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Science

How To Prove Someone Is Female? 1091

Posted by kdawson
from the who-can-replace-a-man dept.
krou writes "Caster Semenya won the 800m at the World Athletics Championship in blistering style, leaving her competitors in the dust, but she has been thrown into the midst of a scandal amidst claims that she's not really a woman. According to the many press reports, she's believed to shave, is flat chested, has a very masculine physique, previously preferred playing physical games with boys, and shunned traditional female activities and clothing. Questions about her gender have dogged her entire career. Previously, acceptance that she is a women relied on simple inspection of female genitals. But now the IAAF claim that they want to conduct further tests to see if 'she may have a rare medical condition that gives her an unfair advantage.' An IAAF spokesmen noted that 'The [testing] process was started after Semenya made her startling breakthroughs — a 25-second improvement at 1500m and eight seconds at 800m, just some weeks ago.' I'm curious what the Slashdot community thinks: what can be considered proof of someone being male or female? Is it simply a case of having the right genitals, or are there other criteria that should be used? Is the IAAF right in claiming that someone should be prevented from competing because they have a rare medical or genetic advantage?"
Wireless Networking

FCC Considering Free Internet For USA 502

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-that'll-happen dept.
jbolden writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, the FCC is considering a plan to provide free wireless internet. The plan would involve some level of filtering, but might allow adults to opt out. CTIA has argued that this business model has traditionally failed (see Slate magazine's analysis as to why)."
Graphics

Intel Researchers Consider Ray-Tracing for Mobile Devices 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the smaller-pretty-pictures dept.
An anonymous reader points out an Intel blog discussing the feasibility of Ray-Tracing on mobile hardware. The required processing power is reduced enough by the lower resolution on these devices that they could realistically run Ray-Traced games. We've discussed the basics of Ray-Tracing in the past. Quoting: "Moore's Law works in favor of Ray-Tracing, because it assures us that computers will get faster - much faster - while monitor resolutions will grow at a much slower pace. As computational capabilities outgrow computational requirements, the quality of rendering Ray-Tracing in real time will improve, and developers will have an opportunity to do more than ever before. We believe that with Ray-Tracing, developers will have an opportunity to deliver more content in less time, because when you render things in a physically correct environment, you can achieve high levels of quality very quickly, and with an engine that is scalable from the Ultra-Mobile to the Ultra-Powerful, Ray-Tracing may become a very popular technology in the upcoming years."
Movies

Paramount to Drop HD DVD? 470

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-might-be-it-folks dept.
zeromemory writes "The Financial Times reports that " Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD DVD after Warner Brothers' recent backing of Sony's Blu-ray technology, in a move that will sound the death knell of HD DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end." According to the Times, Warner Brother's recent defection to Blu-Ray allowed Paramount to terminate their exclusive relationship with HD DVD. Universal Studios remains the only major studio to exclusively support the HD DVD format, though rumors have surfaced that their contract may also contain a termination provision similar to that exercised by Paramount."
Education

Alex the African Grey Parrot Dies 242

Posted by kdawson
from the teaching-us-how-to-communicate dept.
grrlscientist writes "Yesterday, I received the devastating news that Alex the African Grey parrot, who was both a study subject and colleague to Irene Pepperberg, died unexpectedly at 31 years of age. 'Even though Alex was a research animal, he was much more than that. This species of parrot generally lives to be 50-60 years old, so Alex was only middle-aged when he died. According to some reports I have read, it is possible that Alex might have succumbed to Aspergillosis, a fungal infection of the lungs that he has battled in the past. However, the cause of death will not be known until after a necropsy has been completed... Alex's veterinarian is returning from vacation to personally conduct this necrospy.'"
Graphics

+ - New Milestone Demoscene Releases.-> 4

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "With over 3000 visitors one of the biggest computer festivals, the Assembly 2007, just closed doors. The event saw the release of some of the best demoscene productions of this year. Among them the first good demos for the XBOX 360, but also for platforms as obscure as the Atari VCS2600 from 1976. The main demo competition was won by Lifeforce, one of the most acclaimed demoscene demos ever. Other releases can be found here."
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Privacy

+ - Scientist make quantum encryption breakthrough

Submitted by
Madas
Madas writes "Scientists working in Cambridge, England have managed to make quantum encryption completely secure by putting decoy pulses in the key transmission stream. According to the story this paves the way for safe, encrypted high-speed data links. Could this allow completely private transmission of data away from snooping eyes and ears? Or will it mean film studios can stop movies from being copied when travelling on the internet?"
Software

+ - Lightroom vs. Aperture

Submitted by Nonu
Nonu (666) writes "Adobe has officially released its Aperture killer, Lightroom, and the reviews are starting to pop up. Ars looks at Lightroom and concludes that it's a better choice for those without bleeding-edge hardware. 'Aperture's main drawback is still performance as it was designed for bleeding edge machines. On a quad Core 2 Duo Xeon, it is very usable but Lightroom just feels faster for everything regardless of hardware. Since Aperture relies on Core Image and a fast video card to do its adjustments (RAW decoding is done by the CPU), it's limited to what the single 3-D card can do. Lightroom does everything with the CPU and so it is likely to gain more speed as multicore systems get faster.'"
Software

Do Next-Gen Games Have to be 3D? 211

Posted by Cliff
from the good-game-play-does-not-need-a-z-axis dept.
sudnshok asks: "Last week, an article was posted where an EA executive discussed the high cost involved with next-gen game development. While I agree that sports games do benefit from a high-resolution 3D environment, do all games have to be developed that way? Why can't game companies develop 2D games for these systems? I would assume the development cost would be much lower. As a gamer who grew up on the NES, I'd love to see a new 2D side-scrolling installment of Castlevania or Zelda. I'm curious if other gamers would buy 2D games for next-gen systems."

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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