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Verizon Tells Cops "Your Money Or Your Life" 593

Mike writes "A 62-year-old man had a mental breakdown and ran off after grabbing several bottles of pills from his house. The cops asked Verizon to help trace the man using his cellphone, but Verizon refused, saying that they couldn't turn on his phone because he had an unpaid bill for $20. After an 11-hour search (during which time the sheriff's department was trying to figure out how to pay the bill), the man was found, unconscious. 'I was more concerned for the person's life,' Sheriff Dale Williams said. 'It would have been nice if Verizon would have turned on his phone for five or 10 minutes, just long enough to try and find the guy. But they would only turn it on if we agreed to pay $20 of the unpaid bill.' Score another win for the Verizon Customer Service team."
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Tactical Camera Screenshot-sm 137

An anonymous reader writes "What do you get when you mount a Nikon D200 with a standard rifle stock? Why a Tactical Camera of course! One that no reporter would be caught with in a war zone or covering any armed action anywhere. What started out as a tongue in cheek project for April Fools wound up being quite the successful demonstration of concept. It features a fully functional trigger; it has controls for operating the shutter and auto focus; and for the patient shots, it has a mounted bipod. Carry sling optional."
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Robotic Penguins Screenshot-sm 118

Corporate Troll writes "Robotic penguins were unveiled by German engineering firm Festo this week. Using their flippers, the mechanical penguins (video) can paddle through water just like real ones, while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air. The penguins are on show at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany. Each penguin carries 3D sonar which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions with walls or other penguins."
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The Taste Of Space Screenshot-sm 81

It turns out that space tastes like raspberries and not Tang or freeze-dried ice cream as one might suspect. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy were searching for evidence of amino acids in space when they found ethyl formate, the chemical used in to make raspberry flavoring. The astronomers used the IRAM telescope in Spain to analyze electromagnetic radiation emitted by a hot and dense region of Sagittarius B2 that surrounds a newborn star. Astronomer Arnaud Belloche said, "It [ethyl formate] does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries."
Idle

Submission + - Philosophies and programming languages (blogspot.com)

evariste.galois writes: In Wikipedia, in every article for a programming language, there is a special section "Language Philosophy", in which the motivation and the basic principles of the language design are being analyzed. The author is investigating much further than that, the deeper connections between philosophies and programming languages, by considering most influential thinkers of all time (e.g. Plato, Descartes, Kant) and trying to figure out which programming language fits best with most aspects of their own philosophy (Did you know that Kant was the first Python programmer?). The list is not exhaustive, but this is a funny and educative start.
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Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch Provokes Bomb Scare Screenshot-sm 186

Bomb disposal teams were called in and a nearby pub evacuated after water company engineers mistook a Monty Python film prop for a hand grenade. After nearly an hour of examination by bomb experts, they counted to three. No more. No less. Three was the number they counted, and the number they counted was three. Four they did not count, nor two, except to proceed to three. Five was right out. Once the number three had been reached, being the third number, they declared that the grenade was actually a copy of the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" used in the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. A police spokeswoman confirmed that the device was a toy and that it had been no danger to the public.

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