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Hubble Camera Lost "For Good" 190

Posted by kdawson
from the blind-eye dept.
Several readers wrote in to tell us, following up on the recent story of the shutting down of Hubble's main camera, that program engineers are now saying that the camera is probably gone for good. The trouble resulted from a short circuit on Saturday in Hubble's most popular instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys. NASA engineers reported Monday that most of the camera's capabilities, including the ability to take the sort of deep cosmic postcards that have inspired the public, had probably been lost. We'll be pining for more of those amazing images until the James Webb launches in 2013.
Update: 01/30 23:28 GMT by KD : Reader Involved astronomer wrote in with an addendum / clarification to this story: "I'm a grant-funded astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute ( in Baltimore. I am very concerned that the article conveys the wrong idea about HST. While HST's science capacity is diminished with the loss of ACS, HST lives on and will continue to produce world-class science, even before its servicing mission in Sept. 2008, which will upgrade the instrument suite with the most sophisticated imagers in history." Read on for the rest of his note.
Hardware Hacking

Transistor Made From Bose-Einstein Condensate 80

Posted by kdawson
from the cold-circuitry dept.
holy_calamity writes "US researchers have made a transistor from a Bose-Einstein condensate. They claim it to be the first step towards 'atomic circuits' that run with atoms instead of electrons. 'A small number of atoms can be used to control the flow of a large number of atoms, in much the same way that an FET uses a gate voltage to control a large electric current,' says lead research Alex Zozulya. The abstract of their paper is freely available."

Freenode Network Hijacked, Passwords Compromised? 414

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hope-your-password-wasn't-important dept.
tmandry writes "The world's largest FOSS IRC network, FreeNode, was hijacked (for lack of a better term) by someone who somehow got a hold of the privileges of Robert Levin, AKA lilo, the head honcho of FreeNode and its parent organization, PDPC. To make matters worse, the passwords of many users may have been compromised by someone posing as NickServ, the service that most clients are configured to send a password to upon connecting, while they reconnected to the servers that hadn't been killed. Of course, if someone was able to nab lilo's password, every user password may have been ripe for the taking. The details are still unknown, but these events raise scary questions about the actual security of FreeNode and other organizations like it."

Mob Rule on China's Internet 129

Posted by Zonk
from the now-that's-web-2.0 dept.
Alien54 writes to mention an International Herald Tribune article about the growing phenomenon in China known as internet hunting; Using the web to track down individuals who have violated social more or broken the law. From the article: "In recent cases, people have scrutinized husbands suspected of cheating on their wives, fraud on Internet auction sites, the secret lives of celebrities and unsolved crimes. One case that drew a huge following involved the poisoning of a Tsinghua University student - an event that dates to 1994, but was revived by curious strangers after word spread on the Internet that the only suspect in the case had been questioned and released. Even a recent scandal involving a top Chinese computer scientist dismissed for copying an American processor design came to light in part because of Internet hunting, with scores of online commentators raising questions about the project and putting pressure on the scientist's sponsors to look into allegations about intellectual property theft."

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen