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Pictures of Kuril Islands Volcano From ISS 65

KindMind writes "The Daily Mail has cool pictures of the Sarychev Peak (Kuril Islands) volcano eruption taken from the ISS back on June 12. From the article: 'A chance recording by astronauts on the International Space Station has captured the moment a volcano explosively erupted, sending massive shockwaves through the atmosphere. Sarychev Peak, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, had been sitting quietly in the Kuril Island chain near Japan for 20 years, when it suddenly sprang to life on June 12. Fortuitously, the International Space Station was flying overhead at the time, and managed to capture this spectacular image of the ash-cloud tearing through the atmosphere, sending clouds scattering in its wake in a perfect circle.'"

Carbonite Stacks the Deck With 5-Star Reviews 197

The Narrative Fallacy writes "In the aftermath of disclosures that Belkin employees paid users for good reviews on Amazon, David Pogue reports in the NYTimes that Carbonite has gone one better with 5-star reviews of its online backup services written by its own employees. Pogue recounts how Bruce Goldensteinberg signed up for the backup service, and all went well until his computer crashed and he was unable to restore it from the online backup while Carbonite customer support kept him on hold for over an hour. Frustrated, Goldensteinberg started reading Carbonite reviews on Amazon and a few of them seemed suspicious. 'They were created around the same date — October 31, 2006 — all given 5 stars, and the reviewers all came from around the Boston, MA area, where Carbonite is located,' including a review by Swami Kumaresan that read more like a testimonial. 'It turned out that Swami Kumaresan is the Vice President of Marketing for Carbonite. His review gives no indication that he is employed by the company.' Another review posted by Jonathan F. Freidin extols Carbonite without mentioning Freidin's position as Senior Software Engineer at Carbonite. 'It doesn't matter to me that Carbonite's fraudulent reviews are a couple of years old,' writes Pogue. 'These people are gaming the system, deceiving the public to enrich themselves. They should be deeply ashamed.'"
The Internet

How the US Lost Its China Complaint On IP 167

An anonymous reader writes "The World Trade Organization yesterday released its much-anticipated decision involving a US complaint against China over its protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The US quickly proclaimed victory, with newspaper headlines trumpeting the WTO panel's requirement that China reform elements of its intellectual property laws. Yet the reality is somewhat different. As Michael Geist notes, the US lost badly on key issues such as border measures and criminal IP enforcement, with the international trade body upholding the validity of China's laws."

Progress On Electric Cars 594

Mike sends along a couple of items of interest to those anxiously awaiting the era of production electric vehicles. First, there's the upcoming Aero EV, which Shelby Supercars claims will charge in just 10 minutes and will be able to produce over 1,000 horsepower, powering the vehicle from 0-60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds. Then there's the announcement by Aptera of the first pre-production model of the Aptera 2e, which will have a top speed of 90 mph and go around 100 miles on a charge. This EV also features a strong and aerodynamic body, a lithium-based battery, front-wheel drive, and an improved door design. Release is planned by October of 2009.

Athletes' Brains Reveal Concussion Damage 328

jamie found a story on research about what concussions do to athletes, with the insights coming mostly from the study of the donated brains of dead athletes. The NFL has the biggest profile in the piece, but other sports make an appearance too. Turns out that repeated concussions can result in depression, insomnia, and the beginnings of something that looks a lot like Alzheimer's. "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski. "We know we can't do that anymore. This causes long-term damage."
Data Storage

Four X25-E Extreme SSDs Combined In Hardware RAID 228

theraindog writes "Intel's X25-E Extreme SSD is easily the fastest flash drive on the market, and contrary to what one might expect, it actually delivers compelling value if you're looking at performance per dollar rather than gigabytes. That, combined with a rackmount-friendly 2.5" form factor and low power consumption make the drive particularly appealing for enterprise RAID. So just how fast are four of them in a striped array hanging off a hardware RAID controller? The Tech Report finds out, with mixed but at times staggeringly impressive results."

Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 RC1 319

mikemuch writes "IE8 has left beta as of noon Pacific time today. The development team now considers the browser platform- and feature-complete, but won't say how long until it goes gold. got an early look and has posted a full review of Internet Explorer 8 RC1. The release candidate differs only slightly from Beta 2, most notably in tweaks to its InPrivate Browsing feature, aka porn mode. That feature has been decoupled with InPrivate Filtering, which blocks third-party content providers from creating profile of your browsing habits. RC1 also improves on performance, especially in startup time, but still trails Firefox and Chrome in JavaScript speed. Protection against the relatively new threat of 'clickjacking,' where a site tries to get you to press buttons underneath a sham frame page, has also been added — the first browser to include such protections. Versions for 32-bit and 64-bit Vista, as well as for 32-bit XP are available, but Windows 7, which will ship with IE8, is stuck with an older beta for now."

New Law Will Require Camera Phones To "Click" 1235

An anonymous reader writes "A new bill is being introduced called the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act, which would require any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken with the phone's camera. It would also prohibit such a phone from being equipped with a means of disabling or silencing the tone."
The Media

Edit-Approval System Proposed For English-Language Wikipedia 439

An anonymous reader writes "A group of powerful Wikipedia insiders are pushing for FlaggedRevisions which will require a 'trusted user' to approve of edits before they go live on the online encyclopedia. There is also opposition but with support of founder Jimbo Wales it is likely to go through. The German version has tried the system, leading to three-week delays between edit and publication. The English wiki with its higher number of anonymous editors per trusted user is expected to suffer longer queues if FlaggedRevisions is implemented on all articles. This comes just a few days after Britannica announced that readers will be allowed to suggest edits and have them reviewed within 20 minutes. Will we see the day when Britannica can be edited almost instantly while editing Wikipedia requires fighting bureaucracy, patience and the right contacts?" Note that, according to the quote from Jimmy Wales in the linked article, this system would only be used "on a subset of articles, the boundaries of which can be adjusted over time to manage the backlog."
Hardware Hacking

"Nuclear Archaeology" Inspires Replica of Hiroshima's Little Boy 298

James Cho writes "Through a decade of painstaking reverse engineering, trucker John Coster-Mullen built the first accurate replica of the Hiroshima bomb. His work yielded a new history of the first nukes, 'Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man,' with historian Robert Norris saying, 'Nothing else in the Manhattan Project literature comes close.' Philip Morrison, one of the physicists who helped invent the bomb, deemed it 'a remarkable job.'"

Obama To Launch Website For Tracking Tax Expenditures 358

internationalflights tips news that Barack Obama, in his first weekly address as President, has mentioned plans to set up a website for tracking "how and where we spend taxpayer dollars." Details about the website,, are available within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PDF). The website "shall provide data on relevant economic, financial, grant, and contract information in user-friendly visual presentations to enhance public awareness of the use funds made available in this Act," and will also "provide a means for the public to give feedback on the performance of contracts awarded for purposes of carrying out this Act." The site itself currently contains a placeholder until the passage of the Act.
Security Data Stolen, Won't Email Users 200

chiguy writes "There's been another break-in at It's surprising that there are still unencrypted passwords stored in database despite the previous hack, as is the decision to not email users — presumably so that no one will make a fuss. From PC World: ' user IDs and passwords were stolen, along with names, e-mail addresses, birth dates, gender, ethnicity, and in some cases, users' states of residence. The information does not include Social Security numbers, which said it doesn't collect, or resumes. posted the warning about the breach on Friday morning and does not plan to send e-mails to users about the issue, said Nikki Richardson, a spokeswoman. The SANS Internet Storm Center also posted a note about the break-in on Friday.'"
Hardware Hacking

New Connections For Stretchable, Twistable Electronics 60

tugfoigel writes "Jizhou Song, a professor in the University of Miami College of Engineering and his collaborators Professor John Rogers, at the University of Illinois and Professor Yonggang Huang, at Northwestern University have developed a new design for stretchable electronics that can be wrapped around complex shapes, without a reduction in electronic function. The new mechanical design strategy is based on semiconductor nanomaterials that can offer high stretchability (e.g., 140%) and large twistability such as corkscrew twists with tight pitch (e.g., 90 degrees in 1 cm). Potential uses for the new design include electronic devices for eye cameras, smart surgical gloves, body parts, airplane wings, back planes for liquid crystal displays and biomedical devices."

A Teacher Asking Students To Destroy Notes? 931

zwei2stein writes "I found this question with far-reaching implications in the off-topic section of a forum I frequent: 'My economics teacher is forcing us to give up all of our work for the semester. Every page of notes and paper must be turned over to her to be destroyed to prevent future students from copying it. My binder was in my backpack, and she went into my backpack to take it. Is that legal?' Besides the issue with private property invasion, which was the trigger of that post, there is much more important question: Can a teacher ask a student not to retain knowledge? How does IP law relate to teaching and sharing knowledge? Whose property are those notes?"

Scientists Teleport Information Between Ions a Meter Apart 220

erickhill writes with word that scientists from the University of Maryland have successfully transferred information from one charged atom to another without having it cross the intervening space of about one meter. The academic paper is available in the journal Science, though it requires a subscription to see more than the abstract. Scientists have previously teleported unmolested qubits between photons of light, and between photons and clouds of atoms. But researchers have long sought to teleport qubits between distant atoms. Light's high speed of travel makes photons good transporters of information, but for storing quantum information, atoms are a much better choice because they're easier to hold on to. 'This is a big deal,' comments Myungshik Kim, a quantum physicist at Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom. 'To store information as it is in quantum form, you have to have a teleportation scheme available between two stationary qubits. Then you can store them and manipulate them later on.'"

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