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Comment Re:So much for Net Neutrality. (Score 4, Informative) 56

Russia & China got nothing from Snowden. His material is being carefully vetted by journalists and experts before any is released. Snowden, rightly, chose others to decide what was safe to be released and how/what to redact parts. Bruce Schneier is one helping them in their analysis. 6 members of congress had Schneier brief them on some of the material because the NSA wouldn't answer their questions.

Chicago Using Coyotes To Fight Rodents 222

Brad Block, a supervisor for the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control says a coyote recently spotted downtown is part of a program designed to monitor the rodent population. "The animal has the run of the Loop to help deal with rats and mice," He said no one has called today to complain. “He’s not a threat. He’s not going to pick up your children,” Block said. “His job is to deal with all of the nuisance problems, like mice, rats and rabbits.”

NASA's Stunning Close-Up Photos of Comet Hartley 2 62

Several readers have sent word that NASA's EPOXI spacecraft performed a close approach to comet Hartley 2 yesterday, taking pictures within roughly 700km of the nucleus. Bad Astronomer Phil Plait has a collection of some fantastic photographs, and you can check out a ton of other images on the mission website. The Planetary Society blog put together a neat animation of the flyby. NASA's mission fact sheet (PDF) explains EPOXI's background — it's the supplemental mission of the Deep Impact craft that smashed a small probe into a different comet back in 2005 — and why Hartley 2 was chosen for this flyby (they couldn't find their original target).

Motorola Planning 2GHz Android Phone For Later This Year 183

rocket97 writes "On Wednesday, at the Executives Club of Chicago, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha reportedly decided to chat about the relatively near future of the mobile landscape as he sees it — which, in part, includes the ultimate demise of mobile computers in favor of highly-capable smartphones. This being his vision, Jha discussed Motorola's plans for a smartphone with a 2GHz processor — by the end of this year. While Jha did not want to divulge any further information, Conceivably Tech cites another anonymous Motorola executive who was a little more chatty, talking up a device intended to 'incorporate everything that is technologically possible in a smartphone today.'"

Comment Re:This kind of hype was exactly the problem (Score 2, Informative) 257

I agree completely. I did the Y2K change testing and many of the changes for accounting/trading software for a large multinational bank. I ran parallel old software/new software comparison testing using production data on a dedicated Y2K system. I can say, unequivocally, that failure to do the changes would have been a disaster.

And guess what, not everything was caught. We had some failures after 2000 rolled in. We missed "some stuff". They were ALL attributed to other causes. No one could afford to admit to management that a single Y2K bug was missed. I should imagine this was not uncommon in most industries.

The commentators were mostly assholes with no real understanding, but it wasn't really hype. It would have been a disaster. We just fixed ( most of ) it.

Engineered Bacteria Glows To Reveal Land Mines 248

MikeChino writes "Sifting through minefields to remove hidden threats is a dangerous, tedious, and expensive process. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh recently announced that they have engineered a strain of bacteria that glows green in the presence of explosives, making mine detection a snap. The new strain of bacteria can be sprayed onto local affected areas or air-dropped over entire fields of mines. Within a few hours the bacteria strain begins to glow wherever traces of explosive chemicals are present."

NASA Attempts To Assuage 2012 Fears 881

eldavojohn writes "The apocalyptic film 2012 has dominated the box office, taking in $65 million on opening weekend. But with all those uninformed eyeballs watching the film, NASA has found itself answering so many common questions that their Ask an Astrobiologist blog offers calming, professional reassurance that there is no planet Nibiru, nor will it collide with Earth (although I do recall a massive solar storm forecast). NASA's main site even offers a FAQ answering similar questions. NPR has more on NASA scientist David Morrison and his efforts to calm the ensuing public hysteria, but survivalists are already planning for the big one. Pretty funny, right? Not according to Morrison: 'I've had three from young people saying they were contemplating committing suicide. I've had two from women contemplating killing their children and themselves. I had one last week from a person who said, "I'm so scared, my only friend is my little dog. When should I put it to sleep so it won't suffer?" And I don't know how to answer those questions.'"

iPhone Jailbreaking Still Going Strong 166

snydeq writes "Despite the productivity promises of Apple's forthcoming 3.0 firmware update, jailbreaking should continue to push the iPhone's productivity envelope, as users increasingly demand the Holy Grail of smartphone power use: applications that run in the background, InfoWorld reports. Copy and paste, video recording and streaming, Internet tethering, and content search are just a few of the features over which iPhone users have sought to jailbreak their devices — a practice Apple itself has done little to crack down on. Jailbreak apps circumvent hardware and software restrictions that Apple says ensure a consistent, responsive user interface and optimal battery endurance. In particular, jailbroken phones can run apps in the background, a capability Apple reserves for its own apps but prohibits in third-party programs. Jay Freeman, creator of the Cydia iPhone installer and Cydia Store, however, believes a free-market approach is the best way to satisfy power users' demands for features without compromising the performance of their iPhones. And given Apple's App Store overcrowding, it seems likely that jailbroken phones and app venues like Cydia Store will continue to be popular with iPhone customers and developers, even after the 3.0 firmware ships."

Tesla CEO Says Gov't Loan Is 99% Sure and Deserved 652

N!NJA writes "Two major themes of our time — the desire to achieve energy independence and the furor over public bailouts — have collided in the drama surrounding swanky electric carmaker Tesla. Late last year, a New York Times column whipped Silicon Valley innovators and bailout-weary taxpayers into a frenzy. Valley professor and writer Randall Stross wrote that Tesla was hoping for government money to produce its cars, which only the very wealthy could afford. It wasn't exactly true, since the loan was intended to produce the $50,000 Model S sedan, not the $109,000 Roadster. Still, Stross called it a risky, waste of taxpayer money that would only benefit the wealthy and bailout VCs who'd sunk money into the money-losing company. Never mind, Tesla has developed two cars on less than $200 million — compared to the $1 billion General Motors spent developing the now-deceased EV1."

Amazon Culls "Offensive" Books From Search System 470

Miracle Jones writes "Amazon has instituted an overnight policy that removes books that may be deemed offensive from their search system, despite the sales rank of the book and also irrespective of any complaints. Bloggers such as Ed Champion are calling for a 'link and book boycott,' asking people to remove links to Amazon from their web pages and stop buying books from them until the policy is reversed. Will this be bad business for Amazon, or will their new policies keep them out of trouble as they continue to grow and replace bookstores?"

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