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Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final 145

CWmike writes "Mozilla has shipped a release candidate build of Firefox 3.6 that, barring problems, will become the final, finished version of the upgrade. Firefox 3.6 RC1, which followed a run of betas that started in early November, features nearly 100 bug fixes from the fifth beta that Mozilla issued Dec. 17. The fixes resolved numerous crash bugs, including one that brought down the browser when it was steered to Yahoo's front page. Another fix removed a small amount of code owned by Microsoft from Firefox. The code was pointed out by a Mozilla contributor, and after digging, another developer found the original Microsoft license agreement. 'Amusingly enough, it's actually really permissive. Really the only part that's problematic is the agreement to "include the copyright notice ... on your product label and as a part of the sign-on message for your software product,"' wrote Kyle Huey on Mozilla's Bugzilla. Even so, others working on the bug said the code needed to be replaced with Mozilla's own."

First Light Images From Herschel Satellite Released 35

davecl writes "The first images from the Herschel satellite have been released by ESA. The images are of the galaxy M51 and show a lot of structure and other features never seen before. Coverage of these results can be found on the ESA website and on the Herschel mission blog. There's a lot of work still to be done on tuning the satellite and instruments for optimum performance, but these very early results already show the promise of this mission. I work on this project and can say that these results are really impressive at this early stage!"

Submission + - NOAA weather satellite may be lost

radioweather writes: "The GOES East satellite (GOES 12) went through a station keeping maneuver yesterday, and then shortly afterwards communications ceased. GOES 12 is no longer delivering satellite imagery. This satellite is used for most eastern US weather forecasting, as well as tropical storm tracking and marine forecasting.

Here is the bulletin from NOAASIS:

A GOES-12 North-South Station Keeping maneuver was performed on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 1756 UTC. An anomaly is currently ongoing. NOAA is not receiving GOES-12 (EAST) data until further notice. FULL DISK images are being captured on GOES-11 (WEST) until the problem is resolved. Data Affected by the Outage: GOES-12 (East) Imaging and Soundings data Date and Time of the Outage:12/4/2007, 1715 UTC, 12:15 PM, EST.
And here is the current status report. The words "until further notice" are not at all comforting. If they cannot re-establish communications, the spacecraft will of course be lost."

Submission + - Electric vehicles to back up the power grid 1

holy_calamity writes: Researchers in Delaware are working with electricity grid giant PJM on a scheme to use the batteries of electric vehicles to backup the grid while parked. Cars typically spend 23 hours a day off the road. During that time electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles can soak up excess generated power or trickle juice into the grid to smooth out mis-matches between supply and demand. Just 100 electric vehicles running the vehicle-to-grid software like their current prototype can provide 1MW of storage. City officials in Austin, Texas are keen to try the idea.

Submission + - Users, Web Developers Vent Over IE7's First Year (

outlando writes: After a year of IE7, Tony Chor at M$ has written a glowingly self-congratulatory entry in the IE blog. The comments, from various developers, designers and other industry professionals, tell a rather different story to the one outlined in the blog entry itself.
PC World's story is here:,140299/article.html

Unfortunately, PC World neglected to provide a link to the blog entry itself. You can find it at

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.