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Submission + - You've got to WRITE stuff, baby...

jhoomjhoom writes: Using advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, researchers are finding that writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.

Studies suggest there's real value in learning and maintaining this ancient skill, even as we increasingly communicate electronically via keyboards big and small. Indeed, technology often gets blamed for handwriting's demise. But in an interesting twist, new software for touch-screen devices, such as the iPad, is starting to reinvigorate the practice.

Submission + - Solar Winds Hold 100B Times Earth's Energy Needs ( 2

MikeChino writes: Researchers from Washington State University have published a paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology stating that energy from solar winds could replace conventional forms of renewable energy produced on Earth such as solar, wind and biofuel power. In the article, the scientists theorize that a giant solar sail, designed to harness solar winds, could generate 1 billion gigawatts of electricity. If implemented, these Dyson-Harrop satellites (named after the inventors) could tap a solar resource containing 100 billion times as much power as the Earth currently needs. The only problem is how to get the energy from space to Earth. Oh, and the fact that the solar sail would have to be 8,400-kilometer (5,220 miles) wide.

Submission + - 900 fixed bugs with Mozilla Firefox 3 beta 2 (

Debbeca writes: "Firefox 3 developers are taking all the time that they need to accomplish their new Firefox. After the Beta 1 Mozilla has released Firefox 3 beta 2 to get more feedbacks about bugs from its testing community. Bugzilla was a little bit busy lately since the beta 1 thousands of bugs fortunately 900 of them are fixed. Firefox developers are trying to reveal more bugs to make their Firefox 3 better. The Beta 2 features are very promising and the Firefox 3 will definitely beat all competitors."

Submission + - The Mathematics behind Political Representation (

mlimber writes: Nature magazine's news section has an interesting story about how the seats in the US House of Representatives should be divided up. The problem is that the population isn't evenly divided by the number of seats in the House (435). So how should one allocate the fractional parts? The current method tends to favor big states, while a recent proposal by a mathematician is for what he calls a "minimally unfair" allotment. He is predicting "one person, one vote" challenges on this topic in the near future.

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