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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 4 declined, 2 accepted (6 total, 33.33% accepted)

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Submission + - Law Allowing Indefinite Military Detention of Citizens Ruled Unconstitutional (

cathector writes: The offending section of the NDAA, signed by Obama on New Year's Eve last year, grants the government the power to put citizens in military detention indefinitely and without the usual recourse to civil courts. ...
Judge Katherine Forrest, a recent Obama appointee to the federal bench, ... granted a preliminary injunction of the offending sections of the law.

The Internet

Submission + - the Sunnyvale firm that helps Egypt spy on its ppl (

cathector writes: an AlJazeera English video about the link between silicon valley firm Narus and the Egyptian government's internet actions.

When the uprising there began nearly two weeks ago, there was a near-total internet blackout. But exactly how was access cut off? An American advocacy group called Free Press says it's uncovered a link to a California-based technology company which allegedly sold the Egyptian government equipment allowing it to track online activity. Rob Reynolds reports.


Submission + - dropped toolbag filmed from earth

cathector writes: an article at reports that the toolbag dropped during Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper's spacewalk has been recorded on film from earth:

When Endeavour astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her toolbag during a spacewalk on Nov. 18th and it floated away, mission controllers probably figured they'd seen the last of it. Think again. Last night, Nov. 22nd, veteran satellite observer Kevin Fetter video-recorded the backpack-sized bag gliding over his backyard observatory in Brockville, Ontario. "It was easily 8th magnitude or brighter as it passed by the 4th magnitude star eta Pisces," he says. Spaceweather's satellite tracker is monitoring the toolbag.


Submission + - What's Wrong with the Sun? (Nothing)

cathector writes: "Stop the presses! The sun is behaving normally.

So says NASA solar physicist David Hathaway. "There have been some reports lately that Solar Minimum is lasting longer than it should. That's not true. The ongoing lull in sunspot number is well within historic norms for the solar cycle."

This report, that there's nothing to report, is newsworthy because of a growing buzz in lay and academic circles that something is wrong with the sun. Sun Goes Longer Than Normal Without Producing Sunspots declared one recent press release. A careful look at the data, however, suggests otherwise.

There's a cute picture of the current solar cycle prediction here."

Submission + - water ice on mars

cathector writes:
Scientists have figured out the mysterious white substance unearthed by NASA's Phoenix lander on Mars. It's frozen water. The breakthrough came last week when Phoenix's stereo camera caught the substance in the act of disappearing. Bathed in martian sunlight for four days, the white substance sublimated — i.e., it transformed from solid to gas without passing through the liquid state. This is how water behaves on Mars. Atmospheric pressure on the Red Planet is so low (1% that of Earth), it rarely allows H2O to exist in liquid form on the planet's surface; solid and gas are the only options. Some readers have asked, how do we know the white substance is not frozen CO2 (dry ice) instead of frozen water? Answer: Phoenix's landing site is too warm for dry ice. The average daily temperature is about -70 F while dry ice requires temperatures lower than about -109 F.
wow, if they found water ice on mars just a few inches below where the lander uh landed, the place must be lousy with the stuff !
the article includes an animated gif showing the ice sublimating.

Submission + - Nintendo may provide indie-games for download

cathector writes: in an article at, Nintendo is quoted as saying: "Nintendo has developed a programming system that will allow small independent developers to make games for Wii download service. We cannot confirm at this time in what format the new content will be delivered, but in the future there will be original games available for download through the Wii Shop."

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.