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NASA

Submission + - Satellites pick up distortion of space-time (sciencedaily.com)

Lucas123 writes: "Two X-ray satellites have picked up a distortion of the space-time continuum around three super-dense neutron stars, lending additional credence to Einstein's prediction in his theory of relativity. A similar rippling effect on the fabric of space has been seen around black holes, but this is the first time the phenomenon has been seen around a neutron star. 'It shows that the way neutron stars accrete matter is not very different from that of black holes, and it gives us a new tool to probe Einstein's theory," says NASA Goddard Space Center scientist Tod Strohmayer."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft coup against iso standards body (www.idg.se)

bytewize writes: "Today the iso standards body here in Sweden has accepted ooxml as a standard. It seems that a number of Microsoft partners joined the body just before the vote and managed to swing the vote in Microsoft's faviour. IBM walked out and refused to vote. If this is what we can expect in the future then the iso standards body might just as well pack up and close shop. Nobody should be able to buy acceptance of a standard. It should become a standard based entirely on its own merits."
Space

Submission + - Lunar Eclipse Next Tuesday Morning (space.com)

Raver32 writes: "Tuesday morning, Aug. 28 brings us the second total lunar eclipse of 2007. Those living in the Western Hemisphere and eastern Asia will be able to partake in at least some of this sky show. The very best viewing region for viewing this eclipse will fall across the Pacific Rim, including the West Coast of the United States and Canada, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand and eastern Australia. All these places will be able to see the complete eclipse from start to finish. Europeans will miss out on the entire show, as the Moon will be below the horizon during their mid and late morning hours."
Power

Submission + - Invasion of the jivin' nano-shrooms (arxivblog.com)

KentuckyFC writes: "A pendulum converts the constant force of gravity into an oscillation — a useful trick by anyone's standards. But nanotechnologists have yet to match it — they just haven't been able to build nano-oscillators. Now arxivblog.com reports that a group at the University of the Madison have made mushroom-shaped nanopillars that oscillate in a constant DC field, like metronomes."
Businesses

Submission + - How SBC (AT&T) pillaged South Africa's economy (busrep.co.za)

Kifoth writes: For 8 years, SBC and Telekom Malaysia controlled South Africa's only telecommunications company, Telkom. Telkom had a government granted monopoly in order for it to connect the large parts of South Africa which had been neglected under apartheid. Instead of helping, SBC abused their position and raised Telkom's prices to amongst the highest in the world. The billions they made here ultimately went to fund their AT&T merger.

"SBC, described as "congenitally litigious", is said to have played a major role in the failure of South Africa's telecoms policy to develop a competitive telephone service. Under SBC's control Telkom not only failed to meet its roll-out obligations but behaved "as a tax on industry and a drag on economic growth"."

Space

Rare Lone Neutron Star Found Nearby 37

F4_W_weasel sends us to the BBC for news of the eighth lone neutron star ever discovered. It has no associated supernova remnant, binary companion, or radio pulsations. It's in our stellar neighborhood, at most 1,000 light years away. The object emits all its radiation (as far as wa can detect with current instruments) in X rays. The object is called Calvera, after the bad guy in The Magnificent Seven — which is itself the collective nickname for the seven such objects previously known.
Security

Submission + - Low-tech busts for high-tech identity thieves (blorge.com)

destinyland writes: "Identity theft victims struck back — thwarting crimes caused by faulty security at someone else's bureaucracy, and beating high-tech crooks with low-tech solutions. One thief used stolen driver's license hologram technology to create a duplicate ID — but then was spotted by her victim in line at a Starbucks, who chased her on foot for 45 minutes until the police arrived. Another victim noticed an unauthorized hotel registration on her card — and sent the police to the hotel. The police found the crooks using a laptop they'd stolen from Bayer Corporation to do genealogical research on at least 40 different identities, plus credit reports they'd obtained from dumpster diving. (The "Starbucks" thief actually obtained her target's information after the master keys for the neighborhood's mailboxes were stolen, and according to the victim's blog, the postal service refused to replace the keys!)"
Censorship

Submission + - Nuclear Info Kept Secret From Public and Congress

Thermite writes: On March 6, 2006 an accident occured at Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, Tennessee. According to reports almost 9 gallons of highly enriched uranium in solution spilled and almost went into a chain reaction. Before the accident in 2004 the NRC and The Office of Naval Reactors had changed the terms of Nuclear Fuels license so that any correspondence with Nuclear Fuel Services would be marked "official use only". From the article: 'While reviewing the commission's public Web page in 2004, the Department of Energy's Office of Naval Reactors found what it considered protected information about Nuclear Fuel Service's work for the Navy.' The result was that the public and Congress were both left in the dark for 13 months regarding this and other issues at the facility.
Quickies

Submission + - New FingerprintingTechnique to Reveal Race and Sex (telegraph.co.uk) 1

Tech.Luver writes: "Telegraph reports, " A new fingerprinting technique that can identify the race and sex, and possibly the diet of suspects has been developed. Scientists have shown that using a gelatine-based gel and high-tech chemical analysis can provide significant clues to a person?s identity even if police do not hold existing fingerprint records. ""
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Futurama Movie Set for November 27th (tvsquad.com)

kevin_conaway writes: "TV Squad informs us that the new Futurama movie will be available on November 27th. The show will return as a full-length high-def film sold on DVD. It will be followed by three additional films, and each film will be divided into four episodes each to be aired on Comedy Central. So, that's 4 DVD movies or 16 new episodes depending on how you look at it."
Power

Submission + - Turn The Deserts Green by Killing Desal Costs (wordpress.com)

cakilmer writes: "I visited the Annual American Membrane Technology Association meeting in Las Vegas last week. These membranes support water desalination. 15 or 20 new plants are in planning stage to be built along coastal California. But there's no new water sources for the southwest. People are still streaming in and the big Hoover dam is half full and falling. What to do? The answer is to invest the money to collapse the cost of water desalination and transport so water in the western deserts is as cheap as water on the East Coast. Is this doable? You bet."
Quickies

Submission + - Russia hopes to win back the North Pole

mernil writes: "Santa Claus might soon be a Russian citizen. At least, that is the hope of well-known Arctic explorer Artur Chilingarov, who will lead Arctic 2007, one of the biggest expeditions in the history of polar research. [...] Chilingarov acknowledges the expedition's geopolitical goal: "We want to prove that Russia is a great polar power." A titanium capsule with the Russian flag will be dropped to the bottom as evidence of this. In other words, Russia will publicly stake its claim to the North Pole."

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