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Submission + - Topi Antelopes Trick Partners Into Mating

Hugh Pickens writes: "Animals use trickery of all sorts in the wild—for instance, some birds fake injuries to lure attackers away from their young but the deception is usually aimed at rivals or threats, not potential mates. Now the NY Times reports that on the wild plains of Kenya a male topi antelope will try to keep females from leaving his territory by pretending that a predator might be in the area. When a female appears to be leaving, the male will run in front of her, freeze in place, stare in the direction that she is going and snort loudly. Typically, that snort means that a predatory lion or cheetah was spotted, but in this case the male is faking it. “He doesn’t look at the female. He takes a rigid stance exactly as if there were a predator there,” says Jakob Bro-Jorgensen who studied the behavior of hundreds of topi antelopes in the Masai Mara National Reserve and observed the males acting this way time after time. Tricking a female into sticking around for a few extra minutes gives the buck more chances for sex and denies other males the opportunity. The female antelope generally retreats back into the male’s territory and although it would seem that they might catch on after a while, getting fooled does not have much of a downside, while ignoring what might be a real warning could be deadly. “It’s too dangerous to take the chance,” says Bro-Jorgensen."
United States

Submission + - Helium crisis approaching (

vrmlguy writes: "In ten years, the National Helium Reserve will be depleted, according to an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. An article in Science Daily echoes the concern, quoting Dr. Lee Sobotka, of Washington University in St. Louis: "Helium is non-renewable and irreplaceable. Its properties are unique and unlike hydrocarbon fuels (natural gas or oil), there are no biosynthetic ways to make an alternative to helium. All should make better efforts to recycle it." On Earth, Helium is found mixed with natural gas, but few producers capture it. The US created a stockpile in 1925 for use by military dirigibles, but stopped stockpiling it in 1995 as a cost-saving measure."

Submission + - Massive layoffs at Tesla motors (

sshir writes: According to Martin Eberhard's blog there are massive stealth layoffs at Tesla motors going on now. My speculation: judging by qualifications of fired personnel, it seems that "White star" is dead and more importantly, that Tesla Motors is preparing to be acquired purely as a patent holder company.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - A Giant Step toward Infinitesimal Machinery (

msaleem1 writes: "PhysOrg asks some great questions and attempts to explore potential answers: What are the ultimate limits to miniaturization? How small can machinery — with internal workings that move, turn, and vibrate — be produced? What is the smallest scale on which computers can be built?"

Submission + - What's the best way to teach myself math? 4

An anonymous reader writes: I have a secret. In high school I failed two out of three years of math classes and eventually dropped out of school completely. Although dropping out was the most foolish thing I have ever done, I am not dumb. I earned my general equivalency diploma as soon as was legally possible and from there went on to college and beyond. That was many years ago and my most basic algebra, trigonometry, and geometry skills are slipping away at an alarming rate. I'm looking for a self-guided course covering the equivalent of 4 years of high school mathematics including calculus. My math skills are holding me back. How can I turn this around?

Submission + - Redhat sued for Patent Infringement

tqft writes: "
"The first ever patent infringement litigation regarding Linux. Here's the patent, for those who can look at it without risk. If in doubt, don't. "
For those who can without fear read a patent:,072,412

"Plaintiffs IP Innovation and Technology Licensing Corp. claim to have the rights to U.S. Patent No. 5,072,412 for a User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects issued Dec. 10, 1991 along with two other similar patents.

Get your game faces on. Party Time."

Submission + - Hillary Clinton Declares War on Space Exploration (

MarkWhittington writes: "Recently, Senator Hillary Clinton revealed her science agenda. Of great interest to people involved in making and debating space policy were the three bullets concerning the space program. To be brief and to the point, Hillary's agenda would be terrible news for anyone who supports space exploration and space commerce."

Submission + - Do Content Provider Executives Read Online Forums? (

Dax writes: "I've been reading slashdot for nearly a decade now, and I've found it both useful and occasionally comical in many areas of life (especially when I implemented the Win2k ban on UCSB's ResNet...the /. comments made for hilarious reading that week). Throughout college and my career, I've relied on online forums such as these for feedback, and to get a vague sense of how it is for folks "in the trenches", so to speak.

Given the hundreds — if not thousands — of submissions to slashdot, digg, techdirt, et al regarding DRM and all of its catastrophic failures (let's use Blu-Ray and HD-DVD as the main example), do the decision makers and visionaries at these companies put any stock into the horribly negative feedback all over the web concerning these topics?

If so, why haven't we (consumers) seen shifts away from defective by design technologies? If not, why not? In my current position, I sell Cisco equipment...and my reputation can be made or slayed by what goes on in these forums, so I keep a serious eye open to constructive criticisms, or (hopefully more often), positive feedback. Why don't other executives?"


Submission + - iPhone Security Hellhole? ( 1

TheAncientHacker writes: "eWeek reports that not only is the iPhone's root password compromised, not only was the password a simple six character lower case word, but the entire freakin' system — all apps and utils and tools from the calculator to the kernel — run as root."

Submission + - Preorders open for 230MPG car ( 4

m4ximusprim3 writes: Aptera Automotive, maker of the Aptera 230mpg diesel hybrid is now taking $500 "pre orders" for the car, which is scheduled to go into production in 12 months.

The Vehicle seats two people side by side, gets 230mpg at 55mph, has a trunk large enough for a surfboard, and goes from 0-60 in less than 10 seconds.

And, it looks like a fish!


Submission + - Mozilla says Apple must fix Quicktime flaw

JavaJack writes: " is reporting that even though Mozilla fixed "a critical bug in the way the Firefox browser works with QuickTime media files" which "gives attackers a way to run unauthorized commands on a victim's PC", Mozilla claims that the bug can't be fully fixed until Apple fixes Quicktime. From the article...

A July 2007 patch was supposed to take care of this type of problem, but [hacker Petko] Petkov showed how attackers could still run commands on a victim's system by tricking a victim into opening a maliciously coded QuickTime media file.
In fact, until Apple addresses the underlying flaw in QuickTime, there still could be headaches for users, Mozilla said in its security advisory on the issue. "QuickTime Media-link files could still be used to annoy users with popup windows and dialogs until this issue is fixed in QuickTime," the advisory states.
Mozilla's fix is included in Firefox"

Submission + - Which Lost/Stolen Laptop Trackers Do You Like? 2

saudadelinux writes: "I got held up at gunpoint in July, and my laptop was stolen. Fortunately, I was able to get a new one, and I'm typing this post on it.
There companies out which for a fee, install tracker software on your laptop. If it's stolen or lost, they track its whereabouts whenever it gets on the 'Net and work with local law enforcement and ISPs to find the machine. I'm wondering: does anyone use one of those services? Does anyone have a recommendation for which company to go with? I'm using a dual-boot Ubuntu/XP machine, and the couple of companies I've looked at do Windows-only. Are there Linux options? TIA, saudadelinux"

Submission + - Aging telecommunications network

Jake Platt writes: I am a network consultant working on Long Island, NY and help support about a dozen small to mid-size companies mainly located in a huge industrial park originally built in the 1950's. In the past 60 days, the Verizon data and voice networks have experienced huge spikes in failures, as many as, 2 — 3 local loop/central office equipment and line failures per week for each of my clients!!! Verizon has been taking 2-3 days to respond, effectively leaving these companies in the dark (no internet, no email, no voice). I've never seen anything like this. Privately, the Verizon tech support guys have told me that the copper lines in the ground are so old that they are letting the system go into decline and do not want to spend any $$$ to improve it until they have no choice. Are parts of the US telecommunications network reaching its age limit? Jake Platt Long Island, NY

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