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Space

Cosmic Radiation Makes Trees Grow Faster 162

Diamonddavej writes "The BBC reports that researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) somehow makes trees grow faster. GCRs vary according to the 11-year solar cycle, with more GCRs hitting the Earth during solar minimum when there is a lull in the solar wind, which normally acts to protect the inner solar system from external galactic radiation. The mechanism might have something to do with GCRs increasing cloud cover, which diffuses sunlight and increases the efficiency of photosynthesis. Nevertheless, the researchers remain mystified and are requesting further ideas and research collaboration to test hypotheses. (How about Radiation Hormesis, AKA 'Vitamin-R?')" Here is the paper's abstract at the journal New Phytologist. The researchers say: "The relation of the rings to the solar cycle was much stronger than to any climatological factors. ... As for the mechanism, we are puzzled."
Linux Business

What Did You Do First With Linux? 739

ruphus13 writes "OStatic has an interesting article on remembering the first time you used Linux. Quoting: 'I'm not sure if the admission that I remember my first Linux installation much more clearly than any date with my first boyfriend or my first date with my husband is a really wise thing to put in writing. I will freely admit it wasn't quite as anxiety-inducing as a date, and the long-term relationship that sprang from it taught me quite a bit about myself, how I learn, and how to passionately load kernel modules at boot. So, what was your first Linux experience?'"

Where's Your Coding Happy Place? 508

jammag writes "Cranking out code — your very best code — requires being in the optimal environment, muses developer Eric Spiegel. He explores the pitfalls and joys of the usual locales, cubicle, home, the beach. He claims he's done his best coding on an airplane. In the end, though, he suggests that the best environment is a matter of the environment inside yourself, your internal mood — and to hell with the cubicle or wherever. You have to be focused on quality, regardless of the idiot clients. It's all inside your mind. Where's your coding happy place?"
Mars

Submission + - Gecko-inspired dry adhesive set for space-> 1

AndreV writes: "Biomimetic adhesives aren't new, but a PhD graduate in British Columbia has developed a new method of creating microscopic, mushroom-like plastic structures in order to produce a dry adhesive that mimics the stickiness of gecko feet—and is prepping his glue-free innovation for outer space. A research group at his university, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, is engineering a spider-like, sticky-footed climbing robot destined to explore Mars, and it is also developing reusable attaching systems for astronauts to use where magnetic and suction systems generally fail. In the future, he says, single-use versions could be used in any number of medical applications as well as for replacements for everyday sticky needs, such as Post-It notes and Scotch tape."
Link to Original Source
Government

Submission + - Virginia Says Slashdot Users May Be Terrorists 6

megamerican writes: A leaked document from a Virginia Fusion Center titled 2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment lists Slashdot users and other websites alongside Al-Qaeda, HAMAS, "Lone-Wolf Extremists" and many others as potential terrorists. Slashdot and other websites have been labeled under the ominous sounding title of Anonymous:


A "loose coalition of Internet denizens", Anonymous consists largely of users from multiple internet sites such as 4chan, 711chan, 420chan, Something Awful, Fark, Encyclopedia Dramatica, Slashdot, IRC channels, and YouTube. Other social networking sites are also utilized to mobilize physical protests. Anonymous has no leader and is reliant on the collective power of individuals acting in such a way that benefits the movement.

According to the Report, cell phones, digital music players are signs that you may be a terrorist. It lists podcasting as a cause for concern citing a recent ban by Australia. Citizens for a legitimate government, where the document was leaked to has a write-up here.

Windows Vista To Make Dual-Boot A Challenge? 442

mustafap writes "UK tech site The Register is reporting on security guru Bruce Schneier's observation that the disk encryption system to be shipped with Vista, BitLocker, will make dual booting other OSs difficult - you will no longer be able to share data between the two." From the article: "This encryption technology also has the effect of frustrating the exchange of data needed in a dual boot system. 'You could look at BitLocker as anti-Linux because it frustrates dual boot,' Schneier told El Reg. Schneier said Vista will bring forward security improvements, but cautioned that technical advances are less important than improvements in how technology is presented to users."

Comment Re:Before we all jump on the AdTI bandwagon... (Score 2, Informative) 556

Ummmm... I hate to break it to you, but LinuxInsider is not what I'd call, ah, an *impartial* source. I think they work for Billy-boy, too. Really, read the [deleted] articles they publish. Did you see how LinuxInsider treated Ken Brown of AdTI? They "broke" the story that Linus "didn't invent Linux." LinuxInsider seems to have pulled that piece of [deleted], but see this one for an example of their "Fair and Balanced(tm)" reporting style.

The Flatlander

Free Advice: Ignore LinuxInsider as a news source.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #44 Zebras are colored with dark stripes on a light background.

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