redletterdave writes with an amusing tale of missent email. From the article: "On Friday, more than 1,300 employees of London-based Aviva Investors walked into their offices, strolled over to their desks, booted up their computers and checked their emails, only to learn the shocking news: They would be leaving the company. The email ordered them to hand over company property and security passes before leaving the building, and left the staff with one final line: 'I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future. 'This email was sent to Aviva's worldwide staff of 1,300 people, with bases in the U.S., UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands. And it was all one giant mistake: The email was intended for only one individual."
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Jake Elliott and Jon (not Elwood) Cates are the ones who describe Glitch Art people as 'weirdos within the weirdos' in the context of Notacon 9, which was recently held in Cleveland. It's 'an annual event that focuses on people who like to build, make, break and hack stuff,' and even in the Notacon context the Glitch Artwork crowd stands out. Sit down with Jake and Jon and share their joy in working with "feral glitches... before they are domesticated," and see some of the output from artist Dave Musgrave's circuit-bent consoles.
First time accepted submitter v3rgEz writes "Six months ago, the toilets of the General Services Administration started exploding, injuring two employees and beginning the agency's spiral down the drain of bad press (this is the same GSA now under fire for pricey Vegas conference flings). E-mails just released under FOIA now show the culprit: Compressed air + ancient plumbing + leaving it all unattended."
linuxwrangler writes "It started with a dream of building a full-sized jet flight simulator. Now, 20 years, $150,000 and one divorce later, James Price can walk to his garage and fly the 737 simulator he built built from the nose of a surplus 737. From the article: 'James Price had one must-have when looking for a new home -- the garage had to be able to hold the nose of a Boeing 737 jetliner. "Once I realized I could get it in here, I was OK with the house," Price said. In his spacious three-car garage Price has a well-traveled jetliner cockpit tucked in next to the family car. Aviation experts say Price, 52, is one of only a handful of people in the world who have built their own flight simulator cockpit in an actual jet nose."
Fluffeh writes "Teller, the silent half of the well-known magic duo Penn and Teller, has sued a rival magician for copying one of his most famous illusions. The case promises to test the boundaries of copyright law as it applies to magic tricks. A Dutch magician with the stage name Gerard Bakardy (real name: Gerard Dogge) saw Teller perform the trick in Las Vegas and developed his own version — then started selling a kit — including a fake rose, instructions, and a DVD — for about $3,000. Teller had Bakardy's video removed with a DMCA takedown notice, then called Bakardy to demand that the magician stop using his routine. Teller offered to buy Bakardy out, but they were unable to agree on a price. So Teller sued Bakardy last week in a Nevada federal court."
New submitter blindbat writes "John E. Brennon 'said he was fed up with being harassed by airport security stripped to his birthday suit while in an airport screening lane Tuesday evening and was arrested.'"
First time accepted submitter GreenPages writes "There's a new signature scent for Apple fans — 'the scent of an Apple product being opened for the very first time.' Created for an art exhibition, the special fragrance is not for sale. From the article: 'The scent created with Air Aroma for Greatest Hits encompasses the smell of the plastic wrap covering the box, the printed ink on the cardboard, the smell of paper and plastic components within the box and, of course, the aluminum laptop which has come straight from the factory in China.'"
An anonymous reader writes "To attract media and Congressional attention to the deep NASA planetary exploration cuts proposed to take place October 1, and the need to restore the planetary budget to present or higher levels, a National Planetary Exploration Car Wash and Bake Sale is being planned for June 9th. Organizations already involved include planetary groups at many universities, research institutions, and Moon Express (Google Lunar X Prize)."
mikejuk writes "You can build a computer out of all sorts of things — mechanical components, vacuum tubes, transistors, fluids and ... crabs. Researchers at Kobe University in Japan have discovered that soldier crabs have behaviors suitable for implementing simple logic and hence — with enough crabs — you can achieve a complete computer. The Soldier crab Mictyris guinotae has a swarming behavior that is just right for simple logic gates (PDF). When two crab swarms collide they fuse to make a single swarm — and this is enough to build an OR gate."
Blind author Trish Vickers wrote 26 pages of her novel's first chapter when her son noticed she was writing without ink. Her manuscript was saved however after they took it to the Dorset Police department. A forensic team there worked on it in their spare time, and after 5 months they were able to recover the lost pages. Vickers said: “I think they used a combination of various lights at different angles to see if they could get the impression made by my pen. I am so happy, pleased and grateful. It was really nice of them and I want to thank them for helping me out.”
1sockchuck writes "Staff at Interxion's London data center are ready to hunker down during the Olympic Games this summer, nestled in snug sleeping pods adjacent to the racks. The arrangement will ensure that the facility will be fully-staffed if London's transit system is taxed by the huge crowds expected for the Games. While staff in many industries might object to a plan that expects them to sleep in their office, data center firms have a primary calling of keeping their facilities operational at all times. Is this too much readiness, or just enough?"
Cazekiel writes "Sticking a mug in your freezer to ensure a cold beer may be made obsolete, if the Japanese brewing giant Kirin has anything to do about it. How? Kirin came up with a way to create frozen beer foam, dispensed the way you would a soft-serve ice cream cone. Gizmag gives us the details: 'To make the topping, regular Ichiban beer is frozen to -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit) while air is continuously blown into it. It's kind of like when a child makes bubbles in their drink, except inside a blast freezer. Once the topping is placed onto regular, unfrozen beer though, it acts as an insulating lid and keeps the drink cold for 30 minutes.'" Might make flavorless rice lagers easier to go down, but what about real beer? A hefeweizen under an ice cap on a warm summer afternoon? How about an entire glass full of frozen chocolate stout?
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's JR Raphael offers up six memorable tales of trouble and triumph from the tech support desk. 'Working in tech support is a bit like teaching preschool: You're an educator who provides reassurance in troubling times. You share knowledge and help others overcome their obstacles. And some days, it feels like all you hear is screaming, crying, and incoherent babble.' Pronoun problems, IT ghosts, the runaway mouse — when it comes to computers, the customer isn't always right."
Hugh Pickens writes "Alasdair Wilkins writes that when a squirrel encounters a rattlesnake in the wild, it does something very peculiar to survive its brush with the predator — something is so peculiar that scientists are building robotic squirrels just to try to understand the behavior. A live squirrel does two things when it sees a rattlesnake. It starts moving its tail in a flagging motion and actually heats up the temperature of its tail. Because rattlesnakes can see in the infrared wavelengths, they should be able to see both the tail move and heat up. The question is which of these two signals is important and just what message it's supposed to send to the rattlesnake. To that end, engineers at UC Davis have built robosquirrels, which allow the biologists to simulate the two squirrel behaviors one a time and the research so far suggests it's the heated tail, not the flagging motion, that the snake responds to, making it one of the first known examples of infrared communication between two distinct species. 'Snakes will rarely strike at a flagging adult squirrel — and if they do they almost always miss,' says Rulon Clark, assistant professor of biology at San Diego State University and an expert on snake behavior. 'In some cases, it seems the rattlesnakes just decide it's best to cut their losses after dealing with these confusing critters,' adds Wilkins, 'as sometimes the snakes just leave the area completely after encountering these flagging, tail-heating squirrels.'"
Plantronics PR person Karen Auby -- who works remotely most of the time herself -- explains how Plantronics products help make work easier in a world of "unified communications."