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The Military

Submission + - Wearable Computers and Portable Power (

An anonymous reader writes: Last weekend, Silicon Valley VC Marc Andreessen called out "wearable computing" as a Next Big Thing. Now MC10, a three-year-old company making flexible electronics, is taking an old idea to new places. The startup is developing health sensors that conform to the human body, image sensors that curve like the retina, and stretchy solar cells (and other circuitry) that can be woven into the fabric of a tent or aircraft skin. Unlike organic or printed electronics, which tend to be inefficient, MC10 uses silicon islands linked by springy interconnects. It's still early, but the company has new backing from VCs, Reebok, and the U.S. government to develop wearable devices, mini-sensors, and portable power. Imagine a self-charging UAV with tiny cameras on board, and you can tell what the military wants out of this.

Submission + - Legally Burned CDs Are Too Similar To Piracy? (

An anonymous reader writes: The Boy Scouts of America publish "Scouting" magazine for parents, and apparently they're now telling parents not to listen to legally burned CDs because it's just too similar to pirated music, and kids are too stupid to understand the difference. The article also *blames* Radiohead for confusing things by giving away its music.

Submission + - Google Street View in Antarctica (

SpuriousLogic writes: Privacy concerns for Google's Street View may now extend to penguins, following the service's extension to a seventh continent — Antarctica.

The Antarctica imagery is so far limited, showing panoramas of the coast and penguins of Half Moon Island.

Google says its service now covers 25 nations on all the world's continents.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - 'Death Strip' Game Sparks Controversy in Germany (

gzipped_tar writes: A new computer game where players assume the roles of border guards and shoot people trying to escape from communist East Germany has unleashed a storm of controversy in Germany. The game's creator says he wanted to teach young people about history, but he has been accused of glorifying violence.

The name of the multi-player FPS game, "1,378 (kilometers)", was inspired by the length of the border between East and West Germany. Players choose between the roles of the border guards or would-be escapees: the escapee only has one goal — to get over the wall, but the border guard has more options, and can shoot or capture the escapee. He can also swap sides and try to clamber over the border defenses himself. By choosing to play the boarder guard and kill the escapee, the player would won an in-game medal from the government of East Germany. But then the guard would time-travel forward to the year 2000, where he would have to stand trial.

Jens Stober, 23, designed the game as a media art student at the University of Design, Media and Arts in Karlsruhe. He said that his intention was to teach young people about German history. "In the game, you ask yourself: 'What would I do?'" explained Stober. "You may come to the conclusion that you would not shoot at your fellow countrymen and women." But others disagree. "Basically you are just picking off people, as if you were shooting rabbits," said Axel Klausmeier, director of the Berlin Wall Foundation. Hubertus Knabe, head of the Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen Memorial to the victims of the Stasi secret police, has even filed criminal charges. He wants the Berlin public prosecutor to investigate whether the game glorifies violence. Rainer Wagner, from former East Germany, said it was like a punch in the face. "It feels like I'm being shot at again, emotionally," said Wagner, who was arrested by border guards during his escape attempt.

Initially, Stober's university and Professor Michael Bielicky, who had supervised Stober's work, defended the student. However, on Thursday a university spokesman said that the game will not be released on Sunday, the anniversary of German reunification, after all. Instead, the release is being postponed until December.

Submission + - Paypal withholds donations to TortoiseSVN ( 1

maphew writes: Paypal arbitrarily decided to withold the donations made to the TortoiseSVN project via Sourceforge's "donate to this project". After several days and unfruitful biolerplate exchanges the project lead, Stefan Küng, finally managed to get the account restored, and thereby access the money. However Paypal made it clear that future donations are not allowed, with the threat that if there are any the account will be frozen again. The grounds Paypal gave for freezing Küng's account appears to be because someone used Paypal Singapore to donate to his project. There is an associated ticket open with SourceForge, #13993, about warning SF users. As yet there is no information from SF as to how they will respond to this troubling development (it's been 5 days).

There was a similar story 2 weeks ago, PayPal Withholding Indie Game Dev's €600,000 Account

Submission + - U.S. Military "banned" from viewing Wikileaks. (

carp3_noct3m writes: The U.S. Pentagon has attempted to ban military members from viewing the recently leaked documents on Wikileaks. They say that just because the information is now in the public domain, that it is still classified, and that accessing the documents even from a personal computer is "willingly committing a security violation". I dug a bit further into this, and the Marine Corps apparently thinks that if military personell, especially those with security clearance, purposely accessed the wikileaks website to view classified info "they have willingly placed classified information on an open network not authorized to view classified information and have willingly committed a security violation." I am personally left almost speechless at this disconnect from reality the military is showing. I am an USMC Iraq war vet, and find these policies completely ridiculous and showing of the inability of our supposedly technologically knowledgeable military to fuse this knowledge with policy. Mostly due to the political pressure that has erupted to "take care of" the Wikileaks problem. What do my fellow /.ers think?

Submission + - NASA goes after huge lighting storms on Earth (

coondoggie writes: NASA this month will unleash its unmanned drone with a venerable tool mounted inside that will let it track and monitor storm lighting like never before. The Lightning Instrument Package (LIP) will for the first time fly aboard NASA's unmanned Global Hawk drone as it flies over the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of 60,000 feet looking for hurricanes to dive into. The LIP instrument has flown before; in fact it has monitored some 800 storms throughout its 15-year career, but never for 30 straight hours as it will inside the drone.
Operating Systems

Submission + - AmigaOS twenty-five years of check-ins visualized (

the_arrow writes:

As a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Amiga computer, Hyperion Entertainment has made a video using the Gource CVS visualization software showing a time-compressed version of 25 years of Amiga development, from the early days of AmigaOS 1.0 to the present. Personal commentary added by one of the current core full-time AmigaOS developers, Hans-Joerg Frieden (a.k.a. "Rogue").

Video in a couple of popular formats and resolutions availabe here.


Submission + - UAE's Blackberry ban will affect visitors too (

crimeandpunishment writes: Residents of the United Arab Emirates won't be the only ones affected by the upcoming Blackberry blockage. Anyone visiting the country will also be blocked from using Blackberry's e-mail, messaging, and Web browsing services when the ban is scheduled to take effect October 11th. That would affect business travelers and others flying through the Mideast's busiest airport in Dubai. Since the UAE announced its ban yesterday, Saudi Arabia announced it would also block the use of Blackberry's messaging service.

Submission + - Google Gets Its iPhone Voice ( 1

snydeq writes: Google has found a way to let iPhone owners use Google Voice, launching a Google Voice Web app that runs on iPhone 3.0 OS devices, as well as on Palm WebOS devices. The Google Voice application leverages HTML 5's functionality for running sophisticated Web applications on a browser at speeds matching those of native applications, Google said. The Google Voice-iPhone conflict is one of several issues putting the companies on a collision course, the latest of which involves Apple potentially courting Microsoft to tap Bing as the iPhone's default search.

Submission + - Artists Attack RIAA after Thomas-Rasset Verdict (

gzipped_tar writes: Last week a judge ruled that Jammie Thomas-Rasset owes the RIAA a $1.92 million fine for illegally downloading 24 songs. Richard Marx — one of the artists whose music Thomas-Rasset downloaded via P2P network Kazaa — spoke out against the court's verdict, saying he's "ashamed" to be associated with the massive fine.

"As a long-time professional songwriter, I have always objected to the practice of illegal downloading of music. I have also always, however, been sympathetic to the average music fan, who has been consistently financially abused by the greedy actions of major labels," Marx said in a statement. "These labels, until recently, were responsible for the distribution of the majority of recorded music, and instead of nurturing the industry and doing their best to provide the highest quality of music to the fans, they predominantly chose to ream the consumer and fill their pockets."

He continued, "So now we have a 'judgement' in a case of illegal downloading, and it seems to me, especially in these extremely volatile economic times, that holding Ms. Thomas-Rasset accountable for the continuing daily actions of hundreds of thousands of people is, at best, misguided and at worst, farcical. Her accountability itself is not in question, but this show of force posing as judicial come-uppance is clearly abusive. Ms. Thomas Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I'm ashamed to have my name associated with this issue."

Marx isn't the only artist to take umbrage with the ruling against Thomas-Rasset. Writing on his official Website, Moby said, "What utter nonsense. This is how the record companies want to protect themselves? Suing suburban moms for listening to music? Charging $80,000 per song? Punishing people for listening to music is exactly the wrong way to protect the music business."

In related news, Nate Anderson on ArsTechnica noted that "In the wake of the RIAA win, the organization's legendarily poor public image somehow got even worse". He quoted the words from a music critic Jim DeRogatis: "[the Thomas-Rasset ruling is] infamous as one of the most wrong-headed in the history of the American judicial system--not to mention that it will forever stand as the best evidence of the contempt of the old-school music industry toward the music lovers who once were its customers."

On the other side of the story, an RIAA spokesperson recently commented about their victory: "This group of 12 Minnesotans showed us that, despite the protestations of some pundits who suggest that the digital world should resemble some kind of new wild west, the majority understands and believes that the same laws and rules we follow every day apply online. Not just in theory, but in practice. Another group of 12 people presented with similar questions said the same thing two years ago. That makes a sample size of only 24, but it's certainly enough to learn from."

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller