Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space

Russia Announces End to Space Tourism in 2010 96

epsas writes "On Cosmonaut's Day (April 12th 2008) the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) announced that they will cease it's $40,000,000-a-flight space tourism enterprise. Vitaly Perminov, the head of Roskosmos, elaborated on this statement by citing national criticism of the space tourism project; all the while reiterating Roskosmos's focus on the International Space Station and the new launch site at Vostochny Cosmodrome: 'Vitaly Lopota, the president of the Energia space rocket corporation, said he believes space tourism is a forced measure compensating for insufficient financing of the Russian space program.' This statement (made the day before) by Vitaly Lopota follows another announcement that 'Energia is ready to send missions to the Moon and Mars if told to do so by the government.'"
United States

A Flawed US Election Reform Bill 188

H.R.811 sounds great: It's stated purpose is "to require a voter-verified permanent paper ballot." Unfortunately, it sounds like the details have some devils, as usual. From the Bev Harris article Is a flawed bill better than no bill?: "[T]he Holt Bill provides for a paper trail (toilet paper roll-style records affixed to DRE voting machines) in 2008, requires more durable ballots in 2010, and requires a complex set of audits. It also cements and further empowers a concentration of power over elections under the White House, gives explicit federal sanction to trade secrets in vote counting, mandates an expensive 'text conversion' device that does not yet exist which is not fully funded, and removes 'safe harbor' for states in a way that opens them up to unlimited, expensive, and destabilizing litigation." Update: 07/11 16:23 GMT by KD : Derek Slater writes "EFF's e-voting expert Matt Zimmerman recently published this article separating the myths about HR 811 from the facts, and countering many of the misleading and outright false claims being made about it."
Movies

Twenty Five Years of Tron 156

the_quiet_angeleno writes "I have an article in today's Summer Film Preview issue of Los Angeles CityBeat on Disney's sci-fi classic Tron, which is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year. The piece includes a discussion with Richard Taylor, one of Tron's visual effects supervisors on the film's groundbreaking effects, as well as director Steven Lisberger, on how the narrative incorporates the Jungian concept of individuation. Here's a sample: 'Visual Effects Society member Gene Kozicki, of the L.A.-based visual effects house Rhythm & Hues, believes Tron's legacy was in moving computer-generated visuals into the realm of storytelling. "Research into this type of imagery had been going on for over 15 years, but it was more scientific in nature," Kozicki says, "Once artists began to share their ideas and treat the computer as a tool, it moved away from strict research and towards an art form."
Sun Microsystems

Sun Debuts Java 'iPhone' 195

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that this week at the JavaOne Conference, Sun debuted it's answer to the iPhone. While it is still months away from being a reality this phone is set to put them in direct competition with some of the top cellphone vendors. "Java Mobile FX is "a complete desktop-scale environment that puts the network in your hand," said Richard Green, executive vice president of Sun's software group, announcing the product in his keynote address. Sun ported the Savaje code to a Linux kernel and is expanding the applications programming interfaces and set of developer tools that will ship with it. It plans to make the code available on other platforms in the future. Sun has no licensees for Java Mobile FX yet. However, it is in conversations with carriers and handset makers now and hopes to see cellphones using the software ship in early 2008. "
Biotech

Thin Water Acts Like a Solid 138

Roland Piquepaille writes "What happens when you compress water in a nano-sized space? According to Georgia Tech physicists, water starts to behave like a solid. "The confined water film behaves like a solid in the vertical direction by forming layers parallel to the confining surface, while maintaining it's liquidity in the horizontal direction where it can flow out," said one of the researchers. "Water is a wonderful lubricant, but it flows too easily for many applications. At the one nanometer scale, water is a viscous fluid and could be a much better lubricant," added another one."

Slashdot Top Deals

The herd instinct among economists makes sheep look like independent thinkers.

Working...