ShadoCat writes: "There was the X-Prize which generated a number of follow ups and imitators. This can only be a good thing. Getting people interested in science and space travel is what I'm all about. A "new" trend is emerging that takes this one step further. They are now making a sport out of science. Everyday Spacer has been reporting on a few new groups out there that are trying to tap into our enthusiasm for sports.
Making a sport out of science isn't as new as people think it is. Aside from that one episode of Sliders, people have been making a sport out of science for a while now. Project SETI and the like were not designed as a sport but that didn't stop the contributors of those sites from make a sport of it by tracking group scores generated from packets processed.
However, having the sport built into the original project does seem to be a new trend."
theshowmecanuck writes: Reuters reports that there is little or no security at one of the main factories in Russia responsible for military and Soyuz rocket manufacture. Blogger Lana Sator was able to walk right into the empty (off hours) facility through huge gaps in the fences that no-one bothered to repair, and there was no security to stop them aside from some dogs that didn't bother them either. In fact Lana even has one picture of herself posing next to an apparently non-functional security camera, another of her sitting on what looks like to be possibly a partially assembled rocket motor (someone who knows better can fill us in), and has about 100 photos of the escapade all told on her blog about this (it's in Russian... which I don't speak... any translators out there?). Russian officials are said to be deeply concerned. I wonder if this has any bearing on why Russian rockets haven't been making it into space successfully, or whether it and the launch failures are all part of some general industrial malaise that is taking place.
MrSeb writes: "Earlier this morning, at the Build Windows conference in Anaheim, California, Microsoft made it patently clear that “To the cloud!” is not merely a throwaway phrase: it is the entire future of the company. Every single one of Microsoft’s services, platforms, and form factors will now begin its hasty, leave-no-prisoners-behind transition to the always-on, internet-connected cloud. Are we ready for an always-on, status-updates-from-the-bathroom existence? Are we ready for the wholescale geotagging of our activities, and with ubiquitous, cloud-connected computing are we ready for the gamification of everything that will surely follow? A better question to ask, though, is whether our data networks are ready. We are already at the stage where we curse out loud and feel consummately useless if we go through a 3G blackspot or if our ISP falls over — but imagine what it will be like when every app uses server-side logic."
theodp writes: 'If you could change the way wireless companies did things, what would you do?' asked Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. How about stopping the use of Sprint's firmware updates to download apps that aren't wanted and can't be removed, Dan? Sprint confirmed to CNET's Elinor Mills that those strange apps she was shocked to find on her Android phone — sci-fi shooter N.O.V.A. and Blockbuster — with a long list of permissions that couldn't be uninstalled had been sneakily downloaded onto her phone during a firmware update. 'Sprint does offer a variety of partner applications that are optimized for use on our wireless phones,' a Sprint representative explained in an e-mail. 'From time to time, we will provide new apps to our customers in conjunction with a software maintenance release. Also, Sprint, in conjunction with Google, is taking steps to develop a technical solution that would allow customers to remove any unwanted applications that have been preloaded or pushed in an over-the-air software update.' Other Sprint customers have voiced displeasure with the practice. 'Unbeknownst to me, my 5-year-old found N.O.V.A. on my phone and was shooting the guns and weaponry and killing enemies in the N.O.V.A. game,' an unhappy camper wrote on an HTC customer forum thread. 'Thanks a lot HTC and Sprint for forcing violence on my 5-year-old! I am protective of my kids and would never install a game like this on my phone, but now you forced this app onto my phone and I can't uninstall it! I'm very frustrated and VERY ANGRY!'
VrijdagPages writes: Before crawling to my bed last night, I found myself scanning through the internet for something to blog about. I came across an article written two months ago about how British people have increased their weight because they spend more time using their fingers on gamepads then using their feet and legs to run out to relish nature’s fresh air.
theshowmecanuck writes: According to the Financial Times, U.S. diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks say, "The Chinese hacking attack on Google disclosed early this year was overseen at the highest levels of that country’s ruling Communist Party, according to accounts in US diplomatic cables made public over the weekend." I am pretty sure that many people already suspected this; and that the Chinese government is likely constantly trying the same thing with many foreign owned operations in their country. Is it time to question why we are allowing companies to continue building high tech products there since it makes it far easier for the Chinese to steal it? Especially given that many times western government money is spent on the development of many of these high tech items (in terms of research grants and heavy tax breaks for R&D). Isn't this like giving away already overextended tax money?
digitalhermit writes: A law school is retroactively boosting grades for current and former students in order to assist them in this tough job market (and to fend off some lawsuits from students). I wonder if I can get my former schools to bump up my GPA too?
theshowmecanuck writes: The BBC has a story on an Australian researcher's work which concludes that "grumpy people think more clearly."
In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed. While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine.