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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 21 declined, 7 accepted (28 total, 25.00% accepted)

United States

+ - Helium crisis approaching->

Submitted by
vrmlguy
vrmlguy writes "In ten years, the National Helium Reserve will be depleted, according to an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. An article in Science Daily echoes the concern, quoting Dr. Lee Sobotka, of Washington University in St. Louis: "Helium is non-renewable and irreplaceable. Its properties are unique and unlike hydrocarbon fuels (natural gas or oil), there are no biosynthetic ways to make an alternative to helium. All should make better efforts to recycle it." On Earth, Helium is found mixed with natural gas, but few producers capture it. The US created a stockpile in 1925 for use by military dirigibles, but stopped stockpiling it in 1995 as a cost-saving measure."
Link to Original Source
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Boston bomb scare now in re-runs->

Submitted by
vrmlguy
vrmlguy writes "The keystone kops are at it again! A story in the Boston Globe reports, "In a scene reminiscent of the Cartoon Network bomb scare that paralyzed the Boston area in January, police shut down a strip mall yesterday in [the Boston suburb of Ashland] after employees at a Bank of America branch mistook a botched fax for a bomb threat. [...] Branches across the Northeast received the distorted fax and that while other branches also evacuated, none saw law enforcement response as extensive as in Ashland. [...] Town officials may ask Bank of America to reimburse the town for the cost of the response, which included more than a dozen town officers and firefighters, personnel from neighboring towns, a State Police bomb squad, and police dogs.""
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Internet Explorer

+ - IE7 problems

Submitted by
vrmlguy
vrmlguy writes "Today my family's computer (running Windows XP Home) told us that an automatic update was available for installation. I gave permission for the update to be installed and wound up with a new installation of IE7. Unfortunately, after the required reboot I quickly discovered that we could no longer access the web. DNS resolved everything that I gave it and I could ping the resulting IP addresses, but I couldn't open HTTP connections outside of my local subnet. Telnet'ing to port 80 also didn't work, so it apparently wasn't just a problem with IE7.

Fortunately, IE7 did provide a nice diagnostic tool that decided that the ports for FTP, HTTP and HTTPS were all unavailable and suggested that I investigate my firewall settings. Interestingly enough, it turns out that I'd disabled Windows Firewall some time ago, because I trust my dedicated router/firewall to keep the black-hats out of my home. Turning to my work laptop (which could still access the outside world), I quickly found a web page that strongly recommended leaving the firewall on during the install. Need I say that I wasn't very surprised by the implication that IE7 can break other programs' access to the Internet?

The good news is that uninstalling IE7 fixed everything. Until I can get more information about what happened, I've told Windows Update to not try re-installing IE7.

"

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