The European Space Agency has released images from yesterday's close approach of asteroid 21 Lutetia by the Rosetta probe. At its closest, the probe was a mere 3,162 km from the asteroid, passing at 15 km/s and snapping photos sharp enough to make out features as small as 60 meters. "Rosetta operated a full suite of sensors at the encounter, including remote sensing and in-situ measurements. Some of the payload of its Philae lander were also switched on. Together they looked for evidence of a highly tenuous atmosphere, magnetic effects, and studied the surface composition as well as the asteroid’s density. ... The flyby marks the attainment of one of Rosetta's main scientific objectives. The spacecraft will now continue to a 2014 rendezvous with its primary target, comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It will then accompany the comet for months, from near the orbit of Jupiter down to its closest approach to the Sun. In November 2014, Rosetta will release Philae to land on the comet nucleus." There is also a replay of the media event webcast on the ESA's website.
klaasb writes "North Korea's self-developed computer operating system, named 'Red Star,' was brought to light for the first time by a Russian satellite broadcaster yesterday. North Korea's top IT experts began developing the Red Star in 2006, but its composition and operation mechanisms were unknown until the internet version of the Russia Today TV program featured the system, citing the blog of a Russian student who goes to the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang."
An anonymous reader writes "A novel transistor architecture has been developed by a team of researchers led by Jean-Pierre Colinge at Tyndall National Institute at Cork, Ireland. Not many technology developments can be truly described as 'a breakthrough' or "revolutionary' but this might just fit the bill. It does depend on the extremely small dimensions of silicon nanowires just a few dozens of atoms wide. EE Times picked up on an announcement of a paper on the topic being published by Nature Nanotechnology."
Kyle Hamilton writes "The Apache Software Foundation and the Apache HTTP Server Project are pleased to announce the release of version 1.3.42 of the Apache HTTP Server ('Apache'). This release is intended as the final release of version 1.3 of the Apache HTTP Server, which has reached end of life status There will be no more full releases of Apache HTTP Server 1.3. However, critical security updates may be made available."
supersloshy writes Today Mozilla released Thunderbird 3. Many new features are available, including Tabs and enhanced search features, a message archive for emails you don't want to delete but still want to keep, Firefox 3's improved Add-ons Manager, Personas support, and many other improvements. Download here."
Karen Hertzberg writes "Ask any 10 gamers what constitutes an 'indie MMO' and you'll probably get 10 different answers. But one definition that most can agree on is that an indie game lacks the financial support of a well-funded publisher. But do smaller budgets mean greater freedom? Ten Ton Hammer asked Nathan Richardsson, Executive Producer for CCP (developers of EVE Online), and Todd Harris, Executive Producer of Global Agenda, to share their thoughts on the bright future of independent MMOG development. 'By definition a niche market is a segment that is currently underserved by the mainstream providers. So, to serve that audience a developer typically needs to deliver something really different and innovative vs. just more of the same thing available elsewhere,' says Harris. 'With a big budget there could be a temptation to cover up stale gameplay by shoveling out more content or simply pumping up the marketing hype. However, for an indie developer such as Hi-Rez Studios, the game must stand on its own merits and we find that liberating.'"
An opinion piece on Gamasutra looks into the common perception that a first-person view provides a much more immersive experience in shooters. The author argues that this concept needs to be reconsidered, as immersion nowadays is more dependent on what you see, rather than how you see it. The question is further complicated by ever-improving technology and new control schemes. "It's important to realize that making a first-person game almost necessarily means making a game for the dedicated gamer. Innovations on the interface side could help lower the casual block, perhaps through the Wii, Project Natal, or the PS3's new motion controller. Regardless, it will take a lot of work and concerted effort to penetrate the casual audience with a first-person camera. The question is whether we even need to, when there are so many camera systems that games have yet to fully explore."
spidweb writes "Indie gaming blog The Bottom Feeder has an article on why independent games should be more expensive. The enforced low prices on XBox Live, Amazon, and iTunes might feel good now, but they'll kill off the variety and depth gamers are hoping indie developers can provide. From the article: 'Every year, life is getting more and more expensive. Insurance. Rent. Food. And, at the same time, games are getting cheaper and cheaper, sometimes as cheap as a dollar, as we engage in a full speed race to the bottom. This is not going to help developers stay in business. This is not how a healthy industry is maintained.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Contrary to what we discussed four days ago, Germany's registration authority, DeNIC, did not suspend access to wikileaks.de. After some investigation, Heise found out that the ISP ended the contract (in German, Babelfish translation) with Theodor Reppe back in December 2008, with the mandatory three-month notice giving him enough time to move wikileaks.de elsewhere — which he did not do. At the end of March, the domain wikileaks.de was released back to DeNIC."
Dr. Eggman writes "YouGamers has a 5 page interview with 3DRelms' Scott Miller, which focuses on what went wrong in developing Duke Nukem Forever. Along with Miller's confession comes conformation of Prey 2. Primarily, a perfectionist attitude is blamed for the 10+ year development.
...When it's done."
Perfection is not possible — that's the biggest lesson we've learned. No game is perfect. Well, maybe Tetris.But there finally appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel; appologies have been made, realistic goals are set, and a screenshot has been dropped. We won't see Duke Nukem Forever this year, but we may just get a new in-game trailer...
...When it's done."
An anonymous reader writes "Even though this is a hypothetical question, what if the Blackwater private army's purpose is to make sure the U.S. Army will keep fighting in Iraq/Iran and no military opposition can arise against the Bush Administration? I doubt these will be true, but who would win if these two armies fight each other? Should the U.S. even have a private army?"
Paul asks: "Long ago when digital synthesizers first became commonly available, I recall a reviewer lamenting how he was getting more and more products to test whose software was unfinished and buggy and would require updates and fixes (this, before the internet allowed easy downloads, would have meant a journey to a specialist repair center). The review also commented how this common problem with computer software was spreading (this was before Windows 95 was out), and asked if it was going to become the norm. These days it seems ubiquitous, with PDAs, digital cameras, PVRs and all manner of complex goods needing after-market firmware fixes often simply to make them have the features promised in the adverts, let alone add enhancements. Are we seeing this spread beyond computers and computer-based products; jokes apart, will we be booting our cars up and installing flash updates every week to prevent computer viruses getting into the control systems? Can anyone comment on any recent purchases where they've been badly let down by missing features, or are still waiting for promised updates even whilst a new model is now on the shelves? How can we make the manufacturers take better responsibility? Apart from reading every review possible before making a purchase, what strategy do you have, or propose, for not being caught out?"
An anonymous reader writes "Why are people fascinated with vandalizing Wiki's, such as Wikia, Wikipedia, or Wikibooks? Sure, some of the reasons are obvious, such as Link Spam, but what motivates users to post full page vandalizations such as a few on Wikia, knowing those reverts will be undone shortly? What are these vandals trying to accomplish? I can understand the pride in defacing a web site that has security you need to break, but isn't it a moot point "hacking" a publicly editable site? It's an interesting social phenomenon, and I'd love to hear from the vandals themselves."