Sunday, May 27, 2012

Things I learned this week 27 May

  • Mars rover Opportunity is on the move again after surviving yet another Martian winter. It's been operating on Mars since 2004, after only being expected to work for a few months.
  • If a thief broke into your house (in Canada), and you knocked them out and rendered them unconscious, you might not be charged with assault. But if they were retreating and you hit him in the head with a bat and they were critically injured, you might have a problem. 'As much force is as necessary' is one of the things taken into account by judges.
  • You'll probably see cars that drive themselves in the next 10 years.
  • The Seattle Public Library hid 1,000 children's books among the city's landmarks for kids to find, read, then re-hide them for other kids to find. 
  • Now when you buy a DVD, you'll get twice as many un-skippable anti-piracy warnings, including a Homeland Security Investigations “special agent” badge next to the FBI badge. 
  • The Netherlands adopted legislation to safeguard an open and secure internet. It implemented net neutrality in the law along with provisions protecting users against disconnection and wiretapping by service providers.
  • Ubuntu Linux will soon be shipping on 5% of new PCs sold around the world (instead on Windows).
  • In 2010 there were 360,000 Americans with master's degrees or higher on public assistance.
  • The earliest known Mayan calendar has been found in Guatemala and it includes dates some 7,000 years in the future. No end of the world in 2012, sorry.
  • There will be a transit of Venus across the sun (from our viewpoint) on 6 June 2012. The next transit of Venus will be in December 2117.
  • A fundamentalist Catholic school in Phoenix chose to forfeit a championship baseball game rather than play a team fielding one female player.

No comments: