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Businesses

Xfire Purchased, Team Leaving 161

Posted by kdawson
from the chat-on dept.
phorce phed and several other readers sent news that a system notification was sent out this evening through the Xfire IM client, to wit: "Xfire was bought by new owners today. Most of the team that has built Xfire over the last six years is leaving. We enjoyed working for you for the last 127 releases and wish we could stay to create the next 127. Good bye, good luck, and game on. — The Xfire Team." According to Wikipedia, the new owner is 3D Realms.
Medicine

PARC Builds iPod-Sized HIV Detector 93

Posted by timothy
from the use-the-y-jack dept.
MikeChino writes "Right now it's difficult, if not impossible, to quickly detect HIV in patients living in impoverished countries. That may all change soon, though — researchers at a California outfit called the Palo Alto Research Center have built an iPod-sized handheld device that can provide an immune check-up in under 10 minutes — all with a prick of the finger. With millions of people around the world without access to a full-size laboratory, PARC's device could revolutionize the detection and treatment of HIV."
Security

Apple Finally Patches Java Vulnerability 177

Posted by kdawson
from the gentlemen-restart-your-sandboxes dept.
macs4all writes "Apple has finally addressed the Java vulnerability that nearly everyone else patched months ago. Available now for OS X 10.4 and 10.5, and through Apple's Software Update service, this update patches a flaw in the Java Virtual Machine that could potentially allow a malicious Java applet to execute arbitrary code on the machine. Apple had previously advised users to turn off Java temporarily in their Web browsers."
Power

Jet Stream Kites Could Power New York City 263

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the kites-and-keys dept.
Damien1972 writes to tell us that researchers from the Carnegie Institution and California State University claim that a fleet of kites could harvest enough energy to run New York and other major cities, especially if they are affected by polar jet streams. "Using 28 years of data from the National Center for Environmental Prediction and the Department of Energy, Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology and Cristina Archer of California State University, Chico compiled the first global survey of wind energy available at high altitudes in the atmosphere. They found that the regions best suited for harvesting this energy align with population centers in the eastern U.S. and East Asia, although they note that 'fluctuating wind strength still presents a challenge for exploiting this energy source on a large scale.'"
Government

VoIP Legal Status Worldwide? 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-for-all dept.
Cigarra writes "There was much public debate going on during the last several months here in Paraguay, regarding the 'liberation of Internet,' that is, the lifting of the restriction on ISPs to connect directly to international carriers. Up until this week, they were forced to hire wholesale service from the State run telco, Copaco. During the last month, when the new regulation was almost ready, the real reason supporting the monopoly made it to the headlines: Copaco would fight for the monopoly, fearing VoIP based telephony. Finally, the regulator Conatel resolved today to end the monopoly, but a ruling on VoIP legal status was postponed for 'further study.' I guess this kind of 'problem' arose almost everywhere else in the world, so I ask the international slashdotters crowd: what is VoIP's legal status in your country / state / region? How well did incumbent telcos adapt to it, and overall, just how disruptive was this technology to established operators?"
Microsoft

A Real Bill Gates Rant 293

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-that's-not-so-bad dept.
lou ibmix XI submitted an email written by Bill Gates a few years ago and turned over to the feds as part of the government's antitrust case. Great quotes like 'Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable?' and 'The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind.' We like to think of him as an abstract, but I think this is interesting stuff. Also, this might seem familiar. Oops.
Patents

Drug Giant Pledges Cheap Medicine For World's Poor 317

Posted by kdawson
from the shamed-into-it dept.
bmsleight writes in with a Guardian piece on the decision of the world's second biggest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, to radically shift its attitude towards providing cheap drugs to millions of people in the developing world. "[The new CEO] said that GSK will... cut its prices for all drugs in the 50 least developed countries to no more than 25% of the levels in the UK and US — and less if possible — and make drugs more affordable in middle-income countries such as Brazil and India; put any chemicals or processes over which it has intellectual property rights that are relevant to finding drugs for neglected diseases into a 'patent pool,' so they can be explored by other researchers; and reinvest 20% of any profits it makes in the least developed countries in hospitals, clinics, and staff."
Power

Scientists Harvest Nano-Power From Hamsters 90

Posted by timothy
from the diminishing-returns dept.
Al writes "Researchers at Georgia Tech have come up with the ideal way to test a new peizo-electric device that efficiently harvests power from bio-movement — attaching it to a hamster. The device contains a series of zinc-oxide nanowires mounted on top of a flexible plastic surface. As the plastic bends, the wires generate around a nanowatt of power. The Georgia Tech team, led by Zhong Lin Wang, wanted to show that their device could produce power from irregular movements so they attached it to a tiny hamster jacket. They also tried attaching it to a volunteer's finger. Here's a video of the hamster wearing his piezo-power outfit."
Robotics

Nanocar Wins Top Science Award 175

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-than-meets-the-eye dept.
Lucas123 writes "A researcher who built a car slightly larger than a strand of DNA won the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for experimental nanotechnology. James Tour, a professor of chemistry at Rice Univ. built a car only 4 nanometers in width in order to demonstrate that nanovehicles could be controlled enough to deliver payloads to build larger objects, such as memory chips and, someday, even buildings, like a self-assembling machine. Tour and a team of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers constructed a car with chassis, working suspension, wheels and a motor. 'You shine light on it and the motor spins in one direction and pushes the car like a paddle wheel on the surface,' Tour said. The team also built a truck that can carry a payload."

Plants Use Twitter to Tell You to Water Them 88

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the science-and-technology-versus-laziness dept.
ptorrone noted a Make article about twittering your plants just in case you need that sort of thing in your life. And you do. He says "The gang from Botanicalls used one of Adafruit's new open source hardware ethernet shields for Arduino (open hardware too) to make some plants talk — and now you can too! That's right, having your houseplants Twitter you when they need water and more! You can see what one of the plants is doing now..."
NASA

Software Error Likely Killed MGS Spacecraft 199

Posted by kdawson
from the off-by-one dept.
Aglassis writes "NASA investigators have determined that a software update performed in June of 2006 may have doomed the 10-year-old spacecraft. Apparently the software error caused the solar arrays to drive against a mechanical stop which then forced the spacecraft into safe mode. Unfortunately, after that the spacecraft's radiator was pointed at the sun which overheated the battery and destroyed it. Contact was lost with the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft in November 2006. NASA will form an internal review board to determine formally the cause of the loss of the spacecraft and what remedial actions are needed for future missions."
Hardware Hacking

Water Cooling Computers With A Swimming Pool 241

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the take-your-pc-for-a-dip dept.
guzugi writes "This is a project I have been working for several months and been hypothesizing for much longer. The basic idea is to shortcut the need for an air conditioner when cooling multiple computers. Swimming pool water is pumped into the house and through several waterblocks to effectively cool these hot machines. This greatly reduces noise cooling requirements."

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