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Cellphones

Submission + - Cell Phone Unlocking To Become Illegal January 26 (itworld.com) 1

jfruh writes: "You probably don't know that the DMCA, the law that broadly bans circumvention of copyright protection, has been interpreted as making it illegal to unlock your phone so that it works on a carrier different from the one you bought it for. That's because the Librarian of Congress, given permission under the law to make exemptions to the DMCA, had determined that the U.S. cell phone market benefited from the ability to unlock phones — but that's now changing, as the librarian's office believes that there are now enough unlocked phones available for purchase that users don't need to hack their own phones. Starting this Saturday, unlocking a phone that was locked to start with will be illegal."
Republicans

Submission + - Asshole President ignored detailed warnings about 9/11 (nytimes.com) 1

nbauman writes: George W. Bush's Aug. 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief, unclassified by the 9/11 Commission, had the headline, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” But other Briefs which weren't released show the CIA warning the White House of the planned attack in even greater detail all during the summer of 2001, according to former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald. Bush ignored the warnings, even after federal authorities caught two of the hijackers.

On May 1, the CIA told the White House that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. On June 22, they reported Qaeda strikes could be “imminent.” On June 29, they reported that Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack in an interview with a Middle Eastern journalist. On June 29, they reported that Bin Laden operatives expected the attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, they said the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” On Aug. 4. Mohamed al-Kahtani was stopped at an airport in Orlando, FL, by a suspicious customs agent and sent back. Two weeks later, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school.

The White House ignored these warnings because the neocons, who were pushing for war with Iraq, said that it was a disinformation campaign by Bin Laden to distract attention from Saddam Hussein.

Space

Submission + - LiftPort plans to build space elevator on the Moon by 2020 (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: LiftPort ultimately wants to build a space elevator on Earth, but the company isn't’ planning on doing it in one go. Instead, Laine and his team are settling for a more modest goal – building an elevator on the Moon by 2020. This is much easier. For one thing, there’s no air on the Moon, so no icing problems. Also, the lower gravity means that no unobtanium is needed for the ribbon. Kevlar is strong enough for the job. And finally, there’s very little in the way of satellites or debris to contend with.

LiftPort’s goal in its Kickstarter funding campaign is a modest US$8,000, which it has already surpassed. This may seem like chicken feed for such an ambitious program, but Laine intended it as a way of sparking public interest. The ultimate goal is to raise $100,000 to $3 million, with the first round of funding to be used to continue a preliminary study of the system.

Earth

Submission + - Advance warning system for solar flares hinges on surprising hypotheses (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Scientists may have hit upon a new means of predicting solar flares more than a day in advance, which hinges on a hypothesis dating back to 2006 that solar activity affects the rate of decay of radioactive materials on Earth. Study of the phenomenon could lead to a new system which monitors changes in gamma radiation emitted from radioactive materials, and if the underlying hypothesis proves correct, this could lead to solar flare advance warning systems that would assist in the protection of satellites, power systems and astronauts.
The Internet

Submission + - Man sued by author for giving negative reviews on (independent.co.uk) 2

An anonymous reader writes: A father of three from the West Midlands is set to appear in the High Court to defend himself against libel allegations over a book review he wrote on Amazon’s website last year.

The case is being brought by Chris McGrath, an online entrepreneur from Milton Keynes who wrote and self-published a little known book entitled “The Attempted Murder of God: Hidden Science You Really Need to Know”. He is acting as a litigant in person in a two day hearing which will decide whether there is a case to answer.

Hardware

Submission + - When Kickstart Projects Go Bad (kickstarter.com)

matthewbunce writes: After 6 months and over $22,000 worth of funding Laurens Laudowicz has disappointed thousands of backers by constantly missing delivery timeframes, minimal or non existent updates and generally making excuses why he can't deliver the product he, only a few months ago, was so passionately pushing. Kickstarter don't want to know, emails and comments to the project founder regularly go unanswered for weeks, if at all. What can you do when the person you, and thousands of others trusted with their money, fails to deliver?
Science

Submission + - The Iceman's Last Meal (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Less than 2 hours before he hiked his last steps in the Tyrolean Alps 5000 years ago, Ötzi the Iceman fueled up on a last meal of ibex meat, according to a new study. Armed with Ötzi's newly sequenced genome and a detailed dental analysis, scientists have also found that the Iceman had brown eyes (not blue, as commonly assumed) and probably wasn't much of a tooth brusher. Dental analysis shows that the Iceman suffered a blunt force trauma to two teeth—possibly a blow to the mouth—at least several days before his death and was plagued by both periodontal disease and cavities.

Submission + - cia.gov under DDOS by LulzSec ? (sophos.com)

Hamsterdan writes: The CIA website at cia.gov is currently inaccessible, having apparently fallen foul of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack by hackers.

Almost inevitably, fingers are pointing towards the notorious LulzSec hacktivist group who have made a name for themselves recently with a series of attacks against corporations, organisations and websites — sometimes forcing them offline, and on other occasions stealing personal information by exploiting security flaws.

A post to LulzSec's Twitter feed appears to confirm their participation in the attack...

Facebook

Submission + - Feds settle case of woman fired over Facebook site (sltrib.com)

Mr.Intel writes: Employers should think twice before trying to restrict workers from talking about their jobs on Facebook or other social media.

That’s the message the government sent on Monday as it settled a closely watched lawsuit against a Connecticut ambulance company that fired an employee after she went on Facebook to criticize her boss in 2009.

Mars

Submission + - Viking DID Find Organics On Mars 30 Years Ago (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "In the 1970's, NASA's Viking Mars landers carried out experiments on the Martian soil to search for organic compounds. For 30 years the results of these experiments have been hotly contested. Long assumed to be contamination from Earth that gave a false positive in one of the key experiments, findings from the 2008 Mars Phoenix lander and recent tests on perchlorate-laced material from the Atacama desert have prompted NASA scientists to believe Viking really did discover organics 30 years ago."
Space

Submission + - Was there only one Big Bang? (physicsworld.com)

goldaryn writes: physorg.com are running an interesting story about the work of Oxford-based theoretical physicist Roger Penrose.

Penrose has been studying CWB radiation and believes it's possible that space and time did not come into being at the Big Bang but that our universe in fact continually cycles through a series of "aeons". He believes that he has found evidence supporting his theory that the universe infinitely cycles, which contradicts current theory.

They thank Physics World , who ran the original story.

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