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Education

High School Students Forced To Declare A Major 670

i_like_spam writes "As reported in the NYTimes, high school freshmen at many high schools across the nation are now being forced to pick a major. Starting this Fall, 9th graders in Florida will have to choose to major from among a set of state-approved subjects, while some students in Mississippi will have to follow one of nine designated career paths. High school administrators hope that having students declare majors will lead to greater student interest in school until graduation. College administrators think otherwise: 'youngsters should instead concentrate on developing a broad range of critical thinking and communication skills,' says Debra Humphreys from the Association of American Colleges and Universities."
Supercomputing

Quantum Computing and Optically Controlled Electrons 74

eldavojohn writes "Researchers have released a new paper on quantum computing theorizing how to use optically controlled electrons to make an ultrafast quantum computer. From the article, "Scientists have designed a scheme to create one of the fastest quantum computers to date using light pulses to rotate electron spins, which serve as quantum bits. This technique improves the overall clock rate of the quantum computer, which could lead to the fastest potentially scalable quantum computing scheme of which the scientists are aware.""
NASA

NASA Finds Star With a Tail 233

Andrew Stellman writes "NASA astronomers held a press conference announcing that a new ultraviolet mosaic from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows a speeding star named Mira that's leaving an enormous trail of "seeds" for new solar systems. Mira is traveling faster than a speeding bullet, and has a tail that's 13 light-years long and over 30,000 years old. The website has images and a replay of the teleconference."
Movies

Bad Movie Physics Hurt Scientific Understanding 910

eldavojohn writes "A paper published by UCF researchers claims that bad movie physics hurt students' understanding of real world physics. From the article, "Some people really do believe a bus traveling 70 mph can clear a 50-foot gap in a freeway, as depicted in the movie Speed." The professors published this paper out of fear that society will pay the price. One of the authors commented on advancements in the past years "All the luxuries we have today, the modern conveniences, are a result of the science research that went on in the '60s during the space race. It didn't just happen. It took people doing hard science to do it." I commented on the physics of the most recent Die Hard having problems detracting from my enjoyment of the movie but is it really the root of a growing problem of poor science & math among students?"
The Courts

Submission + - Foster Demands RIAA Post $210k Security for Fees

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "A few days ago it was reported that, in view of the RIAA's one-month delay in paying the $68,685.00 attorneys fee award in Capitol v. Foster, and its lawyers' failure to respond to Ms. Foster's lawyer's email, Ms. Foster filed a motion for entry of judgment so that she could go ahead with judgment enforcement proceedings. In response to that motion the RIAA submitted a statement that it had no objection to entry of judgment, and intimated that it thought there would be an automatic stay on enforcement of the judgment, and that it would ultimately file an appeal. After seeing that, Ms. Foster's lawyer has filed a motion for the Court to require the RIAA to post $210,000 in security to cover the past and future attorneys fees and costs which are expected to be incurred."
Microsoft

Submission + - Future Zunes: Going Where Apple Hasn't Gone Before

narramissic writes: "To hit on a winning product or service, Microsoft is going to have to 'find ways of being where Apple isn't and find ways of growing the overall market,' says Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research. But what Microsoft really has planned for future Zunes may be something much less remarkable. In the next month or so, as Microsoft reveals more about its vision, we'll likely see offerings in the three main categories in the sector: higher-end video players, mid-range music-centric devices such as the iPod Nano, and low-end USB devices such as the iPod Shuffle."

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