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Comment 2/129? (Score 1) 193

Interesting that we're not counting Columbia as a "launch" disaster. The foam that broke off and hit the orbiter wing happened on launch, so in my mind we're at 2/129, not 1/129. That particular failure mode is directly attributable to the questionable decision to mount the orbiter to the side of the stack, rather than on top: switching back to the "astronauts at the top of the stack" seems like a clear way to remove a bunch of that type of failure modes.

Social Networks

Facebook Scrambles To Contain ToS Fallout 409

Ian Lamont writes "Anger over Facebook's ToS update has forced the company to scramble. Yesterday, a spokesman released a statement that said Facebook has never 'claimed ownership of material that users upload,' and is trying to be more open to users about how their data is being handled. Mark Zuckerberg has also weighed in, stating 'we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want.' Facebook members are skeptical, however — protests have sprung up on blogs, message boards, and a new Facebook group called 'People Against the new Terms of Service' that has added more than 10,000 members today."
Windows

Windows 7 To Come In Multiple Versions 821

Crazy Taco writes "Tom's Hardware reports on newly discovered screenshots that reveal Microsoft is planning to release their newest version of Windows in multiple confusing versions ... again. The information comes from the latest version of the Windows 7 beta, build 7025 (the public beta is build 7000), and shows a screen during installation that asks the user which version of the OS he or she would like to install. Who's up for guessing what the difference is between Windows 7 'Starter' and Windows 7 'Home Basic?'"
Mars

Mars Desert Research Station Simulates Mars Base 122

An anonymous reader writes "Placing humans on Mars will be an extraordinary feat in itself, not to mention even living in such a harsh environment. To help train future astronauts to sustain life on Mars, the Mars Society has created the Mars Desert Research Station. The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is one of four planned simulated Mars habitats (or Mars Analogue Research Station Programme) maintained by the Mars Society. Crews sign up for two week shifts during the winter months (it's too hot in the summer for pleasant simulation). Crews are not paid during their time at the station, but do get valuable experience."
Transportation

MIT and NASA Designing Silent Aircraft 176

Iddo Genuth writes "Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics recently won a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to design quieter, more energy efficient, and more environmentally friendly commercial airplanes. The two-million-dollar contract from NASA is just an initial step in bringing green technologies to the sky."
Businesses

Submission + - Amazon offers text message shopping (wired.com)

bevoblake writes: Striking fear into the hearts of brick and mortar stores everywhere: Amazon is now offering a text-message shopping system. According to Wired, "Amazon TextBuyIt, which launched late Tuesday, lets people text the name of a product, its description or its UPC or ISBN to 262966 (that's "Amazon" on the keypad) from anywhere their cell phones work — including from inside physical stores. If Amazon stocks matching items, the service returns two results at a time. Shoppers can immediately buy one of the first two the selections by texting back the number '1' or '2,' or they can ask for more by texting the letter 'M.'"

Does this mean I can stop trying to load Amazon's searches from my tiny cell phone browser when I comparison shop?

Education

Scientists' Success Or Failure Correlated With Beer 349

mernil sends in an article from the NYTimes that casts a glance at a study done in the Czech Republic (natch) on what divides the successful scientists from the duffers. "Ever since there have been scientists, there have been those who are wildly successful, publishing one well-received paper after another, and those who are not. And since nearly the same time, there have been scholars arguing over what makes the difference. What is it that turns one scientist into more of a Darwin and another into more of a dud? After years of argument over the roles of factors like genius, sex, and dumb luck, a new study shows that something entirely unexpected and considerably sudsier may be at play in determining the success or failure of scientists — beer."

Reznor Follows Radiohead, Offers Free Album 327

An anonymous reader writes "Convinced the current music business infrastructure (requiring artists to rely on labels) is broken, Nine Inch Nails front man, Trent Reznor, released his band's new album, Ghosts I — IV (Ghosts Volumes One though Four), on Sunday at 6 PM via his official site, marking yet another business experiment for this artist in the changing music market."
NASA

Radio Telescopes on Moon to Study Cosmic Dark Ages 118

The Narrative Fallacy brings news that NASA has awarded a $500,000 grant to develop plans for an array of radio telescopes to be located on the moon. The telescopes would be used to gather data from the earliest stars and galaxies, observations of which are difficult from Earth due to the ionosphere and terrestrial broadcasts. The grant was part of NASA's sponsoring of 19 "Next Generation Astronomy Missions." Quoting: "The Lunar Array for Radio Cosmology (LARC) project ... is planned as a huge array of hundreds of telescope modules designed to pick up very-low-frequency radio emissions. The array will cover an area of up to two square kilometers; the modules would be moved into place on the lunar surface by automated vehicles. The new lunar telescopes would add greatly to the capabilities of a low-frequency radio telescope array now under construction in Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet areas on Earth."
Data Storage

Submission + - DIY Data recovery. 1

jchillerup writes: "The other day my aunt came up to me, terrified because her hard drive was "not working". I inspected the drive and it was clearly a head crash, and to make matters worse it had been running for quite a while afterwards. I tried a commercial program for Windows, GetDataBack, but it wasn't able to recover anything.

I googled a bit to get tips and tricks on lo-fi data recovery methods and read that if you put the drive in the freezer, your chance of getting data out is hightened, so I did that. After all, nothing *bad* can happen to the drive in the freezer (right?).

I'm considering dd_rescue, but before taking the drive out of the freezer, I figured I'd better "Ask Slashdot". Professional data recovery is beyond the budget, unfortunately."
The Internet

Submission + - iPlayer is getting a "free ride" say UK I (last100.com)

mrspin writes: A story doing the rounds in a number of UK newspapers and blogs is that ISPs are increasingly worried about the BBC's iPlayer, which, were it to catch on, could place an "unacceptable" strain on their networks. The solution, says Tiscali chief executive, Mary Turner, is for the BBC to contribute to bandwidth costs. While other ISPs are talking about implementing 'packet shaping' as a way of penalizing iPlayer traffic so as to maintain speeds across the rest of the network. This result would be that, during peak times at least, the iPlayer could become painfully slow.
The Internet

Submission + - Search engine for reviews?

Custard writes: Is there a good search engine that only indexes review sites? Searching by model number on most engines gives a bazillion places to buy. I'm still making up my mind and Google isn't helping.
The Internet

Submission + - Australian crackdown on "internet predators (abc.net.au)

i-reek writes: The Australian ABC is carrying a story that the Prime Minister, John Howard , has announced his government will be extending its "internet safety scheme" with a view to "to detect, deter and investigate criminal behaviour, especially targeting online predators." The government has committed to provide internet filters to every Australian family through internet service providers who will have to provide a filtered service on request. The program also includes the setup of a family support hotline and internet safety officers to help schools and community groups. An extra $40 million has been pledged to expand the Australian Federal Police team responsible for online crime targeting children, bringing the total amount promised to be spent on the scheme to $189 million. The cynical might note that it is an election year, that no detail has been provided, or is scheduled to be provided, on how ISPs would filter services and that John Howard is noted for successful scaremongering before elections. Shame on the cynical.
United States

Submission + - Exploding-Metal Bombs Are 100% Destruction, 0% Fat (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The US military has developed a bomb that will blow up multiple times. First the warhead's explosive itself; then the shrapnel will detonate on contact with any surface. Each metal shard from the shell will blow up everything they touch instead of just ripping through metal or flesh, as you can see in this image of a recent Navy's test.

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