ajs writes "There has been no official announcement yet, but a number of moves by Blizzard Entertainment seem to indicate that the next expansion for World of Warcraft could be titled Cataclysm. Speculation began when Blizzard trademarked Cataclysm recently, and then later when a test server briefly popped up with the word 'Maelstrom' in its name. If true, the name would fall neatly into the WoW lore and expected expansion list. The Cataclysm is another name for the Great Sundering, an event that created a swirling vortex of water and mystical energies (the 'Maelstrom') that has appeared on the world map in-game since release. There are also indications that early design work included some of the islands in this area, which has long fueled anticipation of a Maelstrom-based expansion involving the former Night Elf noble, Azshara, queen of the Naga and the Goblins whose main city is in the south seas."
Christoph Haas writes "A picture is worth a thousand words. And thanks to screenshots.debian.net this finally comes true for Debian packages. The new website was launched just a week ago and has already collected screenshots for 740 packages shipping with the Linux distribution — with new uploads pouring in every hour. Debian users can finally get an impression of how an application would look before installing it."
MaxwellEdison writes "Scientists have discovered evidence of magnetic portals connecting the Earth and the Sun every 8 minutes. 'Several speakers at the Workshop have outlined how FTEs form: On the dayside of Earth (the side closest to the sun), Earth's magnetic field presses against the sun's magnetic field. Approximately every eight minutes, the two fields briefly merge or "reconnect," forming a portal through which particles can flow. The portal takes the form of a magnetic cylinder about as wide as Earth. The European Space Agency's fleet of four Cluster spacecraft and NASA's five THEMIS probes have flown through and surrounded these cylinders, measuring their dimensions and sensing the particles that shoot through.'"
Someone noted that there are more macbook case leaks which look to all but confirm a new MacBook and possibly a MacBook Pro expected to be announced for later this week. There seem to be fewer ports, and no leaks of a 17" aircraft carrier laptop.
David Gerard writes "Wikimedia, the organization that runs Wikipedia and associated sites, has moved its server infrastructure entirely to Ubuntu 8.04 from a hodge-podge of Ubuntu, Red Hat, and various Fedora versions. 400 servers were involved and the project has been going on for 2 years. (There's also a small amount of OpenSolaris on the backend. All open source!)"
musther writes "An Australian airline Qantas Airbus A330-300, suffered 'a sudden change of altitude' on Tuesday. "The mid-air incident resulted in injuries to 74 people, with 51 of them treated by three hospitals in Perth for fractures, lacerations and suspected spinal injuries when the flight bound from Singapore to Perth had a dramatic drop in altitude that hurled passengers around the cabin." Now it seems Qantas is seeking to blame interference from passenger electronics, and it's not the first time; 'In July, a passenger clicking on a wireless mouse mid-flight was blamed for causing a Qantas jet to be thrown off course.' Is there any precedent for wireless electronics interfering with aircraft systems? Interfering with navigation instruments is one thing, but causing changes in the 'elevator control system' — I would be quite worried if I thought the aircraft could be flown with a bluetooth mouse."
Plechazunga passes along this note from The Hill: "The House is limiting e-mails from the public to prevent its websites from crashing due to the enormous amount of mail being submitted on the financial bailout bill. As a result, some constituents may get a 'try back at a later time' response if they use the House website to e-mail their lawmakers about the bill defeated in the House on Monday in a 205-228 vote."
An anonymous reader notes that the Gentoo 2008.0 final release is available. From the announcement: "Code-named 'It's got what plants crave,' this release contains numerous new features including an updated installer, improved hardware support, a complete rework of profiles, and a move to Xfce instead of GNOME on the LiveCD. LiveDVDs are not available for x86 or amd64, although they may become available in the future. The 2008.0 release also includes updated versions of many packages already available in your ebuild tree."
An anonymous reader was one of many who noted that Barack Obama has claimed the Democratic nomination having secured enough delegates and super-delegates to claim victory. Of course, technically this assumes that the supers all vote as they say they will and they are free to change their minds. So no doubt we'll continue to hear debate on this subject until either the convention or Hillary steps down.
haroldag writes "After Walter Bender's resignation as president of OLPC, Charles Kane enters to take his place as the new boss. Kane says 'The OLPC mission is a great endeavor, but the mission is to get the technology in the hands of as many children as possible. Whether that technology is from one operating system or another, one piece of hardware or another, or supplied or supported by one consulting company or another doesn't matter. It's about getting it into kids' hands. Anything that is contrary to that objective, and limits that objective, is against what the program stands for.'"
Hugh Pickens writes "What is transparent, swims, and helps cure cancer? Caspar the friendly fish — a zebrafish bred with a see-through body to make studying disease processes easier for rapidly changing processes such as cancer, Zebrafish are genetically similar to humans in many ways and serve as good models for human biology and disease. In one experiment, researchers inserted a fluorescent melanoma tumor into the abdominal cavity of the transparent fish and by observing the fish under a microscope, they found that the cancer cells started spreading within five days and could actually see individual cells spreading. "The process by which a tumor goes from being localized to widespread and ultimately fatal is the most vexing problem that oncologists face," says Richard White, a clinical fellow in the Stem Cell Program at Children's Hospital Boston. "We don't know why cancer cells decide to move away from their primary site to other parts in the body." Researchers created the transparent fish, (photo) by mating two existing zebrafish breeds, one that lacked a reflective skin pigment and the other without black pigment. The offspring had only yellow skin pigment, essentially appearing clear."
dpreformer sends word that President Bush signed a classified directive Jan. 8 (it only came to light this week) putting all cyber-defense and counter-offensive activity for government networks under the aegis of the National Security Agency. Previously, federal agencies had disparate intrusion and attack monitoring programs. The directive does not address private-sector networks and systems. While some lawmakers and civil-rights advocates are unhappy with expanding the NSA's role domestically, one alternative that was considered and rejected — putting Homeland Security in charge — might have been worse. "A proposal last year by the White House Homeland Security Council to put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of the initiative was resisted by national security agencies on the grounds that the department, established in 2003, lacked the necessary expertise and authority. The tug-of-war lasted weeks and was resolved only recently, several sources said."
AnonymousHack writes "Swiss and MIT researchers have developed a wearable kit that will capture your every move for mapping onto a virtual character. It's almost as accurate as the camera-based motion capture used in studios to develop games. The team have recorded people's movements in completely new locations — like driving a car — previously out of reach. There is even a video of it in action."
Kurtz'sKompund passed us a link to a Techworld article on a frightening new vulnerability for VoIP. The UK's Peter Cox has put together a proof-of-concept software package to illustrate the flaw, a program he's calling SIPtap. "The software is able to monitor multiple Voice-over-IP (VoIP) call streams, listening in and recording them for remote inspection as .wav files. All that the criminal would need would be to infect a single PC inside the network with a Trojan incorporating these functions, although the hack would work at ISP level as well. The program can index 'IP-tapped' calls by caller - using SIP identity information - and by recipient, and even by date."
hal10001 writes "One complaint of just about any book that attempts to teach a new language or technology is a presumed level of expertise by the authors. I found it refreshing that in Learning jQuery the book begins... well, at the beginning, and increases in difficulty along with the concepts. It gives designers and entry-level interface developers the opportunity to come up to speed at an acceptable pace."Read below for the rest of Brian's thoughts on the book.