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NASA's Space Balloon Smashes Car In Australia Screenshot-sm 174

Humunculus writes "Of more worldly issues, NASA's latest multimillion-dollar stratosphere-bound balloon launch has gone horribly wrong and crashed into a car, turning it over and narrowly missing two elderly people who were observing the launch. The payload fared worse, reportedly being smashed into a 'thousand pieces.'"
Businesses

Comcast Awarded the Golden Poo Award 286

ISoldat53 writes "The Consumerist has awarded Comcast the Golden Poo award for the worst company in America. From the article: 'After four rounds of bloody battle against some of the most publicly reviled businesses in America, Comcast can now run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and hold its hands high in victory — it has bested everyone else to earn the title of Worst Company In America for 2010.'"
Cellphones

Owners Smash iPhones To Get Upgrades, Says Insurance Company 406

markass530 writes "An iPhone insurance carrier says that four in six claims are suspicious, and is worse when a new model appears on the market. 'Supercover Insurance is alleging that many iPhone owners are deliberately smashing their devices and filing false claims in order to upgrade to the latest model. The gadget insurance company told Sky News Sunday that it saw a 50-percent rise in claims during the month Apple launched the latest version, the iPhone 3GS.'"
Government

Obama Wants Broadband, Computers Part of Stimulus 901

damn_registrars writes "President-elect Barack Obama announced in his radio address that his administration's economic stimulus package will include investing in computers and broadband for education. 'To help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.' He also said it is 'unacceptable' that the US ranks 15th in broadband adoption." No doubt with free spyware and internet filtering. You know... for the kids.
Programming

(Useful) Stupid Regex Tricks? 516

careysb writes to mention that in the same vein as '*nix tricks' and 'VIM tricks', it would be nice to see one on regular expressions and the programs that use them. What amazingly cool tricks have people discovered with respect to regular expressions in everyday life as a developer or power user?"
Portables (Apple)

Top Apple Rumors, Bricks, Low Price, NVIDIA 283

Vigile writes "With the news that Apple will be releasing new MacBook products on October 14th, speculation has begun on what exactly those new products will be. Tips of a manufacturing process involving lasers and a single 'brick' of aluminum are catching on, as is the idea of a sub-$1000 netbook-type device. More interesting might be the persistent rumors of an NVIDIA chipset adoption that would drastically increase gaming ability, allow MacBooks to improve their support for OpenCL and take advantage of the new Adobe CS4 software with GPU acceleration. Will NVIDIA's ailing chipset business get a shot in the arm next week?"
Science

Fungus Fire Spores With 180,000 G Acceleration 69

Hugh Pickens writes "Although a variety of spore discharge processes have evolved among the fungi, those with the longest ranges are powered by hydrostatic pressure and include 'squirt guns' that are most common in the Ascomycota and Zygomycota. In these fungi, fluid-filled stalks that support single spores or spore-filled sporangia, or cells called asci that contain multiple spores, are pressurized by osmosis. Because spores are discharged at such high speeds, most of the information on launch processes from previous studies has been inferred from mathematical models and is subject to a number of errors, but now Nicholas Money, an expert on fungi at Miami University, has recorded the discharges with high-speed cameras at 250,000 frames-a-second and discovered that fungi fire their spores with accelerations up to 180,000 g, calling it 'the fastest flight in nature.' Money and his students, in a justified fit of ecstasy, have created a video of the first fungus opera."
The Media

Jobs Rumor Debacle Besmirches Citizen Journalism 286

On Friday someone posted a false rumor that Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack on CNN's unverified citizen journalism site, iReport. Apple's stock price went vertical, losing 9% before Apple stepped in and denied the rumor; the stock then recovered most of its loss. The SEC is investigating. PCWorld looks at the hit taken by citizen journalism as a result of this incident. "[The] increasingly blurred line between journalism and rumor is a serious concern for Al Tompkins, the broadcast/online group leader at The Poynter Institute — a specialized school for journalists of all media forms. 'How could you possibly allow just anybody to post just anything under your [CNN] label unless you have blazing billboards that say, "None of this has been verified, we've not looked at any of this, we have no idea if this is true"?' he asks."
The Media

A Wikipedia Conspiracy and the Wall Street Meltdown 485

PatrickByrne writes "This is The Register's world-class investigative piece concerning one aspect of the meltdown on Wall Street ('naked short selling') and how the criminals engaged a journalist to distort Wikipedia to confuse the discourse. The article explicitly and formally accuses a well-known US financial journalist, Gary Weiss, of lying about his efforts to distort a Wikipedia page under assumed names, and accuses the Powers That Be in Wikipedia (right up to and including Jimbo Wales) of complicity in protecting Weiss. This is not another story about a 15-year-old farm kid in Iowa pretending to be a professor. This is like the worst Chomskian view of Elites manipulating mass opinion. But it is all documented." We discussed the alleged Wikipedia manipulation when The Register first wrote about it last December. The submitter is the CEO of Overstock.com and a major player in this drama from the beginning.
Earth

Birth of a New African Ocean 261

Khemisty writes "Formation of an ocean is a rare event, one no scientist has ever witnessed. Yet this geophysical nativity is unfolding today in one of the hottest and most inhospitable corners of the globe. Africa is splitting apart at the seams. From the southern tip of the Red Sea southward through Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique, the continent is coming unstitched along a zone called the East African Rift." This stretching of the earth's crust has been going on for 20 million years, and within another 10 million the Red Sea will have broken through to create a new sea.

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