In an age of out of control government spending — over $30 billion a week in budget deficits, 130,000 troops in Iraq and over 60,000 in Afghanistan, and a president and Democratic majority in Congress seemingly bent on collectivizing the entire healthcare industry — a presidentially appointed committee has apparently found one thing the government cannot pay for, at present: manned exploration of space.
Microsoft on August 18 filed an appeal to a judge’s ruling that the company’s Word application violates a Canadian firm’s patent. The ruling would require Microsoft to stop selling its flagship word processor within the United States in 60 days, InformationWeek reported on August 19.
According to a report in the Associated Press, South Korea aborted its first launch of a new rocket just minutes before its scheduled liftoff. The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (or Naro-1) was to be the first rocket launched from the new Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Korea.
In order to meet the demand for ever smaller and faster computer chips, IBM and the California Institute of Technology have been researching the use of DNA molecules in microprocessors. It turns out that the building blocks of life may help keep alive Moore’s Law that computer performance doubles every two years.
CNET News reported on August 6 that “a Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Google's Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial-of-service attack that led to the sitewide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on Thursday, according to a Facebook executive.”
A denial-of-service attack took down the Twitter short messaging service on the morning of August 6. As of this writing, the Twitter status blog says that “the site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.”
The Los Angeles Times reported on August 5 that the Defense Department is studying how to use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter without compromising security. In a similar story, the New York Times mentioned on August 3 that the National Football League is clamping down on Twitter and text messaging.
PC World reported on August 3 that the U.S. Secret Service is investigating some ATM machines in Las Vegas that are subtracting money from a user’s account without dispensing any cash. Ironically, the problem was first reported by one of the presenters from a Defcon hacker conference being held in Vegas.
As any good diver or snorkeler knows, there is nothing so breathtaking or so delicate as coral reef. Coral is so delicate, in fact, that even the slightest human contact can be catastrophic enough to kill 500-year-old coral in just five minutes. Such frequent agitation is precipitating irreparable harm to one of nature’s most spectacular wonders.
Wired reported on July 28 that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to legalize the practice of hacking Apple’s iPhone “to accept software that hasn’t been approved for distribution through the iPhone App Store.”