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Mozilla

IE Dropping, Now Near 70% In Europe 184

Kevin Spiritus lets us know that XiTi Monitor, a French Web survey institute, has published its browser barometer for July, and Internet Explorer continues to lose ground. "The ascension of Firefox continues... Nearly 28% average use rate in Europe in the beginning of July 2007, with a progression in the totality of the 32 European countries studied. Firefox doesn't loose ground in any of the countries."
Games

Your Mom And Gaming 76

Tomorrow is Mother's Day in the US, and Newsweek's N'Gai Croal rightly estimates that many gamers owe a lot to their mothers. Because they indulged what they likely initially saw as a strange choice of hobby, we have a thriving gaming industry to enjoy today. The Level Up site offers an interview with a woman on the Newsweek staff who learned to tolerate those 'console things', and another piece where N'Gai interviews his own mom about his games-related past. "N'Gai: Growing up, you allowed us kids to have a computer, but we weren't allowed to have a videogame machine. What was your thinking behind that? Yvonne Croal: Well, in my estimation at that time, videogames were just another silly game. We certainly didn't want you to be spending 24/7 playing these games that we considered not productive in any way." If you're still looking for a gift for your own mom, Pop Cap is giving away a free copy of Bejeweled to anyone that signs up for their newsletter. Worked on my mom. Happy Mother's Day.
The Media

Global Warming Endangered by Hot Air? 503

oldwindways writes "The BBC reports that leading climate researchers are concerned that the tone of speculation surrounding many reports (scientific as well as in the media) could be making it more difficult for legitimate science to make a case for the future. Is Hollywood to blame? Have we 'cried wolf' too many times with global warming? Or is this just a case of some researchers who are not ready to face the truth? Either way, it raises the interesting question of how greater public awareness of Global Warming might be affecting the course of research and vice versa. Not to mention what happens when public awareness is shaped by factors other than scientific findings. This is especially troubling during what some are calling the warmest US winter in years."
Space

New Mexico Might Declare Pluto a Planet 328

pease1 writes "Wired and others are reporting that for New Mexico, the fight for Pluto is not over. Seven months after the International Astronomical Union downgraded the distant heavenly body to a 'dwarf planet,' a state representative in New Mexico aims to give the snubbed world back some of its respect. State lawmakers will vote Tuesday on a bill that proposes that 'as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies, it be declared a planet.' The lawmaker who introduced the measure represents the county in which Clyde Tombaugh, Pluto's discoverer, was born. For many of us old timers, and those who had the honor of meeting Clyde, this just causes a belly laugh and is pure fun. Not to mention a bit of poking a stick in the eye."
Data Storage

Submission + - Google paper on disk reliability

oski4410 writes: The Google engineers just published a paper on Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population. Based on a study of 100,000 disk drives over 5 years they find some interesting stuff. To quote from the abstract:

"Our analysis identifies several parameters from the drive's self monitoring facility (SMART) that correlate highly with failures. Despite this high correlation, we conclude that models based on SMART parameters alone are unlikely to be useful for predicting individual drive failures. Surprisingly, we found that temperature and activity levels were much less correlated with drive failures than previously reported."
Privacy

VeriChip Implants 222 People With RFID 306

cnet-declan writes "Anyone remember VeriChip, a company that came up with the idea of implanting chips in humans for tracking them? They've been behind ideas like RFID tagging immigrant and guest workers at the border, and they've persuaded a former Bush Health Secretary to get himself chipped. In this CNET News.com article, we offer an update on how successful the idea has been. It turns out that, according to IPO documents, 222 people have been implanted, with sales revenue of $100,000."
Security

Submission + - Microsoft to host "secret" security meetin

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft will host a two-day security love-fest this Thursday and Friday at its Redmond campus. Among those scheduled to attend are reps from Symantec, Trend Micro and Websense, as well as folks from AOL, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Qwest. Government and law enforcement expected to attend include the FBI, Secret Service and US-CERT. Topics of discussion will include Microsoft's response to zero-day flaws, new styles of denial-of-service attacks, spam, phishing and weaknesses in protection technologies such as sandboxes and virtual keyboards on banking sites.
Google

Submission + - Google Auto-Suggests Social Security Number

Dotnaught writes: "In a story about Google's recent security lapse with its anti-phishing blacklist, InformationWeek reports some odd behavior from the Google Toolbar. "Entering two keywords related to Social Security numbers — call them 'x' and 'y' so as not to compound the problem — into the Google Toolbar will produce a keyword search suggestion in the form 'x y John Doe.' Selecting the suggested search terms and name, as might be expected, generates a search results page with the named person's Social Security number. A spokesperson for Google said the company's engineers didn't have an immediate explanation for the auto-generated suggestion, that it was probably an aberration and that the suggestion would likely be removed.""
Enlightenment

Submission + - Scientits Say Don't Ignore Geothermal

anthemaniac writes: Geothermal energy is overlooked as a cost-effective and clean supply of energy and could be the source of 10 percent of our electricity needs by 2050, MIT researchers say. From the article: 'Unlike conventional power plants that burn coal, natural gas or oil, no fuel is required. And unlike solar power, a geothermal plant draws energy night and day.' Declining oil prices in the mid-80s slowed interest in geothermal, but it's time to take another look, the researchers say.
Hardware

Pentium 4 631 Overclocked to 8 GHz 271

Andreas writes "There are always those who are willing to take things one step further than others. A group of guys known as OC Team Italy is one of them. They recently pushed an Intel Pentium 4 631 to over 8000MHz using an ASUS P5B with modified voltage regulation and liquid nitrogen. Overclocking is cool and all, but this extends beyond what some would perhaps call useful. Still a milestone though."
Television

Submission + - Food Network using subliminal advertising?

spoco2 writes: "Is the Food Network using subliminal advertising now? From the always interesting Something Awful forums comes this interesting nugget:

"I was sitting around waiting for Battlestar Galactica this evening watching Iron Chef America. I had seen the commercials for tonight's episode, and it looked neat so I set it up to record. Towards the end, when they're going over the iron chef and the challenger's entries a McDonalds logo popped up for a single frame."
There's a video of the offending portion."
Music

Submission + - Free music to college students

vindimy writes: news.com.com reports that
In one more attempt to counter music piracy, major music labels have agreed to support a service that will offer free music downloads — with some substantial restrictions — to any college student.
The service, from Ruckus Network, will be supported by advertising on its Web site and on the software used to download and play songs. The four major record labels and several independent labels have agreed to license their music to Ruckus at lower rates than they charge other mass-market music services on the theory that college students would rather steal songs than pay the $10 to $15 a month that such services normally charge.
Questions arise, how likely are students to use the free but DRM-guarded service? Is the music industry finally making steps toward gaining peace with its young audience? Do we have the next free sharing killer app?

Rumsfeld Stepping Down 899

macinrack writes to tell us that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of the unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon. Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld.

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