Stephen King: 'I trust you'
Bangor, Maine - Author Stephen King is poised to conduct an online experiment to test people's honesty. In a letter on his Web site, www.stephenking.com, Mr. King says he is considering releasing 5,000-word segments of a horror novel called "The Plant" over the Internet. But he wouldn't charge over the Internet by credit card for each installment. Instead, he proposes that readers who download each installment voluntarily mail $1 by check or money order to him. This way, he can gauge people's honesty.
The author's second foray into Web-publishing, after the success of the Internet-only "Riding the Bullet," was prompted by his interest in music copyright issues online. "Being something of an optimist ..., I have the idea that most people are honest and will pay for what they get," King says.
When the ocean burps
Falmouth, Mass. - Gases erupting through the earth's crust have created depressions up to three miles long and 165 feet deep along a 25-mile stretch of Virginia and North Carolina coastline.
"We do not know the source of the gas," says team leader Neal Driscoll of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Mass., "but it is clear that gas has played an important role in the formation of these features." There is a concern that they may cause tidal waves.
A silicon chip off the old block
Austin, Texas - Scientists are boning up on new technology for developing microscopic parts for the computers of tomorrow. Observing that nature is able to combine microscopic quantities of minerals into hard materials like bones and seashells, scientists at the University of Texas report in the journal Nature that they are looking to develop biological nanotechnology processes to combine tiny elements together as semi-conductor successors to silicon wafers.
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