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Science

Large Hadron Collider Goes Live September 10th 409

Naznarreb writes "CERN announced today that the first attempt to circulate a beam through the Large Hadron Collider will be on September 10th, 2008. You can read the press release here. They also announced the event will be webcast live. According to the release, they're just planning to run a few tests laps, not smash any particles, so the world won't be ending quite yet." And despite that September 10th date, according to the BBC, "On 9 August, protons will be piped through LHC magnets for the first time."
Privacy

DHS Allowed To Take Laptops Indefinitely 1123

andy1307 writes with a Washington Post story giving details of Department of Homeland Security policies for border searches of laptops and other electronic devices (as well as papers). (We have been discussing border searches for a while now.) DHS says such procedures have long been in place but were "disclosed last month because of public interest in the matter," according to the article. Here is a link to the policy (PDF, 5 pages). "Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption, or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, US Customs and Border Protection and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement... DHS officials said that the newly disclosed policies — which apply to anyone entering the country, including US citizens — are reasonable and necessary to prevent terrorism... The policies cover 'any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form,' including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover 'all papers and other written documentation,' including books, pamphlets and 'written materials commonly referred to as "pocket trash..."'"
Google

New Search Engine Cuil Takes Aim At Google 649

theodp writes "CNET reports that Cuil (pronounced 'Cool'), a startup founded by the husband-and-wife team of Xift creator Tom Costello and former Google search architect Anna Patterson, is launching a new search engine today that claims to index three times as many Web pages as Google." Running a few searches left me underwhelmed with the content of the results (hitting the next-page button on a search with a listed 62,200,000 results — for "seattle" — got me the unexpected error message "We didn't find any results for 'seattle.'"), but pleased with the actual layout of the results when it worked, so I hope the kinks are worked out. Update 7/28 18:30 GMT by SM: corrected Tom Costello's accreditation, he wasn't a professor at Stanford as the linked story suggests, just did some research there as a grad student. Thanks to the Stanford CS department for pointing this out.
Mars

Mars Soil Frustrates Phoenix Again 221

Tablizer writes "The Phoenix Mars lander has been frustrated yet again by Mars's odd soil. The wet nature of the soil they are targeting appears to have made it get stuck in the scoop rather than drop into the oven. Past problems with similarly clumpy soil may have damaged the lander because the vibrator had to be used longer than it was designed for, resulting in a short circuit."
Moon

Moon May Have Once Had Water 89

Smivs writes "US scientists have found evidence that water was held in the Moon's interior, challenging some elements of the theory of how Earth's satellite formed.The Moon is thought to have been created in a violent collision between Earth and another planet-sized object. Scientists thought the heat from this impact had vaporised all the water. But a new study in Nature magazine shows water was delivered to the lunar surface from the interior in volcanic eruptions three billion years ago. This suggests that water has been a part of the Moon since its early existence."
The Courts

Sudoku Addicts Stop Trial 1

A four-month-long drug trial that cost over $1 million has been aborted after it was found that jurors were playing the puzzle game sudoku while evidence was being given. Sydney District Court Judge Peter Zahra stopped the trial after the jury foreperson told him that four to five jurors were playing up to half the time the trial had been going on. Everyone knows that if you get bored on a jury you should watch a movie on your iPod, take a nap or work on your manifesto.
Spam

New Opt-Out Clause Makes CAN-SPAM Worse 119

snydeq writes "Three years of mulling, and the FTC has made the CAN-SPAM Act worse, writes Gripe Line's Ed Foster. Chief among the offenses in the FTC's updated rules is an even worse approach to opt-out procedures. In the future, in scenarios where multiple marketers use a single email message to spam you, 'only one of the senders — the one in the From: field — need be designated the official sender who is responsible for honoring opt-outs,' Foster writes. Translation? 'Other "marketers" who used that spam message, not to mention the spamming service that actually provided the email address list, don't need to honor opt-outs. So try as you might to get yourself off a list, the real spammer can just keep changing the designated sender in the From: field and legally keep on spamming you.' The irony of the CAN-SPAM moniker gets thicker."

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