Wednesday, December 5, 2007

12-5-07 Science/Tech

The Chinese moon photo has been surrounded by controversy this week, which has now been resolved. Although the photo is real, apparently it is seamed together from several photo strips, and they weren't lined up properly, so one crater has been moved into a new position.

Microsoft wants to help you make stronger passwords by using letters from your word associations for inkblot images. The catch: they will save your inkblot associations. I'm not sure I want Microsoft to know how I think, but it is an interesting way to make a stronger password.

European zero-G lab goes up in space this week to be added to the space station.

PDF 1.7 has become the new ISO 32000 standard.

An English village has asked to be removed from GPS maps because vehicles too large for the road follow the directions and cause accidents.

A new company has formed that analyzes microbes to figure out how they work at a genetic level, to figure out how they should best be used.

CNet has a slideshow on ways to store Wind power for later use (when the wind has died down).

Congress is banning manned exploration of Mars, and The Space Review has an article on how the ban can be beaten.

The ongoing DRM fight got another complication. Since they are making all software that can rip a DVD you own into a digital file for viewing on a portable device illegal (although it is legal space shifting for a CD), now Apple wants DVDs to sell for $4 more and include an iTunes-compatible version. Fair use shouldn't cost extra, but even if it were a convenience charge of doing the ripping for you, it shouldn't be as much as $4.

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