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Government

Object Lesson in Non-Transparency At Energy.gov 111

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-a-dry-heat-death dept.
Harperdog writes "Dawn Stover recounts her attempts to access information at energy.gov, the U.S. Energy Department's 'cutting-edge, interactive information platform,' which apparently isn't any of those things. Especially frustrating were her attempts to locate important documents related to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. An interesting read for anyone interested in true government transparency."
Software

Opera Embraces Extensions For v.11 283

Posted by timothy
from the fat-lady-not-even-in-her-suit-yet dept.
dkd903 writes "Opera is one of the most solid browsers around. It is very fast, extremely customizable, and has a lot of functionality that others do not have. Opera is also a very strong supporter of Web standards; it was one of the first browsers to pass the ACID 3 test. However, Opera has always been confined to a relatively small user-base because of one critical thing — lack of extensions. Well, that is about to change — at least the extensions part. Today, it has been announced that Opera 11 will support extensions."
Canada

IOC Claims Olympian Lindsey Vonn's Name As Intellectual Property 399

Posted by timothy
from the somebody's-got-to-dirty-the-pool dept.
gehrehmee writes "As usual, the International Olympic Committee is coming down on hard on people mentioning things related to the Olympics without permission. This time it's UVEX sporting supplies, which sponsors Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn. Without explaination, their front page was today updated to include a tongue-in-cheek poem about UVEX's interaction with the IOC. Can the IOC really claim an Olypmian's name as their own intellectual property?"
Transportation

Could a Meteor Have Brought Down Air France 447? 884

Posted by kdawson
from the flinging-thunderbolts dept.
niktemadur writes "In light of an Air Comet pilot's report to Air France, Airbus, and the Spanish civil aviation authority that, during a Monday flight from Lima to Lisbon, 'Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds,' the Cosmic Variance blog team on the Discover Magazine website muses on the question 'What is the probability that, for all flights in history, one or more could have been downed by a meteor?' Taking into account total flight hours and the rate of meteoric activity with the requisite mass to impact on Earth (approximately 3,000 a day), some quick math suggests there may be one in twenty odds of a plane being brought down in the period from 1989 to 2009. Intriguingly, in the aftermath of TWA flight 800's crash in 1996, the New York Times published a letter by Columbia professors Charles Hailey (physics) and David Helfand (astronomy), in which they stated the odds of a meteor-airplane collision for aviation history up to that point: one in ten."
Medicine

New Map IDs the Core of the Human Brain 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-want-to-see-what-you're-thinking dept.
gerald626 writes "An international team of researchers has created the first complete high-resolution map of how millions of neural fibers in the human cerebral cortex — the outer layer of the brain responsible for higher-level thinking — connect and communicate. Their groundbreaking work identified a single network core, or hub, that may be key to the workings of both hemispheres of the brain. So basically our brain is a network connected to a hub. I wonder if I can get an upgrade to a GigE switch?"
Security

Cubicle Security For Laptops, Electronics? 532

Posted by kdawson
from the down-sizing-needn't-mean-down-securing dept.
kamikasee writes "I recently found out that I'm going to be moved from an office to a cubicle. The cubicle area is not very secure, and I'm worried about things wandering off. My boss has offered to buy some equipment to help me secure things, but so far I haven't found anything that fits my requirements. Google and Amazon searches are overwhelmed by lockable key cabinets and larger pieces of furniture. Here are some of the requirements: The main issue with traditional solutions (e.g. locking things in a drawer) is convenience. I use a laptop with a second LCD monitor. There's also an external keyboard and mouse and a USB hard drive. I leave my laptop on at night so I can remote-desktop into it, so I'm not really happy about putting it in a drawer (no ventilation), plus I don't like the idea of having to 'unharness' everything every time I want to put it away. I don't trust cable locks. Besides, cable locks won't help me secure my the USB drive and other electronics that might wander off. The solution I imagine is a lockable, ventilated metal box that would sit under the monitor and house most of the electronics. If it was big enough, I could stick my laptop into it at night (while leaving it running) and feel confident that it would still be there in the morning. I'd be open to other types of solutions. Surely someone else must have dealt with this problem."
Microsoft

Developers Warned over OOXML Patent Risk 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-it-on-faith dept.
Tendraes brings us a story about legal experts who are warning that Microsoft's "covenant not to sue" over use of the OOXML specification is both ambiguous and untested. Developers wishing to make use of OOXML are unlikely to understand the complex legal language of the Open Specification Promise, and such a document - being neither a release nor a contract - has never been tested in court. From ZDNet Asia: "David Vaile, executive director of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Center at the University of New South Wales, said that Microsoft participants at a recent symposium on the issue found it challenging to explain how an ordinary person 'or even an ordinary lawyer' could easily determine which parts of the specification were covered. 'This lack of certainty would mean a cautious lawyer may be reluctant to advise any third party to rely on the promise without extensive and potentially quite expensive analysis, and even that could be inconclusive,' Vaile said. 'In turn, this could restrict its viability as a usable standard for less well-resourced users, including small developers and many public organizations.'"
Biotech

+ - Virus Contributes to Honeybee Disappearance

Submitted by adagioforstrings
adagioforstrings (192285) writes "Scientists have discovered a virus dubbed IAPV which may be a contributing factor or marker for colony collapse disorder, or CCD. Many viruses have been discovered in bees, but only IAPV seems to link to CCD. Researches suspect the virus may be from bees imported from Australia. Chemicals and pesticides are also being considered as causes for the collapse."
Announcements

+ - VT Tax Dept Releases Open Source Tax Software->

Submitted by
Vermont Department of Taxes
Vermont Department of Taxes writes "The Vermont Department of Taxes Gateway Team is pleased to announce the initial open source release of the gateway on Source Forge. The gateway is a JavaEE application developed by the Vermont Department of Taxes. It provides a web services framework for accepting Streamlined Sales Tax registrations and returns. It also includes a web interface for manually submitting transmissions. The goal is to build an extensible framework upon which future tax services can be built and shared with other states. A press release is also available."
Link to Original Source

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