Saturday, March 6, 2010

March Is Here

March is finally here though it's still rather cold for the time of year. Things are supposed to get more spring like next week. It's about time. It's rarely got above 4 or 5 degrees since the middle of December and though we haven't any really deep snowfall, we've had it regularly enough to disrupt traffic, rail and airports.

This post summarises news from the past couple of weeks. China and its internet censorship policies have been cropping regularly in the press. This report from The Times online suggests that China are indeed bugging western nations.

In a follow up to the pinching of the sign at Auschwitz, the BBC reports that a Swede is being sought by authorities for authorising the theft.

The BBC reports on a study in which people are about 20ms faster when reacting rather than initiating. This would mean that the one who draws first in a gun fight would be at a disadvantage.

There is an official explanation about why WTC 7 collapsed in what appeared to be a controlled demolition. The BBC report states that media film never saw the side of the building that was facing the twin towers when they collapsed and that this side was badly damaged by debris. Also the building was constructed over metro so that that it was more likely to fall in on itself. I'm afraid is does not convince me. If only one side of the building was affected, I still cannot understand why the 47 story tower came straight down.

New Scientist reports on how physiologists have hacked a 25fps camera to produce 400fps images!

Ants will sacrifice themselves by moving out of a colony if they find themselves sick says the BBC. Also bat's are not affected by alcohol when it comes to flying.

The Brits have decided to start drilling for oil in the Falkland islands. Argentina is not pleased and has the backing of the likes of Chavez who says the time for playing empire is long over.

The British National Archives have released UFO files. Read them here.

Yes, no, yes...finally! The Dutch have NS have announced that from March 2010 it will be possible to internet in the train! Story from here.

It is possible to bank sleep. If you know you are going to have a long day then extra sleep beforehand will make you feel fitter say the BBC.

I have to admit liking girls with curves and broad hips. This article from explains that the site of an hourglass figure tickles part of the brain associated with rewards and has a drug inducing effect. I'm not complaining, though some people don't appreciate the female figure, especially when a Venus de Milo is created out of snow.

Apple's iTunes store has celebrated their 10 billionth download. Now when is the music industry going to get up of its arse and do something constructive, now that there is proven business model for selling music online.

Men At Work's fight over the kookaburra is not over yet according to the BBC. EMI have backed them up saying that the copyright does not actually belong to the company making the claim.

A drop of oil in some acid can solve a maze faster than a rat.

It has taken longer than I thought but Ars Technica reports on how the internet has finally beaten print as a primary news source in the US.

In a worrying development, a GM potato has been approved for use by farmers. Though luckily not fit for human consumption, it is impossible to test every effect and side-effect from using a GM crop, affecting parasites, the food chain etc.

A report from Ars indicates that it is possible to obtain medical records using P2P techniques. Think twice about sending medical information in plain email or storing it on your PC.

While publishers are afraid to touch 6 Days In Falluja, there is more evidence that munitions have caused birth defects in the city.

The recent 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chili may have caused the Earth's rotation to speed up, shaving 1.26 microseconds of a day. BBC explains the mechanics here.

Ubuntu have dropped their Earthy brown tints for a more purple/aubergine style. There's more to see at Ars here.

In the true spirit of openness and freedom, North Korea have introduced their own Linux distribution, Red Star. Meanwhile in South Korea, a couple have been arrested for neglecting their newborn as a result of internet addiction.

Finally some amazing photo shots, the first from the Boneyard, the largest plane cemetery in the world and the second courtesy of NASA and their Blue Marble project.