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Google

+ - 255 Billionaires and polymaths to unveil a plan to mine asteroids.->

Submitted by dumuzi
dumuzi (1497471) writes "A team including Larry Page, Ram Shriram and Eric Schmidt (Google), James Cameron (Director), Charles Simonyi (Microsoft executive and astronaut), Ross Perot Jr. (son of Ross Perot), Chris Lewicki (NASA Mars mission manager), and Peter Diamandis (X-Prize) from a new company called Planatary Resources are expected to announce plans on April 24th to mine asteroids. A study by NASA released April 2nd claims a robotic mission could capture a 500 ton asteroid and bring it to orbit the moon for $2.6 billion. The additional cost to mine the asteroid and return the ores to Earth would make profit unlikely even if the asteriod was 20% gold. But with many raw materials on Earth expected to run out in 50-60 years perhaps now is the right time to invest in this project."
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Software

+ - 314 GPL Use Declining Faster Than Ever-> 3

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "An analysis of software licenses shows usage of GPL and other copyleft licenses declining at an accelerating rate. In their place, developers are choosing permissive licenses such as BSD, MIT, and ASL. One theory for the decline is that GPL usage was primarily driven by vendor-led projects, and with the shift to community-led projects, permissive licenses are becoming more common."
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Media

+ - 319 Director of "Elephants Dream" releasing new Blender-animated film, "Tube"->

Submitted by
TheSilentNumber
TheSilentNumber writes "Bassam Kurdali's free culture 3D animation, "Tube" is nearing the final stages of production. Tube is a collaborative effort between 56 artists from 22 countries...some of which are at war. After directing the first of the Blender Institute's "Open Movie Projects", Elephants Dream, Bassam wanted to prove the viability of free cultural works and usability of free software like Blender and PiTiVi for independent filmmakers. Just a few days after launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the project, the goal has been met, which means we should see the final release in 7 months!"
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The Military

+ - 290 US Journalists Targeted by Pentagon Propaganda Contractors->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "While conducting investigative reporting on civilian contractors in the Pentagon's "InfoOps" Internet propaganda operations, two reporters found themselves the subject of a highly targeted, professional media manipulation effort. Reporter Tom Vanden Brook and Editor Ray Locker found that Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook's and Locker's previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. "I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility," Vanden Brook said. If these websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption."
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Google

+ - 173 Google's Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking->

Submitted by infomodity
infomodity (1368149) writes "What started as a Stanford project (Stanford Clean Slate) to design an Internet with decades of hindsight as a guide is now being put into practice by Google using OpenFlow. SDN, or Software Defined Networking, is a way of decoupling data and control planes, allowing an open software community to thrive in what is historically a proprietary, ASIC based networking space. With routing and switching control planes becoming open, what will the networks of tomorrow look like?"
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Games

+ - 154 Open source gives Arx Fatalis new lease of life->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Anyone who is a fan of the games created by Looking Glass Studios (System Shock, Thief) or the Ultima Underworld series by Blue Sky Productions, will no doubt count Arx Fatalis on their list of owned and completed games.

What’s interesting about Arx Fatalis is that development of the game started up again last year even though the original shipped in 2002 (Windows, Xbox). Arkane Studios released patch 1.21 and with it open sourced the engine. That led to an new project called Arx Libertatis, which aimed to update the game to be played on multiple modern operating systems including Windows and Linux.

As the original game was for PC and Xbox, it relied heavily on DirectX. Arx Libertatis changed that by porting the engine to use SDL, OpenGL, and OpenAL so as to open up compatibility for other systems. They’ve also fixed a number of glitches the original game had, updated the rendering system, video resolutions, and implemented a port to the amd64 architecture.

Version 1.0 of Arx Libertatis has just been made available, and already has Windows and Linux versions available (Mac users can play it too)."

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AI

+ - 143 The Physical Travelling Salesman Challenge 1

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "You probably know that the travelling salesman problem is one of the classics of computer science theory. Now we have a new challenge — the Physical Travelling Salesman Problem and anyone can join in. All you have to do is visit each city once using an optimal route. The new element is that you now have to drive between the cities using a "car" that has inertia and friction — see the video. You can submit an AI bot to solve the problem or drive the course yourself. Try it out at: PTSP"

+ - 191 30 Years of the TRS-80 Model 100->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An interview with John R Hogerhuis, one of the key players in the still suprisingly active community for the TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer.

As the Model 100 approaches its 30th birthday, John talks about what has kept the machine popular for so long, current software and hardware work that is keeping it relevant, and what modern developers could learn from spending some on a computer from 1983."

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Robotics

+ - 308 US charges twins over $1.2m 'stock robot' fraud->

Submitted by peetm
peetm (781139) writes "Twin brothers from England face US civil charges for allegedly defrauding investors out of $1.2m (£745,000) through a bogus stock-picking robot.

The twins; Alexander and Thomas Hunter; were just 16 years old when they devised the scam which fooled around 75,000 people, according to US officials."

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+ - 160 First full observable universe simulation

Submitted by slashmatteo
slashmatteo (1606315) writes "The goal of the DEUS project (Dark Energy Universe Simulation) is to investigate the imprints of dark energy on cosmic structure formation through high-performance numerical simulations. In order to do so, the project has conducted a simulation of the structuring of the entire observable universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. Thanks to the Curie super-computer, the simulation has made it possible to follow the evolution of 550 billion particles. Two other complementary runs are scheduled by the end of May. More details on the press release."
Microsoft

+ - 258 In Soviet Russia, Bing Searches You!

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "A newly surfaced Microsoft patent application, reports GeekWire, describes a 'user-following engine' that analyzes your posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to deduce your mood, interests, and even your smarts. The system would then automatically adjust the search experience and results to better match those characteristics, explains Microsoft, such as changing the background color of the search interface to suit your mood, or bringing back only those search results that won't strain your feeble brain. From the patent application: 'In addition to skewing the search results to the user’s inferred interests, the user-following engine may further tailor the search results to a user’s comprehension level. For example, an intelligent processing module may be directed to discerning the sophistication and education level of the posts of a user. Based on that inference, the customization engine may vary the sophistication level of the customized search result.' So, is this the same technology the Microsoft Store used to determine I'd need a $49-an-hour Microsoft "personal trainer" to grasp Windows Live Photo Gallery, the same software that 4-and-a-half year-old Kylie mastered on her own?"

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