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Windows

Submission + - High speed VMware View with FusionIO tech (youtube.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Bit of a plug video, but bare with me, it's still a very nice way of using solid-state tech (fusionio) & vmware to offer users a fast vdi experience.
Science

Morphing Metals 121

aarondubrow writes "Imagine a metal that 'remembers' its original, cold-forged shape, and can return to that shape when exposed to heat or a magnetic pulse. Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel, such a metal could contract on command, or swing back and forth like a pendulum. Believe it or not, such metals already exist. First discovered in 1931, they belong to a class of materials called 'shape memory alloys (SMA),' whose unique atomic make-up allows them to return to their initial form, or alternate between forms through a phase change."
Yahoo!

What Went Wrong At Yahoo 162

kjh1 writes "Paul Graham writes about what he felt went wrong at Yahoo. He has first-hand experience — his company, Viaweb, was bought by Yahoo and he worked there for a while. In a nutshell, he felt that Yahoo was too conflicted about whether they were a technology company or a media company. 'If anyone at Yahoo considered the idea that they should be a technology company, the next thought would have been that Microsoft would crush them.' This in part led to hiring bad programmers, or at least not going single-mindedly after the very best ones. They also lacked the 'hacker' culture that Google and Facebook still seem to have, and that is found in many startup tech companies. 'As long as customers were writing big checks for banner ads, it was hard to take search seriously. Google didn't have that to distract them.'"
Real Time Strategy (Games)

StarCraft II Cost $100 Million To Develop 414

UgLyPuNk writes with news of a report that Blizzard has spent over $100 million developing StarCraft II. Initial development on the game began in 2003, and it's due to be released on July 27th. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick "described StarCraft as one of the company’s seven 'pillars of opportunity' (where each pillar has the potential to deliver operating profit between $500 million and $1 billion over its life span)." The finalized system requirements for the game have been released, and players planning to buy the digitally distributed version can download it now, though it won't be playable until the 27th.
Android

Droid X Self-Destructs If You Try To Mod 757

An anonymous reader writes with some discouraging news for hack-oriented purchasers of the new Droid X phone: "If the eFuse fails to verify [the firmware information (what we call ROMS), the kernel information, and the bootloader version], then the eFuse receives a command to 'blow the fuse' or 'trip the fuse.' This results in the booting process becoming corrupted, followed by a permanent bricking of the phone. This FailSafe is activated anytime the bootloader is tampered with or any of the above three parts of the phone has been tampered with."
Science

The Chicken May Have Come Before the Egg 341

Muondecay writes "The age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, has been tentatively answered. The verdict? The chicken, or rather a key protein needed to form the shell of the egg. The protein, called ovocledidin-17, was known to be involved in binding calcite molecules that formed the shells, but the mechanism behind this was unclear until now. The protein acts as a molecular machine, binding to nanoparticles of calcite and guiding them to begin self-assembly of the shell. This gives tremendous insight for developing methods of nano-scale self-assembly based on natural processes, as well as settling heated cocktail party arguments everywhere."
Robotics

Willow Garage Robot Fetches Beer, Engineers Rejoice 114

kkleiner writes "Willow Garage has pulled off the ultimate engineering feat: teaching a PR2 robot to fetch you a beer from the fridge. Not only can the PR2 select the correct brew from the fridge, it can deliver, and even open the beer as needed. That's right, all the humans have to do is drink and relax. Prepare yourself for some major robot-envy as you check out the PR2 delivering much-needed refreshment in the video."
Cellphones

Porting Lemmings In 36 Hours 154

An anonymous reader writes "Aaron Ardiri challenged himself to port his classic PalmOS version of Lemmings to the iPhone, Palm Pre, Mac, and Windows. The porting was done using his own dev environment, which creates native C versions of the game. He liveblogged the whole thing, and finished after only 36 hours with an iPhone version and a Palm Pre version awaiting submission, and free versions for Windows and Mac available on his site."

Submission + - Software engineer nicked for card skimming scam (thinq.co.uk)

Stoobalou writes: A Sri Lankan national has been jailed for his part in a £725,000 chip and pin machine rigging scam which cloned the cards of petrol station customers all over the south of England.

Software engineer Theogenes De Montford, a 29-year-old graduate from west London, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for his part in the campaign which modified the customer-operated handsets in order to clone the cards of unwitting users.

Software

Preserving Virtual Worlds 122

The Opposable Thumbs blog has an interview with Jerome McDonough of the University of Illinois, who is involved with the Preserving Virtual Worlds project. The goal of the project is to recognize video games as cultural artifacts and to make sure they're accessible by future generations. Here McDonough talks about some of the technical difficulties in doing so: "Take, for example, Star Raiders on the Atari 2600. If you're going to preserve this, you've got a couple of problems. The first is that it is on a cartridge that is designed to work on a particular system that is no longer manufactured. And as long as you've got a hardware dependency there, you're really not going to be able to preserve this material very long. What we have been looking at is how feasible is it for things that fundamentally all have some level of hardware dependency there — even Doom has dependencies on DLLs with an operating system, and on particular chipsets and architectures for playing. How do you take that and turn it into something that isn't as dependent on a particular physical piece of hardware. And to do that, you need information about that platform. You need technical specifications that allow you to basically reproduce a virtualization that may enable you to run the software in its original form in the future. So what we're trying to do is preserve not only the games, but preserve the knowledge that you would need to create a virtualization platform to play the game."
Security

Submission + - Distributed SSH Brute Force Attack Underway (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Security experts are warning about a fresh round of attacks against SSH implementations. The attacks are brute-force attempts to authenticate to remote SSH servers, a tactic that has been used quite often in the past in distributed attacks. However, this series of attacks isn't using the password authentication method. Instead, the attackers are attempting to connect to the SSH servers by using the alternative keyboard-interactive authentication method. In the past, many of the large, distributed SSH attacks have used the simpler password authentication method and just run through a given set of potential passwords on a target server hoping to get lucky.
Crime

Submission + - The Truth About Social Media Identity Theft (net-security.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The use of social media can increase consumer vulnerability to identity theft because of the amount and type of personal information people share on these networks. However, consumers do little or nothing to protect themselves, according to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute. Although more than 80 percent of study respondents expressed concern about their security while using social media, more than half of these same individuals admitted they do not take any steps to actively protect themselves.
Biotech

Submission + - 1000 Genomes Project Releases Pilot Genome Data (bcm.edu)

eldavojohn writes: Three pilot projects have been completed for the 1000 Genomes Project and as a result the pilot data has been released. This makes the data of nearly 700 people available for analysis via FTP (Americas mirror, European mirror). Dr. Eric D. Green of the National Human Genome Research Institute said, 'The 1000 Genomes project has a simple goal: peer more deeply into the genetic variations of the human genome to understand the genetic contribution to common human diseases. I am excited about the progress being made on this resource for use by scientists around the world and look forward to seeing what we learn from the next stage of the project.' There's not a whole lot of information on their site about this data but the repositories have many readme files explaining the data layout.

Submission + - GM Blames Recall on Chinese Parts (youtube.com)

Carquestions writes: The latest GM Recall of 1.5 million cars for the heated washer fluid electronic module failed to mention all the details. Carquestions finds out it was worth a look when M. Whinton finds a "Made in China" sticker right on the back of the module hidden from view. Of all the recall documents Whinton has from NHTSA (30+) GM never mentions the part was made in China but they do show GM clearly blaming the manufacturer by claiming a defect in the printed circuit board and other components.
Image

How Sperm Whales Offset Their Carbon Footprint Screenshot-sm 150

Boy Wunda writes "Scientists at Flinders University in South Australia found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn't do much more than just sit there." I'm going to do my part by buying some iron supplements and a can of chili, and heading off toward the ocean.

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