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NASA’s robotic Project Morpheus aims for the Moon

As budgets for space exploration grow ever-tighter, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has high hopes for a robotic space vehicle that will be much cheaper than its predecessors, not to mention more environmentally friendly. Project Morpheus is constructing a lunar landing craft that uses an innovative fuel which combines…

Tajikistan blocks Facebook and several news sites

The Tajikistan government ordered Internet providers on Saturday to block Facebook, along with several independent media sites, a spokeswoman for the country’s web-provider association told AFP. “Internet providers received a spoken order from government agents to block the sites,” said Parvina Ibodova, president of the association. “We are minions. We get our licences from the authorities and that’s why, as…

IRS software glitch delays some tax refunds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s new software system for handling electronic tax returns has experienced problems during the tax filing season, angering some taxpayers whose refunds have been delayed. In an issue that could draw congressional scrutiny, the IRS said it was addressing the software glitches and…

GM suspends production of Chevy Volt due to weak demand

CHICAGO — General Motors said Friday it has suspended production of its electric Chevy Volt for five weeks in order to match supply to weak demand. “We’re going to take five weeks of downtime at the plant as we are going to build to what the market demands,” spokeswoman Michelle…

Santorum: ‘People 20 years ago couldn’t conceive of a cell phone’

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says that 20 years ago people couldn’t even imagine cell phones, but now they are commonplace because Americans “recognize the rights God has given every person.” Speaking to supporters in Chillicothe, Ohio on Friday, the former Pennsylvania senator explained that the U.S. had “transformed the…

Australia’s Barrier Reef to get Google treatment

Australian scientists mapping the Great Barrier Reef will broadcast their findings in partnership with Google, emulating its “Street View” to spotlight the impact of climate change. The University of Queensland’s Seaview Survey will use custom-designed cameras and diving robots to plumb never-before-seen depths of the reef off Australia’s northeast coast.…

FBI chief warns cyber crime on par with terrorism

FBI director Robert Mueller warned a gathering of Internet security specialists that the threat of cyber attacks rivals terrorism as a national security concern. The only way to combat cyber assaults is for police, intelligence agencies and private companies to join forces, Mueller said during a presentation at an annual…

Website lets users confess their darkest secrets

People around the world share their deep secrets with Frank Warren and he, in turn, reveals them to all. Confessions drawn, pasted or written on postcards flow relentlessly into his mailbox and Warren provides as many as possible with time in the spotlight at his website, PostSecret.com. “I’ve never been…

Flying autonomous robots perform James Bond theme

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed flying robots — called quadrotors — that can autonomously perform a number of tasks, including using instruments to perform the James Bond theme song. The quadrotors were programed to play the instruments and are not remote controlled. “In…

Peeing Frenchman sues Google for making him ‘laughing stock’

A Frenchman is suing Google for making him the laughing stock of his village after the firm’s Street View service put on the Internet a picture of him urinating in his garden, his lawyer said Thursday. “He discovered the existence of this photo after noticing that he had become an…

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