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Operating Systems

Dell Considers Bundling Virtualization on Mobos 138

castrox writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Dell may be considering bundling virtualization on some of their motherboards. No more dual boot or VMs inside the running OS? 'Any way you slice it, though, putting the hypervisor in a chunk of flash and letting it handle loading the OS is the way forward, especially for servers and probably even for enterprise desktops. Boot times, power consumption, security, and flexibility are all reasons to do this ... The big question is: which hypervisor will Dell bundle with its machines? Vance suggests hypervisors from XenSource and VMware as two options, but I think that VMware is the most likely candidate since it seems to be the x86 virtualization solution of choice for the moment. However, if Dell doesn't try too hard to lock it down, this system could easily be modified in an aftermarket fashion to include almost any hypervisor that could fit on the flash chip.'"
Math

Optical Solution For an NP-Complete Problem? 232

6 writes to let us know that two optical researchers have proposed, as a thought experiment, a novel idea for solving the traveling salesman problem. From the abstract: We introduce an optical method based on white light interferometry in order to solve the well-known NP-complete traveling salesman problem. To our knowledge it is the first time that a method for the reduction of non-polynomial time to quadratic time has been proposed. We will show that this achievement is limited by the number of available photons for solving the problem. It will turn out that this number of photons is proportional to NN for a traveling salesman problem with N cities and that for large numbers of cities the method in practice therefore is limited by the signal-to-noise ratio. The proposed method is meant purely as a gedankenexperiment."
Google

Google News Allowing Story Participants To Comment 100

Jamie found this analysis of Google News's foray into community commentary. They are starting it off by only allowing people involved with the story to comment — and participants must first be authenticated by email. The article rounds up other bloggers' views on the game-changing nature, and the possible dangers to Google, of this new feature. Here is a sample of comments to a Google News story.
Power

NASA Tests Hydrogen-Fueled BMW 420

Rio sends us word that NASA has completed an 8-week test of a fleet of BMW luxury sedans powered by liquid hydrogen at Kennedy Space Center. The new BMW Hydrogen 7 sedan uses the same fuel that powers the space shuttle and reduces CO2 emissions by 90 percent, according to a news release. Its engine can burn gasoline or liquid hydrogen and can switch seamlessly between the two. From the article: "One hundred BMW Hydrogen 7s have been built, and 25 are used in test programs in the US. The cars have already covered more than 1.3 million miles in test programs around the globe."
Security

Cambridge Researcher Breaks OpenBSD Systrace 194

An anonymous reader writes "University of Cambridge researcher Robert Watson has published a paper at the First USENIX Workshop On Offensive Technology in which he describes serious vulnerabilities in OpenBSD's Systrace, Sudo, Sysjail, the TIS GSWTK framework, and CerbNG. The technique is also effective against many commercially available anti-virus systems. His slides include sample exploit code that bypasses access control, virtualization, and intrusion detection in under 20 lines of C code consisting solely of memcpy() and fork(). Sysjail has now withdrawn their software, recommending against any use, and NetBSD has disabled Systrace by default in their upcoming release."
Graphics

Algorithm Seamlessly Patches Holes In Images 198

Beetle B. writes in with research from Carnegie Mellon demonstrating a new way to replace arbitrarily shaped blank areas in an image with portions of images from a huge catalog in a totally seamless manner. From the abstract: "In this paper we present a new image completion algorithm powered by a huge database of photographs gathered from the Web. The algorithm patches up holes in images by finding similar image regions in the database that are not only seamless but also semantically valid. Our chief insight is that while the space of images is effectively infinite, the space of semantically differentiable scenes is actually not that large. For many image completion tasks we are able to find similar scenes which contain image fragments that will convincingly complete the image. Our algorithm is entirely data-driven, requiring no annotations or labelling by the user."
Media

Blockbuster Throws Hat into Movie Download Business 72

jtroutman writes "Stepping into the ring to compete with entities such as Amazon, CinemaNow and, of course, NetFlix, Blockbuster announced today the acquisition of Movielink, LLC. The deal had been scheduled to take place earlier this year, but was quashed amid trouble between the then CEO, John Antioco, and the Board of Directors."
Robotics

DARPATech Shows off Robot Doc and Cancer Breathalyzer 73

mattnyc99 writes "DARPATech, the Pentagon research arm's annual R&D free-for-all, has some pretty groundbreaking stuff on display this year: the first portable, self-contained robotic surgeon (which a Defense Dept. scientist said would be deployed by 2009), plus a breath-testing gadget that can scan for multiple diseases (including breast cancer) and three new autonomous 'bots that reflect the Pentagon's increasing need for autonomous machinery as the IED-filled Iraq war continues."
Toys

How To Turn a Mini Maglite Into a Laser 605

Lucas123 writes "Using the laser from a DVD burner, this instructional video shows you how to create a hand-held laser that is powerful enough to light a match and pop a balloon. There's some soldering involved and the Maglite's bulb housing needs to be drilled out to fit the new laser diode, but with some basic skill, most people could do this. Just plain cool." Update: 07/09 12:23 GMT by KD : Warning, the device that results from following these instructions will blind you if you look into it.
Software

BitTorrent Closes Source Code 390

An anonymous reader writes ""There are two issues people need to come to grips with," BitTorrent CEO Ashwin Narvin told Slyck.com. "Developers who produce open source products will often have their product repackaged and redistributed by businesses with malicious intent. They repackage the software with spyware or charge for the product. We often receive phone calls from people who complain they have paid for the BitTorrent client." As for the protocol itself, that too is closed, but is available by obtaining an SDK license."
Supercomputing

NSF Announces Supercomputer Grant Winners 82

An anonymous reader writes "The NSF has tentatively announced that the Track 1 leadership class supercomputer will be awarded to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Track 2 award winner is University of Tennessee-Knoxville and its partners." From the article: "In the first award, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will receive $208 million over 4.5 years to acquire and make available a petascale computer it calls "Blue Waters," which is 500 times more powerful than today's typical supercomputers. The system is expected to go online in 2011. The second award will fund the deployment and operation of an extremely powerful supercomputer at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Joint Institute for Computational Science (JICS). The $65 million, 5-year project will include partners at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research."

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