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Submission + - DARPA hunts airplane-like spacecraft that can go Mach 10 (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: The idea is cool enough — build a reusable aircraft-like system that could easily and relatively cheaply launch satellites into orbit. The kinks will be that the system need do that for somewhere in the $5 million per launch range and oh yeah, go well over Mach 10. As you might have guessed, the project to develop such a system is being put forth by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which will more fully detail the program, known as the Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) in October.

Submission + - Stronger winds explain puzzling growth of sea ice in Antarctica (washington.edu)

vinces99 writes: As NOAA announces a new record for the extent of sea ice in Antarctica, a new modeling study to be published in the Journal of Climate shows that stronger polar winds lead to an increase in Antarctic sea ice, even when Earth's overall climate is getting warmer. The study by Jinlun Zhang, a University of Washington oceanographer, shows that stronger westerly winds swirling around the South Pole can explain 80 percent of the increase in Antarctic sea ice volume during the past three decades. The polar vortex that swirls around the South Pole is not just stronger than it was when satellite records began in the 1970s, it also shoves the sea ice together to cause ridging. Stronger winds also drive ice faster, which leads to still more deformation and ridging. This creates thicker, longer-lasting ice, while exposing surrounding water and thin ice to the blistering cold winds that cause more ice growth. A computer simulation that includes detailed interactions between wind and sea shows that thick ice — more than 6 feet deep — increased by about 1 percent per year from 1979 to 2010, while the amount of thin ice stayed fairly constant. The end result is a thicker, slightly larger ice pack that lasts longer into the summer.
Censorship

In Australia, Bosses May Get Power To Snoop On Emails 287

Numerous readers noted the proposal by the Australian government for legislation to allow employers to snoop on employees' email and IM conversations. This is being proposed in the name of protecting the infrastructure from terrorism. The attorney-general cited the Estonian cyber-attacks as a reason why such employer monitoring is necessary in Australia — never mind that the attacks were perpetrated by a lone 20-year-old and not by a foreign government or terrorist. The law permitting intelligence agencies to snoop on citizens without permission expires this June, leading to the government's urgency to extend and expand it. The chairman of Electronic Frontiers Australia said, "These new powers will facilitate fishing expeditions into employees' emails and computer use rather than being used to protect critical infrastructure. I'm talking about corporate eavesdropping and witch-hunts... If an employer wanted to [sack] someone, they could use these powers."
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Evolution of Apple notebooks

An anonymous reader writes: Here's an interesting look at the apple laptop and how it has evolved "Apple has had a long history of producing great notebook computers. In fact, the first Powerbook is credited with being the birth of the modern notebook....but their first steps into the Portable Computer market were less than successful." http://www.applegazette.com/mac/apple-history-the- evolution-of-apple-notebooks/
Google

Submission + - Critical Google Desktop Vulnerability

Yababay writes: Yair Amit of Watchfire has discovered some very critical vulnerabilities in Google Desktop that could allow a remote malicious individual access to any sensitive information on the local computer. The security research team has published a detailed white paper on the attack methodology, showing several possible outcomes from access of sensitive information, to turning Google Desktop features (such as Search across Computers) against itself, to remote command execution. This attack works by exploiting a persistent cross-site scripting vulnerability. A demonstration of this attack is also available.
Businesses

Submission + - Preparing for a wave of offshoring-related layoffs

PetManimal writes: "The Brookings Institution has released a PDF report that paints a grim picture of the affect of offshoring on metropolitan economies in the United States. The report says at least 17 percent of computer programming, software engineering, and data entry jobs are likely to be offshored in certain metropolitan areas, especially in the Northeast and West. Another estimate of the impact of offshoring on IT found that 49 out of 50 states have cities that will be impacted by offshoring (Wyoming was the only state not affected). One of the people interviewed for the second article gave some advice on detecting layoffs, and avoiding them:

A layoff can come for many reasons, such as a merger or spin-off or economic changes. Most workers will detect some warning signs, such as seeing a manager's office doors closed more often and having formerly positive feedback on job performance suddenly turn negative, [independent IBM consultant Jamie] Giovanetto said. Memos outlining new cost-saving initiatives or "stupid cost-cutting" measures, such as reducing office supplies, are another tip-off, he said. He recommends reading a company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, as well as networking with customers and competitors who may have insights. Avoiding a layoff requires you to give the best you can on the job, but even little things can make a difference, Giovanetto said. Working at becoming a subject-matter expert and keeping a clean, organized and professional-looking work space may lead to better assignments. "It's just an appearance thing, but it does pay benefits," he said.
"
Wii

Submission + - Questions Raised About Wii Health Research

An anonymous reader writes: A study claiming that kids playing Wii burn 40% more calories compared to time spent gaming with conventional controls was recently announced in a Nintendo press release. Now it's been revealed that the study was commissioned by Nintendo, a fact omitted from the press release, and was actually nothing more than a feasibility study based on 45 minutes play of Wii Sports. It's a shame, because these omissions mark the card of this otherwise very interesting study.
The Internet

Submission + - Peer Inside Your Neighbor's House

An anonymous reader writes: Mapping applications like Google Earth have let us peer over the fence and into our neighbors' yards for a while now. For the voyeur crowd this peering is limited to a birds-eye-view of the yard and roof. New applications like Mapwing are overcoming these limitations and taking users right inside their neighbor's properties with an unprecedented level of detail. Based on the idea of local positioning, rather than global, this system lets users draw or provide their own maps and reveal details that are not visible from space. It also uses directional photography to link images to the map based upon the direction and location at which they were taken. The images can be connected spatially to provide a highly detailed walkthrough of a place.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Gates vs Jobs

bennett77 writes: This is an hilarious video posted on Frostfirepulse via Youtube. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs square off in the clean white virtual world of the iconic Mac ads. Macs may look good, but PC's pay my bills. I will stick with them.
Networking

Submission + - U.S. Lags World In Broadband Access

An anonymous reader writes: When It Comes To Broadband, U.S. Plays Follow The Leader says a story in IWeek. The thesis is that, while broadband access in the United States rose from 60 million users in March 2005 to 84 million in March 2006, the U.S. is well behind countries like England and China. Indeed, what you may not realize is that the U.S. ranks a surprisingly poor 12th in worldwide broadband access, a situation which could threaten its ability to maintain its technological lead. Do you think this is the case; indeed, has the U.S. lost its lead already, we just haven't admitted it?
Security

Submission + - IAEA Introduces New Radiation Warning Symbol

An anonymous reader writes: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the new ionizing radiation warning symbol with radiating waves, a skull and crossbones and a running person is tested with different population groups to ensure that its message of "danger — stay away" was crystal clear and understood by all.

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