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Moon

Armadillo Aerospace Claims Level 2 Lunar Lander Prize 134

Posted by kdawson
from the putting-it-down-easy dept.
Dagondanum writes "Armadillo Aerospace has officially won the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2, on a rainy day at Caddo Mills, Texas. Reports came in from various locations during the day and spectators posted videos and images using social networking tools such as Twitter. The Level 2 prize requires the rocket to fly for 180 seconds before landing precisely on a simulated lunar surface constructed with craters and boulders. The minimum flight times are calculated so that the Level 2 mission closely simulates the power needed to perform a real descent from lunar orbit down to the surface of the Moon. First place is a prize of $1 million while second is $500,000."
Windows

Behind the 4GB Memory Limit In 32-Bit Windows 756

Posted by kdawson
from the we-can-remember-it-for-you-wholesale dept.
An anonymous reader points us to a very detailed post by Geoff Chappell, first put up early this year, explaining how the 4GB memory limit commonly bandied about for 32-bit Windows (he is writing mainly about Vista) is more of a licensing preference than an architectural limit. The article outlines how Chappell unlocked his system to use all the memory that is present, but cautions that such hackery is ill-advised for several reasons, including legal ones. "If you want [to be able to use more than 4GB in Vista] without contrivance, then pester Microsoft for an upgrade of the license data or at least for a credible, detailed reasoning of its policy for licensing your use of your computer's memory. ... [C]onsider Windows Server 2008. For the loader and kernel in Windows Vista SP1 (and, by the way, for the overwhelming majority of all executables), the corresponding executable in Windows Server 2008 is exactly the same, byte for byte. Yet Microsoft sells 32-bit Windows Server 2008 for use with as much as 64GB of memory. Does Microsoft really mean to say that when it re-badges these same executables as Windows Vista SP1, they suddenly acquire an architectural limit of 4GB? Or is it that a driver for Windows Server 2008 is safe for using with memory above 4GB as long as you don't let it interact with the identical executables from Windows Vista SP1?"
Internet Explorer

IE8 Update Forces IE As Default Browser 311

Posted by timothy
from the how-awfullly-polite dept.
We discussed Microsoft making IE8 a critical update a while back; but then the indication was that the update gave users a chance to choose whether or not to install it. Now I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes in with word that the update not only does not ask, but it makes IE the default browser. "Microsoft has a new tactic in the browser wars. They're having the 'critical' IE8 update make IE the default browser without asking. Yes, you can change it back, but it doesn't ask you if you want IE8 or if you want it as the default browser, it makes the decisions for you. Opera might have a few more complaints to make to the EU antitrust board after this, but Microsoft will probably be able to drag out the proceedings for years, only to end up paying a small fine. If you have anyone you've set up with a more secure alternative browser, you might want to help check their settings after this."
Windows

Average User Only Runs 2 Apps, So Microsoft Will Charge For More 842

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-it-can-charge-for-more dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft's decision to limit Windows 7 Starter Edition to running only three concurrent applications could force up the price of netbooks as many manufacturers opt for the more expensive Home Premium. The three-app rule includes applications running in the background but excludes antivirus, and the company claims most users wouldn't be affected by the limit. 'We ran a study which suggested that the average consumer has open just over two applications [at any time]. We would expect the limit of three applications wouldn't affect very many people.' However, Microsoft told journalists at last year's Professional Developers Conference that 70% of Windows users have between eight and 15 windows open at any one time."
Censorship

+ - Wikileaks.org domain name "expires"->

Submitted by
Anthony_Cargile
Anthony_Cargile writes "Wikileaks.org, the fearless wiki run by the Pirate Bay masterminds has gone down recently due to an expired domain name from dynadot.com. The site is notorious for hundreds of confidential documents being hosted, and recently made headlines as the site hacker group Anonymous chose to host USA VP candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo! emails. It is unclear at this point whether this is a genuine expired domain name or a form of censorship due to pressure put on dynacom.com from gov. officials."
Link to Original Source
Programming

+ - Rails Bigwig Zed Shaw drops Bomb on Community->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This is almost unprecedented. Creator of Mongrel, the premier Ruby HTTP server, #1 voted person on Working With Rails tears the community a new arse and particular industry celebrities to shreds in a 6000 word rant. No 'official' response yet from DHH or whatnot. Follow comments on Ruby Inside:

http://www.rubyinside.com/zed-shaw-goes-nuclear-on-our-community-683.html

Editors, I dunno, this is huge news, rewrite my frig description and subject!"

Link to Original Source
Social Networks

+ - Google Reader's team poor decision making evidence->

Submitted by
Felipe Hoffa
Felipe Hoffa writes "This /. front page post started a chain reaction against the new Google Reader's feature "share with friends". The scandal has centered on privacy issues and how many people feel this is a big privacy slip up, while others just don't think so. What has been overlooken so far is how many business, design and technical mistakes were commited. I've compiled several of those mistakes in the following article. It really makes you wonder what's happening behind Google's doors."
Link to Original Source

C# Memory Leak Torpedoed Princeton's DARPA Chances 560

Posted by Zonk
from the omg-a-tumbleweed dept.
nil0lab writes "In a case of 20/20 hindsight, Princeton DARPA Grand Challenge team member Bryan Cattle reflects on how their code failed to forget obstacles it had passed. It was written in Microsoft's C#, which isn't supposed to let you have memory leaks. 'We kept noticing that the computer would begin to bog down after extended periods of driving. This problem was pernicious because it only showed up after 40 minutes to an hour of driving around and collecting obstacles. The computer performance would just gradually slow down until the car just simply stopped responding, usually with the gas pedal down, and would just drive off into the bush until we pulled the plug. We looked through the code on paper, literally line by line, and just couldn't for the life of us imagine what the problem was.'"
Bug

Data Loss Bug In OS X 10.5 Leopard 603

Posted by kdawson
from the first-do-no-harm dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Leopard's Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in progress. This author first came across it when Samba crashed while he was moving a directory from his desktop over to a Samba mount on his FreeBSD server."
Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer Drops WGA Requirement 220

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the while-the-getting-is-good dept.
Kelson writes "The Internet Explorer team has updated the installer for IE7. Mostly they've adjusted a few defaults and updated their tutorials, but one change stands out: The installer no longer requires Windows Genuine Advantage validation. Almost a year after its release, IE7 has yet to overtake its predecessor. Was WGA holding back a tide of potential upgrades, or did it just send people over to alternative browsers?"
Communications

Skype Blames Microsoft Patch Tuesday for Outage 286

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ddos-ing-yourself dept.
brajesh writes to tell us that Skype has blamed its outage over the last week on Microsoft's Patch Tuesday. Apparently the huge numbers of computers rebooting (and the resulting flood of login requests) revealed a problem with the network allocation algorithm resulting in a couple days of downtime. Skype further stressed that there was no malicious activity and user security was never in any danger.
The Almighty Buck

Long Range Eye Tracking for Advertisers 134

Posted by samzenpus
from the The-unseen-mechanized-eye dept.
holy_calamity writes "A Canadian firm has launched a device that can track the gaze of multiple people from up to 10 metres away. Originally developed at Queen's University, Ontario, they hope to sell it to advertisers to allow them to monitor how many people look at their ads. Admittedly they are trying more benign stuff too like better hearing aids, but I doubt that will make up for movie posters that make a song and dance whenever you glance their way."
Software

+ - Server virtualization gotchas

Submitted by
johannacw
johannacw writes "Vendors tout virtualization as the Next Big Thing. It probably is, but not every single application can or should be virtualized. Adopters from The Hartford and other large shops, and consultants, talk about mistakes to avoid. (Note: this story was submitted at 10:11 AM today by Tony Troup, but there was no link to the story. Thanks for trying, Tony!)"

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