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Space

Submission + - European physicists take photo of neutrino

An anonymous reader writes: European physicists said Tuesday they had sent an elusive particle known as a neutrino on a 730-kilometer (456-mile) trip under the Earth's crust and taken a snapshot of the instant it slammed into lab detectors. In the October 2 event, a neutrino hit one of the 60,000 bricks that had been installed in San Grasso, leaving a tell-tale track of a muon on the film. The experiment is important, say the investigators, as it could help explain one of the biggest mysteries about the Universe — its missing mass. When scientists tot up the mass of all the visible matter in the Universe, they arrive at a total of just 10 percent of what they know to exist. For years, neutrinos were not thought to have any mass, although that theory has been challenged by experiments at Japan's SuperKamioKande lab, which suggested that they may have a mass, albeit a very tiny one.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Note to Criminals: Don't Call Tech Support (arstechnica.com)

Billosaur writes: "Darwin Awards, here he comes: according to Ars Technica, a would-be identity thief did himself in by calling tech support about printer drivers. It seems that Timothy Short hit the mother-lode when he stole a PC and a Digimarc printer from the Missouri Department of Revenue, perhaps with dreams of cranking out thousands of fake ids. Problem: he could not unlock the computer he stole and without the necessary drivers, he couldn't use the printer. Ever resourceful, Short called Digimarc tech support a couple of days later (twice), which brought him to the attention of a Secret Service agent, who recognized his voice from a recording of the calls. Short now faces a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison."
Privacy

Submission + - New England Patriots Get Ticket Sellers' Names (go.com)

Billosaur writes: "The New England Patriots sued on-line ticket re-seller StubHub (a subsidiary of eBay) to obtain the list of names of people who tried to buy or sell Patriots tickets using the service. StubHub lost an appeal in Massachusetts state court last week, and was compelled to hand over the list of 13,000 names. It is currently not clear what the Patriots organization intends to do with the names, but they have intimated that they may revoke the privileges of any season ticket holders on the list. The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, said the court order to turn over the names infringes on the privacy rights of Patriots fans. At issue, is whether using the on-line service allows an end-run around team rules and Massachusetts state law, by allowing ticket holders to charge extreme mark-ups on their tickets."
The Courts

Submission + - Two Porn Spammers Get Five Years In Prison (informationweek.com)

Billosaur writes: "InformationWeek is reporting that two spammers convicted under the Can-Spam Act for sending pornographic spam emails have been sentenced to five years in prison. According to the Department of Justice, "Jeffrey A. Kilbride, 41, of Venice, Calif., and James R. Schaffer, 41, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., had been sentenced to 72 months and 63 months in prison, respectively, for running an international pornographic spam ring that took in more than $1 million." Each was also fined $100,000, ordered to pay AOL $77,500, and together will forfeit the profits of their illegal business. This was the first case in which obscenity charges were included as part of the Can-Spam Act."
The Internet

Submission + - One of 'Net's most powerful women lands new job (networkworld.com)

BobB writes: Leslie Daigle is the first chief Internet technology officer at the Internet Society. Daigle's new position, which was announced Wednesday, is the latest in a series of high-profile hires by the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to helping the Internet grow through education, policy and standards development. Daigle previously held engineering and leadership posts with Cisco and VeriSign. She was the first woman to lead the Internet Society's Internet Architecture Board, and she held the chair position from 2002 until 2007. An expert in the Internet's naming and directory services, Daigle has been active with the IETF since 1995.
The Internet

Submission + - First Ever Web Design Survey Results

rainhill writes: "In April 2007, A List Apart and An Event Apart conducted a survey of people who make websites. Close to 33,000 web professionals answered the survey's 37 questions, providing the first data ever collected on the business of web design and development as practiced in the U.S. and worldwide. Survey's results are here as PDF."
Communications

Submission + - T-Mobile Phone Unlocking Lawsuit May Proceed (wired.com)

Billosaur writes: "Wired is reporting that the California Supreme Court has refused to review two lower court decisions involving a class-action lawsuit against T-Mobile over their policies regarding early termination and phone unlocking. The Court rejected the reviews without comment, opening the door to the lawsuit, which aims to block T-Mobile from collecting a $200 early termination fee from users. Also on the table: an order for T-Mobile to disclose the types of phone-locking technology that may be in use on customer's phones. The ramifications if the lawsuit is successful would be to allow phone users in California to unlock their phones, and might lead to further lawsuits nationwide."
Space

Submission + - NASA spaceship scouts out prime Mars landing spots (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter this week sent back high-resolution images of about 30 proposed landing sites for the Mars Science Laboratory, a mission launching in 2009 to deploy a long-distance rover carrying sophisticated science instruments on Mars. The orbiter's high-resolution camera has taken more than 3,500 huge, sharp images released in black-and-white since it began science operations in November 2006. The images show features as small as a desk. The orbiter has sent back some 26 terabytes of data, equivalent to about 5,000 CD-ROMs. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/20531"
Power

Submission + - Dr Bussard passes away, polywell fusion continues

Vinz writes: Dr Bussard, the man behind the Bussard Collector and inventor of the Polywell fusion device, passed away last Sunday in the morning. He leaves behins him a legacy of EM fusion devices, and a team determined to continue his efforts. The news of renewed funding for the construction of his WB-7 fusion devices made it to slashdot months ago (as well as his talk at google). They may be a serious candidate in the run to bring commercial fusion, and may work at lower scales than other projects.

Let's hope the project continues in good shape despite his departure.
Education

Submission + - Grad student suspended after pro-gun-rights e-mail

fredklein writes: A Minnesota university has suspended one of its graduate students who sent two e-mail messages to school officials supporting gun rights.
"Hamline University also said that master's student Troy Scheffler, who owns a firearm, would be barred from campus and must receive a mandatory "mental health evaluation" after he sent an e-mail message arguing that law-abiding students should be able to carry firearms on campus for self-defense."
When informed that suspending him violated the school's freedom of expression policy, the University changed their tune: Now they claim he's being suspended because of "anonymous allegations" they received, and they can't tell him (or the press) what those allegations are, or who his accusers are. With all the talk of 'Big Brother' throwing people into detention centers without knowing the charges, are we overlooking 'Little Brothers' closer to home?
The Internet

Submission + - Cubans have to dress as tourists to use internet

Stony Stevenson writes: When 32-year-old Yoani Sanchez wants to update her blog about daily life in Cuba, she dresses like a tourist and strides confidently into a Havana hotel, greeting the staff in German. That is because Cubans like Sanchez are not authorised to use hotel Internet connections, which are reserved for foreigners.

She and a handful of other independent bloggers are opening up a crack in the government's tight control over media and information to give the rest of the world a glimpse of life in a one-party, Communist state. But they face many difficulties. Costs are highly prohibitive (US$6 per hour for Internet access or the equivalent of a fortnight's pay for the average Cuban) and less than 2 percent of the population have access to the internet.
Space

Submission + - Missing Potenital Earth-busting Asteroid Found (wired.com)

Billosaur writes: "A potentially disastrous 40-year-old mystery has been solved: Where is asteroid 6344 P-L? Back in 1960, asteroid 6344 P-L was identified and classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid," meaning that it's orbit brings it perilously close to Earth's orbit (on the cosmic scale). Unfortunately, it then disappeared, or more precisely, was lost from view. Flash forward to 2007 and scientists believe that 6344 P-L has been rediscovered as 2007 RR9. Further, they are not sure it is an actual asteroid, but actually a comet fragment, which won't hit the Earth anytime soon but bears watching."
Patents

Submission + - Court Limits Software Patents

An anonymous reader writes: Techdirt has the scoop on how a recent court ruling may severely limit the scope of both software and business model patents. The court found that "The routine addition of modern electronics to an otherwise unpatentable invention" isn't enough to get over the "non-obvious" hurdle that every patent is supposed to clear. This is a huge step in the right direction and one of the first admissions from the court system that perhaps software and business model patents have gone too far.

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