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Submission + - US DOJ Sets Up Email Address to Receive Tips About George Zimmerman (orlandosentinel.com)

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."

Submission + - Oregon State University Fires Climate Change Skeptic (foxnews.com) 2

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."

Submission + - Climategate spreads to Wikipedia (nationalpost.com) 14

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."


Submission + - Using Light's Handedness to Find Alien Life (eurekalert.org)

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."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Violent Video Games Could Replace Eye Surgery (newintellectuals.org)

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."

Submission + - www.house.gov down?

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?

Submission + - School Board Adopts GPA-Redistribution Plan (mydesert.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Citing the dismal state of education in America, and the area's high poverty rate, the Coachella Valley Unified School District of Riverside County, California, is transitioning to a planned GPA-redistribution system. The program, which the board passed with a 5-2 majority at their September 11th meeting, would redistribute grade point averages (GPA) among students at their four high schools and three middle schools according to a "tiered system of excellence." Students with the lowest GPAs from poor families would receive incremental GPA "boosts", which in turn would be deducted from students with higher GPAs.

Submission + - Larger human brain led to larger penis (pressesc.com) 2

Anonymous Coward writes: "The human penis is comparatively larger than that of the other great apes because of our comparatively larger brains, gynecologist Edwin A. Bowman explains in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Through millions of years evolution the infant babies' skulls became larger in order to accommodate bigger brains, explained Dr. Bowman. This in turn led to a female pelvis become larger to allow women to give birth to children with larger brains, and this led to the female vagina also becoming less tight."

Submission + - Ebay Cancels NanoSolar's PV Panel Auction (nanosolar.com)

Sledhead writes: "we had put up panel #2 for auction on eBay:". "The eBay auction started at 99 cents and quickly reached more than $13,000.00, and there was still more than 6 days left. At the point where it became clear that the auction would reach thousands of dollars, we decided it would be appropriate to use the proceeds after the auction for a charitable purpose. We regret that without warning eBay today decided to delete our auction due to the promised charitable use of the proceeds."

Submission + - The World's Not Flat, So Map Companies Go 3-D (cio.com)

Chris Lindquist writes: "Two on-board computers, a terabyte of storage, two lasers, six cameras and a GPS antenna: That pretty much describes the vans (50 of them) that TeleAtlas is using to create fully 3-D maps of the U.S. and Europe. Reporter Michael Fitzgerald took a ride in one of the vans to get the lowdown on the future of digital mapmaking. One hint: Can you say in-map advertising?"

Submission + - Toyota Unveils Violin Playing Robot (reuters.com)

eldavojohn writes: "Toyota has unveiled a robot that play the violin. From the article,

The race to produce the first practical home robots has heated up with Toyota's new range — including one that plays the violin. In a demonstration of the new robots' achievements, Toyota brought out a 152 cm (5 ft), two-legged robot dexterous enough to play a few stanzas — complete with vibrato sound — from Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance", a popular tune at graduation ceremonies. Toyota said it planned to further advance the robot's dexterity to enable it to use tools and assist with domestic duties and nursing and medical care. The robot has 17 joints in both of its hands and arms now.
It seems there have been small — or maybe even strange, impractical — advances in robotics repeatedly with demonstrations of robots performing a specialized task. Are we merely struggling to hard code each human activity as we strive for an all purpose android? Is there a chance artificial intelligence & robotics will ever become generalized enough to make interaction interesting?"


Submission + - Microsoft's OOXML claims its first scalp! (theopensourcerer.com)

The Open Sourcerer writes: "In what is an astonishingly outspoken report, Martin Bryan, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1 has given insight into the total mess that Microsoft/ECMA has caused during their scandalous, underhand and unremitting attempts to get — what is a very poorly written specification — approved as an ISO standard. "The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting "standardization by corporation", something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be." The Open Sourcerer"

Submission + - The mainframe's new best friend: OpenSolaris (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "There was a time not too long ago when IBM would have called out the National Guard to keep anyone other than IBM away from its mainframe technology. Not so much any more. The latest evidence: Last week Big Blue along with Sine Nomine Associates demonstrated Sun's Solaris operating system running on the Big Iron. Specifically OpenSolaris was running on the mainframe's z/VM subsystem which allows more than 1,000 virtual images on a single hypervisor. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/22587"

Submission + - NVIDIA's nForce 780i, Three-Way SLI For Intel CPUs (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Details are starting to trickle in about NVIDIA's next generation chipset architecture beyond the nForce 680i that will enable three-way SLI for the Intel platform. The Asus P5N-T motherboard seen here, utilizes NVIDIA's new NF200 PCI Express Switch chip in conjunction with both the 780i Northbridge and nForce 570 MCP Southbridge (now called 780i MCP), to provide two full X16 slots of PCI Express 2.0 connectivity and one X16 Gen 1 slot for multi-GPU graphics rendering."

Submission + - Love of broccoli begins in womb

mernil writes: "Timesonline reports "WOMEN can give their children a lifelong taste for "healthy but horrible" foods such as broccoli and brussels sprouts simply by eating them during pregnancy or while breast-feeding, researchers have found. "Flavours from the mother's diet are transmitted through amniotic fluid and mother's milk. A baby learns to like a food's taste when the mother eats that food on a regular basis," said Julie Mennella, of Monell Chemical Senses Center, a research institute in Philadelphia, who did the study."

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