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Comment Oh really? (Score 1) 205

Presumably, then, by "openness" Ms. Clinton means "subject only to regulation by big media," because until the Obama administration makes material strides to back the FCC in regulating real net neutrality, that's what we get. Our internet speech may not be impeded by the red-herring "kill switch," but it surely will by the Verizons and Comcasts and AT&Ts that control the packets.


Next Generation of Windows To Run On ARM Chip 307

Hugh Pickens writes "Sharon Chan reports in the Seattle Times that at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft showed the next generation of Windows running natively on an ARM chip design, commonly used in the mobile computing world, indicating a schism with Intel, the chip maker Microsoft has worked with closely with throughout the history of Windows and the PC. The Microsoft demonstration showed Word, PowerPoint and high definition video running on a prototype ARM chipset made by Texas Instruments, Nvidia. 'It's part of our plans for the next generation of Windows,' says Steve Sinofsky, president of Windows division. 'That's all under the hood.' According to a report in the WSJ, the long-running alliance between Microsoft and Intel is coming to a day of reckoning as sales of tablets, smartphones and televisions using rival technologies take off, pushing the two technology giants to go their separate ways. The rise of smartphones and more recently, tablets, has strained the relationship as Intel's chips haven't been able to match the low power consumption of chips based on designs licensed from ARM. Intel has also thumbed its nose at Microsoft by collaborating with Microsoft archrival Google on the Chrome OS, Google's operating system that will compete with Windows in the netbook computer market. 'I think it's a deep fracture,' says venture capitalist Jean-Louis Gassee regarding relations between Microsoft and Intel."

Submission + - Google Sues The US For Only Considering Microsoft (

An anonymous reader writes: Late last week, Google sued the US government for putting out a Request For Quotation for the messaging needs of the Department of the Interior that specified only Microsoft solutions would be considered. Google apparently had spent plenty of time talking to DOI officials to understand their needs and make sure they had a solution ready to go — and were promised that there wasn't a deal already in place with Microsoft... and then the RFQ came out. Google protested, but the protest was dismissed, with the claim that Google was "not an interested party."

Comment Re:Flash drives, tarballs, &c. (Score 1) 440

Good question. It seems to me that a "firewall" in the normal sense of the thing that allows connections only on particular ports using particular protocols will not protect against such infections, but I got the impression from the article that the author was using the term more loosely than that. His example of the SQL Slammer suggests this, because presumably it arrives through acceptable firewall (in the strict sense) doors...


DNA-Less 'Red Rain' Cells Reproduce At 121 C 149

eldavojohn writes "A new paper up for prepublication from the controversial solid-state physicist Godfrey Louis claims that the cells Louis collected from a Keralan red rain incident divide and produce daughter cells at 121 degrees Celsius. While unusual, this is not unheard of as the paper recalls cells cultivated from hydrothermal vents are known to reproduce at 121 C as well. Of course, caution is exercised when dealing with the possible explanation surrounding the theory of panspermia but the MIT Technology Review says researchers 'examined the way these fluoresce when bombarded with light and say it is remarkably similar to various unexplained emission spectra seen in various parts of the galaxy. One such place is the Red Rectangle, a cloud of dust and gas around a young star in the Monocerous constellation.'"

Comment Mostly (Score 5, Insightful) 279

I can agree with all of this except the "backed by a major vendor" part, which seems superfluous... Design is all about maintaining a coherent vision of the end product, whereas hammering a tin shed on the side of the Taj Mahal is always a bad idea, particularly for maintainability and robustness. What isn't clear to me is why I need a vendor to supply my vision when I've already had years of education and experience...


Robot With Knives Used In Robotics Injury Study 132

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that German researchers, seeking to find out what would happen if a robot handling a sharp tool accidentally struck a human, set out to perform a series of cutting, stabbing, and puncturing tests. They used a robotic manipulator arm, fitted with various sharp tools (kitchen knife, scalpel, screwdriver) and performed striking tests at a block of silicone, a pig leg, and at one point, even the arm of a human volunteer. Volunteer, really?! The story includes video of the tests."

Comment Russian Tradition? (Score 4, Insightful) 213

The "Russian tradition of building secret towns?" Towns like Oak Ridge, TN, or Los Alamos, NM, or Hanford, WA, maybe? Explain again how this project is doomed to fail as a government effort to make a technological leap. On the contrary, our own experience is great success doing this sort of thing. Nor is this an American peculiarity--the Germans very successfully built an entire town at Peenemunde to develop and construct V-2 rockets. In fact, here in America we capitalized on this success by moving its authors, notably Werner von Braun, to Huntsville, AL where we created yet another failed government experiment to land men on the moon...

I'm thinking that people should read a bit less Ayn Rand science fiction and a bit more actual history.

Hardware Hacking

Home-Built Turing Machine 123

stronghawk writes "The creator of the Nickel-O-Matic is back at it and has now built a Turing Machine from a Parallax Propeller chip-based controller, motors, a dry-erase marker and a non-infinite supply of shiny 35mm leader film. From his FAQ: 'While thinking about Turing machines I found that no one had ever actually built one, at least not one that looked like Turing's original concept (if someone does know of one, please let me know). There have been a few other physical Turing machines like the Logo of Doom, but none were immediately recognizable as Turing machines. As I am always looking for a new challenge, I set out to build what you see here.'"

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly