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Lord of the Rings

Journal Journal: [Music][Beloved] Heart and Shoulder

For this day...

Wanna cry for you
Would it do any good?
If I rained for you
It would just be water
And the night's with you
And the storm's in your head
And you're down and you're down


The Sun's Odd Behavior 285

gyrogeerloose writes "Most of us know about the sun's eleven-year activity cycle. However, relatively few other than scientists (and amateur radio operators) are aware that the current solar minimum has lasted much longer than expected. The last solar cycle, Cycle 24, bottomed out in 2008, and Cycle 25 should be well on its way towards maximum by now, but the sun has remained unusually quiescent with very few sunspots. While solar physicists agree that this is odd, the explanation remains elusive."

Japan Plans Moon Base Built By Robots For Robots 253

An anonymous reader writes "The Japanese space agency, JAXA, has plans to build a base on the Moon by 2020. Not for humans, but for robots — and built by robots, too. A panel authorized by Japan's prime minister has drawn up preliminary plans for how humanoid and rover robots will begin surveying the moon by 2015, and then begin construction of a base near the south pole of the moon. The robots and the base will run on solar power, with total costs about $2.2 billion USD, according to the panel chaired by Waseda University President Katsuhiko Shirai. 'As currently envisioned, the robots that will land on the lunar surface in 2015 will be 660-pound behemoths equipped with rolling tank-like treads, solar panels, seismographs, high-def cameras, and a smattering of scientific instruments. They'll also have human-like arms for collecting rock samples that will be returned to Earth via rocket.'"

Submission + - Japan Plans Moon Base built by Robots for Robots (popsci.com)

An anonymous reader writes: These ARE the droids we've been looking for. The Japanese space agency, JAXA, has plans to build a base on the Moon by 2020. Not for humans, but for robots, and built by robots, too. A panel authorized by Japan's prime minister has drawn up preliminary plans of how humanoid and rover robots will begin surveying the moon by 2015, and then begin construction of a base near the south pole of the moon. The robots and the base will run on solar power, with total costs about $2.2 billion USD, according to the panel chaired by Waseda University President Katsuhiko Shirai.
America Online

Journal Journal: Fucking Slashdot 2

Does Apple own you people? Back to back iPhone stories, and pretty lame ones at that. Christ! Even the journal topic icons are being monopolized by the bastards. And where can I preview the icons without have reload the page after selecting each one to see what they look like?

Submission + - Wikileaks' international man of mystery (smh.com.au)

AcidAUS writes: The founder of WikiLeaks lives a secret life in the shadow of those who blow the whistle. A detailed profile of the Australian founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, by Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald.

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight Screenshot-sm 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."
PC Games (Games)

Gaming On Windows 7 554

Jason Wilson writes "Windows 7 comes out Oct. 22, and many gamers are wondering whether it will be a boon for gaming, as Microsoft promised Vista would, or a disappointment (like Vista was at its launch). Former ExtremeTech editor Jason Cross, who's covered games and tech for 13 years, discusses the pluses and minuses of Windows 7 for gamers — how it differs from Vista, if it'll run older games, and the benefits of 64-bit computing. 'Windows 7 basically takes the Vista codebase and rewrites, refines, optimizes, and overhauls most of the internal stuff without making dramatic changes to the driver stacks that Vista did over WinXP. The changes to the fundamental driver models are small and mostly serve to improve performance. Plus, the hardware makers — especially the graphics guys — are on top of the changes this time around. Nvidia and ATI have been shipping quite good Win7 graphics drivers for months now.'"

Kingston Unveils $1000 USB Flash Drive Screenshot-sm 119

Barence writes "Kingston has unveiled the 'world's first' 256GB flash drive, raising flash drive storage to the kind of capacity you normally associate with laptop hard disks. Kingston claims the drive is 'ideal for netbook users who want to extend the limited capacity of their machines,' although given that the device costs about twice as much as a netbook, buyers could probably get more storage by purchasing two of the cheap ultraportables. The device is made on a build-to-order basis, with a suggested UK retail price of £650.52 including VAT — that's an astonishing $1074.69 at current exchange rates. Not exactly cheap and cheerful."
The Courts

Music Industry Wants a Cut of Pirate Bay Sale 214

suraj.sun writes "The music industry will attempt to seize money paid to acquire the Pirate Bay. A couple of weeks back the Global Gaming Factory, a Swedish software company, announced that it would acquire the Pirate Bay for $7.8 million. Since then the company has been touting a new business model and even hiring executives, such as Wayne Rosso, the former Grokster president, to legally obtain content from film and music industries. What remains to be seen is how that sale might be affected by attempts by the music industry to collect the $3.6 million damages that a Swedish court awarded it in April. Alex Jacob, a spokesman for the IFPI, said that the group has always intended to collect the damages award, but now, should the sale go through, music execs know that the original Pirate Bay operators have access to the money." According to CNet, the four original Pirates claim they no longer own the company and that no money from the sale will go to them.

What's the Importance of Graphics In Video Games? 506

An anonymous reader writes "I develop games as a hobby. I've experimented with games on almost every platform available. For me, the gameplay is the most influential factor of a game, with history and graphics dividing second place. But, for some reason, it's not the technical beauty of the graphics that appeal to me. I have played Crysis, and I've played Pokémon games. The graphics of the Pokémon games entertain me as much as the graphics of Crysis. I think both are beautiful. So, why is the current generation of games giving so much importance to the realism in graphic games? I think it is sufficient for a game to have objects that are recognizable. For example, while the water in some games may not look as good as in Crysis, I can still tell it's water. What are your opinions on the current direction of game graphics? Do you prefer easy-to-render 3D scenes that leave space for beautiful effects, like with Radiosity, or more complex 3D scenes that try to be realistic?"

PC Invader Costs a Kentucky County $415,000 192

plover recommends a detailed account by Brian Krebs in the Washington Post's Security Fix column of a complex hack and con job resulting in the theft of $415,000 from Bullitt County, Kentucky. "The crooks were aided by more than two dozen co-conspirators in the United States, as well as a strain of malicious software capable of defeating online security measures put in place by many banks. ...the trouble began on June 22, when someone started making unauthorized wire transfers of $10,000 or less from the county's payroll to accounts belonging to at least 25 individuals around the country... [T]he criminals stole the money using a custom variant of a keystroke logging Trojan known as 'Zeus' (a.k.a. 'Zbot') that included two new features. The first is that stolen credentials are sent immediately via instant message to the attackers. But the second, more interesting feature of this malware... is that it creates a direct connection between the infected Microsoft Windows system and the attackers, allowing the bad guys to log in to the victim's bank account using the victim's own Internet connection."

Comic Artist Detained For Script Containing 9/11 Type Scenarios Screenshot-sm 441

Comics writer Mark Sable was detained by security at Los Angeles International Airport because he was carrying a script for a new issue of his comic miniseries, Unthinkable. Unthinkable follows members of a government think tank that was tasked with coming up with 9/11-type "unthinkable" terrorist scenarios that now are coming true. Sable wrote about his experience saying, "...I was flagged at the gate for 'extra screening.' I was subjected to not one, but two invasive searches of my person and belongings. TSA agents then 'discovered' the script for Unthinkable #3. They sat and read the script while I stood there, without any personal items, identification or ticket, which had all been confiscated. The minute I saw the faces of the agents, I knew I was in trouble. The first page of the Unthinkable script mentioned 9/11, terror plots, and the fact that the (fictional) world had become a police state. The TSA agents then proceeded to interrogate me, having a hard time understanding that a comic book could be about anything other than superheroes, let alone that anyone actually wrote scripts for comics. I cooperated politely and tried to explain to them the irony of the situation. While Unthinkable blurs the line between fiction and reality, the story is based on a real-life government think tank where a writer was tasked to design worst-case terror scenarios. The fictional story of Unthinkable unfolds when the writer's scenarios come true, and he becomes a suspect in the terrorist attacks." It's too bad that the TSA can't protect us from summer blockbuster movies and not just graphic novels.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato