An anonymous reader writes "YouTube user Andrew Tait has uploaded a video titled Chain of Fools: Upgrading through every version of Windows. Tait starts with MS DOS 5.0 running Windows 1.0 and keeps upgrading the operating system until he reaches Windows 7, taking note of the changes to system settings and application compatibility along the way."
jafo writes "There's been a lot of teeth gnashing going on recently about broken wireless at conferences. We just wrapped up PyCon 2010, with around 600 (out of 1,000) attendees simultaneously accessing the volunteer-run network, and response has been fairly positive. 2.4GHz (802.11b/g) continues to be problematic, but most users were on 5.2GHz (using 802.11n) and associating at 130mbps, with a 100mbps link to the net (though after the fact we found that 35mbps would have sufficed). My PyCon 2010 wrap-up reveals all the secrets of how we did it, including pretty bandwidth and user graphs."
Ant sends in a disturbing report in The Scientist on an imminent threat to worldwide banana production. "The banana we eat today is not the one your grandparents ate. That one — known as the Gros Michel — was, by all accounts, bigger, tastier, and hardier than the variety we know and love, which is called the Cavendish. The unavailability of the Gros Michel is easily explained: it is virtually extinct. Introduced to our hemisphere in the late 19th century, the Gros Michel was almost immediately hit by a blight that wiped it out by 1960. The Cavendish was adopted at the last minute by the big banana companies — Chiquita and Dole — because it was resistant to that blight, a fungus known as Panama disease... [Now] Panama disease — or Fusarium wilt of banana — is back, and the Cavendish does not appear to be safe from this new strain, which appeared two decades ago in Malaysia, spread slowly at first, but is now moving at a geometrically quicker pace. There is no cure, and nearly every banana scientist says that though Panama disease has yet to hit the banana crops of Latin America, which feed our hemisphere, the question is not if this will happen, but when. Even worse, the malady has the potential to spread to dozens of other banana varieties, including African bananas, the primary source of nutrition for millions..."
An anonymous reader writes "The Mormon Church has instructed its lawyers to gag the Internet over WikiLeaks' release of the 1968 and 1999 versions of its confidential handbook for Church leaders. Apart from attacking WikiLeaks, legal demands were sent to Jimmy Wales of the WikiMedia foundation for a WikiNews article merely linking to the material, and scribd.com has also been censored. WikiLeaks has (of course) refused to remove the documents."
Two 45-minute exposures to bright light in the evening could help people adjust to a longer, Martian-style day - or help insomniacs on Earth
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
cnet-declan writes "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is asking Congress to make 'attempted' copyright infringement a federal crime. The text of the legislation as well as the official press-release is available online. Rep. Lamar Smith, a key House Republican, said he 'applauds' the idea, and his Democratic counterpart is probably on board too. In addition, the so-called Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 would create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software in some circumstances, expand the DMCA with civil asset forfeiture, and authorize wiretaps in investigations of Americans who are 'attempting' to infringe copyrights. Does this go too far?"
Rubinstien writes: A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. After its crystal structure was analyzed and identified, the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature. Says Dr. Chris Stanley, "Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luther from a museum in the film Superman Returns." "I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either — although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange," he told BBC News. More details can be found in the BBC News article.