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British Pizza Chain To Install Cones of Silence 122

itwbennett writes "British pizza chain Pizza Express is installing iPod docks and soundproof domes in booths of their new iPizzeria stores. 'The idea is that you can plug in your iPod and play whatever music you like without disturbing other diners,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'But I'm sure it'd work for talking about government secrets and other spy stuff, too.'"

Comment Re:I chose negative (Score 1) 750

I understand your point that my abstinence from voting isn't much of a statement unless I actually state my reasons. I'll be honest, though... I believe that the world is a bit more complicated than that. There are a million reasons why me showing up with a bullhorn and a sign is going to accomplish nothing more than perpetuating various mentalities that I believe are contributing to the perpetuation of this whole system, but I am honestly not in the mood to try to explain them all.

Comment Re:I chose negative (Score 2, Insightful) 750

By not voting you are just agreeing with the majority of those who voted. So yes, by not voting you are endorsing whoever wins the election.

Not true. By not voting, you are stating that _neither_ candidate or party represents your interests (or, if you are an anarchist like me, that the whole system runs counter to what you believe in). You are no more responsible for the outcome than you would be for refusing to answer a sadist who asked you to choose which of two strangers he should murder.

Look, I know that this goes against everything they taught you on MTV's Rock the Vote ("Choose or Lose" bus, anyone?), but you have bought into a brilliantly engineered false dilemma that perpetuates the system as it stands.

Idle

2012 Mayan Calendar 'Doomsday' Date Might Be Wrong 144

astroengine writes "A UC Santa Barbara associate professor is disputing the accuracy of the mesoamerican 'Long Count' calendar after highlighting several astronomical flaws in a correlation factor used to synchronize the ancient Mayan calendar with our modern Gregorian calendar. If proven to be correct, Gerardo Aldana may have nudged the infamous December 21, 2012 'End of the World' date out by at least 60 days. Unfortunately, even if the apocalypse is rescheduled, doomsday theorists will unlikely take note."
Transportation

Denver Airport Overrun by Car-Eating Rabbits 278

It turns out the soy-based wire covering on cars built after 2002 is irresistible to rodents. Nobody knows this better than those unlucky enough to park at DIA's Pikes Peak lot. The rabbits surrounding the area have been using the lot as an all-you-can-eat wiring buffet. Looks like it's time to break out The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
Government

UK Man Prevented From Finding Chipped Pet Under Data Protection Act 340

Dave Moorhouse was elated when he was informed that a microchip provider had information on the whereabouts of his stolen dog. This joy soon faded when the company informed him that it could not divulge the Jack Russell terrier's location because it would breach the Data Protection Act. Last week a court agreed with the chip company and refused Mr Moorhouse's request for a court order compelling them to reveal the name and address of the new owners. Steven Wildridge, managing director of the chip company said: “This is not a choice, it’s an obligation under the Data Protection Act. If the individuals involved do not want us to pass on their details to the original owner then we cannot do so unless compelled to following a criminal or civil proceeding."
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Terry Pratchett's Self-Made Meteorite Sword 188

jamie writes "Fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett says he was so excited after being knighted by the Queen that he decided to make his own sword to equip himself for his new status... the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it in the grounds of his house, using a makeshift kiln built from clay and hay and fueled with damp sheep manure."
Science

Morphing Metals 121

aarondubrow writes "Imagine a metal that 'remembers' its original, cold-forged shape, and can return to that shape when exposed to heat or a magnetic pulse. Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel, such a metal could contract on command, or swing back and forth like a pendulum. Believe it or not, such metals already exist. First discovered in 1931, they belong to a class of materials called 'shape memory alloys (SMA),' whose unique atomic make-up allows them to return to their initial form, or alternate between forms through a phase change."

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