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Programming

'Extreme Programming' Controls Phoenix Mars Lander 119

Posted by Soulskill
from the hello-world dept.
pbd points out a story discussing the challenges faced by NASA engineers in designing the code sent to operate the Phoenix Mars Lander. Quoting Computerworld: "On Wednesday, engineers sent up the code to run an actual analysis, but a satellite orbiting Mars, which transfers the data down to the Lander, was offline. Robinson explained that the satellite had been hit with radiation, knocking it into safe mode. 'Space is a harsh environment, and sometimes they just go into safe mode,' he noted. 'It's a minor problem. [The satellite] aborts whatever it was doing and waits for future commanding.' Engineers successfully resent the code on Thursday."
Data Storage

BitMicro Takes Wraps Off 832 GB Flash Drive 241

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the will-only-cost-an-arm-a-leg-and-your-firstborn dept.
Lucas123 writes "BitMicro has unveiled an 832GB NAND flash drive that will begin shipping later this year. The E-Disk Altima drive is expected to have sustained read rates of up to 100MB/sec and up to 20,000 I/O operations per second. The device features a SATA 3.0 G/bps interface. No pricing as of yet."
Microsoft

Microsoft 'Open Value Subscription' is None of the Above 202

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the one-step-forward-three-steps-back dept.
daveofdoom writes "This week Microsoft launched an SMB program that contains the words 'open', 'value' and 'subscription', none of which are common to Microsoft products, culture, or marketing. Digging in a bit I found myself confused not only by what the program portends to be but why it would be called 'Open Value Subscription' unless they were hoping to leverage buzzwords and concepts related to open source and SaaS (software as a service). It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed."
Media

A Bleak Future For Physical Media Purchases? 269

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-a-madhouse-a-madhouse dept.
KevReedUK writes "The folks at ZDNet are eulogising over the upcoming death of physical media music sales. They refer to the noticeable drop in physical sales of albums whilst digital sales continue climbing (albeit at a reduced rate). Their central argument is that 'the music industry was pillaged by piracy and competition from other forms of entertainment such as video games ... [2007] marked the lowest tally and the steepest decline since Nielsen began publishing estimates based on point-of-sales data in 1993, a Nielsen representative said. The peak year in that time was 2000, when sales reached 785 million units.'"

Microsoft's Biggest Threat - Google or Open Source? 240

Posted by Zonk
from the by-your-powers-combined dept.
Glyn Moody writes "Google always plays down suggestions that there's any looming clash of the titans between itself and Microsoft. Meanwhile, the search giant is pushing open source in every way it can. They're contributing directly by contributing code to projects and employing top hackers like Andrew Morton, Jeremy Allison and Guido van Rossum, and indirectly through the $60 million fees it pays Mozilla, its Summer of Code scheme and various open source summits held at its offices. Google+OSS: could this be the killer combination that finally breaks Microsoft?"
Music

Convert NSF Files to MP3s 69

Posted by timothy
from the no-advice-for-nsfw-files dept.
indecks writes "This tutorial shows an easy way to convert NSF (NES Sound Format) files to mp3s so they can be played in normal media players, or even used as ringtones. Now I have the Super Mario Bros '1Up' sound for my text message notification, and I have Mega Man 3's 'Snakeman' stage music as my ringer. Sah-weet!" (The method demonstrated does require Windows, note.)
Games

What Is Your Game of the Year? 477

Posted by Zonk
from the all-three-console-makers-are-having-a-merry-christmas dept.
It's that time of year again. Last year's response to our Game of the Year post was so enthusiastic that I thought it would be worthwhile to give it another go. So, once again, some of the Slashdot folks have come together to offer up our 'games of the year'. Scuttlemonkey, Scott Collins, Chris Brown, CmdrTaco, and myself have all put together quick blurbs about the games we couldn't get enough of this year. When you're through reading those, it's your turn to speak up. What was the game you couldn't put down? The next-gen consoles really came into their own this year; was it one of those games, or something for the PC? In your opinion, what was the best game of the year?
It's funny.  Laugh.

'w00t' Named 2007 Word of the Year 244

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-waiting-for-slashdotted-as-a-verb dept.
bukharin writes "'w00t', the "small word that packs a pretty big punch", has been named Word of the Year for 2007 by dictionary gurus Merriam-Webster. Visitors to the Merriam-Webster website were asked to vote for one of 20 commonly searched words and phrases. Facebook was the runner-up. Previously honored geek words include google (runner-up in 2006) and blog (winner in 2004)."
Supercomputing

Iran Builds Supercomputer From Banned AMD Parts 778

Posted by Zonk
from the maybe-they-fell-off-the-back-of-a-really-big-truck dept.
Stony Stevenson writes with the news that, despite a ban on US PC hardware, Iranian techs have built an enormously powerful supercomputer from 216 AMD processors. The Linux-cluster machine has a 'theoretical peak performance of 860 gig-flops'. "The disclosure, made in an undated posting on [the University of] Amirkabir's Web site, brought an immediate response Monday from AMD, which said it has never authorized shipments of products either directly or indirectly to Iran or any other embargoed country."

Where are Wii? 440

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the not-under-my-tree dept.
WirePosted writes "Santa is in trouble, it looks like supplying the Christmas need for a Nintendo Wii game console is in jeopardy as stocks wither under constant and heavy demand. Conspiracy believers suggest this is an orchestrated move on behalf of Nintendo." Since this happens to be what I want for Christmas, I hope they work it out, or my loving wife has already found one.

Open Source 'Sage' Takes Aim at High End Math Software 360

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that'll-take-awhile dept.
coondoggie writes "A new open source mathematics program is looking to push aside commercial software commonly used in mathematics education, in large government laboratories and in math-intensive research. The program's backers say the software, called Sage, can do anything from mapping a 12-dimensional object to calculating rainfall patterns under global warming."
Government

+ - Germany moves to ban Scientology->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes ""German federal and state interior ministers declared the Church of Scientology unconstitutional on Friday, opening the door for a possible ban on the organization.
Earlier this week, a Berlin district set up an office to deal with complaints about Scientology.
Koerting said Germany's domestic intelligence agencies should continue gathering information on the legality of Scientology's activities in Germany so that a decision could be made on what to do about it next year.""

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