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Linux

Slackware 13.1 Released 155

Posted by kdawson
from the taking-up-the-slack dept.
Several readers made sure we are aware that Slackware 13.1 release is out. Here's the list of mirrors. "Slackware 13.1 brings many updates and enhancements, among which you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.6.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy-to-use desktop environment, and KDE 4.4.3, a recent stable release of the new 4.4.x series of the award-winning KDE desktop environment."
X

After 2 Years of Development, LTSP 5.2 Is Out 79

Posted by timothy
from the terminal-velocity dept.
The Linux Terminal Server Project has for years been simplifying the task of time-sharing a Linux system by means of X terminals (including repurposed low-end PCs). Now, stgraber writes "After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, the LTSP team is proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February. As the LTSP team wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP's history, LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 were released on the same day. Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available. For other distributions, packages should be available very soon. And the upstream code is, as always, available on Launchpad."
Image

Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the only-one-on-the-block dept.
gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."
Space

Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-are-you-made-of dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."
Games

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-ralph dept.
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
Space

Super-Earths Discovered Orbiting Nearby, Sun-Like Star 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-for-one dept.
likuidkewl writes "Two super-earths, 5 and 7.5 times the size of our home, were found to be orbiting 61 Virginis a mere 28 light years away. 'These detections indicate that low-mass planets are quite common around nearby stars. The discovery of potentially habitable nearby worlds may be just a few years away,' said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC. Among hundreds of our nearest stellar neighbors, 61 Vir stands out as being the most nearly similar to the Sun in terms of age, mass, and other essential properties."
Australia

New Aliens Vs. Predator Game Doesn't Make It Past AU Ratings Board 277

Posted by Soulskill
from the gauntlet-thrown dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Australia refused to give Rebellion's new Aliens Vs. Predator game a rating, effectively banning it in the country. Rebellion says it won't be submitting an edited version for another round of classifications, however. (As Valve did with Left 4 Dead 2.) They said, 'We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.'"
Emulation (Games)

Emulating New Super Mario Bros. Wii At 1080p 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the super-high-def-mario dept.
KingofGnG writes "An impressive confirmation of the Dolphin Wii emulator's capabilities comes from a YouTube video, which shows off recently-added video clips of New Super Mario Bros. Wii in full HD. It demonstrates the growing compatibility of Dolphin with the latest games published for the Nintendo console."
Software

+ - End to Skype's Free Promotion

Submitted by webax
webax (1034218) writes ""NEW YORK (Reuters) — Internet telephone service Skype said on Wednesday that it would charge customers $29.95 a year for unlimited calling in the United States and Canada, a service it had offered free since May..." http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?typ e=technologyNews&storyid=2006-12-13T175604Z_01_N13 425300_RTRUKOC_0_US-SKYPE-CHARGES.xml&src=rss http://www.skype.com/products/skypeout/

Hopefully another VoIP contender will take up the challenge and offer the internet unlimited long distance now, the free service lasted so long it almost feels like a right (="
PlayStation (Games)

+ - Sony plays off failed advertising campaign.

Submitted by
kinglink
kinglink writes "Sony's site has finally admitted to being a shill for the site. Sony's response to the public is to shrug it off and act like there was no problem. "Busted. Nailed. Snagged. As many of you have figured out (maybe our speech was a little too funky fresh???), Peter isn't a real hip-hop maven and this site was actually developed by Sony. Guess we were trying to be just a little too clever. From this point forward, we will just stick to making cool products, and use this site to give you nothing but the facts on the PSP.""
Privacy

+ - Sex Offender Email Registry Proposed

Submitted by
Clever7Devil
Clever7Devil writes "The Roanoke Times in Virginia reported Attorney General Bob McDonnell's upcoming legislation proposal.

From the article:

Attorney General Bob McDonnell said Monday he will propose legislation that would make Virginia the first state in the nation to require sex offenders to register their online identities with state police.

By putting the information on the state's Sex Offender Registry, authorities hope to curb what they say is the escalating problem of sexual predators going online to find young victims through e-mail and Internet chat room banter


The Attorney General's office has been working closely with MySpace, as they hope to use this list to block sex offenders from using their service. You can read the Attorney General's press release here; and the MySpace press release here."
Censorship

+ - Feds attempt to seize "secret" document fr

Submitted by
Elysdir
Elysdir writes "The ACLU recently received a "mildly embarrassing" US federal gov't document marked "Secret" (which ACLU says appears to be an overclassification). The gov't has gotten a grand jury to subpoena all copies of the government in the ACLU's possession.

From the ACLU press release:

"If the government can enforce a subpoena in this way, Shapiro explained, 'it could just as easily have subpoenaed the Pentagon Papers from The New York Times and Washington Post. The effect of the subpoena is no different than a prior restraint and it is equally unconstitutional.'""
Music

+ - Scanned Mozart scores now available for free

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "As reported by elmundo newspaper (Spanish), all Mozart compositions are digitized for first time and made available online for free. The Mozarteum foundation, in cooperation with The Packard Humanities Institute are behind this project. Currently there are 25,734 pages of scores, extracted from modern printed books, that can be searched by tonality, name, title, character's name (for operas), length... and there will be more (from the article):

Ulrich Leisinger, foundation's science director, explains that starting by summer of 2007 it will be possible to access all works in their original version. That is, the scores that Mozart himself wrote with his hands. They expect to get international support and colaboration with museums of Paris and Cracovia to offer 90% of original scores by Internet. He also says that in two or three years, the complete set of handwritten works of Mozart will be available to view on Internet, including letters, schemes, annotations, and other documents."
Math

+ - Cloaking method worked out

Submitted by goombah99
goombah99 (560566) writes "Cloaking of broadband light, ala the Romulans, has been shown to be impossible for passive, locally responsive media (i.e. No Acme invisible paint). Recently, Sir Pendry et al showed that a hollow thick shell of negative refractive index material will act as cloaking device for objects placed in the interior. A difficulty with that system is that at present broad waverlength negative index matrials are not possible. Now, David Miller describes in Optics Express a active system can be built using some simple math that would give the appearance of a cloaking for broad wavelengths. It would not be useful against temporal probes like Radar, but would give the illusion of looking through the volume of space when viewed from any angle. He discusses how simplified systems which approximate cloaking are also possible using local response properties (i.e. Acme quasi-invisible paint)."
Businesses

+ - Cool Holiday Gadget

Submitted by
Mary Garrett
Mary Garrett writes "I wanted to let you know about a couple new products from Mobility Electronics: powerXtender+ — This great gadget will keep just about all portable devices powered up at peak performance no matter where you are — as it uses battery power instead of AC/DC power. So if your iPod, cell phone, digital camera, gameboy, PDA etc., needs charged, just hook it up to the powerXtender+ to keep your gadgets charged. Stowaway(R) Sierra, a next generation portable Bluetooth(R) keyboard designed specifically for smartphone users. The Stowaway Sierra portable keyboard includes five rows and full-size keys, providing the closest replication of a traditional desktop keyboard available on the market. More information is available at www.igo.com."

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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