exeme writes "Ubuntu developer Matthew Garrett has recently analyzed famed Ubuntu illegal software installer Automatix, and found it to be actively dangerous to Ubuntu desktop systems. In a detailed report which only took Garrett a couple of hours he found many serious, show-stopper bugs and concluded that Ubuntu could not officially support Automatix in its current state. Garrett also goes on to say that simple Debian packages could provide all of the functionality of Automatix without any of the problems it exhibits."
HaHaHa7129 writes: AstronomyReport.com tells us that new data shows that the dwarf planet Eris is 27 percent more massive than Pluto, thereby strengthening the decree last year that there are eight planets in the solar system and a growing list of dwarf planets. The new results, obtained with Hubble Space Telescope and Keck Observatory data, indicate that the density of the material making up Eris is about two grams per cubic centimeter. This means that Eris very likely is made up of ice and rock, and thus is very similar in composition to Pluto. Past results from the Hubble Space Telescope had already allowed planetary scientists to determine that its diameter is 2,400 kilometers, also larger than Pluto's. Link to Original Source
imashoe writes: "Ever wonder how Spore works under the hood? The game seems to be insanely huge and how is it that there can be an infinite amount of different creates created in the game? The answer is Procedural Programming. Read on to learn what exactly it is and how it differs from the traditional way games are made." Link to Original Source
EskimoJoe writes: "BASEL, Switzerland — When tremors started cracking walls and bathroom tiles in this Swiss city on the Rhine, the engineers knew they had a problem.
"The glass vases on the shelf rattled, and there was a loud bang," Catherine Wueest, a teashop owner, recalls. "I thought a truck had crashed into the building."
But the 3.4 magnitude tremor on the evening of Dec. 8 was no ordinary act of nature: It had been accidentally triggered by engineers drilling deep into the Earth's crust to tap its inner heat and thus break new ground — literally — in the world's search for new sources of energy.
On paper, the Basel project looks fairly straightforward: Drill down, shoot cold water into the shaft and bring it up again superheated and capable of generating enough power through a steam turbine to meet the electricity needs of 10,000 households, and heat 2,700 homes.
Scientists say this geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment.
A study released this year by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said if 40 percent of the heat under the United States could be tapped, it would meet demand 56,000 times over. It said an investment of $800 million to $1 billion could produce more than 100 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, equaling the combined output of all 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S." Link to Original Source
Roland Piquepaille writes: "If you're attending SIGGRAPH 2007 next week in San Diego, don't miss a demonstration done by Australian and South Korean researchers. They will pour virtual beer during the conference. They say that 'the physics of bubble creation in carbonated drinks like beer is complex,' but add that their fluid special effects software was able to capture this complexity. Moreover, through what they call smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), their software 'uses less computer power and takes less time to get better results than other special effects software it has been benchmarked against.' Now the researchers want to sell their approach to Hollywood studios. But read more for many additional references and images showing a simulation of pouring of ale and stout into a beer mug."
Phil Weiss writes: "The next time a bar brawl breaks out in your local pub, blame it on the brain, not the beer. A new study, published in the July issue of Psychological Science, has found that it's possible to calm aggressive drunks if they're given a rewarding task that tests their powers of concentration." Link to Original Source
Vinit writes: "Medison's representatives have come out in open to say they aren't fakes and the controversial $150 laptop is on it's way for 15 August release (hopefully). In a press conference in Sweden, Medison displayed the notebook in front of ten journalists and defended itself against accusations of fraud. Regarding the low price of it's laptop, Medison said it's not their main revenue source. They plan to make money by advertising on it's site.
rs232 writes: ""Microsoft should be able to extricate itself from the implications of the new GPL 3, according to a leading Australian intellectual property lawyer"
"Unless there is something more specific in the certificate or the collaboration agreement between Novell and Microsoft, I would be very surprised to see this upheld. It was a nice try on the part of (the FSF), but at this stage, I'd say it's not going to be an effective strategy. It will be tough to hold up in court."
'In this case, she said, Microsoft never acted — never 'entered' into the agreement, and the terms and conditions can only apply to new actions by Microsoft, not older ones. She said: "Their actions so far are not enough to say that they are bound."'
MojoKid writes: "Western Digital took a bit longer than expected to finally release a desktop drive larger than 500 Gig, but their first release,
the Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS looks to be an impressive rendition of new advancements in hard disk perpendicular recording technology. This new 750G WD drive
gave Seagate's 7200.10 equivalent a run for its money and beat it in every performance test shown at HotHardware. Also, with storage prices so low right now, the 750G monster weighs in at a svelte $0.33/GB or better, with current street prices falling below the $250 range."" Link to Original Source
Onlyodin writes: An executive at Microsoft has an unusual idea for beating spammers. Powerful software tools and supercomputers aren't involved, but kittens are. Or rather, photos of kittens.
Kevin Larson, a researcher at Microsoft's advanced reading technologies group, has found that asking a user to identify the subject of a photo, like a kitten, could help block spam programs.
Services like Microsoft's free e-mail service Hotmail commonly require new users to type in a string of distorted letters as proof that it's a human signing up for the account and not a computer. The trouble is, computers are getting smart enough to recognize the characters and it's a race for Microsoft to continue to alter its HIP (Human Interactive Proofs) system to fool the computers before they catch on.
With 90 billion pieces of e-mail spam sent every day, according to Larson, companies like Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft that offer free online mail services have an incentive to try to block spam. Otherwise they pay for the resources that help send the spam. Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: The Resident Evil 5 trailer shown at E3 2007 has received a largely positive response from gamers and the gaming-related media. However, a blog entry by an African-American woman (who's apparently not a gamer) is critical of the trailer's "depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young fearing, hating, and destroying Black people." Not surprisingly, forums and talkbacks have degenerated into allusions of racism, reverse-racism, and out-of-control political correctness. On the other hand, someblogs have started questioning the racial sensitivity of the trailer which shows the mass killing of Black zombies (who may look more "sick" than zombie-like) in a part of the world (Africa) that has been ravaged by AIDS and has a relatively recent brutal history of Black racism.