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+ - Mima Mound Mystery Solved->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Over the decades, 50 or more explanations have been offered for the fields of broad, meter-high mounds of soil found across the western United States and on every continent except Antarctica. The ideas have ranged from earthquakes to glaciers to UFOs. But now it seems that generation upon generation of gophers built the millions of mounds seen today. And it took a computer model programmed to act like the burrowing rodents to unearth the truth."
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+ - Feds Shut Down File-Sharing Website Megaupload->

Submitted by Subratik
Subratik (1747672) writes "Today, "Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down one of the world's largest file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, and charged its founder and others with violating piracy laws."

The indictment given to Megaupload cites over $500 million in lost revenue from stolen intellectual-property.

Even though SOPA has drawn insurmountable criticism from both citizens and the White House, it would seem as if the US needs less of a reason everyday to not need it passed anyway."

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+ - When Patents Attack->

Submitted by fermion
fermion (181285) writes "This American Life runs a story this week on Intelectual Ventures, a firm some consider the leader of the patent trolls . The story dwells into the origins of the term patent troll and the rise of the patent troll industry. Much time is spent presenting Intelectual Ventrues both as a patent troll firm and a legitimate business that allows helpless inventors to monetize patents. It is stipulated that Intellectual Ventures does not in fact sue anyone. It is also alleged that the Intellectual Ventures create many shell companies presumable to hid such activity. Intellectual Ventures is compared to a Mafia protection racket that may never actually burn down a business that does not pay the dues, does encourage such burning to occur."
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+ - Build your own solar system on Galaxiki->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Galaxiki is an award winning fictional galaxy that is owned and can be edited by its community. It's a social network and web 2.0 site for everyone interested in science, fiction and space.Each star, each planet and each moon in our online galaxy is represented by a wiki page that can be edited by its site members. Users can make changes to solar systems, add creatures and write stories."
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Space

+ - Dr. Michio Kaku on reality of a Space Elevator->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Now that the shuttle has been retired, the hunt is on for revolutionary technologies to economically lift cargo and humans into space. And a space elevator just may be the answer. According to renowned physicist Michio Kaku, recent developments in nanotechnology may make this technological marvel a reality by the end of this century."
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Mars

New Evidence Presented For Ancient Fossils In Mars Rocks 91

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-the-protectors-leave-them-alone dept.
azoblue passes along a story in the Washington Post, which begins: "NASA's Mars Meteorite Research Team reopened a 14-year-old controversy on extraterrestrial life last week, reaffirming and offering support for its widely challenged assertion that a 4-billion-year-old meteorite that landed thousands of years ago on Antarctica shows evidence of microscopic life on Mars. In addition to presenting research that they said disproved some of their critics, the scientists reported that additional Martian meteorites appear to house distinct and identifiable microbial fossils that point even more strongly to the existence of life. 'We feel more confident than ever that Mars probably once was, and maybe still is, home to life,' team leader David McKay said at a NASA-sponsored conference on astrobiology."
Games

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-ralph dept.
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
Security

+ - Why are my banks stupid?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Why can't I find a bank that isn't stupid?

Wellsfargo.com recently started loading (and requiring) javascript from akamai.net. This gives anyone who compromises akamai.net complete access to all Wellsfargo.com online banking functions. It's sort of like finding out that the bank vault has a back door that connects to the candy shop next door. Sure, the candyman is a nice guy, and he even locks his shop at night, but he's not my bank!

Just when I stopped fuming over that for a few minutes, an envelope arrived from Citibank. It shows my entire credit card number and advises me that my statement is available online.

Is there any bank that takes security at all seriously?"
The Almighty Buck

+ - The $10 Billion Poker Game 2

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Monday was the deadline for potential bidders to file with the Federal Communications Commission over the auction of the 700-megahertz band, a useful swath of the electromagnetic spectrum that is being freed up by the move to digital television. Once bidders file they become subject to strict "anticollusion" rules that in effect prohibit participants from discussing any aspect of their bidding until the auction is over and explains why Google announced Friday that it was going to bid in the auction because it can't discuss its bidding once it files to participate. The next official word will be late December or mid-January, when the FCC announces who has been approved to bid. The auction will start on January 24. Participants will use an Internet system to enter bids on any of 1,099 separate licenses that are being offered (pdf). Most coveted seems to be the C block, 12 regional licenses that can be combined to create a national wireless network. This is the spectrum Google is presumed to be most interested in. The bidding will be conducted in a series of rounds, and the commission will announce the amount of the high bid for each license at the end of each round but it will not identify the high bidder (pdf pages 10 — 14). Then the winning bidder will have ten days to put up 20 percent of the amount it bid. After that, the winner is allowed to discuss its bids publicly and negotiate with potential partners, such as losing bidders who may want to get in on the action but the winner only has ten more days to make deals before it has to pay the rest of the money it bid."
Operating Systems

+ - Wal-Mart to give Linux a go on $199 PCs->

Submitted by MikeUW
MikeUW (999162) writes "Turns out Wal-Mart is giving Linux a try on a $199 PC (the Everex 'Green gPC'), which runs a variant of Linux called gOS, derived from Ubuntu. A comparable Everex PC with Windows with Vista Home Basic would cost an additional $99 'partly because the manufacturer has to pay Microsoft Corp'. This gOS is 'heavily oriented toward Google's Web sites and online applications'. It will be available online, and at about 600 stores in the U.S. I wonder why Wal-Mart's Canadian customers have been deemed unworthy of a free operating system on their PCs."
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Security

+ - Al Qaeda plans massive cyber attack on Nov. 11-> 2

Submitted by
talkinsecurity
talkinsecurity writes "No clue if it's true, but this report is all over the Web — supposedly Al Qaeda has selected 15 western targets as the beginning of a huge cyber jihad scheduled to start on Nov. 11. News media seem unable to confirm it, but blogs are going crazy. The report doesn't say what weapons they'll use — presumably denial of service — but given the wide availability of the jihad software, it doesn't seem completely out of the question. http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=137875&WT.svl=news1_1"
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Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.

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