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Comment N0NEA (Score 5, Interesting) 358

I got my license over 20 years when I started work at an RF engineering company (I was the accountant). I wanted to learn what we were building and the owner and most of the engineers were hams. I don't use my license much, but I learned a lot about technology. I learned to solder, built my own packet radio rig, and made the assemblers and techs laugh about my skills. I still am able to carry on a decent conversation about radio and it's served me well in all areas of technology.

Submission + - Hubble photographs new "scar" on Jupiter (

BearRanger writes: Calibration of new systems in the Hubble Space Telescope (installed in May by Shuttle Atlantis astronauts) were interrupted to take pictures of the new "scar" near the south pole of Jupiter. The scar is believed to have been caused by the impact of an asteroid or small comet with the gas giant. Hubble's return to service will be delayed by this interruption, but NASA says that rare events such as this warrant the delay. This is only the second recorded impact of an object with Jupiter.

Submission + - Realtime GPS weather forecasts via Google Maps (

Juneau writes: Check out GPS Solution's new way to get your weather forecast off the web. Get accurate and high resolution weather forecasts for any location — your home, favorite remote camping spot, a mountain top you plan to climb, or an offshore oil rig. Just use Google maps to navigate, click, and you see a 3-day forecast for wind, precipitation, and pressure. The forecast is generated with the "WRF" model — a joint development by NCAR and NOAA — it is run at 12 km horizontal and 30-min temporal resolution. The forecast uses GPS data — information based on the delay of the GPS signals in the atmosphere due to atmospheric water vapor — which helps improve the precipitation forecasts.

A cool feature of this web site is that you can generate links for specific locations which allows you to check the forecast for this location anytime with a single click. Click through for examples of Microsoft HQ, Google HQ, and the top of Mount Rainier.

It takes about a second to generate the forecast plots so you have to be a little patient. Also, presently forecasts are available only for the continental US and Eastern Asia — the language will change depending from where you click. Europe and other regions should be added soon.


Submission + - 9th Circuit: Employees' text messages are private (

Juneau writes: The 9th Circuit Court indicated that employers are not allowed to read email ortextmessages of their employees. A PDF version of the decision can be found here.

Note that if the employee had signed a consent for the company to review the data, there would have been no complaint. Most of the companies and govermental agencies I've been involved with require the employee to sign a release as part of the employment papers.

Seems to me that this will just serve to remind the HR department to include an additional waiver in the employee's papers.


Wikileaks Airs Scientology Black Ops 509

An anonymous reader alerts us to new material up on Wikileaks: 208 scanned pages (in one PDF) relating to the Church of Scientology and its former "Office of Special Affairs" employee (and subsequent apostate) Frank Oliver. "The documents are dated between 1986 and 1992 inclusive, when, according to the file, Frank Oliver was declared a 'suppressive person' and excommunicated. Frank Oliver should be able to verify the material and has appeared in the media before on subjects relating to the church. Starting on page 107, the document shows that at the time of writing the Church of Scientology was still actively engaged in black propaganda (especially concerning psychiatry), 'fair game' and infiltration."
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - GiveWell charity reviews: nice is not enough (

Holden Karnofsky writes: "With giving season upon us, we're all about to be drowned in appeals for charity. But generosity isn't enough — how do we decide WHERE to give?

GiveWell is the first public exploration of what charities do and whether it works. We've just released our report on saving lives in Africa, and we estimate that our top-ranked charity saves lives for about $250-1,000 apiece — easily 3-4x as good as other good charities in the same cause.

Existing "watchdogs" look only at formal financial data, rating charities by how much they spend on "administrative expenses." That's like rating movies by how much they spend on actors. We put charities through a thorough examination process, and we're the first to use and publish their internal reports — the only way to see the evidence of whether (and how) they're changing lives.

Individual donors give over $200 billion a year, over 100x as much as Gates and 6x as much as all foundations combined. Yet all this money has no way of getting to the best charities possible — until now. I hope you'll help your readers find us, because like any other gift, helping people isn't just about how much you spend."

The Internet

Submission + - Colorado Rockies - "malicious attack" of 8

Juneau writes: The Denver Post reports on today's World Series ticket sales: (

Spokesman Jay Alves said tonight that the failure of Monday's ticket sales happened because the system was brought down today by an "external malicious attack." The Rockies have suspended online sales for World Series tickets, spokesman Jay Alves said this afternoon. Alves said that several hundred sales that went through before sales were suspended today will be honored. "We are as frustrated and disappointed as (fans) are," Alves said.

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