Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."
MikeChino writes "Right now it's difficult, if not impossible, to quickly detect HIV in patients living in impoverished countries. That may all change soon, though — researchers at a California outfit called the Palo Alto Research Center have built an iPod-sized handheld device that can provide an immune check-up in under 10 minutes — all with a prick of the finger. With millions of people around the world without access to a full-size laboratory, PARC's device could revolutionize the detection and treatment of HIV."
from the taking-care-of-business dept.
joabj writes "While MySQL is the subject of much high-profile wrangling between the EU and Oracle (and the MySQL creator himself), the MySQL developers have been quietly moving the widely-used database software forward. The new beta version of MySQL, the first publicly available, features such improvements as near-asynchronous replication and more options for partitioning. A new release model has been enacted as well, bequeathing this version the title of 'MySQL Server 5.5.0-m2.' Downloads here."
KentuckyFC writes "Nobel prize-winning physicist Gerard 't Hooft has joined the likes of computer scientists Stephen Wolfram and Ed Fredkin in claiming that the universe can be accurately modeled by cellular automata. The novel aspect of 't Hooft's model is that it allows quantum mechanics and, in particular, the spooky action at a distance known as entanglement to be deterministic. The idea that quantum mechanics is fundamentally deterministic is known as hidden variable theory but has been widely discounted by physicists because numerous experiments have shown its predictions to be wrong. But 't Hooft says his cellular automaton model is a new class of hidden variable theory that falls outside the remit of previous tests. However, he readily admits that the new model has serious shortcomings — it lacks some of the basic symmetries that our universe enjoys, such as rotational symmetry. However, 't Hooft adds that he is working on modifications that will make the model more realistic (abstract)."
Alejandro writes: The Application Security Trends Report identified 1,561 unique vulnerabilities during the first quarter of 2007. Of the reported vulnerabilities, file inclusion, SQL injection, cross-site scripting and directory traversal were the most prevalent, totaling 63 percent. While this report highlights the Top 10 vulnerabilities in commercial and open source applications, the problem is much worse if you factor in proprietary home grown applications, as these typically contain a large number of vulnerabilities.
produke writes: "Check out this article on the AskApache blog that lists the 14 best methods to make your web site load and render pages very fast. Up-to-date and accurate information with full sources."
JTT writes: There are multiplesitesreporting that in April a woman used craigslist to trade sex for WOW gold in order to purchase an 'Epic Flying Mount'. Aparent pictures of the craigslist ads can also be found floating around the net. The 'player' followed up with 'I got MY epic mount AND I got laid which is more than most of you failures can ever hope for.'
endtwist writes: Tapefailure, a new web analytics startup, has gone public yesterday. According to the founder, Tapefailure is looking to change the face of web analytics: they record the users actions instead of just information about them. These actions are recorded as tapes, and the users can play back the tapes or view various statistics about them. They have launched with a plethora of features including some unique ones such as "Most Average Tape" and the Visual Mouse Maps (apparently, many, many more are in the works).
This new method of analytics has been hot as of late, with 3 major contenders in the field: Tapefailure, RobotReplay, and ClickTale. Tapefailure and RobotReplay are the first to go public, but it will be interesting to see where this type of analytics goes.
Jon Corsiglia writes: "http://www.joiscience.org/Newsroom/Press_Releases/ ooi_awards_5_07.html
WASHINGTON -Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI), a consortium of leading U.S. oceanographic research institutions, has awarded multimillion dollar contracts to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the University of Washington (UW) to support the development and operations for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The OOI is a U.S. National Science Foundation investment to advance scientific understanding of the oceans, transforming research by establishing a network of interactive, globally distributed sensors in the ocean.
JOI President Steve Bohlen said, "Today is an exciting day for ocean science. Awarding these contracts marks the first step in transforming the way ocean science is conducted. Rather than relying on limited expeditions from ships to gather data, observatories in the ocean will allow us to access data from our labs and desktops. Through the OOI, real- time data will be made available to scientists, citizens, teachers, and schoolchildren across the country."
With National Science Foundation support, identified in the agency's FY2007 and FY2008 budget, the OOI will construct a networked infrastructure of science-driven sensor systems to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seafloor. The transformative OOI will provide continuous, interactive access to the ocean for the oceanographic research and education communities. The OOI's observatory elements will address science questions on coastal, regional, and global scales, linked by a common instrument, infrastructure, and information management system.
The award to UCSD is for the computer architecture or cyberinfrastructure (CI) portion of the OOI. Scripps Institution of Oceanography will lead the project while the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) will manage it and, together with Scripps and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), will build much of the cyberinfrastructure. The initial 6-year award is for $29 million, and total funding may reach more than $42 million over the course of the planned 11-year project.
"Routine, long-term measurement of ocean processes is crucial to continued growth in our understanding and predictive modeling of complex natural phenomena that are highly variable and span enormous scales in space and time," said John Orcutt, principal investigator on the CI project and Professor of Geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.
University of Washington was awarded the opportunity to begin leading one of the complex parts of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), to construct a cabled underwater research facility off the Oregon and Washington coastlines. The first year phase will focus on detailed engineering specifications to extend high-speed internet throughout the deep oceans. This underwater research facility will be the world's first robot-sensor network to span a tectonic plate.
"Today we are taking an important first step in fulfilling the vision that John Delaney and his many colleagues articulated more than 12 years ago. We are embarked upon a very ambitious project which will transform our understanding of the planet on which we live through a deeper understanding of the oceans. This is science at its grandest, and the University of Washington is an eager participant in this venture," said University of Washington President Emmert.
JOI presented the OOI Network's Conceptual Design, developed with input from the research community, in August 2006. A major focus of UW's contract will advance the conceptual planning documents toward JOI's development of the network's preliminary design and the OOI Network's Preliminary Design Review scheduled for late 2007.
"This new ocean observatory capability will provide novel and enduring ways to study the oceans. These new approaches are going to revolutionize not only how we humans look at oceans and the earth, but eventually — in the time of our children's children — the way we manage our entire planet," commented Professor John Delaney, with the School of Oceanography at University of Washington, Seattle.
Said Dr. Holly Given, program director for Ocean Observing activities at JOI, "signing these contracts is a major step toward realizing the dreams of the hundreds of oceanographers who have been planning the OOI Network for more than ten years. JOI welcomes UCSD and UW as partners in this challenge."
A final award for the coastal and global scale nodes of the OOI is expected in August 2007.
JOI is a consortium of 31 premier oceanographic research institutions that serves the U.S. scientific community through management of large-scale, global research programs in the fields of marine geology and geophysics and oceanography. Known for leadership of U.S. scientific ocean drilling and ocean observing initiatives, JOI has helped facilitate discovery and advance global understanding of the Earth and its oceans through effective systems engineering and program management.
portege00 writes: "I got up this morning thinking that I'd be able to play Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta on my day off because I purchased Crackdown. Guess not. Apparently Microsoft and Bungie really screwed up. While those that managed to secure a code through the rule of three program are happily playing away, the rest of us are left in the dark waiting without any answer as to when it will be available."
iBookUser writes: Apple refuses to acknowledge logic board soldering problems in many iBook G4s. This guide explains how to fix your iBook G4 if you are experiencing the "fan of death". Over a hundred people have posted that this hack has worked for them.
GoogleRuinedMyLife writes: "A team of US researches from Johns Hopkins University has observed some of the strongest evidence to date of the existence of Dark Matter in the universe (requires free registration).
From the article:
"A ring-shaped distribution of mass in a galaxy cluster five billion light-years from Earth is the strongest evidence yet for the existence of dark matter. This is the claim of physicists from the US and Europe, who have used data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to see how gravity is bending the light around the cluster. Unlike previous searches in other galaxy clusters, this would be the first time dark matter has been seen isolated in its own separate structure.""
from the solid-gold-stock-tips-buy-buy-buy dept.
drhamad writes "Apple stock dropped 2.2% today in mid-afternoon trading as Engadget published news based on a faked e-mail inside Apple. 'Apparently an internal memo was sent to several Apple employees--and forwarded to Engadget--around 9am CT today saying that Apple issued a press release with the news that the iPhone was now scheduled for October, and Leopard was delayed until January. About an hour and a half after that e-mail went out, a second e-mail was sent--this time officially from Apple--saying the first e-mail was a fake, and that the delivery schedule for the iPhone and Leopard had not changed.'"