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Japan

Fukushima Radioactive Fallout Nears Chernobyl Levels 537

0WaitState writes "The cumulative releases from Fukushima of iodine-131 and cesium-137 have reached 73% and 60% respectively of the amounts released from the 1986 Chernobyl accident. These numbers were reached independently from a monitoring station in Sacramento, CA, and Takasaki, Japan. The iodine and cesium releases are due to the cooking off of the more volatile elements in damaged fuel rods."
Communications

Skype Blames Microsoft Patch Tuesday for Outage 286

brajesh writes to tell us that Skype has blamed its outage over the last week on Microsoft's Patch Tuesday. Apparently the huge numbers of computers rebooting (and the resulting flood of login requests) revealed a problem with the network allocation algorithm resulting in a couple days of downtime. Skype further stressed that there was no malicious activity and user security was never in any danger.

US Government Checking Up On Vista Users? 291

Paris The Pirate writes "This article at Whitedust displays some very interesting logs from Vista showing connections to the DoD Information Networking Center, United Nations Development program and the Halliburton Company; for no reason other than the machine was running Vista. From the article 'After running Vista for only a few days — with a complete love for the new platform the first sign of trouble erupted. I began noticing latency on my home network connection — so I booted my port sniffing software and networking tools to see what was happening. What I found was foundation shaking. The two images below show graphical depictions of what has and IS trying to connect to my computer even in an idle state'."
GNU is Not Unix

FSF Launches "BadVista" Campaign 607

FrankNFurter writes to note the launch yesterday of the FSF's BadVista campaign against Microsoft's new operating system. BadVista's aim is to inform users about the alleged harms inflicted by Vista on the user and about free software alternatives. Quoting program administrator John Sullivan: "Vista is an upsell masquerading as an upgrade. It is an overall regression when you look at the most important aspect of owning and using a computer: your control over what it does. Obviously MS Windows is already proprietary and very restrictive, and well worth rejecting. But the new 'features' in Vista are a Trojan Horse to smuggle in even more restrictions. We'll be focusing attention on detailing how they work, how to resist them, and why people should care."
Math

Professor Comes Up With a Way to Divide by Zero 1090

54mc writes "The BBC reports that Dr. James Anderson, of the University of Reading, has finally conquered the problem of dividing by zero. His new number, which he calls "nullity" solves the 1200 year old problem that niether Newton nor Pythagoras could solve, the problem of zero to the zero power. Story features video (Real Player only) of Dr. Anderson explaining the "simple" concept."

China - We Don't Censor the Internet 554

kaufmanmoore writes "A Chinese government official at a United Nations summit in Athens on internet governance has claimed that no Net censorship exists at all in China. The article includes an exchange by a Chinese government official and a BBC reporter over the blocking of the BBC in China." From the article: "I don't think we should be using different standards to judge China. In China, we don't have software blocking Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that's a different problem. I know that some colleagues listen to the BBC in their offices from the Webcast. And I've heard people say that the BBC is not available in China or that it's blocked. I'm sure I don't know why people say this kind of thing. We do not have restrictions at all."

Irish Company Claims Free Energy 1125

raghus writes "An Irish company has thrown down the gauntlet to the worldwide scientific community to test a technology it has developed that it claims produces free energy. The company, Steorn, says its discovery is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and allows the production of clean, free and constant energy — a concept that challenges one of the basic rules of physics." I can't wait until I can use this free energy to power my flying car and heat my aquarium of mermaids.

Two-Tier Internet & The End of Freedom of Speech 364

Max Fomitchev writes "The proposed Two-Tier Internet bill threatens not only to raise prices on goods and services served online but also to seriously hamper free speech on Internet by allowing telecom providers choking user pages and blogs not associated with major content providers. What a perfect way of censorship..."

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