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Space

Submission + - Houston, We Have a Drinking Problem (hughpickens.com)

Pcol writes: "Aviation Week reports that astronauts were allowed to fly on at least two occasions after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so intoxicated that they posed a flight-safety risk. A review panel, convened in the wake of the Lisa Nowak arrest to review astronaut medical and psychological screening, also reported "heavy use of alcohol" by astronauts before launch, within the standard 12-hour "bottle to throttle" rule applied to NASA flight crew members. Dr. Jonathan Clark, a former NASA flight surgeon, says it's a tradition for crew members to gather for a barbecue on the eve of a shuttle launch, and these gatherings sometimes include alcohol and a toast but that the greater problem is that preparation before a flight can leave astronauts sleep-deprived and overworked. Meanwhile at Frenchie's Italian Restaurant, a popular astronaut hangout in Houston, owner Frankie Camera disputed the reports. "The Mercury astronauts may have been a little more wild (than later ones) but I did banquets for them and never really saw any of them drink so much they were out of control or drunk.""
Censorship

Submission + - Global Warming Oppression Goes Both Ways (washingtontimes.com) 1

Reverend Darkness writes: "With all of the stories about climate change scientists being silenced by the Bush Administration comes an EPA investigation into a letter from the president of ACORE that threatens the career of a scientist who dares question the cause of climate change. From the article (in the Washington Times):

"It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar," Mr. Eckhart wrote. "If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on."

... and it's not the first time he's made such threats."

Microsoft

Submission + - Review roundup: Dumping Microsoft Office (computerworld.com)

SplatMan_DK writes: Computerworld is running an article about Microsofts dominance in the world of office suites, and pointing to strong alternatives for both Mac and Windows — even if you need MS Office compatibility. Under the title "Review roundup: Dumping Microsoft Office for an alternative suite" Ryan Faas and David Haskin explain that:

there are alternatives out there — all cheaper than Microsoft's standard, and a couple that are even free. We sorted through nine contenders, some for Mac and some for PC (and a couple for both), to find out the best non-Office office suites available.
The article contains a good analysis of 9 non-web Office products for the PC.

Upgrades

Submission + - Sixpack from sitting at the computer (twibright.com)

Clock writes: "The secret dream of all computer geeks has come true. Surfing the Internet can now have similar positive effect on bodily attractivity as surfing Waikiki or Malibu. Twibright Labs have developed Exciter, a cheap open source DIY exercise bike that is to be used while sitting at a computer. Running as a three-phase self-excited induction machine, it generates electricity to power the computer, the LCD screen or at least a desk lamp. This arrangement both saves time and provides additional motivation and fun in exercise. And if you tweak the excitation capacitors, you can draw over 500 volts!"
Spam

Submission + - Is eBay Now Completely Unusable?

An anonymous reader writes: I recently read an article about one person's experience trying to sell on eBay, which closely reflects my own. According to the author, eBay is now riddled with so much active fraud and spam that is has become impossible to sell anything or conduct business in any way. He suggests several ways eBay could fix the problem, none of which have yet been implemented. So I'd like to tap the Slashdot community and get more advice for how to make eBay usable for myself, and what else you think eBay should do to fix all their problems?
Biotech

Submission + - Americans Clueless About Cancer Risks (cancer.org)

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that a surprising number of Americans believe scientifically dubious claims concerning cancer, and that the groups with the greatest burden of cancer are the most likely to be misinformed. For example, the majority of survey respondents didn't think smoking was more likely to cause lung cancer than pollution — despite 87% of lung cancer cases being due to smoking. The most interesting finding was that people who described themselves as knowing the most about cancer were more likely to have false beliefs. Participants who labeled themselves as "very informed" about cancer were more likely to believe underwire bras cause breast cancer, or that quitting smoking did nothing to reduce cancer risks. The article abstract is availabe from the journal Cancer."
Biotech

Submission + - Nursing Home Cat Can Sense Death (yahoo.com) 1

Raver32 writes: "When Oscar the Cat visits residents of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, the staff jump into action — Oscar can sense within hours when someone is about to die. In his two years living in Steere's end-stage dementia unit, Oscar has been at the bedside of more than 25 residents shortly before they died, according to Dr. David Dosa of Brown University in Providence. He wrote about Oscar in the New England Journal of Medicine. "It's not that the cat is consistently there first," Dr. Joan Teno, a professor of community health at Brown University, who sees patients in the unit. "But the cat always does manage to make an appearance, and it always seems to be in the last two hours.""
Microsoft

Submission + - Confustion over Vista cause of most support calls (arstechnica.com)

harsha_c writes: Support.com, a "Instant Technology Relief" support website that opened its doors to troubled techies in June, has released survey results from its first month of business. The number one reason for support calls? Vista questions.From a pool of 1,000 users that inquired about technical help, 77 percent needed help with Vista. Of those inquiring about Vista, 30 percent needed help navigating around Vista's new Aero user interface. According to Anthony Rodio, the chief marketing director of support.com, the three main issues were navigation problems, device incompatibility, and home networking issues. Consumers are having a hard time with Aero because of the changes between Vista and the Windows 2000 and XP user interfaces. Support.com customers were also complaining about device issues, which were mostly attributed to outdated drivers that needed to be brought up to speed with Vista. Lastly, support.com customers complained about home networking issues in which Vista users were not able to see Windows XP computers connected to their home network.
Censorship

Submission + - Lynch law prevalent on Wikipedia 7

bheading writes: Recently a pal of mine logged into Wikipedia (where he has contributed many articles on Turkey, politics, amateur radio, and other matters over the past few years) to find that he'd been blocked as a sockpuppet — this despite the fact that he posts under his real name. So, he logged in at work to submit a request to be unblocked — and found that his work address was already blocked. He then submitted the request protesting his innocence as soon as he got home — but awoke the following morning to find that his home IP had also now been blocked as having been used by a sockpuppet. Then, Gerry blogged the matter to bring his problem to the attention of other friendly Netizens, others who weighted in to protest his innocence found themselves blocked as well. Further investigation has shown that the formal Wikipedia blocking process was not followed, leading to suspicions of political bias. Wikipedia's getting to be a rough place if you can be silenced for your political views, then silenced automatically for merely attempting to protest that decision — and then your friends get silenced for coming to your aid. Have any other Slashdotters encountered problems like this lately ?
Biotech

Submission + - Iraq vet gets bionic hand

mcgrew writes: "CNN is carrying a report about a new prosthetic device, called an 'i-LIMB', that user Sgt. Juan Arredondo, who lost his real hand in Iraq, likens to the robotic bionics in 'Star Wars' and 'Terminator'. 'My son, he goes nuts about it,' the Sergent said.

'To have this movement, it's — it's amazing,' Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics. 'It just gets me more excited about now, about the future.'

Five individual motors power the fingers, allowing the person to grasp round objects. The hand's gestures are made possible through electrode plates that detect electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb.
And I thought my eye implant was cool! Welcome to the 21st century!"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - The seven habits of highly subversive people (blogspot.com)

frank_adrian314159 writes: "Tired of the repression in the US? Want to fight "da man"? Want to be a subversive? A person who grew up in an authoritarian regime tells you how to do it in seven simple habits. Although couched in language of ecological concern Amanda Kovattana gives everyone who wants to get off their butts and make a difference a good set of guidelines."
Power

Submission + - Compressed Air Car

FridayBob writes: Yesterday, a Belgian newspaper published this article (translation) about a new car that runs on nothing but compressed air. Apparently, it can run for about 200km on a tank of air filled up to a pressure of 300 bar (4351 psi). Special filling stations can refill an empty tank in only 3 minutes, but the car can also refill itself in six hours using an electrical outlet and its own on-board compressor. The car was developed by MDI (lots of info), a company set up by French engineer, Guy Nègre (ex-Formula One), that makes its money by selling patents and manufacturing licenses. It will become available in Belgium some time next year for a minimum price of only EUR 4,000 ($5,402). The Indian company, Tata, have also bought a manufacturing license and plan to sell a model for as little as EUR 1,835 ($2,478). This Wikipedia article has some interesting information regarding the air engine. Until a good enough battery appears with which to run an electric car, this seems like an excellent solution.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Eben Moglen: Global Software Industry Post-GPL3

Dan Shearer writes: "Three days before GPLv3 was released, Eben Moglen delivered the annual lecture of The Scottish Society of Computers and Law in Edinburgh, Scotland giving his thoughts on The Global Software Industry in Transformation: After GPLv3. The text transcription, audio and 384kbit video are up at archive.org. Eben looks back at the "legislative action" achieved by the GPLv3 community over the last 18 months, and also from the 22nd century. A riveting presentation for all present."

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