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The Courts

+ - Revote likey because Diebold recount impossible

Submitted by Aidtopia
Aidtopia (667351) writes "A judge in Berkeley, California, has ordered a re-vote in a 2004 medical marijuana measure which had lost by fewer than 200 votes. A group supporting the measure requested a recount, which was meaningless since the Diebold electronic voting machines didn't produce physical ballots. The group petitioned for audit logs and other supporting documentation. The Registrar initially gave them the run-around, and, with a lawsuit pending, shipped the machines back to the manufacturer where 96% of the stored votes were erased. The ruling is tentative. The revote, if it happens, will be in the 2008 general election, using different electronic voting machines that produce a paper trail."
Education

+ - Testing Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance'

Submitted by smooth wombat
smooth wombat (796938) writes "Travelling to a time in the past is, as far as we know, not possible. However, Einstein postulated a faster-than-light effect known as 'spooky action at a distance'. The problem is, how do you test for such an effect? That test may now be here. If all goes well, hopefully by September 15th, John Cramer will have experimented with a beam of laser light which has been split in two to test Einstein's idea.

While he is only testing the quantum entanglement portion, changing one light beam and having the same change made in the other beam, his experiment might show that a change made in one beam shows up in the other beam before he actually makes the change.

An interesting sidenote is that the money for this project was raised not from the scientific community but from the public at large. His fans have sent him the money necessary to purchase the equipment to test Einstein's idea."
Biotech

+ - Gecko inspired adhesive tape produced

Submitted by unchiujar
unchiujar (1030510) writes "The remarkable adhesive abilities of geckos and mussels have been combined to create a super-sticky material. Unlike other adhesives inspired by the nimble reptiles, "geckel" can attach to both wet and dry surfaces, the team that developed the material says."
Software

+ - Open Standards Threatened in Europe->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "From Open Standards: 'On June 29 2007, the European Commission agency IDABC published a document revising the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) and the Architecture Guidelines (AG). This second version wants to 'update' the previous version of the EIF but, contrary to the first version, it threatens explictely the good process of more open standards that had been a long time push of IDABC. "EIF v2.0 should facilitate the most profitable business model(s) of cost versus public value, under proper recognition of intellectual property rights, if any. The support for multiple standards allows a migration towards open standards when appropriate in the long run." There are unacceptable drawbacks from the previous "EIF 2004" that promoted the use of open standards as defined in this European definition, the use of free and open source softwares as well as XML.'

Who also reads 'Microsoft and OOXML out again to find some weak spot' between the lines? Help signing the campaign and sending complaining emails in the request for comments."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Mozilla Patches Firefox; Warns About Using IE->

Submitted by Growmash
Growmash (666) writes "Mozilla has rolled out Firefox 2.0.0.5 with patches for a total of 9 nine vulnerabilities, including cover for the controversial IE-to-Firefox code execution attack vector. Even after plugging the hole, Mozilla inserted a blunt message into its alert: "This patch does not fix the vulnerability in Internet Explorer." The open-source group is also urging Web surfers to use Firefox to browse the web "to prevent attackers from exploiting this problem in Internet Explorer.""
Link to Original Source
Hardware Hacking

+ - Magnetic avalanches cause hard drive failure

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to this report by IT PRO, scientists working at the University of California have discovered the main reason of hard drive failure. According to researchers, some materials used in hard drives are better at damping spin precession than others. Spin precession of magnetic material effects its neighbors' polarity and this can spread and cause sections of hard drives to spontaneously change polarity and lose data. This is known as a magnetic avalanche. So next time Windows fails to start, you'll know why!"
Television

+ - Easy TV Data to pick up where Zap2it leaves off->

Submitted by Nedward
Nedward (452796) writes "Wondering what will happen to your myth-box when zap2it goes offline? From the mythTV wiki: ``A group of developers from various open source and free-as-in-beer projects have formed a new company called Easy TV Data, which will replace Zap2it Labs to become the official provider of US and Canadian TV Listings for MythTV (and other projects). Please see http://easytvdata.org/ for more information.""
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Mozilla

+ - Mozilla gives details on Firefox 3 changes->

Submitted by
99luftballon
99luftballon writes "Vnunet has an interview with the development team of Firefox 3 which shows the main features of the new browser. Top of the list is a new graphics engine with improved rendering and zoom capability but it's the plans for changing the bookmarking system into a SQL database that looks most interesting. Also telling is the refusal to give a launch date, with the head of Mozilla Europe frankly stating "We do not want to ship crap on time." Wonder who he could be referring to."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - ESA initiates police raid against console modder->

Submitted by Donkey Konga
Donkey Konga (666) writes "A San Diego man was arrested after a raid turned up over a thousand counterfeit games, modded consoles and mod chips. Frederick Brown 'had allegedly built up a thriving business selling counterfeit games and installing mod chips, having advertised his services on Craigslist and other web sites. He allegedly sold pirated games from his Vista, CA residence as well, including both discs and hard drives preloaded with games that he would install into customers' Xboxes and Xbox 360s.' After the ESA learned of his activities, they contacted San Diego law enforcement and the San Diego Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Unit led the raid on his home. '"CATCH was very receptive to the evidence we brought them and were able to put the investigation together in very short order," ESA VP Ric Hirsch told Ars.' Brown now faces 10 felony counts reltated to selling pirated games and modding consoles."
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Robotics

+ - A robot that travels through the body

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "The reference to the 1966 movie "Fantastic Voyage" is maybe too obvious. But Israeli scientists have developed a 1-millimeter-diameter medical robot that will be able to crawl within our veins and arteries. It's too early to know when this medical robot is allowed to explore a real human being. But the researchers think it could be used to fight some cancers. They even envision groups of robots working simultaneously to fight metastases. Read more for some details and a picture of what the tiny submarine robot would look like."
Software

+ - Comparing web development platforms empirically->

Submitted by
whrde
whrde writes "How do you compare Java to Python to Ruby to .NET? Very little empirical research has been done into web development platforms, mostly because it's a particularly difficult thing to do.

A research group at the Free University of Berlin is conducting a survey as part of the Plat_Forms effort. Results will be compiled and can be emailed to anyone who completes the survey.

If you have experience with two or more web development languages, you can contribute to this research by completing the survey."

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Software

+ - OOXML evaluation->

Submitted by
H4x0r Jim Duggan
H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "With the holiday season about to make consensus work impractical, most national standards groups will decide in the next week or two whether to recommend MS's OOXML format for ISO standardisation. There's been a lot of private lobbying, and none has made MS's 6,000 page standard easy to review. With that in mind, FSFE have published Six questions to national standardisation bodies. If they think MS's standard answers "yes" to each question, they should approve. If not, they should reject. There's also a petition."
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Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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