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Submission + - Steve Jobs Reported in 'Terminal' Shape ( 3

RonMcMahon writes: The Toronto Sun is reporting a QMI Agency story that Steve Jobs has been photographed at the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, Calif. where he is receiving treatment.

Photographs by the National Enquirer that were shown to critical-care physician Dr. Samuel Jacobson had him remarking that the 6-foot-2 Jobs appeared "close to terminal."


Low Quality Alloy Cause of Shuttle Main Tank Issue 118

BJ_Covert_Action writes "NASA engineers have finally discovered the root cause of the cracks that have been found on space shuttle Discovery's main external tank. The main tank, one of the 'Super Lightweight Tank' models developed by Lockheed-Martin, employs an aluminum-lithium alloy developed by Lockheed-Martin specifically for this application. The new alloy is used in various structural stringers throughout the SLWT design. Unfortunately, the batch of this alloy used in the tank that is currently mated with the Discovery shuttle appears to be of low quality. The alloy used in the stringers has a 'mottled' appearance, compared to the nominal appearance typically used in the main tank stringers (see picture in article). This appearance is indicative of a fracture threshold that is significantly lower than typical. NASA has determined, through testing, that this low grade alloy has only 65% of the fracture strength of the nominal alloy typically used. NASA engineers have devised a potential fix to the problem that they are currently testing to ensure the repair will cause no unintended consequences. NASA plans to have the Discovery shuttle ready to launch again by February 24th, 2011."

Tales From the Tech Trenches 99

GMGruman writes "Anyone in IT has a story or two involving stupid users, crazy co-workers, kludgy technology, and airhead managers. Lisa Blackwelder has collected top tales of the tech trenches, covering user antics, office politics, and unusual technical challenges that IT pros faced (usually) with aplomb, insight, and savvy."

Comment 8-bits are the best (Score 1) 709

I hunted down a pile of Commodore and Atari 8-bit systems in order to teach LOGO and BASIC programming to my two sons. The languages are immediate and responsive with a direct response to user input in a way far long lost in 'modern' development environments like Visual Studio 2010. The clear syntax of these two languages gives a child an easy path to comprehension that one command like: LEFT 34 makes something happen on the screen that you can immediately view.

The old "Hello World" sample application can be completed in 2 or less lines long in these languages. C++, C#, F#, VB.NET, etc... all fail to deliver such an accessible learning path, and that is why they fail to surpass 25+ year-old systems.

I believe that this approach has been a success. This year my eldest asked for the Flash development environment for Christmas...

FBI and NYPD Officers Sent On Museum Field Trip 70

In an attempt to "refresh their sense of inquiry" FBI agents, and NYPD officers are being sent to a course at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Art of Perception hopes to improve an officers' ability to accurately describe what they see during an investigation by studying art. From the article: "Amy Herman, the course leader, said: 'We're getting them off the streets and out of the precincts, and it refreshes their sense of inquiry. They're thinking, "Oh, how am I doing my job," and it forces them to think about how they communicate, and how they see the world around them.' Ms Herman, an art historian, originally developed the course for medical students, but successfully pitched it as a training course to the New York Police Academy."

Comment Google is an arm of the NSA (Score 1) 276

Don't worry about the FBI. What you should be concerned about is Google, which by my estimation is really just a business front for the NSA in its quest to 'know all'. Think about it: Google will happily and for free store or provide you services for:

- Email (gmail)
- Videos (YouTube)
- Files (Google Drive or whatever its called now)
- Audio communications (Google Voice)
- Photos (Picasa Web Albums)
- Friendship communications (Orkut and Buzz)
- Personal documents like spreadsheets, etc (Open Office)
- etc etc.

Of course one of the fine print actions that Google 'will do for you' is to mine the contents of whatever you entrust to them. They say that they are looking for information in order to create metadata in order to advertise to you, but no doubt they also are looking for activities, intentions and content that is either a threat (terrorism), subversive (damn commies) or illegal (child porn, etc.)

You might not think that 'Do no evil' Google is really the bad NSA, but this is similar to how they've operated in the past when they want to accomplish something very public in a non public manner. Recall their deal with Howard Huges in the 1970s to recover a soviet sub from the bottom of the ocean under the guise of operating a new mineral mining method.

If you look at the reported income for Google this is also suspicious. These revenue numbers are HUGE and when you evaluate it there needs to be a LOT of people clicking on paid ads or purchasing Google search appliances, etc. My own research indicates that the majority of people I've asked don't click the ads that often, leading the question of where is this nation of ad-clickers anyways? Perhaps it is just a way to launder, er feed money into an organization that is of immense intelligence value but simply doesn't have a true revenue model that provides the income that they claim.

I'd love to be wrong, so please show me how I could be so fooled by my suspicions.

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead 228

grrlscientist writes "A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct."

Comment I got Microsoft to refund 100% of my Office cost (Score 2, Interesting) 171

Back in 2004 Microsoft paid me $850 for my copy of Office 97 Professional because it was shipped to me on floppy and by 2004 the software would no longer install, calling me a thief.

It turned out that the floppy version had a lock built in to it that would kick in after a certain number of installs and by 2004 Microsoft no longer shipped software in floppy format.

I checked out the printed Software License and it made no mention of this install limit or the lock mechanism. Microsoft offered to ship me a replacement CD, but the notebook I was using this on had no CD ROM drive. At this point I demanded a full refund and Microsoft paid me that $850 in exchange for Disk 1 and the Software License.

No court needed. :)

How the Internet Didn't Fail As Predicted 259

Lord Byron Eee PC writes "Newsweek is carrying a navel-gazing piece on how wrong they were when in 1995 they published a story about how the Internet would fail. The original article states, 'Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.' The article continues to say that online shopping will never happen, that airline tickets won't be purchased over the web, and that newspapers have nothing to fear. It's an interesting look back at a time when the Internet was still a novelty and not yet a necessity."

Comment Re:Nuclear Power is so last century (Score 1) 163

We would only build new coal generation if we choose to.

In the same way that governments ran after nuclear power in the mid 20th Century, governments of today must choose to pursue clean, reliable and safe energy sources like geothermal and deliberately shut down and dismantle our toxic collection of nuclear power stations.

Comment Nuclear Power is so last century (Score 1) 163

Nuclear power was the best idea of the last century but we now know of so many better and cheaper ways to safely generate stable and reliable power that to continue to pursue the old idea of nuclear energy is foolish. That toxic technology has killed thousands, rendered vast areas of Europe with toxic levels of radioactivity and has burdened thousands of future generations with the obligation of securing and maintaining the waste created by this idea whose time has passed.

The sooner that our governments move our energy production to safer and more reliable systems like geothermal, the better. Building up an entirely new and stable energy system based upon the vast heat resource under our feet would boost our economy out of the recession we are in while improving our security and safety through the complete dismantling of the toxic legacy of nuclear power generation.

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