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DHS Plans Changes in Air Passenger Screening 154

narramissic writes "The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced plans to revamp its Secure Flight program, with the agency no longer assigning risk scores to passengers or using predictive behavior technology. In addition, the Transportation Security Administration, part of DHS, will have direct control of checking domestic passenger lists against terrorist watch lists, instead of the airlines, said DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. Just the same Marc Rotenberg, executive director of privacy advocacy group the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), notes, air passengers still can't see the reasons why they're targeted for extensive searches or kept off flights, nor can they correct bad information on the terrorist watch lists. 'The problems with the watch list are still valid and are not going away,' said Rotenberg."

Farscape (Kinda) Returns 140

westlake writes "In a weekend press tour, Sci Fi announced that Farscape would be resurrected on-line in ten short webisodes to be produced by the Jim Henson Company. There are hints that Ben Browder and Claudia Black will both be both "available." Browder has another project to keep him occupied, at least part of the time: Sci Fi also announced that it had picked up Going Homer, a miniseries he developed with "Farscape" director Andrew Prowse. Greek and Roman deities walk among us, but only 12 year old Homer Ulysses Jones can see them for what they truly are. When Homer and his father are forced to flee a custody battle that would likely separate them, they journey from Los Angeles to the home of their ancestors — in Ithaca, N.Y."

World's Largest Wind Farm Gets Green Light 388

cliffski writes "According to the BBC website the UK govt has just given the go ahead to two large offshore wind-farm projects. Between them the schemes would produce enough renewable electricity to power about one million households. The larger London Array project covers 144 sq miles (232 sq km) between Margate in Kent and Clacton, Essex and will be the world's biggest when it is completed. The £1.5bn scheme will have 341 turbines rising from the sea about 12 miles (20km) off the Kent and Essex coasts, as well as five offshore substations and four meteorological masts"

Boy Scouts Introduce Merit Badge For Not Pirating 731

The_Slaughter writes "The MPAA has recruited the boy scouts of America to do their dirty work. Scouts will now be able to learn a merit badge for anti-piracy related activities, including creating public service announcements urging others not to steal movies or music. No word yet on if that includes helping the MPAA file lawsuits against 80-year-old grandmothers."

British Man Trades Frequent Flyer Miles for Space Shot 130

lvmoon writes "Start saving up your airline miles. Alan Watts, a British businessman, was able to use his 2,000,000 frequent flyer miles for a space flight, a ticket aboard a 2009 Virgin Galactic space flight." From the article: "Electrician Alan Watts said he flew to and from the United States on Virgin Atlantic flights more than 40 times in the past six years, earning him enough miles to take the trip into space with Virgin's space wing, London's The Sun newspaper reported Friday. The trip cost 2 million frequent flier miles, compared to the 90,000 miles required for a first-class flight from London to New York." Besides being funny, does this say anything about space travel in the 21st century? Is space is no longer the final frontier? I'm pretty sure Roddenberry didn't have frequent flier miles in mind when he came up with the Enterprise.

Another 150,000 Years of CO2 Data 809

An anonymous reader writes, "We've known since 2004 that the past 440,000 years have shown atmospheric carbon dioxide levels varying between about 200 and 300 ppmv, the difference in extremes being the difference between advancing ice sheets and our current clime. In 2005 the data were analyzed back to 650,000 years and were found to be much the same — Al Gore was proud to be able to show that then-new analysis in his 2006 movie An Inconvenient Truth. Now all 800,000 years of the ice column have been analyzed, and the data show much the same pattern, according to the researcher: 'When carbon dioxide changed there was always an accompanying climate change. Over the last 200 years human activity has increased carbon dioxide to well outside the natural range' — to 380 ppmv."

EarthLink Establishes Their Own "Site Finder" 241

Guppy06 writes "Last week, instead of a regular DNS error, EarthLink's DNS servers started to return a redirect to, a site that bears a close resemblance to VeriSign's much-maligned Site Finder, to their subscribers. According to their official blog at Earthling, "By presenting users with contextual help based upon the non-existent domain the user entered, we believe we are improving the EarthLink user experience with a system that will not interfere with other network processes." Most of the responses in said blog posting aren't positive."

Philips Shows Light Emitting Clothing 191

Paul Cobbaut writes "From Physorg: Philips Research intends to impress the visitors at this year's IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) with a world-first demonstration of promotional jackets and furniture featuring its innovative Lumalive technology. Lumalive textiles make it possible to create fabrics that carry dynamic advertisements, graphics and constantly changing color surfaces. Here is the Philips Press Release." Obviously, all Devo videos will need to be reshot using this valuabe new technology advance.

ICANN OKs Tiered Pricing for .org/.biz/.info 182

wayne writes "As reported on CircleID, Vint Cerf has confirmed that ICANN's new contracts for the .org/.biz/.info domain prices can be tiered, so that could cost $1 million per year, while could cost $100,000/year. This is very similar to how the .tv TLD already works. The domain registrar could also could also use pricing for political purposes, claiming that pricing high would be to 'protect the children,' while could be priced at $1/year. Verisign's contract for .com and .net have recently been renewed, so those domains are safe for now, but I'm sure they would want similar treatment."

An Older, Larger Universe 479

Josh Fink writes " has a very interesting article as part their weekly mystery Monday series about a new calculation that shows that the Universe is actually much older than than the 14.3 billion years old that was established in 2003. From the article, "...the universe is instead about 15.8 billion years old and about 180 billion light-years wide." The calculations were based off of a recalculation of the Hubble Constant which dictates how fast the universe is expanding, and they found it is actually 15% slower than previously thought. The findings will be printed in an upcoming edition of Astrophysical Journal."

Spam Detection Using an Artificial Immune System 114

rangeva writes "As anti-spam solutions evolve to limit junk email, the senders quickly adapt to make sure their messages are seen. an interesting article describes the application of an artificial immune system model to effectively protect email users from unwanted messages. In particular, it tests a spam immune system against the publicly available SpamAssassin corpus of spam and non-spam. It does so by classifying email messages with the detectors produced by the immune system. The resulting system classifies the messages with accuracy similar to that of other spam filters, but it does so with fewer detectors."

Cracking the GPS Galileo Satellite 364

Glyn writes "Newswise is reporting the the encryption in the Galileo GPS signal has been broken. The pseudo random number generator used to obscure the information stored in the Galileo GPS signal has been broken. From the article: 'Members of Cornell's Global Positioning System (GPS) Laboratory have cracked the so-called pseudo random number (PRN) codes of Europe's first global navigation satellite, despite efforts to keep the codes secret. That means free access for consumers who use navigation devices -- including handheld receivers and systems installed in vehicles -- that need PRNs to listen to satellites.'"

Chinese Students' Cheating Techniques - Don't Try at Home 555

corbettw writes "According to a wire report on Yahoo! news, competition for university admissions in China are so intense that people are coming up with new, and sometimes dangerous, ways to cheat. The methods include microscopic earphones and wireless devices. In some cases, students are required surgery to recover from their cheating attempts. If there are that many people that desperate to get into a university, the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?"

10th Annual RoboCup 104

Aryabhata writes "As soccer fever continues the 10th RoboCup also got to a start. 400 teams fight it out in 11 different leagues including onces designed for humanoid to four legged robots. "The organizers of the tournament hope that in 2050 the winners of the RoboCup will be able to beat the human World Cup champions".
Beyond the novelty value, the cup enables 2,500 experts in artificial intelligence and robot engineering to meet and test their latest ideas. The championships is followed by a 2 day conference where the teams can dissect their play and work."

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