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Comment: Inside info from the ex-telescope maintainer (Score 4, Informative) 125

by karikas (#29282861) Attached to: Mount Wilson Observatory In Danger From LA Fire

My brother-in-law used to be the maintainer for the telescopes up there several years ago, and is up there right now with the firefighting crews (has been for a few days now). The mountain has been in danger several times but firefighters are there in full force (well, 150 is the number I hear). From his perspective I've been getting mixed information - a lot of the news has come in via what people up there see, and what they see isn't always what's really happening (we heard an entire Christian camp up there was completely burned down, but it's actually just fine!).

A lot of the media here is hyping up the 20+ communications towers at the top of the mountain being in danger, and just started talking about the observatory recently (running out of things to talk about after days and days of coverage, I guess). It is a critical communications point, but so far between the flame retardant, back burn (?) fires started now to prevent areas from burning in the immediate future, actual firefighters and planes/helicopters dropping water/retardant, it's looking really good. The winds have died down as well which is helping quite a bit. I'm currently in Palmdale which is a bit north, and the other day it was "snowing" ashes!

One guy close to the action on the news today downgraded the fire from "angry" to "cranky" - good to hear for all of us still riding this out.

PC Games (Games)

Map Editor, Photoshop Tool Coming To Braid 44

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-things-in-time dept.
Erik J writes "Braid creator Jonathon Blow has revealed that a map editor and image tool will be added to the popular puzzle game. First, though, Braid will receive a patch to fix some issues players have reported. Blow explains: 'After I get a new version out in a few days that fixes the problems some people are having, and when more people have played/finished the game, I am going to post some documentation for the editor. The way it works is you can make levels with the editor (up to a full game, potentially) and run that with -universe later... also a tool will be released that lets you take Photoshop files and import them into the game, if you want to put new graphics in your levels.' It is unclear if these capabilities are coming only to PC or to the Xbox 360 version as well."
Transportation

Flying Car Passes First Flight Test 273

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeking-new-metaphor-for-future-technology dept.
waderoush writes "Terrafugia — the Massachusetts company building a 'roadable aircraft' (that's flying car to you and me) — revealed at a press conference Wednesday that the Transition vehicle has been taken aloft for its maiden flight. The craft, which can fly up to 460 miles at 115 mph and then fold up its wings for 65-mph highway driving, was the subject of two hotly debated Slashdot posts on May 8 and May 13 of last year. The company said the first flight took place in Plattsburgh, NY; retired Air Force Colonel Phil Meteer was at the controls."

Comment: Foods, social naming (Score 1) 1397

by karikas (#26701615) Attached to: Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do?
When I used to work for a real company we'd name our servers after different (usually ethnic) foods - our first was named Kimchee (from our Korean designer). Then came Halo Halo (Philippino dessert), Pork Bun, and head cheese. And right before I left... Debbie Gibson for some reason from the new dev.

It was actually a good social exercise - every time we got a new server we had the next employee "in line" name it. Good times. These days I use Bacon, Eggs, Lau Lau, and Loco Moco, for those of you partial to Hawaiian food! I love telling people to set their domain nameservers to bacon.site.com and eggs.site.com.

Toshiba Execs Declare HD DVD Not Dead Yet 516

Posted by Zonk
from the they're-doing-science-and-they're-still-alive dept.
Lucas123 writes "HD DVD proponent Toshiba remains defiant that its format will not succumb to the mounting tsunami of support for Blu-ray Discs. Akio Ozaka, head of Toshiba America Consumer Products, said at CES today that he was surprised by Warner's decision." It should also be noted that the HD DVD group has cancelled many of their meetings at CES.
Businesses

+ - CompUSA to Close All Stores 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mexican telephone and retail magnate Carlos Slim, in a rare defeat, will exit the U.S. consumer electronics market, shutting the last 100 CompUSA Inc. stores after sinking about $2 billion into the business. Gordon Brothers Group, a Boston-based retail store liquidator, will oversee a piecemeal sale of the Dallas-based business, the company said in a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed. Stores will remain open through year-end under the supervision of Gordon Brothers, which will also negotiate the sale of real estate and other assets. Two law firms were hired to represent creditors, CompUSA said."
Portables

+ - New: DIY Linux Cellphone Components->

Submitted by
Rac3r5
Rac3r5 writes "I came across this news release via: Linux Devices. "Portola Valley, Calif., July 10, 2007 — Gumstix, Inc, today announced its integrated, open source cellular communications platform: the Goliath(TM)[PDF] line of expansion boards. The Goliath-vx board provides GPRS/EDGE function while the Goliath-GPS-vx board combines GPRS/EDGE and GPS. Each Goliath board attaches to a gumstix(TM) motherboard (verdex only) using a 60-pin connector and includes audio, LCD, touch screen, USB host, 3D-accelerometer, and battery management. General availability is planned for late July and the company will begin taking pre-orders at gumstix.com starting on 16 July."

I have been interested in designing my own cell phone for a while now and this seems like an interesting opportunity. Do any /.'ers know of any online DIY club that is working on designing their own cell phone? This seems like a good combination for OpenMoko"

Link to Original Source
XBox (Games)

+ - New Wing Commander Manual?!->

Submitted by
Bandit
Bandit writes "Remember the good old days of video game manuals being pretend spellbooks or spaceship operating manuals? Electronic Arts has gone an obscure extra mile and released a full 64-page 'continuity' manual for their upcoming XBLA shooter, Wing Commander Arena. It's a futuristic magazine done in an early-90s style, full of fake advertisements, fictional travel guides, pilot interviews and the like... suggesting that somebody out there remembers the good old days of Origin Systems! You can find it as a free PDF download here."
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Biotech

+ - Boeing Helping to Develop Algae-based Jet-Fuel->

Submitted by jon_cooper
jon_cooper (746199) writes "Air New Zealand, Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation and Boeing are working together to develop and test a bio-fuel derived from algae. Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation began operating in May last year after it met a request from the local council to deal with excess algae on sewage ponds. Boeing's Dave Daggett was reported this year as saying algae ponds totalling 34,000 square kilometres could produce enough fuel to reduce the net CO2 footprint for all of aviation to zero."
Link to Original Source
Software

+ - Democracy Player is dead, long live Miro->

Submitted by
MrSpin
MrSpin writes "Democracy Player has relaunched today as Miro. Developed by the Participatory Culture Foundation, Miro aims to make online video "as easy as watching TV", while at the same time ensuring that the new medium remains accessible to everyone, through its support for open standards. The open-source application combines a media player and library, content guide, video search engine, as well as podcast and BitTorrent clients. But why the name change? According to last100, who have published a full review and guide to Miro: "When Democracy Player launched back in February 2006, the feedback received was that the name evoked different, yet equally negative responses. For many Americans it conjured up an image of yet another left wing media project, and to the rest of the world it was, rather bizarrely, being associated with the policies of the Bush administration. In contrast, the new name is purposely abstract.""
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