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Planck Mission Releases Images of Galactic Dust 40

davecl writes "The Planck satellite has released its first new science images, showing the large scale filamentary structure of cold dust in our own galaxy. This release coincides with the completion of its first survey of the entire sky a couple of weeks ago. There's lots more work to be done, and more observations to be made, before results are ready on the Big Bang, but these images demonstrate Planck's performance and capability. More information is available on the Planck mission blog (which I maintain)."

Submission + - WikiLeaks Uncensored (blogspot.com)

MrCopilot writes: "Thanks in no small part to the efforts of The EFF and others, the honorable District Judge Jeffrey S. White has withdrew an earlier order blocking the wikileaks.org domain name resolution.

"There are serious concerns that the court has, and serious questions raised, about the effectiveness of any order that this court might issue given the current state of affairs," Judge White said, lamenting the fact that constitutional law might not be able to keep up with technological change.

Yeah, censorship is hard. I feel for you. I mean, how are we supposed to hide tax evasion now. http://mrcopilot.blogspot.com/2008/02/wikileaks-uncensored.html"

The Internet

Submission + - Bush Desperate for Retroactive Telecom Immunity (nytimes.com)

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "President Bush recently held a news conference demanding that Congress hurry up and pass a FISA bill that gives telecoms retroactive immunity for their crimes, claiming that 'their assistance was legal and vital to national security'. Without legal authorization to continue, 'we cannot protect our country from terrorist attack'. He also vowed to continue speaking on the matter until the American people understand. Sen. Kennedy replied that 'Adhering to the rule of law would not "aid our enemies" — it would uphold the very principles we are fighting for.'"
The Courts

Submission + - Possession of the Anarchist's Cookbook==Terrorist

Anonymous Terrorist writes: Back in the midsts of time, when I was a lad and gopher was the height of information retrieval I read The Anarchist's Cookbook in one huge text file. Now it appears the UK government considers possession of the book an offence under the Terrorism Act 2000 and is prosecuting a 17 year old boy, in part, for having a copy of the book.

Submission + - Scientists deliver God helmet (sciam.com)

prostoalex writes: "Scientific American is reporting on scientific work done to map the euphoric religious feelings with the areas of the brain responsible for producing those experiences. As a result, it's now quite possible to experience proximity to God (or Universe for those in the audience who stick to atheism) via a special helmet: "In a series of studies conducted over the past several decades, Persinger and his team have trained their device on the temporal lobes of hundreds of people. In doing so, the researchers induced in most of them the experience of a sensed presence — a feeling that someone (or a spirit) is in the room when no one, in fact, is — or of a profound state of cosmic bliss that reveals a universal truth. During the three-minute bursts of stimulation, the affected subjects translated this perception of the divine into their own cultural and religious language — terming it God, Buddha, a benevolent presence or the wonder of the universe.""

Submission + - Britain to Allow Creation of Hybrid Embryos (washingtonpost.com)

Monkeyboy Thom writes: From the Washington Post:
The British Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority has ruled to allow the creation of human-animal embryos from which embryonic stem cells could be extracted for medical purposes. The agency will review two previously submitted hybrid embryo development proposals in detail. While this does not green light the creation of un-Men or a Moreau hybrid uttering the words, "are we not men?" the Bristish are very careful to say "that this area of research can, with caution and careful scrutiny, be permitted."

Mount Wundagore, as usual, was unavailable for comment.


Submission + - Bush knew Iraq never had WMDs, say ex-CIA agents (salon.com)

tom_evil writes: Sidney Blumenthal, writing for Salon.com, reports that two former CIA agents confirmed to him that Bush knew all along that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. When presented a report telling him this in September 2002, Bush dismissed the information as "worthless." His administration then went out of its way to rewrite intelligence reports and withhold information from other government officials in order to fabricate a cause for war. Blumenthal writes: "The [CIA] officers continued to insist on the significance of [their source's] information, but one of Tenet's deputies told them, 'You haven't figured this out yet. This isn't about intelligence. It's about regime change.'"

Submission + - Stealth Windows Update auto-installed w/o consent

AngusSF writes: "I'm running a little program called Tiny Watcher (http://www.donationcoders.com/kubicle/watcher/) that is a sort of poor-mans freeware HIDS (XP Pro SP2, IE6). Once a night I run it on a test system looking for stuff that has changed in critical areas, and recently it notified me that two files, wups.dll and wups2.dll, in the system32 directory had changed. I finally got around to investigating this and I found that even though I have Automatic Updates set to "Notify", this update was installed stealthily at 3:30 one morning. I found a thread on the Microsoft Community groups which sort-of discusses this: Critical Update slipped in through the back door — in Announcements http://preview.tinyurl.com/39gsrr — the full URL is a 281-character monster: http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/en -us/default.aspx?dg=microsoft.private.security.spy ware.announcements&tid=26e8ce20-718f-44aa-bfcf-06c c172998da&cat=en_US_35183423-7a58-4c2c-881c-928711 0c8cfb&lang=en&cr=US&sloc=en-us&m=1&p=1&mid=d4954b 09-f430-47c2-9a69-f7eb81d9a960 Here's an excerpt:

"dean-dean" wrote: > Windows Update Software 7.0.6000.381 is an update to Windows Update > itself. It is an update for both Windows XP and Windows Vista. Unless > the update is installed, Windows Update won't work, at least in terms of > searching for further updates. Normal use of Windows Update, in other > words, is blocked until this update is installed. .... > In XP, it updates the following system32 files to version 7.0.6000.381: > > wuweb.dll > wuaueng.dll > wuapi.dll > wucltui.dll > wuaucpl.cpl > cdm.dll > wuauclt.exe > wups2.dll > wups.dll
Well, it certainly appears that Microsoft is installing updates without permission or consent. I have Windows Update set to "Notify" (XP Pro SP2, IE6), and I run WU manually. The date-time stamp of the directory where wups.dll v7.0.6000.381 is loaded (C:\WINDOWS\system32\SoftwareDistribution\Setup\Se rviceStartup\wups.dll\7. 0.600 0.381\ for the curious) is 8/24/07. When I check "Installed Updates" on the WU site I see that I ran WU on 8/15 (for August's Black Tuesday) and again on 8/29 (for KB933360). I checked all of the updates that occurred after the 7/30 date-time stamp of wups.dll and wups2.dll, and none of them list either file in the "File Information" section for Windows XP. Interestingly a search at microsoft.com for "wups.dll 7.0.6000.381" turns up NOTHING while a search for "wups.dll 7.0.6000.374" turns up a couple of hits, one of which is this KB article "When you use Automatic Updates to scan for updates or to apply updates to applications that use Windows Installer, you experience issues that involve the Svchost.exe process" http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/93249 4 ... I checked my Event Viewer log for anything interesting on 8/24 and I found an entry at 3:34 AM where the Windows Update Agent installed _something_: >> Installation Successful: Windows successfully installed the following update: Automatic Updates All of the other "Windows Update Agent" Event-19 entries in the System Log include a KB number in the event listing: >> Installation Successful: Windows successfully installed the following update: Update for Windows XP (KB933360) I checked on other XP desktops I have handy, all of which are also set to "Notify" _AND_ all of which have non-Admin users and I see date-time stamps from 8/21 through 8/24 for the wups.dll install-directories %SYS32%\SoftwareDistribution\Setup\ServiceStartup\ wups.dll\7.0.6000.381\. This update is particularly disturbing. I find it both curious and very annoying that Microsoft still hasn't learned not to sneak around behind people's backs. I'm curious, does anyone running a WSUS server on their network also have this stealth update on any of their systems? Is this something that was also distributed through WSUS or is this just something that was installed by folks running WU directly from Microsoft? TIA Angus"

Submission + - ZENN Electric Car Review (lincolnev.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The ZENN is a small electric car designed for short trips around town. Classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), in most states it can legally travel on roads 35 MPH or less (or in special NEV lanes). Read a review of this unique car. While the ZENN uses lead acid batteries, the company is also investing in technology that could use capacitors to power cars, which would be a huge breakthrough if practical.

Submission + - Robotic Fruit Pickers: Revolution in Harvesting (associatedcontent.com)

MarkWhittington writes: "The latest industry to be automated may well be the agricultural sector, specifically the hitherto labor intensive harvesting of our food. This development is particularly interesting because of current debates over illegal aliens, many of whom are employed in harvesting food and the development of a guest worker program to handle the same task. Due to increased enforcement on the southern border and the existence of better jobs in construction and service industries, farmers have discovered an increasing shortage of available workers to harvest their products. Some farmers have actually opted to move part of their operations to Mexico, where cheap labor is available. Another solution in the works appears to be the development of robotic harvesters. The California Citrus Research Board is funding a project by a company called Vision Robotics to create a machine to pick oranges."
The Internet

Submission + - Public rallies behind free wireless broadband

thefickler writes: A proposal to deliver free wireless broadband to 95% of the US population is finding public support, even as it looks like it will be rejected by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). According to the company behind the proposal, M2Z Networks, more than 1000 people from 49 states have written to the FCC in an attempt to reverse a draft order by FCC Chairman Martin that is believed to deny the application.

Submission + - Piss-Powered Batteries Unveiled at IFA

An anonymous reader writes: According to CNET.co.uk, NoPoPo (non-pollution power) Aqua Batteries work simply by inserting liquid, including urine, into the base with a teat pipette. "They come in a range of battery sizes, and according to the manufacturer, a single AAA version can run a small handheld torch light for up to 20 hours. Incredibly, these batteries also work with other types of liquid: we saw them tested with beer and apple juice, but the makers say they can run off cola, saliva or even urine." Put the term 'running out of juice' in a new light.

Submission + - Americans removed from flight for speaking Arabic (teamtil.net)

Anonymous Coward writes: "An American Airlines flight was delayed for twelve hours because a certain American woman heard several passengers speaking Arabic and had to do whatever she could to forestall another 9-11 — it was all she could think of. "Those men she heard talking? They were Iraqi-Americans, in town to train US Marines at Camp Pendleton," explained NBC's Brian Williams. The men were removed from the plane and questioned briefly before being released. The flight was canceled and all passengers caught other flights the next day."

Submission + - Ron Paul Delegates Locked Out of Straw Poll (abovetopsecret.com) 1

TheSkepticGuy writes: Several stories are emerging that Ron Paul is doing very well in Republican straw polls, but is being neglected by mainstream news. Now we find one group of Ron Paul delegates actually being locked out of a straw poll. "The Convention center opened at 9am and was supposed to allow delegates to vote until around 1pm. At 10 am the security gaurds locked the doors and stopped anyone from entering who did not have a pre printed pass." Video and first-person account at AboveTopSecret.com

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.