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Submission + - Progress to Reinvent Internal Combustion Engine? (

An anonymous reader writes: EcoMotors International, the Michigan-based engine developer backed by Bill Gates and Vinod Khosla, has opened up a little more about its plans to reinvent the automotive engine industry. Founder Peter Hofbauer says the company is signing deals with U.S. and Chinese automotive firms to license its opposing piston, opposing cylinder engine technology. The "opoc" design is more compact and delivers more power for its weight than existing engines, the company says. That could make it an attractive alternative to electric vehicles---and might mean the technology could also be used in planes and helicopters of the future.
Open Source

Broadcom Releases Source Code For Drivers 350

I'm Not There (1956) writes "Broadcom, the world's largest manufacturer of Wi-Fi transceivers, open sources its Linux device drivers. This is a big win for Linux users, as there are a lot of users that face Wi-Fi problems when they use Linux on their laptops. With these device drivers now open source, distributions can ship them out-of-the-box, and that means no Linux Wi-Fi problems for new devices and upcoming distributions at all."

First 'Malaria-Proof' Mosquito Created 261

Gisg writes "The University of Arizona team reported that their genetically modified mosquitoes are immune to the malaria-causing parasite, a single-cell organism called Plasmodium. Riehle and his colleagues tested their genetically-altered mosquitoes by feeding them malaria-infested blood. Not even one mosquito became infected with the malaria parasite."

MIT Designs Aircraft That Uses 70% Less Fuel Than Conventional Planes 459

greenrainbow writes "Today a team of researchers at MIT unveiled their design for an airplane that uses 70% less fuel than conventional aircraft. The MIT design comes thanks to a NASA-funded initiative to increase fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and allow planes to take off on shorter runways. The team accomplished all of NASA's set goals with their innovative D-series plane, lovingly referred to as the 'double bubble,' which has thinner, longer wings and a smaller tail, and engine placement at the rear of the plane instead of on the wings."

Submission + - Next Ubuntu Linux to be a maverick

VincenzoRomano writes: While the latest version of Ubuntu is still smoking hot, the Ubuntu development community is already working on the next step.
Both the Wiki and the bug tracking system at Launchpad have been already set up..
The next version code name will be "Maverick Meerkat ", the same animal featured as Timon in Disney's Lion King, while the version number should be 10.10. This confirms the usual naming and numbering schema and the fact the the final release should be due sometime within the forthcoming October.
This next version, which obviously won't be Long Term Support (LTS), should sport a lighter and faster environment with GNOME 3.0, aka GNOME Shell, among the main advances. Everything has been explained by Mr. Shuttleworth in his own blog since the beginning of April.
It's important to say to the impatient thar the first alpha release is not due earlier than the end of the next June so maybe it'd be better to take advantage of the Lucid Lynx while the technical overview of the meerkat will start getting more details.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit for Maverick will take place from May 10th to 14th, 2010 at the Dolce La Hulpe Hotel and Resort in Brussels, Belgium (nice domain name, isn't it?).

Caltech Makes Flexible, 86% Efficient Solar Arrays 439

strredwolf writes "Caltech has released a flexible solar array that converts 95% of single-wavelength incandescent light and 86% of all sunlight into electricity. Instead of being flat-panel, they stand thin silicon wires in a plastic substrate that scatters the light onto them. The total composition is 98% plastic, 2% wire — the amount of silicon used is 1/50th that of ordinary panels. So as soon as they can get these to market, solar could be very viable and cheap to produce." Update: 03/01 21:02 GMT by KD : Reader axelrosen points out evidence that the 80%+ efficiency figure is wrong. MIT's Tech Review, in covering the Caltech announcement, says that the new panel's efficiency is in the 15%-20% range — which is competitive with the current state of the art. And the Caltech panel should be far cheaper to manufacture.

Wikipedia Opts Out Of Phorm 98

ais523 writes "Wikipedia (and other websites run by Wikimedia) have requested to opt-out from Phorm; according to the email they sent, they 'consider the scanning and profiling of our visitors' behavior by a third party to be an infringement on their privacy.'" Another reader points to this post on which includes a confirmation from Phorm that those sites will be excluded.
The Almighty Buck

Time Warner Broadband Cap Trial Rescheduled In Texas 353

jcrousedotcom writes "Time Warner cable apparently has heard that folks aren't too happy with their plan to meter their unlimited connections. From the first paragraph of the article: 'Time Warner Cable's proposed trials of consumption-based billing were originally slated to begin in several markets this summer, where customers would be a part of a tiered pricing scheme. Pricing would have started at 1 GB per month for $15, and go up to 100 GB per month for $75, and include a per-gigabyte overage fee. The public's reaction was less than favorable, and the trials in Texas have been rescheduled.'"

Blockbuster Total Access Unannounced Policy Change 250

NuclearCodeMonkey writes "Blockbuster Total Access has changed the terms of its user agreement without notice to users. Previously, users could return online (mailed) rentals in-store for free rentals. The next set of online rentals was immediately mailed out. Now, without notice, they have changed their policy so that the in-store free exchanges count against you, and no more online rentals are mailed out until the in-store rentals are returned. No wonder they are closing stores and losing to Netflix! Needless to say I am canceling my account in protest." Update - 3/15 at 11:55 by SS: NuclearCodeMonkey has sent new information about an email from Blockbuster which clarifies the situation. Read on for his follow-up.

Submission + - SPAM: Understanding why using Linux is better than Windo

AlexGrim writes: "In a nutshell:
Let me just give you a scenario that i've come across many times, with many people:
You go to the store, and you buy windows, you go home and install it. Some how you catch a NASTY virus, and you have to completely reinstall windows. If you have not already lost all your files, you soon may. Your installation key has already been used once — the initial installation of the OS (Operating System), so this means that you have an 'invalid key'. Sure, you might be able to use it to get you past the installation part, but after you finish installing it, you will receive notification that your computer will be shut down in 30 days. Also, before windows allows you to update now, or to install ANY windows software, you must have the genuine advantage software installed, which will obviously validate your installation of your current copy of the OS, and you will be denied the opportunity to update or to install any windows software, such as media player, etc.

Open Source:
Hey, i've heard that term before, what does it mean again? It means two things: Security, Reliability. How/Why? Think of it like this: You write the code for a program, and you don't let ANYONE see it, because they can steal it and then you can't sell it as easily. Well that means that the code is only as stable and secure as the programmers writing it. How this differs from ANY open source project is that the code to write the product is freely available for the world to see. How this HELPS is because (a)It's a free product (b)Any programmer can look at it and make suggestions. This means that if one programmer writes something, another guy might see a mistake he made which could cause that program to be hacked, OR another guy could see a better way to write a certain function in the code, to make it faster or more stable (doesn't crash).

Additional Security:
Linux has a feature called 'SELinux', which means Security Enhanced Linux. What this does is kinda complex, and i will not go into detail about it. But for a simple explanation, i'll say this:
You are logged onto your OS and running whatever applications you choose, and for some reason — somehow — one of your programs gets hacked (almost impossible with Linux, but we'll say it does, for argument's sake), and the hacked code is supposed to destroy all your data. Well, because SELinux knows what things that program is allowed to do, it will not allow it do to anything else, even if you're logged in as an administrator (root)."

Link to Original Source
Wireless Networking

Staccato Proclaims UWB Technology Isn't Dead 31

MojoKid writes "Earlier this month, Ultra-Wideband mainstay TZero closed its doors, leaving the once hopeful format in limbo. One of the few UWB supporters still hanging around is Staccato Communications, and not surprisingly, its CEO is stepping up to address the overall situation and assure the general public that the wireless format it supports is far from dead. In a long-winded note from the desk of Marty Colombatto, he frankly states that 'to conclude that "UWB is dead" is a gross misinterpretation of recent events and ignores the lessons of relevant history.' Potentially the most interesting tidbit is that UWB is supposedly getting a 'makeover' this year. Marty even goes so far as to say that new developments in 2009 are sure to breathe new life into the technology.'" Update 2/22 at 17:41 by SS: Reader coldmist pointed out a related Ars Technica piece looking into the state of wireless HD video, which contains some interesting information about UWB.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.