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Submission + - What would your first 24 hours of a "I've got to disappear" plan look like? 1

diacritica writes: "This Ask Slashdot is inspired by à-la-Bourne movies but taking a more realistic approach to the world we live in. You are native to and live in a big city (> 1M pop) in a G8 country of your choosing. T = 0h, you accidentally witness a strange event. T = 1h, you realize you're being followed AND you get the feeling that the police/government might be involved. Context data: you are able to speak one language apart from good English. You are 25 to 45 years old. You are computer savvy. You are engaged/married, you have family living in the same city. 99% of your money is in a bank account. You prefer to go "rationally" paranoid. What would you do in order to feel safe after those 24h? Remember, you didn't commit a crime, but there are plenty of real-world resources invested in catching you."

Submission + - Russian find a new particle (

physburn writes: "The Russian Dubna Nuctron accelerator has reported finded a new elementary particle. The E(38) Boson at 38 MeV, it interacts only with quarks and gluons, but decays (via quark diagrams) into pairs of photons. The particle was previously reported in February from data from the BaBar experiment, and the new data seems to confirm its existence."

Submission + - Curiosity Rover landed on Mars Successfully and started sending Images of Mars. (

Qualitypointtech writes: "Nasa's has announced that Curiosity Rover has landed on Mars Safely. U.S President Barack Obama on Curiosity: "Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history."
You can see below the Reaction of MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) Team after learning that Mars Curiosity rover has landed safely on Mars."

Social Networks

Submission + - we're in the midst of a literacy revolution(Wired)

Mike Sauter writes: ""Andrea Lunsford... is a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University, where she has organized a mammoth project called the Stanford Study of Writing to scrutinize college students' prose. From 2001 to 2006, she collected 14,672 student writing samples--everything from in-class assignments, formal essays, and journal entries to emails, blog posts, and chat sessions. Her conclusions are stirring. "I think we're in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since Greek civilization," she says. For Lunsford, technology isn't killing our ability to write. It's reviving it--and pushing our literacy in bold new directions.""

Submission + - Where is everybody? Fermi's Paradox Revisited. (

Snowmit writes: "In a sweeping review of the literature around Fermi's Paradox, Milan M. Cirkovic argues that the fact that the question remains unanswered indicates that there must be some unresolved flaw in the current scientific understanding of our place in the universe. The paper is extremely fun to read, covering concepts such as self-replicating death-probes, galactic engineering projects, the importance of Jupiter in stellar safety, the inefficiency of stars as an energy source, the likelihood of the Cambrian explosion, the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and why the SETI program might not be such a waste after all.

From the abstract:

We review Fermi's paradox (or the "Great Silence" problem), not only arguably the oldest and crucial problem for the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI), but also a conundrum of profound scientific, philosophical and cultural importance. By a simple analysis of observation selection effects, the correct resolution of Fermi's paradox is certain to tell us something about the future of humanity ... Somewhat paradoxically, it seems that the class of (neo)catastrophic hypotheses gives, on balance, the strongest justification for guarded optimism regarding our current and near-future SETI efforts.

It's long but it's worth it. The giga-scale thinking involved in Fermi's paradox is a breath of fresh air and a great antidote to spending too much time worrying about whatever tiny little details make up your tiny little life."

The Internet

Submission + - Comedian gets BT boss to fix his broadband (

Barence writes: "British comedian Dave Gorman has found a surefire way of getting your BT broadband connection fixed — email CEO Ian Livingston. Following on from his brilliant blog post a few days ago — in which he asked the perfectly reasonable question, why don't ISPs give out courtesy mobile broadband dongles when your connection fails? — Gorman's latest blog post provides hilarious details of the incompetence of BT's support desk, with staff repeatedly failing to diagnose the problem, so he went straight to the top — he emailed the CEO. Lo and behold, the connection was repaired within hours. Apparently it helps to be a celebrity."

Feed Techdirt: US Gov't: Do Not Carry Your Social Security Number; US Gov't: You Must Carry You (

The classic concept of how to force someone to think for themselves rather than mindlessly obey authority is to have two equally powerful authority figures demand that the individual do the completely opposite actions (an example: having two top generals on either side of a low ranking soldier, one demanding he sit down, and the other demanding he stand). Somehow, though, I doubt that's the reasoning behind conflicting messages coming from the US government concerning whether or not you should carry your social security number on you. Jim Harper points us to the fact that the Federal Trade Commission has suggested it's not wise for American citizens to carry their social security number with them in their wallet -- yet other government agencies seem to require it.

Medicare and the Defense Department each issue cards with the person's SSN included. Medicare seems particularly conflicted about the whole thing. It refuses to get rid of cards with SSNs, saying that "it would be too expensive." Instead, in order to deal with the risk of identity theft over this issue, it suggests that you only carry the card with you when you think you might need it: "don't carry it with you unless you know you're going to need it." In other words, always make sure to properly predict that heart attack or stroke ahead of time so you know to carry the card with you. Of course, Medicare also publishes a conflicting pamphlet that reminds people: "Carry your card with you when you are away from home." Mixed messages indeed.

Then, of course, the FTC also recommends that you not write your social security on any check, as that's an easy way for ID thefts to get a hold of it. Of course, on the other side, you have the IRS, who asks taxpayers to write their social security number on the checks you send in. So will the FTC now go after Medicare, the Defense Department and the IRS for helping to cause identity theft? Somehow I doubt it.

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Submission + - The Ugly State of Windows Applications (

techie writes: "Windows applications are going worse day by day. Why? According to this article, Windows developers need to improve their applications. The writer recommends, "This is exactly why there's usually one application that emerges that takes over the market for a specific type of functionality, and in turn, it's why a lot of people hate digging through third-party software options past the apparent winner. The third-party software scene sure has changed. It seems to be growing stagnant on Windows, while becoming revitalized on OS X."

Submission + - Man to attempt 25-mile skydive (

bfwebster writes: "Today's New York Times reports on the plans of Michel Fournier to skydive out of a helium baloon at 130,000 feet tomorrow (Sunday, 5/25), breaking the previous record of 102,800 feet. According to the article, Fornier hopes to go supersonic during his descent, getting to 1000 MPH before the atmosphere thickens up enough to slow him down.

The article, however, has at least one major scientific gaffe: it claims that when Fournier reaches his maximum altitude, but before he exits the baloon, "[h]e will experience weightlessness." Uh, no he won't. He will experience free fall — by definition — when he jumps out of the balloon, but he'll still feel pretty much his full weight (~99% of sea level gravity) in the gondola before he jumps."


Submission + - C64 classics set for Wii Virtual Console (

londonlives writes: "Released in 1982, the C64 sold 22 million units — an individual computer model record which stands to this day. Nintendo today inform us that C64 releases will begin hitting the Wii Virtual Console service later this year, joining hits from Nintendo, Sega, Turbografx and NeoGeo.

The first titles will be retrograde favourites Karate and Uridium, and we learn that these downloadables will cost 500 Wii Points each. A welcome blast from the past or a re-release too far for the VC?"

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