Feb. 11th, 2009

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Technology’s Fingerprints on the Stimulus Bill - NYTimes.com

The New York Times provides a review of Obama's proposed $800 billion stimulus package. In particular, they call attention to $7 billion being proposed for expanding high-speed internet into rural areas, $20 billion for the development of a smart power grid that would automatically load-balance (a must for broad implementation of aperiodic energy sources like wind and solar), and $20 billion to develop a digital health records system that could, if designed properly, reduce health care costs. It's far harder, however, to get support for a finanacial package that largely goes to tax cuts and infrastructure development than it was to pump money into banks and businesses.
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the physics arXiv blog » Blog Archive » Space Station simulator given emotions

The next generation training software for the Canadarm 2 has an unusual feature, courtesy of Universite de Sherbrooke. They have added the software equivalent of emotions, called the Conscious Tutoring System, to help the system manage and priotize the vast amount of data it must contend with.
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Slashdot | False Fact On Wikipedia Proves Itself

You may recall a previous article I posted in which the pulling of a Wikipedia entry was sufficiently newsworthy to warrant the entry being put back.

Slashdot provides a link to an article (in German) in which the full name of the minister for economic affairs (Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg) was posted to Wikipedia as Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Wilhelm Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg. During the course of reviewing the article, the editorial staff demanded proof that the minister's full name did, indeed, contain the name Wilhelm. Ideally, because the post originally got his name wrong, there should be no proof of this and eventually "Wilhelm" would be dropped from his full name in the wikipedia entry.  However, a newspaper used the (incorrect) wikipedia entry to state the (incorrect) full name of the minister. Said article was then used as proof of that the minister's full name did contain the name Wilhelm so the Wikipedia entry stood as validated.

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Taliban feel pinch of world financial crisis

The Taliban is reportedly suffering from the current financial situation. Donations are down, and weapons and munitions prices are up. As well, black market dealers are becoming reluctant to sell to them for fear of antagonizing US and NATO forces, and they are having a ard time finding women to cook and clean for them. 
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globeandmail.com: Driver didn't know he was dragging pedestrian for 27 km

An SUV driver struck a pedestrian who was then caught under the vehicle. When the driver stopped to find out what was wrong with the vehicle he discovered the remains of the body. and notified police. No charges are expected to be laid. Police are now searching the route for remains of the pedestrian.
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Two Satellites Collide in Orbit : Discovery News

A non-functional Russian satellite collided with an Iridium commercial satellite high over Siberia Tuesday night. It was the first major collision between spacecraft. The US Space Surveillance Network is currently monitoring the debris field, which could pose a risk to other satellites and the Hubble Space Telescope.

January 2010

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