Did You Know
- that a group of leading rabbis in Israel have issued a
halachic ruling forbidding their communities from accessing the Internet. The
ruling declared that the Web has the potential to "burn souls," and has a
negative effect on impressionable youth. It is known, however, that many
Hassidic families are operating business from their homes and this ruling
threatens their livelihood if they obey it.
- that the introduction of GST in Australia is expected to
add $A100 per month to the average mortgage. A recent rise in official
interest rates, which brings Australia into line with New Zealand, the US and
Britain, has wiped out the gains many Australians expected with the
introduction of GST, including most families earning less than $A30,000 and
dual-income families earning between $A40,000 and $A65,000.
- that after a TV news report showing city employees playing
cards and sleeping on the job in Denver, Colorado, officials are considering
using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to keep track of city workers'
- that the USA has stopped the intentional degradation of GPS
signals. Until now, all civilian GPS users have received a signal from the
satellites that has been slightly distorted by the US Defence Department. With
the changes, the accuracy of GPS signals is expected to improve from within
100 metres to within about 20 metres.
- that Cumulina, science's first cloned mouse, has died of
old age. The mouse was 2 years, seven months old -– about seven months above
average. The mouse made headlines in July 1998 when a team of scientists
turned out more than 50 carbon-copy mice using a technique believed to be more
reliable than that used to clone Dolly the sheep.
- that more than two million computers, linked by the
Internet, are participating in a project to scrutinise radio signals for signs
of intelligent alien life. The project has amassed almost 280,000 years'
worth of computer time and although nothing has been found, the search is far
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