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Firefox 3 Release On Tuesday 554

unkgoon writes "The Mozilla Developer News blog is reporting Firefox 3 will be released on Tuesday, June 17, 2008, and you're invited to the party! From the website: 'After more than 34 months of active development, and with the contributions of thousands, we're proud to announce that we're ready. It is our expectation to ship Firefox 3 this upcoming Tuesday, June 17th. Put on your party hats and get ready to download Firefox 3 — the best web browser, period.'" Update: 06/12 17:44 GMT by T : Dan100 was among several readers to write with news that, rather than just being announced, "Opera 9.5 has been released today after nearly two years of development. New features include increased speed (particularly in the Javascript engine), Opera Link (browser synchronisation), and a 'sharp' new theme." Dan100 also links to a full changelog from 9.27.

Submission + - The World's Cheapest Car Launched!

aalu.paneer writes: Tata Motors unveiled the Tata Nano, the 100,000 rupees (~$2,500) People's Car. It has 3-cylinder, 800-cc petrol engine with 33 bhp of power, mileage of 20 kmpl in city and "the car has passed the full-frontal crash and the side impact crash". It meets the required Bharat-3 and also Euro-IV emmission standards.

The World's Cheapest Car Set To Launch 418

theodp writes "Ready for one-automobile-per-child (OAPC)? India's giant Tata Group is on the verge of launching the world's cheapest car. The People's Car, slated to be unveiled January 10th at a New Delhi auto show, will carry a sticker price of 100,000 rupees ($2,500), which some analysts say could revolutionize automobile costs worldwide. The Tata is a pet project of Cornell-trained architect Ratan Tata, who helped design it. The vehicle is aimed at improving driving safety by getting India's masses off their motorbikes and into cars."
The Almighty Buck

Egypt to Copyright Pyramids and Sphynx 393

empaler writes "We all know the usual pro-copyright arguments. Most of them hinge on the fact that the individual or company that has a copyright needs an incentive to make something that is copyrightable, and therefore ensure a revenue stream in a period after the copyright has been granted. In a never-surpassed move, Egypt is working on legislation to extend copyright well above 3000 years — they are going to start claiming royalties for using likenesses of the Sphynx and the Pyramids. It is still unclear whether the original intent of the Pyramids included 'making sure them bastards pay for a plastic copy in 3000 years' alongside 'securing a pathway to the heavens for the God King.' Speaking as a Greenlandic national, I want dibs on ice cubes." It sounds straight out of The Onion, but instead you can read another story on the BBC.

Are Aliens Living Among Us? 350

pickens writes "In recent years scientists have begun to view the existence of life outside of our solar system as ever-more likely. If life does emerge readily under terrestrial conditions, then perhaps it formed many times on our home planet. To pursue this tantalizing possibility, scientists have begun searching deserts, lakes and caverns for evidence of earth-bound 'alien' life-forms, organisms that would differ fundamentally from all known living creatures because they arose independently. Microbes have already been found inhabiting extreme environments ranging from scalding volcanic vents to the dry valleys of Antarctica. Other so-called extremophiles can survive in salt-saturated lakes, highly acidic mine tailings contaminated with metals, and the waste pools of nuclear reactors. Although 'alien' microbes might look like ordinary bacteria, their biochemistry could involve exotic amino acids or different elemental building blocks so researchers are devising tests to identify exotic microbes. If shadow life is confined to the microbial realm, it is entirely possible that scientists have overlooked it."

Submission + - Google's OpenSocial Platform Releases 3

shadowmage13 writes: "Google just announced that starting tonight, developers can start writing applications using the social API for Orkut, MySpace,, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, Plaxo,, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING at Will Facebook give in?"

What's New in OpenBSD 4.2? 203

blackbearnh writes "OpenBSD 4.2 was released today, and has a host of new features. O'Reilly's ONLamp site has a pretty thorough overview of the release. 'Even though security is still there, this release comes with some amazing performance improvements: basic benchmarks showed PF being twice as fast, a rewrite of the TLB shootdown code for i386 and amd64 cut the time to do a full package build by 20 percent (mostly because all the forks in configure scripts have become much cheaper), and the improved frequency scaling on MP systems can help save nearly 20 percent of battery power. And then the new features: FFS2, support for the Advanced Host Controller Interface, IP balancing in CARP, layer 7 manipulation with hoststated, Xenocara, and more!'"

Justice Department's Bio-terror Mistake 477

destinyland writes "University professor and artist Steve Kurtz publicizes the history of chemical weapons with performance art pieces. The day his wife died of a heart attack, 911 responders mistook his scientific equipment for bioterrorism supplies. After he was detained for 22 hours, Homeland Security cordoned off his block, and a search was performed on his house in hazmat suits, they found nothing. Now they're prosecuting him for "mail fraud" for the way he obtained $256 of harmless bacteria."

Star Wars Fan Puts Himself in Carbonite 204

sneezesteve writes "How do you secure your nerd-cred for eternity? By acquiring a life-size replica of Han Solo in Carbonite, having Han's face removed, and replacing it with your own. 'It is made from fiberglass, and the short story is that a friend who is a special effects guy owned the piece, which was a direct casting off the original prop. He was moving, (aka getting married and yelled at) and asked me if I wanted it. I screamed a huge lispy "Yes!", and picked it up, but knew I wanted to do something cool with it. So I called my other nerdy special effects pals, and they offered to replace Harrison Ford's face with mine. I was so tired of hearing this offer in my daily life, but decided to finally consider it, so off it went.'"

Submission + - Ubuntu Linux for mobile phones?

WrongSizeGlass writes: The BBC is reporting the 'Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded' project aims for an October 2007 release for Ubuntu Linux for mobile phones.

From the article:
A version of the increasingly popular Linux operating system Ubuntu will be developed for use on net-enabled phones and devices"

It will be developed by the Ubuntu community, along with staff from Intel.

Submission + - War on Drugs a Costly Sham

wagneww writes: "We humans are a predictable lot; we continually ignore history, are afraid of everything, and act emotionally rather than rationally, especially when it comes to the vexatious and controversial subject of drugs in society. We don't learn from our mistakes; destined to repeat them over and over on a recurring loop of denial. Wash over some orchestrated religious propaganda and you have a recipe for disaster.
The author of the recently released autobiography; "Cheating the Hangman: True Confessions of a Heroin Trafficker" knows what he's talking about when it comes to illegal drugs. Wade Agnew has been using them daily for forty years. He started with alcohol, quickly dismissing it after the revelation of marijuana in 1968 while at University. This discovery would dictate the course of his life. For all the details of his terrifyingly authentic tale go to; l

That the "War on Drugs" was the brainchild of the Nixon administration; the most seriously paranoid US president of the 20th Century, tells us a great deal about its genesis and "raison d'etre". Every society that has existed since the beginning of time has used "consciousness altering" substances, often in highly spiritual circumstances. This should have told us something, but apparently not.
Ignorance and political ambition are a volatile mix. At the start of the 21st Century, Australia was experiencing a flood of heroin. Established by refugees after the war in S.E.Asia, the Vietnamese community was now well integrated into mainstream society. Many of these citizens were ethnic Chinese with strong family links back to their homeland. With the opening up of the post-war Viet Nam, they became the conduit for Thai and Burmese white powder heroin then flooding into Australia. This community was very wary of officialdom, and notoriously difficult to penetrate. As a consequence the country was experiencing a huge drop in the price of heroin on the streets of major cities. It even penetrated far flung inland country towns. The price per gram fell to unprecedented lows, and the purity was astounding high by world standards.

"I was well and truly retired by then, and could only look on with envy as no4 white powder flooded into Australian cities," says Wade from his home in Brisbane. "People were making serious money from the glut of high quality heroin."
An unfortunate consequence of the high purity was a sharp rise in the number of overdoses on the streets of Australian cities. Addicts unused to such purity were dropping like flies. At one point police in Cabramatta; a Vietnamese enclave in western Sydney; now the heroin capital of the country, begged whoever was distributing a particularly pure shipment (close to 95%) to cut their drugs to curb the death rate.
Not long after, the local market began to experience a serious heroin drought, and the conservative Australian government began crowing, claiming its "Tough on Drugs" policy had been responsible. This drought was quickly followed by an avalanche of Methamphetamines. This was no coincidence; the two phenomena were inextricably linked. It quickly became evident that the Australian Government was taking credit for decisions of criminals. The "War on Drugs" has little or no effect on the availability of illegal drugs on the streets of Australia or anywhere else for that matter. All it does is pump-prime organized crime, and turn otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals.
The following are excerpts from a report into the heroin glut entitled; "The Case for an Inquiry into its Causes and the Flood of Methamphetamines" by W.M. Bush; no relation.

"The article disputes the claim by the Federal Government that Australian law enforcement financed by its Tough on Drugs Strategy was primarily responsible for the heroin drought and resulting fall in overdose deaths. Law enforcement agencies, notably the Australian Federal Police through its Commissioner, have revealed intelligence to the effect that Asian crime syndicates have assessed that there is a large and very profitable market in Australia for amphetamine-like drugs, and that they have made a marketing decision to promote them rather than heroin.
The evidence suggests strongly that the prime causes of the drought were a series of poor opium harvests in Burma and these marketing decisions. No other explanation fits the known facts including;
        The drought being confined to Australia
        A big rise in availability of amphetamine-like drugs imported through the same channels as heroin
        The known large rise in recent years in production in South East Asia of these artificial drugs
        The greater profit derivable from them than from heroin
        Their lower vulnerability to law enforcement interdiction.
If law enforcement had an effect it was probably only a subsidiary factor. The evidence is strong that there would have been no drought in the absence of the other factors."

"If anyone should know about the profits to be made when drugs are made illegal, it's me. I spent thirty years selling drugs; it's not for the faint hearted, but there are huge amounts of money to be made", says Wade. "I only use marijuana these days; I can't afford the high cost of heroin. "I inhale the vapours with a marijuana vaporizer. In fact I import them for the local and world market; I sell the VapoHead Herbal Vaporizer. Marijuana Vaporizers are bloody brilliant. You can check them out on my website at;"

I still use heroin occasionally when I have the funds. The quality in Australia is the envy of addicts everywhere; almost always white powder, and usually with 50% purity or higher. However it's very expensive, reflecting the difficulty of getting it safely ashore. If I could afford to, I would certainly use heroin more often," Wade adds with a grin."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Why Powered USB Is Needed Part 3: USB 3.0

Diablo-D3 writes: "I've written a third, and hopefully final part, to the originally two part Why Powered USB Is Needed article that got Slashdotted two days ago, and this response is pretty much due to Slashdot users asking smart questions and poking a few holes in my argument. The third part covers how USB 3.0 essentially needs to follow in Firewire's footsteps to truly succeed and overcome people's views on USB as just a low bandwidth bus that no one uses seriously and, combined with New Powered USB, could overtake Firewire in high bandwidth applications."

Architect Claims to Solve Pyramid Secret 209

Alreadybutnotyet writes "A French architect claimed Friday to have uncovered the mystery about how Egypt's Great Pyramid of Khufu was built — with use of a spiral ramp to hoist huge stone blocks into place. The construction of the Great Pyramid 4,500 years ago by Khufu, a ruler also known as Cheops, has long befuddled scientists as to how its 3 million stone blocks weighing 2.5 tons each were lifted into place. 'The most widespread theory had been that an outer ramp had been used by the Egyptians, who left few traces to help archeologists and other scientists decode the secret to the construction. Houdin said he had taken into account the copper and stone tools available at the time, the granite and limestone blocks, the location of the pyramid and the strength and knowledge of the workers.'"

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