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Comment Several advocacy groups (Score 1) 327

There are actually quite a few advocacy groups:

Coming up is a conference where many of the space advocates will convene - so to answer the question directly, they will be in Washington, D.C. the end of this month:

There are several commercial interests, including the Artemis Society, and
United States

Colorado Decertifies E-voting Machines 169

mamer-retrogamer writes "On December 17, Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman decertified election equipment used by 64 Colorado counties, including machines made by Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold Election Systems. A report issued by the Secretary of State's office details a myriad of problems such as lack of password protection on the systems, controls that could give voters unauthorized access, and the absence of any way to track or detect security violations. Manufacturers have 30 days to appeal the decertification."

AT&T Calls Telecommuters Back To the Cubicle 393

bednarz writes "AT&T is requiring thousands of employees who work from their homes to return to traditional office environments, sources say. 'It is a serious effort to reel in the telework people,' says the Telework Coalition's Chuck Wilsker, who has heard that as many as 10,000 or 12,000 full-time teleworkers may be affected. One AT&T employee says rumors have been circulating since AT&T's merger with SBC that the new upper management is not supportive of teleworking: 'We'd heard rumors to that effect, and all of a sudden we got marching orders to go back to an office.'"
The Courts

Vonage Loses Appeal; Verizon Owed $120 Million 160

Billosaur writes "Things do not look good for Vonage. Yesterday, they lost their request for reconsideration of their settlement with Verizon. This means Vonage owes Verizon $120 million to end the patent lawsuit filed against them. The costs associated with defending the case have cut into Vonage's bottom line, and despite attempts to cut costs by laying off 10% of their workforce, they may be unable to make a payment against their debt come December. According to the settlement, Vonage will pay $117.5 million to Verizon and another $2.5 million dollars to charity. Vonage's shares have dropped 87% since their IPO, now hovering around $1.50 per share."

Measure Anything with a Camera and Software 208

Kevin C. Tofel writes "Using a simple concept, iPhotoMEASURE software can measure any objects you can take a picture of. Include a printout of a 7.5- or 15-inch square in the photo and the software can measure any distance or object in the pic to within 99.5% accuracy. Although geared towards contractors, there's any number of consumer usage scenarios as well. Enough to justify a $99 price tag? Jury's still out on that."

Two Snowflakes May Be Alike After All 180

An anonymous reader writes "LiveScience is reporting that it may be possible for two snowflakes to be alike after all. For anyone who studies probability, this seems reasonable, given that the article mentions that 10^24 snowflakes fall in any given year. The article contains links to fascinating snowflake pictures. From the article: 'A typical snow crystal weighs roughly one millionth of a gram. This means a cubic foot of snow can contain roughly one billion crystals ... "It is probably safe to say that the possible number of snow crystal shapes exceeds the estimated number of atoms in the known universe," Nelson said. Still, while "no two snowflakes are alike" might hold true for larger snowflakes, Nelson figures it might ring false for smaller crystals that sometimes fall before they have a chance to fully develop. "How likely is it that two snowflakes are alike? Very likely if we define alike to mean that we would have trouble distinguishing them under a microscope and if we include the crystals that hardly develop beyond the prism stage--that is, the smallest snow crystals," Nelson said.'"

DoD Study Urges OSS Adoption 112

Krishna Dagli writes to mention an Ars Technica article about the Open Technology Development road map, a report for the U.S. government advising the DoD on ways to integrate OSS into DoD policies. From the article: "The report argues that the standard practices associated with purchasing of physical goods are not adequate or fully applicable to software. According to the report, the DoD is 'limiting and restricting the ability of the market to compete for the provision of new and innovative solutions and capabilities' by 'treating DoD-developed software code as a physical good.' The report also points out that utilizing open source technology will force the commercial software industry to respond with greater agility and competitiveness."

The Sometimes Fallacy of The Long Tail 113

There's been a lot of talk (maybe too much talk, to paraphrase Bono) about The Long Tail and how it changes everything about what people consume, how hits are made, what people want to hear, how everything big is small again -- but people have taken that perhaps too far as Lee Gomes contends in a recent blog post about hits. Lee's piece is well thought-out, and I think raises a very valid point that whereas there is value in the Long Tail idea, sometimes people take it too far and that "Hits" still count for a lot. His earlier piece is a more direct critique of The Long Tail and worth reading as well; we covered that piece about the Long Tail a couple weeks back.

'Long Tail' May Not Wag the Web Just Yet 132

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Expanding on an article he wrote in 2004 (and discussed on Slashdot), Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson argues in his best-seller 'The Long Tail' that the web is changing commerce from a hit-driven business to one focused on niches. But Wall Street Journal columnist Lee Gomes questions Anderson's data, and adds, 'I don't think things are changing as much as he does.' Gomes writes, 'At Apple's iTunes, one person who has seen the data -- which Apple doesn't disclose -- said sales "closely track Billboard. It's a hits business. The data tend to refute 'The Long Tail.' " ' On his blog, Anderson responds that Gomes 'stumbles over statistics and more, and in the end simply makes a muddle of what might have been an interesting debate over the magnitude of the Long Tail effect.'"

Google to Compete with Nielsen? 97

An anonymous reader writes "Jason Lee Miller thinks that Nielsen Media Research's ambitious new plan for measuring all types of video audiences could put it into competition with everyone's favorite company: Google. From the article: 'The Mountain View's next potential rival: Nielsen Media Research, the audience measurement company that has held a virtual monopoly in the sector for decades. And it shouldn't be surprising. Google's MO is information collection and research.'"

Journal Journal: How to Drive on Snow 2

I come from North Alabama, so I'm familiar with the problems driving on snow and ice. It's that one idiot out there who thinks (s)he can drive 50 MPH on snow that causes a problem. Perhaps some tips for drivers would be in order in addition to the sound guidance, "citizens are encouraged to stay off the roads today." I just vacationed in the Nevada mountains where they got 4 feet of snow in the week I was there, so here are my tips for driving on snow:


Journal Journal: Spooky Action Clocks

Do you have the time? NASA must have it quite precisely to pinpoint objects elsewhere (like rovers on Mars), and for your GPS receiver to work, the satellites must also know the time very precisely (and in turn, the receiver figures out the time as part of the solution to the equation).

Crazee Edeee, his prices are INSANE!!!