New submitter techfun89 writes "Russia plans on sending cosmonauts to the moon as well as unmanned spacecraft to Mars, Jupiter and Venus by 2030. Considering the recent launch failures in Russia, these plans seem very ambitious. From the article: 'These ambitious spaceflight goals are laid out in a strategy document drawn up recently by Russia's Federal Space Agency (known as Roscosmos), the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Tuesday (March 13). And there's more. Roscosmos wants a new rocket called Angara to become the nation's workhorse launch vehicle by 2020, replacing the venerable Soyuz and Proton rockets that have been carrying the load since the 1960s.'"
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An anonymous reader writes "Catching a flight in the U.S. isn't a great experience anymore due to the security checks involved. You have to remove your shoes, your belt, get your laptop out, be scanned and subjected to radiation in the process. Hundreds of other people are doing the same thing, meaning it takes 40 minutes instead of four. Now, the TSA has come up with a clever, money-making alternative. Instead of scaling back security or speeding it up, you can instead pay $100 and bypass it completely!"
sciencehabit writes "Offer a male fruit fly a choice between food soaked in alcohol and its nonalcoholic equivalent, and his decision will depend on whether he's mated recently or been rejected by a female. Flies that have been given the cold shoulder are more likely to go for the booze, researchers have found. It's the first discovery, in fruit flies, of a social interaction that influences future behavior."
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon are among the ISPs preparing to implement a graduated response to piracy by July, says the music industry's chief lobbyist. ISPs, including Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, have officially agreed to step up efforts to protect the rights of copyright owners. From the article: 'Supporters say this could become the most effective antipiracy program ever. Since ISPs are the Internet's gatekeepers, the theory is that network providers are in the best position to fight illegal file sharing. CNET broke the news last June that the RIAA and counterparts at the trade group for the big film studios had managed to get the deal through — with the help of the White House.'"
alphadogg writes "Judea Pearl, a longtime UCLA professor whose work on artificial intelligence laid the foundation for such inventions as the iPhone's Siri speech recognition technology and Google's driverless cars, has been named the 2011 ACM Turing Award winner. The annual Association for Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award, sometimes called the 'Nobel Prize in Computing,' recognizes Pearl for his advances in probabilistic and causal reasoning. His work has enabled creation of thinking machines that can cope with uncertainty, making decisions even when answers aren't black or white."
zacharye writes "A new subscription service allows potential gadget owners to test out new devices like Apple's new iPad tablet before committing to a purchase. YBUY, which bills itself as a try-before-you-buy online subscription service, charges users a flat monthly fee of $24.95 for access to a wide range of consumer electronics as well as home and kitchen gadgets. Users can choose one device at a time from YBUY's catalog and trial the gadget for up to 30 days before returning it. Beginning in April, the company's inventory will also include Apple's new iPad."
Barence writes "The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has been accused of heavy-handed tactics that could drive small companies to incriminate themselves. The Microsoft-backed piracy watchdog generates a quarter of its cases by offering employees cash rewards for informing on their own employer. 'It is basically harvesting allegations from disgruntled employees and farming them out to expensive law firms,' one small business owner told PC Pro, who said he was 'nauseated' by the tactics. The BSA then sends out a letter demanding the business owner fill out a software audit, or potentially face court action — even though the BSA has no power to demand such an audit and hasn't pursued a court case in five years. 'It's designed to scare the recipient into thinking that they're obliged to provide certain information when, in fact, it's difficult to see that they are,' said a leading IT lawyer."
tverbeek writes "The U.S.-based Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Canada-based Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund have announced that the Canadian government has withdrawn all criminal charges in R. v. Matheson, a case which involved a U.S. citizen who was arrested and faced criminal charges in Canada relating to manga found on his computer when he entered the country. Customs agents declared the illustrations of fictional characters to be 'child pornography.' The defendant, a 27-year-old comic book reader, amateur artist, and computer programmer, has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. Despite financial assistance from the CBLDF and CLLDF, he has an outstanding debt of $45K for his defense."
volts writes "Troubled LightSquared's primary Skyterra 1 satellite has been out of service since the solar storm on March 7. The company says it is 'working through the rebuild of the satellite tapping into the resources that were involved in the original program.' This development follows a stream of bad news including layoffs, default on payments, the resignation of CEO Sanjiv Ahuja and FCC rejection of a scheme to repurpose satellite frequencies for cellular data due to interference with GPS. Another kick in the teeth as company struggles to avoid bankruptcy."
New submitter Manzanita writes "The domain of personal analytics, or 'Quantified Self,' is rich with interesting things to measure and many hackers have started projects. But they will only take off if it is sufficiently easy to gather and use the data. Stephen Wolfram has collected and analyzed a lot of his personal data over the last 20 years, but that is far beyond what most of us have the time for. What do you find worth tracking? What is ripe for developing into a business?"
In this video, Brian Alspach tells you how Gamestar Mechanic helps turn kids from game players into game authors, which helps them learn a lot about programming and how computers work in easy steps while having a good time. If you're a parent, you'll especially want to read this page on their site, which will help reassure you that these folks know what they're doing, and might even (hint hint) give you the idea of suggesting that your local school should subscribe to Gamestar Mechanic, which several thousand schools already do. The price varies between free and $6 per month, which is a great deal for something that can engage children for many hours every day -- and just might keep a parent or grandparent interested, too.
n1ywb writes "Goerge 'geohot' Hotz, famous for being the first to jailbreak an iPhone and for his spat with Sony over PS3 jailbreaking, was busted for possession of a small amount of marijuana at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Texas on his way to SXSW. The shakedown goes like this: drug dogs are run around vehicles; when they signal, DHS searches the car and finds the contraband; DHS then turns evidence and suspects over to the local sheriff. Willie Nelson, actor Armie Hammer (who played the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network), and Snoop Dogg have all gotten in trouble at the same checkpoint under similar circumstances."
An anonymous reader writes "In response to the still-raging MPAA & RIAA, a kind of reverse piracy campaign has arisen. The "Send Them Your Money" campaign urges pirates and landlubbers alike to send scanned images of American currency to these agencies. According to the campaign's webpage, 'They've made it very clear that they consider digital copies to be just as valuable as the original.' The operation gained fame via sites like Reddit and Tumblr, inspiring citizens of other countries to send their legal tender to the MPAA and RIAA."
rudy_wayne writes "The end of Encyclopedia Britannica has been widely reported and its demise has been blamed on Wikipedia. However, this article at Wired points out that the real reason is something entirely different. 'In 1990 Britannica had $650 million in revenue. In 1996, long before Wikipedia existed, it was bankrupt and the entire company was sold for $135 million. What happened in between was Encarta. Even though Encarta didn't make money for Microsoft and Britannica produced its own encyclopedia CDs, Encarta was an inexpensive, multimedia encyclopedia that helped Microsoft sell Windows PCs to families. And once you had a PC in the living room or den where the encyclopedia used to be, it was all over for Mighty Britannica. It's not that Encarta made knowledge cheaper, it's that technology supplanted its role as a purchasable 'edge' for over-anxious parents. They bought junior a new PC instead of a Britannica. When Wikipedia emerged five years later, Britannica was already a weakened giant. It wasn't a free and open encyclopedia that defeated its print edition. It was the personal computer itself.'"
snydeq writes "Dan Bricklin, the co-creator of the PC revolution's killer app, weighs in on the opportunities and oversights of the tablet revolution. 'In some sense, for tablets the browser is a killer app. Maps is a killer app to some extent. Being able to share the screen with other people — that it's a social device — also might fit the bill. I think that for tablets, there isn't and won't be one killer app for everyone. It's more that there are apps that are killers for individual people. It's the sum of all those that is the killer app. This has been true since the original Palm Pilot.'"