brian0918 writes: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the US Department of Justice has just setup an email address to be used specifically by the public to assist in building a civil rights case against George Zimmerman. On a conference call between DOJ officials and various civil rights organizations, "DOJ officials announced they had set up a way for people to send email tips that could help aid in their investigation. The email address will be operational later this week."
brian0918 writes: "With finals approaching, Oregon State University chemistry professor Nicholas Drapela was fired without warning. Three weeks later, he has still been given no reason for the university’s decision to 'not renew his contract'. Drapela, an outspoken critic of man-made climate change, worked at the university for 10 years and was well-liked by students. Oregon physicist Gordon J. Fulks, another critic of anthropogenic climate change, has circulated a letter in defense of Drapela."
sparkydevil writes: Some catnip to those who have long argued about administrator bias and groupthink in Wikipedia.
Canada's National Post reports here and here that one of the objectives of those promoting Climate alarm was to control Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003 U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley, one of nine Realclimate.org team members, rewrote Wikipedia'½Â½Â(TM)s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling as well as working to erase the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period and infamous hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the team.
According to the article Connolly created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles, removed more than 500 articles as an administrator and barred over 2000 Wikipedia contributors while rewarding those who supported his views. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."
brian0918 writes: "Since this story broke, almost everyone in the media has claimed that the Climategate emails were hacked by Russians, maybe even ex-KGB types, maybe even working with oil companies in the United States. Now, a sysadmin has examined the structure and provenance of the files and concludes that "the only reasonable explanation for the archive being in this state is that the FOI Officer at the University was practising due diligence. The UEA was collecting data that couldn't be sheltered and they created FOIA2009.zip. It is most likely that the FOI Officer at the University put it on an anonymous ftp server or that it resided on a shared folder that many people had access to and some curious individual looked at it.""
Rational Egoist writes: "Scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have come up with a novel, easy way to detect life on other planets. Rather than try to measure the composition of atmospheres, they want to look at the chirality of light coming from the planet. From the article: "If the [planet's] surface had just a collection of random chiral molecules, half would go left, half right," Germer says. "But life's self-assembly means they all would go one way. It's hard to imagine a planet's surface exhibiting handedness without the presence of self assembly, which is an essential component of life." And they have already built a working model: "Because chiral molecules reflect light in a way that indicates their handedness, the research team built a device to shine light on plant leaves and bacteria, and then detect the polarized reflections from the organisms' chlorophyll from a short distance away. The device detected chirality from both sources." The article abstract is available online."
Rational Egoist writes: "A new study from Tel Aviv University shows that teens who played violent video games, such as UT2k4 and Call of Duty 2, enhanced their ability "to discriminate between subtle contrasts in color or shades of gray", as compared to teens playing games with lower levels of visual-motor coordination, such as The Sims. From the article: "After playing 50 hours of the assigned game over 9 weeks, the students who played the more violent action games showed a 43% improvement, on average, in their ability to discern between very close shades of gray. The players assigned to the Sims game showed no improvement." It's even being suggested as a possible alternative to eye surgery. The full article is available online from Nature Neuroscience."
Rational Egoist writes: "Researchers at Yale University have found that some of the brightest colors in bird feathers are created through structures similar in origin and composition to that of beer foam. Unlike with most colors in nature — which are produced by pigments — the bright blue colors of Bluebirds and Blue Jays are actually produced by sponge-like nanostructures. These structures are formed in quite the same way as beer foam. From the article: "[Researchers] compared the nanostructures to examples of materials undergoing phase separation, in which mixtures of different substances become unstable and separate from one another, such as the carbon-dioxide bubbles that form when the top is popped off a bubbly drink. They found that the color-producing structures in feathers appear to self-assemble in much the same manner. Bubbles of water form in a protein-rich soup inside the living cell and are replaced with air as the feather grows.""
from the man-you-don't-meet-every-day dept.
sneakyimp writes "My brother is an architect and sculptor and wants to create kinetic sculptures powered by wind, steam, and sun. He wants to avoid electrical systems and keep this mechanical. He's prepared to cast metals for custom parts if necessary, but is hoping to find a cheap source of gears, axles, and bearings for the internal mechanical workings of these contraptions. We'll need things like miter/bevel/spur/helical gears, standard and thrust bearings, and axles." Read on below for more on the details of what sneakyimp is looking for — dismembered Capsela units won't do it.
Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Despite nationwide public support for his initial death sentence, a three-judge appeals court has reduced the sentence of Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh to 20 years in prison. Kambakhsh was charged with circulating an article on women's rights that he found online. From the article: "Family members have said Kambakhsh was beaten and threatened with death until he signed a confession and that local journalists who expressed support for him were warned they would be arrested if they persisted.""
from the in-a-galaxy-not-so-far-away-after-all dept.
LucasArts and Bioware held a press conference today to confirm what has been suspected for a long time: they're working on a Star Wars MMO. It will be called Star Wars: The Old Republic, and it will be a continuation of the Knights of the Old Republic franchise. Further coverage is available at Gamespot, and IGN has some of the concept art. An official website for the game was launched as well.
"According to the game's official announcement, Star Wars: The Old Republic is set thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader, with the galaxy divided by war between the Empire and the Sith. That's about 300 years after the events of KotOR, a time frame that, according to Zeschuk, 'is completely unexplored in the lore.' Players can take the role of either a Jedi, a Sith or other classic Star Wars characters -- and, as perhaps can be expected from BioWare, Muzyka says story will be a major component, underlying and driving all of the player's actions."
from the time-for-this-again dept.
fprintf writes "A recent NY Times article discusses links between personal music players and hearing loss. This is not anything new; personally, I have hearing loss from listening to my Sony Walkman cassette player many years ago. However, given the widespread use of the personal music players, I see people using earbuds everywhere; is there a technical solution to the potential danger?"
doomsdaywire writes "A University of Tennessee student who is the son of a Memphis legislator has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of hacking Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal e-mail. [...] If convicted, [David C.] Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release. A trial date has not been set."
from the chili-meter-with-brains dept.
mikesd81 writes "Google has developed 'Mail Goggles,' a Gmail add-on that makes sending email from Gmail more difficult during certain times (which you can set). If you have Mail Goggles installed, it will force you to answer a series of math questions before sending out any new messages. You can adjust the math difficulty and times this option is in effect. If you get any of the questions wrong, Mail Goggles will say, 'Water and bed for you. Or try again.' Of course, if you set the math settings too high, you may have a tough time solving some of those problems in under 60 seconds, even when sober. Then again, if you're sober, you could just turn Mail Goggles off and hit send on that impassioned letter to your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or that flame to your boss."
cheddarlump writes: I'm new to Slashdot, but noticed something today.. After reading about the "Bailout Bill" failing in congress, I tried to go see who voted what, and couldn't. From 6 different ISPs, www.house.gov is unreachable. Is this a DDOS? Just overloaded?