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Comment Re:Just use encryption. (Score 5, Informative) 166

You mean, just like it is in France? Where using encryption to encode your mail is considered criminal?????

Nice trolling: encryption is perfectly legal in France. The French chapter of the Free Software Foundation even took care of getting an official approval for encryption tools like GnuPG and OpenSSL. See (link in French)

And for a governmental source, look at the website, specifically on: (link in French)
first paragraph states:"Under article 30 of Law 2004-575 of June 21st, 2004 on confidence in the digital economy, the use of cryptology is free in France."


Submission + - Hubble To Use the Moon To View Transit of Venus (

astroengine writes: "On June 5 or 6 this year — the exact time and date depends on where you are in the world — Venus will be visible as a small black circle crossing the disk of the sun. Usually, the Hubble Space Telescope would have no business observing this event — the sun is too close for its optics. But plans are afoot for Hubble to observe the reflected sunlight bouncing off the lunar surface during the transit. As the sunlight will pass through the Venusian atmosphere, the transit will provide invaluable spectroscopic data about Venus' atmospheric composition. This, in turn, will help astronomers in characterizing the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars."

Submission + - 16th-Century Map May Provide New Clues About The Fate Of The Roanoke Colony (

JoeRobe writes: Roanoke Colony (on the coast of North Carolina) disappeared sometime between 1587 and 1590, with the only clue to its fate being the word "Croatoan" carved into a wooden post. Now, as if straight out of an Indiana Jones script, new clues to the whereabouts of the lost colony may have been discovered on a 16th-century map. The British Museum has re-examined the watercolor map to find a hidden symbol under a patch, in the shape of a 4-pointed star. The star likely indicates the location of an existing or intended fort that the settlers may have retreated to after abandoning the colony. Adding to the mystery, the patch overlaying the star may have been added in order to hide it from the "spy-riddled English court."

Comment Ptychography: great method, not new (Score 5, Informative) 90

The article implies that the method is new, which is not the case - in fact it even has its wikipedia page ( The team (J. Rodenburg's) behind that press release is indeed among the pioneers.

The whole idea behind the technique is to illuminate the sample at different positions using an electron or X-ray beam, with an overlap between the different positions of the beam. Once this is done the algorithm reconstructs both the structure in the sample (the electronic density) and the structure of the probe (the electron or X-ray beam).

For those who can access articles behind paywalls :
[1] W. Hoppe, Ultramicroscopy 10 (1982) 187–198.
[2] B.C. McCallum, J.M. Rodenburg, Ultramicroscopy 52 (1993) 85–99.
[3] P.D. Nellist, B.C. McCallum, J.M. Rodenburg, Nature 374 (1995) 630–632.
[4] P.D. Nellist, J.M. Rodenburg, Acta Crystallogr A Found Crystallogr 54 (1998) 49–60.
[5] T. Plamann, J.M. Rodenburg, Acta Crystallogr A Found Crystallogr 54 (1998) 61–73.
[6] J.M. Rodenburg, H.M.L. Faulkner, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85 (2004) 4795.

It's also used with X-rays (the last article is open access) :
[1] J.M. Rodenburg, A.C. Hurst, A.G. Cullis, B.R. Dobson, F. Pfeiffer, O. Bunk, C. David, K. Jefimovs, I. Johnson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98 (2007) 034801.
[2] P. Thibault, M. Dierolf, A. Menzel, O. Bunk, C. David, F. Pfeiffer, Science 321 (2008) 379–382.
[3] M. Dierolf, A. Menzel, P. Thibault, P. Schneider, C.M. Kewish, R. Wepf, O. Bunk, F. Pfeiffer, Nature 467 (2010) 436–439.
[4] C.M. Kewish, P. Thibault, M. Dierolf, O. Bunk, A. Menzel, J. Vila-Comamala, K. Jefimovs, F. Pfeiffer, New J. Phys. 110 (2010) 325–329.

Comment Google exonerated... but not buyers of AdWords (Score 5, Informative) 39

The summary and the linked article are extremely incomplete ! Yes, Google was essentially exonerated from the charges - i.e. is not held responsible for the chosen adwords. But the buyers of adwords (the advertisers) can still be held responsible. To quote the WSJ article: Google isn't liable for trademark infringement when it sells linked ads to a brand's competitor. The court held that the search giant is merely a host for ads and that it is an advertiser's responsibility to make clear if its product is different from that searched for.

The good thing is that google's service/business is acknowledged as a neutral one. But the advertisers can still be held responsible if they use the trademarked brand without the right to do so.

Comment Review article on nano toxicity (Score 1) 239

The following review can be interesting: Nanomaterials and nanoparticles: Sources and toxicity

Biointerphases -- December 2007 -- Volume 2, Issue 4, pp. MR17-MR71

55 pages though - not for those who don't like to RTFA...

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie