rennerik writes "Scientists at McGill University in Montreal say they've discovered a new state of matter that could help extend Moore's Law and allow for the fabrication of more tightly packed transistors, or a new kind of transistor altogether. The researchers call the new state of matter 'a quasi-three-dimensional electron crystal.' It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space, following the application of the most powerful continuous magnetic field on Earth."
Mike writes "London has 10,000 crime-fighting CCTV cameras which cost £200 million but an analysis of the publicly funded spy network has cast serious doubt on its ability to help solve crime. In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average. The study found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any. Could this be an effective argument against the proliferation of cameras or will politicians simply ignore the facts and press ahead?"
An anonymous reader writes "For the first time in the U.S., a company is being taken to court for a GPL violation. The Software Freedom Law Center has sued Monsoon Multimedia over alleged GPL violations in the Hava, a place- and time-shifting TV recorder similar to the SlingBox. Interestingly, Monsoon Multimedia is run by a highly experienced international lawyer named Graham Radstone. According to his corporate biography, Radstone has an MA in Law from the University of Cambridge, England, and held the top legal spot at an unnamed "$1 billion private multinational company." He also reportedly held top management positions with Philip Morris, Pfizer, and DHL. Sounds like the makings of a good old legal Donnybrook ahead."
The official PlayStation blog is reporting that the petaflop barrier has been crossed by the nodes participating in the Folding @ Home project. The article talks about what this means for computer science, and why this awesome amount of computational power was reachable. "Just six months after we launched the program, nearly 600,000 PS3 users have registered. Second, we made several improvements to the application (v 1.2) that helped make the computations more accurate and enabled us to squeeze even more work out of each and every PS3 console -- we went from 450 teraflops to 800 teraflops. These factors, combined with the contribution from all the other platforms, helped us cross the barrier, which happened sometime over the weekend."
narramissic writes "A group of inventors and U.S. company execs, among them Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and the AutoSyringe, and Steve Perlman, inventor of WebTV and lead developer of Apple Inc.'s QuickTime, paid a visit to Washington to encourage Congress to defeat the Patent Reform Act. The inventors say the Act will weaken the patent system, devalue patents, and encourage infringement. A version of the act, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this month, is supported by several large tech vendors including Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco. The big companies hope it will make it harder for patent holders to sue and collect huge damage awards when only a small piece of a tech product is found to infringe."
News.com has a piece looking at the way that Halo has transformed from game to franchise for Microsoft and the Xbox. Despite the heavy advertising and branded products that seem to be everywhere in anticipation of next week's launch, the company is still trying to keep the IP as pure as possible. "Microsoft is wary of watering down Halo, meaning it would rather walk away from deals for Master Chief pajamas or Covenant sippy cups. Microsoft had little experience in talking to toymakers and others about how to transfer an onscreen experience to real objects. But such experts exist in the licensing arms of movie studios, so Microsoft partnered with 20th Century Fox to act as the main licensing agent for the Halo brand. Items that did not make the cut were a Halo-themed lottery ticket, lingerie modeled after a female hologram character, and toy guns based on the game's weapons. Instead, fans can expect high-quality action figures from McFarlane Toys, a tabletop game from WizKids, and replica weapons for mature buyers."
SlinkySausage writes "Linus Torvalds has laid out his plans for the future of Linux, including the 3.0 kernel [there probably won't be one], problems with the Linux release cycles and which distro he personally runs on his home PC. '"Compile everything by hand" ones simply weren't interesting to me,' Torvalds says."
Tom F writes to mention BBC News is reporting that Google has released a new add on for Google Earth that will allow users to search a 3D rendition of over 1 million stars and 200 million galaxies called Google Sky. "Optional layers allow users to explore images from the Hubble Space Telescope as well as animations of lunar cycles. [...] Users can overlay the night sky with other information such as galaxies, constellations and detailed images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Imagery for the system came from six research institutions including the Digital Sky Survey Consortium, the Palomar Observatory in California and the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre. "
JimBobJoe writes "On Monday, Cnet published the findings I made as an Ohio poll worker regarding a major oversight in my state's election's system: Using a combination of public records, plus the voting machine paper trails, you can figure out how people voted. Though most agree that voting machine paper trails are a necessity, they can cause privacy problems which aren't easily mitigated. 'It's an especially pointed concern in Ohio, a traditional swing state in presidential elections that awarded George Bush a narrow victory over John Kerry three years ago. Ohio law permits anyone to walk into a county election office and obtain two crucial documents: a list of voters in the order they voted, and a time-stamped list of the actual votes. "We simply take the two pieces of paper together, merge them, and then we have which voter voted and in which way," said James Moyer, a longtime privacy activist and poll worker who lives in Columbus, Ohio.'"
Placid writes "The BBC has an article detailing a successful attack on the US recruitment site, Monster.com. According to the article, 'A computer program was used to access the employers' section of the website using stolen log-in credentials' and that the stolen details were 'uploaded to a remote web server'. Apparently, this remote server 'held over 1.6 million entries with personal information belonging to several hundred thousands of candidates, mainly based in the US, who had posted their resumes to the Monster.com website'. The article also links the break-in to a phishing e-mail sent out recently where personal details were used to entice users to download a 'Monster Job Seeker Tool.'"
An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times has confirmed the story that Paramount and DreamWorks Animation were paid $150 million for an exclusive HD-DVD deal that will last 18 months. 'Paramount and DreamWorks Animation declined to comment. Microsoft, the most prominent technology company supporting HD DVDs, said it could not rule out payment but said it wrote no checks. "We provided no financial incentives to Paramount or DreamWorks whatsoever," said Amir Majidimehr, the head of Microsoft's consumer media technology group.'" We discussed Paramount's defection on Monday.
willdavid writes "Via CNet, a link to a blog post with the top 25 most active open-source projects on Microsoft's Codeplex site. As the CNet blogger notes, 'Codeplex is interesting to me for several reasons, but primarily because it demonstrates something that I've argued for many years now: open source on the Windows platform is a huge opportunity for Microsoft. It is something for the company to embrace, not despise.'"
Roland Piquepaille writes "Physicists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) say they have improved the performance of solar cells by 60 percent. And they obtained this spectacular result by using a very simple trick. They've coated the solar cells with a film of 1-nanometer thick silicon fluorescing nanoparticles. The researchers also said that this process could be easily incorporated into the manufacturing process of solar cells with very little additional cost. Read more for additional references and a photo of a researcher holding a silicon solar cell coated with a film of silicon nanoparticles."
holymodal writes "In a new post to the Google blog Bindu Reddy, the Google Video product manager, admits that only offering refunds via Google Checkout was a bad idea: 'We should have anticipated that some users would see a Checkout credit as nothing more than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind. Our bad.' Google now plans to issue customers a full credit card refund, while allowing them to keep the Checkout credit and extending the life of purchased videos another six months."