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Anti-Missile Defenses For Commercial Jets 594

The AP reports that the first anti-missile defense system has been installed for testing on a commercial jet, a FedEx cargo carrier. The system is intended to detect the launch of a shoulder-fired missile at takeoff or landing, and disable the missile with a laser beam. Sen. Barbara Baxter (D-California) is one of the supporters of the system. She and other members of Congress are hoping to equip all US commercial passenger liners with this system in 20 years, at a cost of billions of dollars. Is this good common sense or the costly future of a society hobbled by fear of terrorism?

Intel Announces Lasers On a Chip 244

wonkavader writes, "The New York Times reports that 'Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design.' The work is from Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara. This suggests breakthroughs in both computing performance and networking." From the article: "The breakthrough was achieved by bonding a layer of light-emitting indium phosphide onto the surface of a standard silicon chip etched with special channels that act as light-wave guides. The resulting sandwich has the potential to create on a computer chip hundreds and possibly thousands of tiny, bright lasers that can be switched on and off billions of times a second." Further details in the Intel press release.

Snakes on The Net Fail to Put Butts in the Seats 580

Lev13than writes "An article in The Globe & Mail discusses the disappointing performance of Snakes on a Plane. Despite extensive Internet hype and unprecedented audience involvement in the movie's development, it barely slithered into first place with a meager $13.8M weekend box office. 'The Internet stuff was just fun that people were having with it, but I don't think that necessarily meant that those people wanted to see the movie... those who had made that decision based their decision more on the traditional marketing than on all this Internet buzz.' Was all of the hype about blogger power just that — hype?"

Are Liquid Explosives on a Plane Feasible? 875

permaculture writes "The Register describes the difficulty of mixing up a batch of liquid explosives on a plane. Further, it opines that such a plot might work in a Hollywood film, but not in the real world. Liquid explosives were used for the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, according to the official account — or not, as now seems more likely." This story selected and edited by LinuxWorld editor for the day Saied Pinto.

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