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Submission + - Time for us geeks to urge our congressional reps to solve the cliff? (

An anonymous reader writes: With apologies to the non-US readers, My question is this — Is it time we geeks make an all out push in emails, letters, faxes, phonecalls, etc., to urge our Congress and President to agree to something to solve the so-called fiscal cliff? Regardless of your political leaning, just getting Congress and the President to agree to anything would be progress in my mind. I know this is off topic for /., but this affects us all and we certainly have proven to be an effective voice for change in the past.

Posting this and writing my congressional reps now...

Input Devices

Best Mouse For Programming? 569

LosManos writes "Which is the best programming mouse? Mandatory musts are wireless, and that it doesn't clog up like old mechanical mice. Present personal preferences are for: lots of buttons, since if I have moved my hand away from the keyboard I can at least do something more than move the pointer; sturdy feeling; not too light, so it doesn't move around by me accidentally looking at it." What would you recommend?

A Supervolcano Beneath Mt. St. Helens? 180

We've discussed the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone a few times here (not going to blow, 2004; going to blow, 2008). Now scientists are pondering whether a large area of conductive material beneath Mt. St. Helens might contain enough magma that the area could be classed a supervolcano. The jury is still out on this one. Reader nhytefall sends us a New Scientist progress report. "Magma can be detected with a technique called magnetotellurics, which builds up a picture of what lies underground by measuring fluctuations in electric and magnetic fields at the surface. The fields fluctuate in response to electric currents traveling below the surface, induced by lightning storms and other phenomena. The currents are stronger when magma is present, since it is a better conductor than solid rock. ... [M]easurements revealed a column of conductive material that extends downward from the volcano. About 15 km below the surface, the relatively narrow column appears to connect to a much bigger zone of conductive material. This larger zone was first identified in the 1980s by another magnetotelluric survey, and was found to extend all the way to beneath Mount Rainier 70 km to the north-east, and Mount Adams 50 km to the east. It was thought to be a zone of wet sediment, water being a good electrical conductor. ... [Some researchers] now think the conductive material is more likely to be a semi-molten mixture. Its conductivity is not high enough for it to be pure magma.. so it is more likely to be a mixture of solid and molten rock."

Submission + - 24h Open Source Coding Marathon Hackontest started ( 1

maemst writes: "Can you code 24 hours non-stop? Hackontest is a new Google-sponsored 24-hour programming competition between different open source projects. Its goals are to enhance Free Software projects according to user needs and to make visible how enthusiastically open source software is being developed. During the current online selection process users and developers of open source software may submit feature requests and rate and comment them. On Swiss national holiday August 1st, 2008 the Hackontest jury will pick the three most promising teams. They receive a free trip to Switzerland on September 24/25, 2008 to participate in the competition located at OpenExpo 2008 Zurich. Hacking 24 hours inside an etoy.CONTAINER, the teams and their virtually present communities will implement certain features based on the online ratings and jury selection. In the end, the Hackontest jury evaluates the code and awards the winners with a total of USD 8500. The jury is made up of 10 renowned open source contributors: Jeremy Alison (Samba), Jono Bacon (Ubuntu), Brian W. Fitzpatrick (Subversion), Martin F. Krafft (Debian), Alexander Limi (Plone), Federico Mena-Quintero (GNOME), Bram Moolenaar (vim), Bruce Perens (OSI founder), Lukas K. Smith (PHP) and Harald Welte ("

Submission + - Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition announced

bigstrat2003 writes: For the past day, Wizards of the Coast has had a countdown to "4dventure" on their web site. The countdown ran out at 6:30 eastern time today (and the web site promptly crashed), but stories are already appearing on the rest of the web. Wizards also has had their 4th edition forums up for a couple of days.

Submission + - Science Involved in Entertainment Implies Laziness

Anonymous Coward writes: "All the advances in technology were meant to make our lives easier and in most cases they did so, but with what price? We have become so lazy we don't even go shopping. We just look for something on the Internet, we order and we get the object delivered at home. We don't even have to go to the bank as we pay on-line and the money transfer is made by the bank. Going shopping was one of the favourite "hobbies" for women all over the world, but now they choose to do other things. The application of science to entertainment has made us lazy: TV, DVD, computers, MP3 players...Why go out when we have everything at home? Why spend time cooking when you have the sandwich-maker which gets you out of every trouble? Why bother washing and ironing when you have the dry-cleaning at the corner of the street and they do everything fo you? Why do the house-cleaning when there are persons who earn a living from this? There is a solution for everything..but to have all these you need money, money earned by hard work. So far, technology hasn't solved this problem. Comfort and stability are to be obtained only with great efforts and many sleepless nights. To get the best products you have to work a lot, because high quality means a great deal of money. Read full article : cience_to_entertainment_has_made_us_lazy/"

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