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Earth

+ - First floating wind turbine buoyed off Norway->

Submitted by
MonkeyClicker
MonkeyClicker writes "Development of offshore wind farms has been restricted to places where turbines can be attached to the sea bed.

But earlier this week, Siemens and energy company StatoilHydro installed what they call the first large-scale floating turbine. The installation is off the coast of Norway, and testing is expected to last for two years.

The Hywind turbine will still have a ballast that is tied to the sea floor with cables. Wires will transfer the electricity produced to the mainland grid starting in July."

Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Firefox tops European browser market for 1st time->

Submitted by ruphus13
ruphus13 (890164) writes "The EC took a decidedly harder stance against Microsoft and its anti-competitive practices in the browser wars. Those restrictions seem to have yielded results. Firefox, for the first time, has the largest market share amongst browsers. From the post, "StatCounter is now reporting that Firefox 3.0 is the most popular browser in Europe--for the first time. Number one in Europe? That's a milestone, and a sign of very healthy browser competition in Europe. If the European Commission's recent efforts to force Microsoft to offer more browser choice in Windows succeed, Firefox may well stay number one." It is also interesting to note that Firefox has 100% market share on 1 continent — Antarctica! The article states, "I'm guessing the data comes from one user — and he's using Firefox.""
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Google Breaks IPO Donation Promise->

Submitted by Isabel
Isabel (666) writes "In their SEC filing for their IPO in 2004, Google committed to 1% of their equity and profits to the foundation. In 2009, departing Foundation head Larry Brilliant reasserted the company's commitment "to devote 1% of Google's equity and profits to philanthropy". But they haven't. A detailed analysis by Tom Munneke points out that keeping that promise would amount to charitable giving of over $1B in equity and $141M in profits. But he demonstrates that they've only put in $90M in equity and $60M in profits. Google is dramatically in arrears on their IPO promise and nobody seems to have called them on it until now. It's time to draw attention to the situation."
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Black hole seen swallowing star (and belching)

Submitted by
mcgrew (sm62704)
mcgrew (sm62704) writes "New Sceintest reports that the Swift satellite has detected GRB 070610. From the article:

A black hole has been spotted belching out a burst of gamma rays after gulping down part of a nearby star, something never seen before. Such violent burps may actually be the most common type of explosive "gamma-ray burst" in the universe.

Astronomers led by Mansi Kasliwal of Caltech in Pasadena, US, traced the burst to a star system in our own galaxy, where a black hole and a star slightly less massive than the Sun are orbiting each other.

Observing this black hole outburst from nearby would be a risky prospect. "If you were as close to the black hole as the [companion] star, things wouldn't be pretty," Kasliwal told New Scientist. "I don't think you'd want to be near it."
Raise shields, Mr. Sulu!"
Toys

+ - How to turn a Mini Maglite into a powerful laser-> 3

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "Using the laser from a DVD burner, this instructional video shows you how to create a hand-held laser that is powerful enough to light a match and pop a balloon. There's some soldering involved and the Maglite's bulb housing needs to be drilled out to fit the new laser diode, but with some basic skill, most people could do this. Just plain cool."
Link to Original Source
OS X

+ - Petition for Apple to support ODF in iWork->

Submitted by jmeuser21
jmeuser21 (1139899) writes "'The ISO 26300 is the international standard XML format for office documents, also known as the Open Document Format or ODF. The newly released iWork '08 supports the Open Office XML (OOXML) document format, which is still not an ISO-approved standard. It would be beneficial to all if the iWork suite of applications support Open Document Format.' Petition Here."
Link to Original Source
United States

+ - Minn. Bridge Collapse is Just the Beginning

Submitted by ntmokey
ntmokey (1121127) writes "The nation's infrastructure is aging, heavily used, and dangerous, according to Stephen Flynn, a national security expert who wrote an op-ed piece for Popular Mechanics. Flynn believes incidents like the collapse of Minnesota's I-35 bridge and the recent explosion of a steam pipe in New York City are wake-up calls to our nation's leaders that we need to invest more in the structures we rely on (sometimes without even knowing it) every day. Our ports, roadways, railroads, air traffic control and electricity systems are were all top-notch when they were installed by previous generations — but we've come to take them for granted and we're starting to feel the sting of neglect. Flynn's not just waving red flags in light of recent events either, he wrote a book about the pending crisis that was published in February."
Power

+ - Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Lost

Submitted by ScrappyLaptop
ScrappyLaptop (733753) writes "In 56 of Ohio's 88 counties, ballots and election records from 2004 have been "accidentally" destroyed, despite a federal order to preserve them — it was crucial evidence which would have revealed whether the election was stolen. From http://www.alternet.org/story/58328/ :

Under federal and Ohio law, all ballots and election records from federal races must be preserved for 22 months after Election Day, which fell on Sept. 2, 2006. While election integrity activists and reporters from a Columbus website, FreePress.org, had sought the ballots and other election records soon after the presidential election, Blackwell would not allow county boards to release the ballots, citing court challenges to the 2004 results and a 2005 suit from the League of Women Voters alleging the state was not following the newest federal election law, the Help America Vote Act.

On Sept. 11, 2006, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the election boards "to preserve all ballots from the 2004 Presidential election, on paper and in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this Court."

Somehow, the counties never got the message:

"Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages as requested in (Brunner's) Directive 2007-07 due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions," wrote Butler County Board of Election Director Betty McGary and Deputy Director Lynn Kinkaid in a May 9 memo. "Several boxes containing all the wire-bound ballot pages were discarded into a Rumpke dumpster. The dumpster would have been emptied into the local landfill."

"The Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Board of Elections was unable to transfer the unvoted precinct ballots and soiled precinct ballots," wrote John Williams, Hamilton County Director of Elections on May 16, 2007. "To the best if my knowledge, the above ballots were inadvertently shredded between January 19th and 26th of '06 in an effort to make room for the new Hart voting system."

"No one could remember the disposition of said ballots," wrote Mike Keeley, of Clermont County's Board of Elections on May 10, 2007, referring to the "unvoted" or unused ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

In Warren County, where county election officials said on Election Day that the FBI had declared a homeland security alert — which they later retracted — ballots were diverted to a warehouse before counting. The local media was not allowed to observe the vote count. According to a letter from the Warren County Board of Election to Brunner's office, the election board cannot find 22,000 unused ballots from the election.

"The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election," said Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, which filed voter suppression suit. "We're in the process of addressing where to go from here with the Ohio Attorney General's office."

"On the one hand, people will now say you can't prove the fraud," he said, "but the rule of law says that when evidence is destroyed it creates a presumption that the people who destroyed evidence did so because it would have proved the contention of the other side.""
NASA

+ - NASA's Mars Phoenix prepared for Launch

Submitted by
StaffInfection
StaffInfection writes "On Earth, the Phoenix lander (http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/mission.php) is a table for four — about the size of a modest dinner table. On Mars it will soft land a suite of science instruments for studying the Martian Polar regolith. Phoenix is the rekindling of the Mars Surveyor Lander, twin to the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander (MPL, http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/profile.cfm?M Code=MPL). After a one day delay in fueling of the Delta II-7925 (http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/delta/d elta2/delta2.htm) launch vehicle due to weather, Phoenix is prepared for launch on Saturday, July 4th, at 5:26 a.m. or 6:02 a.m EDT. The science payload will analyze the martian polar soil for water and mineral content and study the surrounding morphology and atmospheric conditions. Landing (animations at http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/newsArchive.php?p=4 &y=2007) will be a Viking style soft landing rather than the air bag system used on the Mars Pathfinder and Rover missions. All missions to Mars are challenging but Phoenix represents a last chance to rectify for the loss of MPL and Mars Climate Orbiter in 1999. A successful landing will present our first visit to the Martian Polar environment."
United States

+ - FCC says congress can regulate violence on cable

Submitted by
omeomi
omeomi writes "The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the FCC has released a report stating that Congress is within its constitutional authority to regulate violence and sexually explicit programming on Cable and Satellite TV, mediums that are usually considered untouchable under the free speech provisions of the first amendment, as they avoid broadcast over public airwaves. According to the FCC, "a correlation exists between bloodshed on television and violence in real life""

fortune: cpu time/usefulness ratio too high -- core dumped.

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