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Submission + - White House wants ideas for 'bootstrapping a solar system civilization' (

MarkWhittington writes: Tom Kalil, the Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Senior Advisor for Science, Technology and Innovation for the National Economic Council, has an intriguing Tuesday post on the OSTP blog. Kalil is soliciting ideas for “bootstrapping a solar system civilization.” Anyone interested in offering ideas along those lines to the Obama administration can contact a special email address that has been set up for that purpose.

The ideas that Kalil muses about in his post are not new for people who have studied the question of how to settle space at length. The ideas consist of sending autonomous robots to various locations in space to create infrastructure using local resources with advanced manufacturing technology, such as 3D printing. The new aspect is that someone in the White House is publicly discussing these concepts.

Submission + - The Guardian reveals that Whisper app tracks 'anonymous' users (

qqod writes: After visiting the offices of Whisper to discuss future journalistic collaborations, from the article:

"The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users â" including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services â" will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws."


Submission + - Door security controller failure again! (

videoman2 writes: "More and more devices are getting web interfaces, however they are not getting the security reviews they they should be. Here is a classic example:

This reminds me a retail store, overhead paging system that I hacked for a client, where by just sending a POST request (or was it GET..) you could have the thing to say all sorts of fun things..."

Submission + - Mitch Altman parts ways with Maker Fair over DARPA Grant (

SWroclawski writes: "Well known hacker and hackerspace advocate, Mitch Altman has decided to temporarily part ways with Maker Faire over their involvement with DARPA (as reported on Twitter and Facebook). This public parting of ways raises the question of what role government, especially the military, should play in working alongside hackers and educators."

Submission + - Universe, human brain, and the Internet (

An anonymous reader writes: In a fascinating new study, physicists have shown that the accelerating universe, human brain, and the Internet follow very similar evolutionary traits. They find that the network of causal spacetime quanta, human brain connectivity, and the Internet graph, all follow a degree distribution of exponent 2, and the growth dynamics are asymptotically identical. These findings suggest that unexpectedly similar mechanisms may shape the large-scale structure and dynamics of complex systems as different as the brain, the Internet, and the universe.

Submission + - HTC sensation XL Review (

An anonymous reader writes: Amidst the crowd of Smartphones, the HTC sensation XL seems like bringing freshness in every aspect of telephony, ranging from the design of the phone to its software as well as hardware. In design, the phone is further extension to conventional HTC design. The device is thin and light. The back of the phone is metallic and, however, it is not entirely unibody. The power button is located at the top of the phone with the headphone jack, volume keys on the right and the micro USB port on the left. On the back side there is located the camera lens with the dual LED flash and the loudspeaker.

Corn Genome Sequenced 64

dooling writes "Later this week, the completion of the maize genome draft sequence will be announced. Maize has a large genome (slightly smaller than human) that is highly repetitive (about 80%). These facts made a whole-genome shotgun approach to sequencing infeasible. Therefore, a BAC-by-BAC approach was taken, similar to what was done for the Human Genome Project. Further work on the maize genome will focus on the parts of the genome that have genes, thereby avoiding the highly-repetitive regions of the genome (even though the maize genome is slightly smaller than human, it is thought to have about twice as many genes). You can read my take here."

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