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Earth

$1 Billion Mission To Reach the Earth's Mantle 267

black6host writes "Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet. This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth's mantle — a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet — and bring back the first ever fresh samples."
Cellphones

Why the Google Android Phone Isn't Taking Off 745

Hugh Pickens writes "Farhad Manjoo writes in Slate that while the iPhone commands nearly 14 percent of smartphone sales and BlackBerry about 21 percent, Android has only 3 percent. And even though Android is far friendlier to developers, it has failed to attract anywhere near the number of apps now clogging the iPhone. Manjoo writes that Google went wrong by giving handset manufacturers and carriers too much control over the design and marketing of Android phones so there is no idealized 'Google phone' — instead, Android devices get names like the T-Mobile G1 or the myTouch 3G, and each is marketed separately and comes with its own distinct capabilities and shortcomings. 'Outside handset manufacturers lack ambition — -none of them even seems to be trying to match the capabilities of the iPhone, let alone to knock us down with features that far surpass those of Apple's device,' writes Manjoo. 'A smart handset manufacturer could build a top-of-the-line Android device that outshines Apple's phone in at least a few areas — better battery life, a much better Web browser, a brighter or bigger screen, faster or more functional controls... something that might help Android inspire gadget lust. But so far, that's not happening.' John Gruber echoes this advice and adds this advice to Android manufacturers: 'If Apple is BMW, you can be Porsche.'"

Paper Trails Don't Ensure Accurate E-Voting Totals 363

An anonymous reader writes "In an new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation they say that paper trails increase costs and can actually reduce the chances a voters' choices are accurately counted. Congress is considering a 'Voter Confidence and Increased Accountability Act of 2007,' which would mandate 'voter-verified' paper audit trails."

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