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Space

Tunguska Impact Crater Found? 229

Posted by kdawson
from the things-that-go-boom-then-splash dept.
BigBadBus writes in with a claim by an Italian team that they may have found an impact crater resulting from the 1908 Tunguska explosion over Siberia. The BBC story quotes a number of impact experts who doubt the Italians' claim. "A University of Bologna team says a lake near the epicenter of the blast may be occupying a crater hollowed out by a chunk of rock that hit the ground. Lake Cheko — though shallow — fits the proportions of a small, bowl-shaped impact crater, say the Italy-based scientists. Their investigation of the lake bottom's geology reveals a funnel-like shape not seen in neighboring lakes. In addition, a geophysics survey of the lake bed has turned up an unusual feature about 10m down which could either be compacted lake sediments or a buried fragment of space rock."
NASA

Golf-Ball Sized Hail Damages Shuttle 118

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-make-me-stop-this-thing dept.
MattSparkes writes "The Shuttles March launch has been delayed to late April after golf-ball sized hail caused 7000 pits and divots in the foam that shields the fuel tank. NASA say it's the worst damage of its kind that they have ever seen, but hail is not a new problem for the agency. In 1982, a hailstorm damaged the sensitive heat shield tiles on the Columbia's wings. The damaged tiles then absorbed about 540 kilograms of rain. Once in space, the orbiter faced the Sun to allow the tiles to dry out."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Bad Usability Calendar 2007

Submitted by
Scott Falconer
Scott Falconer writes "I think I'm going to put this up in the break room at work. Each month violates a specific design heuristic, but is presumably still usable. Be aware though: "Violating yet another usability guideline, the file is formatted to print on European-sized paper, and there doesn't seem to be a version designed for American paper sizes." http://www.iallenkelhet.no/bad-usability-calendar- 2007-is-here"
Businesses

Can Apple Penetrate the Corporation? 500

Posted by kdawson
from the awareness-gap dept.
coondoggie sends us a NetworkWorld story on the prospects for Apple gaining market share in the corporation. A number of factors are helping to catch the eye of those responsible for upgrading desktops and servers, the article claims: "Apple's shift to the Intel architecture; the inclusion of infrastructure and interoperability hooks, such as directory services, in the Mac OS X Server; dual-boot capabilities; clustering and storage technology; third-party virtualization software; and comparison shopping, which is being fostered by migration costs and hardware overhauls associated with Microsoft's Vista." On this last point, one network admin is quoted: "The changes in Vista are significant enough that we think we can absorb the change going to Macs just as easily as going to Vista."
Bug

Vanishing Honeybees Will Affect Future Crops 322

Posted by kdawson
from the bee-gone dept.
daninbusiness writes "Across the US, beekeepers are finding that their bees are disappearing — not returning while searching for nectar and pollen. This could have a major impact on the food industry in the United States, where as much as $14 billion worth of agriculture business depends on bees for crop pollination. Reasons for this problem, dubbed 'colony collapse disorder,' are still unknown. Theories include viruses, some type of fungus, poor bee nutrition, and pesticides."
Security

New Controversy over Black Hat Presentation 144

Posted by Zonk
from the black-hat-on-a-white-field dept.
uniquebydegrees writes "InfoWorld is reporting about a new controversy swirling around a planned presentation at Black Hat Federal in Washington D.C. this week. Security researcher Chris Paget of IOActive will demo an RFID hacking tool that can crack HID brand door access cards. HID Corp., which makes the cards, is miffed and is accusing IOActive of patent infringement over the presentation, recalling the legal wrangling over Michael Lynn's presentation of a Cisco IOS hole at Black Hat in 2005. Black Hat's Jeff Moss says they're standing by their speaker. A news conference is scheduled for tomorrow AM." Update: 02/27 20:10 GMT by Z :InfoWorldMike wrote with a link to story saying that the presentation has been pulled from the slate for Black Hat, as a result of this pressure.
Science

Atom Smasher May Create "Black Saturns" 423

Posted by kdawson
from the distinctive-Hawking-radiation dept.
David Shiga writes "If we ever make black holes on Earth, they might be much stranger objects than the star-swallowing monsters known to exist in space. According to a new theory, any black hole that pops out of the Large Hadron Collider under construction in Switzerland might be surrounded by a black ring — forming a microscopic 'black Saturn'. This could happen if extra dimensions exist, as string theory suggests, and if they are large enough." An evocative excerpt from the article: "...there is an outside chance that in a few years in a tunnel near Geneva, physicists will make a black hole far smaller than a proton and circled by a squashed four-dimensional black doughnut."
Wii

Wii, DS to Rock With Guitar Hero 87

Posted by Zonk
from the plumbers-make-excellent-superstars dept.
Gamespot has the word that, in a conference call on Activision's plans for the coming fiscal year, they announced Guitar Hero games for the DS and Wii. The titles could be coming any time between April of this year and March of next, and there are almost no details to relate otherwise. Presumably, Guitar Hero's new development home of NeverSoft will be handling the creation process. How do you think they'll incorporate the motion-sensing properties of the Wiimote into the axe? Any Nintendo classic songs you'd love to see included on the Wii version?
Google

Google "Loses" Gmail in Europe 154

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the what's-in-a-name dept.
Hippie Hippie Shake writes to mention that Google has just lost the right to use the name 'Gmail' in Europe, according to the EU. "Daniel Giersch, a German-born 32-year old entrepreneur, has just announced that his company received a positive ruling last week from the Harmonization Office supporting his claim that "Gmail" and his own "G-mail" are confusingly similar. G-mail is a German service that provides a "gmail.de" email address, but also allows for a sort of "hybrid mail" system in which documents can be sent electronically, printed out by the company, and delivered in paper format to local addresses." It looks like "Google Mail" from here on out, at least in the Old Country."
Science

Ancient Village Unearthed Near Stonehenge 186

Posted by kdawson
from the for-the-living dept.
cityhunter007 writes to point out coverage on CNN.com about an ancient village discovered two miles from Stonehenge that may have housed workers building the monument, or perhaps visitors after it was constructed. The village, at a site known as Durrington Walls, dates from about the time Stonehenge was built, 2600 BCE. The article says: "The researchers speculated that Durrington Walls was a place for the living and Stonehenge — where cremated remains have been found — was a cemetery and memorial... Stonehenge was oriented to face the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset, while the wooden circle at Durrington Walls faced the midwinter sunrise and midsummer sunset."
Privacy

Mini Introduces RFID-Activated Billboards 138

Posted by kdawson
from the L.A.-Story-meets-Minority-Report dept.
frinkster writes "MINI USA has placed interactive billboards in 4 US cities (Chicago, Miami, New York and San Francisco) and invited a few hundred MINI owners in those cities to join their targeted 'advertisement' pilot program. The owners sign up on MINI's website and receive an RFID keyfob in the mail. When that MINI owner drives by the billboard, a targeted message appears. Each owner tells MINI what to show when they drive by, such as 'Jim, you are one sexy beast.' If the pilot program is successful, MINI plans to put up more billboards in more cities and allow every owner to participate. MINI swears that no personal information in contained in the keyfobs and that all communication between the MINI and the owner is subject to their privacy policy and thus the program is completely safe. But how well will they keep their billboard logs away from the prying eyes of law enforcement or private detectives? And what are they doing to prevent 'hackers' from changing the personal messages to insults, such as 'Jim, nice to see you finally emerge from your mother's basement'?" MINI calls the interactive billboards "Motherboards."
United States

Study Claims Offshoring Doesn't Cost US Jobs 830

Posted by kdawson
from the uh-huh dept.
SwashbucklingCowboy writes "Infoworld has an article up about a survey by the Software & Information Industry Association claiming that offshoring doesn't cost American jobs. The article quotes the executive director of the SIIA as saying, '[Offshoring] was used almost entirely as a form of expansion, not as a replacement.' Well, if a job is created elsewhere that could have been created in the US, isn't that a job lost?"

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