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Comment Re:Hype, nothing (Score 5, Informative) 215

Not quite... "According to spokesmen of both NASA and the federal government, the price tag of the mission to Mars currently sits at approximately $11 billion over the course of the multi-stage implementation of the program. Unfortunately, flipping this extraordinary bill is only a small portion of the whole sum of costs imposed by the Mars Exploration Program." -

Submission + - SPAM: Acoustic cloak could hide ships, noisy neighbors

coondoggie writes: "Imagine a material so dense it could block sonar waves looking for warships or on a more pedestrian level, soundproof your apartment from the noisy neighbors. That's just a couple of the applications researchers say are possible with new materials that could create an acoustic cloak over large or small noise-makers. The fabric, known as metamaterial is defined by its unusual man-made cellular structure, researchers said. For example, researchers from the Wave Phenomena Group at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, calculated how metamaterials constructed with sonic crystals, solid cylinders in an array that can scatter sound waves, could be used in a multilayered structure to divert sound completely around an object. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - NASA awards contracts for Constellation spacesuit (

Me-The-Person writes: NASA has awarded a contract to Oceaneering International Inc. for the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system. The spacesuit will protect astronauts during Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and the surface of the moon. The new spacesuits can be used in two different configurations by replacing various sections of the suit with pieces designed for particular tasks.

Oil Billionaire Building World's Largest Wind Farm 661

gadzook33 writes "CNN is reporting that oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is planning to invest billions of dollars in what will probably be the world's largest wind farm. It will eventually generate 4 gigawatts, enough to power 1.3 million homes. The first 600 GE wind turbines are scheduled for delivery in 2010. Pickens says that each turbine will generate about $20,000 in income annually for the landowner who hosts it."
Hardware Hacking

Using RFID Tags Around the House? 254

Attacked-by-gremlins writes "I have a larger family and various items in the house (some tools, some pieces of clothing) 'travel' unexpectedly. We joke about gremlins doing that, but it's tiring never to be sure that I'll find an object where I left it two days ago. For the sheer hacking fun of it, I'm thinking of sticking RFID tags on some and trying to triangulate a position with several tranceivers placed in the house. Has anyone have any suggestions for this amateur 'Google Home'? Thanks."
It's funny.  Laugh.

FBI Wiretapping Audit Secrets Uncovered Via Ctrl+C 231

mytrip notes a story in Wired's Threat Level blog on the latest boneheaded government moves with redaction. (We've been discussing redaction follies here for years.) This time it's an FBI report (PDF) on implementing CALEA — you can select text from redacted areas, copy it, and paste into a text editor, as University of Pennsylvania professor Matt Blaze discovered. From Wired: "Once again, supposedly sensitive information blacked out from a government report turns out to be visible by computer experts armed with the Ctrl+C keys — and that information turns out to be not very sensitive after all... [Among] the tidbits considered too sensitive to be aired publicly: The FBI paid Verizon $2,500 apiece to upgrade 1,140 old telephone switches. Oddly the report didn't redact the total amount paid to the telecom — slightly more than $2.9 million dollars — but somehow the bad guys will win if they knew the number of switches and the cost paid."

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky