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NASA

Submission + - SPAM: NASA to test emergency ability of new spacecraft 2

coondoggie writes: "NASA this week will show off the first mock up of its Orion space capsule ahead of the capsule's first emergency astronaut escape system test. NASA in late 2008, says it will jettison the full-size structural model off a simulated launch pad at the US Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The launch escape vehicle sits atop the Orion capsule which is slated to be bolted on an Ares rocket. The escape vehicle is made up of three solid rocket motors as well as separation mechanisms and canards, and should offer the crew an escape capability in the event of an emergency during launch, according to NASA. [spam URL stripped]"
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PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - PS3 Projected Eventual Console Wars Winner (news.com)

PHPNerd writes: "A report from a well known market research firm has placed predictions based on current market evidence and trends that the PS3 will outstrip all competitors and nay-sayers to be the leading next-gen console by 2011. From the CNET article: "The research firm predicted that by the end of 2011, the PS3 could have sold 38.4 million units, while the Wii might be in second place at 37.7 million." But the writer on CNET goes on to say that "Of course, three-year forecasts have about as much chance of being right in electronics as predictions of who will win the World Series in three years.""
Graphics

Submission + - ATI vs. nVidia Hardware Technical Support (xmission.com)

Trevin Beattie writes: "Last week after rebooting my computer I noticed random red and blue dots blinking on the screen during POST. I sent a support request to ATI asking if they had any utilities to test my video RAM and whether this sounded like a problem that could be fixed. Their response: they don't support Linux video drivers!

I went back and forth with them three times on this, I even sent them photos of my screen during boot, and got the same response the second time and a boilerplate message the third time which stated, among other things: check the knowledge base (I had; the only article that mentions my problem is a broken link), upgrade your latest video drivers (irrelevant), then submit a support request (which was what I was doing).

I'm appalled at how obtuse their support people are. I suspect they aren't even really people; I feel like I'm talking to a machine with pre-programmed responses. I'm considering switching over to nVidia, but before I do, I want to know whether their technical support will be any better if I have hardware problems?

So what are your experiences with ATI and nVidia, for either gaming or workstation video cards? Please limit the discussion to actual hardware failures, not software/driver problems."

Space

Submission + - US to shoot down dieing spy satellite

Frosty Piss writes: "U.S. officials say the Pentagon is planning to shoot down a broken spy satellite expected to hit the Earth in early March. The Associated Press has learned that the option preferred by the Bush administration will be to fire a missile from a U.S. Navy cruiser, and shoot down the satellite before it enters Earth's atmosphere. The speculated reason is to protect technology secrets, but I'm wondering how this will play out as far as random space junk in low orbit..."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - AT&T Wins Starbucks Wi-Fi: Free, Cheap Wi-Fi (wifinetnews.com)

Glenn Fleishman writes: "Starbucks has left T-Mobile for AT&T to operate its in-store Wi-Fi networks. This was probably inevitable given that Apple, AT&T's iPhone exclusive partner, had a deal with Starbucks for selling music through the stores over Wi-Fi. Starbucks signed with MobileStar in 2001 and T-Mobile acquired MobileStar's assets and deals out of that firm's bankruptcy. AT&T says that two-hour sessions will be $4, down from $6 per hour or $10 a day with T-Mobile; monthly subscriptions free for those with AT&T DSL, $20 for others (down from $40 for those without T-Mobile voice); and anyone with a Starbucks Card, their stored value payment system, gets two free hours a day. And 100,000 Starbucks employees get free Starbucks-Fi, too. It dramatically reduces the perceived and actual cost of Wi-Fi hotspots, will drive use at Starbucks, and probably lead to changes in pricing by anyone still charging. I expect we'll see in-store media servers that will let Apple encrypt and push movies to iPhones, iPod touches, and laptops at 802.11n speeds (a few minutes); it's trivial once you have these pieces in place. The changeover starts in spring, completes in 2008."
The Military

Submission + - NoTerror.info site for anti-terror campaign

isdale writes: Cristian Lowe is an excellent embedded reporter/blogger currently in Iraq. His latest post covers a TV ad campaign designed to convince locals to fight terror groups. He links to a website from the campaign sponsors and asks for a bit o'help tracking down backers. Should be trivial for \. crowd.

(quote) So I'm waiting in the PAO tent at Warhorse last night and the only TV channels on the tube are Arab media. I was watching an Iraqi news channel out of the corner of my eye and spotted an ad that showed a group of masked men charging out of several black Mercedes sedans and firing AK-47s into the air. Then the camera shifts to a Sunni-looking sheik type, who links arms with a Shiite imam-looking dude which gets the crowd going to confront the "terrorists." It was a well done ad and made me think of Anderson's article.

The commercial referenced a web site called "noterror.info." If you go there, you can see several more of the organization's ad campaigns. It's unclear who's behind the site, and I don't have the resources at my disposal to find out (here's where our readers might be able to lend a hand). (endquote)
Censorship

Submission + - MySpace: No place for Atheists?

oldfartbob writes: Reported from the Secular Student Alliance"

MySpace Deletes Largest Atheist Group in the World. Cleveland, OH. — Social networking site, MySpace.com, panders to religious intolerants by deleting atheist users, groups and content. Early this month, MySpace again deleted the Atheist and Agnostic Group (35,000 members). This deletion, due largely to complaints from people who find atheism offensive, marks the second time MySpace has cancelled the group since November 2007.
Medicine

Submission + - U of A scientists' 'Lab on a Chip' to cut costs (ualberta.ca)

keesdenhartigh writes: "U of A scientists' 'Lab on a Chip' to cut costs for genetic testing (Jan 29, 2008) EDMONTON — The benefits of a new genetic-testing unit developed at the University of Alberta don't stop with the fact that an entire lab fits into a bread box.It is also cheaper and quicker than the currently available genetic testing. The tests, used to spot certain viruses, types of cancer or correct drug dosages — is hampered by large labs, months-long backlogs and high costs. http://www.engineering.ualberta.ca/ece/news.cfm?story=72514"
The Internet

Submission + - Drop-Catching Domains Is Big Business (websitemagazine.com)

WebsiteMag writes: The Colation Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) this week released a study on drop-catching — a process whereby a domain that has expired is released into the pool of available names and is instantly re-registered by another party. Historically, drop-catching is the first step to more serious abuses such as domain tasting, domain kiting and typo-squatting. Read Drop Catching Domains IS Big Business.
Space

Submission + - America's Space Age turn 50 thanks to JPL (msn.com)

Bryansix writes: "Today marks the 50th anniversary of America entering the Space Age. It all started when "Von Braun's team readied the Army's Juno 1 rocket, a modified Redstone ballistic missile. JPL built the satellite, which would carry scientific experiments designed under the direction of the University of Iowa's James Van Allen."

The sattelite that was launched made an important discovery for science as well. "The data returned by the satellite showed that Earth was not surrounded by a swarm of killer pebbles, as some scientists had feared. However, the cosmic-ray readings hinted at the existence of bands of radiation surrounding the planet — an unexpected result that led to the discovery of the Van Allen Belts.""

Microsoft

Microsoft Believes IBM Masterminded Anti-OOXML Initiative 274

mahuyar writes "Microsoft executives have accused IBM of leading the campaign against their initiative to have Office Open XML approved by the International Organization for Standardization. 'Nicos Tsilas, senior director of interoperability and IP policy at Microsoft, said that IBM and the likes of the Free Software Foundation have been lobbying governments to mandate the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to the exclusion of any other format. "They have made this a religious and highly political debate," Tsilas said. "They are doing this because it is advancing their business model. Over 50 percent of IBM's revenues come from consulting services."'"
The Courts

Submission + - See no evil...

rootednoob writes: I'm a Systems Admin for a small company that provides IT support for small to medium businesses. A client of mine has refused to establish any @clientdomain.com email addresses. When I spoke to their in-house IT facilitator, he informed me that they have all their employees utilize a "Popular Web based e-mail that doesn't support POP3." What concerns me is their reasoning behind it. They feel that if everyone uses the web e-mail that they are not liable for anything sent through by employees, and that they are not responsible for keeping records of all their messages, yet they "recommend" to everyone to use the same provider, and that the account begins with the company initials, i.e. abc-joesmith@ya-who.com. I'm just curios if this is valid, or if it's wishful thinking waiting to bite them in the ass...
Microsoft

Bill Gates Calls for a 'Kinder Capitalism' 601

Strudelkugel writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates is going to call for a revision of capitalism. He will argue that the economics that drive much of the world should use market forces to address the needs of poor countries, which he feels are currently being ignored. 'We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well,' Mr. Gates will say in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 'Key to Mr. Gates's plan will be for businesses to dedicate their top people to poor issues — an approach he feels is more powerful than traditional corporate donations and volunteer work. Governments should set policies and disburse funds to create financial incentives for businesses to improve the lives of the poor, he plans to say. Mr. Gates's argument for the potential profitability of serving the poor is certain to raise skepticism, and some people may point out that poverty became a priority for Mr. Gates only after he'd earned billions building up Microsoft. But Mr. Gates is emphatic that he's not calling for a fundamental change in how capitalism works.'"

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