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Censorship

Submission + - Teacher Suspended After Pro-gay Article is Printed

An anonymous reader writes: A few months ago, after a student wrote an article for her school newspaper saying that people who are gay should be treated the same as everyone else, the journalism advisor was written up for insubordination. Now she has been placed on paid leave. People planned on attending the school board meeting, but once there, they were informed that they couldn't ask any questions about the situation to protect the teacher. Board president Rev. Stephen Terry said the board could not be swayed in any way before an appeal.

"He said his decision was based on state law, but when Jack Groch, the Indiana State Teachers representative for East Allen, asked what the statute was, he was told he was out of order."
A reprint of the student's original "offending" story can be found on a local news website. The class at Woodlan has stopped publishing their newspaper entirely, and all other schools are having a new policy enforced on them by the school board that states that none of the newspapers are open forum, and that all issues must be approved by the school principal before going to print. One can only wonder whether or not the teacher will be fired in the end.
Education

Submission + - Professors Feed on Students

An anonymous reader writes: Law professors are up in arms over SwapNotes, a student run website that (gasp) let's students freely share notes(I, II, III, IV. Not exactly a new concept in the age of this thing we call the Internet. Some are defending it, others are going with the head in the sand mentality. To quote one student: "I suspect that one reason many professors get upset about this is that the outlines from previous years reveal how little work actually goes into the lectures on a yearly basis." C'mon! Let's be real guys — students can't share notes?! What's next, no buying review books?! What are the professors claiming? Copyright Infringement.
Google

Submission + - Google tests 'pay by results' advertising

Silver Sloth writes: The New York Times is reporting that Google is testing a new concept in advertising revenus, payment by results. From TFA

The company said Tuesday that it would expand a test of a system that allows advertisers to pay only when an ad spurs a consumer to take an action, be it purchasing a product, subscribing to a newsletter or signing up to receive a quote from a mortgage broker or car dealer.
Although this is not a new idea, again from TFA

The model has long been used online by "affiliate marketing" companies like ValueClick, which have created networks of hundreds or thousands of Web sites that display small ads for e-commerce sites. The publishers are paid when they refer a user who makes a purchase.
its a new one for Google
Bug

Submission + - HDTV requires software update - LG in strife

smallstepforman writes: Well, not only do we have to deal with patch Tuesday to download Operating System bug fixes, now our embedded devices like TV's and toasters will require regular patches to operate. According to The Age newspaper, Tens of thousands of LG customers will require a software upgrade for their TV sets, after the company identified the cause of a mystery software glitch that is causing them to freeze spontaneously. The problem seems to be in LG's implementation of the DVB standard. Broadcasters can optionally encrypt the stream to prevent copying. Channel Nine seem to have turned this on for some of their programming. This is causing problems with LG tuners. LG have more information about the software update here.
Space

Submission + - PayPal Rocket Reaches Space

Matthew Sparkes writes: "A rocket developed by Elon Musk, the PayPal founder, blasted into space on Tuesday. The 21-metre (68-foot) booster rocket called Falcon 1 lifted off from a US military missile test-range in the Marshall Islands. It arrived in space soon after but five minutes into the flight, a problem cropped up with the booster's second-stage engine, meaning it did not achieve full orbital velocity. The booster carried a pair of engineering experiments from DARPA, who funded the flight. Space Exploration Technologies, also called SpaceX, is offering launches at about $7 million. SpaceX's debut mission a year ago ended shortly after lift-off when a corroded nut cracked, triggering a disastrous fuel leak and fire."
Space

Submission + - Space X's Falcon 1 finally launches

Tawg writes: Space X's Falcon 1(named after the millennium falcon) finally took off at 01:10GMT, but it was not without it's problems.

Full story here
Mission report here

SpaceX's second launch came a year after the Falcon 1 rocket suffered a major failure during its maiden flight. Investigators traced the cause of that accident to a corroded aluminum nut in the first stage propulsion system, which triggered a fuel leak that led to a premature shutdown of the Merlin engine about 30 seconds after liftoff.

This second attempt was due to launch off at 00:05GMT but computers ordered a dramatic last-second abort when the rocket's chamber pressure was slightly below normal (0.5% below the redline limit). Thankfully the mission was recycled and at 01:10GMT the rocket made it into space. Immediately after the stage 2 separation it became apparent for space X and the thousands watching via webcam that something had gone wrong when the rocket showed increasing oscillations about five minutes after liftoff. The rocket then began to roll back and the telemetry was lost.



Even so, Elon Musk, founder and chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp, has this to say.

I think it's really a big step forward for SpaceX. It gives me great confidence in our upcoming launches. Another thing to bear in mind, Falcon 1 is intended as a scale model, a test vehicle of our larger rockets. As we iron things out on Falcon 1, we're really going to put that knowledge to work on Falcon 9.

I think I'll characterize this as a very good day for SpaceX. We successfully reached space and really retired almost all the risk associated with the rocket. So I feel very good about where things are."


Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX vice president of business development had this to say, moments after the telemetry was lost.

"I just wanted everybody to know that we in the Washington, D.C., office are celebrating with champagne. We don't have any information yet from the launch control center, but the Falcon clearly got to space with a successful liftoff, stage separation, second stage ignition and fairing separation.

However, what happened during the second stage burn is not clear.

Regardless, we're thrilled here."
Businesses

Submission + - Too much of a good thing?

An anonymous reader writes: The Register http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/21/four_teat_ sheep/ is reporting a story broken by Stuff.co.nz, that New Zealand scientists plan to tackle the thorny problem of ewes producing more lambs than they have nipples to accommodate by simply upping mum's teat-count. They are looking to do this by traditional breeding tactics, though direct genetic engineering would seem to be another solution. Eccentrica Gallumbits, anyone?
Spam

Submission + - Tagged!!! Brilliant use of Spam to grow ....

Karlgrass writes: "It seems that finally some smart startup has been able to build traffic by using spam as an effective tool. In last 1-2 months majority of us must have got this tagged mail where some user seems to have tagged you or somebody else. With a familiar Indian sounding name, the click rate was high in order to just find all about it as 98% of spam mails have a western name and suddenly we realized that for a change somebody has used spamming efficiently and in process build a huge traffic (Alexa ranking is 78). But what make us believe think this is a spam mail??? http://www.startupavenues.com/news/2007/03/21/tagg ed-brilliant-use-of-spam-to-grow-%E2%80%A6/"
Patents

Submission + - Would you fight your own software patent?

ingo23 writes: Everybody knows that the Slashdot crowd just loves the software patents. If not the patents, what would you rant about? Now imagine this — at work you are developing a piece of some cool software. And one day your employer decides to file a patent for it naming you as an inventor. Would you gladly accept the honor or would you get on a soap box and stir up a little revolt against software patents?
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Open Source games for PS2?

One Salient Oversigh writes: "I'm just asking a question. Does anyone out there know of any open source games that can be burnt as an ISO onto a DVD and then run on a PS2? I know there's lots of people running PS2 emulators on their PCs, but this would actually be the reverse. Anyone?"
Programming

Submission + - Long Live BNF and Fortran - John Backus' passing

Super Dave Osbourne writes: "Its unfortunate we all must go on to other things, and in the case of computer language and systems pioneer John Backus's passing, to other languages in the sky. I grew up with Fortran, learning RatFor later, and finally moving to C and ObjC. However I still have a place in my heart for Fortran. I wonder how many people grew up with Fortran today, in the HTML, PHP, ASP, RubyOnRails world of wonder-kids coming up in the ranks. One thing is for sure, BNF will go down in my history books as one of the biggest contributions to computer languages ever."
Biotech

Submission + - Silencing brain activity with light

An anonymous reader writes: MIT scientists have figured out how to silence brain cells, simply using pulses of yellow light. This may offer a new, safe, way to treat treating Parkinson's, epilepsy, and psychosis — which are currently often treated through surgical removal of brain tissue. The paper was just published in a new Web 2.0 journal, PLoSONE, which allows any reader to comment on any paper. Check it out here.
Graphics

Submission + - Free Blender Course From Tufts University

An anonymous reader writes: Tufts OpenCourseWare is offering a free 3d modeling and animation course entitled 'Three-Dimensional Modeling, Animation and Rendering Using Blender 3D Software.' The course includes over 100 video tutorials in real media format and over 20 pdf tutorials. Just like MIT OpenCourseWare, all courses are free and there is no sign-up required.
Space

Submission + - SpaceX Celebrates Launch of Falcon 1

iamlucky13 writes: Barely under a year since a fuel leak doomed their first launch, upstart aerospace company SpaceX has cleared the ground a second time with their Falcon 1 rocket. The flight proceeded smoothly until a roll control issue caused premature engine shutdown and loss of telemetry at T plus 5:05. News is currently limited to brief mission status reports. Although the ultimate fate of the rocket and payload are unknown, the company appears pleased with preliminary performance indications. "We in the Washington, D.C. office are celebrating with champagne," said company VP Gwynne Shotwell. "We don't have any information yet from the launch control center, but the Falcon clearly got to space with a successful liftoff, stage separation, second stage ignition and fairing separation."

The flight of the $7 million rocket was to demonstrate its capabilities for DARPA and included two NASA experiments. CEO Elon Musk noted many improvements had been made since the first launch attempt, and has cited similar challenges in the development of other rocket systems. A launch attempt yesterday was scrubbed to resolve telemetry issues with just 62 seconds left. Today's countdown was kept exciting by an automated abort after engine ignition due to marginal chamber pressure. The countdown was restarted after refueling the rocket, with launch at 01:10 GMT from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Stallman to step down as Emacs maintainer

davids-world.com writes: "Richard Stallman is planning to step down as head maintainer of the GNU Emacs project. In an e-mail to fellow Emacs developers, he today asked for candidates to succeed him. RMS wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor in 1975 at MIT's AI Lab. Seen by many as the founder and chief advocate of the free software movement, Stallman has also been actively involved in Emacs' development. GNU Emacs 22, due soon, will be the first major release of the editor since 2001."

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