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The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Berlin Wall 'Death Strip' Game Sparks Outrage In Germany 193

gzipped_tar writes "According to Spiegel Online, 'A new computer game where players assume the roles of border guards and shoot people trying to escape from communist East Germany has unleashed a storm of controversy in Germany. The game's creator says he wanted to teach young people about history, but he has been accused of glorifying violence. ... The name of the multi-player FPS game, 1,378 (kilometers), was inspired by the length of the border between East and West Germany. ... [Players] choose between the roles of the border guards or would-be escapees: the escapee only has one goal — to get over the wall, but the border guard has more options, and can shoot or capture the escapee. He can also swap sides and try to clamber over the border defenses himself.' By choosing to play the border guard and kill the escapee, the player would win an in-game medal from the government of East Germany. But then the guard would time-travel forward to the year 2000, where he would have to stand trial. Jens Stober, 23, designed the game as a media art student at the University of Design, Media and Arts in Karlsruhe. He said that his intention was to teach young people about German history."

Microsoft, Yahoo Finalize Search Agreement 77

Joe Quimby writes "Microsoft and Yahoo have finalized and executed their Web-search agreement after five months of deliberation, the companies announced Friday. Microsoft and Yahoo reached a revenue-sharing agreement in July to combine their search businesses. Under the 10-year agreement, Yahoo's Web search would be powered by Bing and Yahoo would retain most ad revenue from its site."

The Kafka-esque Nightmare of Palm App Submission 332

MBCook writes "Jamie Zawinski, shortly after the release of the Palm Pre, wrote two free software programs for the phone: a Tip Calculator and a port of Dali Clock. In trying to get the apps published to the App Catalog, he has had to sign up to be a developer twice; fax contracts around; been told (apparently incorrectly) that he was not allowed to release free software for the phone; and told he had to give PayPal his checking account number. 'It's been two weeks, and I have received no reply. In the months since this process began, other third-party developers seem to have managed to get their applications into the App Catalog. Apparently these people are better at jumping through ridiculous hoops than I am.'"
The Military

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions 1032

selven wrote in with something a bit offtopic for Slashdot, but I figured it's worth a discussion today. He writes "Following Iran's revelation regarding its secret nuclear enrichment plant, western leaders are banding together against it, saying that it violates Articles 2 and 3 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and suggesting serious sanctions against the country if it refuses to back down on its uranium enrichment program. Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only and that it's not fair for the US to be criticizing them in this way while having thousands of nuclear warheads."

Bugatti's Latest Veyron, Most Ridiculous Car on the Planet? 790

Wired has an amusing writeup that accurately captures the most recent ridiculous addition to Bugatti's automobile catalog. The $2.1 million Veyron sports over 1,000 horsepower, a 16-cylinder engine, and a top speed of 245 mph. The guilty conscience comes for free. "That same cash-filled briefcase could buy seven Ferrari 599s or every single 2009 model Mercedes. You could snap up a top-shelf Maybach and employ a chauffeur until well past the apocalypse. Hell, in this economy, $2.1 million is probably enough to make you a one-man special-interest group with some serious Washington clout."

Squeezing a Wikipedia Snapshot Onto an 8GB iPhone 169

blackbearnh writes with this excerpt from O'Reilly Radar "Think about Wikipedia, what some consider the most complete general survey of human knowledge we have at the moment. Now imagine squeezing it down to fit comfortably on an 8GB iPhone. Sound daunting? Well, that's just what Patrick Collison's Encyclopedia iPhone application does. App Store purchasers of Collison's open source application can browse and search the full text of Wikipedia when stuck in a plane, or trapped in the middle of nowhere (or, as defined by AT&T coverage...)"

Police Cars To Transmit Real-Time Video 149

Hugh Pickens writes "In the first such system deployed in the country, police vehicles in Ponca City, Oklahoma will have wireless video cameras installed so precinct dispatchers and supervisors can monitor activities during traffic stops in real time, and quickly deploy additional officers and resources if necessary. The system to provide an added level of monitoring and protection for its force is part of a broadband mesh network comprised of more than 490 wireless nodes and gateways connected to 120 miles of fiber backbone that will provide coverage for approximately 30 square miles of the city. The network will provide field communications for city services including police, fire and emergency, parks and recreation, public works and energy, but will also be used to provide free wireless internet access for all residents of the city. 'The testing of this network showed that it was robust enough to handle not only municipal traffic, but also citizens' traffic.' said Mayor Homer Nicholson. 'So the Ponca City Board of Commissioners voted to allow the extra internet access to be given to the citizens of Ponca City for free.' The second phase of the project will expand the network and wireless coverage to more than 430 square miles surrounding the city with an estimated annual cost savings of over $1 million for city residents, who can discontinue their existing internet service. 'Our goal is to be one of the most mobile communities in America, and this is a significant step in that direction,' said Nicholson."

Comment Re:The US and US flags (Score 5, Interesting) 622

why does Americans see the need to constantly surround themselves with US flags? [...] Outside the USA, you'll only see it in dictatorships that tries to whip up unity/loyalty for to state

I think that's wrong. In Paris there flag poles on the street that serve no other purpose than to wave the French flag around. In Germany, following the last Euro cup, many people kept the German flags they had been displaying during the competition on their houses and cars (following a very long history of flag-taboo in that country, granted). In some neighbourhoods of my hometown of Montreal, hundreds of people display the Quebec flag on their porch for no other reason that affirm their patriotism.

I think we all have a natural tendency to notice flags much more when they have a negative connotation to us. Nationalist Quebecers notice Canadian flags everywhere but Quebec flags are invisible to them. Many people outside the US don't associate very positive thoughts to the Star-Spangled Banner, and the slight irritation it causes makes them notice it more.

And the picture we're discussing here is a military picture. Of course they're going to pose in front of their flag.

Just my $0.02 of course. Maybe the flag/capita ratio is indeed higher in the States than other countries, but I think that's the sort of domain where we're all heavily biased in what we notice and what we don't, so until I see actual figures I'll keep an eyebrow raised.


Monty Python Banks On the Long Tail Via YouTube 222

JTRipper writes "Monty Python seems to have done the right thing. Instead of issuing take down notices of their videos on YouTube, they are doing it better themselves with their own YouTube channel. They are putting all their clips (including snips from their movies) up in a decent resolution, with the only caveat being a link to buying the movies and TV episodes from Amazon."

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton