Pickens writes "A bill presented by Delegate LeRoy E. Myers Jr. to the Maryland House of Delegates would criminalize purposely surfing the Internet on someone else's wireless connection. The bill would make intentional unauthorized access to another person's computer, network, database, or software a misdemeanor with a penalty up to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. The Maryland public defender's office has submitted written testimony opposing the specific ban and penalty suggested in Myers' bill. Noting that wireless connections are becoming common in neighborhoods, the written testimony says: 'A more effective way to prevent unauthorized access would be for owners to secure their wireless networks with assistance where necessary from Internet service providers or vendors.'"
from the i-wonder-if-they-get-the-internet-in-space dept.
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.'"