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Earth

NASA Attempts To Assuage 2012 Fears 881

eldavojohn writes "The apocalyptic film 2012 has dominated the box office, taking in $65 million on opening weekend. But with all those uninformed eyeballs watching the film, NASA has found itself answering so many common questions that their Ask an Astrobiologist blog offers calming, professional reassurance that there is no planet Nibiru, nor will it collide with Earth (although I do recall a massive solar storm forecast). NASA's main site even offers a FAQ answering similar questions. NPR has more on NASA scientist David Morrison and his efforts to calm the ensuing public hysteria, but survivalists are already planning for the big one. Pretty funny, right? Not according to Morrison: 'I've had three from young people saying they were contemplating committing suicide. I've had two from women contemplating killing their children and themselves. I had one last week from a person who said, "I'm so scared, my only friend is my little dog. When should I put it to sleep so it won't suffer?" And I don't know how to answer those questions.'"
Data Storage

Cooling Bags Could Cut Server Cooling Costs By 93% 135

judgecorp writes "UK company Iceotope has launched liquid-cooling technology which it says surpasses what can be done with water or air-cooling and can cut data centre cooling costs by up to 93 percent. Announced at Supercomputing 2009 in Portland, Oregon, the 'modular Liquid-Immersion Cooled Server' technology wraps each server in a cool-bag-like device, which cools components inside a server, rather than cooling the whole data centre, or even a traditional 'hot aisle.' Earlier this year, IBM predicted that in ten years all data centre servers might be water-cooled." Adds reader 1sockchuck, "The Hot Aisle has additional photos and diagrams of the new system."
Music

"Three Strikes" To Go Ahead In Britain 294

David Gerard writes "Lord Peter Mandelson has carefully ignored the Gowers Report and the Carter Report, instead taking the advice of his good friend David Geffen and announcing that 'three strikes and you're out' will become law in Britain. The Open Rights Group has, of course, hit the roof. Oh, and never mind MI5 and the police pointing out that widespread encryption will become normal, hampering their efforts to keep up with little things like impending terrorist atrocities. Still, worth it to stop a few Lily Allen tracks being shared, right?"
Power

Laptop Fires On Airplanes 560

The risk posed by lithium batteries on airplanes is not exactly new news to this community; but the issue is starting to get wider exposure. Reader Maximum Prophet points out that as usual xkcd gets it right, and sends in an NY Times article calling the batteries a fire risk that clears security. "More than half of the 22 battery fires in the cabin of passenger planes since 1999 have been in the last three years. One air safety expert suggested that these devices might be 'the last unrestricted fire hazard' people can bring on airplanes."
Security

Time Warner Cable Modems Expose Users 185

eldavojohn writes "Wired is reporting on a simple hack putting some 65,000 customers at risk. The hack to gain administrative access to the cable modem/router combo is remarkably simple: '[David] Chen, founder of a software startup called Pip.io, said he was trying to help a friend change the settings on his cable modem and discovered that Time Warner had hidden administrative functions from its customers with Javascript code. By simply disabling Javascript in his browser, he was able to see those functions, which included a tool to dump the router's configuration file. That file, it turned out, included the administrative login and password in cleartext. Chen investigated and found the same login and password could access the admin panels for every router in the SMC8014 series on Time Warner's network — a grave vulnerability, given that the routers also expose their web interfaces to the public-facing internet.' If you use Time Warner's SMC8014 series cable modem/Wi-Fi router combo, watch for firmware to be released soon that they are reportedly in the process of testing."
Google

Google Partners With Twitter For Search 108

An anonymous reader writes "According to the Google blog, it has partnered up with Twitter to bring tweets into its search results in the next few months. While this is exciting news, how the feature is going to present itself is a huge question. Indiblogger presents a comprehensive list of how it should be. From the article, the points discussed are: relevance of tweets with the search term, twitter and Google advertising, even a Google-Twitter API."
Music

Singer In Grocery Store Ordered To Pay Royalties 645

yog writes "An assistant at a grocery store in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, was ordered by the Performing Right Society (PRS) to obtain a performer's license and to pay royalties because she was informally singing popular songs while stocking groceries. The PRS later backed down and apologized. This after the same store had turned off the radio after a warning from the PRS. We have entered an era where music is no longer an art for all to enjoy, but rather a form of private property that must be regulated and taxed like alcohol. 'Music to the ears' has become 'dollars in the bank'."
Google

Google Envisions 10 Million Servers 169

miller60 writes "Google never says how many servers are running in its data centers. But a recent presentation by a Google engineer shows that the company is preparing to manage as many as 10 million servers in the future. At this month's ACM conference on large-scale computing, Google's Jeff Dean said he's working on a storage and computation system called Spanner, which will automatically allocate resources across data centers, and be designed for a scale of 1 million to 10 million machines. One goal: to dynamically shift workloads to capture cheaper bandwidth and power. Dean's presentation (PDF) is online."

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