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The Courts

Jack Thompson Sets His Sights On Halo 3 240

Posted by Zonk
from the because-he-has-nothing-better-to-do dept.
GamePolitics is reporting that anti-game advocate Jack Thompson is seeking to have Halo 3 declared a nuisance to the public in Florida. He tried the same stunt with Bully, and failed then too. "As with Bully, Thompson clearly hopes the court will grant him a hearing. Although after last year's well-publicized Bully performance, which earned Thompson a Bar complaint from presiding Judge Ronald Friedman, that seems unlikely. More troubling by far are the long term implications of this action. Thompson apparently feels emboldened to invoke Florida's public nuisance law against any video game he desires to target. That is the essence of censorship and the video game industry cannot allow it to continue on any number of grounds - legal, moral or creative."
Security

TransUnion to Offer Credit Freezes Nationwide 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the invisible-credit-score dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a little-noticed press release issued Tuesday, credit reporting bureau TransUnion said it would begin offering credit freezes to all Americans, a change the belies the credit industry's oft-uttered claim that doing so would be too expensive and burdensome. The program takes effect Oct. 15, 2007, will cost $10 each to place and to remove, and request and must be filed by certified mail. As The Washington Post reports, the move comes as some 39 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws entitling their residents to credit freeze rights. The new right may have little benefit unless the other two major credit reporting bureaus follow suit, and both companies are staying mum about any plans to do so. In May, Slashdot examined a related story on the credit bureaus' traditional resistance to freeze laws."
Input Devices

Headband Gives Wearer "Sixth-Sense" 234

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the use-the-force dept.
An anonymous reader writes "New Scientist reports on a headband developed at the University of Tokyo that allows the wearer to feel their surroundings at a distance — as if they had cats whiskers. Infrared sensors positioned around the headband vibrate to signal when and where an object is close. There are also a few great videos of people using it to dodge stuff while blindfolded."
Space

Astronomers Find Stars 7 Billion Light Years Away 142

Posted by Zonk
from the long-trip dept.
StArSkY writes "The Age has an article about an international team of astronomers that has discovered 14 galaxies, opening up a new era of 'galaxy hunting'. Using an infrared instrument in Chile (the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope ) — the researchers have been able to look through the glare of 20 Quasar's to identify previously obscured galaxies. 'Light from the newly found galaxies comes from the time the universe was about 6 billion years old, less than half its current age. By studying the light, the researchers have determined they are starburst galaxies that form lots of new stars -- the equivalent of 20 suns a year. Dr Murphy, who began working on the project while a research fellow at the University of Cambridge, described the results as a great leap forward. The findings have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. '"
AMD

AMD Announces Triple-Core Phenom Processors 334

Posted by Zonk
from the chips-that-don't-require-dipping dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD has officially announced their triple-core Phenom multi-core processor offering, suggesting a triple-threat of processors, from dual-cores to triple-cores and native quad-cores coming to market this year. While the term symmetric multi-processing (or SMP) suggests a balanced approach of multiple cores in an even number of engines working together on a single workload, AMD offers that an odd number of processors can slice at that workload just as efficiently. Time will tell how this architecture will scale amongst various multi-threaded applications and real-world usage models. AMD is definitely moving to make use of these quad-cores that don't quite make the cut by testing them fully as triple-cores and realizing some revenue, rather than throwing them away."
Space

Photonic Laser Thruster Promises Earth to Mars in a Week 413

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the buckle-up dept.
serutan writes "Using lasers to drive spaceships has been a subject of interest for many years, but making a photonic engine powerful enough for practical use has been elusive. Dr. Young Bae, a California physicist, has built a demonstration photonic laser thruster that produces enough thrust to micro-maneuver a satellite. This would be useful in high-precision formation flying, such as using a fleet of satellites to form a space telescope with a large virtual aperture. Scaled up, a similar engine could speed a spacecraft to Mars in less than a week."
The Internet

NSF-Funded "Dark Web" to Battle Terrorists 258

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the whos-watching-the-watchers dept.
BuzzSkyline writes "The National Science Foundation has announced a new University of Arizona project, which they call the Dark Web, intended to monitor all terrorist activity on the Internet. The project relies on 'advanced techniques such as Web spidering, link analysis, content analysis, authorship analysis, sentiment analysis and multimedia analysis [to] find, catalog and analyze extremist activities online.' The coolest part of the project is a tool called Writeprint, which 'automatically extracts thousands of multilingual, structural, and semantic features to determine who is creating "anonymous" content' with an accuracy of 95%, according to the release."
It's funny.  Laugh.

What Your Favorite Web Sites Say About You 163

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the funhouse-mirrors dept.
Jimmy writes to tell us that CNET is running an article on what your favorite Web sites say about you. One example takes a look at the possible origins of Facebook readers; "The typical Facebookers are what you'd get if YouTube and Flickr went halves on a baby. Yes, the site was created to help university students connect and have a good time, but connecting and having a good time generally involves unruly, drunken behavior, which is inevitably caught on film and posted for your entire friends list to see.'" The article also takes a look at eBay, Flickr, Slashdot, and several others.
Portables

Palm Withdraws Linux-Powered Foleo PC 165

Posted by kdawson
from the dead-before-arrival dept.
M Saunders writes "Not long after we enjoyed playing with the device at LinuxWorld 2007, Palm has announced that it is shelving the Foleo handheld PC, before it was due to ship, so that the company can focus on a 'next-generation platform.' Palm hasn't ruled out a 'Foleo II' at some point, but for those of us looking forward to dinky Linux-powered laptops it's a bit of a disappointment. Still, with the Asus Eee PC nearby — and at a very low price point — perhaps it was a sensible move by Palm."
Space

Interstellar Dust Could Be "Alive" 332

Posted by kdawson
from the negative-entropy-abounding dept.
reezle writes "An international team has discovered that, under the right conditions, particles of inorganic dust can become organized into helical structures. These structures can interact with one another in ways that are usually associated with organic compounds and with life. Not only do these helical strands interact in a counterintuitive way in which like can attract like, but they also undergo changes that are normally associated with biological molecules, such as DNA and proteins, say the researchers. For example, they can divide to form two copies of the original structure. These new structures can also interact to induce changes in their neighbors. And they can even evolve into yet more structures as less stable ones break down, leaving behind only the fittest structures in the plasma. 'These complex, self-organized plasma structures exhibit all the necessary properties to qualify them as candidates for inorganic living matter,' said the lead researcher. 'They are autonomous, they reproduce and they evolve.'" The research, published in the New Journal of Physics, was carried out using a computer model of molecular dynamics.
Portables

The Desktop -- Time to Start Saying Goodbye? 547

Posted by Zonk
from the still-looking-for-a-headware-implant dept.
Lucas123 writes "Robert Scheier at Computerworld writes that while worldwide PC shipments are expected to grow 12.2% this year, portable PC volumes are expected to grow 28% and will make up more than half of all PC shipments in the U.S. this quarter. Notebooks will dominate the worldwide PC marketplace by 2010. 'One researcher predicts it will be five to seven years before only the "die-hard" desktop users are left.'"
PC Games (Games)

Vista Games Cracked to Run on XP 376

Posted by Zonk
from the now-they-have-a-market dept.
Next Generation is reporting that Vista PC games have been cracked to run under XP. Hacking groups who apparently wanted to play new titles like Shadowrun and Halo 2 with driver support have taken it upon themselves to open up the playing field a bit. "The news is sure to irk Microsoft who may now face an increased delay in some consumers adopting Vista at this early stage. However, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Earlier this month Falling Leaf Systems said in a press release that it believed Microsoft was deceiving consumers by stating that the titles would only work on Vista, and announced its intentions to release compatibility software to disprove the claim. 'Microsoft has, in typical Microsoft fashion, decided to launch their forced migration onslaught in full force with the release of two games that will only run on Windows Vista,' said Falling Leaf Systems CEO Brian Thomason in the press release." Relatedly, Mitch Gitelman of the (now closed) FASA Studios has taken exception to negative reviews of Shadowrun.
Slashback

Space Elevator Rebuttal From LiftPort Founder 368

Posted by kdawson
from the take-a-second-look dept.
TropicalCoder is the reader who submitted the story about the possible demise of LiftPort a couple of weeks back. The resulting discussion was mostly negative about the feasibility of building a space elevator. TropicalCoder writes: "At one point during the discussion, LiftPort founder Michael J. Laine personally entered the discussion, but for the most part remained invisible since he hadn't logged in. I responded to his comment that if he would like a chance to rebut the criticisms, he should contact me and I would undertake to interview him and post the resulting story on Slashdot." Read below for the story of how Mr. Laine's detailed reply and rebuttal to that Slashdot discussion came about. TropicalCoder asks, "After reading LiftPort's rebuttal to Slashdot critics, do any of you now feel your pessimism somewhat dispelled?"

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