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Submission + - What's with the BlackBerry shutter sound? 1

untree writes: I have spent hours of my best online research abilities attempting to find a way to shut off the (annoying) shutter sound on my BlackBerry 8330, to no avail. While workarounds exist for GSM phones (Peek-A-Boo and BerryAnnoying are two), the 8330 (and other CDMA BlackBerries) seems to have none.

So why would the shutter sound control be different for CDMA and GSM phones? Why would RIM make it so difficult to turn off a shutter sound? Was it intentional, as some people claim, or simply an oversight? Is there any technical reason a workaround cannot be made for CDMA phones?

Submission + - Software and hardware to blame in DC voting fiasco (

untree writes: A special committee of the D.C. Council has determined that faulty software and/or hardware was to blame for the thousands of "phantom" votes that appeared in a recent local election. This is contrary to the earlier claim by D.C. Elections and the manufacturers that a static discharge was to blame (a claim that was universally mocked here on slashdot).

The report, released yesterday, says Sequoia Voting Systems, a California-based firm, "was too quick to exonerate itself and the equipment used in the tabulation process. . . . To date, the evidence appears to indicate that there was a problem both in equipment (the server) and in the software."

The Matrix

Submission + - Online ad tracking targetted by privacy groups (

Technical Writing Geek writes: "A coalition of privacy groups Wednesday called for creation of a "Do Not Track List," that would prohibit advertisers from tracking online movements of consumers.

Similar to the popular Do Not Call telephone lists, the Internet proposal comes as online advertising revenues are growing rapidly, providing critical revenue to startups and Web giants such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.;ylt=omg_wtf"


Submission + - Nanotube Vests Could Deflect Bullets (

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Conventional kevlar vests and body armor stop bullets by spreading out the bullet's force over a larger area. While this does stop the bullet from penetrating the skin, blunt force trauma can still lead to incapacitation and damage to critical organs. Researchers at the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology, University of Sydney, say that the elasticity of carbon nanotubes may put an end to this by using the energy of the initial impact to rebound the bullets, essentially canceling out the force normally felt by the wearer. From the Telegraph: 'The team tested carbon nanotubes ... by bombarding them with diamond bullets travelling at speeds varying between 1000 and 3500 metres per second, revealing the conditions when the bullet could bounce back. Based on their findings, they calculate that six layers of woven nanotube yarn — about 600 millionths of a metre thick — may protect the wearer from a revolver bullet, so that it bounces off.'"

Submission + - New images of deep Martian caves

untree writes: The Astronomy Picture of the Day today is an image recently taken by the HiRISE instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. More information is available on the Planetary Society blog, including a description of the paper (pdf) that describes this series of caves.

From the image description:

"Black spots have been discovered on Mars that are so dark that nothing inside can be seen. Quite possibly, the spots are entrances to deep underground caves capable of protecting Martian life, were it to exist."

And for fans of traditional units of measure, this cave entrance is about the size of a football field.

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