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NASA

Submission + - NASA Mercury Probe Will Answer Big Questions (ibtimes.com) 1

RedEaredSlider writes: Next month, the first space probe in nearly 40 years will approach the planet Mercury, with an array of instruments that could help answer fundamental questions about how planets form.

The mission is called MESSENGER, for Mercury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging. On March 17 it will pull into orbit around mercury, after more than six years of maneuvering between the Earth, Venus and Mercury itself.

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, completing one of its revolutions in only 88 days. Surface temperatures on during the day top out at 426 degrees Celsius (798 degrees Fahrenheit) — hot enough that lead and zinc would melt like ice on a hot day. Nighttime temperatures plunge to -173 degrees C (-279 F), cold enough to liquefy neon gas. Mercury also spins very slowly, and does so in such a way that a single day on Mercury lasts 176 days — two of the planet's years.

Submission + - Red Gate Charge for Reflector

Saint Gerbil writes: Red Gate a vendor of .NET and SQL related developer tools has announced that it will be charging for the new version of thier Refector product:
http://www.red-gate.com/MessageBoard/viewtopic.php?t=12698

When they inherited this product from Lutz Roeder 3 years ago they previously stated would remain free:

http://www.simple-talk.com/opinion/opinion-pieces/the-future-of-reflector-/

Needless to say most .NET developers are in uproar and you only need to look at their forums
http://www.red-gate.com/MessageBoard/viewtopic.php?t=12714
Crime

Submission + - Waledac botnet poised for a rebound (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: The Waledac botnet, crippled by legal action from Microsoft and covert infiltration by security researchers just a year ago, appears poised for a big comeback.

Waledac was mostly shut down after Microsoft — whose Hotmail service had been abused by the botnet — was granted a temporary restraining order by a U.S. court that shut down domain names the botnet used to communicate. Security researchers also managed to disrupt Waledac's peer-to-peer communications system and gain control over some 60,000 infected computers.

But according to researchers from security vendor Last Line, Waledac has collected 489,528 credentials for POP3 e-mail accounts, which will likely be used for high-quality spam campaigns.

"The technique abuses legitimate mail servers by authenticating as the victim through the SMTP-AUTH protocol to send spam messages," according to Last Line's blog. http://blog.tllod.com/2011/02/01/calm-before-the-storm/ "This method makes IP-based blacklist filtering considerably more difficult."

Additionally, Waledac has also collected 123,920 log-in credentials for FTP servers.

Earth

Submission + - NASA finds family of habitable planets (networkworld.com) 1

coondoggie writes: NASA's star-gazing space telescope continues to find amazing proof that there are tons of habitable planets in space and we have only scratched the surface of what's out there. The space agency said today its Kepler space telescope spotted what it called its first Earth-size planet candidates and its first candidates in what it considers to be the habitable zone, a region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Kepler also found six confirmed planets orbiting a sun-like star, Kepler-11. This is the largest group of transiting planets orbiting a single star yet discovered outside our solar system.
Science

Submission + - Underground city uncovered with lasers (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Here's a great use of laser scanning technology — the Nottingham Caves Survey have been using a Leica laser scanner to map and visualize hundreds of man-made caves hidden beneath the city of Nottingham in the UK. Results as seen on Gizmodo are pretty spectacular!
Hardware

Submission + - Stephen Fry and DVD Jon back USB Sniffer Project (kickstarter.com)

An anonymous reader writes: bushing and pytey of the iPhone DevTeam and Team Twiizers have created a Kickstarter project to fund the build of an open-source/open-hardware high-speed USB protocol analyzer. The board features a high-speed USB 2.0 sniffer that will help with the reverse engineering of proprietary USB hardware, the project has gained the backing from two high-profile individuals Jon Lech Johansen (DVD Jon) and Actor and Comedian Stephen Fry
Hardware

Submission + - Bad Gradings for Pre-Installed Linux Notebooks (heise.de)

Linux Laptop Guy writes: "The German computer magazine CT has tested different notebooks which come with Linux pre-equipped by their manufacturers. Buyers must be aware of severe issues with these machines. Outdated software and different quirks make it difficult to enjoy the Linux notebooks. You can not expect a good cooperation of hardware and operating system, the magazine writes, after it has checked different pre-installed Linux notebooks.

The magazine has tested notebooks from six different manufacturers. Notebooks made by Asus, for example come with many problems which are difficult to solve even for Linux experts. A better, but nevertheless insufficient, impression made the Dell Inspiron 15R. A machine provided by HP comes with the Desktop issue of Suse Linux Enterprise, which is targeted to companies and hides some extra costs.

CT magazine recommends to buy a Windows notebook instead and to install Linux afterwards. It can help to read installation reports written by other users before. There is no guarantee for a notebook to be 100 percent compatible with Linux, because the hardware and every Linux distribution are different in many details, which can cause numerous problems. The magazine did not mention that you have to pay the so-called Microsoft-Tax this way.

related ./ postings:

https://mobile.slashdot.org/story/10/09/14/2033227/Dell-Releases-Streak-Source-Code"

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - US considering fashion copyright law (canoe.ca) 4

innocent_white_lamb writes: Copyright has never applied to fashion designs but lawmakers are preparing to change that. Fashion designs will be protected for a period of three years.

Many people in the industry say this is not needed but one proponent of the law states, "Once former copyists realize that they need to up the design ante ... the culture of copying within the industry will change.Consumers will have available a greater variety of inexpensive choices rather than the same old cheap copies."

Submission + - How do you organize your experimental data?

digitalderbs writes: As a researcher in the physical sciences, I have generated thousands of experimental datasets that need to be sorted and organized--a problem which many of you have had to deal with as well, no doubt. I've sorted my data with an elaborate system of directories and symbolic links to directories that sort my data by sample, pH, experimental type, and other qualifiers, but I've found that through the years, I've needed to move, rename, and reorganize these directories and links, which have left me with thousands of dangling links and a heterogeneous naming scheme. What have you done to organize, tag and add metadata to your data, and how have you dealt with redirecting thousands of symbolic links at a time?

Submission + - Blogger Convicted of Threatening Judges (go.com) 1

Raenex writes: A right-wing New Jersey blogger was convicted at his third trial of making threats against three federal judges in Illinois in retaliation for a ruling supporting gun control. The case stemmed from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2009 by three judges that upheld a district court decision dismissing lawsuits that challenged handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. The same day, Turner protested the decision with an inflammatory post online. In one passage, he quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying, "The tree of liberty must be replenished from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots," court papers said.

Authorities said he crossed the line by writing: "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges must die. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty."

Earth

Submission + - Weather Chaos Supports Case for Global Warming (nytimes.com) 1

pickens writes: The NY Times reports that seemingly disconnected disasters, like floods in New England, Arkansas, and Pakistan, fires in Russia, and drought in Africa, are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes. Theory suggests that a world warming up because of increasing greenhouse gases will feature heavier rainstorms in summer, bigger snowstorms in winter, more intense droughts in at least some places and more record-breaking heat waves and scientists and government reports say the statistical evidence shows that much of this is starting to happen. "The climate is changing," says Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. "Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity." Climate-change skeptics dispute such statistical arguments, contending that climatologists do not know enough about long-range patterns to draw definitive links between global warming and weather extremes. "It's not the right question to ask if this storm or that storm is due to global warming, or is it natural variability," says Dr. Trenberth. "Nowadays there's always an element of both."
Medicine

Submission + - New Anthrax Drugs Show Promise

An anonymous reader writes: In the nearly 10 years since a then-mysterious terrorist sent letters laced with anthrax spores, pharmaceutical companies have been working towards better treatments and vaccines, and have come up with promising drugs. But designing a drug to cure anthrax isn't the difficult part. The problem is creating one that can be mass-produced, given in a single dose, and is effective enough with few side effects. A vaccine has a similar set of problems.
Linux

Submission + - Damn Vulnerable Linux most vulnerable Linux ever (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Usually, when installing a new operating system the hope is that it’s as up-to-date as possible. After installation there’s bound to be a few updates required, but no more than a few megabytes. Damn Vulnerable Linux is different, it’s shipped in as vulnerable a state as possible. As the DVL website explains: "Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is everything a good Linux distribution isn’t. Its developers have spent hours stuffing it with broken, ill-configured, outdated, and exploitable software that makes it vulnerable to attacks. DVL isn’t built to run on your desktop – it’s a learning tool for security students."

Submission + - First halophile potatoes harvested.

Razgorov Prikazka writes: A Dutch based company from Groningen is trying to create a potato race that is able to survive in a saline environment. The first test-batch is just lifted on the island Texel and seem to be in good shape. The company states that rising sea-levels will create a demand for halophile crops.

TFA in Dutch: http://www.rtvnoord.nl/nieuws/nieuws.asp?pid=93291

Googletranslation: http://translate.google.nl/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rtvnoord.nl%2Fnieuws%2Fnieuws.asp%3Fpid%3D93291&sl=nl&tl=en

The company (only in Dutch): http://www.dbiemondbv.nl/home.html

I do wonder if one still has to put salt on ones potatoes when they are grown in salt water...

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