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Submission + - Obama Plan Privatizes Astronaut Launchings (nytimes.com)

couchslug writes: President Obama will end NASA’s return mission to the moon and turn to private companies to launch astronauts into space when he unveils his budget request to Congress next week, an administration official said Thursday.The shift would “put NASA on a more sustainable and ambitious path to the future,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But the changes have angered some members of Congress, particularly from Texas, the location of the Johnson Space Center, and Florida, the location of the Kennedy Space Center.
“My biggest fear is that this amounts to a slow death of our nation’s human space flight program,” Representative Bill Posey, Republican of Florida, said in a statement.

Google

Submission + - Chrome Apes IE8, Adds Clickjacking, XSS Defenses (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: Google has announced that it added several new security features to Chrome 4, including two security measures first popularized (sone later shot down as having 'zero impact') by rival Microsoft's IE8 last year. The newest "stable" build of Chrome includes five security additions that target Web developers who want to build more secure sites, said Adam Barth, a software engineer on the Chrome team. The two aped from IE include "X-Frame-Options," a security feature that helps sites defend against "clickjacking" attacks, and cross-site scripting protection. "In Google Chrome 4, we've added an experimental feature to help mitigate one form of XSS [cross-site scripting], reflective XSS," Barth said. "The XSS filter checks whether a script that's about to run on a Web page is also present in the request that fetched that Web page. If the script is present in the request, that's a strong indication that the Web server might have been tricked into reflecting the script."
Games

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
Graphics

DX11 Tested Against DX9 With Dirt 2 Demo 201

MojoKid writes "The PC demo for Codemasters' upcoming DirectX 11 racing title, Dirt 2, has just hit the web and is available for download. Dirt 2 is a highly-anticipated racing sim that also happens to feature leading-edge graphic effects. In addition to a DirectX 9 code path, Dirt 2 also utilizes a number of DirectX 11 features, like hardware-tessellated dynamic water, an animated crowd and dynamic cloth effects, in addition to DirectCompute 11-accelerated high-definition ambient occlusion (HADO), full floating-point high dynamic range (HDR) lighting, and full-screen resolution post processing. Performance-wise, DX11 didn't take its toll as much as you'd expect this early on in its adoption cycle." Bit-tech also took a look at the graphical differences, arriving at this conclusion: "You'd need a seriously keen eye and brown paper envelope full of cash from one of the creators of Dirt 2 to notice any real difference between textures in the two versions of DirectX."
Businesses

Facebook Photos Lead To Cancellation of Quebec Woman's Insurance 645

No. 24601 writes "A Quebec woman on long-term sick leave, due to a diagnosis of depression, lost her health benefits after her insurance provider found photos of her on Facebook smiling and looking cheerful at parties and out on the beach. Besides all the obvious questions, how did the insurance company access her locked Facebook profile?"

Comment Re:Almost competing (Score 2, Insightful) 706

Windows has a handicap here in that sometimes it doesn't matter how experienced you are, the only way of fixing some stuff is with magic voodoo steps or a complete reinstall (under Linux, you usually can dig around enough to find the root cause and fix it).

I think the problem is that there is a big difference between "experienced" Linux users, and "experienced" Windows users. If people who think they were an "experienced" Windows user really were, they would know how to use various tools available to diagnose problems on Windows.

Mark Russinovich's blog contains many examples of how one can find the root cause of those odd problems using free tools.

Announcements

Submission + - Human sperm produced in the laboratory (bbc.co.uk) 1

duh P3rf3ss3r writes: The BBC is carrying a report from a team of researchers at Newcastle University who claim to have developed the first "artificial" human sperm from stem cells. The research, reported in the journal Stem Cells and Development involved selecting meristematic germ cells from a human embryonic stem cell culture and inducing meiosis, thus producing a haploid gamete. The authors claim that the resulting sperm are fully formed, mature, human sperm cells but the announcement has been greeted with mixed reaction from colleagues who claim the procedure is ethically questionable and that the gametes produced are of inferior levels of maturation.

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