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Space

DARPA's New Hi-Tech Telescope 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the shiny-new-toys dept.
coondoggie writes "You can bet that if there are little red aliens running around on Mars, or spaceships patrolling other planets in our solar system for that matter, a recently powered-up telescope built by researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency might just be able to see them. The Air Force, which operates the DARPA-developed Space Surveillance Telescope says the telescope's design, featuring unique image-capturing technology known as a curved charge coupled device system, as well as very wide field-of-view, large-aperture optics, doesn't require the long optics train of a more traditional telescopes."

Comment: Re:amazon vs. Google (Score 1) 152

by Brainix (#29771843) Attached to: Google Takes On Amazon With Own E-Book Store

SIP is a fun feature, but I think it has the potential to be more. I agree, it's "nothing more" than simple collocations, but I'm not sure how that's a critique. In the end, all software boils down to simple assembly instructions, nonetheless the magic emerges.

For further commentary, see this blog post. SIP is just simple collocations, but that's exactly what makes it so appealing. It's moving indexing and search in a more semantic direction, but in a way that's reasonable to design and implement.

This is probably premature, but I've even heard some pundits compare SIP to PageRank.

Comment: Re:amazon vs. Google (Score 4, Interesting) 152

by Brainix (#29769617) Attached to: Google Takes On Amazon With Own E-Book Store
Amazon has done some interesting research and development lately. In particular, look at Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform, as well as Amazon's statistically improbable phrases (SIP) algorithm. I have a fetish for natural language parsing, so SIP is particularly interesting to me. These are innovations.
Toys

Practical Jetpack Available "Soon" 237

Posted by kdawson
from the coolest-desire-left-to-mankind dept.
Ifandbut was one of several readers to point out the arrival in Oshkosh of the first practical jetpack. It was invented by a New Zealander Glenn Martin, who has been working on the idea for 27 years. He plans to sell the gizmos for somewhere in the neighborhood of $100K. While previous attempts at jetpacks have flown for at most a couple of minutes, Mr. Martin's invention can stay aloft for half an hour. Both "practical" and "jetpack" may need quotation marks, however: The device is huge and it's incredibly noisy. And, "It is also not, to put it bluntly, a jet. 'If you're very pedantic,' Mr. Martin acknowledged, a gasoline-powered piston engine runs the large rotors. Jet Skis, he pointed out, are not jets, and the atmospheric jet stream is not created by engines. 'This thing flies on a jet of air,' he said. Or, more simply, it flies."
The Courts

Marshall University Challenges RIAA 117

Posted by kdawson
from the mixed-results dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Marshall University, in Huntington, West Virginia, has become just the second US college or university to show the moxie to stand up for its students instead of instantly caving in to RIAA extortion. In February, Marshall, represented by the Attorney General of the State of West Virginia, made a motion to quash the RIAA's subpoena for student identities, pointing out in exquisite detail in its long-time IT guy's affidavit (PDF) the impossibility of identifying copyright 'infringers' based on the RIAA's meager evidence. Unfortunately, the Magistrate — under the mistaken impression that the RIAA isn't going to sue the identified students, but merely wants to talk to them — recommended that the subpoena be okayed by the District Judge (PDF). It is not yet known whether Marshall will be filing objections. The first US college or university known to have attacked the RIAA's subpoena was the University of Oregon, which — also represented by its state's Attorney General — made a motion to quash last November, and even questioned the legality of the RIAA's methods. The Oregon motion is still pending."
Privacy

E.U. Regulator Says IP Addresses Are Personal Data 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-share dept.
NewsCloud writes "Germany's data-protection commissioner, Peter Scharr told a European Parliament hearing on online data protection that when someone is identified by an IP, or Internet protocol, address, 'then it has to be regarded as personal data.' Scharr acknowledged that IP addresses for a computer may not always be personal or linked to an individual. If the E.U. rules that IP addresses are personal, then it could regulate the way search engines record this data. According to the article, Google does an incomplete job of anonymizing this data while Microsoft does not record IP addresses for anonymous search."

Goodbye Cruel Word 565

Posted by Zonk
from the it-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night dept.
theodp writes "The problem with Microsoft Word, writes the NYT's Virginia Heffernan, is that 'I always feel as if I'm taking an essay test.' Seeking to break free of the tyranny of Microsoft Word, Heffernan takes a look at Scrivener and the oh-so-retro WriteRoom, which she and others feel jibe better with the way writers think. 'The new writing programs encourage a writerly restart. You may even relearn the green-lighted alphabet, adjust your preference for long or short sentences, opt afresh for action over description. Renewal becomes heady: in WriteRoom's gloom is man's power to create something from nothing, to wrest form from formlessness. Let's just say it: It's biblical. And come on, ye writers, do you want to be a little Word drip writing 603 words in Palatino with regulation margins? Or do you want to be a Creator?'"
Anime

Comcast Targets Unlicensed Anime Torrenters 352

Posted by Zonk
from the hard-to-get-your-jpop-fix-without-it dept.
SailorSpork writes "According to a thread on the forums of AnimeSuki, a popular anime bittorent index site, Comcast has begun sending DCMA letters to customers downloading unlicensed fan-subtitled anime shows via bittorrent. By 'unlicensed', they mean that no english language company has the rights to it. The letters are claiming that the copyright holder or an authorized agent are making the infringement claims, though usually these requests are also sent to the site itself rather that individual downloaders. My question is have they really been in contact with Japanese anime companies, or is this another scare tactic by Comcast to try and reduce the bandwidth use of their heavier customers now that their previous tactics have come under legal fire?"
Privacy

Terror Watch List Swells to More Than 755,000 512

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-list-you-don't-want-to-be-on dept.
rdavison writes "According to a USA Today story, the terror watch list has swollen to 755,000 with 200,000 people per year being added since 2004. Adding about 548 people daily every day of the year does not seem to lend itself to a manual process with careful deliberation given or double checking being done for each person added. It seems to suggests that data is being mined from somewhere to automatically add names to the list."
Microsoft

Turbolinux Is Latest To Sign Microsoft Pact 180

Posted by kdawson
from the protection-at-what-price dept.
mytrip sends word that Turbolinux has followed Novell, Linspire, and Xandros in signing a patent and technology agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft pledged not to sue Turbolinux's users for patent infringement. Turbolinux, headquartered in Japan, sells Linux systems mostly in emerging markets such as China and India. The Betanews story speculates on some of the technology benefits Turbolinux might get out of the deal.

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