mu22le writes "Today Debian gets one step closer to really becoming 'the universal operating system' by adding two architectures based on the FreeBSD kernel to the unstable archive. This does not mean that the Debian project is ditching the Linux kernel; Debian users will be able to choose which kernel they want to install (at least on on the i386 and amd64 architectures) and get more or less the same Debian operating system they are used to. This makes Debian the first distribution, and probably the first large OS, to support two completely different kernels at the same time."
Strudelkugel writes "The BBC is reporting that a Californian company has created software that can layer relevant recorded sounds over locations in Google Earth. The firm, Wild Sanctuary, has thousands of hours of recordings from all over the world. Company director Dr. Krause has spent over 40 years collecting sounds from natural and man-made habitats. '... his recordings include more than 15,000 animal noises, and sounds from a huge array of habitats, including cities, deserts, mountains and the marine environment. It is the largest library in existence of natural sound, he said. He said the idea would be to zoom-in on a particular area and then have the option to listen to the accompanying sound.'"
DeathElk writes "New South Wales teachers are attempting to have a website based in the United States closed down due to "defamatory" content. The site in question encourages students to rate teachers at their school, which obviously results in some colorful content. Now the story has hit the media, with some insightful quotes such as "The president of the NSW Secondary Principals Council, Jim McAlpine, said the Federal Government should block access to 'scurrilous American websites'."
jcatcw writes "Microsoft Corp. will submit a new photo format to an international standards organization. The format, HD Photo (formerly known as Windows Media Photo), can accommodate lossless and lossy compression. Microsoft claims that adjustments can be made to color balance and exposure settings that won't discard or truncate data that occurs with other bit-map formats."
MCraigW writes "Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes might have a natural — and not a human-induced — cause. Mars, it appears, has also been experiencing milder temperatures in recent years. In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide 'ice caps' near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row. Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun."
Roland Piquepaille writes "Ice has covered Greenland for millions of years. So what's hidden under this ice cap? Mountains and valleys? Rivers and lakes? Of course, we might know it sooner than we would have liked if the ice covering Greenland continues to melt. But researchers from Ohio State University have decided that they wanted to know it next year and have developed a radar to reveal views of land beneath polar ice. Their first tests of this new radar, which helps them to catch 3-D images of the ground under the ice, took place in May 2006. The next images will be shot in April 2007. Here are some images of the new GISMO device and what it can do."
thefickler sends in an article comparing Windows Vista and Windows XP in the areas of security, home entertainment, GUI, parental controls, and networking. The author clearly believes that Vista wins across these categories.
Giants2.0 writes "Ars Technica has a brief article detailing some of the prospects of AMD's attempt to fuse the CPU and GPU, including the fact that AMD's Fusion will modify the x86 ISA. From the article, 'To support CPU/GPU integration at either level of complexity (i.e. the modular core level or something deeper), AMD has already stated that they'll need to add a graphics-specific extension to the x86 ISA. Indeed, a future GPU-oriented ISA extension may form part of the reason for the company's recently announced "close to metal"TM (CTM) initiative.'"
IdaAshley writes, "Web spiders are software agents that traverse the Internet gathering, filtering, and potentially aggregating information for a user. This article shows you how to build spiders and scrapers for Linux to crawl a Web site and gather information, stock data, in this case. Using common scripting languages and their collection of Web modules, you can easily develop Web spiders."
With a release cycle this long, it's a wonder god maintains any market-share whatsoever...
stefanb writes, "The Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge, an ongoing challenge to compress a 100-MB excerpt of the Wikipedia, has been awarded for the first time. Alexander Ratushnyak managed to improve the compression factor to 5.86 and will receive a 3,416-Euro award. Being able to compress knowledge well is believed to be related to acting intelligently." The Usenet announcement notes that at Ratushnyak's request, part of the prize will go to Przemyslaw Skibinski of the University of Wroclaw Institute of Computer Science, for his early contributions to the PAQ compression algorithm.
this great guy writes "A year ago, Google's secret plans for a portable data center in a shipping container were being revealed by Robert X. Cringely. Sun Microsystems is about to officially unveil its 'data center in a box' concept. Project Blackbox will involve the full-scale production of data centers in 20-foot-long cargo shipping containers." From the article: "The idea eliminates several major hurdles facing data center customers: finding an appropriate site, arranging the servers and cooling mechanisms in the most efficient manner, and waiting for construction to be complete. The company is touting energy efficiency as a crucial benefit of the confined space, as its patented cooling features can more accurately target hot spots than in giant warehouses. The box can hold hundreds of servers and save thousands of dollars per year in energy costs, the company said."
BuzzSkyline writes, "The heaviest element yet, Element 118, has been created in Dubna, Russia by a collaboration of researchers from Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US. They created the new element by fusing together Californium (element 98) and Calcium atoms. The achievement comes five years after the scandal-plagued retraction of an earlier claim, which was based on fabricated data, that three atoms of element 118 had been produced at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The achievement was reported on October 9 in the journal Physical Review C (subscription needed to read more than the abstract)."
Kranfer writes "The register has an article about how the Chinese have recently launched an attack against the US Department of Commerce. From the article: '...attacks originating from computer crackers largely located in China's Guangdong province are aimed at extracting sensitive information from targets such as the Commerce Department's technology export office. Security consultants and US government officials reckon the assaults have at least the tacit support of the Chinese government...' This is not the first time Chinese hackers have attempted to gain access to US Government systems."
ScentCone writes "North Korea says that it has conducted its first nuclear weapons test and 'brought happiness to its people.' Japan and China earlier issued an unusual joint statement saying that such a test would be 'unacceptable.' As of 11:10PM EST, the USGS says that it has not detected any unusual seismic activity on the Korean peninsula in the last 48 hours." From the article: "The North said last week it would conduct a test, sparking regional concern and frantic diplomatic efforts aimed at dissuading Pyongyang from such a move. North Korea has long claimed to have nuclear weapons, but had never before performed a known test to prove its arsenal. The nuclear test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) in Hwaderi near Kilju city, Yonhap reported, citing defense officials." Update: 10/09 05:50 GMT by J : The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.2 magnitude quake; South Korean news is reporting a 3.58 magnitude event; the White House apparently confirms a nuclear test.