netbuzz writes "Comic creator Randall Monroe suggested in a recent xkcd strip that YouTube comments would be better — or, more precisely, less idiotic — if only those posting them were forced to hear their words read aloud first. Well, YouTube has gone and made this "audio preview" a reality, albeit an optional one. And, it's not the first time that xkcd has contributed to the betterment of the Internet, as those who are familiar with last year's "Internet census" and its use of a Hilbert curve may remember."
Science News reports on a paper to be published in Physical Review Letters in which an international team of researchers describes their computer simulation of the most violent collision imaginable: two black holes colliding head-on at nearly light-speed. Even in this extreme scenario, Roger Penrose's weak cosmic censorship hypothesis seems to hold — the resulting black hole (after the gravitational waves have died down) retains its event horizon. "Mathematically, 'naked' singularities, or those without event horizons, can exist, but physicists wouldn't know what to make of them. All known mechanisms for the formation of singularities also create an event horizon, and Penrose conjectured that there must be some physical principle — a 'cosmic censor' — that forbids singularity nakedness ..."
Ostracus writes "Deus Ex 3, the third entry in the influential FPS/RPG series, was confirmed to be in development by Eidos Montreal nearly a year ago — and now the first solid details on the game have finally emerged. UK magazine PC Zone has a cover story on Deus Ex 3 for their 200th issue (which has reportedly just begun reaching subscribers), and CVG has relayed a number of interesting tidbits from the preview: '... this time around combat won't be influenced by stats, but will rely purely on your personal marksmanship skills. Instead stats will influence "a vast array of fully upgradeable and customisable weapons," and you'll be able to tailor your arsenal to your play style with mag upgrades, scopes and other add-ons. What's more, stealth will now rely on a cover system rather than shadows, and damage will be dealt with by a very Call of Duty-style auto-heal.'"
More than 1,000 people attended this year's Ig Nobel awards, a light-hearted alternative to the Nobel Prizes. Scientists who unlocked the inner secrets of dog fleas, crisps and tangled string swept the show. Handing out awards was William Lipscomb, the 1976 Nobel laureate for chemistry, also doubling Thursday, at the age of 89, as the hero in the "Win-a-Date-With-a-Nobel-Laureate Contest." The prize itself is a plaque that reads, "This Ig Nobel Prize is awarded in the year 2008 to an Ig Nobel Prize Winner, in recognition of the Ig Nobel Prize Winners' Ig Nobel Prize winning achievement." At last I can submit my paper, "Everything is Really Wet, Even Dry Stuff." for peer review.
Car Analogy Please writes to tell us that a new car unveiled at the Paris Auto Show was modeled after the Gran Turismo 5 Prologue car. GTbyCITROËN is the first car that has been designed in tandem with a video game to then spill out onto the actual pavement. "The GTbyCITROËN is the product of a partnership built up during the creation of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Takumi Yamamoto, from Citroen and Kazunori Yamauchi from Polyphony Digital Inc, the games developer were inspired by each others industries to design a concept car for the game that then flowed further into the real-world. The game version of the car mirrors the real-world performance of the concept."
mir42 writes "The OpenSource multimedia authorware project Sophie, formerly hosted by USC Los Angeles, may just have been killed by new funding. The original funding organization, Mellon Foundation, approved a grant to redevelop the four year project from scratch in Java. The grant was awarded to a Bulgarian company based on their proposal, which is simply an exact description, including the UI and the artwork, of the current Sophie. Being an OpenSource project, this isn't strictly illegal, but let's say, not nice and definitely not innovative, coming from a former sub-sub-contractor on the project. Some of the original, now laid-off developers started OpenSophie.org trying to salvage the project. As the current version is still somewhat buggy and slow, it might just be enough to alienate all potential users of Sophie to the point that nobody will even try to use the next version. Have others faced similar situations? How would you deal with a situation like this?"
Being in a relationship is not easy, more than half of all first marriages fail in this country. That statistic doesn't improve if you spend most of your time reading your favorite website and not tending to the needs of your family. Instead of asking me to help fix your relationship maybe you should try playing with your kids, talking to your wife, and not staring at a computer screen all day. You should realize that the help link doesn't provide help with your life. It's mostly for getting passwords and stuff. Below you'll find a collection of people that should have reached out to Dr. Phil and not Dr. Sam.
roncosmos writes "Science News has up a feature on the first use of sound recording in a presidential campaign. In 1908, for the first time, presidential candidates recorded their voices on wax cylinders. Their voices could be brought into the home for 35 cents, equivalent to about $8 now. In that pre-radio era, this was the only way, short of hearing a speech at a whistle stop, that you could hear the candidates. The story includes audio recordings from the 1908 candidates, William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft. Bryan's speech, on bank failures, seems sadly prescient now. Taft's, on the progress of the Negro, sounds condescending to modern ears but was progressive at the time. There are great images from the campaign; lots of fun."
jammag writes "Open source advocate Bruce Perens writes in Datamation about a major court victory for open source: 'An appeals court has erased most of the doubt around Open Source licensing, permanently, in a decision that was extremely favorable toward projects like GNU, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, and Linux.' The case, Jacobsen v. Katzer, revolved around free software coded by Bob Jacobsen that Katzer used in a proprietary application and then patented. When Katzer started sending invoices to Jacobsen (for what was essentially Jacobsen's own work), Jacobsen took the case to court and scored a victory that — for the first time — lays down a legal foundation for the protection of open source developers. The case hasn't generated as many headlines as it should."
Tsunayoshi writes "My son volunteered me to give a presentation on what I do for a living for career day at his elementary school. I need to come up with a roughly 20-minute presentation to be given to 4-5 different classrooms. I am a systems administrator, primarily Unix/Linux and enterprise NAS/SAN storage, working for an aerospace company. I was thinking something along the lines of explaining how some everyday things they experience (websites, telephone systems, etc.) all depend on servers, and those servers are maintained by systems administrators. I was also going to talk about what I do specifically, which is maintain the computer systems that allow the really smart rocket scientists to get things into space. Am I on the right track? Can anyone suggest some good (and cheap/easy to make) visual aids?"
LiteralKa sends in a poorly sourced Reg story claiming that Microsoft has granted OEMs six more months to sell PCs using Windows Vista with the support to downgrade to Windows XP. OEMs can now offer such arrangements until July 31, 2009 — the previous deadline was January 31, 2009. The article claims as source "a Reg reader" without further details. Neither Microsoft nor any OEM has confirmed the rumor, and only a few scattered bloggers have picked it up.
wiedzmin writes "A couple of very useful updates have just been released by Microsoft for the ever so popular Sysinternals tool set. The most notable one is ProcessMonitor v2.0 which will now include 'real-time TCP and UDP monitoring.' Another one, released earlier this year — Desktops 1.0, provides a very unique multi-thread way to get multiple desktops running on your Windows box."
With the entry to sub-orbital flight, and even orbital flight, becoming ever so slightly easier, the obvious thought of space porn kicks in. Who wouldn't want to see two or more people going at it like rabbits in a weightless environment (or at least trying to go at it like rabbits in a weightless environment)? Sadly, Virgin Galactic has turned down a $1 million offer to do just that. The offer was made by an unidentified party who was willing to put the money up front to do a space porn movie. Considering that a flight aboard VG costs $200,000 for a two-hour flight, $1 million doesn't seem too bad. Though how much you could actually do and perform in two hours is debatable. And what if one or more of the actors gets sick?
mattnyc99 writes "Honda's challenger to the Prius — the Insight hybrid that we discussed so lividly a month ago — got its official unveiling today at the Paris auto show, with insiders confirming it would be cheaper than the world's most popular 'green' car while still hitting the same fuel-efficiency range. But the hybrid-electric showdown comes in the midst of a sudden rethink by Toyota about plug-in hybrids. Apparently all the recent hype — over the production version of the Chevy Volt, plus Chrysler's new electric trio and even the cool new Pininfarina EV also unveiled today — has execs from the world's number one automaker, and alt-fuel experts, questioning how many people will really buy electric cars, whether people will really charge them at night to keep the grid clear, whether batteries will make them too expensive and more. "