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Government

NSA Adds Kahn Collection To Cryptologic Museum 34

Hugh Pickens writes "The Baltimore Sun reports that as recently as the late 1960s, the very existence of the National Security Agency was a closely held secret until a New York newspaper reporter named David Kahn published The Codebreakers, a 1,200-page blockbuster that would establish Kahn as the world's leading expert on the history of cryptology, the art and science of making and breaking codes. 'According to my editor, the NSA director flew up to New York to say it would be dangerous to national security, and unpatriotic, to publish it,' says Kahn. Fast forward 43 years and now the NSA has announced it has added the David Kahn Collection to the library of its public anteroom, the National Cryptologic Museum — complete with more than 130,000 pages of original interview notes and 2,800 books. 'For those who care about cryptology — what it is, how it works, where it fits into world history and culture — at some point, [they'd] want to look at the Kahn collection,' says curator Patrick Weadon. 'It's an eclectic cornucopia of all things cryptological.'"
Transportation

Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life 486

scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."
Power

Tapping Solar Wind's Renewable Energy 277

A few folks noted a story making the rounds about the huge energy potential just blowing past the planet in the form of solar wind. This research involves putting a satellite into orbit with a thousand-meter cable and a 5,000-mile sail to generate more power than the earth currently uses.
Sci-Fi

Sunshine Writer Joins Logan's Run Remake 216

bowman9991 writes "Remember to check your palm to ensure that your crystal hasn't gone black. If it has, you better start running. The 1976 science fiction classic Logan's Run, starring Michael York, is being remade in 3-D with British writer Alex Garland now onboard to write the screenplay. Garland's film Sunshine, directed by Danny Boyle, was one of the stand-out science fiction films of the last decade, and he wrote the screenplays for Leonardo DiCaprio's The Beach (based on Garland's own novel) and the science fiction horror 28 Days Later (a massive adrenaline rush of a movie). This should give first-time director Carl Rinsch some great material to work with — a great premise meets a great writer."
Space

Jupiter Is Missing a Belt 187

mbone writes "Jupiter just went through Superior Conjunction (i.e., went behind the Sun as seen from the Earth), so it has been out of view for a while. Now that it has returned, it is different — the South Equatorial Belt (SEB) is missing. The SEB has about 10 times the surface area of the Earth, so this is not a small change. Here are a series of photos of Jupiter's new look. The Great Red Spot typically inhabits the southern border of the SEB, but it doesn't seem to be affected by the change. It's a pity that this happened at Superior Conjunction, and that there is no satellite in Jupiter orbit, so details of the change are largely missing. The SEB has previously gone missing in 1973 and 1990. Since no one really knows what makes the Jovian belts, no one knows why they disappear either. If the belts are really just material from deeper layers coming to the surface, it is possible that the convection has stopped for some reason, or that high-altitude clouds have covered it over."
Image

Handling Money Brings Pain Relief Screenshot-sm 103

Psychologists at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management have found that handling money can alleviate both physical and emotional pain. In one experiment, test subjects were found to feel less pain when their hands were dipped into scalding water after counting money. Lead author Kathleen Vohs said, "When people are reminded of money in a subtle manner by counting out hard currency, they experience painful situations as being not very painful. You could think about being able to charge yourself up before you encounter pain. When I used to run marathons, I would've maybe wanted to be reminded of money first."
Programming

"Logan's Run" Syndrome In Programming 599

Ian Lamont writes "InfoWorld has an interesting analysis of the reasons behind the relative dearth of programmers over the age of 40. While some people may assume that the recession has provided a handy cover for age discrimination, a closer look suggests that it's the nature of IT itself to push its elderly workers out, in what the article describes as a 'Logan's Run'-like marketplace. A bunch of factors are listed as reasons, including management's misunderstanding of the ways in which developers work: 'Any developer can tell you that not all C or PHP or Java programmers are created equal; some are vastly more productive or creative. However, unless or until there is a way to explicitly demonstrate the productivity differential between a good programmer and a mediocre one, inexperienced or nontechnical hiring managers tend to look at resumes with an eye for youth, under the "more bang for the buck" theory. Cheaper young 'uns will work longer hours and produce more code. The very concept of viewing experience as an asset for raising productivity is a non-factor — much to the detriment of the developer workplace.'"
Input Devices

How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class? 823

AdmiralXyz writes "I'm a university student, and I like to take notes on my (non-tablet) computer whenever possible, so it's easier to sort, categorize, and search through them later. Trouble is, I'm going into higher and higher math classes, and typing "f_X(x) = integral(-infinity, infinity, f(x,y) dy)" just isn't cutting it anymore: I need a way to get real-looking equations into my notes. I'm not particular about the details, the only requirement is that I need to keep up with the lecture, so it has to be fast, fast, fast. Straight LaTeX is way too slow, and Microsoft's Equation Editor isn't even worth mentioning. The platform is not a concern (I'm on a MacBook Pro and can run either Windows or Ubuntu in a virtual box if need be), but the less of a hit to battery life, the better. I've looked at several dedicated equation editing programs, but none of them, or their reviews, make any mention of speed. I've even thought about investing in a low-end Wacom tablet (does anyone know if there are ultra-cheap graphics tablets designed for non-artists?), but I figured I'd see if anyone at Slashdot has a better solution."
Android

Google Serves a Cease-and-Desist On Android Modder 336

Several readers sent in word that Google has served a Cease and Desist order to Cyanogen, one of the most prolific Android modders: his CyanogenMod is enjoyed by 30,000 users. The move is puzzling. Gizmodo wonders what Google's game is, and Lauren Weinstein calls the move "not of the high 'Googley' caliber" that one would expect of the company.
Patents

IBM Uses Call-Detail Records To Identify "Friends" 116

theodp writes "Big Blue may know what you did last summer. Or at least who you called. In a move out of the NSA's playbook, IBM Research has been scrutinizing the call-detail records of 'one of the largest mobile operators in the world' (PDF). By analyzing who calls whom, and for how long, IBM claims its patent-pending snooping software can now identify circles of 'friends' who tend to exhibit the same profit-threatening behavior. 'We believe that our analysis is a first of its kind that exploits the underlying social network in a telecom call graph,' boasted a team of IBM researchers and a UMD prof. For now, IBM seems to have focused on using the info to see if your friends are churners, so you can be dealt with pro-actively lest you follow their lead and bolt. However, IBM suggests its SNAzzy data mining technology (Social Network Analysis for Telecom Business Intelligence) has a bright future, noting it 'is also capable of analyzing any kind of social network or graph, not just telecom networks.'"
Medicine

Are Women Getting More Beautiful? 834

FelxH writes "Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors. The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern." I just thought my standards were changing as I got older, but it turns out it's just science!
Image

Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy Screenshot-sm 1376

An anonymous reader writes "Another European country clamps down on free speech. From the article: 'It does seem bizarre that, in 2009, a modern European nation would seek to shield religious belief from criticism — yet that is what is happening in Ireland right now. In repealing the 1961 Defamation Act, the Irish government sought to expunge the worst excesses of Ireland's draconian laws restricting free speech, but in the process it has ended up making offending religious belief a criminal offence. Aside from a 25,000 fine (reduced from the 100,000 originally sought by the government), the new Defamation Act gives the authorities the power to stage raids on publishers: the courts may now issue a warrant authorising the police to enter, using "reasonable force," premises where they have grounds for believing there are copies of "blasphemous statements."'"
Image

Lawyer Offers $1M For Proof His Client Could Have Done It; Oops Screenshot-sm 362

A Florida attorney, Cheney Mason, made the mistake of offering a million dollars on a TV show to anyone who could prove that his client, Nelson Ivan Serrano, was able to travel across two states and kill four people in the time that prosecutors had alleged. Having a lot of free time, South Texas College of Law graduate Dustin Kolodziej decided to take Mason up on his dare. Dustin traveled the route prosecutors say Serrano took, completed the trip under the time allowed, and videotaped the whole process. He is now suing Mason in the federal district court — because the attorney doesn't want to pay, saying that his statement was just a joke.

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