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Submission + - SPAM: NASA to test emergency ability of new spacecraft 2

coondoggie writes: "NASA this week will show off the first mock up of its Orion space capsule ahead of the capsule's first emergency astronaut escape system test. NASA in late 2008, says it will jettison the full-size structural model off a simulated launch pad at the US Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The launch escape vehicle sits atop the Orion capsule which is slated to be bolted on an Ares rocket. The escape vehicle is made up of three solid rocket motors as well as separation mechanisms and canards, and should offer the crew an escape capability in the event of an emergency during launch, according to NASA. [spam URL stripped]"
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Microsoft Believes IBM Masterminded Anti-OOXML Initiative 274

mahuyar writes "Microsoft executives have accused IBM of leading the campaign against their initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization. 'Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format. "They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."'"

Bill Gates Calls for a 'Kinder Capitalism' 601

Strudelkugel writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates is going to call for a revision of capitalism. He will argue that the economics that drive much of the world should use market forces to address the needs of poor countries, which he feels are currently being ignored. 'We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well,' Mr. Gates will say in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 'Key to Mr. Gates's plan will be for businesses to dedicate their top people to poor issues — an approach he feels is more powerful than traditional corporate donations and volunteer work. Governments should set policies and disburse funds to create financial incentives for businesses to improve the lives of the poor, he plans to say. Mr. Gates's argument for the potential profitability of serving the poor is certain to raise skepticism, and some people may point out that poverty became a priority for Mr. Gates only after he'd earned billions building up Microsoft. But Mr. Gates is emphatic that he's not calling for a fundamental change in how capitalism works.'"

Submission + - SPAM: Schools will increase spending on open source

alphadogg-nw writes: Educational institutions will increase spending on open-source software and services over the next few years, but that doesn't mean proprietary software will be left in the dark, according to a new report covering 14 countries. Market research company Datamonitor predicts that primary and secondary schools and universities will spend $489.9 million on open-source software by 2012, up from $286.2 million now. A small minority of schools have opted for open-source for "philosophical" reasons, such as a desire not to give their money to a commercial software company. However, most decisions to use open-source were strategic, he said.
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Internet Explorer

IE8 May Not Pass the Acid2 Test After All 434

dotne writes "CNET has published an article called Acid2, Acid3 and the power of default. The article predicts that IE8 will not pass the Acid2 test after all: '[Another] scenario could be that Microsoft requires Web pages to change the default settings by flagging that they really, really want to be rendered correctly. Web pages already have a way to say this (called doctype switching, which is supported by all browsers), but Microsoft has all but announced that IE8 will support yet another scheme. If the company decides to implement the new scheme, the Acid2 test — and all the other pages that use doctype switching — will not be rendered correctly.' Microsoft's IE8 render modes have been discussed here previously, and they've caused an uproar in the web development community. According to the scheme, authors must put Microsoft-specific <meta> tags into their pages in order for them to be rendered correctly. I doubt Acid2, nor Acid3 will have Microsoft extensions in them."

Submission + - Income lost to piracy a dubious claim ( 1

Technical Writing Geek writes: "If sales were indeed lost to piracy, then why hasn't this become a line item on the books and therefore tax deductible? Seriously, if all this intellectual property theft is theft in any conceivable way, then take the IRS deduction based on the press announcements and see how far you get.,2704,2251579,00.asp"


Submission + - SPAM: Snowflakes or 3-D snowfakes?

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Snowflakes have been puzzling mathematicians for about four centuries. Still, scientists have never been able to fully explain snowflake shapes. For example, is this true that their six-pointed structure reflect an underlying crystal structure? Now, two U.S. mathematicians have developed software that simulates 3-D snowflakes. And they discovered that even 'no two snowflakes are truly alike,' they're very similar to each other. In fact, the real mystery is why they are not more different from each other. But read more for additional references and beautiful images of 'snowfakes' as the researchers called them."

Submission + - Asteroid to hit Mars ?

mbone writes: "Apparently the Near Earth Object (NEO) program has found an asteroid that may impact Mars on January 30th. The current probability is one in 75, which is pretty high a month out. Estimated energy release if it does impact Mars is in the multiple megaton range.

If it does hit Mars, then we should have quite a show, with all of the spacecraft orbiting and landed on the planet. Of course, it is possible that this is an old, failed, spacecraft from decades ago, which would also be interesting, if not as spectacular."

Submission + - Thief Uploads His Pic to Flickr from Stolen iMac (

DM420 writes: I work in a building in Gastown in Vancouver, BC. About a week ago (Wednesday) people broke into our building and stole a bunch of iMac computers from a shared workspace/coffee bar a floor above us. There were few leads and as usual nothing was excepted to happen. Vancouver cops don't seem to follow up much in this area due to high property crime and not enough resources. This was until this morning when the so called thief uploaded a picture of himself and his tattoos to Flickr from the one of the stolen iMacs. It was setup to autoupload so patrons of the workspace/coffee bar could share their pictures online. Funnily enough, you get a dialog box that asks you to confirm the upload and the would be criminal clicked YES! Just goes to show you have to computer savvy these days if you want to be part of the underworld. Enjoy the pictures:


Tattoo Shot


Submission + - Google results invaded by .cn domains

vcygnus writes: "Today I needed to acces my guitar's truss rod, so I went to Google in order to search the way to acces it and make some adjusts.

I searched for "ovation tangent 357 truss rod" and Google came out with only three possibly useful results at the top, followed by seven results from .cn domains, featuring nonsense titles and descriptions made of random words.

I didn't care too much about it, so I went to the next results page, but there they were again. A whole page full of those useless .cn domains. Went to the next page, and the next one, and so on. I was on page 95 (10 results per page) and every single page lacked of results from domains other than .cn

I also found out the URLs of the results (those in green, before the "Similar pages" link) contained invalid characters such as U+FF0E and U+FF43, which render as characteres identical to "." and "c", respectively, but not the standard "." (U+002E) and "c" (U+0063) characters. i.e.: d39[\uff0e]1xacb.[\uff43]n/ (visually,

Seems like all of those domains were registered early this month.

Yahoo and Altavista behave in a similar way with the same search keywords, but they give only three result pages. Microsoft Live Search does not show any of those .cn domain in their results, though.

What could be the goal of spamming a search engine? To avoid the visitor to find what he/she looks for? Those are just randomly named domains and they don't sell or advertise anything."

Submission + - Radio Frequencies Help Burn Salt Water (

grumpyman writes: Radio frequencies act to weaken the bonds between the elements that make up salt water, releasing the hydrogen. Once ignited, the hydrogen will burn as long as it is exposed to the frequencies.

I've got a bad feeling about this.