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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 3 accepted (10 total, 30.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Admin Locks Out City Officials from S.F. Network

statemachine writes: "A disgruntled city computer engineer has virtually commandeered San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar computer network, altering it to deny access to top administrators even as he sits in jail on $5 million bail. Prosecutors say [Terry] Childs, who works in the Department of Technology, tampered with the city's new FiberWAN, where records such as officials' e-mails, city payroll files, confidential law enforcement documents and jail inmates' bookings are stored."

Submission + - Switchgrass Has 540% More Energy than Corn Ethanol

statemachine writes: The USDA and farmers took part in a 5 year study of switchgrass, a native grass to North America. "Switchgrass ethanol delivers 540 percent of the energy used to produce it, compared with just roughly 25 percent more energy returned by corn-based ethanol according to the most optimistic studies." The U.S. government is also partially funding six cellulosic ethanol refineries, the first of which will be built in Soperton, GA.

Submission + - Large Tech Companies Dumping Cubicles

statemachine writes: Intel and Cisco, among other companies, are experimenting with cubeless, open and unassigned seating.

Beginning this month, the chip maker (Intel) will set up three experimental work sites. Open areas, comfortable armchairs, extra conference rooms and tables where people can plop down with laptops will replace the ubiquitous cubes that have been standard issue for decades. Each morning, Intel employees will log onto the corporate network using wireless connections. Their phone numbers will follow them. White boards that employees use to sketch out business plans and project strategies will be outfitted with electronics so drawings and plans can be transferred to laptops and e-mailed to colleagues. "People feel much more comfortable coming up to me. It's more of a friendly atmosphere," Cisco senior manager Ted Baumuller said. "I hope I never have to go back to cubes."

Submission + - Wikipedia Moving to San Francisco

statemachine writes: Jimmy Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation are moving Wikipedia to San Francisco starting in January. Managers are already selecting a site and hiring more people, although some existing employees will be left behind in St. Petersburg, FL. Wales cites "the Internet culture, the great developers and potential partners" for the reasons behind the move. Just down the road from SF in San Mateo, Wales is already running another business, Wikia.

Submission + - Hurricane Satellite Could Fail without Replacement

statemachine writes: An aging weather satellite crucial to accurate predictions on the intensity and path of hurricanes could fail at any moment and plans to launch a replacement have been pushed back seven years to 2016. Last year, forecasts were off an average of 111 miles two days in advance, a figure that has been cut in half over the past 15 years. But experts said that could grow 10 percent to 122 miles if the satellite is lost, causing the "cone of error" well known to coastal residents to expand. QuikScat, launched in 1999 and designed to last two to three years, provides key data on wind speed and direction over the ocean. Weather aircraft and buoys can also obtain similar measurements near a storm, but they do not provide a constant flow of data as QuikScat does. Now the satellite is limping along on a backup transmitter and has other problems. A European satellite called ASCAT is available, but it does not give scientists as clear a picture as QuikScat because the distance between the readings it takes is larger. A NASA and Department of Defense satellite called WINDSAT also measures wind speed and direction, but it too is beyond its expected lifespan, and scientists have had trouble using it to observe tropical weather systems. Even if money were immediately available, a replacement satellite is estimated to take at least four years and cost approximately $400 million to build.

Submission + - Man Has 24/7 Video Feed of His Life

statemachine writes: For almost a month now, "lifecaster" Justin Kan has been broadcasting his life via an Internet feed 24/7. Mostly, it's been mundane, as a lot of the time Justin's camera is looking at the same thing, but you do get to see him go outside, go on dates, and even go to the bathroom. It hasn't been all fun and games, since he's been pranked by viewers who have called 9-1-1 using his phone number causing the police to show up at his apartment with guns drawn. However, not everyone enjoys being on camera as he has been stood up for dates. The video quality is good for what it is, and the connection is a bit wonky because it's a wireless data card (sometimes video freezes for minutes at a time), but I still find it interesting enough for those random idle periods.
The Courts

Submission + - Hans Reiser Arrested on Suspicion of Murder

statemachine writes: Hans Reiser, the author of ReiserFS, was arrested today by Oakland, CA police for suspicion of murdering his estranged wife. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Hans Reiser, 42, was taken into custody at 11 a.m., hours after Oakland police and FBI technicians searched his home in the Oakland hills. His estranged wife, Nina Reiser, 31, has been missing since Sept. 3, when she dropped off the couple's son and daughter at his home on the 6900 block of Exeter Drive. ... Police made the arrest based on circumstantial evidence and have not found Nina Reiser's body, [Hans Reiser's attorney] Du Bois said. "I have no idea what the circumstantial evidence is," he said. "When I hear what the evidence is against him, I'll make a decision as to whether he'll talk to them."

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