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Submission + - 10 years later, 'Star Wars Kid' speaks out

silentbrad writes: Almost a billion viewers across the planet know him as the Star Wars Kid, but they’ve never heard him speak, until now. Ghyslain Raza was a normal high-school student in small-town Quebec back in 2002, a shy 14-year-old who liked to make videos. In 2003, classmates posted one of those videos on the Internet without his knowledge–in it, Raza wields a makeshift light saber, clumsily imitating a Star Wars Jedi knight. The video went viral, and the Trois-Rivières teen became one of the earliest and highest-profile victims of a massive cyberbullying attack, one that played out among classmates and strangers online. Recorded while Raza was “goofing around” alone at his school’s TV club studio — the group had been working on a Star Wars parody — the video had soon been seen by tens of millions, all the more remarkable in a pre-YouTube world. Raza said he lost what few friends he had in the fallout, and had to change schools. “In the common room, students climbed onto tabletops to insult me,” he told L’actualité. Raza, now a law-school graduate from McGill, said he was driven to speak out by the recent spate of high-profile cases of cyberbullying, some of which have pushed their victims to commit suicide. If the same situation were to happen today, he said he hopes school authorities would help him through it. “You’ll survive. You’ll get through it,” he said. “And you’re not alone. You are surrounded by people who love you.”

Submission + - Curiosity landed in "perfect spot" on Mars. 1

SternisheFan writes: "Curiosity landed in a geological feature called an alluvial fan, a plain of rocks and dirt likely deposited by a river during Mars' ancient, watery past. When it comes to Curiosity's primary mission, the search for evidence that Mars is or was able to foster life, the fan could be "a jackpot," said Caltech geologist John Grotzinger, the mission's lead scientist. "This place is awesome. We really don't want to blow out of there."
      The ultimate target, is the towering and unusual mountain in the center of the crater. Known as Mt. Sharp, it is taller than any in the Lower 48 United States, and scientists believe its walls were eroded over millions of years, either by wind or water, and contain a preserved record of Mars' history and evolution. Curiosity doesn't have to "go-to" much of anywhere any time soon because there's too much science to do right in the neighborhood, where running water appears to have swept debris from the northern rim of the crater into its bowl. 07/science/la-sci-0807-mars-curiosity-20120807 mars-looks-like-earth/"

Submission + - Ping-pong detectives: How RAE Systems find Olympics 'paddle doping' cheats (

An anonymous reader writes: Ping pong might not be the first sport to spring to mind when the subject of 'doping' comes up, but the sport's authorities are taking no chances for the Olympics — they've called in RAE systems to ensure that everything that takes place on the table tennis table is above board.

In the early 1970s wily table tennis players realised that they could increase the spin when striking the ball by applying the same glue that's used to repair bike tyres under the rubber on their paddles. More sophisticated techniques and use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, octane and N-hexane in combination with the 'speed glue' are now employed, but the idea remains the same — to increase speed and spin on shots.

"While most of us associate cheating scandals with mainstream professional sports, the practice of paddle doping goes to show that even the relatively tame world of table tennis is not immune to this culture where athletes are willing to take extreme measures — and yes, even cheat — to gain the upper hand over the competition," a spokeswoman for RAE Systems told ZDNet.

Unsurprisingly, the practice of 'paddle doping' — which can give up to 30 percent more speed and spin — is now strictly banned and participants are required to submit their equipment to an ITTF paddle controller for inspection to ensure the rubber is the correct thickness and no solvents are present.

For the London 2012 Olympics, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITFF) asked RAE Systems to ensure that no cheating took place by using its MiniRAE Lite photo ionization detector (PID).

The MiniRAE Lite PID (pictured below) works by breaking down chemicals into ions under an ultraviolet light. These ions can then...


Terrorists Bomb Moscow Airport 640

jayme0227 writes "Terrorists detonated a bomb at Moscow's busiest airport on Monday, killing 35 people and wounding another 152, Russian authorities said. President Dmitry Medvedev, who called the bombing a terrorist attack, ordered additional security at Moscow's other airports and transportation hubs, and Moscow police went on high alert in case of additional bombs." According to the NY Times, "The airport remained open on Monday evening, and passengers continued to flow through the hall where the bomb had exploded."

Wireless GeForce Graphics Card Announced 202

arcticstoat writes "PC gamers who are sick of being constantly distracted by whirring fans could now have a helping hand from a new wireless graphics card. Galaxy sub-brand KFA2 has announced a graphics card with no display outputs. Instead, the KFA2 GTX 460 WHDI uses a wireless link to send the display output from your PC to your screen, whether that's a conventional monitor or the HD TV in your lounge. You just need to attach the bundled receiver to the back of your chosen screen and you're done. With a wireless keyboard and mouse, you could place your PC at the other end of the room, letting you crank up those fans without having to listen to the whirring next to you."

Opera Supports Google Decision To Drop H.264 336

An anonymous reader follows up to yesterday's Google announcement that they would drop H.264 support from Chrome. "Thomas Ford, Senior Communications Manager, Opera, told Muktware, 'Actually, Opera has never supported H.264. We have always chosen to support open formats like Ogg Theora and WebM. In fact, Opera was the first company to propose the tag, and when we did, we did it with Ogg. Simply put, we welcome Google's decision to rely on open codecs for HTML5 video.'"

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