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NASA

Start Saving To Buy Your Space Shuttle Now 197

stoolpigeon writes "With the retirement of the shuttle drawing near, NASA has begun to plan for museums that may want a used orbiter of their own. The Orlando Sentinel reports that NASA issued an RFI to US educational institutions, science museums and other organizations to see if they would be interested in the orbiter while also able to cover the estimated $42 million cost of 'safeing' the shuttle and transporting it."

Comment John Scalzi on why it won't work (Score 1) 370

John Scalzi wrote a hilarious exchange on his blog the sums up perfectly why this idea is made of fail:

Sony BMG spokesperson: We're pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

Kid #1: Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

Kid #2: Or, I could just scratch off the back at the store, record the pin number, go home and download the album through a Tor connection, so you can't trace my IP number.

Kid #1: Also, what's with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?
There's much more, but I didn't want to jack his entire post.
Republicans

Submission + - GOP Witnesses Power of On-Line Campaigning

DeathPenguin writes: GOP underdog Ron Paul awed supporters and opponents alike on November 5th with by far the most successful mass donation drive of this election cycle racking up a total of $3.8M in a single day — and the number keeps growing. With a campaign largely powered by bloggers, Youtubers, websites such as http://www.thisnovember5th.com/ and other on-line activists, the 72-year old pro-small-government congressman and former career doctor continues to bring in much needed funding and support in the face of much better funded rivals. Could this large amount of cash indicate a large disconnect between mainstream media's polling numbers and actual support for Dr. Paul?

The most successful day still belongs to John Kerry who raised $5.7 million the day he accepted the Democratic nomination. Also, check out http://www.ronpaulgraphs.com/ to track the Paul campaign's fundraising progress throughout the year.
Google

Submission + - The Google Phone is a Reality.

MrCrassic writes: "It appears that Google is initiating talks with well-known PDA/smartphone manufacturer HTC to make the Google phone a reality. With impressive tech specs and an already impressive concept underway , could Google be the next company to make a mark in the wireless device industry? From the main article:

However, a recent report by CrunchGear states that its own sources at mobile handset provider HTC have tipped the site off to multiple gPhone handsets being prepped for launch in the first quarter of 2008 and that the handsets will be coming out of Taiwan. There will supposedly be over 20 different handsets to choose from — some with GPS — and they will carry special versions of Google Maps, Google Calendar, Gmail, and VoIP-enabled Google Talk. Speaking of software, Google is rumored to be developing its own operating system for the gPhone. According to reports by Engadget, the OS has been in development since 2005 after Google's acquisition of a mobile software company called Android. The Android team has since developed a Linux-based mobile OS while at Google — a detail that is corroborated by the CrunchGear report — which of course comes with tight Google integration. Both sites appear to agree that their sources indicate Google isn't currently looking to develop the hardware... for now.
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Sci-Fi

Simon Pegg to Play Scotty 233

In response to yesterday's casting news about Chris Pine possibly taking the captain's chair for the new Star Trek movie, apparently Simon Pegg will be playing the role of Scotty. Simon Pegg is known for his role as Shaun in Shaun of the Dead and more recently for his leading role in Hot Fuzz. "Pegg joins Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and Zachary Quinto as Spock in the film which reportedly, and logically, 'chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew.' Leonard Nimoy will also put in an appearance, while Eric Bana signed up this week as the movie's villain, Nero."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Confronting pseudoscience in advertising

The Scientist reports that UK group Sense About Science is confronting advertisers about pseudoscientific claims in health products such as "Aerobic Oxygen," "Salt Lamps," and "Activ8." They called the advertisers' customer service numbers and grilled the unfortunates on the other end of the phone about their misuse of scientific language to sell products. The project,

Comment Re:Why not EFI? (Score 2, Insightful) 235

EFI is a specification, not an implementation, where the core pieces are still controlled (And _never_ opened up) by vendors and is usually still a big wad of real mode assembly that nobody wants to touch. There is no 100% open-source EFI-compliant BIOS implementation. The specification alone for EFI is over 1,000 pages.

To top it all off, to even begin development on stuff like Tianocore you need to agree to draconian licensing terms such as: "You acknowledge and agree that You will not, directly or indirectly: (i) reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to discover the underlying source code or underlying ideas or algorithms of the Software; (ii) modify, translate, or create derivative works based on the Software; (iii) rent, lease, distribute, sell, resell or assign, or otherwise transfer rights to the Software; or (iv) remove any proprietary notices in the Software." ( https://www.tianocore.org/nonav/servlets/LegalNotices?type=TermsOfService ).

So I guess your question is sort of like asking why people don't like to use proprietary drivers, even though there are some out there that work very well. The nice thing about Macs is that Apple seems to have went out of their way to make EFI invisible to the user. I don't trust that this will happen on most other pieces of hardware. The BIOS belongs out of the way, IMHO.
IBM

Chicago Developing 'Suspicious Behavior' Monitoring System 294

narramissic writes "Over the past few years, Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has been blanketing the city with a network of thousands of video cameras in an effort to remotely keep track of emergencies in real time. Now, with the help of IBM, the network is getting some smarts. IBM software will analyze the video and ultimately 'recognize suspicious behavior,' says OEMC spokesman Kevin Smith. 'The challenge is going to be teaching computers to recognize the suspicious behavior,' said Smith. 'Once this is done this will be a very impressive city in terms of public safety.'"
The Courts

SCO Blames Linux For Bankruptcy Filing 321

Stony Stevenson writes "SCO Group CEO Darl McBride is now claiming that competition from Linux was behind the company's filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 'In a court filing in support of SCO's bankruptcy petition, McBride noted that SCO's sales of Unix-based products "have been declining over the past several years." The slump, McBride said, "has been primarily attributable to significant competition from alternative operating systems, including Linux." McBride listed IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems as distributors of Linux or other software that is "aggressively taking market share away from Unix.""
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Apple May Track IPod Thieves & You (msn.com)

Ryan N. Kamfolt - ClickAway writes: "Apple may begin implementing software in its I-Tunes suite to track serial numbers of I-Pods and compare them to a stolen I-Pod database. Due to the worlds most successful and popular product being on the #1 most stolen items list. This may alert the local police to come knocking on your door, if "Your" I-Pod is in question. Weather it be stolen or legit, people are not taking this to heart kindly at all. With the right to privacy walls closing in on us ever so fast, this seems to be another push to take our privacy rights away even more, or is it? Those who have had their I-Pods stolen love the idea. Others are not so happy about the idea. Some privacy right advocates have suggested implementing I-Pods or I-Phones with owner ID verification, such as a password or other forms of verification that must be entered into the devices before they will take a charge or allow you to place songs on the device. Or offer a service that is apart of Apple iCare, which allows users who feel they may become a victim of theft, to join this database, to further protect them in the even their I-Pod is stolen."
Privacy

Submission + - Unencrypted passwords at "secure" sites 1

linear a writes: I've noticed that quite a few web sites do *not* encrypt user passwords. I've gotten into the habit of hitting the "email me my password" from them to see what happens. So far I've found maybe 6 that must store passwords in clear since they were able to return the original password back to me. Clearly this is Bad Security Practice. Also, I've had notably bad progress when I ask them to fix this practice. Some of these are sites one would clearly expect to have better security (e.g., a software vendor and an online bank). Do you have thoughts on how to better encourage better password practice at these places? Also, is this is really as common as it seems to be for me?
Privacy

Submission + - Do Not Call Registry gets wake-up call (networkworld.com) 2

coondoggie writes: "If you signed up for the federal or your state's Do Not Call Registry a few years ago, you might want to thing about refreshing it. Pennsylvanians this week got a wake up call, so to speak from the state's Attorney General Tom Corbett who kicked off a public awareness campaign designed to remind people what many have forgotten or never knew — that the 2002 law set registrations to expire after five years. That is of course unless you want to start hearing from those telemarketers as you sit down to dinner. Corbett said about 2 million people signed up in the immediate aftermath of the law taking effect and those who do not act by Sept. 15 will have their numbers dropped from the registry on Nov. 1. The Pennsylvania action is a reminder that the National Do Not Call Registry has a five year life span as well. The Federal Trade Commission is set to being a nation campaign in Spring 2008 to remind all US citizens to refresh their federal Do Not Call Registry standing. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/18066"

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