Cyberpunk (Gibson, Stross et al)
Classic old school sci-fi (Clarke, Heinlein etc)
Modern Space opera (Ian M Banks)
High Fantasy (Tolkein et al
Schlock Fantasy (Dragonlance, Drizzt)
Cyberpunk (Gibson, Stross et al)
An anonymous reader sends along a Cosmos Magazine piece on the discovery by NASA's Cassini probe of vertical structures in Saturn's rings, 150 times as high as the rings are thick. The structures were seen because a once-every-15-years orientation of the rings caused vertical features to cast visible shadows. "NASA's Cassini probe has uncovered for the first time towering vertical structures in Saturn's otherwise flat rings that are attributable to the gravitational effects of a small moon. 'We thought that this vertical structure was pretty neat when we first saw it in our simulations,' said John Weiss, the paper's lead author at the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations in the US city of Boulder, Colorado. 'But it's a million times cooler to have your theory supported by such gorgeous images. It makes you suspect you might be doing something right,' he added." Update: 06/17 19:29 GMT by KD : The CICLOPS team sent a note correcting the attribution of the quote; the linked article also had it wrong, and has since been corrected.
DeviceGuru writes "The Linux version of Boxee's eponymously-named multimedia platform has finally been updated to include several new features introduced into the OS X and Windows versions over the past few months. Key additions include an App Box and restored support for Hulu, which disappeared several months ago. Still lacking in the latest Linux release, however, is the long-awaited addition of Netflix movie and TV show streaming for subscribers to Netflix's monthly service."
An anonymous reader writes "The main chemical in marijuana kills cancerous brain cells, offering hope for future anti-cancer therapies, say Spanish scientists. A team led by Guillermo Velasco of Complutense University in Madrid, found that the active component of marijuana — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — kills tumour cells through a process called autophagy. This is the process that occurs when a cell self-destructs by digesting itself."
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
Enfors writes "CCP, developers of the sci-fi MMOG EVE Online, continue to impress with their open attitude towards players. In a thread on the EVE forums, an EVE Online player named Dire Lauthris describes difficulties he was having while making a fan movie that would illustrate a portion of EVE Online's background story. To make it 'historically correct,' he contacted CCP, the developers, to check on some facts. Instead of threatening to sue him for infringing on their intellectual property, they ended up inviting him to their offices to set him up with better movie-making software than the one he was using. Also, they had an employee record the narrator voice for his movie. The movie is now finished and available online. Massively is running a related article about storytelling in EVE."
Hugh Pickens writes "A new system developed by engineers at Vanderbilt University can display the location of enemy shooters in three dimensions and accurately identify the caliber and type of weapons they are firing by turning their combat helmets into "smart nodes" in a wireless sensor network. The system relies on the sound waves produced when a high-powered rifle is fired which have distinctive characteristics to allow the nodes to pick them out from other loud noises and track them back to their source. The system combines information from a number of nodes to triangulate on shooter positions and improve the accuracy of its location identification process. "It's strong points are that it isn't limited to locating shots fired in direct line-of-sight, it can pick up multiple shooters at the same time, and it can identify the caliber and type of weapon that is being fired." says Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Albert Sciarretta, who assesses new military technologies in urban environments for DARPA. Each node in the system costs about $1,000 to construct using currently available commercial hardware. "A leader can use the information that this system provides to react tactically to enemy shooters in ways that limit the number of friendly force and non-combatant casualties. The ISIS system could be easily developed into an operational war-fighting system," Sciarretta adds."
Hugh Pickens writes "Hanging in a cubicle in the FBI office near Quantico, Va. is a map of the United States covered in red dots representing some of the 500-plus cases in the Highway Serial Killings Initiative database. The pattern in roadside body dumps and other evidence has prompted investigators to speculate that the mobility, lack of supervision and access to potential victims that come with the job make it a good cover for someone inclined to kill. "You've got a mobile crime scene," one investigator said. "You can pick a girl up on the East Coast, kill her two states away and then dump her three states after that." Since the program began, more than two dozen killings have been solved and Michael Harrigan, who oversees the program says the program helps local police "connect the dots" to slayings outside their jurisdictions. Though many of the dots on the map now appear connected to one another by similarities such as the killers' modes of operation, the vast majority are not connected to any known suspect and the program's success depends largely on local police departments' voluntarily providing data on seemingly random killings, sexual assaults and other violent crimes to the FBI where analysts can query the computer to spot patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed. "You can't connect the dots if you don't know what the dots are.""
techie34290 writes "MadPenguin.org has a new story up that discusses why Microsoft is just an empty vessel and will never actually sue alleged Linux patent violators. From the article, "Riddle me this. Which would prove to be more frightening: being pounded over the head with a mallet when you did not see it coming or the continuous threat of the same action with no end in sight? The obvious answer is of course the threat of the violent action. Do you see where I'm going with this? Microsoft has something with plenty of staying power if they threaten to sue rather than spending millions in actually doing it. The PR makes them look like masters of the universe and even though Linux users tend to double over laughing at their claims, they know that it will put the fear of the big "M" in the hearts and minds of IT staff from various industries and schools who might be toying with the idea of making the switch. Lawsuits may crush one or two individuals, but the power from a threat provides options that last a lifetime."