Smivs writes: The BBC report that planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, best known for his involvement in Britain's Beagle 2 Mars mission, has died aged 70. Prof Pillinger was the driving force behind the ultimately doomed Mars lander, and was awarded a CBE in 2003. His spokesman said he suffered a brain haemorrhage at his home in Cambridge and later died in hospital.
Smivs writes: Of the nearly 11,000 silent films made between 1912 and 1930, only 14% still exist in their original format, Library of Congress research has found.
And 11% of those that survive only exist as foreign versions or on lower-quality formats, meaning an original 20th century art form has all but disappeared.
Silent films were at their peak between in the early part of the century when — before network radio or television — going to the cinema was the most popular form of entertainment.
Famous films now considered lost include Cleopatra from 1917, The Great Gatsby from 1926, Lon Chaney's London After Midnight from 1927, and The Patriot from 1928.
Librarian of Congress James Billington says "The loss of American silent-era feature films constitutes an alarming and irretrievable loss to our nation's cultural record."
Smivs writes: A year after veteran presenter Sir Patrick Moore died, the BBC are discussing pulling this iconic programme. This has unleashed a torrent of criticism from fans of the monthly science-based astronomy show. There is an on-line petition for those who want to have their say.
Smivs writes: "The BBC are carrying a report on how people confused and frustrated by computers can now turn to a laptop called Alex built just for them.
Based on Linux, the laptop comes with simplified e-mail, web browsing, image editing and office software.
Those who sign up for Alex pay £39.95 a month for telephone support, software updates and broadband access.
The Broadband Computer Company, who developed Alex and which is based in Newcastle, has been working on this project for three years, and didn't immediately adopt a Linux solution — in fact, the first big trial was based on Windows.
But the company's Chief Technology Officer Barney Morrison-Lyons says that was never going to be the right route:
"The biggest problem with Microsoft is badly-written software — the operating system allows you to write software badly unlike Mac or Linux."
Mr Hudson, one of the company's founders, said the company also intends to launch an application store for Alex for customers who want to add more features and functions to their computer.
"People who love Linux will be keen to develop for this," he said."
Smivs writes: "The BBC are reporting on a spider that dines almost exclusively on plants .
It is the first-known predominantly vegetarian spider; all of the other known 40,000 spider species are thought to be mainly carnivorous.
Bagheera kiplingi, which is found in Central America and Mexico, bucks the meat-eating trend by feasting on acacia plants.
The jumping arachnid, which is 5-6mm long, has developed a taste for the tips of the acacia plants — known as Beltian bodies — which are packed full of protein.
To reach this leafy fare, the spider has to evade the attention of ants, which live in the hollow spines of the tree, but the crafty Bagheera kiplingi has found a way to evade the ants and safely reach it's food."