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Submission + - New Life for Waste Heat from Crematoriums

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Justin Nobel writes that waste heat from a local crematory will soon heat water that will be piped to a nearby recreation center to heat the pool and the rest of the facility, saving about $23,000 a year in heating costs but some are asking if the process honors the dead or exploits them. “People are dying anyway, and many choose to be cremated," says Ceridwen John, the climate change manager in Redditch, England where the system is being installed. "Our options are to expel the waste heat into the atmosphere or to do something useful with it.” Redditch is acting in response to recent European Union legislation that requires crematories to reduce mercury emissions by 50 percent by 2013. Extracting the harmful mercury from dental fillings requires cooling flue gas from 800 degrees Centigrade to 150 degrees so the waste heat is pumped through a heat exchanger where it can be used to generate power. Will crematory heat ever become popular in the US? "Some grieving families like the idea of their loved ones 'giving back something'," says Tim Morris, chief executive of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. "I see that becoming predominant, and this research as an opportunity to do something innovative and respectful to the funeral mourning process.""
Open Source

Submission + - DOD Releases Open Source Development Guide (

BrandiCook writes: "The Department of Defense (DoD) has weighed in with its own support for open source. The DoD provides a nice analogy: “Imagine if only the manufacturer of a rifle were allowed to clean, fix, modify or upgrade that rifle. The military often finds itself in this position wit taxpayer funded, contractor developed software: one contractor with a monopoly on the knowledge of a military software system and control of the software source code.” Open technology offers increased agility and flexibility, fast delivery, increased innovation, reduced risk, lower cost and information assurance and security, the DoD asserts."

Submission + - Towel Day is upon us! (

An anonymous reader writes: Douglas Adams died about ten years ago and fans have not forgotten about the beloved humorous science fiction author. On Towel Day (May 25th), they carry their best towel and organize events all over the planet.
Examples: a gladiator towel fight (France), concerts (Denmark & Russia), a march against Vogon Violence (Brazil), a talk on science in the Hitchhiker’s Guide (UK), guided tours (Germany & UK), etc. People are gathering in parks and bars, and there’s a lot of drinking, movie viewing, flashmobbing, hitchiking and creative work going on.

A Canadian group recently ran a contest to select an Intergalactic Towel Day Ambassador for Earth. The winner was Ms Deena Roth of Tennessee, USA.

Submission + - Obama is sung to about WikiLeaks (

xkr writes: Willie Brown, who was mayor of San Francisco and Speaker of the California State Assembly for 30 years, reports in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Naomi Pitcairn got by the secret service in a private fundraiser to serenade President Obama, along with some other surprise protesters, with a long song protesting the imprisonment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the man accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. The president signaled the secret service to let them finish singing, then asked Nancy Pelosi, “Is this your gift to me?”

Submission + - Is Anti-Matter Gravitationally Repulsive? (

An anonymous reader writes: A new paper attempts to show how CPT symmetry (charge, parity, and time) and Einstein's General Theory implies that matter and anti-matter should be gravitationally repulsive. The author (who unfortunately plugs his book in the article) believes that this could eliminate the need to postulate dark energy and possibly even dark matter.
Data Storage

Submission + - Self-Wiping Hard Drives From Toshiba (

Orome1 writes: Toshiba announces a family of self-encrypting hard disk drives engineered to automatically invalidate protected data when connected to an unknown host. Data invalidation attributes can be set for multiple data ranges, enabling targeted data in the drive to be rendered indecipherable by command, on power cycle, or on host authentication error.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Fellow Hackers Blast Geohot For Sony Settlement (

RedEaredSlider writes: The hacker who settled with Sony after the company sued him for modifying his PlayStation 3 console is getting a lot of flak for not taking the fight further.

Hotz himself may have set the stage for some of the criticism. In an earlier blog post he wrote, "What if SCEA tries to settle? Let's just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it. It'd be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it. I'm also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted."
One commenter, "MX," says, "Sure, it's nice that it's over and people can move on with their lives... but I just think people expected a bit more of a fight than this."

Some were more pointed, such as "Night Breed." "So basically you settled for a job and took people's money giving them a false hope of settling for their rights? What do you plan to do with the money that was donated to you to provide a cushion for the legal battle? I hope you will be paying all those people back since you obviously didn't live up to your word."


Submission + - 20 Myths about Yuri Gagarin's Mission

An anonymous reader writes: 50 years ago today, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter orbit. That's a fact. Here are some things that are not facts: He was picked for the mission due to his peasant origins; his capsule contained a self-destruct button; he was later assassinated; and the whole damn mission was a hoax.

Submission + - NIH secret plan for shutdown (

mapkinase writes:

Any public discussion of the contingency plans is forbidden "for political reasons," says one high-level official, explaining that the government can't look like it's preparing for a shutdown. Even internal e-mails are now verboten, this source said; instead, planning has been done the old-fashioned way, by word of mouth.

Submission + - Why are A: and B: lost on so many computers?

An anonymous reader writes: A: used to be my floppy drive, and B: was sometimes there on computers with two of them. But I haven't had a floppy drive for many years. Now pretty much all PCs I see (I repair them) have drive partitions from C: and on, with DVD drives and removable media (SD, etc.) coming after. If I plug in an SD card into my laptop it comes up as G: by default; I set it to A:. Why isn't A: the default?

Submission + - Columbia University ending the Kermit Project (

An anonymous reader writes: Columbia University has announced that the Kermit Project will be ended in July 2011, after more than 30 years in existence. Open Kermit (C-Kermit) will remain available, but without any support or ongoing development; Kermit-95, which cannot be open-sourced, will remain available for license purchases but without support or maintenance.

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923