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Submission + - A Potentially Unmanned International Space Station (usatoday.com)

TrisexualPuppy writes: After last week's grounding of Russian rockets is not lifted soon, the International Space Station program may be put at risk. If the space station cannot be resupplied and crews cannot be refreshed, the station may be temporarily abandoned. If the ISS is left unmanned and a critical error occurs in its orbital control systems, the probability of reentry becomes very high. With no current back-up launch vehicle, there may be a push to hire SpaceX and/or Boeing to handle what the Russians and NASA cannot.

Submission + - STUDY: Internet Explorer Users Are Dumber (MSFT, G (sfgate.com)

satuon writes: A research firm posted an IQ test on its Web site and then compiled the results from more than 100,000 users.

It found that there was no substantial difference between users of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

But Internet Explorer users had IQs below average.


Submission + - The End of the Gas Guzzler

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Michael Grunwald reports that President Obama will announce today a near-doubling of fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, and the Big Three automakers — GM, Ford and Chrysler — will support it in a final deal that will require vehicle fleets to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, which will reduce fuel consumption by 40% and carbon emissions by 50%. Although environmentalists had pushed for 60 mpg and the White House had floated a compromise of 56.2, 54.5 is pretty close, considering that last year’s standards were only 28.3. "I might point out that the same auto industry that ran attack ads about how 56.2 would destroy their businesses and force everyone to drive electric cars has embraced 54.5 as an achievable target," writes Grunwald. "It almost makes you wonder if the automakers may have exaggerated the costs of compliance, the way they always do. ""

Submission + - GAO Report: DoD Incompetent at Cybersecurity (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "According to a scathing report from the GAO released July 25, the Department of Defense only started to take cyberwar seriously during the past two or three years, after ignoring warnings for about 2 decades. And when we say, 'take it seriously' we mean 'throw gobs of money at it' — to little effect. 'According to DoD, a large number of intelligence agencies and foreign militaries are actively trying to penetrate our military networks. These networks are scanned millions of times a day and probed thousands of times a day. Over the past several years, DoD has experienced damaging penetration to these networks...[including] blueprints of weapons systems that have already been compromised,' the report said. Even for an organization with the budget and security awareness of DoD, the prospect of having to keep pace with the steady increase in threats from smaller countries and stateless terror organizations is 'daunting,' GAO concluded."

Cosmological Constant Not Fine Tuned For Life 536

eldavojohn writes "A common argument one might encounter in intelligent design or the arduous process of resolving science with religion is that the physical constants of our world are fine tuned for life by some creator or designer. A University of Alberta theoretical physicist claims quite the opposite when it comes to the cosmological constant. His paper says that our ever expanding universe has a positive cosmological constant and he explains that the optimum cosmological constant for maximizing the chances of life in the universe would be slightly negative: 'any positive value of the constant would tend to decrease the fraction of matter that forms into galaxies, reducing the amount available for life. Therefore the measured value of the cosmological constant, which is positive, is evidence against the idea that the constants have been fine-tuned for life.'"

KDE 4.5 Released 302

An anonymous reader writes "KDE 4.5.0 has been released to the world. See the release announcement for details. Highlights include a Webkit browser rendering option for Konqueror, a new caching mechanism for a faster experience and a re-worked notification system. Another new feature is Perl bindings, in addition to Python, Ruby and JavaScript support. The Phonon multimedia library now integrates with PulseAudio. See this interview with KDE developer and spokesperson Sebastian Kugler on how KDE can continue to be innovative in the KDE4 age. Packages should be available for most Linux distributions in the coming days. More than 16000 bug fixes were committed since 4.4."

Submission + - Why Do We Let the Media Determine our Candidates?

Paladin144 writes: "I've written an article about the mainstream media's tendency to determine the course of our presidential elections by giving favorable coverage to certain "approved" candidates while denying coverage or recognition to other candidates. A perfect example is the recent censorship of Ron Paul and Mike Gravel's respective campaigns in the media while they are exploding in popularity across the web. Will the power the internet provides everyday users revolutionize our electoral system or will corporate interest find a way to limit the damage to their control grid?"

Submission + - Google Eye-Tracking Technology for Physical Ads

An anonymous reader writes: From MAKE: (http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2007/05/goog le_unveils_tracking_t.html)

This is sorta scary- billboards that count eyeballs, but that just means someone is going to make an IR array at the right frequency, point it at these cameras and you'll see a whole new type of click fraud...

        Google unveiled an eye-counting video camera Tuesday (May 8) that could enable the company to extend its highly successful online business model to brick-and-mortar advertisers.

        The Eyebox was developed by Xuuk Inc. (Kingston, Ontario).

        Using its PageRank technology, Google (Mountain View, Calif.) has been able to collect revenue from advertisers based on the number of ads on which people are clicking.

        Now with the Eyebox, Google can determine which billboards or products people are looking at in mall corridors or on store shelves, and count them in the same manner that Google counts clicks for online ads.

        The Eyebox consists of a palm-sized video camera surrounded by infrared light-emitting diodes and a Universal Serial Bus interface. Software running on an attached computer can determine whether someone is looking at the camera by recognizing the "red eye" spot, which only appears when a viewer is looking directly at the camera.

Feed OpenOffice.org 2.2 released (com.com)

Touted as a "real alternative" to 2007 Microsoft Office, updated open-source application suite said to address security flaws.

DARPA Planning Liquid Robots 125

moon_monkey writes "According to New Scientist, Darpa is soliciting proposals for so-called Chemical Robots (ChemBots) that would be soft, flexible and could manoeuvre through openings smaller than their static structural dimensions. They suggest that it could be made from shape-memory materials, electro- or magneto-rheological materials or even folding components."

Submission + - Researchers Take Step Towards Invisibility Cloak

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Purdue University have taken the first steps beyond recent theoretical research coming out of the UK to create an invisibility cloak. Their device currently only works for a single color of the visible spectrum. Their goal is create an invisibility cloak of arbitrary size for all visible light.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Engineers_Create _Optical_Cloaking_Design_For_Invisibility_999.html

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