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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 40 declined, 5 accepted (45 total, 11.11% accepted)

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Submission + - Wrong chemical dumped into Olympic pools made them green (arstechnica.com)

Z00L00K writes:

After a week of trying to part with green tides in two outdoor swimming pools, Olympic officials over the weekend wrung out a fresh mea culpa and yet another explanation—neither of which were comforting. According to officials, a local pool-maintenance worker mistakenly added 160 liters of hydrogen peroxide to the waters on August 5, which partially neutralized the chlorine used for disinfection. With chlorine disarmed, the officials said that “organic compounds”—i.e. algae and other microbes—were able to grow and turn the water a murky green in the subsequent days. The revelation appears to contradict officials’ previous assurances that despite the emerald hue, which first appeared Tuesday, the waters were safe.

I would personally have avoided using the green pools, but that's just me.

Submission + - 800k customers loses TV channels in Sweden (telecompaper.com)

Z00L00K writes: Due to a conflict between the cable operators and the channel providers 800 000 to 900 000 customers loses some of the more viewed TV channels in Sweden, among them Eurosport, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Additional customers in Norway will also lose channels. This is caused by a considerable hike in price for the channels from the provider Discovery Networks. However the amount of money involved is still kept secret for negotiation and business reasons.

Telenor Broadcast arm Canal Digital said Discovery Networks has told it that it will withdraw its channels from Canal Digital Sweden and sister company Bredbandsbolaget from 01 February. This follows Discovery’s attempts to raise prices and pay for a number of channels that viewers had not chosen. This will affect their approximately 800,000 customers while a new contract is negotiated. Telenor Sweden customers will not able to watch Kanal 5 or the other Discovery channels until a deal is reached.

Considering that Sweden has a population of almost 10 million the impact is noticeable.

Submission + - Fans demand 'Lemmium' periodic table tribute (theregister.co.uk)

Z00L00K writes: Inevitably, and agreeably, an online petition is demanding that one of the four heavy metal elements coming soon to an engorged periodic table near you be named "Lemmium", in honour of recently departed Motörhead frontman Ian Fraser Kilmister, aka Lemmy.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has admitted elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 to the table's seventh row, and the various laboratories involved in their discovery have the privilege of proposing permanent titles for the newcomers.

Submission + - Poll: Hell

Z00L00K writes:
  • Is exothermic.
  • Is endothermic.
  • Where did I put my Hellschreiber?
  • Something that Cowboy Neal cares about.

Submission + - Finding ET – we're gonna need a bigger dish (newscientist.com) 1

Z00L00K writes: The hunt for alien civilisations may need a rethink. A new paper argues that the signals we're listening for might not be the ones ET would choose.

Historically, SETI – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence – involves scanning the sky for radio signals that another civilization is deliberately sending. The simplest would be a constant blast in all directions, but in a narrow range of frequencies, similar to early radio broadcasts – like a constant hum that would tell a listener it is artificial. From light years away, we would not be able to get any other information – all we would be able to tell from Earth is that a signal was there and where it was coming from, not what it says.

Submission + - Snowflake-shaped networks are easiest to mend (newscientist.com)

Z00L00K writes: Networks shaped like delicate snowflakes are the ones that are easiest to fix when disaster strikes.

Power grids, the internet and other networks often mitigate the effects of damage using redundancy: they build in multiple routes between nodes so that if one path is knocked out by falling trees, flooding or some other disaster, another route can take over. But that approach can make them expensive to set up and maintain. The alternative is to repair networks with new links as needed, which brings the price down – although it can also mean the network is down while it happens.

As a result, engineers tend to favour redundancy for critical infrastructure like power networks, says Robert Farr of the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

So Farr and colleagues decided to investigate which network structures are the easiest to repair. Some repairs just restore broken links in their original position, but that may not always be possible. So the team looked at networks that require links in new locations to get up and running again. They simulated a variety of networks, linking nodes in a regular square or triangular pattern and looked at the average cost of repairing different breaks, assuming that expense increases with the length of a rebuilt link.

Submission + - Swedish dad takes gamer kids to warzone (thelocal.se)

Z00L00K writes: A Swedish father has come under fire for taking his two sons on a trip to Israel, the West Bank and occupied Syria in order to teach them the reality of war.

Meet Carl-Magnus Helgegren, a journalist, university teacher, and proactive dad.

And like so many other dads, Helgegren had to have the violent video-game conversation with his two sons, Frank and Leo, aged ten and 11 respectively.
"We were sitting at the dinner table last autumn, and my kids started telling me about this game they wanted to play, the latest Call of Duty game, and told me about the guns and missions," Helgegren told The Local on Friday.

So Helgegren struck a deal. The family would take a trip to a city impacted by real war. The boys would meet people affected, do interviews, and visit a refugee camp. And when they came back home, they would be free to play whatever games they chose.

Submission + - Disconnection of subscription through Comcast Customer Service

Z00L00K writes: A customer wanted to end his subscription by Comcast and recorded the call. It did take some interesting steps to even be allowed to end the subscription.

Please note: this conversation starts about 10 minutes in — by this point my wife and I are both completely flustered by the oppressiveness of the rep. So! Last week my wife called to disconnect our service with Comcast after we switched to another provider (Astound). We were transferred to cancellations (aka "customer retention"). The representative (name redacted) continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone. Overhearing the conversation, I knew this would not be very fun. ...

The conversation can be heard at Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ryan-bl...

Announcements

Submission + - Pirate Bay judge 'biased'

Z00L00K writes: "According to several sources like The Local and many Swedish newspapers it seems to have been the case that the judge in the Pirate Bay trial was biased.

The judge who sentenced four men to jail for their involvement with The Pirate Bay is also a member of the same copyright protection organisations as a number of the main entertainment industry representatives in the case, Sveriges Radio's P3 news programme reports.

This means that the trial may have to be redone."

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Passive cooled case also looks cool

Z00L00K writes: As any of us know the fans are evil creatures hiding in our computers. Noisy and prone to give up at the worst possible moment. Ville 'Willek' Kyrö has now done something about this problem by creating the "Passive cooling consept case." The end result is a completely fan-less PC.

I have wanted to build a fully passively cooled computer case since I had my first Athlon Thunderbird 800 MHz. That time the fan noise was amazingly high, and manufacturers didnt much care about the noise levels, and didn't offer products for building a quiet PC. Nowadays a quiet PC is not much of a challenge to build, but totally silent? It would require that there were no moving parts at all. But of cource there has to be the compromise of a hard-drive. One could buy a SSD drive, but at least I don't have that kind of money to spend. :)
Microsoft

Submission + - Infoworld has a Save Windows XP petition 1

Z00L00K writes: The magazine InfoWorld has started a petition in order to save Windows XP as a product.

Microsoft will end OEM and shrink-wrapped sales of Windows XP on June 30, 2008, forcing users to shift to Vista. (System builders, meaning those who do white-box PCs, can sell XP through December 31.) Don't let that happen!

Millions of us have grown comfortable with XP and don't see a need to change to Vista. It's like having a comfortable apartment that you've enjoyed coming home to for years, only to get an eviction notice. The thought of moving to a new place — even with the stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and maple cabinets (or is cherry in this year?) — just doesn't sit right. Maybe it'll be more modern, but it will also cost more and likely not be as good a fit. And you don't have any other reason to move.
If this is good or not remains to be seen, but there are reasons to not move to Vista (yet), and even if not everyone loves XP it's wide-spread and well-understood (mostly) while a step to Vista can require the same amount of learning as a step to a different desktop like Linux or OSX.
Biotech

Submission + - Disabled runner may not compete with able-bodied.

Z00L00K writes:
A Paralympic gold medal winner will not be allowed to compete in the Beijing Olympics later this year after athletics' governing body ruled that his specially-designed prosthetic limbs gave him an unfair advantage over other runners.

The International Association of Athletics Federations ruled that Oscar Pistorius' shock-absorbing carbon-fiber prosthetics gave him a "demonstrable mechanical advantage" compared to able-bodied athletes.
All this according to an article at CNN.

Maybe he has an advantage during the race — but there are certainly disadvantages involved too. And it's not like this equipment will be useful to other runners. End result — a complete PR disaster.
The Internet

Submission + - DuPont dos not like piercing or tattoos

Z00L00K writes: The holder of the Swedish site www.teflonminne.org is threatened by a lawsuit from DuPont for the use of the word "teflonminne". (Translates to "Teflon Memory" or "Teflon Storage" — essentially a linguistic joke that means that one has a brain where at least some information doesn't stick.)

The cause is that teflonminne infringes on the product name TEFLON that is registered by DuPont and that they don't like some of the information on his site, more specific two pictures, one of a pierced ear and one of a tattoo.

This is referred in an article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

A name collection is also started in support for the current owner Stefan Svensson.

And a search on Google reveals more than 30000 uses of the word "teflonminne", and also that there are several other persons and organizations that has registered a domain name with this word.

(Sorry for only linking to Swedish pages.)
Microsoft

Submission + - Invention: Microsoft mind reader

Z00L00K writes: And finally in an article at NewScientist — just another proof that Microsoft are the evil overlords of the universe:

Not content with running your computer, Microsoft now wants to read your mind too.

The company says that it is hard to properly evaluate the way people interact with computers since questioning them at the time is distracting and asking questions later may not produce reliable answers. "Human beings are often poor reporters of their own actions," the company says.

Instead, Microsoft wants to read the data straight from the user's brain as he or she works away. They plan to do this using electroencephalograms (EEGs) to record electrical signals within the brain. The trouble is that EEG data is filled with artefacts caused, for example, by blinking or involuntary actions, and this is hard to tease apart from the cognitive data that Microsoft would like to study.

Read the full Microsoft mind reading patent application.
So one must ask: Will the next step be to mind-read you to verify that you aren't running a pirated version of their software?
Windows

Submission + - QuickTime plays havoc with RAID in Vista!

Z00L00K writes: This may be old news to some, but anyway...

According to an article there is a serious problem with Vista when Quicktime is used.

I thought I was just unlucky the first time but when something happens two times in the exact same fashion, you just got to check into it a little more.

System is Vista Ultimate 32-bit with RAID 10 on Intel ICH8R chipset. A couple of weeks ago I tried running a .mov file using Apple QuickTime software (latest version) and that is when things started to go downhill. The file seemed very slow to load and eventually QuickTime crashed after a lot of persuasion. Once QuickTime was closed, I was notified of a RAID error through the Intel Matrix Storage Console but the same thing will happen if you reboot during the lockup as well.
The problem here is that a rather normal application is able to cause data corruption on this level. This means that there is an obvious problem with Vista that can be exploited by malware.

Maybe it's the cause of "Beauty is only skin deep but ugly is down to the bone." from where I refer to that Vista has got a new skin of security but under the skin it's still the same ugly security handling.

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