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+ - Second World War code-cracking computing hero Colossus turns 70->

Submitted by DW100
DW100 (2227906) writes "The Colossus computer that helped the Allies crack messages sent by the Nazis during the Second World War has celebrated its 70th birthday. The machine was a pioneering feat of engineering, able to read 5,000 characters a second to help the team at Bletchley Park crack the German's Lorenz code in rapid time. This helped the Allies gather vital information on the Nazi's plans, and is credited with helping end the war effort early, saving millions of lives."
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Comment: meteorites impacting earth daily (Score 4, Informative) 84

by IAR80 (#37748882) Attached to: Comet Nearly Hit Earth? Not So Fast
The number of meteorites impacting the earth daily is in the hundreds if not thousands. Most of them are so small that they bun up in the upper atmosphere. On average 2 every day are big enough to make it through the atmosphere and reach earth. If the comet was fragmented into tiny pieces it would not matter.
China

+ - China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming ->

Submitted by IAR80
IAR80 (598046) writes "Chinese prisoners were forced into 'gold farming' – building up credits on online games such as World of Warcraft.
As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells."

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+ - FBI leaves paperwork behind after raid on anti-war->

Submitted by Sprouticus
Sprouticus (1503545) writes "An interesting development has occured in the case of some anti-war activists who had their house raided by the FBI. Apparently in their hurry to take the photos, computers and phones of the people involved, the FBI left their raid paperwork, including the raid plan and the interrogation questions, behind. This information has been posted oon a website put up to support the activists. It gives some real insight into the FBI mindset."
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Facebook

+ - The Syrian War Is Raging on Facebook->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Meet the Syrian Electronic Army, a shadowy group devoted to hacking dissident Facebook pages and websites, and proclaiming the awesomeness of the Syrian government through Oprah's Facebook page. Oh yes, and the army also produces YouTube videos (with catchy synthesizer soundtracks) demonstrating its hacking mastery — watch in amazement as it brings a UK website for the Leamington Town Council to its knees!"
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Programming

+ - Designing a Programming Language for Embeddability->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "The creators of the Lua language describe the process of designing a new language and the constraints that certain parameters, specifically embeddability, place on the process.
"Many languages (not necessarily scripting languages) support extending through an FFI (foreign function interface). An FFI is not enough to allow a function in the system language to do all that a function in the script can do. Nevertheless, in practice FFI covers most common needs for extending, such as access to external libraries and system calls. Embedding, on the other hand, is harder to support, because it usually demands closer integration between the host program and the script, and an FFI alone does not suffice.""

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Space

Exoplanet Reports Exaggerated 55

Posted by timothy
from the visit-the-off-world-colonies dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "The reports of the first direct picture of an exoplanet are misleading. The real news is that an image of a probable exoplanet taken in 2008 using a telescope in Hawaii have been confirmed — it's a planet. In fact, exoplanets have been directly imaged before; the first was in 2005. More images of other planets were released in 2008. To be specific: this new planet is the first to be directly imaged orbiting a sun-like star using observations made from the ground. That's actually still quite a technological achievement, but don't be misled by hyperbolic headlines."
Software

AI Astronomer Aids Effort To Analyze Galaxies 40

Posted by timothy
from the kindly-disprove-loyalty-to-alien-invaders dept.
kkleiner writes "Scientists are teaching an artificial intelligence how to classify galaxies imaged by telescopes like the Hubble. Manda Banerji at the University of Cambridge, along with researchers at University College London, Johns Hopkins, and elsewhere, has succeeded in getting the program to agree with human analysis at an impressive rate of more than 90%. Banerji used data from Galaxy Zoo, a massive online project that has used more than 250,000 volunteers to analyze more than 60 million galaxies. The new automated astronomer will help with even larger analytical projects on the horizon, taking care of trivial classifications and leaving the tough cases to humans."
Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, In It To Change the World? 268

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-not-what-i-heard dept.
schmidt349 submitted a story about Zuckerberg that might fly in the face of what you've heard of the guy in the past. "Award-winning New York Times journalist David Kirkpatrick's new book The Facebook Effect presents readers with a complex view of Facebook's founder and CEO. Primed by hours of conversation and research deep into the history of the social network, Kirkpatrick reaches the conclusion that money isn't a primary motivation for Zuckerberg, 'a coder more than a CEO, a philosopher more than a businessman, a 26-year-old who has consistently avoided selling out because he sees Facebook as his way to change the world.' Kirkpatrick deftly handles the controversy surrounding Facebook's sometimes cavalier attitude toward user privacy, and the result is a much more balanced and less sensationalist account of Facebook's past, present, and future."
Image

Scientists Say Toads Can Predict Earthquakes 66 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the does-the-toad-think-it's-safe? dept.
reillymj writes "Researchers claim toads sensed a severe earthquake last year five days before it hit. Last spring's L'Aquila earthquake devastated the medieval city of the same name in Italy. Five days earlier, a group of biologists noticed some toads behaving strangely in a pond nearby that would later be the quake's epicenter."
Censorship

Venezuela Bans Hostile Videogames and Toys 335

Posted by timothy
from the hostile-autocrats-still-ok dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In an effort to 'help improve child education and prevent misconduct,' the Venezuelan government began enforcing a law on March 3rd banning war videogames and toys, imposing a fine and 2.5 years in prison on the production, distribution, sale, hiring and use of video games and toys inciting violent behavior. Alberto Federico Ravell, former director of opposing news network Globovision, has already come on twitter denouncing the authorities for seizing imported Gameboy, Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles, due to considering them violent."
Operating Systems

FreeBSD 8.0 Released 235

Posted by timothy
from the to-be-thankful dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 8 stable release. Some of the highlights: Xen DomU support, network stack virtualization, stack-smashing protection, TTY layer rewrite, much improved ZFS v13, a new USB stack, multicast updates including IGMPv3, vimage — a new virtualization container, Fedora 10 Linux binary compatibility to run Linux software such as Flash 10 and others, trusted BSD MAC (Mandatory Access Control), and rewritten NFS client/server introducing NFSv4. Inclusion of improved device mmap() extensions will allow the technical implementation of a 64-bit Nvidia display driver for the x86-64 platform. The GNOME desktop environment has been upgraded to 2.26.3, KDE to 4.3.1, and Firefox to 3.5.5. There is also an in-depth look at the new features and major architectural changes in FreeBSD 8.0, including a screenshot tour, upgrade instructions are posted here. You can grab the latest version from FreeBSD from the mirrors (main ftp server) or via BitTorrent. Please consider making a donation and help us to spread the word by tweeting and blogging about the drive and release."

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