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Space

Submission + - New Theory Explains Periodic Mass Extinctions

i_like_spam writes: The theory that the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid impact, the K-T extinction, is well known and supported by fossil and geological evidence. Asteroid impact theory does not apply to the other fluctuations in biodiversity, however, which follow an approximate 62 million-year cycle. As reported in Science news, a new theory seems to explain periodic mass extinctions. The new theory found that oscillations in the Sun relative to the plane of the Milky Way correlate with changes in biodiversity on Earth. The researchers suggest that an increase in the exposure of Earth to extragalatic cosmic rays causes mass extinctions. Here is the original paper describing the finding.
Television

Submission + - NFL Forcing Press To Wear Sponsor Logos

i_like_spam writes: In a story covered by the National Press Photographers Association, photojournalists are protesting a new rule for the upcoming NFL season that will force them to wear red vests emblazoned with the corporate logos of Reebok and Canon during televised games. The chair of the NPPA's Ethics & Standards Committee fires back

"It totally goes against our Code of Ethics to force photographers to advertise as if they were some sort of NASCAR vehicle. We are independent gatherers of news, storytellers with no agendas. Our integrity comes from objectivity. Do reporters put up with this kind of disrespect from the NFL?"
The Courts

Submission + - Slot Machine with Bad Software: Players To Jail? (yahoo.com)

dcollins writes: Numerous Slashdot threads turn into a debate over who's liable for faulty software: the programmers, the publisher, etc. Here's a new option: perhaps the users are themselves criminally liable. From the AP: ( http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070719/ap_on_fe_st/ge nerous_slot_machine ): "Prosecutors are considering criminal charges against casino gamblers who won big on a slot machine that had been installed with faulty software... A decision on whether to bring criminal charges could come in a couple of weeks, said John Colin, chief deputy prosecutor for Harrison County. He said 'criminal intent' may be involved when people play a machine they know is faulty."

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...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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