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Submission + - Monster Black Hole Busts Theory (space.com)

Genocaust writes: A stellar black hole much more massive than theory predicts is possible has astronomers puzzled.

Stellar black holes form when stars with masses around 20 times that of the sun collapse under the weight of their own gravity at the ends of their lives. Most stellar black holes weigh in at around 10 solar masses when the smoke blows away, and computer models of star evolution have difficulty producing black holes more massive than this.

The newly weighed black hole is 16 solar masses. It orbits a companion star in the spiral galaxy Messier 33, located 2.7 million light-years from Earth. Together they make up the system known as M33 X-7.


Submission + - Parents Using Religion to Avoid Vaccines for Kids

tmlrv writes: According to an AP report on Yahoo, a rising number of parents are using religion as an excuse not to vaccinate their children, even if their religion does not have those restrictions. 48 states allow people to opt out for religious and/or philosphical reasons. Having a small child, I find it scary that people can put my child as well as the general population at risk for what are mostly junk science reasons.

Submission + - Get Paid to Predict the Future (predictify.com)

Anonymous writes: "Everyone loves to prognosticate. A cool new site called Predictify lets you prove that you're an expert by tracking your predictive accuracy over time. There are some thought-provoking questions on the site — for example, What will be the price per watt of solar power in the United States in January '08, according to solarbuzz.com?. Some of the questions are sponsored (i.e. backed by companies who pay real money for the data), and a portion of the sponsor fee is divided among the predictors based on their accuracy — check out Which notebook computer maker will announce a recall soonest in calendar Q4 2007?. This is an interesting take on the supposedly-powerful concept of collective wisdom."

Submission + - Youtube blocked in China

An anonymous reader writes: After google, blogger and feedburner the Great Firewall in China discovered YouTube today. Several bloggers already reported they were unable to access Youtube in Beijing

"Thomas Crampton reports, and a quick check confirms: YouTube videos now unavailable at least from my seat in Beijing. The standard "connection reset" tactic is being used. This comes at the same time as previous blocks on Blogger and Flickr apparently have been lifted."
Other cities in mainland China also encountered this block of Youtube

"Youtube appears to blocked in Mainland China by the evil Net Nanny. Is it because of the 17th Communist Party Congress currently going on in Beijing?"
I'm sure tudou.com is relieved about this missing competitor and wonder who will be the next target?

Submission + - 'Second Earth' found, 20 light years away (guardian.co.uk)

grape jelly writes: FTA:'The planet is the most Earth-like ever spotted and is thought to have perfect conditions for water, an essential ingredient for life. Researchers detected the planet orbiting one of Earth's nearest stars, a cool red dwarf called Gliese 581, 20 light years away in the constellation of Libra.'

Man Hacks 911 System, Sends SWAT on Bogus Raid 754

An anonymous reader writes "The Orange County Register reports that a 19 year old from Washington state broke into the Orange County California 911 emergency system. He randomly selected the name and address of a Lake Forest, California couple and electronically transferred false information into the 911 system. The Orange County California Sheriff's Department's Special Weapons and Tactics Team was immediately sent to the home of a couple with two sleeping toddlers. The SWAT team handcuffed the husband and wife before deciding it was a prank. Says the article, 'Other law enforcement agencies have seen similar breaches into their 911 systems as part of a trend picked up by computer hackers in the nation called "SWATting"'"

Submission + - Stephen Colbert officially announces (luc.edu) 1

gbobeck writes: On Tuesday, October 16, Stephen Colbert officially declared he would run for President of the United States.

"After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call... I shall seek the office of the President of the United States"
Colbert hasn't announced if he will be running as a Democrat, Republican, both, or neither. Nor has he announced who his running mate will be, although he did toss out three possibilities: "Colbert-Huckabee, Colbert-Putin or Colbert-Colbert" He will, however, be running as a favorite son in the South Carolina primary.


Submission + - Spammer Robert Soloway Arrested

grape jelly writes: The AP is reporting that one of the top 10 spammers in the world, Robert Alan Soloway, has been arrested on charges related to his prolific spamming business.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"