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Submission + - Rare meteorological observation photographed? 1

sciencewatcher writes: A blogger from The Netherlands who daily posts good quality photos he takes in his area published a photo (see last two of the day) he took at a time that he also observed a light flash. He associated the flash with a little thundering every now and then at the time. Upon returning home he found 'an object in the sky' that for fun he couldn't resist referring to as a UFO. Speculation is on whether this is a rare meteorological phenomenon or if it can be constructed as an error in the lenses of the camera. It looks like some air may have gained extreme high velocity and is being shined upon by the sun. Can the slashdotters cast their votes by commenting? Is this a meteorological phenomenon, lens artefact or, to disqualify one self, a UFO?

Submission + - Armed hacker takes hostages at Dutch TV studio

sciencewatcher writes: A man armed with a gun and claiming to be a hacker and part of a hackers collective walked into the most prominent Dutch TV studio and took at least one person as a hostage. The news broadcast did not start, but after an hour the events in the studio were broadcasted as a news item. The man could be seen while being overrun by the Dutch police. The appearance of the man during is atypical for such events indeed. Is the distrust in the government of some hackers changing into a distrust in society as a whole?

Comment Re:OPEC to subsidize its demise? (Score 1) 385

Well, Egypt is not an oil exporter, but it did cut subsidies on oil. Prices at the pump were raised this weekend by 78%. The only reason why this can be done is Egypt just had a year of 'Muslim Brotherhood' rule, a revolution to overturn their rule, and a population that is willing to accept everything as long as the government will keep the MB at bay. So the speech president Obama held in the beginning of his first term in Cairo in which he told Mubarak his time was up and the MB would be the new representatives of the peoples may have had at least one good side effect.

Submission + - Israeli Army Retweeting 1967 War As It Happened

An anonymous reader writes: This is a new one, twitter as a form of historical reenactment: " ISRAEL'S army is giving a "live" blow-by-blow account of the 1967 Six Day War, tweeting each air strike at the exact time it occurred 46 years ago ... @IDF1967 "is an official Israel Defence Forces account that is aimed at retweeting the events of the Six Day War in live time", ... The account was tweeting key events in the battle against the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria that took place from June 5 to 10, 1967 and includes pictures and videos, the army said. The tweets are mostly in Hebrew, with some translated into English. "In response to repeated provocations by Egypt, the State of Israel and the IDF are going to war. We will not sit idly as the enemy forces tighten the noose around our necks," the opening tweet said around 8.00am (1500 AEST) on Wednesday when Israel landed its first pre-emptive air strike 46 years ago." I wonder if tomorrow anyone will be doing D-Day, also known as Operation Overlord? From what I hear the French were quite ready for German occupation to end and welcomed their new overlords.

Comment police observation, not espionage (Score 4, Informative) 179

This looks much more like a police operation. A couple of years ago a small nondescript trailer was parked in Amsterdam to observe a meeting between two criminals. One of those started a shooting spree and the police officers inside the trailer were lucky not to be hit. They couldn't get out of the trailer from the inside quick enough to chase them. There probably is a notorious criminal living within sight there. The Ziggo employees were irresponsible in publicizing this. Ziggo is a cable company.

Comment test in The Netherlands (Score 1) 505

In the city of Groningen (pop. 200.000) in The Netherlands the cable company has split each wifi access point of almost all subscribers into two different wifi access points. The subscriber uses one frequency, the other can be used by all subscribers in the country, using their own username and password. It works very well, even if you walk or cycle on the street, your smartphone or tablet will keep the connection as you move from one subscriber to the next. The phone company meanwhile is busy upgrading most of the country to glass fibre.

Comment Re:Open Wi-Fi in The Netherlands (Score 3, Insightful) 65

Absolutely, it is just an attempt by the cable company to keep it's customers from going to the competition for commercial reasons. The cable company does not have a cellular phone network and in this way tries to add functionality to compensate for that. It might become an interesting development.

Comment Open Wi-Fi in The Netherlands (Score 5, Interesting) 65

In the city of Groningen, The Netherlands, population 180,000, the cable company has converted the wireless routers of most of the subscribers into dual private and open Wi-Fi access points. Almost all subscribers agreed to participate. In return the subscribers can use each others access points using their own username and password. As you walk or cycle down the street the connection stays permanent as you move from one access point to the next. Both the cable company and the wireless phone operators are in fierce competition with asymmetrical infrastructure. This move by the cable company seems to be designed to undercut the need for 3G/4G access for tablets and smartphones. There are plans to roll out this new type of usage throughout the country.

Comment Better invest in Atlas Telescope (Score 1) 129

The Hubble Telescope has done great science. It's successor in time is the James Webb Telescope but the Webb is designed to scan the sky in a very different part of the spectrum. The Atlas Telescope is supposed to be it's successor in functionality. The design goal for the Atlas Telescope is more than three orders of magnitude better than Hubble. We better spend our money on such a telescope than on a Hubble v 1.1.

Submission + - Dutch cold case murder solved after 90% of 8000 people gave their DNA. (

sciencewatcher writes: A 1999 cold case rape and murder in The Netherlands has been solved. Dutch police asked 8000+ men living within 5 kilometers of the crime scene to volunteer their DNA so that the murderer could be traced through (close or distant) family members sharing part of this DNA. As it turned out, the man now in custody turned in his own DNA, resulting in a 100% match. The request of the police was discussed here on Slashdot in September. The percentage of people participating was closing in on 90%, in the midsize town of the victim it was 96%.

Comment Observation (Score 1) 878

OK, this guy was widely respected as one of the top hackers of the world. Smoked a lot of pot for some time but later abstained and he remained on top of the game. But he died at the age of 54 because of a haemorrhage of the stomach. To counter the effects of previous marijuana use he had to take quite some prescription drugs that in turn damaged his stomach. A good coder gets his kicks of writing good code I believe.

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