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Submission + - Brownsville SpaceX space port faces more regulatory hurdles (

MarkWhittington writes: It turns out that the recent FAA environmental impact statement that seemed to give a stamp of approval for the proposed SpaceX space port in south Texas is not the end of the regulatory process, but the end of the beginning. A story in the Brownsville Herald reminds us that the report has kicked off a 30 day review period after which the FAA can allow SpaceX to apply for a launch license to start work on the Brownsville area launch facility. And that in turn kicks off a 180 day process during which the FAA makes the decision whether or not to grant the required licensing and permits.

But even that is not the end of the regulatory hurdles that SpaceX must face before the first Falcon rocket roars into the skies over the Gulf of Mexico. The Longview News-Journal reports that a number of state and federal agencies must give their approval for various aspects of the space port before it becomes operational. For instance, the Texas Department of Transportation must give approval for the movement of utility lines.

Environment Texas still opposes the space port since it is close to a wild life reserve and a state park. SpaceX has already agreed to enact measures to minimize the impact the space port would have on the environment, “such as containing waste materials from the construction and enforcing a speed limit in the control center area.” Environment Texas is not impressed, however. Whether it is disposed to make trouble in the courts is an open question.

Submission + - Hackers take down Online Games and get Streamer's House Raided ( 1

GnetworkGnome writes: Monday evening, 30 December 2013, hackers reporting from the Twitter account @DerpTrolling began following one of the most prolific video game streamers, PhantomL0rd, and started taking down Online video game servers on which he was playing. At its highest point, nearly 150,000 viewers watched the streamer, after League of Legends, DoTA2, and other games were interrupted. The hackers even posted the personal information of PhantomL0rd, then called the police to inform them that five hostages were being held at his residence. Police arrested the streamer as he emerged from his house for questioning.

Hours later, PhantomL0rd returned to an audience of nearly 100,000 viewers to explain what had happened. @DerpTrolling tweeted "@PhantomL0rd Glad you're back and okay." to the streamer upon news that he had been returned home. Nothing on the methods of the hackers has been confirmed, but massive DDOS attacks were believed to be their attack of choice against video game servers and more.


Submission + - MSL Landing Timeline: What to Expect Tonight ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: When the Curiosity rover lands on Mars later tonight, she'll be executing a complex series of maneuvers. JPL will be relying on the Mars Odyssey orbiter to relay telemetry back to Earth in time-delayed real-time, and if all goes well, we'll be getting confirmation on the success (or failure) of each entry, descent, and landing phase, outlined in detail here.

Submission + - Chrome OS introduces Aura window manager (

An anonymous reader writes: Don’t look now, but Google has officially revealed their intentions to go after Windows and OS X. Chrome OS 19 has arrived for Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700 Chromebooks running the developer channel, and the changes it brings may shock you. The new Aura window manager has landed, bringing with it a number of features that you’d expect from a traditional OS.

Submission + - Google, Cisco & 10 more big tech firms rally around open source networking (

alphadogg writes: Cisco, Google, HP and nine other technology companies have joined forces with two leading universities to form a research center focused on software-defined networking. The announcement of the Open Networking Research Center (ONRC) comes a week before the Open Networking Summit, which focuses on OpenFlow and SDN, will be held in Santa Clara. The ONRC, which is developing "a comprehensive intellectual framework" for software-defined networking, will consist of research groups at Stanford and UC Berkeley as well as an independent, nonprofit Open Networking Laboratory that will develop an open-source SDN infrastructure.

Submission + - Water droplets in orbit on the International Space Station (

BuzzSkyline writes: "Astronaut Don Pettit, who is aboard the International Space Station (ISS) right now, put charged water droplets into wild orbits around a knitting needle in the microgravity environment of the ISS. A video he made of the droplets is the first in a serious of freefall physics experiments that he will be posting in coming months."

Submission + - Survival Research Laboratories: Banned in San Fran (

__aapopf3474 writes: Apparently, Survival Research Laboratories (SRL), "a machine performance art group credited for pioneering the genre of large-scale machine performance" has been banned from performing in San Francisco by the San Francisco Fire Department. For many years, SRL has been doing machine performance art involving the repurposing of technology. SRL machines include robots with microcontrollers and flame effects like a V-1 engine. SRL says that this is because SRL humiliated the San Francisco Fire Department during the filming of a 1994 show that ended up on a Connie Chung TV show. In December, 2011, "the SFFD, citing an SRL show from 1989, Illusions of Shameless Abundance, stated that SRL would no longer be allowed to perform in San Francisco." [Disclosure: I worked successful SRL performances in San Jose and Santa Rosa.] Do slashdotters have any suggestions on changing the opinion of SFFD?

Submission + - Scubaboard sued over post content

Beardo the Bearded writes: In early 2008, several SCUBA divers were injured (one killed) due to contaminated air provided by a dive boat. Old news is exciting, but legal gears grind slowly.

The operator of the dive shop has filed suit against the owner of the board in an attempt to discourage discussion about the bad air, the fatality, and the conditions of the dive operation. Part of the issue is that the operator closed ship and moved to another company in January of 2010. The posters on scubaboard found that it was the same person and started warning divers against using the new company altogether.

Is it possible or reasonable to hold public forums accountable for the posts of its users?

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