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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 11 declined, 3 accepted (14 total, 21.43% accepted)

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Submission + - Obama: NASA won't go to the moon. (

Iron Condor writes: According to this LA Times story,

NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there, if President Obama gets his way.

When the White House releases its budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was to return humans to the moon by 2020. The Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to return to the moon. There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases.

"We certainly don't need to go back to the moon," one administration official said.


Submission + - Six-Core CPU unveiled (

Iron Condor writes: Quote: "Intel today showed once more the potential of Core with the first 6-core processor — which is not only evidence of the scalability, but also indicates the limits of this architecture. [...] In late 2006, Intel launched the Kentsfield multi-die quad-core processor and now the Dunnington multi-die six-core chip. They may not be as sophisticated as AMD's single-die quad-core CPUs, but they certainly leverage lots of manufacturing flexibility and enable the company to have achieved the 6-core mark first. AMD plans to release the single-die 6-core "Istanbul" processor in H2 2009. [...]"

Submission + - Rocket Racing ( 1

Iron Condor writes: The Oshkosh AirVenture 08 might not otherwise qualify for "news for nerds" — if it wasn't for the debut of the Rocket Racing League, which is exactly what it sounds like: NASCAR 1000m above ground in rocket-propelled airplanes. Created by X-prize founder/CEO Peter Diamandis, this is "the next evolution of racing" (at least according to the promo video, which is definitely worth watching)...

Submission + - FLOSS guide and catalog for the Enterprise (

Iron Condor writes: Every time F/L/OSS comes up at /. there's the immediate proclamation that there's just no good (/useful etc) free software for many areas of the enterprise. Conecta has published a guide (80 pages) and catalog (94 pages) of software selected to match the requests seen in the context of the FLOSSMETRICS and OpenTTT projects. From the web-page:

The application areas are infrastructural software (ranging from network and system management to security), ERP and CRM applications, groupware, document management, content management systems (CMS), VoIP, graphics/CAD/GIS systems, desktop applications, engineering and manufacturing, vertical business applications and eLearning.
The guides can be downloaded under a CC license here


Submission + - Jan-31 is 50th anniversary of Explorer-1 (

Iron Condor writes: From the site:

On Jan. 31, 1958, the JPL-designed and -built Explorer 1 soared into space. The spacecraft, a quick response to the Soviet's Sputnik, lofted the United States into the Space Age.

JPL's Explorer 1 site features archival video footage, an interactive peek inside the satellite and a downloadable, in-depth book about the era and the mission.

The site is online at

United States

Submission + - Clinton Assails Bush's 'War on Science' (

Iron Condor writes: Straight from WIRED News. Notable quotes: "For six and half years under President Bush, it has been open season on open inquiry," Clinton said. "By ignoring or manipulating science, the Bush administration is putting our future at risk and letting our economic competitors get an edge in the global economy."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Mark your calendar: Pretend to be a Time Traveler (

Iron Condor writes: Dresden Codac comes up with this clever idea for a "Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day" (Dec-08) on the Koala Wallop forum.

"Remember, the only real rule is staying in character and try to fit in. Never directly admit you're a time traveler, and make really, really bad attempts at keeping a low profile."
Some of the suggestions include such gems as "Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). Chuckle knowingly at cell phones." or "Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO" ".

I figured the /. crowd would be exactly the kind of folks who'd get into that kind of thing (I know that I do).


Submission + - US Slipping in Life Expectancy Rankings (

Iron Condor writes: Just an AP piece; operative quotations:
"[...]improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But [...] the U.S. won't move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance."
"The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does.


Submission + - Massachusetts Makes Health Insurance Mandatory (

Iron Condor writes: Massachusetts is the first state to require its residents to secure health insurance, a plan designed to get as close as practically possible to statewide universal health care. Presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney originally introduced the idea in 2004.

Effective July 1, 2007, the law, which uses federal and state tax dollars, is aimed at making health insurance affordable to all residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including low-income populations. Those who fall below the federal poverty line may be eligible for health care at no cost. A Health Disparities Council has been created to monitor and reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.


Submission + - Riding an Ion Drive to the Asteroid Belt (

Iron Condor writes: JPL is now close to embarking on another of its trademark, one-of-a-kind missions, this time to the heart of the asteroid belt: The Dawn mission is being prepared for launch this summer from Kennedy Space Center. Dawn will explore Ceres and Vesta, the two largest known asteroids in our solar system, which lie in the vast expanse between Mars and Jupiter. In the process, the mission will make history on several fronts. Besides being the first spacecraft to orbit a main-belt asteroid and the first to ever orbit two targets after leaving Earth, Dawn will be the first science mission powered by electric ion propulsion, the world's most advanced and efficient space propulsion technology.

Submission + - Progress on the Aritficial Brain

Iron Condor writes: The German magazine Der Spiegel has an article about the progress on the largest simulation of a part of a brain on the planet — with first interesting snippets and an outlook on the future (including, so the researchers hope, a simulation of a full human brain). Notable quote:

A project this ambitious would have been ridiculed a few years ago. "Today we have the computers we need," says biologist Henry Markram, 44, the project's director. "And we know enough to begin."

Submission + - NASA announces Moon Base plans

Iron Condor writes: NASA apparently figured out that the most expensive item to send to the moon is ... man. So they chose a strategy that emphasizes a robotic base as a first step before sending people. This should be a relief to those wo had feared the whole thing was going to be a second coming of Apollo, with a couple short trips by a bunch of folks and nothing left to show for it in the end...

Submission + - Getting Zuned

Iron Condor writes: Mike roberson writes at 219

I've been looking for a good verb to describe losing all of your music to DRM because it's increasingly common and I think I have one: zune.

Sample usage: He had an extensive classic rock collection that got zuned.


Microsoft made a corporate decision to abandon their previous technology called "Plays for Sure" and turn it into "Screwed for Sure". Anyone who purchased music from Rhapsody, Napster,, Wal-mart, BuyMusic, etc. will discover that music is unplayable. (Of course iTunes music won't play either because Apple doesn't play nicely with others.) You'll be required to re-purchase that music or go without.


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