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Space

NASA Plans Probe to the Sun 352

FudRucker writes "For more than 400 years, astronomers have studied the sun from afar. Now NASA has decided to go there. 'We are going to visit a living, breathing star for the first time,' says program scientist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA Headquarters. 'This is an unexplored region of the solar system and the possibilities for discovery are off the charts.'"

Comment You know... (Score 2, Insightful) 80

...with only a fraction of a percent of the national budget NASA is making groundbreaking (not being sarcastic) research; Imagine the leaps and bounds they would make with late 1960's percentages. I personally can't wait to see some of the applications of the research still being done at the fund-starved NASA.
Earth

Humans Nearly Went Extinct 70,000 Years Ago 777

Josh Fink brings us a CNN story discussing evidence found by researchers which indicates that humans came close to extinction roughly 70,000 years ago. A similar study by Stanford scientists suggests that droughts reduced the population to as few as 2,000 humans, who were scattered in small, isolated groups. Quoting: "'This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history,' said Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence. 'Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA.'"
The Internet

ISP Block on Pirate Bay Not Having Desired Effect 177

TechDirt is reporting that the recent block placed on The Pirate Bay torrent site is not only relatively ineffective, but actually driving more traffic to the site because of the attention. "The news from The Pirate Bay appears to confirm this suspicion. According to The Pirate Bay's new Court Blog, Danish traffic has not dropped since the implementation of the block. '...the number of visits from Denmark has increased by 12% thanks to IFPI,' the blog post reads. 'Our site http://thejesperbay.org is growing more because of the media attention than people actually coming to learn how to bypass the filter - our guess is that alot of the users on the site now run OpenDNS instead of the censoring DNS at Tele2.dk.' 'We also started tracking some stats before and after the block. There's no noticeable difference between the number of users from Tele2.dk before and after.'"
Security

Mac Hack Contest Redux 164

narramissic writes "Remember the controversial Mac hacking contest from last year's CanSecWest conference? No? Here's a refresher: Conference organizers challenged attendees to hack into a Macintosh laptop, with the successful hacker winning the computer and a cash prize. Winner Dino Dai Zovi found a QuickTime bug that allowed him to run unauthorized software on the Mac once the computer's browser was directed to a specially crafted Web page. Well, the contest is back again this year, but with a twist, says Dragos Ruiu, the principal organizer of CanSecWest: 'We're thinking of having a contest where we have Vista and OS X and Linux ... and see which one goes first.""
Microsoft

Time for a Vista Do-Over? 746

DigitalDame2 writes "'There's nothing wrong with Vista,' PC Mag editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff tells a Microsoft rep at this year's CES. 'But you guys have a big problem on your hands. Perception is reality, and the perception is that Vista is a dud.' He goes on to confess that the operating system is too complex and burdened by things people don't need. Plus, Vista sometimes seems so slow. Ulanoff gives four suggestions for a complete Vista makeover, like starting with new code and creating a universal interface table. But will Microsoft really listen?"
Games

What's the Best Game Console of All Time? 479

The C|Net Crave blog has up an article exploring the history of console gaming, and wonders aloud about the pecking order of the various systems. "Gaming is so subjective that there is no single "greatest" system ever. It might sound like a cop-out, but it really depends on what standards you're using and what generation you grew up in. I loved the SNES, and would personally call it the greatest system of all time. However, the NES and PlayStation could both easily be called the best, based on the standards they set and the advances they presented to gaming." The Guardian follows up this piece, noting that the article's rose-colored recollections of the SNES days may not be entirely accurate. Subjective or not, it's a good question: which consoles have a valid place in history and which ones should be forgotten?
Security

MySpace Private Pictures Leak 405

Martin writes "We all heard about the MySpace vulnerability that allowed everyone to access pictures that have been set to private at MySpace. That vulnerability got closed down pretty fast. Unfortunately though (for MySpace) someone did use an automated script to run over 44,000 profiles that downloaded all private pictures which resulted in a 17 Gigabyte zip file with more than 560,000 pictures. The zip file is now showing up on popular torrent sites across the net."
The Media

Congress Creates Copyright Cops 533

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Not satisfied with pitiful potential penalties of $150,000 for infringing upon a $0.99 song, Congress is proposing new copyright cops in the "'PRO IP' Act of 2007, specifically the creation of the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER). They also feel that the authorities need the authority to seize any computers used for infringement and to send copyright cops abroad to help other countries enforce US laws. MPAA boss Dan Glickman praised the bill saying that, 'films left costs foreign and domestic distributors, retailers and others $18 billion a year,' though Ars points out that it allegedly costs the studios only $6 billion."
Linux

Beryl User Interface for Linux Reviewed 271

techie writes "OSWeekly.com has published a review of Beryl, a very cool looking UI for Linux. Matt Hartley writes, "This release, in my opinion, was the most over-hyped and bug-filled to date. You will have to really hit Technorati to see more of what I'm talking about, but Feisty is as buggy as the beta I tested a short time ago. After completely tossing into the wilds of the ubber-buggy "network-manager," anything running with Edgy supported RT2500 driver shows up, but it will not connect without a special script. Those of you who are on Feisty and need help with your RT2500 cards are welcome to e-mail me for the bash script."
Security

MS Office Zero-Day Under Attack 172

paulBarbs writes "Microsoft is warning users to be on the lookout for suspicious Excel files that arrive unexpectedly — even if they come from a co-worker's e-mail address. In an advisory, Microsoft confirmed a new wave of limited "zero-day" attacks was underway, using a code execution flaw in its Microsoft Office desktop productivity suite. Although .xls files are currently being used to launch the spear phishing attacks, Microsoft said users of other Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, etc.) are potentially at risk."
Technology

Inventor Slims Down Exoskeletal Body Armor 416

The Hamilton Spectator is reporting that inventor Troy Hurtubise, creator of the "bear-protection suit" made famous by taking a hit from a moving vehicle, has slimmed down his design in hopes of landing a lucrative government contract. From the article: "He has spent two years and $15,000 in the lab out back of his house in North Bay, designing and building a practical, lightweight and affordable shell to stave off bullets, explosives, knives and clubs. He calls it the Trojan and describes it as the 'first ballistic, full exoskeleton body suit of armour.'"
Programming

Father of Instant Ramen Passes Away 195

Chained Fei writes "Ando Momofuku, Father of the Instant Ramen, passed away on January 5th at the age of 96. He concocted the idea for Instant Ramen after WWII, hoping to reduce the amount of poor nourishment for soldiers in the field. If not for this great man, many a poor college student and programmer would have starved over the years. From the article: 'In 1971, Nissin introduced the Cup Noodle featuring instant ramen in a waterproof plastic foam container. Dubbed the "Ramen King," Ando is credited with expanding Nissin into the No. 1 company in the industry and was well-known for his dedication to his work ... In 1999, Ando opened the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, after installing his second son, Koki, as president of the company.'"

Physicist Trying To Send a Signal Back In Time 685

phil reed writes "University of Washington physicist John Cramer is attempting to send a signal back through time." From the article: "We're going to shoot an ultraviolet laser into a (special type of) crystal, and out will come two. lower-energy photons that are entangled," Cramer said. For the first phase of the experiment, to be started early next year, they will look for evidence of signaling between the entangled photons. Finding that would, by itself, represent a stunning achievement. Ultimately, the UW scientists hope to test for retrocausality — evidence of a signal sent between photons backward in time. The test will involve sending one of the photons down 10 miles of fiber optic cable, delaying it by 50 microseconds, then testing a quantum-mechanical aspect of the delayed photon. Due to quantum entanglement, the non-delayed photon would need to reflect the measurement made 50 microseconds later on the delayed photon. In order for this to happen, some kind of signal would need to be sent 50 microseconds back in time from the delayed photon to the non-delayed photon. (Confusing? Quantum physics is like that.)

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