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New Evidence Presented For Ancient Fossils In Mars Rocks 91

azoblue passes along a story in the Washington Post, which begins: "NASA's Mars Meteorite Research Team reopened a 14-year-old controversy on extraterrestrial life last week, reaffirming and offering support for its widely challenged assertion that a 4-billion-year-old meteorite that landed thousands of years ago on Antarctica shows evidence of microscopic life on Mars. In addition to presenting research that they said disproved some of their critics, the scientists reported that additional Martian meteorites appear to house distinct and identifiable microbial fossils that point even more strongly to the existence of life. 'We feel more confident than ever that Mars probably once was, and maybe still is, home to life,' team leader David McKay said at a NASA-sponsored conference on astrobiology."

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."

Submission + - Why are my banks stupid?

An anonymous reader writes: Why can't I find a bank that isn't stupid? recently started loading (and requiring) javascript from This gives anyone who compromises complete access to all online banking functions. It's sort of like finding out that the bank vault has a back door that connects to the candy shop next door. Sure, the candyman is a nice guy, and he even locks his shop at night, but he's not my bank!

Just when I stopped fuming over that for a few minutes, an envelope arrived from Citibank. It shows my entire credit card number and advises me that my statement is available online.

Is there any bank that takes security at all seriously?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - The $10 Billion Poker Game 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "Monday was the deadline for potential bidders to file with the Federal Communications Commission over the auction of the 700-megahertz band, a useful swath of the electromagnetic spectrum that is being freed up by the move to digital television. Once bidders file they become subject to strict "anticollusion" rules that in effect prohibit participants from discussing any aspect of their bidding until the auction is over and explains why Google announced Friday that it was going to bid in the auction because it can't discuss its bidding once it files to participate. The next official word will be late December or mid-January, when the FCC announces who has been approved to bid. The auction will start on January 24. Participants will use an Internet system to enter bids on any of 1,099 separate licenses that are being offered (pdf). Most coveted seems to be the C block, 12 regional licenses that can be combined to create a national wireless network. This is the spectrum Google is presumed to be most interested in. The bidding will be conducted in a series of rounds, and the commission will announce the amount of the high bid for each license at the end of each round but it will not identify the high bidder (pdf pages 10 — 14). Then the winning bidder will have ten days to put up 20 percent of the amount it bid. After that, the winner is allowed to discuss its bids publicly and negotiate with potential partners, such as losing bidders who may want to get in on the action but the winner only has ten more days to make deals before it has to pay the rest of the money it bid."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Wal-Mart to give Linux a go on $199 PCs (

MikeUW writes: Turns out Wal-Mart is giving Linux a try on a $199 PC (the Everex 'Green gPC'), which runs a variant of Linux called gOS, derived from Ubuntu. A comparable Everex PC with Windows with Vista Home Basic would cost an additional $99 'partly because the manufacturer has to pay Microsoft Corp'. This gOS is 'heavily oriented toward Google's Web sites and online applications'. It will be available online, and at about 600 stores in the U.S. I wonder why Wal-Mart's Canadian customers have been deemed unworthy of a free operating system on their PCs.

Submission + - Mac Tojan In Wild (

Naturalis Philosopho writes: MacNN is reporting that a Mac Trojan is loose in the wild. Newsworthy due to it's rarity, not newsworthy as you have to type an administrator password to run it.

Submission + - Al Qaeda plans massive cyber attack on Nov. 11 ( 2

talkinsecurity writes: "No clue if it's true, but this report is all over the Web — supposedly Al Qaeda has selected 15 western targets as the beginning of a huge cyber jihad scheduled to start on Nov. 11. News media seem unable to confirm it, but blogs are going crazy. The report doesn't say what weapons they'll use — presumably denial of service — but given the wide availability of the jihad software, it doesn't seem completely out of the question."
The Matrix

Submission + - IT displaced as users learn more (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "Developers and IT staff are facing the same situation technical writers face, which is that as users become more knowledged about technology, they need less of the standard functions (write the manual, install the operating system) we are accustomed to provide.

This is positive, in that it liberates us from some of the really mundane tasks, but it means that we are viewing users for whom a conventional manual is useless until about page 78, when the information they really need starts to appear. Even more, users are identifying with being technologically savvy and now want information that boosts them ahead of where they'd be if they just starting playing with the software on their own, assuming correctly that it works about the same way the rest of their software does."


Submission + - Bush names anti-open source lobbyist as counselor (

Citizen Pain writes: "President Bush today appointed as his counselor a man who received $820,000 from Microsoft to lobby during negotiations over its antitrust settlement as well as to oppose the use, especially within the government, of "open source" systems such as Linux. Enron also paid him $700,000 in 2001 alone to lobby on the "California energy crisis" and thwart efforts to re-regulate the Western electricity market through price controls."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - World of Warcraft borderline racketeering?

jpolachak writes: I have been playing games for quite some time. I have even played some professionally. So I play World of Warcraft quite possibly the most dynamic and arguably the best game ever written. However I have had a severe problem with Blizzard(The makers of World of Warcraft for those of you who go outside). I woke up one morning and decided to check the auction house on WoW and see if my netherweave cloth had sold. Then I found out that my login did not work. I then decided to check my email and calm down. I then saw an email from Blizzard. It stated that your account was banned for using 3rd party software. I thought to myself are you kidding me. It also stated that if I wanted to dispute this the only way to accomplish anything was via email. So I then emailed account administration. I wrote a whole long article stating that I have never used 3rd party software. Hell I can't stand the people who use hacks in FPS games that I play. Well I then received an email in about 10 minutes stating that my account is being reviewed. Finally, after about 5 days I got a reply stating more or less we have looked at your account and our ruling stands. There was no information as to why I was banned. I then went through the whole process again hoping to get a different result. Hoping someone out there would believe me. Well in about a week after that I received more of the same email. However, none of the email ever told me what I did wrong. I have one question you need to ask yourself. Is it ok for Blizzard to never respond to people with the specifics or something as to why they were banned. I mean if you bought something at Sears you would expect that if you took it back and someone told you no. You would expect some kind of response as to why.

So my dilemma is this. I have started playing again. Not because I think Blizzard is doing things ethically but however because they quite possibly make the greatest game ever and I can help myself. So now how do I keep from getting banned again. Since I know that I did nothing wrong in the past? Thank You, Grotesk Gorefiend formerly Nekavon Burning Blade

Submission + - How to deal with an abusive web host?

An anonymous reader writes: I recently sent a DMCA takedown notice to a hosting company, regarding a customer who was blatantly posting copyrighted material from my website, along with attacks against me based on sexual orientation. I was told that, because they agreed with the person's attacks, the offending content would not be removed. They also claim that copyright is irrelevant, because they agree with their customer's "comments." I couldn't believe this response, but upon Googling the name of this host, I found dozens of webmasters and ISPs complaining about legal threats and spam attacks originating from this company. What is the correct way to deal with this issue?
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Mutliplatform OpenSource Sub-Sim released (

An anonymous reader writes: Danger from the Deep, an Open Source World War II German uboat simulation, striving for technical and historical accuracy, is now in its 0.3 incarnation. This latest version features a considerable amount of new features as well as tons of bug fixes. For those not familiarized with it, basically it's a "Battle of the Atlantic" simulation, focused in tactical and strategic component of uboat warfare. It tries to be the most historically and technically correct as possible, which on occasions might make the typical game a bit complex, due to complexity of the uboat systems being simulated. This however, will be minimized, once collaborative (network) game-play is implemented.

  Amongst the new features, Dangerdeep now appears in full OpenGL2.0/GLSL1.1 goodness, now uses VBOs and FBOs, and it's now multi-threaded. Add to that the new functionality, such as a "captain's cabin", a new ship's log, new models, improved ocean render, and tons of bug fixes. At the moment, it's supported on x86-32/64 Linux, Windows, and there are intel OSX and ppc64 OSX packages under-way. There were reports of Danger from the Deep working on Sparc64 Linux, as well as x86-32/64, IA64 and Sparc64 FreeBSD (5.x though).

Notice that you do need 3d hardware acceleration, with OpenGL 1.5 being the minimum required, and OpenGL2.0 being the recommended for all the eye candy, but you can find more informations on this release, and Danger from the Deep in general, at the project web page,

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