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Facebook: the Law Says You Can't Have Your Data 165

An anonymous reader writes "After making 22 complaints regarding Facebook's various practices, the Austrian group Europe versus Facebook stumbled upon an important tidbit: Facebook says it is not required to give you a copy of some of your personal data if it deems doing so would adversely affect its trade secrets or intellectual property. I followed up with Facebook and learned the company insists the law places 'reasonable limits' on the data that has to be provided."

Molecular Basis for Life Found on Extrasolar Planet 89

DarkProphet writes "NASA scientists have discovered the first evidence of organic molecules on an extrasolar planet. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, they detected trace amounts of methane on a swirling gas giant about 63 light-years from our own planet. Being a gas giant, there's almost no chance this discovery represents extrasolar life. A unique find, just the same. 'HD 189733b, a so-called "hot Jupiter," located 63 light years away, has proven a boon for scientists studying exoplanets. Its large size and proximity to its star mean that it dims the star's light more than any other known exoplanet. Combine that with its home star's high brightness, and scientists find that the system creates the best viewing conditions of any known extrasolar system. At different wavelengths, every atom and molecule has its own telltale footprint, so scientists can convert what are known as absorption spectra into the chemical composition of the object they're looking at.'"

Satellite Spotters Make Government Uneasy 439

An anonymous reader found an interesting little story about satellite spotters and how, not surprisingly, their painstakingly methodical hobby doesn't exactly make gazillion dollar government agencies all that excited. Of course the article raises the very obvious point that if a guy with a pair of binoculars in his back yard can spot a satellite, so can the Chinese government.

PS3 Downtime To Fight Disease 289

Aerenel writes, "CNN reports that Sony has teamed up with Folding@home to use the PS3 to study how proteins are formed in the human body and how they sometimes form incorrectly. From the article: 'Donating [a gamer's] PS3's down time to researchers could help cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or mad cow disease.' PS3 users will be able to download a software package that tracks when the PS3 is not being used. While gamers are in school, at work, or asleep, their system's Cell processor can be used to perform simulations for research organizations. The PS3, due in November, has gotten serious negative press in the past few months, and this refreshing good news may win back the hearts of gamers still undecided about purchasing the system."

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