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Earth

China Vows to Stop the Rain 214

Since the Olympic stadium doesn't have a roof, the Beijing Meteorological Bureau has been given the task of making sure the games remain dry. According to Zhang Qian, head of weather manipulation (best title to have on a business card ever) at the bureau, they've had success with light rain but heavy rain remains tough to control. I see a hurricane cannon in some lucky country's future.
Idle

Don't Double Dip That Chip 2

A study by some Clemson University undergrads has shown that putting a food item in your mouth and then putting that item into a bowl of dip, causes that dip to have more bacteria than normal. Transfering 50-100 bacteria between mouths with every dip to be precise. Amazing. The results of their, "running downstairs with scissors in your mouth" study have been inconclusive.
Cellphones

Spectrum Auction Could Be A Game of Chicken 193

Ardvark writes "Google promised some time ago to bid at least the reserve price for the C block of 700Mhz spectrum if the FCC accepted its demand for an open access rule for devices using the band, which the FCC did over Verizon's objections. If the reserve price is not met the rule will be dropped and the block re-auctioned. It appears now that bidding has stalled just short of the reserve price. It's assumed that Google has no interest in becoming a cell phone company and with a recession looming the 700MHz spectrum now seems worth a whole lot less. If Google's strategy was to force the bidding above the reserve but still lose the auction, Verizon could be calling their bluff, threatening them to live up to their word and buy what to Google could be the equivalent of a $4.6 billion 'doohickey.'" Update: 01/31 16:01 GMT by Z : And just like that, the plot thickens: the C block has hit the reserve price during bidding.

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