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Submission + - NSA Caused Syria's 2012 Internet Outage

diamondmagic writes: Wired's new profile of Edward Snowden reveals that the 2012 outage of Syria's Internet, in an attempt to spy on communications in the midst of a civil war, was caused when the NSA tried to remotely install an exploit onto a core router. The article continues: "But something went wrong, and the router was bricked instead—rendered totally inoperable. The failure of this router caused Syria to suddenly lose all connection to the Internet—although the public didn’t know that the US government was responsible."

Metroid Prime Trilogy Being Updated For the Wii, Due In August 50

On Friday, Nintendo revealed that the three Metroid Prime games will be re-released on a single disc this August for the Wii. The first two, originally developed for the Gamecube, will be updated so players can "use their Wii Remote to aim with precision." 1Up had this to say of their hands-on preview: "... The heads-up display and on-screen interface elements have been completely overhauled to work more effectively with the standard Wii control setup of remote and nunchuck; swapping visors is a quick point-and-click command, and toggling weapons is similarly easy. Although the control interface isn't perfect — pressing down on the D-pad to fire missiles still grates — it makes the GameCube titles feel much faster and more fluid overall."

Video Game Trends In 2008 81

Gamasutra is running a feature looking at some of the most important trends that have cropped up or become popular over last year in the gaming industry. Gamers' outrage over the DRM controversy built up a great deal of steam over the past year, and will likely remain strong in 2009. This year also saw downloadable content being used for new and varied purposes, and many developers are banking more heavily on user-generated content, as in LittleBigPlanet. They point out the increase in retro and neo-retro gaming after the success of Mega Man 9 and anticipation for the new Bionic Commando. What trends do you expect to see more of in the next year?

Are Biofuels Still Economically Feasible? 186

thefickler writes "With falling gas prices, and the end of capitalism as we know it (otherwise known as the credit crisis), the biofuels industry is not looking as viable as it once was. Indeed biofuel production has fallen well short of expectations, with biofuel companies closing down or reducing production capacity. It appears that the industry's only hope is government support."

Club Nintendo Goes Live 59

AKAImBatman writes "Nintendo has launched their new North American Club Nintendo service that allows customers to earn 'coins' for purchasing Nintendo products. Coins can then be redeemed for items like exclusive DS games, playing cards, Wii Remote holders, DS cases, and other Nintendo branded items. Points are earned by registering Wii games (50 points), DS games (30 points), or by purchasing Wii Shop items (10 points) after your Wii Shop account has been linked to your Club Nintendo account. Users may link their account under the 'Settings' area of the Wii Shop channel. Prices range from 300 coins for a Wii Remote holder to 800 coins for the Game & Watch Collection for the Nintendo DS."

China To Begin Taxing Profits From Virtual Currencies 65

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese government will collect a 20% personal income tax on any profits obtained through the redistribution of virtual currency. The legislation is intended to curtail speculation in virtual markets, which can be quite profitable. Quoting: "The announcement, which was distributed to local tax bureaus, specifically takes aim at those who buy virtual currency from gamers and surfers and sell it to others at a mark-up. Taxation officials are granted the right to determine the original price of online virtual currency if the individual fails to provide proof of an original price, it says. The policy would cover China's legions of online gamers, who can use online virtual currency to buy better equipment and new powers for their online warriors. But it also affects millions of others who use virtual currencies on instant-messaging services and Web portals."

Microsoft Discontinues Windows 3.x 384

rugatero writes "The BBC reports that, as of last Saturday, Microsoft is no longer issuing licenses for the 18-year-old Windows 3.x. Many here may well be surprised to learn that anyone still has use for the antiquated software, but it seems to have found a home in a number of embedded systems — including cash registers and the in-flight entertainment systems on some long-haul passenger jets (Virgin and Qantas are cited). Considering Linux's credentials as an embedded OS, this news could very well indicate the possibility of more migrations in the pipeline."
Wireless Networking

FCC Approves Unlicensed Use of White-Space Spectrum 138

sidesh0w was one of a number of readers to alert us to the FCC's unanimous decision approving unlicensed devices to use the white spaces of the spectrum unused by television broadcasters, provided they take certain precautions not to interfere with licensed users. "Denying a tremendous last-minute lobbying effort by broadcasters, the vote on white space devices went ahead as planned today after a several-hour delay at FCC headquarters. When the vote came, though, it was unanimous. For the Democrats on the Commission, the devices are appealing because they offer a potential new avenue for broadband services, while the Republicans are pleased for the same reasons, but love the fact that this is a deregulatory order that focuses on less regulation and more competition."

How Vampire Bats Evolved To Live On Blood Alone Screenshot-sm 82

New research has discovered some of the genetic changes that allowed vampire bats to live on a diet of pure blood. One of the bats' most important evolutionary traits is the ability to manipulate an anticoagulant protein in their blood and saliva. In humans similar proteins protect against heart attack by breaking up blood clots and clearing vessels.

France Bans TV Shows For Babies Screenshot-sm 8

France's broadcast authority has banned the marketing of TV shows to children under 3, to protect them from the potential of developmental problems. The ruling also mandates that French cable operators airing foreign channels with programs for babies have to broadcast warning messages to parents. The messages will read: "Watching television can slow the development of children under 3, even when it involves channels aimed specifically at them." I guess there won't be any French contestants in this year's Baby Fear Factor.

Lawmakers Say Electric Cars Are Too Quiet Screenshot-sm 28

California lawmakers are pushing a bill that would ensure electric vehicles make enough noise to be heard by blind and visually impaired people. The state senate has already passed the bill but the governator hasn't yet taken a position. If passed, the bill would establish a committee which would study ways electric vehicles could make more noise. The committee's recommendations would be due by 2010. May I suggest a siren or some baseball cards in the wheels.

Nuclear Explosions Key To Spotting Fake Art 173

Socguy writes "A Russian art curator, Elena Basner, is claiming to have a foolproof method for determining whether or not particular paintings have been created since 1945. She claims that isotopes released into the environment by man-made nuclear explosions have found their way into types of the natural oils used to make paints."

Dell Asking ATI For Better Linux Drivers 291

Open Source IT writes "According to a presentation at Ubuntu Live 2007, Dell is working on getting better ATI drivers for Linux for use in its Linux offerings. While it is not known whether the end product will end up as open source, with big businesses like Google and Dell now behind the push for better Linux graphics drivers, hopefully ATI will make the smart business decision and give customers what they want."
Linux Business

Submission + - The all-new Linux Fund Visa Card launches today. (

scotch51 writes: "July 24, 2007
Portland, Oregon USA

The all-new Linux Fund Visa Card launches today.

"It's back, and better than ever" said David Mandel, Executive Director.

The Linux Fund began in 1999. Since then, the organization has handed out over one-half million dollars in grants to Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) projects like Blender, FreeGeek and the WikiMedia Foundation.

"We don't represent a wealthy patron or a long-dead industrialist," says Mandel. "Our donations come from engineers, managers, and ordinary working geeks who use The Linux Fund Visa in the course of everyday living. "The way it works is actually quite cool, Just by using The Linux Fund Visa card, ordinary geeks can participate in serious philanthropy, at no out-of-pocket cost to themselves.

Each time a cardholder uses their card, a donation is made to The Linux Fund by the card issuer, U.S. Bank. These donations add up to tens of thousands of dollars per year which The Linux Fund then gives out in grants. The Linux Fund has donated to new ideas and the teams who create things like Debian.

"The new card is a clear upgrade from the old card," said Mandel. "There is a new program for College students and another program where the card holder and The Linux Fund share the rewards. Most cardholders will elect to give all of their rewards to charity, but some want to split it. That's fine by us, we're pleased to now offer both options."

Beginning today, applications are being accepted online.

The Linux Fund will also be accepting applications in person at OSCON 2007 in Portland, Oregon on July 25-26, 2007.

For interviews and further information you are welcome to contact:

David Mandel
Executive Director
560 SE Alexander
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
(971) 223-5169 land
(541) 730-5285 cell"

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas