Articles by SpaceNeedle

Reports Zarifmo Aslamshoyeva on CNN:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to debut a talk show, “The World Tomorrow,” on Russia’s state-funded television network next week. Assange and RT, an English-language international satellite news channel, would not release the guest lineup in advance, but hinted that the first interview would be controversial.

WikiLeaks has asked followers on Twitter if they can guess the show’s first guest. “Any bets on who The World Tomorrow’s first mystery guest(s) are?” it tweeted. “You’ve been waiting and we’ve been teasing,” said RT’s website of the show, which will also be released online. The talk show set for launch Tuesday is creating a stir in global media circles.

Via the Herald Sun: While many believed it to be an April Fool’s Day joke, Vladimir Putin has confirmed Russia has been testing mind-bending psychotronic guns that can effectively turn people into…

Simon ParkesVia the Northern Echo:

A Labour politician has stunned his town council colleagues by claiming his “real mother” is a 9ft green alien with eight fingers.

Councillor Simon Parkes, who was elected to represent Stakesby ward on Whitby Town Council last month, said although he has had hundreds of close encounters with extra-terrestrials, it will not interfere with his mission to help residents at the seaside resort.

Speaking on YouTube, Coun Parkes said he first saw an alien at the age of eight months, when “a traditional kite-shaped face”, with huge eyes, tiny nostrils and a thin mouth appeared over his cot.

He said: “Two green stick things came in. I was aware of some movement over my head. I thought, ‘they’re not mummy’s hands, mummy’s hands are pink’.”

Mike StoneWhat a little genius. USA Today says:

A Minnesota school district has quashed a high school’s senior plan to bring a porn star to his senior prom.

Mike Stone, 18, had tweeted hundreds of porn actresses with an invitation to the Tartan High School prom May 12 until adult film star Megan Piper accepted his proposal.

Piper tells KSTP-TV’s Mark Saxenmeyer that she missed her own prom and couldn’t turn down Stone’s invitation.

“It was a sweet gesture. It was so cute. I couldn’t say no,” she tells the Twin Cities TV station.

The adult film star adds that she had no intention of turning the evening into a sordid spectacle: “I don’t plan to show up butt naked or anything. I’m going to wear a pretty prom dress.”

DionePallab Ghosh reports on BBC News:

A NASA spacecraft has detected oxygen around one of Saturn’s icy moons, Dione.

The discovery supports a theory that suggests all of the moons near Saturn and Jupiter might have oxygen around them.

Researchers say that their finding increases the likelihood of finding the ingredients for life on one of the moons orbiting gas giants.

The study has been published in Geophysical Research Letters. According to co-author Andrew Coates of University College London, Dione has no liquid water and so does not have the conditions to support life. But it is possible that other moons of Jupiter and Saturn do …

SpeechJammerIt’s only a prototype, but if it worked for a longer amount of time, wow. Geeta Dayal writes on Wired’s Underwire:

Two Japanese researchers recently introduced a prototype for a device they call a SpeechJammer that can literally “jam” someone’s voice — effectively stopping them from talking. Now they’ve released a video of the device in action. “We have to establish and obey rules for proper turn-taking,” write Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada in their article on the SpeechJammer (PDF). “However, some people tend to lengthen their turns or deliberately disrupt other people when it is their turn … rather than achieve more fruitful discussions.”

Mohamed Atta Facebook AdSajid Farooq reports on NBC Bay Area:

As Facebook gets ready to go public, the eyes of the world will become even more focused on the Menlo Park-based social network.

That’s just partly why Friday’s report of an insurance advertisement on Facebook featuring the face of 9/11 terrorist Mohamed Atta is not the type of publicity the site wants ahead of its initial public offering.

Atta’s face reportedly appeared on the site as part of an ad selling car insurance. The ad appeared on the right hand side of some users’ profiles and it read “Important: Drivers in Texas Who Drive Less than 35 Miles a Day Read This.”

The text was alongside a Texas driver’s license with Atta’s picture on it, which was actually originally taken from his Florida’s driver’s license.

FacebookChris Matyszczyk reports on cNet News:

A Pew study suggests that finally, finally human beings — and especially women — have begun to prune their alleged friends on Facebook. Could there be rational, even venal, reasons for this?

It’s Friday and therefore time to muse about friendship. Here’s one thought: If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then my friend may, in fact, be more troubling and irrelevant than Ann Taylor separates. Here’s another: People appear to suddenly be realizing that their Facebook friends are not — and will never be — real friends. Oddly, though, they are finally doing something about it.

I am grateful to my nonfriends at ReadWriteWeb, who have unearthed a new Pew study that says defriending is trending on Facebook. People are finally wandering around their Facebook garden and, perhaps stimulated by FarmVille, are taking shears to their peers …

Eric Mack writes on cNet News:

Recent Foxconn revelations hint at higher costs than previous estimates that are still staggeringly low by Western standards. An unprecedented peek behind the curtain of Foxconn’s factories in China may have revealed new hints to how much it actually costs to make each iPhone.

ABC’s “Nightline” was recently given access to the factory floor, and the resulting reporting has provided some new insights into exactly how iPhones are built, a part of the gadget’s gestation process that’s typically been a very closely guarded trade secret.

Horace Dediu, blogger, analyst, and former business development manager for Nokia, tried to parse some of the clues and came to some interesting conclusions …

White Nose BatmanHoly Fungus, Batman! Reports David Wrights and Jonann Brady of ABC NEWS:

A mysterious fungus is killing off thousands of bats around the country. Scientists are calling it white-nose syndrome, because of the distinctive white smudges on the noses and wings of infected bats.

White-nose itself doesn’t kill bats, but it disturbs their sleep so that they end their hibernation early. During the winter there are no insects to eat, so the bats literally starve to death.

Bats may be one of Mother Nature’s least cuddly creatures, but they are ecologically important, keeping mosquitos and insects that attack crops in check.

Researchers say the syndrome has killed upward of half a million bats from New England to Virginia.