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Technology

NYC's Trash-Sucking Tubes May Be Upgraded, Expanded 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-the-mega-maid-sir dept.
derekmead writes "When urban planners were trying to turn New York's Roosevelt Island from a haven for the disabled and the mentally ill into a liveable city, they got utopian. Lying beneath their plans was an unusual technology: a series of tubes that literally suck garbage from buildings at speeds up to 60 miles per hour to a central collection point, where the trash is taken off the island by truck or barge. Theoretically, that eliminates the emissions and traffic caused by giant garbage trucks, and makes trash sorting easier. Now, more than thirty years after the 'AVAC,' or Automated Vacuum Collection System, was installed, Envac, the Swedish company that built it, is exploring how to upgrade it and even extend the system to other parts of the city. Under a new feasibility study conducted by City University and funded by two city agencies, the easiest option would be to stretch the current system south, to cover the new technology campuses being built on Roosevelt Island by Cornell University and the Technion. "
Earth

'Frothy Gunk' From Deepwater Horizon Spill Harming Coral 149

Posted by timothy
from the rick-someone-I-think-he-said dept.
sciencehabit writes "The massive oil spill that inundated the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and summer of 2010 severely damaged deep-sea corals more than 11 kilometers from the well site, a sea-floor survey conducted within weeks of the spill reveals. At one site, which hadn't been visited before but had been right in the path of a submerged 100-meter-thick oil plume from the spill, researchers found a variety of corals — most of them belonging to a type of colonial coral commonly known as sea fans — on a 10-meter-by-12-meter outcrop of rock. Many of the corals were partially or completely covered with a brown, fluffy substance that one team member variously calls 'frothy gunk,' 'goop,' and 'snot.'"

Comment: Game Coding in C#? Use Unity (Score 1) 188

by Frizzled (#39308269) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Find Expertise For Amateur Game Development?

Unity 3D lets you write in C# (or Javascript) then port to PC, Mac, WebGL, iPhone, Android -and, if rumors are to be believed, soon Windows phone.

Free to try, not too pricey for the full version either. They have some demos to get you started, there are also a few books to help you dive deeper.

http://unity3d.com/

IBM

SCO vs. IBM Trial Back On Again 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-just-goes-on-and-on-my-friends dept.
D___Breath writes "The lawsuit SCO started years ago against IBM (but really against Linux) is back on again. SCO first filed this clue-challenged lawsuit in March 2003. SCO claimed Linux was contaminated with code IBM stole from UNIX and that it was impossible to remove the infringement. Therefore, said SCO, all Linux users owe SCO a license fee of $1399 per cpu — but since SCO are such great guys, for a limited time, you can pay only $699 per CPU for your dirty, infringing copy of Linux. Of course, Novell claimed and later proved in court that SCO doesn't even own the copyrights on UNIX that it is suing over. IBM claims there is no infringing code in Linux. SCO never provided evidence of the massive infringement it claimed existed. The court ordered SCO three times to produce its evidence, twice extending the deadline, until it set a 'final' deadline of Dec 22, 2005 — which came and went — with SCO producing nothing but a lot of hand waving. In the meantime, SCO filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2007 because it was being beaten up in court so badly with the court going against SCO."
Medicine

Scientists Study How Little Exercise You Need 437

Posted by samzenpus
from the i'm-tired dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Millions of Americans don't engage in much exercise, if they complete any at all and asked why, a majority of respondents, in survey after survey, say, 'I don't have time.' Now Gretchen Reynolds reports that instead of wondering just how much exercise people really need in order to gain health and fitness, a group of scientists in Canada are turning that issue on its head and asking, how little exercise do we need to maintain fitness and the answer appears to be, a lot less than most of us think — provided we're willing to work a bit. Most people have heard of intervals, or repeated, short, sharp bursts of strenuous activity, interspersed with rest periods. Almost all competitive athletes strategically employ a session or two of interval training every week to improve their speed and endurance. Researchers have developed a version of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that involves one minute of strenuous effort, at about 90 percent of a person's maximum heart rate (which most of us can estimate, very roughly, by subtracting our age from 220), followed by one minute of easy recovery. The effort and recovery are repeated 10 times, for a total of 20 minutes and the interval training is performed twice a week. Despite the small time commitment of this modified HIIT program, after several weeks of practicing it, both the unfit volunteers and the cardiac patients showed significant improvements in their health and fitness. 'A growing body of evidence demonstrates that high-intensity interval training can serve as an effective alternate to traditional endurance-based training, inducing similar or even superior physiological adaptations in healthy individuals and diseased populations, at least when compared on a matched-work basis.'"
The Military

Ask Slashdot: Working As an IT Contractor In a War Zone? 352

Posted by timothy
from the not-just-a-hobby-any-more dept.
Capt. Picklepants writes "I have been feeling malaise about the IT and technical job market in the United States. I'm interested in doing some IT work for our government in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. I've heard it pays very well. Got any advice, or pointers, aside from the usual combing corporate websites and social networking?"
The Military

Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure 885

Posted by Soulskill
from the automated-violence dept.
wiredmikey writes with this excerpt from a Wall Street Journal report: "The U.S. ushered in a new CIA-led counterterrorism program in Yemen on Friday, sending unmanned aircraft to kill an American-born cleric who occupied a top place on the U.S.'s anti-terrorist list. The death of Anwar al-Awlaki eliminates a leading figure in Yemen's branch of al Qaeda and one of its most charismatic recruiters. A Web-savvy Islamic preacher with sparkling English, Mr. Awlaki was known for his ability to couch extremist views in ways that appealed to Western youth. He had been linked to suspects in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting spree and the botched bombing of a Detroit-bound jet that Christmas."
Facebook

'Superpoke' To Be No More, Thanks To Google 97

Posted by timothy
from the ok-that-kind-of-makes-up-for-the-evil dept.
angry tapir writes "Apparently the age of 'superpoking' social network friends and throwing sheep at them is coming to a close. Google plans to shut down the social applications developed by Slide, a company it acquired a year ago for US$182 million. Slide products include SuperPoke, and photo management and decorating tools like Slideshow and FunPix. Slide's applications like Slideshow were very popular on MySpace during its heyday, and found success on other social networking sites, including Facebook, where the sheep-throwing feature of SuperPoke caught on, entertaining and annoying many."
Image

+Pool Would Let New Yorkers Go River Swimming 133 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the now-90%-body-free dept.
cylonlover writes "Three young entrepreneurs have proposed a way of getting New Yorkers into the Hudson, East and/or Bronx Rivers. It's called the +Pool (Plus Pool) — a public swimming pool that would float in the river, allowing people to swim in filtered river water. River water would flow into the pool through permeable walls, which would be composed of three layers filtering out the river nasties."
Earth

Volcano Erupts In Iceland 191

Posted by Soulskill
from the end-of-times-underway dept.
Reports are coming in that a volcano in Iceland called Grimsvotn has erupted, sending plumes of smoke 15km into the air. It was accompanied by a series of earthquakes, but all of them have been minor so far, and scientists don't believe the eruption will cause problems for air travel like 2010's Eyjafjallajokull event. Local coverage in Icelandic is available, as well as early pictures of the eruption.
The Courts

Apple: an 'App Store' Is Not a Store For Apps 279

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-you-read-the-words-you-write dept.
recoiledsnake writes "What would be your first guess about what an app store sells? Don't be fooled, Apple warns, the phrase 'app store' is not generic and can only be used to describe Cupertino's... um, app store? 'Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words "app store" together denote a store for apps,' Apple said in a Thursday filing with a California district court. All this notwithstanding that Jobs himself used the phrase generically while referring to Android app stores. We've previously discussed this ongoing legal battle."
Hardware Hacking

Micro-SD Card Slot Abused As VGA-Port 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the hack-it-till-it-fits dept.
dvdkhlng writes "The Ben NanoNote open-source hand-held computer has often been criticized for not being very extensible hardware-wise. A community effort now starts to challenge this by shipping the so-called UBB board, which plugs into the micro-SD port, making 6 I/O lines available to hardware hackers. The most impressive use so far is this VGA port implemented by just a few resistors, with signal-generation mostly controlled by software. The guy who did this calls it an 'unexpected capability.' Schematics and source code are available under the GPL."
NASA

Cracker-Size Satellites To Launch With Endeavour 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-not-go-well-with-cheez-whiz dept.
Obfiscator writes with news of the upcoming deployment of satellite-on-a-chip devices measuring just 3.8cm x 3.8cm x 0.2cm. The satellites are set to launch with Endeavour on its final flight. "These three miniature satellites are being launched as a proof-of-concept. As such, they're being deployed in very low orbit, and should return to earth fairly quickly in order to avoid becoming dangers for other satellites. 'They each contain seven solar cells, a microprocessor, an antenna and amplifier, power storage in capacitors, and switching circuitry to turn on the microprocessor when the stored energy is enough to create a single radio-frequency emission.' Due to their size, atmospheric drag would slow them down without burning them up, allowing them to study the uppermost atmosphere of wherever they are deployed next: Venus, Titan, Europe, and Jupiter are all possibilities."
Sony

77 Million Accounts Stolen From Playstation Network 645

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-yeah-this'll-be-fine dept.
Runaway1956 was one of many users to continue to update us about the intrusion we've been following this week. "Sony is warning its millions of PlayStation Network users to watch out for identity-theft scams after hackers breached its security and plundered the user names, passwords, addresses, birth dates, and other information used to register accounts. Sony's stunning admission came six days after the PlayStation Network was taken down following what the company described as an 'external intrusion'. The stolen information may also include payment-card data, purchase history, billing addresses, and security answers used to change passwords, Sony said on Tuesday. The company plans to keep the hacked system offline for the time being, and to restore services gradually. The advisory also applies to users of Sony's related Qriocity network."
Classic Games (Games)

Roguelikes: the Misnamed Genre 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the addictive-frustration dept.
ZorbaTHut writes "I've been playing a lot of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup lately. It's a great example of a roguelike (and open source, too). But I can't stop thinking that perhaps 'roguelike' is the wrong term for the genre. 'Roguelikes aren’t about dungeons. They’re not about text-based graphics, or random artifacts, or permadeath. ... Roguelikes are about using an unpredictable toolkit with complex interactions in order to overcome unpredictable challenges.'"

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