UnderCoverPenguin writes: Several sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that the Central Mint's security was compromised by a teenage boy. Outraged senators are calling for a comprehensive review of the Treasury Department's security procedures. A spokesperson for the Treasury has emphatically denied that such a breach has occurred. Meanwhile, investigative journalists have identified the boy as James deGris, a recent graduate of a technical highschool where he studied electronics and locksmithing.
UnderCoverPenguin writes: At MakeZine, David Lang talks about the some of the legal issues around a planned, amature science "expedition", as well as some other amature science projects.
In the not too distant past, most science was amature. Over the past 20 or so years, society has been making it harder for amatures to do real science despite the technical costs falling. With the recent upswing of the "maker movement", amature science has seen an increase as well, but is running into an assortment of legal issues.(An exception is astronomy, where amatures continue to play important roles. Of course, astronomy doesn't involve chemicals or other (currently) "scary stuff".)
Can amature science make a come-back? Or are the legal obsicles too entrenched?
UnderCoverPenguin writes: Last night, I watched Sintel (sintel.org). Technically, it was a beautiful showcase for Blender. The models and animations were very well done. The fight and chase scenes were excellent. I think the movie can stand on its own among professionally made short movies of similar style and genre. Story-wise, the plot was weak and predictable. Also, the end of the final fight was too bleak and disturbing for the likely audience. Spoiler: I think the ending would have been better if the woman had been killed by the dragon. Unfortunately, I don't have the skill needed to re-do the ending myself.
UnderCoverPenguin writes: In the 3rd launch of Falcon 1 (http://spacex.com), the first stage, with the latest version of the Merlin engine, works perfectly. Unfortunately, the second stage failed to separate. (http://www.spacex.com/updates.php) Hopefully it was only a minor setback, despite the huge cost.