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Submission + - Wired responds to Lamo-Manning controversy (

MithrandirAgain writes: Six months ago, senior editor Kevin Poulsen came to me with a whiff of a story. A source he'd known for years claimed he was talking to the FBI about an enlisted soldier in Iraq who had bragged to him in an internet chat of passing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the secret-spilling site Wikileaks.

It's probably nothing, Poulsen said. The source in question, an ex-hacker named Adrian Lamo, often sees himself as at the center of important events in need of public attention. But sometimes, Poulsen added, he's right.

Acknowledging the long shot, Poulsen wanted to drive up to Sacramento, California, to meet Lamo in person and try to get a copy of the alleged chats. I agreed.

What followed was a days-long negotiation of two steps forward, one step back, familiar to investigative reporters whose social networks and reporting skills sometimes put them in touch with skittish sources holding the keys to serious news. The result was our groundbreaking report in June confirming the arrest of Pfc. Bradley Manning on suspicion of passing classified material to Wikileaks, a central thread in what is arguably one of the most important news stories of the year.


Putin Orders Russian Move To GNU/Linux 500

Glyn Moody writes "Vladimir Putin has signed an order calling for Russian federal authorities to move to GNU/Linux, and for the creation of 'a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power.' There have been a number of Russian projects to roll out free software, notably in the educational sector, but none so far has really taken off. With the backing of Putin, could this be the breakthrough free software has been waiting for?"

Submission + - New Molecule Could Lead To Better Rocket Fuel (

MithrandirAgain writes: Trinitramid is the name of the new molecule that may be a component in future rocket fuel. This fuel could be 20 to 30 percent more efficient in comparison with the best rocket fuels available today, according to researchers. The discovery was made at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden.

"A rule of thumb is that for every ten-percent increase in efficiency for rocket fuel, the payload of the rocket can double. What's more, the molecule consists only of nitrogen and oxygen, which would make the rocket fuel environmentally friendly. This is more than can be said of today's solid rocket fuels, which entail the emission of the equivalent of 550 tons of concentrated hydrochloric acid for each launch of the space shuttle," says Tore Brinck, professor of physical chemistry at KTH.


Submission + - Delicious Will Not Get Axed... Sort Of (

geegel writes: In a statement on their Delicious official blog, Yahoo now claims that: "No, we are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive".

What that means can be everyone's guess, but at least for now, your delicious accounts are safe.


When Your Company Remote-Wipes Your Personal Phone 446

Xenographic writes "NPR has a story about someone whose personal iPhone got remotely wiped by their employer. It was actually a mistake, but it was something of a surprise because they didn't believe they had given their employer any kind of access to do that. This may already be very familiar to Microsoft Exchange admins, but the problem was her iPhone's integration with MS Exchange automatically gives the server admin access to do remote wipes. All you have to do is configure the phone to receive email from an MS Exchange server and the server admin can wipe your phone at will. The phone wasn't bricked, even though absolutely all of its data was wiped, because the data could be restored from backup, assuming that someone had remembered to make one. But this also works on other devices like iPads, Blackberry phones, and other smartphones that integrate with MS Exchange. So if you read your work email on your personal phone or tablet, you might want to make sure that you keep backups, just in case."

Submission + - Space Tourism Rockets May Help Shrink The Icecaps (

MithrandirAgain writes: A new study from several scientists at the Aerospace Corporation claims spaceships that rely on rubber based fuel could help cause climate change. The fuel apparently expels a black carbon soot into the stratosphere when burned with nitrous oxide, which could be contributing to global climate changes, like shrinking the icecaps. However, the authors are careful about their study being an end-all study and are “inviting others to take a look.”
Virgin Galactic, whose SpaceShipTwo just made its first solo flight (and uses the type of fuel discussed in the study), is listening to the scientists concerns, CEO George Whitesides saying "I think we and others in the industry welcome the opportunity to talk about all of these issues..." SpaceShipTwo does use a hybrid engine, "because of its significantly lower environmental impact than other designs.” and Whitesides stresses “I think as we look at this more, we’ll find the impact will be far smaller than that set out in the paper... In any case, I welcome the conversation.”

Comment Re:This is simply misguided -- don't we know bette (Score 1) 252

Actually, what I wrote was not some sweeping blanket for all of mankind; variations in humans would not make this possible. What I wrote was actually an addition to the previous ideas, not a new separate one.
*Some* people have no interest in astrophysics and consequently will never become astrophysicists. Others *want* to become astrophysicists, but lack the (brains, intelligence...) to do so.

Comment Re:If it's Microsoft, it's not really yours. (Score 1) 359

This is progress?

According to some, companies have the God-given right to do whatever they want to do, like restrict their costumer's rights, etc. And usually the response to such allegations is "If you don't like it, take a hike." which is often not possible (Google Analytics, anyone?)
Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot we can do. Unless what a company does explicitly break the law, there is nothing we can do except not buy from them. (Or we could just waste our lives by writing really nasty letters all day to Ballmer, Jobs, and Schmidt.)
In other words, companies care diddly-squat about "progress". It's all about the Benjamins.


Xbox 360 Jailbreaker May Need Real Jailbreak 359

An anonymous reader writes "Back in July, the Librarian of Congress officially made it legal to jailbreak your iPhone (or any phone). So why is it that the government is trying to prosecute Matthew Crippen for jailbreaking Xbox 360s? If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison, and lawyers are trying to prevent the author of a book about jailbreaking the original Xbox from testifying in Crippen's defense. What kind of law says it's okay to jailbreak the phone in your pocket, but not your gaming console?"

Comment Re:This is simply misguided -- don't we know bette (Score 1) 252

I fail to understand what you fail to understand.
Let me try that again: Some people don't really give a shit about how much money, power, knowledge or fame they get. If someone finds physics interesting, that doesn't mean they're going to become a rocket scientist, or have any desire to do so.

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