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Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352

A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!

Submission + - TI To Ship Dual-Core Smartphone Chip This Year (

CWmike writes: If a 1.3Ghz single-core chip rumored to be coming to the Droid Pro before Christmas is not enough to delight you, then TI's dual-core bad boy might. Texas Instruments' OMAP4430 chip will deliver double the performance of existing single-core chips from the OMAP3 family. The chip will scream, and will also bring features like 1080p high-definition video playback to mobile devices, said TI's Robert Tolbert. The new dual-core chip will operate at a clock speed of up to 1GHz and draw up to 50% less power than its predecessors, allowing it to deliver 10 hours of 1080p video playback compared with OMAP3630's four hours of 720p video playback.
Social Networks

Buried By The Brigade At Digg 624

Slashdot regular Bennett Haselton writes in with an essay on a subject we've dealt with internally at Slashdot for years: user abuses of social news... this time at Digg. He starts "Alternet uncovers evidence of a 'bury brigade' coordinating efforts to 'bury' left-leaning stories on Digg. Digg had previously announced that the 'bury' button will be removed from the next version of their site, to prevent these types of abuses, but that won't fix the real underlying issue — you can show mathematically that artificially promoting stories is just as harmful in the long run. Here's a simple fix that would address the real problem."

GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality 709

suraj.sun writes "Seven Republican senators have announced a plan to curb the Obama administration's push to impose controversial Net neutrality regulations on the Internet." "The FCC's rush to take over the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers," says Sen. Jim DeMint, who I'm sure truly only has the consumer's needs at heart — since his campaign contributions list AT&T in his top five donating organizations.

DRM and the Destruction of the Book 419

Hugh Pickens writes "EFF reports that Cory Doctorow spoke to a crowd of about a hundred librarians, educators, publishers, authors, and students at the National Reading Summit on How to Destroy the Book and said that 'anyone who claims that readers can’t and won’t and shouldn’t own their books are bent on the destruction of the book, the destruction of publishing, and the destruction of authorship itself.' Doctorow says that for centuries, copyright has acknowledged that sacred connection between readers and their books and that when you own a book 'it’s yours to give away, yours to keep, yours to license or to borrow, to inherit or to be included in your safe for your children' and that 'the most important part of the experience of a book is knowing that it can be owned.'"

Submission + - Obama Backs New Launcher and Bigger NASA Budget (

coop0030 writes: President Barack Obama will ask Congress next year to fund a new heavy-lift launcher to take humans to the Moon, asteroids, and the moons of Mars, ScienceInsider has learned. The president chose the new direction for the U.S. human space flight program Wednesday at a White House meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, according to officials familiar with the discussion. NASA would receive an additional $1 billion in 2011 both to get the new launcher on track and to bolster the agency’s fleet of robotic Earth-monitoring spacecraft.

Submission + - Ten years of .NET - did Microsoft deliver? ( 2

cyclocommuter writes: Interesting snippet from this article from The Register: "If the goal of .NET was to see off Java, it was at least partially successful. Java did not die, but enterprise Java became mired in complexity, making .NET an easy sell as a more productive alternative. C# has steadily grown in popularity, and is now the first choice for most Windows development. ASP.NET has been a popular business web framework. The common language runtime has proved robust and flexible."

The article also continues: "Job trend figures here show steadily increasing demand for C#, which is now mentioned in around 32 per cent of UK IT programming vacancies, ahead of Java at 26 per cent."


Submission + - MIT Students Unveil Bicycle Wheel of the Future (

MikeChino writes: Today MIT students unveiled the future of bicycle wheel technology at the at the COP15 Climate Change Conference. Dubbed the Copenhagen Wheel, the device turns any bicycle into an electric bike complete with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), sensors, a smart lock, and a Bluetooth connection to the rider’s iPhone. The wheel’s onboard sensors monitor bike speed, distance traveled, direction, pollution levels, and proximity of friends on the road. All info collected by the sensors is sent via Bluetooth to the rider’s iPhone, which can be mounted on the handlebars for easy access.

Submission + - SPAM: Adobe Warns of Reader, Acrobat Attack

itwbennett writes: Monday afternoon, Adobe 'received reports of a vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions being exploited in the wild,' the company said in a post to the company's Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) blog. According to malware tracking group Shadowserver, the vulnerability is due to a bug in the way Reader processes JavaScript code. Several 'tests have confirmed this is a 0-day vulnerability affecting several versions of Adobe Acrobat [Reader] to include the most recent versions of 8.x and 9.x. We have not tested on 7.x, but it may also be vulnerable,' Shadowserver said in a post on its Web site. The group recommends that concerned users disable JavaScript within Adobe's software as a work-around for this problem. (This can be done by un-checking the "Enable Acrobat JavaScript" in the Edit -> Preferences -> JavaScript window). 'This is legit and is very bad,' Shadowserver added.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - The perfect way to slice a pizza (

iamapizza writes: New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article;

"The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-centre, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-centre cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighbouring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?"

This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of "sharing" a pizza.


Submission + - Mars Express captures Phobos and Deimos ( 1

westtxfun writes: The Mars Express Orbiter captured a very cool movie of Phobos and Deimos on Nov 5. Besides the "wow factor", the images will be used to refine the moons' orbits. The orbiter has also captured high resolution images of Phobos back in July.

"The images were acquired with the Super Resolution Channel (SRC) of the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). The camera took 130 images of the moons on 5 November at 9:14 CET in a span of 1.5 minutes at intervals of 1s, speeding up to 0.5-s intervals toward the end. The image resolution is 110 m/pixel for Phobos and 240 m/pixel for Deimos — Deimos was more than twice as far from the camera. "

Submission + - Science gifts for kids 3

beernutmark writes: I have two science loving kids ages 7 and 9. My yougest knew Niel deGrass Tyson's name at age 4. With the holidays coming up (mine is Saturnalia you insensitive clod) I am looking to get them some quality science related tools. Two items on the list are a quality Microscope (National Optical) and/or a real rockhounding kit.

I am looking for any other gift suggestions for this year or future years (or even for younger kids for other readers) and hints on good sources.

A quirky thing about buying science gifts for kids is that most of the sources seem to be intelligent-design/biblical flood/anti-evolution home schooling sites. You can't really tell for some until you look through their "science" book lists.

Submission + - A new way of looking at the world ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: Rendering flat maps always introduces some form of topological distortion – the aesthetically-pleasing Mercator projection alters the proportions of continents, while the whacked-out Peters projection preserves size at the expense of considerable continental warping. Computer scientist Jack van Wijk has brought a software engineer's mindset to bear on the problem, devised some strange and ingenious representations of our planet.

Submission + - SPAM: NASA needs to free Mars rover before it freezes 1

coondoggie writes: NASA's Mars rover Spirit now apparently has two broken power wheels and the space agency's scientists face the unenviable task of trying to get the stuck spacecraft out of the mud before Martian winter freezes sets in. In the latest round of bad news, NASA said the results of diagnostic tests on Spirit's right-rear wheel on Dec. 8, 2009 continue to show problems that at this point leave the rover with only four operable wheels. Spirit has six wheels but one of them, the right front wheel, has been inoperable since 2006. The right-rear wheel stalled Nov. 28 while NASA was attempting to extricate the rover.

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