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Submission + - Slashdot the victim of peering problems on Comcast? ( 3

jddj writes: Not sure how to tell you guys, but Slashdot won't load on my Comcast internet. Everything else appears fine. This has been going on all day (Tuesday).

Happening on multiple machines and mobiles on my home LAN. If I switch the same machine over to my VPN with a same-city exit point, Slashdot loads near-instantly in the same browser, same connection — just tunnelled over VPN.

Not a DNS problem, already checked. Loads fairly quickly on 4G LTE-connected mobile phone on VZW.

Ought to look into it...

Submission + - Biofuels from corn crop can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline (

Chipmunk100 writes: Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. The findings by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team of researchers cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Submission + - MS reduced WinXP custom support prices (

yuhong writes: MS reduced WinXP custom support prices (often by ten-fold) in the week before it ended support (to closer to what NT4/Win2000 custom support used to cost). According to the article: "Sources familiar with Microsoft's position claimed that the company changed its CSA pricing tune after chief operating officer Kevin Turner returned to Redmond at the beginning of the month from a swing through the sales force, where he got an earful about customers with thousands of XP machines and no chance of making the migration deadline. The decision to drop prices was made shortly after that."

Submission + - MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor (

Amtrak writes: MIT has created designs for a nuclear plant that would avoid the downfall of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The new design calls for the nuclear plant to be placed on a floating platform modeled after the platforms used for offshore oil drilling.

A floating platform several miles offshore, moored in about 100 meters of water, would be unaffected by the motions of a tsunami; earthquakes would have no direct effect at all. Meanwhile, the biggest issue that faces most nuclear plants under emergency conditions — overheating and potential meltdown, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island — would be virtually impossible at sea.

Submission + - Anti-tech protests in San Francisco turn out to be underhanded ploy by union

execthis writes: In the news over past weeks and months have been stories about protests in San Francisco in which buses for Google have been blocked by protesters. Today it is revealed that a union is behind these protests, which amount to a dirty tactic on their part to attempt to humiliate the City and County of San Francisco government into giving raises to their employees. In other words, they have been faux protests staged by the Service Employees International Union as an underhanded attempt to gain leverage and force the city to give them wage increases. Its interesting to note that there recently were other seemingly faux protests in front of Staples stores, this time by the postal workers (I say seemingly because they did not appear to openly reveal that they were in fact postal workers).

Submission + - Yasser Arafat's clothing confirmed to be contaminated with Polonium. (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientific analysis has now confirmed that former Fatah leader and PLO/PNA head Yasser Arafat's clothing was contaminated with Polonium. The radioactivity was measured in megabecquerels, suggesting a gigabecquerel dose prior to death. No autopsy was performed on Arafat's body prior to burial at the request of his widow, and this seems to be the next logical step in the investigation into what is perhaps now confirmed to be an assassination.

Polonium, an extremely rare radioactive element, was implicated in the poisoning death of former FSB agent and Russian dissident/exile Alexander Litvinenko( who was killed in the UK after alleged cooperation with MI6 intelligence.

Submission + - Chilean Start-up Prints First Mind-Designed Object 1

seanellis writes: Chilean start-up Thinker Thing has delivered on its promise, and has announced the first real object designed by pure thought. Using an evolutionary algorithm guided by emotional feedback, Thinker Thing's goal is to allow the creation of designs without having to first learn a craft to make them. Their current project is to allow schoolchildren to design toy monsters, which are ideal experimental objects as they are very flexible and emotionally charged.

Submission + - Microsoft taking orders for Surface 2 (

tekgoblin writes: "Microsoft debuted its second generation of Surface at CES 2011 and is now taking orders for it. The new surface table will cost you a solid $8,400 which is quite lower than the previous price of $12,500 for the first generation Surface. The newer version of Microsoft Surface is manufacturered by Samsung Electronics which allowed for Microsoft to take better advantage of newer touch screen technology. The Samsung version of Microsoft Surface is also much more thin than the first generation version of Surface."

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