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The Internet

Undersea Cable Cut Circumstances Examined 79

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Wired has a good review of all the recent undersea cable cuts and why it's suspicious, but unlikely to be a conspiracy. So far, there are only four cut cables (the 'fifth' was weeks ago) in two different locations. Of course, a cable is damaged once every three days, on average, and there are 25 ships that do nothing but repair them. While the timing and locations are a little odd, Iran has been online the whole time, even if some of their routers weren't, and none of the conspiracy theories really add up. In a recent interview, TeleGeography Analyst Eric Schoonover said, 'I think that this is more along the lines of coincidence.'"

Birds Give a Lesson to Plane Designers 250

Roland Piquepaille points out a news release from the University of Michigan where researchers are looking to birds and bats for insights into aerospace engineering. Wei Shyy and his colleagues are learning from solutions developed by nature and applying them to the technology of flight. A presentation on this topic was also given at the 2005 TED conference. From the news release: "The roll rate of the aerobatic A-4 Skyhawk plane is about 720 degrees per second. The roll rate of a barn swallow exceeds 5,000 degrees per second. Select military aircraft can withstand gravitational forces of 8-10 G. Many birds routinely experience positive G-forces greater than 10 G and up to 14 G. Flapping flight is inherently unsteady, but that's why it works so well. Birds, bats and insects fly in a messy environment full of gusts traveling at speeds similar to their own. Yet they can react almost instantaneously and adapt with their flexible wings."

Robotic Telescope Installed on Antarctica Plateau 128

Reservoir Hill writes "Antarctica claims some of the best astronomical sky conditions in the world — devoid of clouds with steady air that makes for clear viewing. The very best conditions unfortunately lie deep in the interior on a high-altitude plateau called Dome A. With an elevation of up to 4,093m, it's known as the most unapproachable point in the earth's southernmost region. Now astronomers in a Chinese scientific expedition have set up an experimental observatory at Dome A after lugging their equipment across Antarctica with the help of Australia and the US. The observatory will hunt for alien planets, while also measuring the observing conditions at the site to see if it is worth trying to build bigger observatories there. The observatory is automated, pointing its telescopes on its own while astronomers monitor its progress from other locations around the world via satellite link. PLATO is powered by a gas generator, and has a 4000-litre tank of jet fuel to keep it running through the winter. The observatory will search for planets around other stars using an array of four 14.5-centimetre telescopes called the Chinese Small Telescope Array (CSTAR). Astronomers hope to return in 2009 with new instruments, including the Antarctica Schmidt Telescopes (AST-3), a trio of telescopes with 0.5-metre mirrors, which will be more sensitive to planets than CSTAR."

Submission + - SPAM: Nokia and Symbian mobiles under attack from new wo

WirePosted writes: "A new SymbianOS worm has been discovered to be actively spreading on various mobile phone networks harvesting phone numbers stored in contact lists to send multimedia messages. The incident, while still relatively contained, could signal a trend to mobile phone malware exploitation that security firms have long been predicting as inevitable."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - RF Energy Breaks H2O Bonds in Saltwater Solution

Out of Round writes: While researching a means to cure his cancer, inventor John Kanzius serendipitously discovered that radiating saltwater with RF energy at a frequency 14GHz, results in the release of H2 and O at a significant rate. The article doesn't mention the amount of RF power used but there is a You Tube video showing the process in action with the resulting vigorous flame spewing out of the test tube powering a Stirling engine. The mechanism for this phenomenon is not understood but with sufficient conversion efficiencies, it could have wide-ranging implications for the future of this planet.

Submission + - First KDE Education Project Meeting a Great Succes (

Jure Repinc writes: "Last weekend members of the KDE-Edu team met in Paris for a meeting about the KDE Education project . The meeting took place at the Mandriva office, where members got to know each other and started vivid discussions about their free and open source educational applications, life in general, as well as the future and vision of the Educational module, which is part of the KDE desktop project."

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