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Comment Re:It's Called "Blame Pay" (Score 2) 382

No, Federal Employees certaintly don't have a "Guaranteed Pension Rate",unless you consider $250 a month a solid pension with which to live on. Federal Employees have a 401K setup similar to the private sector (Thrift Savings Plan) - which comprises the bulk of thier retirement. Yes there is a pension, but it's typically under $1K per month, not to mention SS is factored in there - which most Feds will never see.

Satellite-Based Laser Hunts Woodpeckers From Space 53

University of Idaho scientists have figured out a more effective way to track woodpecker populations than following the incessant laughter. They're using a laser onboard NASA's Icesat spacecraft to determine where the birds might be living. From the article: "NASA's Icesat satellite was initially intended for measuring glacial surfaces at the Earth's poles but has proven to be quite effective in measuring vegetation also. The satellite's laser bounces off of forest canopies, tree trunks and the ground making important characteristics about the forest easily measurable. For example, forest density is determined by the relative amount of light returned versus that which is returned from the ground. Once ideal woodpecker locations are identified 'we actually conduct ground-based woodpecker surveys in these locations as well to verify it,' says team-member Patrick Adam."

Submission + - Meteorite hits SUV (

someyob writes: First of all, no one was hurt. With that out of the way, (a) do we need more proof SUVs are too big, and/or (b) is this a message of some kind?

Submission + - Kahel OS Linux Review | Desktop Linux Reviews (

JimLynch writes: Once again another interesting suggestion was recently made on the Request A Review page by a reader so I thought I’d follow up and do a review. This time around it’s Kahel OS. My thanks to reader Molen for the suggestion to review this distro.

Kahel OS is a remastered version of Arch Linux. Arch Linux has a bit of a reputation as not being particularly friendly to average desktop users. Kahel OS is an effort to change that perception and make it easier for people to use Arch Linux.

Submission + - LHC completely online and ready to go (

Smelly Jeffrey writes: The BBC is reporting that the LHC has had all eight of its sectors cooled to 1.9 Kelvins. Their tagline is that it is now "colder than deep space", as caused by CMB. LHC engineers have spent nearly $40,000,000 USD on a new system to prevent the "quench" condition that caused the LHC to be down for warming, repairs, and re-cooling over the last several months. The entire LHC is now cold enough to being colliding particles in search of the Higgs Boson. High power collisions won't be started until late this December, or more likely early next January. However, some low power collisions could be begun as early as next week!

Submission + - Microsoft Unlevels the Playing Field

morlock_man writes: "I'm a former content provider for Shared Media Licensing Inc. I have since cut my ties with this agency. Since the rollout of the Zune distribution model and the release of Vista, it has become obvious to a number of us (ICPs) that Microsoft is attempting to close down the Weedshare network in favor of it's own network. It was recently announced that Shared Media would be disabling its licensing system as of April 9th, 2007. This closure will mean the end of a fair and equal distribution system. Under this system independent artists need no longer deal directly with record labels to profit from their work and consumers were given the ability to trade media at a profit for themselves. This closure represents the end of the world's first digital media marketplace where everyone existed on a level playing field. Disabling this format is an attempt by Microsoft to gain a monopoly over the patent that allows this form of distribution to take place. An online petition is available for signers, and a more detailed information regarding what is taking place is available at the Digital Dark Age blog."

Submission + - OFFICIAL: Slashdot shit on April 1st.

An anonymous reader writes: Anonymous researchers in North Korea have conclusively demonstrated that internet users with inflated opinions of their "comedic genius", combined with low editorial standards, make the popular geek news site utterly pointless on April 1st. According to the lead researcher "One or two gags are to be expected on the first day of April, but when you are in the situation where every single story is an unimaginitive and unbelievable 'prank' then you know things have gone too far!". One of his graduate students continued: "In North Korea our resources are limited, so we are forced to dedicate time and effort to the task of crafting a small number of believable ruses. In the west you squander your ill gotten capitalist riches to produce reams of unreadable dross." Analysts generally back these conclusions, although they caution that unimaginative submitters are not sufficient to explain this phenomenon alone. Linus Torvalds was overheard to mutter: "The editors must have some pretty low standards for this crap to get through." RMS was not available to comment.

Submission + - Running Linux on palm 72s

Hucko writes: The blokes at Hackers and Developers (HanD) have done a great job getting many of the various palm incarnations running linux 2.6.17, gpe and opie.
January 17th, 2007 a hack of opie was released: release 0.5b
(There is a bug in the site; you will need to click through to page 29.)

Take time out to have a look at the hard work being done, and perhaps you can even assist with the Q&A.
P.S. What happened to this?

Possible Large Impact Crater In Nevada 29

While participating in amateur rocket launches in Black Rock Desert (the site of Burning Man), Ian Kluft noticed rocks with some oddities. Through the Internet he learned the characteristics of impact craters, then found some clues in photographs and Google Maps. Examining the area, he collected samples of rock with impact patterns and other evidence. He found that previous geological puzzles in the region are well explained as impact structures. Volunteers are finding peculiarities in satellite imagery of the area. Kluft presents his evidence here — "Submitted for Study: Discovery of Possible Impact Crater at Nevada's Black Rock Desert." This is a preliminary, six-week effort intended to bring the site to the attention of geologists. Confirmation will take some time and more elaborate tools than his group has.

Journal Journal: An Implication of the Zeroth Law of Robotics

Most of us will be familiar with Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics, which, by simple virtue of their popularity, are bound to have an influence upon robot design.

In practice, however, human nature being what it is, we are bound to create war machines. Even if we do not, we should make ourselves aware of an implication of the zeroth law:


Submission + - Which field for Master's degree?

An anonymous reader writes: I was thinking of working on a Master's degree part-time, and I was wondering which fields would be more valuable in general. Are any in particular demand, and which ones would be most conducive to a career switch?

My bachelor's is in physics, and with varying degrees of preparation I could pursue any of the following master's degrees at a local university: physics, applied physics, math, applied math, statistics, materials science, computer science, computer science with telecom emphasis, computer science with software engineering emphasis, bioinformatics and computational biology, or business IT. Any others to consider?

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