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The Internet

Handling Flash Crowds From Your Garage 74

slashdotmsiriv writes "This paper from Microsoft Research describes the issues and tradeoffs a typical garage innovator encounters when building low-cost, scalable Internet services. The paper is a more formal analysis of the problems encountered and solutions employed a few months back when Animoto, with its new Facebook app, had to scale by a factor of 10 in 3 days. In addition, the article offers an overview of the current state of utility computing (S3, EC2, etc.) and of the most common strategies for building scalable Internet services."
The Courts

Hans Reiser Leads Police To Nina's Body 1523

jlmcgraw was the first to alert us that Hans Reiser has led police to the location in the Oakland Hills where he buried the body of his wife Nina. (We discussed the rumor that he would do so last month.) SFGate.com reports that remains were recovered but have not yet been identified. Reiser is to be sentenced on Wednesday. CBS5 claims that Reiser made a deal for a reduced sentence, to 15 years, in exchange for revealing the body.

Learn a Foreign Language As an Engineer? 1021

Ben B writes "I'm working on an undergraduate degree in computer engineering in the US, and I'm a native English-speaking citizen. In fact, English is the only language that I know. Maybe it's not the same at other schools, but for the engineering program at mine, a foreign language is not required. If my plans are to one day be involved in research, is it worth my time to learn a foreign language? If so, which one?" Learning something new is almost never a waste of time, but how much energy have others found worthwhile to expend with all of the programming/math/tech type courses to be had at a large university?
The Courts

User Charged With Felony For Using Fake Name On MySpace 931

Recently a user, Lori Drew, was charged with a felony for the heinous crime of pretending to be someone else on the Internet. Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Lori was charged for signing up for MySpace using a fake name. "The access to MySpace was unauthorized because using a fake name violated the terms of service. The information from a "protected computer" was the profiles of other MySpace users. If this is found to be a valid interpretation of the law, it's really quite frightening. If you violate the Terms of Service of a website, you can be charged with hacking. That's an astounding concept. Does this mean that everyone who uses Bugmenot could be prosecuted? Also, this isn't a minor crime, it's a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment per count. In Drew's case she was charged with three counts for accessing MySpace on three different occasions."

Submission + - Firefox 3 Antiphishing sends your URLs to Google 1

iritant writes: "As we were discussing, Gran Paradiso or the latest version of Firefox, is nearing release. Gran Paradiso includes a form of malware protection that checks every URL against a known list of sites. It does so by sending each URL to Google. In other words, if people enable this feature, they get some malware protection, and Google gets a wealth of information about which sites are popular (or, for that matter, which sites should be checked for malware). Fair deal? Not to worry — the feature is disabled by default."

Submission + - RF Cure for Cancer? (wkyc.com)

jtabernik writes: "John Kanzius from Erie, PA claims to have a promising method of destroying tumors with nanotechnology and radio waves. Is this really possible? Wouldn't we have heard more about this if it was as promising as it seems? The story on Kanzius is pretty interesting — he is suffering from leukemia, so obviously he has a personal interest in the cure. Also, he is adamant about not selling out to someone who would not bring the idea to market."

Submission + - Vibrations on the Sun may 'shake' the Earth (newscientist.com)

mencomenco writes: "What do dropped mobile phone calls, mysterious signals in undersea communications cables, and tiny tremors on the Earth have in common? They are all caused by vibrations on the Sun, according to one team of scientists, reported in New Scientist. But other researchers question the claim, arguing that the pulsations may never escape the Sun's surface in the first place."

Submission + - CBC promises lots more robots in our future

grouchyDude writes: "CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, has a feature on consumer robots on their on-line edition today. It includes articles discussing the destiny and state of consumer robotics, as well as the need for investment in robotics research and the robotics industry to stay in competition. Their listing of both consumer robots and fictional robots is quite incomplete, but they get to most of the important ideas and issues in the multiple parts of the feature. It also covers bit on robot lore (i.e. notable robots from fiction) as well as a popular robotics quiz."

Submission + - Searching for The World's Tallest Trees with LIDAR

SoyChemist writes: The Save-the-Redwoods League is leading an effort to map all of Redwood National Park with light detection and ranging equipment. LIDAR simultaneously creates a 3D "point file" of the forest floor and canopy. Calculating tree heights is a simple matter of subtraction. Among other things, the maps will be used to locate immense redwood trees. Hyperion, the tallest known tree in the world, stands 378.1 feet tall and was recently discovered in that same park. The conservationists believe that they will find even taller trees. Wired is running a story that includes pictures and details about the twin-engine 1968 Aero Commander and the LIDAR equipment. Perhaps the coolest thing about this is that all of the map data will be released into the public domain.

Submission + - Source of Ancient Egypt's Gold Discovered? (livescience.com)

TheProspector writes: Archaeologists at Chicago's Oriental Institute have discovered what seems to be an ancient gold-processing and panning camp along the Nile River. It is thought to have been operated by the Kushites, and to have been the source of ancient Egypt's gold.

Submission + - SciTalks - The YouTube for Science Geeks (zeropaid.com)

Jared writes: "Billed as the "YouTube for Geeks," the YouTube-style site offers streaming science lectures. Segments range from a series of hour-long lectures by the late Richard Feynman, to a short, hilarious Ali G interview with Noam Chomsky, and a fascinating talk on designing a semiconductor-based brain, by up-and-coming Stanford researcher Kwabena Boahen. Users can also submit links to additional lectures to be listed on the site, search for upcoming science conferences, and even upload their own video content. "It's like crack for science geeks," says founder Lee Vodra.
http://www.zeropaid.com/news/8856/YouTube+for+Geek s+-+'SciTalks'+launches%2C+offers+streaming+scienc e+lectures"

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