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Earth

Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All? 747

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flame-war-begin dept.
carvalhao writes "The Register reports on a study from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that claims that new climate models that account for the effects of increased CO2 levels on plant growth result on a 1.64 C increase for a doubling of CO2 concentrations, a far less gloomy scenario than previously considered."
Apple

Underground Mac Community Foils a Coup 253

Posted by kdawson
from the fortunately-bloodless dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In an attempted palace coup that would not have been out of place in a Shakespearian tragedy, a moderator faction at Mac Serial Junkie, one of the largest underground Mac communities, was shut out this weekend after it was discovered that many staff members were plotting a coup. The plans included a surreptitious takeover of the domain name macserialjunkie.com. In an Open Letter to the Community, the founders of MSJ explain how a number of people at the highest levels of the underground planned their takeover activities for almost two years, only to be foiled at the last minute."
Movies

G.I. Joe No Longer the Real American Hero? 548

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pussification-of-the-modern-male dept.
Advocate123 writes "Clearly, Hollywood has forgotten the, 'Real American Hero.' G.I. Joe originally symbolized the American WWII soldier and a great generation. Now Hollywood celebrities are going to turn him into a international multicultural coed task force with no government affiliations. Isn't anything sacred to these people?"
The Almighty Buck

Science Blogger Sued for Unfavorable Book Review 588

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hope-he-countersues-and-buys-a-nice-summer-home dept.
tigerhawkvok writes "Recently, new author Stuart Privar provided Professor PZ Meyers of Pharyngula a copy of his book, Lifecode, for review. Over the course of the review itself and a few follow-ups, it became evident that the content was nonsense (including, among other things, ten-legged spiders and other phenomena strongly at odds with developmental biology). However, the common threat of lawsuits finally became a reality, and now Privar is suing Myers for $15 million. Can calling someone a 'classic crackpot' in the face of such incorrect data have any chance at making it to court, or even winning the suit?"
Biotech

Semi-Identical Twins Discovered 224

Posted by kdawson
from the my-brother's-a-keeper dept.
daftna writes in with a story from Nature about a pair of twins who are neither identical nor fraternal: they are semi-identical. Researchers discovered twins who share all of their mother's DNA but only half of their father's. Both children are chimeras — their cells are not genetically uniform, but include a mix of genes from two separate sperm cells that fertilized a single egg. This is, apparently, not as rare as one might think; but the resulting fetus is rarely viable. This report marks the first known incidence of two half-identical twins resulting from a double fertilization.
The Internet

YouTube Blocked in Brazil 387

Posted by Zonk
from the down-with-love dept.
keeboo writes "The popular video sharing site YouTube is now blocked in Brazil due to a local court decision last Thursday. The site was ordered to block the uploaded sex videos of Brazilian media starlet Daniela Cicarelli and, although it complied, many users kept re-uploading it to the site. After the failure of YouTube to keep the video off of the site, the domain was blocked nationwide at a DNS level. Predictably, many Brazilians are annoyed and I've started to receive even SPAMs protesting on this blocking. From the article: 'The case now goes automatically to a three-member panel of judges who will decide whether to make the order permanent and whether to fine YouTube as much as US$119,000 (euro91,000) for each day the video was viewable, said Rubens Decousseau Tilkian.'"

Robots to Crawl Under the City 94

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the dreaming-of-electric-sheep dept.
Johan Louwers writes "Robots will crawl tubes in a short while to investigate power cables running in the tubes to make sure they are still undamaged or in need for a repair. The Robotic Cable Inspection System is developed by Alexander Mamishev, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington. Making use of infrared thermal analysis and acoustic partial discharge analysis, the robot will be checking mile after mile of cable while crawling his way in the tubes."
Science

Long-lived Super Heavy Element Created 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the adamantium-anyone dept.
treeves writes "Radioactive nuclei that hang around for a mere half-minute before falling apart hardly seem stable. Yet compared with the fleeting lifetimes of their superheavy atomic neighbors, the roughly 30-second period that transpired from creation to disintegration of four atoms of a newly discovered isotope of element 108 qualifies those atoms as rock solid. Theoretical physicists predicted years ago that some nuclei of elements much more massive than uranium should survive for a relatively long time — possibly long enough to probe their chemical properties — if they could be synthesized. On the chart of nuclides, theoreticians pinpointed a region with coordinates corresponding to 114 protons and 184 neutrons and indicated that nuclei with those "magic" numbers of subatomic particles should lie at the center of an island of stability. The nuclear longevity, according to the models, is due to the closing of proton and neutron shells, which renders the particles stable against spontaneous fission much the same way that a filled outer electron shell endows noble gases with chemical inertness. Experimentalists, though, haven't yet found a route to reach the center of the island."
Google

+ - Google Pagerank in 126 lines of Python

Submitted by
GrumpySimon
GrumpySimon writes "Vincent Kräutler has reimplemented the Pagerank algorithm in 126 lines of Python following a post on the American Mathematical Society's webpage: How Google Finds Your Needle in the Web's Haystack . It will be most interesting to see if or how Google reacts to this, and whether other people can build on this in their own search engines."
HP

HP's Windows Bundle Trouble 697

Posted by Zonk
from the i'm-sorry-please-enter-your-option-again dept.
narramissic writes "A French consumer group has filed 3 lawsuits against HP, saying the company's practice of selling consumer PCs with Windows pre-installed violates a French law that 'prohibits linking the functionality of a product to another product' — not to mention that consumers wind up paying for an unwanted OS. For its part, HP contends that it is not in violation of the law because the OS is integral to the PC. 'The PC without an OS is not a product because it doesn't work,' said Alain Spitzmuller, legal affairs director for HP France. 'We believe the market is for products that work.'"
Education

+ - Class president charged with grade tampering

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to this article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel the class president at Cooper City High School in Broward County was arrested and charged with two counts of felony computer crime for using the access he had into the school's computer system to alter the grades of 19 fellow students.

He had been voted most likely to become President of the United States by his class. Sounds like he's on the right track, I see a great future for him in politics after he's paroled!"
Windows

+ - FSF launches campaign against Microsoft Vista

Submitted by Verunks
Verunks (1000826) writes "The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today launched BadVista.org, a campaign with a twofold mission of exposing the harms inflicted on computer users by the new Microsoft Windows Vista and promoting free software alternatives that respect users' security and privacy rights.
"Vista is an upsell masquerading as an upgrade. It is an overall regression when you look at the most important aspect of owning and using a computer: your control over what it does. Obviously MS Windows is already proprietary and very restrictive, and well worth rejecting. But the new 'features' in Vista are a Trojan Horse to smuggle in even more restrictions. We'll be focusing attention on detailing how they work, how to resist them, and why people should care", said FSF program administrator John Sullivan."

"I'm a mean green mother from outer space" -- Audrey II, The Little Shop of Horrors

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