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Comment This is truly not a big deal (Score 2) 375

Each of these accidents have defined causes, and the resulting fires are not unreasonable based on the cause. Puncturing a battery with tons of force might just cause a fire. These are not spontaneously combusting. No one was hurt, even the guy that crashed in Mexico. Investigate away, but there really is nothing to see here. The upside is that I can afford more stock now.

Comment It has only been 2 years... (Score 5, Informative) 319

In a 2004 study on this very subject, it was determined that the mean latency period for thyroid cancer to appear after radiation exposure was over 30 years. Some appear sooner, of course, but many appeared much later than that. What is the point of this report? At best, the proclamation of not causing any noticeable immediate harm is premature. But saying that the exposure is "unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future" borders on irresponsible, and seems driven by an agenda.

Submission + - NHTSA: Toyota Drivers Mistook Gas Pedal for Brake (

thecarchik writes: An "NHTSA report finds no electronic cause for the phenomenon--and suggests that in the cases that involve Toyota vehicles fitted with event data recorders, or 'black boxes,' the accidents have been due to driver error. A possible error could have been a simple mistake between pedals. Drivers may not actually know what pedal they're pressing during an emergencyy, explains Richard Schmidt, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Submission + - Ted Stevens and Sean O'Keefe in plane crash

necro81 writes: The NY Times is reporting that former Senator Ted Stevens was aboard a small plane with eight others that crashed in remote southwest Alaska Monday night. Reuters is reporting that he died, along with at least four others. Meanwhile, the North American CEOof aerospace firm EADS and former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe was was also reported in the crash. Rescue crews from the Alaska Air National Guard reached the site about ten hours after the initial crash.

Submission + - US Senate Passes 'Libel Tourism' Bill

Hugh Pickens writes: "AFP reports that the US Senate has passed a bill that prevents US federal courts from recognizing or enforcing a foreign judgment for defamation that is inconsistent with the first amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech, shielding US journalists, authors, and publishers from "libel tourists" who file suit in countries where they expect to get the most favorable ruling. "While we cannot legislate changes to foreign law that are chilling protected speech in our country, we can ensure that our courts do not become a tool to uphold foreign libel judgments that undermine American First Amendment or due process rights," says Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy adding that libel judgments in foreign courts were "undermining" freedom of speech and of the press and "chilling" open debate in the United States. Backers of the bill have cited England, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore as places where weak libel safeguards attract lawsuits that unfairly harm US journalists, writers and publishers. The popular legislation headed to the House of Representatives, which was expected to approve it. "This bill is a needed first step to ensure that weak free-speech protections and abusive legal practices in foreign countries do not prevent Americans from fully exercising their constitutional right to speak and debate freely," says Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on Leahy's committee."

Submission + - Gaping iPad Hole Found by Goatse Security (

Bad Pun Guy writes: Gawker is reporting that 114,000 iPad users' email addresses have been exposed due to a gaping hole discovered by Goatse Security. This includes the email addresses of many famous people like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Goatse Security has exposed several other large security holes in the past in Firefox, Safari and Amazon's community rating system.

Submission + - MechWarrior 4 free release 'held up' by Microsoft (

Vamman writes: Way back in July 2009, Smith & Tinker announced that it was going to authorize MekTek to release MechWarrior 4 and all its expansions for free "soon" — likely to drum up interest for the upcoming MechWarrior reboot. After nearly a year, the game remains unreleased. The reason for the delay, according to MekTek, lies with Microsoft. The group claims that the project is "held up at Microsoft" and it's currently "unknown" when the release will receive its "final go ahead."

The studio adds the unfortunate revelation that it's now in dire financial straights thanks to the delay. "Due to the demands placed upon us by industry lawyers to release the Mechwarrior 4 Free release we were forced to insure our Studio at a premium rate to meet the Microsoft standard," reads the announcement, adding that group's server fund has "run dry" and is currently being paid directly by staff. MekTek is asking for donations from players that download its MekPak 3.1 expansion. According to the announcement, MekTek would be able to keep the servers running for an entire year if all those who downloaded the expansion were to donate $5. MekTek is saying thank you for support from another company caught up in this mess Virtual World Entertainment, the company which owns and operates the Tesla Cockpits simulators also running Mechwarrior.

MekTek has released to their community a major update for their existing community expansion MekPak 3.1. Check em' out! They are also promising their new expansion — MekPak 4 in a few weeks as open beta!


Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

Comment As far as "breaking the news"... (Score 4, Informative) 256

"The Los Angeles Times web site also crashed soon after it broke the news of Jackson's death."

It was actually that "broke" the news, many minutes before anyone else. The other news sites waited until someone they considered "legitimate" reported it before accepting it as fact. I guess they were trying to avoid a "Dewey defeats Truman" moment...
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Dave Arneson RIP (

Phrogman writes: "The Co-inventor of Dungeons & Dragons (along with Gary Gygax) has passed away. As this note on his blog mentions "Dave Arneson invented "armor class." He invented "hit points." He invented the "cleric." He invented the "dungeon." He invented "so, last week you cleaned out the dungeon, and now you've heard about another, even scarier dungeon, over the ridge there." He invented "everyone plays one guy, and I play all the monsters." He invented Roleplaying Games. I think a lot of the /. readership will be sad at his passing."

Submission + - Obama could be ushering in a new wave of ID theft (

Jamey Heary writes: "Obama's Electronic Health Records initiative (which includes a no opt-out clause) could usher in a new wave of Identity Theft. With the stimulus bill all but signed it looks like the government will be handing out $19 billion in an effort to digitize America's health record system. The economic stimulus bill mandates the federal government to plan for each American to use an electronic health record (EHR) by 2014 without opt-out or patient-consent provisions. This is a very serious breach of privacy and one I would hope will be overturned with time. Seems as though the government decided to not come up with a comprehensive plan but instead made sure that no matter what it is everyone will have to be a part of it. This would open up your complete medical records to over 600,000 healthcare providers, payment processors, and government health agencies without your consent. An no, HIPAA will not protect you from this. This kind of pervasive access to anyone's health records screams of privacy and security concerns."


Submission + - Survey Finds People Skills Valued Over Technical (

explosivejared writes: "From the Article: Interpersonal skills are more important in the workplace than IT skills, according to the results of a survey commissioned by Microsoft. In the survey of approximately 500 board-level executives, 61 percent said interpersonal and teamworking skills were more important than IT skills. However, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that while communication skills are important, IT skills now permeated every level and type of job. But Gates also acknowledged the value of people skills. "Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.""

Submission + - Is Shawn Fanning's Snocap melting? 1

newtley writes: Rumors are swirling about the pending demise of Napster creator Shawn Fanning's Snocap, says Michael Robertson, former CEO who's now CEO of MP3tunes and founder and chairman of Linspire. "Articles mention a 'sale', but more likely it will be a shuttering and quiet bankruptcy," he believes. "Snocap represents a commonplace occurrence in the music business — an unprofitable retailer which withers and eventually dies."

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