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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 1 accepted (8 total, 12.50% accepted)

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Submission + - Shuttle drops a nut (

pgmrdlm writes: Ok, how many of you looked at this title and just laughed.

While hoisted into a vertical position in NASA's Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building to "mate" the orbiter with the orange external tank on Friday, a nut that was being attached to a tank separation bolt came loose and dropped into the aft compartment.

Submission + - Web devices accessible to disabled users. (

pgmrdlm writes: In an effort to make web devices accessible to the disabled, 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (H.R. 3101), submitted by Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 348 to 23. The senate related bill 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (H.R. 3101),(.3304) has been introduced by Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR). From Representative Edward J. Markey's web site

“We’ve moved from Braille to Broadcast, from Broadband to the Blackberry. We’ve moved from spelling letters in someone’s palm to the Palm Pilot. And we must make all of these devices accessible.”

From the Washington post article:

Apple's iPhone has built-in speech software for the blind, but other smartphones require users to buy costly programs for the same functions. Some broadcasters put videos on the Internet with captions, but not all. That can make inaccessible everything from the political videos that are now common on the Web to pop culture clips that turn viral. This past week, for instance, the "White Board Girl" clip of a fictitious employee quitting on a dry erase board or JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater's comments fresh out of prison didn't have closed-captioning for the deaf or hard of hearing.

As someone who has 20/200 vision with my glass's on, I completely agree that the web has not been kind to individuals with various disabilities. Everything from small fonts on backgrounds which mask the text to web devices which do not come with accessible software.

But due to the size of the web, and the large number of different devices that access it. Is it even possible to leglislate something of this nature? Or is the best possible solution education and peer pressure on the various manufacturers?

Submission + - And you thought only earthlings wasted natural res (

pgmrdlm writes:
If Mars Attacks
Do we have an alien-contact contingency plan?

The guts of this article is what are we going to do if we are contacted by aliens from another world.

What if aliens were to make contact—do we have an E.T. contingency plan?

Kinda? Maybe? Could be? Never know?
Officially, the answer is no. What the pentagon has drawn up, is possibly another story. Who knows what secret contigency plans the pentagon has.

What I find interesting are the comments from Stephen Hawking:

believe that contact with intelligent aliens would end badly for us—we'd be the Native Americans to the alien Europeans. "I imagine they might exist in massive ships," Hawking said recently,

  • "having used up all the resources from their home planet.

Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach."

I know that the romantics that think that aliens would have no evil intentions in contacting us, but get real people. The only reason you explore the unknown is to expand what you do own. Be it knowledge, resources, or slave labor.

Submission + - Where's the map to where UFO's come from? (

pgmrdlm writes: Today is the 63rd anniversary of the so-called Roswell UFO Incident which has brought the author to the question of? Where do UFO's come from? He makes the point that out of all the UFO sightings, there has only been once case where someone has decoded or seen a UFO star map.

A search on the Internet comes up with one particularly legendary place, the double star system Zeta Reticuli. It's nearby, only 39 light-years away in the southern sky.

The naked-eye double star burst into UFO culture in the mid -1970s. An Ohio school teacher, Marjorie Fish, claimed to have decoded a star map from a 1961 UFO abduction case. It pointed to Zeta Reticuli as the aliens' place of origin.

The alleged extraterrestrial kidnapping, described in journalist John Fuller’s book “Incident at Exeter: The Interrupted Journey,” tells how a New England couple was taken aboard a flying saucer and medically examined. Under hypnotic regression the wife, Betty Hill, sketched a star map she said she saw while inside the spaceship.

The author then goes on to debunk this decoded map based on a number of claims and references that Mrs. Fish makes.

This map is legendary but meaningless. First, the Hill drawing contains 25 dots for stars. If you flew around a computer database of the local stellar neighborhood you’d come up with more than one match that roughly “looked” similar to her sketch.

I don't think that you can look at Roswell as either evidence or lack of evidence of UFO's. If you can answer how various ancient civilizations reached the knowledge they did in mathematics, engineering, and celestial would go much further to disprove or prove tge existence of UFO's. There are to many unanswered questions about our own history which could also answer the question about UFO's.

Submission + - Night flight using solar energy (

pgmrdlm writes: A swiss team is attempting to fly around the world using only solar energy. As part of their testing and preparation, they are attempting to make a night flight on solar energy only. What comes to mind about this attempt is the significance that a light weigh plane is able to store enough energy to continue operation over the course of the nighttime with no other power source.

The single-seater Solar Impulse aircraft, which boasts the 208-foot wingspan of a large Airbus A340 jet but weighs only 3,500 pounds

Does this 3,500 pounds include the weight of the storage batteries?

Team members have said they require a 25-hour window of clear and calm summer weather before attempting the pioneering, non-stop flight above Switzerland and eastern France.

Are they going to fly east fir the around the world attempt so that they are in the sun light as much as possible?

We're not sure to make it at the first try, let's be clear about this," said Solar Impulse president and founder Bertrand Piccard.

Thank you, honesty for a change.

Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Mac spyware in the wild ( 5

pgmrdlm writes: The myth, for that is exactly what it is what it always was, that Mac's were not vulnerable to spy ware/virus's is finally put to rest. From the anti-virus company intego:

Description: Intego has discovered a spyware application that is installed by a number of freely distributed Mac applications and screen savers found on a variety of websites. This spyware, OSX/OpinionSpy, performs a number of malicious actions, from scanning files to recording user activity, as well as sending information about this activity to remote servers and opening a backdoor on infected Macs. OSX/OpinionSpy is installed by a number of applications and screen savers that are distributed on sites such as MacUpdate, VersionTracker and Softpedia. The spyware itself is not contained in these applications, but is downloaded during the installation process. This shows the need for an up-to-date anti-malware program with a real-time scanner that can detect this malware when it is downloaded by the original application’s installer.

You will note that this is distributed the same way that most Windows virus's are distributed, by the user clicking on a free download. This also puts to rest that Mac users are more intelligent when it comes to security then Windows users. The issue here is that they feel because they own a Mac that they can do what ever they want,


Submission + - iTunes accounts easily broken into (

pgmrdlm writes: While the headline of this story is about the ease that iTune accounts can be broken into, the true value of this story is about how fraudsters are using social networks to determine the answers to the secret questions that are asked when you forget your password.
"As with many websites, iTunes tells users to select a so called 'security question' from a list of options when they first set up their account.
Hackers simply pretend they are a customer who has forgotten their password and can easily work out the answer to the personal question using information that users have posted on social-networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter."

iTunes is just one of many in a long list of retail websites that use this technique to reclaim your lost password. This article points out two glaring facts. 1). The current retrieval process for forgotten passwords at retail websites is extremely lax, and 2). Another glaring example of why social networks should be avoided like the plague.


Submission + - Stealing Electricity from Algae (

pgmrdlm writes: THE GIST:

        * Rather than harvesting electricity from algae, scientists are now able to outright steal it.
        * Creatures have been stealing energy from algae for nearly as long as algae have been around.
        * The energy generated from the process isn't yet powerful enough for modern gadgets.

I have been reading about the benefits of Algae for renewable energy now for a couple years. And it never pans out. Is this just another promise of great things to come which never do?

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