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Programming

Ted Dziuba Says, "I Don't Code In My Free Time" 619

Posted by timothy
from the your-allotment-of-seconds-on-earth dept.
theodp writes "When he gets some free time away from his gigs at startup Milo and The Register, you won't catch Ted Dziuba doing any recreational programming. And he wouldn't want to work for a company that doesn't hire those who don't code in their spare time. 'You know what's more awesome than spending my Saturday afternoon learning Haskell by hacking away at a few Project Euler problems?' asks Dziuba. 'F***, ANYTHING.'"
Biotech

Judge Rejects Approval of Engineered Sugar Beets 427

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-be-beet dept.
countertrolling writes "A federal judge has ruled that the government failed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of genetically engineered sugar beets before approving the crop for cultivation in the United States. The decision could lead to a ban on the planting of the beets, which have been widely adopted by farmers. Beets supply about half the nation's sugar, with the rest coming from sugar cane. The Agriculture Department did conduct an environmental assessment before approving the genetically engineered beets in 2005 for widespread planting. But the department concluded there would be no significant impact, so a fuller environmental impact statement was not needed. But Judge White said that the pollen from the genetically engineered crops might spread to non-engineered beets. He said that the 'potential elimination of farmer's choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer's choice to eat non-genetically engineered food' constituted a significant effect on the environment that necessitated an environmental impact statement. There's still hope, isn't there? That we can at least get this stuff labeled properly?"
Earth

Laughing Gas Is Major Threat To Ozone Layer 306

Posted by timothy
from the damn-you-street-racers-damn-you dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that according to new research, nitrous oxide, the colorless, sweet-smelling gas with a long history as a medical and dental anesthetic is the next big threat to Earth's protective ozone layer. Its role in destroying ozone has long been recognized, as well as its role as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas but the new study puts nitrous oxide's ability to deplete ozone into numbers comparable to those used for other ozone-depleting gases covered by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. The researchers note that the health of the ozone layer has been improving since the adoption of the protocol and that nitrous oxide looms large today as an artificial destroyer of the ozone layer, in part because the emissions of other harmful chemicals have been so sharply reduced." (Continues.)
Internet Explorer

Reports of IE Hijacking NXDOMAINs, Routing To Bing 230

Posted by kdawson
from the if-I-want-bing-I-will-type-bing dept.
Jaeden Stormes writes "We just started getting word of a new browser hijack from our sales force. 'Some site called Bing?' they said. Sure enough, since the patches last night, their IE6 and IE7 installations are now routing all NXDOMAINs to Bing. Try it out — put in something like www.DoNotHijackMe.com." We've had mixed results here confirming this: one report that up-to-date IE8 behaves as described. Others tried installing all offered updates to systems running IE6 and IE7 and got no hijacking.
Update: 08/11 23:24 GMT by KD : Readers are reporting that it's not Bing that comes up for a nonexistent domain, it's the user's default search engine (noting that at least one Microsoft update in the past changed the default to Bing). There may be nothing new here.
Censorship

+ - AT&T Blocks Select 4chan Boards-> 3

Submitted by
SmarkWoW
SmarkWoW writes "In what appears to be the first major steps toward stifling Net Neutrality, AT&T blocks a select few boards from the major imageboard 4chan. First reported by the official 4chan Status Blog, it appears that those who have residential AT&T DSL connections are unable to view certain boards on 4chan. The boards in question are /rk9/ and the infamous /b/. As most readers know, /b/ is the home of Anonymous, a large group of computer users responsible for spawning many memes such as RickRolling and LOLcats. Sources estimate that 15.5% of all internet users user AT&T DSL. A few short hours after reports of the blockage surfaced, members of /b/ have already begun to retaliate. The first strike appears to be toward the AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson. Needless to say, this is going to get ugly."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - AT&T blocks access to several 4chan boards->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "from the article:
"Firing one of the first shots in the net neutrality war, AT&T has blocked 4chan's /b/ image board. AT&T subscribers are unable to connect to /b/ and /r9k/ (both of which are hosted on img.4chan.org). However, subscribers can get on any of the so-called worksafe boards that 4chan.org offers. The problem seems to be present only for wired connections only (AT&T Mobility customers are not affected). The problem is not caused by an DNS-error, as traceroutes indicates that AT&T is dropping img.4chan.org requests in the AT&T network."

The block has been confirmed by moot: http://status.4chan.org/"

Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

Bill to Require Open Access to Scientific Papers 213

Posted by samzenpus
from the share-your-answers dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Congress is expected to vote this week on a bill requiring investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to publish research papers only in journals that are made freely available within one year of publication. Until now, repeated efforts to legislate such a mandate have failed under pressure from the well-heeled journal publishing industry and some nonprofit scientific societies whose educational activities are supported by the profits from journals that they publish. Scientists assert that open access will speed innovation by making it easier for them to share and build on each other's findings. The measure is contained in a spending bill that boosts the biomedical agency's effective budget by 3.1%, to $29.8 billion in 2008. The open-access requirement in the bill would apply only during fiscal year 2008; it would need to be renewed in yearly spending bills in the future."
Space

Why ISS Computers Failed 324

Posted by kdawson
from the triply-redundant-is-not-foolproof dept.
Geoffrey.landis writes "It was only a small news item four months ago: all three of the Russian computers that control the International Space Station failed shortly after the Space Shuttle brought up a new solar array. But why did they fail? James Oberg, writing in IEEE Spectrum, details the detective work that led to a diagnosis." The article has good insights into the role the ISS plays as a laboratory for US-Russian technology cooperation — something that is likely to be crucial in any manned Mars mission.
Google

Google Unveils Flash Ads 225

Posted by Zonk
from the hip-hip-hooray dept.
Gailin writes "Google has announced and given some examples of their new Flash based ads. They seem to vary from average size to full screen-width Flash advertisements, with some interactive abilities. 'Gadget ads can incorporate real-time data feeds, images, video and much more in a single creative unit and can be developed using Flash, HTML or a combination of both. Designed to act more like content than a typical ad, they run on the Google(TM) content network, competing alongside text, image and video ads for placement. They support both cost-per-click and cost-per-impression pricing models, and offer a variety of contextual, site, geographic and demographic targeting options to ensure the ads reach relevant users with precision and scale.'"
Intel

DDR3 Isn't Worth The Money - Yet 120

Posted by Zonk
from the zoom-but-not-that-much-zoom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With Intel's motherboard chipsets supporting both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, the question now is whether DDR3 is worth all that extra cash. Trustedreviews has a lengthy article on the topic, and it looks like (for the moment) the answer is no: 'Not to be too gloomy about this, but the bottom line is that it can only be advised to steer clear of DDR3 at present, as in terms of performance, which is what it's all about, it's a waste of money. Even fast DDR2 is, as we have demonstrated clearly, only worthwhile if you are actually overclocking, as it enables you to raise the front-side bus, without your memory causing a bottleneck. DDR3 will of course come into its own as speeds increase still further, enabling even higher front-side bus speeds to be achieved. For now though, DDR2 does its job, just fine.'"
Handhelds

How PDAs Are Saving Lives In Africa 53

Posted by kdawson
from the port-it-to-the-olpc dept.
Mark Goldberg writes "UN Dispatch, the United Nations affairs blog I write, just posted an item that may interest this community. Joel Selanikio, a medical doctor and technologist, writes to us from Zambia to relay how PDA devices are quietly revolutionizing public health services in sub-Saharan Africa. Selanikio runs a non-profit called DataDyne.org that trains local health officials to use PDAs equipped with an open source software tool to track outbreaks, coordinate vaccination efforts, and perform other vital public health tasks. So far, says Selanikio, the pilot program in Zambia has been a resounding success.
Hardware

Magnetic Wobbles Cause Hard Drive Failure 276

Posted by samzenpus
from the shake-it-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to this report by IT PRO, scientists working at the University of California have discovered the main reason of hard drive failure. According to researchers, some materials used in hard drives are better at damping spin precession than others. Spin precession of magnetic material effects its neighbors' polarity and this can spread and cause sections of hard drives to spontaneously change polarity and lose data. This is known as a magnetic avalanche. So next time Windows fails to start, you'll know why!"
United States

US Military Leaks its Secrets Online 198

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-out-the-cia-myspace-page dept.
athloi writes "Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq, geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad and plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan are among the items accidentally left online by government agencies and contractors."
Space

Digitizing 100 Years of Astronomical Data 115

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the jobs-for-photosynth dept.
Maximum Prophet writes to mention that a collection of glass plates containing astronomical information from the late 19th century through the mid-1980s is being considered for digitization. "The accumulated result weighs heavily on its keepers on Observatory Hill, just up Garden Street from Harvard Square: more than half a million images constituting humanity's only record of a century's worth of sky. 'Besides being 25 percent of the world's total of astronomical photographic plates, this is the only collection that covers both hemispheres,' said Alison Doane, curator of a glass database occupying three floors, two of them subterranean, connected by corkscrew stairs. It weighs 165 tons and contains more than a petabyte of data. The scary thing is that there is no backup." I'm sure that anyone with a spare $5 million or so would be welcomed with open arms.

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer

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