Touch typing classes aren't mandatory everywhere? I was forced to take some in grades 6, 8 and 9 (I was supposed to take one in grade 7 as well, but I got out of it). They were pretty pointless by the fourth class.
coondoggie writes: "European Space Agency scientists have given the go-ahead to build a Star Trek style ion-powered engine for the agency's spacecraft set to fly to Mercury in 2013. The ion-powered engine in the BepiColumbo spacecraft will be one of the first of its kind to be the central component of the mission, experts said. According to NASA, Ion propulsion is a technology that involves ionizing a gas to propel a craft. Instead of a spacecraft being propelled with standard chemicals, the gas xenon (which is like neon or helium, but heavier) is given an electrical charge, or ionized. It is then electrically accelerated to a speed of about 30 km/second. When xenon ions are emitted at such high speed as exhaust from a spacecraft, they push the spacecraft in the opposite direction. The ion-powered BebiColumbo will reach fuel efficiencies equal to 17.8 million miles per gallon.
[spam URL stripped]" Link to Original Source
Roland Piquepaille writes: "Why are diamonds so shiny and beautiful? A Japanese mathematician says it's because of their unique crystal structure and two key properties, called 'maximal symmetry' and 'strong isotropic property.' According to the American Mathematical Society (AMS), he found that out of all the crystals that are possible to construct mathematically, just one shares these two properties with the diamond. So far, his K4 crystal exists only as a mathematical object. And nobody knows if it exists — or if it can be synthesized. So will we say one day "A K4 Crystal Is Forever"? Read more for additional references and a picture of the beautiful K4 crystal."
ancientribe writes: Nothing was sacred to hackers in '07 — not cars, not truckers, and not even the stock exchange. Dark Reading reviews five wild hacks that went after everyday things we take for granted even more than our PC's — our car navigation system, a trucker's freight, WiFi connections, iPhone, and (gulp) the electronic financial trading systems that record our stock purchases and other online transactions.
MBCook writes: "Technology Review has a fantastic seven page piece titled "You Don't Understand Our Audience" (printer version, summed up by Ars) by former Dateline correspondent John Hockenberry. In it he discusses how NBC (and the networks at large) has missed and wasted opportunities brought by the Internet; and how they work to hard to get viewers at the expense of actual news. The story describes various events such as turning down a report on who al-Qaeda is for a reality show about firefighters, having to tie a story about a radical student group into American Dreams, and the failure to cover events like Kurt Cobain suicide (except as an Andy Rooney complaint piece)." Link to Original Source
mrneutron2003 writes: "Several fundamental PC market shifts are beginning to take place in an unlikely realm. The United States. With heavy hitting brands in the U.S. like Dell and HP at first glance it would seem we're quite well served here, but with the changing landscape of computing itself comes opportunity. Despite the fact that overall unit sales growth is slowing in the U.S. due to saturation and the fact that most actual growth is shifting to newer and less economically developed markets, this is really only true in the commodity desktop market. A market already under huge price and profit margin pressures. Solution? Cater to growth categories and higher margin product lines.
XueCast writes: "http://www.xuecast.com/?p=430, United States Of America's Department of State has announced that they will release the new electronic Passport cards in either April or May 2008. The cards will have computer chips in them, and these chips would be used to store informations and they could also be read wirelessly or remotely from up to 20 feet away, which could reduce the waiting time at border checkpoints.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State For Passport Services, Ann Barrett in an interview said that : " As people are approaching a port of inspection, they can show the card to the reader, and by the time they get to the inspector, all the information will have been verified and they can be waved on through. "" Link to Original Source
sas-dot writes: Nytimes article writes that Japan is suffering a crisis of confidence these days about its ability to compete with its emerging Asian rivals, China and India. But even in this fad-obsessed nation, one result was never expected: a growing craze for Indian education..India's more demanding education standards are apparent at the Little Angels Kindergarten, and are its main selling point. Its 2-year-old pupils are taught to count to 20, 3-year-olds are introduced to computers, and 5-year-olds learn to multiply, solve math word problems and write one-page essays in English, tasks most Japanese schools do not teach until at least second grade. America has to learn something from this? or not?
from the they-sure-couldn't-talk-more-about-themselves dept.
Tubs writes "According to MadPenguin.org's latest article, Fedora 8 from Red Hat is a serious threat to Ubuntu. The author writes, "I was never that swept up with past releases of Fedora. There was nothing compelling about it. But for the first time, I cannot help but feel that the Fedora team has been spoon fed an extra helping of Wheaties, which has put them into overdrive with their accessibility efforts."