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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 43 declined, 10 accepted (53 total, 18.87% accepted)

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Submission + - Google open non-destructive book scanner; books and libraries rejoice (

leighklotz writes: "Google released open hardware designs for a book scanner that "sucks" pages to turn them, using a vacuum cleaner. The Google Tech Talk Video starts with Jeff Breidenbach of the Google Books team, and moves on to Dany Qumsiyeh showing how simple his design is to build. Could it be that the Google Books team has had enough of destroying the library in order to save it? Or maybe the just want to up-stage the Internet Archive's Scanning Robot.

Disclaimer: I worked with Jeff when we were at Xerox (where he did the awesome hack Gnu Chess on your Scanner), but this is more awesome because it saves books."


Submission + - NASA launches rocket to collect data on aurora (

leighklotz writes: "NASA launched MICA, a rocket with an ion-field probe and a magnetic-field probe, from Fairbanks Alaska, straight up into a roaring aurora display, and then like Gravity's Rainbow, back down again. No word on whether they encountered Mrs. Coulter. CNN Video shows more surprisingly cogent popular press coverage. One of my sempai from college worked on this project, and shared pretty the pretty pix, some of which are in the University of New Hampshire news release, and in Astronomy Magazine. They should be analyzing the data for a while."

Submission + - T-Mobile announces Android G2, sort of (

leighklotz writes: T-Mobile users got an SMS this morning saying You heard it first: G2 is coming, and its [sic] fast. Finally, the best of Google at the speeds you crave. Get exclusive access at

The mentioned site is "under construction," but if it this is for real (and other news says it may be), it would be great new. Dear God, I hope it has a keyboard.


Submission + - 2.4 GHz to Venus (

leighklotz writes: "Make Magazine Blog reports:

On March 25th, 2009...the ground station at the Bochum observatory transmitted [2.4 GHz] radio signals to Venus. After traveling almost 100 million kilometers, and a round trip delay of about 5 minutes, they were clearly received as echoes from the surface of Venus.

Apparently this is a preliminary test to make sure the team can successfully communicate with a homenbrew spacecraft bound for Mars:

This represented a crucial test for a final key component of the planned P5-A Mars mission. By receiving echoes from Venus, the ground and command station for the Mars probe has been cleared for operational use and the AMSAT team is now gearing up for building the P5-A space probe.



Submission + - NASA Mars news: not life, but perchlorate ( 1

leighklotz writes: "In an update to the little green men story of not-life-on-Mars, NASA has twittered

The buzz this weekend was due to an interesting soil chemistry finding, still preliminary, but now avail here:

Here being namely: NASA Spacecraft Analyzing Martian Soil Data. Here's the exciting bit:

Within the last month, two samples have been analyzed by the Wet Chemistry Lab of the spacecraft's Microscopy, Electrochemistry, and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, suggesting one of the soil constituents may be perchlorate, a highly oxidizing substance.

and further promising

NASA will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss these recent science activities.



Submission + - Japanese amateur satellite sends back earth photos (

leighklotz writes: "Mineo Wakita reports that the Japanese amateur satellite CUTE-1.7 +APD II, has sent back its first photo.

The ground control station at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has downloaded the first color image taken by the CUTE-1.7 +APD II Amateur Radio satellite. The satellite was 620 km above the Earth at 28.905 degrees North and 146.040 degrees East when the image was captured. CUTE-1.7 +APD II was one of several CubeSats carried to orbit this year in April by an Indian PSLV-C9 rocket launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.


Submission + - Dell pulls support for x64 Vista? ( 5

leighklotz writes: "This message is getting forwarded about with some concern by those who have to validate software on multiple looks like Windows is beginning to see the fragmentation that Linux is so often accused of.

A user named "Morpheus Phreak" wrote on neowin:

I do a fresh install of Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Edition. The install finishes and my system reboots with in-box drivers for almost all of my hardware. The first thing I do is go to the Dell Support site and download drivers, or do I? It seems that Dell has decided to stop supporting all 64-bit editions of Windows, thus nothing to download.

I make a post on their forums asking if anyone knows if it's temporary and I receive this response from a Dell employee:

"It cost us in time and money to validate drivers. We built PCs with specific operating systems in mind. That is all we will support."

I mention to the Dell employee that he must be mistaken as that would violate their Vista Logo contract with Microsoft. At this point the Dell employee replied tersely with the following:

"Be assured, our legal team is on top of this decision."

At this point I'm stumped and a bit angry. After all the OEM Logo requirements state, "OEMs using x64 implementations must have signed drivers available to end users if shipping a 32-bit version of Windows Vista on the system."

By removing their x64 driver support they have now violated their contract with Microsoft. Any x64-based systems they sell now with the logo are illegal. One can only help but wonder, why would Dell put themselves in this position?

I'll kindly step down from my Soapbox now, but I ask one question to all of you.

Where do we go from here?


Submission + - HP-35s calculator announced and withdrawn 1

leighklotz writes: "HP announced their 35th anniversary version of the groundbreaking HP-35 calculator on July 11th, and the New York Times featured [reg warning] it in their Circuits section today. Sadly, today was also the day that HP apparently withdrew the product to correct reported manufacturing defects. For calculator geeks, note that it has a big prominent ENTER button and reportedly features good tactile feedback. No news about the recall on HP's website..."

Submission + - First 3D Images of the Sun from STEREO

leighklotz writes: "According to

NASA has just released the first batch of 3-dimensional sun photos taken by the STEREO spacecraft. [the first image] reveals three dark holes in the sun's atmosphere: The "holes" are coronal holes, places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from one of these coronal holes today. 3D imagery allows scientists to peer inside coronal holes and divine their structure, possibly leading to better space weather forecasts.
They also have more images, but note that you need to make or buy 3D glasses to get the full effect."

Submission + - Charles Simoyni to talk with kids from space

leighklotz writes: " reports that Charles Simonyi, the former Xerox PARC researcher (and later Microsoft developer) whose work gave us WYSIWIG and Microsoft Word, is starting an initiative to keep kids interested in life, the universe, and everything...or at least space science.

Charles Simonyi, Ph.D., the fifth private space traveler, will speak with high school students in three events across the United States through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. ... Dr. Simonyi's site,, was created to further develop his three space mission objectives: to advance civilian spaceflight, assist in space station research and involve the world's youth in the science of space travel. Visitors to this interactive publishing site have an opportunity to read Dr. Simonyi's in-depth blogs, ask questions directly to Dr. Simonyi, see his personal pictures, watch training video and access other space-related links.
Sadly, his site has a bad Flash infestation."
United States

Submission + - FCC drops Morse Code requirement

leighklotz writes: "ARRL Reports:
End of an Era: FCC to Drop Morse Testing for All Amateur License Classes
... In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission today adopted, but hasn't yet released, the long-awaited Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235, the "Morse code" proceeding...the FCC only issued a public notice at or about the close of business today and not the actual Report & Order, so some details — including the effective dates of the two orders — remain uncertain. Currently, Amateur Radio applicants for General and higher class licenses have to pass a 5 WPM Morse code test to operate on HF. Today's R&O will eliminate that requirement all around.
The US joins Canada and other countries in eliminating the morse code testing requirement, after being authorized to do so on July 5, 2003, when the World Radio Telecommunications Conference 2003 in Geneva adopted changes to the ITU Radio Regulations."

Submission + - 3D Solar Vision Satellite Launched

leighklotz writes: "SOLAR-B, the first in a series of three satellites designed to study the Sun's corona in 3D, launched last week. According to a Timesonline (UK) report:
Solar B, built by teams from Britain, America and Japan... Its three instruments will try to find out what happens on the sun's surface just before solar flares erupt. One of them, a telescope built by a team from University College London (UCL), will watch the sun's atmosphere for signs suggesting the surface is building up to an explosion....Next month two more probes, the so-called Stereo mission, should follow Solar B into space...It also means the spacecraft will be able to generate high-quality three-dimensional "movies" of solar flares. If these are good enough they could be turned into Imax-style films and put on general release.

Submission + - Ansari to rocket to ISS next month

leighklotz writes: The ARRL that reports
Anousheh Ansari is a "Go" as First Female Civilian Space Traveler (Aug 25, 2006) — It's official! Iranian-American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari, 39, will travel to the International Space Station next month as part of the Russian Soyuz TMA-9 "taxi mission," Space Adventures Ltd announced today. Ansari, an eleventh-hour stand-in for Daisuke "Dice-K" Enomoto as the fourth civilian to fly to the ISS, would be the first female civilian "spaceflight participant." Enomoto was removed from the Soyuz flight roster for medical reasons.
Ansari's family founded the X-Prize and Enomoto was formerly an executive with livedoor, the Japanese internet concern.

Submission + - Livedoor founder steps aside for X-Prize sponsor

leighklotz writes: The ARRL reports:
American businesswoman Anoushe Ansari may be the eleventh-hour stand-in for Daisuke "Dice-K" Enomoto, 34, as the next civilian to fly to the International Space Station. Ansari, who would be the first female civilian space adventurer, has indicated she's ready and eager to make the trip..."During a recent evaluation it was determined that Mr. Enomoto has a medical condition that will exclude him from participating as a crew member of Soyuz TMA-9," Space Adventures said in a news release...Ansari was the winner of the 2000 National Entrepreneurial Excellent Award sponsored by Working Woman magazine. Her family made a major contribution to the X Prize — now known as the Ansari X Prize — which offered a $10 million prize for the first successful private reusable space vehicle.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN