I loved starflight. I think I still have the original box/cardboard sleeve and disk that it came with somewhere in my house. If you explored long enough you would be able to find a planet whose continents from orbit looked suspiciously like earth. But just being able to explore any star system and land on any planet made exploration a blast.
Noah Garrett at NGC Communications writes "By a vote of 402-0, the House of Representatives cleared a seven-year extension of the Internet tax moratorium. The President is expected to sign the bill on October 31, just hours before the current Internet Tax Moratorium expires November 1. The seven year agreement is a compromise between the House that had approved a four year bill and the Administration and the Industry that had advocated for a permanent extension. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gFIKjS4XyxT0XE8_hEJ1aIXGnZkAD8SJLQ282"
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
Roland Piquepaille writes "If you think that future NASA's moon camps need to have a science fiction look, you might be disappointed. Today, NASA is testing small inflatable structures. In fact, if these expandable 'tents' receive positive reviews, astronauts will 'camp' on the moon as early as 2020. These 12-foot (3.65 meter) diameter inflatable units could be used as building blocks for a future lunar base. Right now, a prototype is tested at NASA's Langley Research Center. But NASA also wants to test other inflatable structures in the not-too-friendly environment of the Antarctic next year. Still, it's too early to know if NASA's first habitable lunar base will use inflatable or rigid structures."
Wick3d Gam3s writes "Hacker David Maynor attempted to put the strange tale of the Macbook Wifi hack to rest, and offered an apology for mistakes made. All this and a live demo of the takeover exploit was made at a Black Hat DC event yesterday. Maynor promised to release e-mail exchanges, crash/panic logs and exploit code in an effort to clear his tarnished name. Said Maynor: 'I screwed up a bit [at last year's Black Hat in Las Vegas]. I probably shouldn't have used an Apple machine in the video demo and I definitely should not have discussed it a journalist ahead of time ... I made mistakes, I screwed up. You can blame me for a lot of things but don't say we didn't find this and give all the information to Apple.'"
Bengt writes "The Inquirer has a story about a brute force Vista key activation crack. It's nothing fancy; it's described as a 'glorified guesser.' The danger of this approach is that sooner or later the key cracker will begin activating legitimate keys purchased by other consumers. From the article: 'The code is floating, the method is known, and there is nothing MS can do at this point other than suck it down and prepare for the problems this causes. To make matters worse, Microsoft will have to decide if it is worth it to allow people to take back legit keys that have been hijacked, or tell customers to go away, we have your money already, read your license agreement and get bent, we owe you nothing.'"
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "The start-up Lightfleet has developed an unusual way to use lasers to speed the flow of data inside a computer, hoping to break a bottleneck that can hamper machines using many microprocessors, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company plans to sell servers it predicts will be much more efficient than existing systems in tackling tough computing problems. Tasks could include automatically recognizing a face in a video image or sifting through billions of financial transactions for signs of illegal activity. These machines will attempt to sidestep some of the problems associated with parallel computation by ensuring all processors are connected, all the time."
twofish writes "Google's YouTube video site will soon be showing content from the BBC in a deal announced today. Auntie Beeb's content will be spread across three different channels, one for news and two for entertainment programmes. Content will include adverts, and clips from shows such as "Top Gear," "The Mighty Boosh," and nature shows narrated by David Attenborough. The deal is likely to be controversial, particularly since the BBC is paid for by a compulsory tax system (the license fee) rather than through advertising or subscription. The article goes on to say that they won't be 'hunting down' people that upload their content to YouTube. Just the same, they reserve the right to take down or remove programmes that have run on their channels which might damage relationships; examples might be football offerings or 'edited' shows."
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that open access to research is gaining steam as more than 20,000 people, including Nobel Prize winners, have signed a petition calling for greater access to publicly-funded research. While publishers are fighting open access, a growing number of funding agencies and universities are making it a mandatory requirement."
An anonymous reader asks: "Microsoft Windows, from 2000 forward (except ME) offers secure certificate and private storage at the OS level in what is called a protected store. Offline, it's encrypted by a combination of the user's password and a session key stored on the filesystem. When the OS is running, the private keys stored are available to the logged in user, optionally encrypted with another password. The keys are stored in protected memory, so no applications can access them without going through the Microsoft CAPI calls. This code also is FIPS 140-1 level 1 (the best one can get for software cryptography modules) compliant." Does any other OS provide this kind of feature at the OS-level? If so, who? If not, why?
narramissic writes "Speaking before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee advocated for net neutrality, saying that the Web deserves 'special treatment' as a communications medium to protect its nondiscriminatory approach to content. Berners-Lee's more controversial statements came on the topic of DRM, in which he suggested that instead of DRM, copyright holders should provide information on how to legally use online material, allowing users the opportunity 'to do the right thing.' This led to an odd exchange with Representative Mary Bono who compared Berner-Lee's suggestion to 'having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit.'"
RLiegh writes "Ars Technica reports that Sun has joined the FSF Corporate Patron program. The article explains that the FSF corporate program allows companies to provide financial assistance to the FSF in return for license consulting services. The article goes on to observe that this move is doubtlessly motivated by Sun's interest in GPL3's direction. Now that Sun has opened up Java and become an FSF corporate sponsor...could the move to dual license OpenSolaris under the GPL3 be far behind?"
ukhackster writes "Those overheating laptop batteries are back. Lenovo is recalling 205,000 'extended' batteries which shipped with its ThinkPad machines, or were bought as replacements. Slashdot readers will doubtless remember the flak which Sony attracted last year, after it was blamed for exploding Dell notebooks and several massive recalls. This time, the batteries were made by Sanyo. Their engineers determined that the failure was repeatable by dropping machines using the batteries from a certain height and at a certain angle. As soon as the repeatable nature of the flaw was determined, a recall was issued."
Several readers wrote in with news of the momentum gathering behind free access to government-funded research. A petition "to create a freely available virtual scientific library available to the entire globe" garnered more than 20,000 signatures, including several Nobel prize winners and 750 education, research, and cultural organizations from around the world. The European Commission responded by committing more than $100 million towards support for open access journals and for the building of infrastructure needed to house institutional repositories able to store the millions of academic articles written each year. In the article Michael Geist discusses the open access movement and its critics.