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Robotics

Robots Fly Over Antarctica 45

Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have successfully run a series of flights by autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Antarctica. These robotic planes have a 2-meter wingspan and weigh 6 kilograms. They are powered by Lithium Ion Polymer (LIPo) battery packs — similar to the ones in your cellphones or laptops. So far, these autonomous UAVs have completed about 20 flights lasting 40 minutes each. These robots can fly over 45 kilometers while taking about 100 measurements per second about the exchange of heat between the lower atmosphere and sea ice. According to one of the scientists, 'the future of atmospheric research will be robotic.'"

Comment Does AA have a Cardboard Box? (Score 2, Funny) 379

Everything I needed to know about warfare and life I learned from Metal Gear. Yeah, that's right. The original.

You can infiltrate classified military installations by disguising yourself as an innocuous cardboard box. There's nothing more indispensable than a pack of smokes. And nothing in the entire arsenal of the Military-Industrial Complex is as singularly lethal as a ninja.
The Courts

Submission + - Montana says no to Real ID, passes law to deny it

SoCalChris writes: Montana's governor signed a bill yesterday saying "no, nope, no way, hell no" to the Real ID Act. House Bill 287 (pdf) requires the Montana Motor Vehicle Division to not implement the provisions of the Real ID Act, and to report to the governor any attempts by any agent or agency of the Department of Homeland Security to attempt to implement the bill. Montana is the first state to implement such a law, the Billings Gazette has more info
Announcements

Submission + - Australia Outlaws Incandescent Lightbulb

passthecrackpipe writes: "The Australian Government is planning on making the incandescent ligtbulb a thing of the past. In three years time, standard lightbulbs will no longer be available for sale in the shops in Australia (expect a roaring grey market) and everybody will be forced to switch to more energy efficient Fluorescent bulbs. In this move to try and curb emissions, the incandescent bulb — which converts the majority of used energy to heat rather then light — will be phased out. Environmental groups have given this plan a lukewarm reception. They feel Australia should sign on to the Kyoto protocol first. (Article in Dutch). A similar plan was created together with Phillips, one of the worlds largest lighting manufacturers. What do other slashdotters think? Is this a move in the right direction? Will this boost the development of better fluorescent bulbs? Improve the design and lower the costs of LED lightbulbs? Will this plan make a big difference to the environment at all?"
Privacy

Submission + - Europe's Plan to Track Phone and Net Use

An anonymous reader writes: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/20/business/worldbu siness/20privacy.html February 20, 2007 Europe's Plan to Track Phone and Net Use PARIS, Feb. 19 — European governments are preparing legislation to require companies to keep detailed data about people's Internet and phone use that goes beyond what the countries will be required to do under a European Union directive. In Germany, a proposal from the Ministry of Justice would essentially prohibit using false information to create an e-mail account, making the standard Internet practice of creating accounts with pseudonyms illegal.
Democrats

Submission + - Edward's campaign desperate for media coverage

Web Candidate 2.0 writes: "from the Edwards Campaign Blog Monday
"With Senators Clinton and Obama receiving the overwhelming majority of media coverage relating to the 2008 election, (and Anna Nicole Smith receiving all other coverage) the central question becomes how does the Edwards camp get his platform out and known by the masses."

from the Edwards Campaign Blog Tuesday
"I'm angry about the fact that they aren't giving any significant time to John Edwards, his common sense statements on the issues and plans to deal with the serious problems we as a nation face. I believe that they seek to marginalize him as a candidate because he is the only one who is addressing all of the serious issues. They know that if they gave him any fair amount of coverage, they would have to deal with issues their owners find inconvenient. They also know that the people would respond to Edwards as a candidate because he strikes a chord that resonates with our legitimate concerns."

Web Candidate 2.0"
The Courts

Submission + - Inhuman treatment of inmates in NSW prison system!

David Parsons writes: "This is taken from my blog which in part I use to expose the barbaric treatment handed out in Australian prisons and the corruption of the Australian police force. The accounts are all first hand. I dont recieve any money at all for these stories I am just concerned with telling people what goes on in our gaols now I am free. If you would like to read more my blog address is http://blog.myspace.com/bigdaveemcee I have many more memories to tell the world about and by all means pass on the information you read. — - — Back again people, I recently wrote a blog about a mate setting his cell on fire at the remand centre in Symonston ACT as a bit of a prank. I had someone comment on this blog saying that by putting on this prank we somehow wasted tax payers dollars which could have been better served being spent on the Canberra bushfires. Now considering no extra staff were required there was no extra cost. I think a more cost effective solution would be to stop locking guys in prison that offer no threat to society anyway!(Not to mention that guys on remand are not yet found guilty and many turn out to be innocent so should not be treated as criminals...INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!!) And just to give you an idea of why we would play such a prank I will let everyone know about the handling of the Canberra bushfires by ACT corrective services! It was appalling! I recall it was just before lunch when the first signs of how close the fires were to the prison became clear the sky was orange and filled with smoke and bits of burnt leaves were raining into our small yard at the remand centre. Shortly after this all the tv stations stopped running shows and began running emergency flashes with a list of the most in danger suburbs. This went on for a few hours while everyone in the prison called there loved ones to confirm there safety, many including my mate Pete could not get in touch with their loved ones. It turned out Petes elderly mother had been evacuated to a shelter as her whole suburb of Duffy was under attack from the fires, he would not find this out until the following day. Many of the inmates suspected thats where there loved ones were but the screws refused to ring the hotline to confirm this. As the afternoon went on and the fires came closer more and more burnt cinders came pouring into our little yard and the air became hotter and more filled with smoke. As things started to become a bit surreal and spooky the screws entered the yard and informed us that we had to return to our cells for a short period of time until a change of shift had occured, this sounded like a lie and turned out to be one. Once back inside the cells it became apparent just how hot it was and so I lay near the crack under the door near the drapht of incoming air and wet my head every ten minutes. My cell mate Pete flicked through tv stations and the radio trying to find out if his mothers house had been burned down. As the evening came along there was an eery orange tinged darkness falling over the yard and the air became much thicker with smoke making breathing a bit difficult. By 6pm we were all sweating profusly and breathing as best we could, the screws came past every half hour and we asked to be allowed into the yard but they continued to refuse. Gaol cells have very little airflow and at the Symonston remand centre the only real fresh air enters the cells by way of an electric exhaust fan. The water and flushing of the toilet are also run on electricity there. By 7pm all power to the cells had failed due to the close proximity of the fire so there we sat in the dark with no water, no toilet and our cells slowly filling with smoke. We began to call out to the screws but they ignored us. We begged to just be able to lay in the yard and have some water but still no response. As breathing became more difficult we all began calling out to be moved to the other remand centre in Belconon which was further from the fires, still no response. By 10pm we were beginning to become extremely concerned for our safety espescially since the screws offered no help at all. We began bangin plates and cups against the walls and started kicking our doors demanding to be released from these cells and taken somewhere safe. This went on for at least an hour but the screws still refused to concern themselves with our welfare! Suddenly somehow two ladz that had been kicking there door relentlessly managed to kick it open and got out into the yard running to the office window banging on it and demanding safety for us all. The screws left the office and we assumed that finally they would get us out of here. Unfortunately we thought wrong as they returned with a riot squad in there full gear with shields and batons at the ready grabbing the two guys that got out and taking them away with a few well placed hits. As time dragged on it became increasingly hard to breath and we got louder and louder until finally around 1 am the screws came into the yard and began putting us all in cuffs a sure sign we were finally about to be moved. We were put into waiting vehicals and moved to the remand centre at Belconnon, it felt so good to be able to breath properly again and the drink of water I had when we got to Belco was one of the best Ive tasted. We remained at Belco for a couple of weeks before returning to Symonston. We were treated as animals actually I think I would treat my pets better during a time of danger!"

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky

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