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Sci-Fi

Firefly Lives - New Comics in 2008 117

Posted by Zonk
from the told-you-they-couldn't-take-the-sky-from-me dept.
gambit3 writes "'Serenity: Better Days' will be released as a 3 part comic in early 2008. The series is a step back in time to the early years of the Firefly crew, and the fledgling gang's turbulent attempts to cope with success after they pull off their first successful heist. It features the same creative team as Those Left Behind, with the story by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews, art by Will Conrad, and Adam Hughes providing all three covers this time." Ironic, considering today's brand-new poll.
Cellphones

Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills 287

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hate-when-that-happens dept.
LingNoi writes "A man in Korea was found dead at his workplace Wednesday morning and his mobile phone battery was melted in his shirt pocket. No one knows for sure yet but a doctor who examined the body said, "He sustained an injury that is similar to a burn in the left chest and his ribs and spine were broken" We have heard of other dangerous battery products here on Slashdot." Update: 11/30 17:34 GMT by Z : Turns out the melted battery was the least of his worries; he was actually hit by a truck.
Cellphones

Sloshing Cellphones Reveal Their Contents 160

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-you-can dept.
holy_calamity writes "UK researchers have developed software that represents a handset's battery life by using a phone's speaker and vibrator to make a device feel and sound like it contains liquid. You give it a shake to find out how much is left. The same technique can be used to represent new messages by simulating balls rattling around inside a box. It runs on recent Nokias with accelerometers; video from the researchers explains it well." What a bizarrely fun idea.
Google

Google Goes Green 374

Posted by kdawson
from the all-that-and-carbon-neutral-too dept.
foobsr writes "Google today announced its RE<C project to make renewable energy cheaper than coal in the near future. The company, and its charitable arm google.org, plan to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the initiative. Larry Page stated: 'With talented technologists, great partners and significant investments, we hope to rapidly push forward. Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades.'"

The Dumber Android Is, the Better, Say Experts 165

Posted by Zonk
from the are-we-talking-lore-dumb-or-kryton-dumb dept.
ZDOne writes "ZDNet UK is reporting that it will not be known until the Android software development kit comes out on Monday whether the Gphone will be strictly Java-based, but security experts claim that the less smart a phone is, the less vulnerable it is. Android developers should stick to a semi-smartphone platform because the Java sandbox can protect against the normal kinds of attacks, experts claim. The article also discusses some of the pros and cons of open vs. closed source security. 'The debate about the relative security merits of open-source as opposed to proprietary software development has been a very long-running one. Open-source software development has the advantage of many pairs of eyes scrutinizing the code, meaning irregularities can be spotted and ironed out, while updates to plug vulnerabilities can be written and pushed out very quickly. However, one of the disadvantages of open-source development is that anyone can scrutinize the source code to find vulnerabilities and write exploits. The source code in proprietary software, on the other hand, can't be directly viewed, meaning vulnerabilities need to be found through reverse engineering.'"
Security

Virtualization Decreases Security 340

Posted by kdawson
from the more-chances-to-blow-it dept.
ParaFan writes "In a fascinating story on KernelTrap, Theo de Raadt asserts that while virtualization can increase hardware utilization, it does not in any way improve security. In fact, he contends the exact opposite is true: 'You are absolutely deluded, if not stupid, if you think that a worldwide collection of software engineers who can't write operating systems or applications without security holes, can then turn around and suddenly write virtualization layers without security holes.' de Raadt argues that the lack of support for process isolation on x86 hardware combined with numerous bugs in the architecture are a formula for virtualization decreasing overall security, not increasing it."
NASA

NASA Offering $2 Million Prize for Lunar Lander 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-hard-could-it-be dept.
coondoggie writes "If you build it, NASA will not only come, it'll give you $2 million dollars for your troubles. The space agency today said it will offer $2 million in prizes if competing teams can successfully build a lunar lander at the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge at Holloman Air Force Base, in Alamogordo, N.M. Oct. 27 and 28th. To win the prize, teams must demonstrate a rocket-propelled vehicle and payload that takes off vertically, climbs to a defined altitude, flies for a pre-determined amount of time, and then lands vertically on a target that is a fixed distance from the launch pad. After landing, the vehicle must take off again within a predetermined time, fly for a certain amount of time and then land back on its original launch pad."

GIMP 2.4 Released 596

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bring-out-the-gimp dept.
Enselic writes "After almost three years since the release of GIMP 2.2, the GIMP developers have just announced the release of GIMP 2.4. The release notes speak of scalable bitmap brushes, redesigned rectangle/ellipse selection tools, redesigned crop tool, a new foreground selection tool, a new align tool, reorganized menu layouts, improved zoomed in/zoomed out image display quality, improved printing and color management support and a new perspective clone tool."
Microsoft

Microsoft to Pay $240 Million for Stake in Facebook 277

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the facebook-laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank dept.
Nrbelex writes to mention The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft has beat out Google and Yahoo for a 1.6% stake in Facebook. The investment will cost Microsoft $240 million valuing the total site at somewhere around $15 billion. "The astronomical valuation for Facebook is primarily evidence that Microsoft executives believed they could not afford to lose out on the Facebook deal. Google appears to be building a dominant position in the race to serve advertisements online. Fearing it might lose control over the next generation of computer users, Microsoft has been attempting to match and in some cases block Google's plans, even if that effort is costly."
Technology

New Hydrogen Engine Test Shows Future of Aviation 184

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the put-it-in-a-car dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention Boeing has successfully completed tests for the engine that will power HALE, the new prop plane that will be able to stay aloft for long periods of time. "The wünderengine, developed by the Ford Motor Company, went for three days under the simulated conditions of a 65,000-feet flight, which is definitely better than a Taurus and apparently exceeded their expectations on fuel economy. Chris Haddox at Boeing's Advanced Systems said that while it will be several years before HALE flies, the key to this aircraft is the propulsion system and this recent test was very promising."

Greenpeace Admits Targeting Apple Grabs Headlines 394

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the green-but-not-so-much-for-peace dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gizmodo published this morning allegations by the bromine industry claiming that Greenpeace's report on the iPhone was inaccurate and alarmist. They got an official rebuttal to the bromine industry by Greenpeace, but the most interesting part is their acknowledgment that their targeting of Apple, even while they have similar reports on every manufacturer, is a deliberate attempt to grab headlines. While it's logical and not surprising, I find it quite shocking to see them be so cavalier, and even hypocritical, about it."
The Internet

World Series Ticket Sales Overwhelm Servers 86

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the first-error-of-the-series-goes-to-the-owner dept.
vlakkies writes "The Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team decided to only sell tickets for the World Series games at Coors Field online. As a result of overwhelming interest, the ticket vendor Paciolan experienced a system meltdown resulting in a suspension of all ticket sales."

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team

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