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Possible Meteorite Imaged By Opportunity Rover 82

Matt_dk writes "The Opportunity rover has eyed an odd-shaped, dark rock, about 0.6 meters (2 feet) across on the surface of Mars, which may be a meteorite. The team spotted the rock called 'Block Island,' on July 18, 2009, in the opposite direction from which it was driving. The rover then backtracked some 250 meters (820 feet) to study it closer. Scientists will be testing the rock with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to get composition measurements and to confirm if indeed it is a meteorite."

Orbit Your Own Satellite For $8,000 208

RobGoldsmith sends word of Interorbital's TubeSat Personal Satellite Kit, which allows anyone to send a half-pound payload to low-earth orbit for $8,000. Your satellite will fly to orbit from Tonga atop an Interorbital Systems NEPTUNE 30 rocket along with 31 other TubeSats. It will function for several weeks, then its orbit will decay and it will burn up in the atmosphere. Interorbital plans to send up a load of 32 TubeSats every month. If you pay in full in advance, you get slotted onto a particular scheduled launch. Here are Interorbital's product page and brochure (PDF).
The Courts

The Pirate Bay Ordered To Block Dutch Users 255

secmartin writes "In a totally unexpected ruling, a Dutch court has decided that The Pirate Bay should block visitors from the Netherlands within 10 days or face a fine of €30,000 per defendant per day. Peter Sunde has already announced that he will appeal the ruling. Even though the defendants sent a letter explaining that they were unable to come to the hearing and provided arguments in their favor, these were ignored by the judge because they failed to appear in his court. The full text of the ruling was just published (in Dutch, PDF) by Peter Sunde, and further coverage is available at Forbes."

UK's FSA Finds No Health Benefits To Organic Food 921

blackbeak writes "The UK Food Standards Agency's 'Independant Organic Review' results were just released, and the BBC rushed to publish the findings in the shockingly titled article, 'No Health Benefits to Organic Food.' From the article, 'There is little difference in nutritional value and no evidence of any extra health benefits from eating organic produce, UK researchers found.' A peek into the research at Postpeakpublishing provides a slightly deeper look."

Skype Apparently Threatens Russian National Security 144

Mr.Bananas writes "Reuters reports that 'Russia's most powerful business lobby moved to clamp down on Skype and its peers this week, telling lawmakers that the Internet phone services are a threat to Russian businesses and to national security.' The lobby, closely associated with Putin's political party, cites concerns of 'a likely and uncontrolled fall in profits for the core telecom operators,' as well as a fear that law enforcement agencies have thus far been unable to listen in on Skype conversations due to its 256-bit encryption."

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle