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Submission + - Orion Nebula Gets New Milepost Marker, Now Closer

twilight30 writes: Discovery News is reporting that 'One of the most famous and scrutinized heavenly objects is 10 to 20 percent closer than we thought, say two teams of radio astronomers who have made some of the most precise cosmic distance measurements ever, with a telescope nearly as big as Earth. The Orion Nebula is the closest major stellar nursery to Earth, so it has been heavily studied to learn about the lives of stars. Its distance from Earth, however, has long been a matter of uncertainty, with an estimate made about 25 years ago in need of revision.'

Submission + - Low-tech inventions that help change lives (

angelaelle writes: "The current issue of Popular Mechanics features their Breakthrough Awards program for inventors. Some of the winning inventions help improve the living conditions for people in third world countries using low-tech materials and assembly methods like this cookstove for people in Darfur, and in the case of this Windbelt developed by Shawn Frayne, could be used to provide cheap, clean energy alternatives here. On their web site they have videos of each winner. These videos are really fascinating and inspiring because they talk about the inventor's eureka moment, instead of just talking about their inventions. Here the link to all the winners:"

Submission + - NASA Claims China Will Beat US Back to the Moon (

eldavojohn writes: "NASA's deadline for a return trip to the moon is 2020. But NASA Administrator Michael Griffin gave a lecture in Washington stating ' "I personally believe that China will be back on the moon before we are. I think when that happens, Americans will not like it. But they will just have to not like it." It sounds a bit like the taikonauts will arrive first."
The Courts

Submission + - Judges get crash course in science

linuxwrangler writes: A ship driven aground in a storm is leaking toxic chemicals. Just as cleanup crews are preparing to release genetically engineered bacteria to digest the chemical, environmental groups sue to stop the release claiming the DNA could transfer to natural bacteria and harm the environment. You are the judge and as the spill spreads, you need answers. Fast. That's just one of the scenarios tackled by judges participating in a crash course in science at Lawerence Berkeley Laboratory. The program is run by the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center. Participating judges were enthusiastic about the program. Rufus King, chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, commented, "Judges are empowered to do better, understand the issues better and guide the process better...Judges need to be gatekeepers to keep junk science out of the courtroom."

Submission + - Editorial: Compiz and Beryl Merger

invisibastard writes: "Linux Tech Daily has an editorial on the proceeding merger or Compiz and Beryl. LTD believes this is a good thing and the community overall will benefit. What do you think? Will it be possible for these teams to work together? One thing is certain, the 3D desktop space is drawing a lot of attention to Linux."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Dept. of Energy wants zero dollars for geothermal

LotsOfPhil writes: "The Department of Energy is requesting $0 for research into geothermal energy. From 2001-2006, the average funding was $26 million. This year it is $5 million.

The Bush administration wants to eliminate federal support for geothermal power just as many U.S. states are looking to cut greenhouse gas emissions and raise renewable power output.
The move has angered scientists who say there is enough hot water underground to meet all U.S. electricity needs without greenhouse gas emissions.

Submission + - OpenBSD developers

paltemalte writes: "OpenBSD developers are worried that the new Free Linux Driver Development program will backfire on the BSD community by giving vendors a new excuse for why not to release full specifications of their hardware. As we all know this is a battle the OpenBSD camp especially have fought for a long time now. Is this new free-driver initiative really a threat? Many OpenBSD users and developers alike seem to think so. An open email to the people behind the free driver initiative was just sent."

Submission + - Atom smasher may give birth to 'Black Saturns'

David Shiga writes: "If we ever make black holes on Earth, they might be much stranger objects than the star-swallowing monsters known to exist in space. According to a new theory, any black hole that pops out of the Large Hadron Collider under construction in Switzerland might be surrounded by a black ring — forming a microscopic "black Saturn". If an extra dimension exists, as string theory suggests, black Saturns might be produced in the LHC. Because there are so many ways to make a black Saturn, with different sizes of ring and different spins, they might even be produced in greater numbers than 'ordinary' black holes."

Submission + - Microsoft says no plans for new Windows in 2009

Janqie writes: Microsoft has disavowed any announced plans to ship a new version of Windows in 2009 (previous /. coverage), issuing a statement saying that the company is not prepared to offer any guidance on when the next version of Windows might ship. Kevin Kutz, Director of Windows Client development, said: "We are not giving official guidance to the public yet about the next version of Windows, other than that were working on it. When we are ready, we will provide updates."

Submission + - Substitute convicted of exposing kids to porn

flaming error writes: According to the AP, a substitute teacher with apparently little knowledge of computers claims she used a classroom PC to send an email to her husband, went to the restroom, and returned to find a couple girls browsing a hairstyle site on the web. She sent them away, and later, during class, pornographic images started popping up on the PC. The school administration admits the PC was completely open, unpatched, and unprotected. But the prosecution didn't buy the idea of porn popping up all by itself, nor apparently, did the jury. She is now a convict, and facing jail time.

Submission + - YouTube changes its story...BANS Gisburne forever

An anonymous reader writes: After deleting Nick Gisburne's account over a video YouTube claims was "Inappropriate Content" YouTube has now changed it's story and has deleted his new account claiming that the exact same video now violates a "Third Parties Copyright". There still exist some 50+ copies of this video that were posted in response to his that still exist on YouTube. Each of these were clearly posted as responses to the original.

To make things even more bizarre, several outspoken Christians (firefly515 and GlenReb) apparently launched a "flag and complain" campaign against Nick in an attempt to have him removed from YouTube. firefly515 has made a video gloating about getting NickGisburne2000 banned. After posting that video he received so much flack from the YouTube community as a whole that he made a video asking everyone to vote on whether or not he should delete all of his videos and his account.

The YouTube community has been left confused over what really happened here. Was the Christian campaign successful? Did the video actually violate the YouTube TOS for appropriate content? Did the video in fact violate copyright law as outlined in the DMCA?

Submission + - Is the Iranian bomb evidence real?

Phobos writes: "Evidence has been presented to the world by the US purporting Iranian involvement in the Shia insurgency. Specifically that explosions contain Iranian fingerprints is hailed as an airtight case. Yet inside Zarqawi's safe house a document was found with this specifically on the list.

"4. By executing exploding operations in the west and accusing Iran by planting Iranian Shi'a fingerprints and evidence."

The letter specifically questions how to draw the US into a war with Iran in order to weaken them in Iraq.

"...The question remains, how to draw the Americans into fighting a war against Iran? ... Hence, it is necessary first to exaggerate the Iranian danger and to convince America and the west in general, of the real danger coming from Iran..."

Are we being duped into triggering war with Iran? This could call into question how sound the evidence is against Iran. The USA Today carried this letter in June of last year, but it appears to have been forgotten by the intelligence community."

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