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Space

Arecibo Observatory Facing Massive Budget Cuts 171

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the keeping-the-lights-lit dept.
SirLurksAlot writes "Many supporters of the SETI@home project have recently received a message informing them of impending budget cuts for the Arecibo Observatory and asking them to show their support for the project by writing to Congress. The letter also informs supporters that there are currently two bills (Senate bill 2862 sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton, and a similar House bill, H.R. 3737), which are intended to secure funding for the project. According to The Planetary Society, the current plan for the Arecibo Observatory involves cutting funding by more than 60% from $10.4 million to just $4 million by 2011."
The Courts

Jack Thompson Walks Out On Hearing 522

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-let-this-be-the-end dept.
Erik J writes "Apparently Jack had heard enough. The Florida Bar asked for an 'enhanced disbarment' in the disciplinary hearing of Jack Thompson, held earlier this afternoon. The recommendation means Thompson would be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practice law again for ten years, according to 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida spokesperson Eunice Sigler. Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently ended in the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did not have the authority to hear his case."
Google

Why Google Should Embrace OpenOffice.org 277

Posted by timothy
from the because-it's-soft-and-squishy dept.
CWmike writes "Preston Gralla has a decent idea that could move the office needle: If Google really wanted to deliver a knockout punch to Microsoft, it would integrate OpenOffice with Google Docs, and sell support for the combined suite to small businesses, medium-sized business, and large corporations. Given the reach of Google, the quality of OpenOffice, and the lure of free, it's a sure winner. Imagine if a version of it were available as a Web service from Google, combined with massive amounts of Google storage. Integrated with Google Docs, it would also allow online collaboration. For those who wanted more features, the full OpenOffice suite would be available as a client — supported by Google. wouldn't be at all surprised to see this happen. Just yesterday, IBM announced that it was selling support for its free Symphony office suite. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine Google doing the same for OpenOffice, after it integrates it with Google Docs."
Security

WarGames and the Great Hacking Scare of 1983 331

Posted by timothy
from the next-up-dead-code dept.
James W writes "Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the release of WarGames and Christopher Knight has written a retrospective about the film and its impact on popular culture. In addition to discussing how the movie has held up over time, WarGames was responsible for what Knight calls the Great Hacking Scare of 1983. Some examples mentioned are 'one CBS Evening News report at the time that seriously questioned whether parents should allow their children to access the outside world via their personal computers at home. A magazine article suggested that computer modems be 'locked up' just like firearms, to keep them out of the reach of teenagers. I even heard one pundit proclaim that there was no need for regular people to be able to log in to a remote system: that if you need to access your bank account, a friendly teller was just a short drive away. And Bill Gates once declared that the average person would never have a need for more than 640 kilobytes of memory in a personal computer, too.'" 2008 is also 25 years after the real-life prevention of a WarGames-style nuclear incident.
Emulation (Games)

Codemasters Receives Exclusive Formula One Rights 48

Posted by timothy
from the formulas-nine-through-twelve-still-available dept.
bigmouth_strikes writes "A few weeks ago it was announced that British game developers Codemasters have received the exclusive right to develop and publish video games using the "Formula One" brand name. This was after Sony and Formula One Management didn't renew their contract that have made the Playstation platform the only choice for gamers wanting "official" games since 2003. The earlier Sony exclusive right and decision to only release for the Playstation platform has led to active fan-created content for various racing simulation engines, such as rFactor for the PC. The official Formula One website has a brief interview/promo piece with Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens about their hopes and intentions for the game and platforms — which will include Xbox 360 and Wii. The company is targeting an initial release in 2009."
Databases

Brian Aker On the Future of Databases 175

Posted by kdawson
from the everything-you-know-changed dept.
blackbearnh recommends an interview with MySQL Director of Technology Brian Aker that O'Reilly Media is running. Aker talks about the merger of MySQL with Sun, the challenges of designing databases for a SOA world, and what the next decade will bring as far as changes to traditional database architecture. Audio is also available. From the interview: "I think there's two things right now that are pushing the changes... The first thing that's going to push the basic old OLCP transactional database world, which... really hasn't [changed] in some time now — is really a change in the number of cores and the move to solid state disks because a lot of the... concept around database is the idea that you don't have access to enough memory. Your disk is slow, can't do random reads very well, and you maybe have one, maybe eight processors but... you look at some of the upper-end hardware and the mini-core stuff,... and you're almost looking at kind of an array of processing that you're doing; you've got access to so many processors. And well the whole story of trying to optimize... around the problem of random I/O being expensive, well that's not that big of a deal when you actually have solid state disks. So that's one whole area I think that will... cause a rethinking in... the standard Jim Gray relational database design."
Games

Texas Governor As E3 Keynote Speaker Causes Strife 272

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the keynotes-inciting-riots-a-new-popularity-tactic dept.
Zonk pointed out a post on Joystiq highlighting a recent tantrum thrown by the ESA. Apparently the ESA didn't appreciate the framing GamePolitics chose to use for a story about E3's Keynote speaker and Texas Governor, Rick Perry. GamePolitics continues to call Perry into question as a choice for keynote speaker, saying: "While there are surely many Christians among E3 attendess, there are just as surely many who aren't. Aside from the fact that Perry was a bizarre keynote choice from the get-go, his divisive comments indicate that the ESA should rescind the offer. We have to ask again: why is E3 2008 being politicized? The answer, we suspect, has much to do with embattled ESA boss Michael Gallagher."
Biotech

Bacteria Found Alive In Ice 120,000 Years Old 326

Posted by kdawson
from the by-some-definitions-of-alive dept.
FiReaNGeL notes research presented this morning at Penn State on the discovery of a new, ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. From the psu.edu announcement: "The microorganism's ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system. This new species is among the ubiquitous, yet mysterious, ultra-small bacteria, which are so tiny that they are able to pass through microbiological filters. Called Chryseobacterium greenlandensis, the species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud, and the roots of some plants."
Security

Terrorist Recognition Handbook 344

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-em-up-against-the-wall dept.
Ben Rothke writes "There are two types of writers about terrorism, experts such as Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson who write from a distance and others that write graphic tales of first-hand from the trenches war stories. Terrorist Recognition Handbook: A Practitioner's Manual for Predicting and Identifying Terrorist Activities, is unique in that author Malcolm Nance is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. intelligence community and writes from a first hand-perspective, but with the organization and methodology of writers such as Pipes and Emerson. Those combined traits make the book extraordinarily valuable and perhaps the definitive text on terrorist recognition." Read below for the rest of Ben's review
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft outsources algorithm research to India->

Submitted by
rafael_es_son
rafael_es_son writes "It's not about outsourcing cut-and-dried, code-monkey programming jobs anymore, Toto: theoretical research jobs are going too!

"Microsoft decided to work on algorithms in India because educational institutions in the country have considerable expertise in theoretical computer science, which makes it easier to find and attract talented staff, Anandan said."

...which is also willing to work for substantially less than their U.S. or U.K. counterparts, who are educated by institutions which have also considerable expertise in theoretical computer science.

Microsoft, for one, welcomes juicier profit margins, again, at the expense of U.S. scientists jobs.

Why are U.S. and U.K. universities having so much trouble recruiting computer science students this year?"

Link to Original Source
Space

Huge Balloon Lofts New Telescope 85

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-just-hot-air dept.
Science Daily is reporting that a new solar telescope has been launched via an enormous balloon filled with helium. Dubbed project "Sunrise" the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NASA, Germany's Max Planck Institute for Solar Physics, Spain's Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands, and the Swedish Space Corporation all partnered to launch the balloon in order to view never before see features of the Sun. "The project may usher in a new generation of balloon-borne scientific missions that cost less than sending instruments into space. Scientists also can test an instrument on a balloon before making a commitment to launch it on a rocket. The balloon, with its gondola of scientific instruments, was launched successfully on the morning of October 3 from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. It flew for about 10 hours, capturing stable images of the solar surface and additional data from the various instruments of the sophisticated payload. The gondola then separated from the balloon and descended with a parachute, landing safely in a field outside Dalhart, Texas."
Biotech

Crime Reduction Linked To Lead-Free Gasoline 616

Posted by kdawson
from the getting-the-lead-out dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Even low levels of lead can cause brain damage, increasing the likelihood of behavioral and cognitive traits such as impulsivity, aggressiveness, and low IQ that are strongly linked with criminal behavior. The NYTimes has a story on how the phasing out of leaded gasoline starting with the Clean Air Act in 1973 may have led to a 56% drop in violent crime in the US in the 1990s. An economics professor at Amherst College, Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, discovered the connection and wrote a paper comparing the reduction of lead from gasoline between states (PDF) and the reduction of violent crime. She constructed a table linking crime rates in every state to childhood lead exposure in that state 20 or 30 years earlier. If lead poisoning is a factor in the development of criminal behavior, then countries that didn't switch to unleaded fuel until the 1980s, like Britain and Australia, should soon see a dip in crime as the last lead-damaged children outgrow their most violent years."

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