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8-Year-Old Receives Patent 142

Knile writes "While not the youngest patent recipient ever (that would be a four year old in Texas), Bryce Gunderman has received a patent at age 8 for a space-saver that combines an outlet cover plate with a shelf. From the article: '"I thought how I was going to make a lot of money," Bryce said about what raced through his brain when he received the patent.'"

Astronomers Solve the Mystery of 'Hanny's Voorwerp' 123

KentuckyFC writes "In 2007, a Dutch school teacher named Hanny van Arkel discovered a huge blob of green-glowing gas while combing though images to classify galaxies. Hanny's Voorwerp (meaning Hanny's object in Dutch) is astounding because astronomers have never seen anything like it. Although galactic in scale, it is clearly not a galaxy because it does not contain any stars. That raises an obvious question: what is causing the gas to glow? Now a new survey of the region of sky seems to have solved the problem. The Voorwerp lies close to a spiral galaxy which astronomers now say hides a massive black hole at its center. The infall of matter into the black hole generates a cone of radiation emitted in a specific direction. The great cloud of gas that is Hanny's Voorwerp just happens to be in the firing line, ionizing the gas and causing it to glow green. That lays to rest an earlier theory that the cloud was reflecting an echo of light from a short galactic flare up that occurred 10,000 years ago. It also explains why Voorwerps are so rare: these radiation cones are highly directional so only occasionally do unlucky gas clouds get caught in the crossfire."

NASA's Space Balloon Smashes Car In Australia 174

Humunculus writes "Of more worldly issues, NASA's latest multimillion-dollar stratosphere-bound balloon launch has gone horribly wrong and crashed into a car, turning it over and narrowly missing two elderly people who were observing the launch. The payload fared worse, reportedly being smashed into a 'thousand pieces.'"

Flash Builder 4 — Defective By Design? 66

ApolloX writes "Adobe has released its new version of the Flex Builder, now renamed Flash Builder 4. This version is radically different from previous versions of Flex, introducing the new Spark architecture and theme support. While I am pleased Adobe has finally added support for Eclipse 3.5, I am disappointed with some of the new architecture changes that make doing simple things, such as skinning a button, now quite cumbersome."

Comment Personal Experience.. (Score 2, Interesting) 716

Right or Wrong my nieces grades have started to climb as soon as I started a "Grade Bounty". It has brought focus, and there is more motivation other than just Mom hounding her. I am slowing ratcheting up the bar, sort of got her hooked as a freshman in High School and going to make Sophomore bar a little higher and so on. Far as I am concerned money well spent. Cracked me up when she asked Mom if I was really Uncle was really going to pay up...I said you get the grades...I will pay up.
The Courts

Submission + - Revote likey because Diebold recount impossible

Aidtopia writes: A judge in Berkeley, California, has ordered a re-vote in a 2004 medical marijuana measure which had lost by fewer than 200 votes. A group supporting the measure requested a recount, which was meaningless since the Diebold electronic voting machines didn't produce physical ballots. The group petitioned for audit logs and other supporting documentation. The Registrar initially gave them the run-around, and, with a lawsuit pending, shipped the machines back to the manufacturer where 96% of the stored votes were erased. The ruling is tentative. The revote, if it happens, will be in the 2008 general election, using different electronic voting machines that produce a paper trail.

Submission + - A killer Internet connection for mom

Rurouni_Jaden writes: 75-year old woman given killer Internet connection from her son. Lothberg's 40 gigabits-per-second fiber-optic connection in Karlstad is believed to be the fastest residential uplink in the world, Karlstad city officials said. In less than 2 seconds, Lothberg can download a full-length movie on her home computer — many thousand times faster than most residential connections, said Hafsteinn Jonsson, head of the Karlstad city network unit. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19832184/

Submission + - Microsoft Goes Hi-Def (pdnonline.com)

PDN Online writes: "Bill Gates' baby is awfully photo-happy these days. Yesterday, at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, Microsoft showed off its newest photo innovations. HD View was one of the most popular, and for a good reason. It enables users to combine hundreds of photos "to create one massive picture that users can zoom in on to see clear details. In one example, a panoramic photo of the city of Seattle includes 800 images, each 8 megapixals in size, stitched together to create a 3.6 billion-pixel image.""
Linux Business

Submission + - Do you support the GPLv3?

An anonymous reader writes: So the blogs and MSM have been at it since the official GPLv3 release. Is the GPLv3 a measured response to new legal threats? Is the GPLv3 an extension of the spirit of GPLv2? Will the provisions of the GPLv3 regarding the use of DRM affect your deployments? Do you agree with Linus in his opposition to GPLv3, or do you agree with RMS? Will you switch from Linux to Solaris if it becomes GPLv3? Do you think the FSF is GNU/Arrogant? Do you think Linus is GNU/Naive?

Submission + - Testing Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance'

smooth wombat writes: Travelling to a time in the past is, as far as we know, not possible. However, Einstein postulated a faster-than-light effect known as 'spooky action at a distance'. The problem is, how do you test for such an effect? That test may now be here. If all goes well, hopefully by September 15th, John Cramer will have experimented with a beam of laser light which has been split in two to test Einstein's idea.

While he is only testing the quantum entanglement portion, changing one light beam and having the same change made in the other beam, his experiment might show that a change made in one beam shows up in the other beam before he actually makes the change.

An interesting sidenote is that the money for this project was raised not from the scientific community but from the public at large. His fans have sent him the money necessary to purchase the equipment to test Einstein's idea.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Top 10 Linux Commands for Absolute Newbies (pimpyourlinux.com)

Dan the man writes: "Are you interested in moving to Linux, but have no idea how the terminal works? Are you used to commands like "dir" in dos, but have no idea how to do them in Linux? Well, then this is the site for you. If you've just started University Computing Science, or if you've just started Linux on your job, this is a great guide to get you started with the basic commands."

Submission + - Feds Need Warrants to Search E-mail

SafteyInNumbers writes: A federal appeals court on Monday issued a landmark decision (.pdf) that holds that e-mail has similar constitutional privacy protections as telephone communications, meaning that federal investigators who search and seize emails without obtaining probable cause warrants will now have to do so. "This decision is of inestimable importance in a world where most of us have webmail accounts," said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The ruling by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld a lower court ruling that placed a temporary injunction on e-mail searches in a fraud investigation against Steven Warshak, who runs a supplements company best known for a male enhancement product called Enzyte. Warshak hawks Enzyte using "Smiling Bob" ads that have gained some notoriety. The case boiled down to a Fourth Amendment argument, in which Warshak contended that the government overstepped its constitutional reach when it demanded e-mail records from his internet service providers. Under the 1986 federal Stored Communications Act (SCA), the government has regularly obtained e-mail from third parties without getting warrants and without letting targets of an investigation know (ergo, no opportunity to contest). But a district court held that the SCA violates the Fourth Amendment by allowing the feds to secretly seize e-mail without probable cause warrants. Under the SCA, the government is required to get warrants for any e-mails that have been stored on third-party servers for less than 180 days. (the SCA came into effect long before the days of eternal Gmail storage.) After that, it can use an administrative subpoena or a different court order, provided it notified the target of the investigation. (the feds missed their legally mandated deadline for notifying Warshak by nearly a year.) To make matters more complicated, the government argued that the definition of "electronic storage" in the statute meant the feds only needed warrants when e-mail had yet to be opened or downloaded. "The DOJ reading of the statue in practical terms is that any e-mail you have opened it can obtain without a warrant," Bankston said. But the district court ruled that the Fourth Amendment holds otherwise. And the appellate court affirmed the lower court's decision, agreeing that e-mail users have a reasonable expectation of privacy, regardless of how old their correspondence is and where it is stored. From the decision: "In considering the factors for a preliminary injunction, the district court reasoned that e-mails held by an ISP were roughly analogous to sealed letters, in which the sender maintains an expectation of privacy. This privacy interest requires that law enforcement officials warrant, based on a showing of probable cause, as a prerequisite to a search of the e-mails." To reach its decision, the court relied on two amici curiae that presented compelling arguments for shoring up current privacy law with respect to e-mail. Both the Electronic Frontier Foundation (together with the ACLU and the Center for Democracy and Technology) and a coalition of internet law professors argued that e-mail is a vital form of communication in today's world and its privacy must be safeguarded under the constitution lest society's ability to engage in unfettered debate and discussion be eroded. http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/06/appeals_c ourt_s.html
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How to avoid hiring an American

netbuzz writes: "Keep this video in mind next time someone like Bill Gates complains that they just can't find qualified American workers to fill key tech jobs. "Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified U.S. worker," a marketing executive for a law firm tells his audience. And what's the advice for those employers who fail to achieve that goal and are confronted with a qualified American: "find a legal basis to disqualify them."

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1642 1"

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