of problems away" from developing an inexpensive and easily scalable technique for water photoelectrolysis - the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen using light energy -- that could help power the proposed hydrogen economy.

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