phobos13013 writes: An article just in time for the fourth in the ACS's Chemical and Engineering News talks about the hazardous chemicals in modern fireworks displays. Perchlorate is currently the oxidizer of choice in fireworks but is also known to be a thyroid blocker; since perchlorates are easily water soluble anions, they dissolve into groundwater quickly. A study performed last summer over a lake in Ada, Oklahoma showed that in less than a day from the fireworks display, chlorate levels in the lake jumper over 1,000 ppm of their baseline concentration. Subsequently, it took weeks for the levels to drop back down to their baseline. On the other hand, heavy metals are used to produce the pretty colors typically associated with the best fireworks. The trend is to start using nitrogen-based oxidizing fireworks, they produce less smoke which means less colorizing agents can be used in displays.
Since C&EN is a subscription-based magazine, the article will likely only be available for a few weeks, a condensed article is available at Science Daily.
phobos13013 writes: Trolltech announced this week that they will discontinue development on their Greenphone platform. The Greenphone was advertised to be the first phone with a user-modifiable environment. Trolltech CTO, Benoit Schilling, stated that they are not really a hardware company and so will focus it's efforts on FIC's Neo 1973, now available. However, FTA, a future wifi-enabled endeavor (possibly a VOIP phone) was hinted at by Schilling.
phobos13013 writes: Popular, invite-only, bittorrent site Oink.cd (formerly Oink.me.uk) has been shut down by British police. Supposedly, investigations into the estimated 180,000 users are being considered. This shutdown is fast on the heels of the popular tv-links.co.uk shutdown. Seems the British authorities have been very busy recently and may well be in the future with this round of arrests; however, it is unclear what if any legal repercussions will ensue from the sites' admins or users.