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Showing posts from January, 2006

Your customized Dell page on

Computer maker Dell said Jan. 30 it has quietly begun testing a new partnership with Internet search provider Google.For now, some Dell laptops and desktop computers are sold with two Google Inc. search features pre-installed, a Dell spokesman said.Dell is also putting the paces to a Google-powered Web site that appears to be a hybrid of Dell's online store and Google's personalized Web site.

E-mail worm bent only on destruction

A fast-spreading e-mail worm is raising alarms because its sole purpose is to obliterate the everyday working documents widely used by consumers, students and businesses.The Kama Sutra worm - also referred to as Nyxem.E and Grew.A - is unnerving because, unlike other e-mail worms, it appears to be detached from any profit motive.It is designed to destroy all Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint documents and Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop files on all hard drives connected to an infected PC."The amazing part is that there appears to be a lack of any motive behind this except destruction," says David Mayer, researcher at e-mail security firm IronPort Systems.The worm appears in e-mail in-boxes with subject lines such as "hot movie," "A Great Video" or "Crazy illegal Sex!" enticing the recipient to click on an attachment. One variation makes reference to the ancient Sanskrit book on sexual positions.By clicking on the attachment, the victim l…

Natural disasters killed 91,900 in 2005: UN

GENEVA (AFP) - Natural disasters were on the rise last year, leaving tens of millions of people destitute and in need of aid, but they claimed fewer lives, a United Nations monitoring body said.The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) said it counted 360 natural disasters in 2005, including Hurricane Katrina in the United States and the South Asian earthquake, compared to 305 a year earlier.The overall death toll dropped to 91,900, with 73,338 of the dead in Pakistan's quake zone alone.In 2004 the total was 244,500, of which 226,408 victims were from the Indian Ocean tsunami.The number of people caught up in disasters climbed to 157 million, or seven million more than in 2004, said the ISDR.Total economic damage reached 159 billion dollars, compared to 92.9 billion dollars a year earlier.The economic data covers insured losses, and so mostly relates to losses in richer countries, the ISDR noted. Hurricane Katrina inflicted 125 billion dollars of damage in the south…

Microsoft starts selling technology to start-ups

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) said on Tuesday it has joined research-intensive organizations to sell its non-core technology to start-up companies in an attempt to earn money from discoveries that would otherwise gather dust.The world's largest software maker said it was already working with government agencies in Ireland and Finland to reach young companies that may be interested in technology from Microsoft's multi-billion dollar research arm."We provided three Irish companies with source code to test and subsequently licensed it to one, Softedge Systems. Since then we've taken another three technologies to Entreprise Ireland and expect at least another two deals before July," said David Harnett, senior director at Microsoft IP Ventures.

Inflatable Concrete

As portable as canvas, but ends up as hard as concrete. Permanent structures could be delivered to disaster areas quickly, saving countless lives. These inflatable buildings last a minimum of 10 years, and can even be delivered sterile if you need a surgical center!

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Wikipedia blocks United States Congress IP addresses

Wikipedia has recently blocked a range of IP addresses belonging to the United States Congress due to staffers who have been engaging in revert wars regarding content associated with frequent politicians. This RFC was started to centralize the discussion on the violation of Wikipedia policy and alleged libelous behavior.

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List of unusual deaths

This is a list of unusual deaths, including unique or extremely rare causes of death recorded throughout history, as well as less rare but still unusual causes of death of prominent persons.Ancient Age456 BC: Aeschylus, Greekdramatist, according to legend, died when a vulture, mistaking his bald head for a stone, dropped a tortoise on it.207 BC: Chrysippus, Greekstoicphilosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after seeing a donkey eating figs.121 BC: Gaius Gracchus, Romantribune, was, according to the ancient Roman historian Plutarch, executed by assassins out to receive a bounty on the weight of his head in gold. One of the co-conspirators in his murder, Septimuleius, then decapitated Gaius, scooped the brains out of his severed head, and filled the cavity of his skull with molten lead. Once the lead hardened, the head was taken to the Senate and weighed in on the scale at over seventeen pounds. Septimuleius was paid in full. [1]30 BC: Cleopatra, beautiful queen of Ptolemaic E…

Allchin: Buy Vista for the security

If new features won't get you to upgrade to Vista, security enhancements should, Windows chief Jim Allchin has urged.Microsoft has already touted the bells and whistles it is putting into Windows Vista, the operating system successor to XP that's due out by the end of the year. There will be flashy new graphics, a spiffed-up user interface and advanced search features. Other changes include improved touch-screen support and a Windows sidebar that can display all kinds of information such as upcoming appointments, just-in e-mail messages and a clock.But if none of that strikes your fancy, Vista will still be worth getting, thanks to its better defenses against phishing attacks, spyware and other malicious code, Allchin said."Safety and security is the overriding feature that most people will want to have Windows Vista for," the co-president of Microsoft's platform, products and services division said in an interview with CNET "Even if they are not …

Xbox 360's match?? on a PC??

The Xbox 360, it seems, has already met its match...on the PC front, at least.Tech sites HardOCP and Tech Report have uncovered a leak that supposedly shows off the specs of ATi's secret PC video card line, the Radeon x1900. The card boasts some of the same specs as the Xbox 360's graphic processor; judging by the numbers, the card will stand toe-to-tow to the Xbox 360 in terms of raw pixel-pushing capabilities.The high-end card--the Radeon x1900 XTX reportedly weighs in with 48 pixel pipelines, just like the Xbox 360's bleeding-edge graphical processor (also designed by ATi). The Radeon x1900 XTX also sports a super-speedy 650 mhz CPU core and 512 megs of high-end 1.5 Ghz RAM.Meanwhile, HardOCP has received official word from an ATi representative, who states that an embargo is under effect until the 24th of January. At that point, ATi should be releasing confirmed information about the upcoming graphics card.You can apparently order a lower-end model--the Radeon x1900 XT…

Hurricanes Shape New Natural Order

OVER THE NORTHERN GULF COAST - Last year's record hurricane season didn't just change life for humans. It changed nature, too.Everywhere scientists look, they see disrupted patterns in and along the Gulf of Mexico. Coral reefs, flocks of sea birds, crab- and shrimp-filled meadows and dune-crowned beaches were wrapped up in — and altered by — the force of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Dennis."Nothing's been like this," said Abby Sallenger, a
U.S. Geological Survey oceanographer, during a recent flight over the northern Gulf Coast to study shoreline changes.For him, the changes are mind-boggling: Some barrier islands are nearly gone; on others, beaches are scattered like bags of dropped flour.Hurricanes have been kneading the Gulf Coast like putty for eons, carving out inlets and bays, creating beaches and altering plant and animal life — but up to now, the natural world has largely been able to rebound. Trees, marine life and shoreline features tourists and anglers …

Sabotage claim over Pakistani train crash

The minister responsible for Pakistan's rail network has suggested that sabotage could have caused a train to plunge into a ravine, killing at least three people.The crash happened late on Sunday when several carriages of the Islamabad Express travelling between Rawalpindi and Lahore derailed in a hilly area near Jhelum city. Up to 40 people were injured.

Ishaq Khakwani, the railways minister, said: "It is almost confirmed now that it is an act of sabotage."

A senior security official said the track was damaged before the train passed on its run from Rawalpindi to Lahore, and that tools apparently used for the job, including spanners, were left at the scene and that the fish plates that join different rail sections were open.
Khakwani said there are "several elements" who could be involved in tampering with the rails. "It could be internal, it could be external," he said.

The minister said the suspected sabotage was in a "technically important" …

King rat and the brilliant squibbon

Experts imagine a future with, and without, humans
SEATTLE - It's not that Peter Ward has a special fondness for rats. It's just that he sees them as survivors and, in the future world he posits, they might be the ultimate survivor — and evolver.

Sure, humans will still have their pets, but they probably will not thrive on their own and many will be genetically engineered. As for large mammals such as lions and tigers and bears, in Ward's world they will be driven to extinction by the loss of their habitats and global warming.

No, the real rulers will be rodents and snakes. "The fossil record shows that they have the genetic capability of whipping out new species," says Ward, a biology professor at the University of Washington.

Oh yeah, cockroaches are also within the category he calls "champion speciators."

Ward is among the academics who focus on the future of evolution. Many agree that animal evolution will be shaped by urbanization, genetic engineering …

MS Windows Error Messages

Lisiting of all the Windows error messages...worth

Girl, 11, treated for heroin use

An 11-year-old girl from Glasgow has been treated in hospital for the effects of heroin after she collapsed at school, officials have said.
The girl, who has not been named, fell ill at a primary school on Wednesday. She is now said to be recovering.

Hamas rejects donor 'blackmail'

From BBC NewsA senior Hamas leader has rejected demands that the Islamic militant group renounce violence, to prevent aid cuts for the Palestinian Authority. Ismail Haniya, who headed Hamas' election list, said they would not give in to "blackmail" by foreign donors.President Bush warned US aid to the authority, worth $400m (£225m), may be cut following Hamas' surprise poll win.

Microsoft to License Part of Key Code to European Rivals

BRUSSELS, Jan. 25 — Facing daily fines from European regulators, Microsoft said on Wednesday that it would license some of the source code for its Windows operating system to competitors.The move is an attempt to comply with a ruling by the European Commission in March 2004 that Microsoft had violated antitrust laws. The company was fined 497 million euros (about $600 million) at that time and ordered to share details of its operating system with rival software makers.The company generated 12,000 pages of technical documentation, but the commission was not satisfied and filed a new lawsuit against Microsoft in December, accusing it of failing to supply the information the commission had demanded and of charging too much for the data it was offering. Microsoft has until Feb. 15 to reply to the objections.Under European antitrust rules, regulators were threatening to fine Microsoft up to 2 million euros a day if it failed to comply with the ruling.The decision to allow access to some Wi…

Calif. board links secondhand smoke to breast cancer

From USATodaySACRAMENTO — California regulators ruled Thursday that secondhand smoke causes breast cancer in younger women, an unprecedented finding that could lead to tougher anti-smoking measures.Secondhand smoke concentrations in vehicles with smokers is 10 times higher than in the homes of smokers, the report found. Its key new finding is that women under 50 exposed to secondhand smoke had a 68% to 120% greater risk of breast cancer than women who weren't exposed. Women past menopause were not at significantly higher risk.Major cancer groups, including the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, said evidence that secondhand smoke causes breast cancer is inconclusive. The disease kills 40,000 women a year in the USA.

Kidnappers Threaten to Kill Four Hostages

From Y! NewsBAGHDAD, Iraq - Kidnappers of four Christian peace activists threatened to kill them unless all Iraqi prisoners are released from Iraqi and U.S. prisons, according to a tape broadcast Saturday.

Al-Jazeera TV aired a tape dated Jan. 21 showing the four workers from the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker activists, who disappeared Nov. 26. The previously unknown Swords of Righteous Bridge claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

The newsreader said the group issued a statement with the tape saying it was the "last chance" for U.S. and Iraqi authorities to "release all Iraqi prisoners in return of freeing the hostages otherwise their fate will be death."

Japanese Lab Develops Robot for Errands

From Y! NewsTOKYO - Though his movement is a bit stiff, slow and voice monotonous, he willingly turns on the television with a chest-mounted remote control, and brings a can of drink for you. Within years, a humanoid robot HRP-2 — currently under development by a Japanese national technology institute — could be a little domestic helper.
The robots — named Promet — are being developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and can run errands. They are designed to respond to verbal instructions and are capable of capturing three-dimensional images of objects and locating them through an infrared sensor.
"We are hoping to make them something comparable to service dogs," Isao Hara, senior researcher at the institute in Japan's technology hub of Tsukuba, just northeast of Tokyo, said of the pair of robots painted in silver and blue. "I think it's quite possible for them to interact with humans. We are now studying how robots can join…

Researcher: Pollution Limits Sun in China

From Y! News
BANGKOK, Thailand - China's skies have darkened over the past 50 years, possibly due to haze resulting from a nine-fold increase in fossil fuel emissions, according to researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy.The researchers, writing in this month's edition of Geophysical Research Letters, found that the amount of solar radiation measured at more than 500 stations in China fell from 1954 to 2001 despite a decrease in cloud cover."Normally, more frequent cloud-free days should be sunnier and brighter but this doesn't happen in our study," said Yun Qian of the energy department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state.

Credit Card Numbers Stolen Off Web Site

From Y! News
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Thousands of credit card numbers were stolen from a state government Web site that allows residents to register their cars and buy state permits, authorities said Friday.
The private company that runs said that 4,118 credit card numbers had probably been taken, a state official said. All online transactions were suspended Friday until any possible security problems could be fixed.

'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' Makers Sued Over Sexual Content

From MTVThe makers of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" were sued on Thursday by Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo for allegedly hiding explicit sexual material in the popular video game. According to The Associated Press, Delgadillo filed a lawsuit against developer Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, for allegedly violating the state's business code by making misleading statements in marketing the game and engaging in unfair competition.

Amazing Tech facts -- THE INTERNET

From Amazing Tech factsGoogle got its name from the mathematical figure googol, which denotes the number 'one followed by a hundred zeros'.

Yahoo! derived its name from the word Yahoo coined by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver's Travels. A Yahoo is a person who is repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human!

Researchers consider that the first search engine was Archie, created in 1990 by Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Marc Andreessen founded Netscape. In 1993, he had already developed Mosaic, the first Web browser with a GUI.

It was once considered a letter in the English language. The Chinese call it a little mouse, Danes and Swedes call it 'elephant's trunk', Germans a spider monkey, and Italians a snail. Israelis pronounce it 'strudels' and the Czechs say 'rollmops's...What is it? The @ sign.

In the Deep Web, the part of the Web not currently catalogued by search engines, public information said to be 500 tim…