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Earth

1,400 Megapixel Pan-STARRS Telescope Comes Online 54

Posted by timothy
from the don't-get-your-panstarrs-in-a-bunch dept.
ElectricSteve writes "Astronomers in Hawaii have announced they've successfully managed to boot up the Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) telescope. Working from dusk to dawn every night, Pan-STARRS is able to map one-sixth of the sky each month, allowing astronomers to track all moving objects, calculate their orbits, and identify any potential threats to Earth. There are four Pan-STARRS cameras in total, each capable of capturing around 1.4 billion pixels over a sensor measuring 40 centimeters square. The focal plane of each camera contains an almost complete 64x64 array of CCD devices, each containing approximately 600x600 pixels, for a total resolution of 1.4 gigapixels."
Software

Ubuntu Replaces F-Spot With Shotwell 361

Posted by timothy
from the such-pretty-pictures dept.
climenole writes "Finally! The much discussed F-Spot vs. Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much-needed change; F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on the other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with the GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono."
AMD

AMD Multi-Display Tech Has Problems, Potential 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the emptying-my-bank-account-is-a-problem dept.
EconolineCrush writes "While AMD's Eyefinity multi-display gaming tech is undeniably impressive at first glance, digging deeper reveals key limitations. Some games work well, others not at all, and many are simply better suited to specific screen configurations. A three-way setup looks to be ideal from a compatibility perspective, and given current LCD prices, it's really not all that expensive. But would you take that over a single high-resolution display or a giant HDTV?"
Image

Man Accused of Trying To Sell Kids On Craigslist 172

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-what-section-does-one-list-children? dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "You can get a lot of good deals on Craigslist, apparently including children. A New York State man has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell his children on the online marketplace. From the article: 'State Police Investigator Bryan Blum said Joshua A. Stagnitto, 24, was charged with one count of third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, after a report was made to Monroe County Child Protective Services advising them of the posting on the online marketplace. The posting indicated a person was selling their children. Police said an investigation revealed Stagnitto was the source of the posting.'"
Power

Creating Electric Power From Light Using Gold Nanoparticles 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the nanite-power-supply dept.
cyberfringe writes "Professor of Materials Science Dawn Bonnell and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered a way to turn optical radiation into electrical current that could lead to self-powering molecular circuits and efficient data storage. They create surface plasmons that ride the surface of gold nanoparticles on a glass substrate. Surface plasmons were found to increase the efficiency of current production by a factor of four to 20, and with many independent parameters to optimize, enhancement factors could reach into the thousands. 'If the efficiency of the system could be scaled up without any additional, unforeseen limitations, we could conceivably manufacture a 1A, 1V sample the diameter of a human hair and an inch long,' Prof. Bonnell explained. The academic paper was published in the current issue of ACS Nano. (Abstract available for free.) The significance? This may allow the creation of nano-sized circuits that can power themselves through sunlight (or another directed light source). Delivery of power to nanodevices is one of the big challenges in the field."
Earth

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

Posted by kdawson
from the so-many-notes-mister-mozart dept.
DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."
Robotics

The Best Robots of 2009 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-of-show dept.
kkleiner writes "Singularity Hub has just unveiled its second annual roundup of the best robots of the year. In 2009 robots continued their advance towards world domination with several impressive breakouts in areas such as walking, automation, and agility, while still lacking in adaptability and reasoning ability. It will be several years until robots can gain the artificial intelligence that will truly make them remarkable, but in the meantime they are still pretty awesome."
Emulation (Games)

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the super-mario-takedown dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-who-knows-a-good-ps3-flight-sim dept.
bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Programming

The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-your-pick dept.
igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."
News

Large Hadron Collider Scientist Arrested For al-Qaeda Ties 245

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-gratitude-for-ya dept.
mindbrane writes "A scientist working as a subcontractor on a peripheral LHC project has been arrested as a terrorist. The CBC is running a story outlining the arrest of a man on Thursday in south-east France for suspected al-Qaeda links: 'CERN officials said the man, whose name has not been revealed, was working under contract with an outside institute and said he had no contact with anything that could have been used for terrorism. He had been at CERN since 2003, officials said. ... The news that someone with terrorist connections might have worked at the facility is likely to cause concern because of both the high profile of the giant physics experiment and also the technology in use, which has made some members of the public nervous.'"
XBox (Games)

What To Do With a Free Xbox 360 Pro? 416

Posted by samzenpus
from the donate-it-to-me dept.
OzPeter writes "Last week I won an Xbox 360 Pro. However, I am not a gamer, and after looking at the current MS offerings, I am not tempted to become one. But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying video through the HDMI port. With that in mind, I again looked at MS and saw they seemed to have positioned the Xbox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So, once again, I did some more research into the Xbox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site, it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers, and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path. So my question is: how should I re-purpose my Xbox? Is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favorite nephew?"
Announcements

+ - Paris hosts the second Hacker Space Festival->

Submitted by
zoobab
zoobab writes "Hackers from all over Europe will meet at the end of the month (27-30 June) at the second Hacker Space Festival (HSF), in Paris. The four-day schedule includes conferences and workshops on: Metasploit, HostileWRT, FPGA for beginners, ICT disaster recovery, Software Patents in Europe, Hadopi, Anonymisation or how to produce your own biodiesel... The future of Hacker Spaces will also be debated. The event will be hosted by the first french hackerspace /tmp/lab, located in an industrial zone in the outskirts of Paris."
Link to Original Source
Transportation

Computer-Controlled Cargo Sailing Vessels Go Slow, Frugal 210

Posted by timothy
from the using-up-all-the-wind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Big container ships are taking it very slow these days, cruising at 10 knots instead of their usual 26 knots, to save fuel. This is actually slower than sailing freighters traveled a hundred years ago. The 1902 German Preussen, the largest sailing ship ever built, traveled between Hamburg (Germany) and Iquique (Chile): the best average speed over a one way trip was 13.7 knots. Sailing boats need a large and costly crew, but they can also be controlled by computers. Automated sail handling was introduced already one century ago. In 2006 it was taken to the extreme by the Maltese Falcon, which can be operated by one man at the touch of a button. We have computer-controlled windmills, why not computer-controlled sailing cargo vessels?"

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams

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