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."
Reader edgeofphysics provides a technical sidelight on the earthquake in Chile this morning — some details on how the European Southern Observatory protects the mirrors of the Very Large Telescope when an earthquake strikes. "Given that Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, how do astronomers protect their giant telescopes that have been built or are being built in the Chilean Andes? This blog post discusses how Chile's most advanced facility protects its priceless 8.2-meter primary mirrors in the event of an earthquake."
MojoKid writes "With all of the iPad buzz stirring up the tech world over the past couple of weeks, Chrome OS has almost been forgotten. Though Google has yet to officially release the netbook-centric operating system to the public, the company continues to keep details flowing about their forthcoming lightweight operating system. In their own response to all the recent tablet fanfare, Google decided to release some teaser shots and a demo video of the Chrome OS running on a concept tablet device. The Chromium team suggests that a screen of 5" to 10" is optimal for enjoying Chrome OS and of course tablets, netbooks and MIDs all fit that size class rather well. Couple a streamlined Google-based OS with NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor in a design like this and the iPad could have serious competition."
cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.
RamblingJosh writes "Video games can be very expensive these days, especially with so many great games on the horizon. So I wonder: how exactly do you get the most gaming entertainment for your dollar? '... the first thing I personally thought about when approaching this was money spent versus time played. Using Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions as an example: I bought the game for about $30 Canadian, and played it for roughly 85 hours. That comes out to 2.83 hours per dollar spent, a pretty good number. In this case, the game was a lot of fun and it was cheap, and so the system works fairly well. There are so many other things to think about, though. What if the game wasn't so good? What about the fact that it's portable? ... What about the new content? Multiplayer?'"
krou writes "Amateur astronomer Peter Shah has stunned astronomers around the world with amazing photos of the universe taken from his garden shed. Shah spent £20,000 on the equipment, hooking up a telescope in his shed to his home computer, and the results are being compared to images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. 'Most men like to putter about in their garden shed,' said Shah, 'but mine is a bit more high tech than most. I have fitted it with a sliding roof so I can sit in comfort and look at the heavens. I have a very modest set up, but it just goes to show that a window to the universe is there for all of us – even with the smallest budgets. I had to be patient and take the images over a period of several months because the skies in Britain are often clouded over and you need clear conditions.' His images include the Monkey's head nebula, M33 Pinwheel Galaxy, Andromeda Galaxy and the Flaming Star Nebula, and are being put together for a book."
snydeq writes "BusinessWeek reports ongoing talks between Apple and Microsoft to make Bing the default search engine for the iPhone. The discussions reflect an accelerating rivalry between Apple and Google, one that some believe will be the most important rivalry in tech in the years to come. 'Apple and Google know the other is their primary enemy,' says one person familiar with Apple's thinking. 'Microsoft is now a pawn in that battle.'"
SimonTheSoundMan notes that Avatar is being pulled from screens in China for being too successful, and too provocative in its anti-authoritarian message. (The 3-D and IMAX versions will remain.) "The communist nation's state-run movie distributor China Film Group is unexpectedly yanking the James Cameron-directed blockbuster Avatar from 1,628 2-D screens this week in favor of a biography of the ancient philosopher Confucius starring Chow-Yun Fat. ... According to a report in the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, the move was made at the urging of propaganda officials who are concerned that Avatar is taking too much market share from Chinese films and drawing unwanted attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions."
CNET has up a blog post examining the question: does the Fourth Amendment apply to data stored in the Cloud? The US constitutional amendment forbidding unreasonable searches and seizures is well settled in regard to the physical world, but its application to electronic communications and computing lags behind. The post's argument outlines a law review article (PDF) from a University of Minnesota law student, David A. Couillard. "Hypothetically, if a briefcase is locked with a combination lock, the government could attempt to guess the combination until the briefcase unlocked; but because the briefcase is opaque, there is still a reasonable expectation of privacy in the unlocked container. In the context of virtual containers in the cloud...encryption is not simply a virtual lock and key; it is virtual opacity. ... [T]he service provider has a copy of the keys to a user's cloud 'storage unit,' much like a landlord or storage locker owner has keys to a tenant's space, a bank has the keys to a safe deposit box, and a postal carrier has the keys to a mailbox. Yet that does not give law enforcement the authority to use those third parties as a means to enter a private space. The same rationale should apply to the cloud." We might wish that the courts interpreted Fourth Amendment rights in this way, but so far they have not.
An anonymous reader writes "A British man was arrested under anti-terrorism legislation for making a bomb joke on Twitter. Paul Chambers, 26, was arrested under the provisions of the Terrorism Act (2006). His crime? Frustrated at grounded flights over inclement weather, he made a joke bomb threat on the social networking site Twitter."
KMouri (1723680) writes "Tropical coupist and tyrant says Sony's PlayStation video game console is "poison" and leads children down the capitalist "road to hell"
... In expanding on his dislike of western toys and games — he already slammed Nintendo for promoting "selfishness, individualism and violence," Chavez Sunday took on the world's top selling game console, Sony's PlayStation. "Those games they call 'PlayStation' are poison. Some games teach you to kill. They once put my face on a game, 'you've got to find Chavez to kill him.'"The firebrand leftist dictator said any game that "bomb cities or just throw bombs," are sold by capitalist countries to sow violence so they can "later sell weapons"."
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An anonymous reader writes "Suddenlink Communications has recently upgraded the east Texas area (Tyler/Longview) to DOCSIS 3.0. I purchased the 20Mb/s Down and 2Mb/s Up Package today and was pleasantly surprised to find that my Motorola Surf Board 5101 was topping out at 19Mb/s Down and 2Mb/s Up. However, the Sales Rep. informed me of a little secret. A DOCSIS 3.0 certified Modem would give early adopters higher download speeds until it becomes standard, and boy, he was not kidding!!! I purchased a Motorola Surf Board 6120 at Best Buy for approximately $80, called Suddenlink again to set-up the new modem, and ran some speed tests. I live in an apartment complex in Tyler, and I am getting approximately 45Mb/s Down and 1.85Mb/s Up. I am not sure why I cannot hit 2Mb/s Up with the new modem, but I think the download speed is newsworthy."
stilldead (233429) writes "In what appears to be a bold move to make some extra money off the Tonight Show before Leno comes in with something that I'm sure will be completely different it appears that Conan will be offering the show to the highest bidder on E-Bay. Of course he may end up using Craigslist instead. Now all we have to hope for is that he'll add in Triumph the Comic insult Dog and the Gaseous Weiner to really sweeten this deal."
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