August, 2000

Thursday, August 31, 2000

Computer makes robot offspring - "By having a computer create designs using natural selection, researchers edged closer to solving two of robotics' biggest obstacles: robots' lack of versatility and their high cost of development."

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Wednesday, August 30, 2000

What if Amazon Fails - "A wholesale failure appears improbable, and that's a relief for the markets and anyone investing in them. Analysts agree a bankrupt Amazon would have a profound effect on stocks, though the extent of the damage is debatable."

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Tuesday, August 29, 2000

The long road to profitability - "For the past five years, many investors have been suckered into believing that any technology company losing money was actually just investing its hard-earned cash into a model that would inevitably lead to net income in the years to come."

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Searching for Revenue - "This represents at least the start of a huge shift toward 'normal' economic principles for Internet companies, and also the emergence of a new power base."

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The New Masters of Domains - "Mueller says that since complainants choose the organization with which they file a claim, panels try to woo trademark holders by ruling more often in their favor."

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Lieberman Told To Limit Expressions - "The Anti-Defamation League has urged Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman to avoid expressions of religious values and beliefs in his campaign. "

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Pope condemns human cloning - "He went on to condemn all experiments in the cloning of human embryos, even with a view to obtaining new organs for transplant. These techniques, the Pope said, insofar as they involve the manipulation and destruction of human embryos, are not morally acceptable, even when their proposed goal is good in itself. "

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Scouts' Successful Ban on Gays Is Followed by Loss in Support - "attendance was unbelievable, the best attendance we've had all year. It could not have been a more unanimous, enthusiastic vote. Obviously, there was concern for the kids, but it all came down to we really have an obligation to do the right thing."

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Monday, August 28, 2000

America way behind others when it comes to Web phones (9/4/00) - "Trailing way, way behind the rest of the industrialized world in this business is the United States -- we'll be lucky if we get started five years from now. The reasons -- all political -- would be amusing were it not for a nagging suspicion that 3G is going to be the crucial piece of infrastructure for not just cellphones but PDAs and laptops and automobiles."

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The next era for Internet security - "A milestone in the history of technology is set to occur next month when RSA Security Inc. patents, fundamental to most Internet security, expire."

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Wireless Auction Uncovers Fissures in European Telecommunications - "But no one knows what consumers will really want or how much they will be ready to pay. And because the new systems will increase competition in ordinary mobile phone service, analysts predict that prices and profitability in voice service will decline sharply."

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Web site bans woman with "unacceptable" name - "When Babcock registered for access to BlackPlanet.com, a Web site dealing with African-American topics, she was told that her last name was 'unacceptable...'"

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Sunday, August 27, 2000

New Heinlein Novel is Alive and the Same - Mon Apr 26 01:00:42 1982

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CEA President & CEO Gary Shapiro's Media Institute Address - "As you all know by now, each innovation in technology has enriched the same copyright owners that initially attacked it. Yet each, from the TV to the VCR to the CD, was attacked as somewhat threatening to vested interests Ð and yet each technology expanded the markets for copyright owners beyond their wildest dreams."

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Time Warner posts a link it had banned - "The case is the latest example of a large media company contradicting its legal arguments with its own actions."

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The colonel's wife loves cocaine - "But Hiett sampled her brick inside the women's restroom of the fortress-like U.S. embassy in Bogota, Colombia, where her husband, Col. James C. Hiett, was in charge of the Army's high-stakes antidrug operation."

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The Onion A.V. Club: Interview with Scott McCloud

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Friday, August 25, 2000

Da Vinci's parachute flies - "A British man, Adrian Nicholas, dropped from a hot air balloon 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) above the ground, after ignoring expert advice that the canvas and wood contraption would not fly."

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Industry Groups Knock Napster Ruling - "America Online, Yahoo and Intel, are taking issue with a federal judge's ruling last month in the bellwether case." - if the AOL/Time-Warner merger goes through, AOL will be a member of the RIAA.

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CNN.com: DeCSS: Round one to Hollywood, but the fight continues - "RELATED SITES: [...] Worldwide mirror lists of DeCSS" - CNN is a Time-Warner company. Time-Warner is a member of the MPAA.

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Dolphins Show Language-Like Learning

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It Takes a Happy Employee - "This stands in stark contrast to the VC and Starbucks-driven frenzied start-ups of twenty-somethings with artificially inflated bank accounts (and egos), rapid 'growth,' and zero profitability. What do they call it in your body when you have a mass of cells that are growing and growing and growing very rapidly, sucking resources as quickly as possible but not adding anything healthy to the body it is in? They call it cancer."

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Up and away - "Stuck in a traffic jam? No problem. Simply strap on your personal helicopter and fly away from the cares and woes of everyday life."

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TrustE accused of breaking own privacy rule - "TRUSTe allowed an outside company to track visitors to its Web site without visitors' permission or knowledge"

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Thursday, August 24, 2000

Silicon VC Firm Plans D.C.-Area Office - "Washington in running network services.... There are areas of talent where Silicon Valley doesn't necessarily have the edge."

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Second sight - "In fact, no one has yet developed a truly profitable business plan for the internet. Not the online magazines of the mid-90s (no revenue), the e-commerce companies of the late-90s (no margins), or the streaming media sites of the early 'broadband' 2000s (no one cares)."

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Hanging up on European telecoms - "The limitless hype over the future of wireless has given way to some serious backlash as investors question the value of overpriced airwave rights and costly networks"

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How the mother of a Kursk sailor was silenced

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Everyone Into the Dead Pool - "Sure they've lost money in the meantime, even missed a few quarterly earnings estimates, but either the market was crazy then, or it's crazy now. My guess is it's crazy always."

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Day-care germs may protect against asthma - "rotection against asthma came from frequent exposure to other youngsters, but only if the contact took place in the first six months, a key period for a new immune system"

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Wednesday, August 23, 2000

More dot-coms get booted off the Nasdaq island - "Even though Ms. Burney believes that never before have so many businesses been so volatile, 'the number of failures isn't any greater than with traditional businesses.'"

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UT scientists achieve skin transparency - "transparent human skin would allow optical devices to penetrate further and illuminate tissue properties that suggest tumors; direct light to the precise problem area rather than cutting away healthy tissue to reach it; and deliver therapeutic light without diffusing stray light that can damage capillaries."

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Akamai caught in Net filtering cross fire - "We don't commit to filtering... The filtering companies need to fix it."

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Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Resist the Lure of Simplified History - "it's worth noting that the most important piece of software since Mosaic did not come out of any of the companies run by this theoretical cabal"

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"Big Brother" mutiny brewing! - "The result is an unprecedented opportunity to see how editing changes reality. And the evidence isn't pretty."

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Monday, August 21, 2000

2600: Analysis of the Decision Against 2600 - "So now we have this law that basically says we are not allowed to show people the failings of technology if the people controlling that technology decide they don't want us to. An expansion of this law which could go into effect in October would make it illegal to even TRY to find failings in such technology."

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Ages-Old Polar Icecap Is Melting, Scientists Find - "At least for the time being, an ice-free patch of ocean about a mile wide has opened at the very top of the world..."

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VCs trading gigafunds for boutiques

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Austin, We Have a Problem - "The law is intended to take money away from affluent students and give to students of need, but that's not the effect it's having in Austin."

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Friday, August 18, 2000

Digital Copyright Act comes back to haunt consumers - "The latest fallout from Congress' sellout rained down Thursday in New York."

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Outhouse Collapse Plunged Va. Man Into 'Hell'

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Panel backs human cloning research - "Britain allows scientists to conduct research on embryos up to 14 days old for fertility, congenital and other disorders, but does not permit them to be used for the study of diseases acquired in adulthood. The cloning of humans either to create babies or embryos for research was banned in 1990."

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An Interview With Dave Eggers - "What matters is that you do good work. What matters is that you produce things that are true and will stand."

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Final German 3G Bids Total Over $45.49 Billion - "When the dust cleared in Germany, the six firms ended up with the equivalent of a $560 bill for every woman, man and child living there."

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Pill 'fails to curb teen pregnancies' - "An editorial in the journal said many teenagers were not mature enough to cope with taking oral contraception every day at the same time."

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Knife-Edge Passions - "There are a lot of French songs, thankfully not translated by subtitles because the last thing you want to know is the actual words of French songs."

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Orthodontics Via Silicon Valley

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IBM announces AFS as an open source product under the IBM Public License

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Thursday, August 17, 2000

The Green Party: MasterCard Sues Nader on Ad - "The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, seeks $5 million in damages and an injunction preventing the campaign from running the advertisement. The Nader advertisement takes Gov. George W. Bush of Texas and Vice President Al Gore to task on the need for campaign finance reform, and for the exclusion of Mr. Nader from the presidential debates."

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Judge Rules in DVD Case - "The judge's First Amendment analysis is wrong."

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Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Citizen-To-Be Clinton Lunches at McDonalds - "Clinton halted his motorcade for some fast food just after ceremonially handing over the reins of the Democratic party to Vice President Al Gore, who will receive the party's presidential nomination on Thursday."

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Court limits federal wiretapping powers - "The court overturned the regulators' decision, writing that 'neither hand wringing nor worrying can substitute for reasoned decision making.'"

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eBay item 410721373 - Vote of One US Citizen - "You are purchasing my vote. You may specify whom I vote for in the presidential and all other elections in my district, by name or by party. Why should the American Citizen be left out? Congressmen and Senators regularly sell THEIR votes to the highest bidder. Democracy for sale!"

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'Let Them Sell T-Shirts' - "The arguments that technologists have used to defend music sharing have often been so preposterous that it is impossible to believe that they are intended in good faith."

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To catch a wave - "While a new generation of huge detectors are being built, physicists from Portsmouth University now think they have found an alternative and rather unexpected way of snaring a gravity wave. Their idea is to use the quantum encryption technology now being devised for sending secure messages."

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MOOSE

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Tuesday, August 15, 2000

End of an Era: Forum 2000 Closes - "After nearly 4 years on the net, the great artificial intelligence project Forum 2000 has closed."

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Customer loyalty is underwater - "CRM was not likely to create the unbreakable, deep customer relationships it promises, no matter how technologically advanced the software. E-tailers had to share information with and make credible commitments to customers, rather than just using technology to get more information from them. I doubted companies were willing to do this."

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Head Food For Internet Architects - "But who's going to lose control? The people who have had power through broadcast media are going to lose control. But who gives a crap? I don't. They're boring. If they were interesting they would hold the attention of these audiences."

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Whose Life Is It, Anyway? - "The white elephant of the debate is the Internet, which is making such thefts easier."

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Free-lance writers sue online publishers for back royalties - "Database operators often pay publishers for the material and then charge online users to download them. Writers generally do not receive a cut of the money. The writers in the suit claim that is a violation of copyright law because they never signed away the rights to their work."

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Monday, August 14, 2000

Some Early Net Entrepreneurs Look for Ways Out - "Some of us are tired and rich. Some of us are tired and not rich. But we're all tired."

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Judge Expands on Napster Order - "But as Patel laid out in more convincing detail than ever before, Napster's purported non-infringing uses - distributing, with permission, the music of unknown artists; enabling users to 'sample' music before buying it in the form of CDs; and allowing users to 'space shift' their music, by allowing them to access it from any Internet-connected computer - were each 'contrived' or 'peripheral.'"

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Friday, August 11, 2000

Making money in a "copyright-free" world - "The artist once again known as Prince was onto something when he sold his five-CD set 'Crystal Ball' exclusively on the Web without the help of record companies, distributors, or record stores. On his website, he advertised the album and told his fans he would release not one song until he had 100,000 pre-orders for the entire record. He sold 250,000 copies and kept 95 percent of the revenue which industry experts estimate at $5 million."

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French Nazi Memorabilia Case Presents Jurisdiction Dilemma - "What happens when the laws and traditions of a country that receives an online message clash with the laws and values of the land where the message originated?"

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Corporate coders confined - "We didn't get into this 'space' cuz we're Internet gold-seeking cockos. We're legitimate nihilistic media terrorists and history will no doubt canonize us."

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Invest in the Customer Experience, Not a New Name - "Bell Atlantic turned into Verizon, and unfortunately, the magic didn't arrive. What did happen is that Verizon workers have promptly gone on strike. So much for the new name."

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realityrun.com - "Starting Monday, August 14th, 2000, a bounty of US-$ 10,000 will be set on this man´s head. That´s when the world´s first RealityRun starts in Berlin / Germany. Will you find him???" - this is flagrantly based on Stephen King's The Running Man

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WAP Is Dead - "You may wonder how I know this. There are two reasons. First, users say so. Second, I've tried it, I'm a user, and I say so."

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Valley Hot Wheels - "If you bought your Boxster several years ago when they were the new thing, you might be a CEO. Now, you're just a dork."

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Thursday, August 10, 2000

Mafiaboy to join Blox.com board of advisors - "He is credited for single-handedly putting the nation of Canada back on the map, after a long hiatus following Margaret Trudeau's escapades in the '70's and '80's. 'Dude!,' said Mafiaboy."

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They're half bacterium, half microchip - "The next step is to get the crystals to behave like a transistor"

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Ice Age star map discovered

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Prehistoric Moon map unearthed

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Amazon-Toysrus.com deal signals strategy shift - "Toysrus.com, in conjunction with its majority shareholder, Paramus, N.J.-based Toys 'R' Us, will handle the buying and management of inventory. Amazon will handle Web site development, order fulfillment and customer service for the new site."

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TheStandard.com: SEC Bans Selective Disclosure - "the SEC decided to prohibit companies from selectively disclosing information to analysts, saying that all "material" information should go out to the public at the same time that it's released to analysts."

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Rule Reversal: Blame It on RIAA - "Last year the music labels successfully lobbied to insert in unrelated legislation a clause that prevents copyrights from reverting to their authors. Now, they've agreed with artists to recommend rescinding the change to copyright law."

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Wednesday, August 09, 2000

APOD: 2000 August 9 - A Solar Filament Lifts Off - "The filament, although small compared to the overall size of the Sun, measures over 100,000 kilometers in height, so that the entire Earth could easily fit into its outstretched arms."

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Computer Science Departments Are Depleted as More Professors Test Entrepreneurial Waters

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Tight Belts for Dot-Coms - "The results indicate that light bulbs are finally going on over the heads of CFOs at dot-coms everywhere."

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A WAP On The Knuckles - "If you had suggested to those IT Managers that within a decade they would be asked to build a distributed computing platform capable of delivering online transaction processing to upwards of 200 million users, they would have recommended you see a doctor. However, that is exactly what WAP Architects the world over are currently being asked to deliver."

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Tuesday, August 08, 2000

The Art and Science of Effective Meetings

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Sage Advice: The foremost business thinker of our age tells what is wrong (and right) with the New Economy. - "Drucker: I don't think they are doing anything wrong. They're just not doing anything right."

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Monday, August 07, 2000

TheStandard.com: The Backlash Begins - "A new consensus has now been reached: Nobody predicts great things for WAP anymore."

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Sir Alec Guinness Dies At 86

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Gore set to run with Lieberman "Asked whether he was concerned about Lieberman being an Orthodox Jew, Breaux said '...people are not so much concerned with where you worship on Sunday...'"

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Sunday, August 06, 2000

Let me know if you prefer/hate the new layout.

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Study: Brady Law Has Not Affected Homicide Rates

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Saturday, August 05, 2000

Microsoft Product Support Services: Q261186 - Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music - "During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play 'Fur Elise' or 'It's a Small, Small World' seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance."

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Friday, August 04, 2000

WilliamShatner.com

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The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation

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Hummer Winblad could answer for Napster's sins - "All of Hummer Winblad's assets, including an investment hoard it valued last year at more than $500 million, could be exposed if a lawyer can successfully argue the firm's principals are 'controlling persons' behind Napster's music piracy."

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Registrar Sues for Whois Spam - "Verio compiled massive lists of new customers and deluged them with unsolicited marketing messages."

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New Information Supports Claim Viking Discovered Life in 1976 - "These facts relieve scientists from the difficulty of accepting separate origins of life on Mars and Earth, an extremely unlikely happenstance. Now, it is possible that life on either planet may have come from the other -- or from a third source."

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International Team of Astronomers Finds New Planet - "The distance between the planet and its star opens up the possibility that there could be Earth-like planets closer to Epsilon Eridani -- in a zone that Cochran said might be habitable."

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Canada seizes US ship

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Thursday, August 03, 2000

Scientists want to catch Nessie's cousin - "There are a number of similar stories of monsters living in deep lakes around the world. As well as Nessie, said to live in Loch Ness, Scotland, there is a legend of a similar beast, called Ogopogo, living in Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada."

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Canada threatens to seize US ship - "The cargo, worth more than $200m, represents around 10% of the Canadian armed forces' equipment."

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Pakistan to sell nuclear material - "A US state department official said: 'This is not exactly what the US had in mind when we talked to them about nuclear controls.'"

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Wednesday, August 02, 2000

Commentary: Linux Sux Redux - "If you look this list over, and measure each system's number of vulnerabilities against the number of its customers, Linux is arguably the worst operating-system product in history, and Microsoft's the best. As Linux zealots are beginning to find out, it's a lot easier to masquerade as a better product than it is to go out and be one."

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Districts snooze on teen sleep Costs, outside activities and student resistance keep high schools answering the early bell - "Recent studies show that a child's biological clock moves forward in the teen years. As a result, teenagers stay up later -- often it's 11 p.m. before they get tired -- and need to sleep later and longer than previously thought. But many high schools start around 7 a.m., and their students average about 7 1/2 hours of sleep a night. Researchers say teens needs nine hours of sleep. Sleep loss has been shown to increase irritability, anxiety and depression; decrease socialization and humor; and result in hypersexuality, mental fatigue, reduced memory and an inability to handle complex tasks."

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Tuesday, August 01, 2000

The great MP3 love fest - "Too often the complicated dispute between the online start-up and the music industry has been painted in the most simplistic terms -- a reductive tale of forward-thinking entrepreneurs outsmarting head-in-the-sand label executives."

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Lawsuit Tests the Power of Media Companies to Control Access to Digital Content

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