Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Idle

+ - Slovaks vote to name bridge Chuck Norris->

Submitted by alexj33
alexj33 (968322) writes "Slovaks have been voting overwhelmingly in favour of naming a new pedestrian and cycling bridge near their capital after 1980s US action film and TV star Chuck Norris.

The two other top names in the running for the bridge, which will span the Morava river and cross the border to Austria, were Maria Theresa after an Austro-Hungarian empress and the Devinska cycling bridge in honour of the closest village."

Link to Original Source
Space

Dying Star Betelgeuse Spews Fiery Nebula 574

Posted by Soulskill
from the lights-in-the-sky dept.
astroengine writes "Betelgeuse is dying a nasty death. The star is in the final, violent stages of its life, shedding vast amounts of stellar material into space as it quickly approaches a supernova demise. But now, with the help of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, Betelgeuse's extended nebula has come to light. Comprised of silica and alumina dust, ESO astronomers have been able to image the nebula in infrared wavelengths for the first time. This is the most detailed view we've ever had of the imminent death of a titanic red supergiant star."
Programming

Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World 510

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-you-tried-going-to-10 dept.
ErichTheRed writes "This Computerworld piece actually got me thinking — it basically says that there are few good 'starter languages' to get students interested in programming. I remember hacking away at BASIC incessantly when I was a kid, and it taught me a lot about logic and computers in general. Has the level of abstraction in computer systems reached a point where beginners can't just code something quick without a huge amount of back-story? I find this to be the case now; scripting languages are good, but limited in what you can do... and GUI creation requires students to be familiar with a lot of concepts (event handling, etc.) that aren't intuitive for beginners. What would you show a beginner first — JavaScript? Python? How do you get the instant gratification we oldies got when sitting down in front of the early-80s home computers?"
Communications

New Houses Killing Wi-Fi 358

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the break-out-the-cat-5 dept.
Barence writes "Poor Wi-Fi or mobile reception is one of the banes of modern living — and modern building techniques could be making things worse. PC Pro has photos of a new-build being covered from floorboards to rafters in a tin-foil like material. The "highly reflective" material could have unpredictable results for radio signals, potentially bouncing mobile signals away from the house or preventing Wi-Fi signals from reaching the garden. And the new householder is likely to be none the wiser."
Transportation

Richard Branson Announces Virgin Oceanic Submarine 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the 6-miles-down dept.
It's the tripnaut! writes "Richard Branson has just revealed that he intends to build a vessel capable of exploring some of the deepest parts of the oceans around the world. The article further states: 'The sub, which was designed by Graham Hawkes, weighs 8,000 lbs and is made of carbon fiber and titanium. It has an operating depth of 37,000 ft and can operate for 24 hours unaided.'"
Sci-Fi

Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi? 742

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-they-had-this-awesome-movie-about-a-ferret-monster dept.
brumgrunt writes "Has Syfy fallen out with science fiction altogether? A look at its latest scheduling shows that it's further away from its roots than ever. 'There's still a lot of the older sci-fi content on the airwaves, but it's slowly being phased out, and forget about original programming. After all, this is the programming crew who ruined Caprica by stuffing it into the Friday night death slot and splitting the season into two parts. These are the geniuses who killed off Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. These are the people who wrecked Farscape, one of the most inventive and fun sci-fi shows to ever be on television. They also ended Mystery Science Theater 3000, only the greatest show ever invented by robots in space.' Is this now as good as it gets?"
Moon

Does the Moon Have Military Value? 332

Posted by timothy
from the only-if-it-was-a-forest-moon-or-ice-moon dept.
MarkWhittington writes "Despite the fact that under President Barack Obama's space policy, Americans will not be going back to the moon any time soon, discussions are occurring about what, if any, military value the Earth's nearest neighbor has. Opinions, as can be expected, vary on the subject."
Science

Hubble Confirms Nature of Mysterious Green Blob 140

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the send-in-kilowog dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In 2007, Dutch secondary school biology teacher Hanny van Arkel spotted something mysterious in the night sky. Combing through Galaxy Zoo, an online database set up to enlist the public's help in classifying galaxies, she came across a glowing green smudge of light approximately 650 million light-years away. The object, which became known as Hanny's Voorwerp (Dutch for 'object'), is one of the most mysterious in the universe. Now, detailed Hubble Space Telescope images and new x-ray observations presented here today at the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society may finally confirm what it is."
Crime

Malaysian Indicted After Hacking Federal Reserve 132

Posted by kdawson
from the tip-of-the-proverbial dept.
wiredmikey sends along a security story that looks like it could be one to watch. Lin Mun Poo was arrested shortly after arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport in late October, traveling to the US on business. The 32-year-old resident of Malaysia was observed by an undercover Secret Service agent selling stolen credit card data in a diner. After arresting him and seizing his laptop (which was "heavily encrypted"), authorities discovered evidence of far more serious security breaches. According to documents from the Department of Justice, Lin Mun Poo had hacked into the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and stolen over 400,000 credit and debit card numbers. Also, according to authorities, Mr. Poo managed to hack into FedComp, a data processor for federal credit unions, enabling him to access the data of various federal credit unions. He also hacked into the computer system of a Department of Defense contractor that provides systems management for military transport and other military operations, potentially compromising highly sensitive military logistics information.
Transportation

The Bus That Rides Above Traffic 371

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-not-gonna-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "China is the new tech king. They're developing a new, two-lane bus system that travels over traffic below. It's claimed to cost 10% of a subway system and use 30% less energy than current bus technologies." This one has been boggling my brain. I can't see how this is a good idea or safe. But it sure is awesome.
Google

Microsoft's Free, Online Version of Office To Premiere This Week 264

Posted by timothy
from the file-formats-matter dept.
walterbyrd writes "Microsoft will offer an online version of Office 2010 for free. I have to wonder, will this remain free indefinitely? Or is Microsoft just trying to firmly establish its OOXML standard, then go back to business as usual?" Probably a harder sell after Google's acquisition of DocVerse.

+ - Entertainment Industry's Dystopia of the Future->

Submitted by alexj33
alexj33 (968322) writes "We're not easily shocked by entertainment industry overreaching; unfortunately, it's par for the course. But we were taken aback by the wish list the industry submitted in response to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's request for comments on the forthcoming "Joint Strategic Plan" for intellectual property enforcement. The comments submitted by various organizations provide a kind of window into how these organizations view both intellectual property and the public interest. For example, EFF and other public interest groups have asked the IPEC to take a balanced approach to intellectual property enforcement, paying close attention to the actual harm caused, the potential unexpected consequences of government intervention, and compelling countervailing priorities.

The joint comment filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and others stands as a sharp contrast, mapping out a vision of the future where Big Media priorities are woven deep into the Internet, law enforcement, and educational institutions."

Link to Original Source
Science

New Ancient Human Identified 148

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-the-family dept.
krou writes "Working on a finger-bone that was discovered in the Denisova Cave of Siberia's Altai mountains in 2008, Johannes Krause from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and colleagues managed to extract mitochondrial DNA. They compared it to the genetic code of modern humans and other known Neanderthals and discovered a new type of hominin that lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago. Professor Chris Stringer, human origins researcher at London's Natural History Museum, said, 'This new DNA work provides an entirely new way of looking at the still poorly-understood evolution of humans in central and eastern Asia.' The last common ancestor of the hominid (dubbed 'X-Woman'), humans and Neanderthals seems to have been about one million years ago."

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin

Working...