passthecrackpipe writes: "The Australian Government is planning on making the incandescent ligtbulb a thing of the past. In three years time, standard lightbulbs will no longer be available for sale in the shops in Australia (expect a roaring grey market) and everybody will be forced to switch to more energy efficient Fluorescent bulbs. In this move to try and curb emissions, the incandescent bulb — which converts the majority of used energy to heat rather then light — will be phased out. Environmental groups have given this plan a lukewarm reception. They feel Australia should sign on to the Kyoto protocol first. (Article in Dutch). A similar plan was created together with Phillips, one of the worlds largest lighting manufacturers. What do other slashdotters think? Is this a move in the right direction? Will this boost the development of better fluorescent bulbs? Improve the design and lower the costs of LED lightbulbs? Will this plan make a big difference to the environment at all?"
An anonymous reader writes: You may have heard of the humour website SomethingAwful.com. Apparently, for all of their long history they've been having a problem where their website is listed far down Google's results (often last) for searches related to the site (such as the names of features and articles on the site). For example, when I google for "Photoshop Phriday", the site isn't in the first ten pages of results, despite the fact that Google has indexed the relevent page. In fact, the first result is a noproxy.us proxied version of the relevant page, and the rest of the results are blog and forum entries referring to Something Awful. (Results are apparently better on many non-English versions of Google, however.)
It's far from clear what's causing this; the site's PageRank is apparently fine. Attempts to contact Google have fallen on deaf ears and dumb autoresponders. The site was even recently redesigned in the hope of fixing the problem, with no luck so far. Is the world's most popular search engine really this broken, and how much money are people bringing in from knowing the black magic to work around it?
from the please-bring-your-seatbacks-and-traytables dept.
Maggie McKee writes "The asteroid Apophis has been traversing the void of space for untold years; in just a few decades time it will make a very close pass to Earth, and could make an unwelcome stop on our planet's surface. Even still, it's nothing to get too worked up about. The 20-million-tonne object has a 1 in 45,000 chance of hitting the Pacific Ocean in early April of 2036. If it did hit, it could trigger a tsunami that would do an untold amount of damage to the California coastline and many other places on Earth. Despite the low level of the threat, it's still a real enough danger to prompt the United Nations to develop a protocol about the scenario. We'll get a closeup look at the object in 2029, and at that point we should have a better idea of what 2036 will bring us."