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+ - 21yrs of the Internet in New Zealand celebrated->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "New Zealand is celebrating 21 years since it became the first country in Asia Pacific to hook up to the global Internet with an online party — hosted by actress and singer Madeleine Sami with video interviews and contributions from around the world. The site claims that NZ's first internet link was 50% funded by NASA as part of a USA push for the TCP/IP standard in the region to influence Japan's adoption."
Link to Original Source
Medicine

Neurosurgeons Use MRI-Guided Lasers To Destroy Tumors 70

Posted by samzenpus
from the laser-brained dept.
breadboy21 writes "In the seemingly perpetual battle to rid this planet of cancer, a team of neurosurgeons from Washington University are using a new MRI-guided high-intensity laser probe to 'cook' brain tumors that would otherwise be completely inoperable. According to Dr. Eric C. Leuthardt, this procedure 'offers hope to certain patients who had few or no options before,' with the laser baking the cancer cells deep within the brain while leaving the good tissue around it unmarred. The best part, however, is that this is already moving beyond the laboratory, with a pair of doctors at Barnes-Jewish Hospital using it successfully on a patient last month. Regrettably, just three hospitals at the moment are equipped with the Monteris AutoLITT device, but if we know anything about anything related to lasers, it'll be everywhere in no time flat."
Education

School Swaps Math Textbooks For iPads 439

Posted by samzenpus
from the there-goes-the-tech-budget dept.
MexiCali59 writes "Four of California's largest school districts will be trying something new on eighth-grade algebra students this year: giving them iPads instead of textbooks. The devices come pre-loaded with a digital version of the text, allowing students to view teaching videos, receive homework assistance and input assignment all without picking up a pen or paper. If the students with iPads turn out to do improve at a faster pace than their peers as expected, the program could soon spread throughout the Golden State."
Transportation

Solar-Powered Plane Makes Runway Debut 120

Posted by timothy
from the endless-summer dept.
MikeChino writes "The much-hyped Solar Impulse airplane just completed its first runway test, paving the way for a 20-to-25-day trip around the world next year. Conceived by Bertrand Piccard, the single-pilot plane successfully used its four solar powered motors to taxi around the runway. If all goes according to plan the plane will be able to fly day and night without fuel, signaling a bright future for solar-powered flight."
Google

Google Launches CADIE, the First True AI 246

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-all-knew-this-was-coming dept.
eldavojohn writes "Google has announced CADIE, the world's first Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity. 'We based our work on three core principles. First we designed the entity ... as a collection of interconnected evolving agents. Second — and this really cost us an arm and leg in hardware and core time — we let the system build its own heuristics, deploy them as agents and evolve them by running a set of evolutionary cascades within probabilistic Bayesian domains. The third — a piece missing in most AI reasoning work thus far — was to give the entity access to a rich, realistic world from which to learn and upon which it could act directly.' It quickly started its own blog and YouTube video. Two hours after midnight, CADIE announced independence on its blog and decided to leave Google to venture out into the world. "
Security

Online Banking Customers Migrating To Lynx 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the browsers-with-character dept.
Jibbler writes "Following the recent Pwn2Own competition, in which Firefox, IE8 and Safari all fell quickly to exploits, Netcraft has observed a surge in popularity of the text-based Lynx browser. Netcraft points out that Lynx supports the latest cryptographic ciphers, and at least one online banking site has seen Lynx usage overtake that of Internet Explorer and Firefox. To boost Lynx's excellent security history, Netcraft has even developed a version of its anti-phishing toolbar for Lynx."
The Media

The Guardian Shifts To Twitter After 188 Years of Ink 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the save-the-trees dept.
teflon_king writes with news that renowned British newspaper The Guardian will be abandoning its paper-and-ink distribution scheme and publishing all articles and news as Tweets. Quoting: "A mammoth project is also under way to rewrite the whole of the newspaper's archive, stretching back to 1821, in the form of tweets. Major stories already completed include '1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!;' 'OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more;' and 'JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?' Sceptics have expressed concerns that 140 characters may be insufficient to capture the full breadth of meaningful human activity, but social media experts say the spread of Twitter encourages brevity, and that it ought to be possible to convey the gist of any message in a tweet. For example, Martin Luther King's legendary 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial appears in the Guardian's Twitterised archive as 'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by,' eliminating the waffle and bluster of the original."
Slashdot.org

Slashdot Launches User Achievements 1582

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-believe-it-took-so-long dept.
In a concerted effort to compete with more popular MMOs like World of Warcraft, we've decided to add an Achievement system to Slashdot. We've retroactively granted around 900,000 achievements to our logged in users. You can view them from your user page, or you can see my list if you're curious what a REAL achiever looks like. Many achievements have been sprinkled throughout the system and are awaiting discovery by dedicated Slashdot users, but a starter list of achievements is in the FAQ. I'll toss you one freebie: you can register your wow main for points if you're that kind of person. Now go forth and achieve!

Comment: Re:Solution in search of problem? (Score 4, Informative) 186

by Snad (#25434533) Attached to: "Roadable Aircraft" Moving Towards Launch

Renting a car is fine if you're flying somewhere where such is available.

When I used to fly little Cessna 152s around the place we would often land at "airfields" that were little more than converted sheep paddocks with a gas pump off to the side. The nearest rental car place would have been 100 miles in any direction you cared to choose.

For that kind of flying, something like this would be practically nirvana. For flying between international airports, yes stick with the rental Chrysler or something...

Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the crazy-is-as-crazy-does dept.
I get a lot of mail from obviously unbalanced people. Enough in fact, that I've often wondered if there was a institution that allowed their patients to only read Slashdot. We've even had a few visits from some questionable individuals. A man who tried to bribe me with a car if I let him "reverse engineer" Rob Malda's Life comes to mind. He insisted on Rob being present for the process and couldn't explain to me what it entailed, so I suggested he leave. The personal visits are rare, however, compared to the amount of mail I get. Here are a few of my favorites; let's hope these people have started to take their medication. Read below and don't be worried if you don't understand all of it.
Earth

Carbon-Neutral Ziggurat Could House 1.1 Million In Dubai 393

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the big-brother's-wet-dream dept.
Engadget is reporting that a new pyramid-shaped city of the future, dubbed a "Ziggurat," is being touted by Dubai-based environmental design company, Timelinks. Claiming that their design allows for an almost self-sufficient energy footprint and, obviously, economy of space, the real trick would be getting 1.1 million people to live in such close proximity. "Martijn Kramer, managing director of The International Institute for the Urban Environment told WAN: 'As a general reaction the Ziggurat Project is viable from a technical point of view. However reflecting from a more sustainable holistic approach we do wonder if the food supply and waste system are taken care for, as the concept seems rather based upon carbon neutrality and energy saving.' Kramer's initial reaction to 'Ziggurat' also raises a very important issue: are people willing to live in a mega building of 2.3 sq km? Will the thought of living in a machine comfort people?"
Upgrades

Tin Whiskers — Fact Or Fiction? 459

Posted by timothy
from the shave-before-dates dept.
bLanark writes "Some time ago, most electronics were soldered with old-fashioned lead solder, which has been tried and tested for decades. In 2006, the EU banned lead in solder, and so most manufacturers switched to a lead-free solder. Most made the switch in advance, I guess due to shelf-life of products and ironing out problems working with the new material. Lead is added to solder as it melts at low temperature, but also, it prevents the solder from growing 'whiskers' — crystalline limbs of metal. The effect of whiskers on soldered equipment would include random short-circuits and strange RF-effects. Whiskers can grow fairly quickly and become quite long. Robert Cringley wrote this up this some time ago, but it seems that the world has not been taking notice. I guess cars (probably around 30 processors in a modern car) and almost every appliance would be liable to fail sooner than expected due to tin whiskers. Note that accelerated life-expectancy tests can't simulate the passing of time for whiskers to grow. I've googled, and there is plenty of research into the effects of tin whiskers. I should point out that the Wikipedia page linked to above states that tin whisker problems 'are negligible in modern alloys,' but can we trust Wikipedia? So: was the tin whisker problem overhyped, was it an initial problem that has been solved in the few years since lead-free solder came into use, or is it affecting anyone already?"

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