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Space

Inside the World's Most Advanced Planetarium 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the laser-floyd-will-never-be-the-same dept.
notthatwillsmith writes "Earlier this month, the most technologically-advanced digital planetarium in the world opened in San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences. The new Morrison Planetarium's 75-foot screen replaces the traditional Zeiss projector with an array of 6 high-resolution DLP projectors arrayed around the edge of the theater, which are powered by three very different, but interesting computing clusters. The three clusters allow for projection of traditional planetarium shows, playback of ultra-high resolution movies, and display of anything from current atmospheric conditions on Earth to a (greatly accelerated) trip to the farthest reaches of the universe, all rendered in real-time on an 8800 sq. ft. dome. Maximum PC went on a behind the scenes tour with the engineers who built the systems that do everything from run the planetarium lights to the sound systems to the tech behind the screen to show you how it works and what it's like to drive, well ... the universe."
Supercomputing

New State of Matter Could Extend Moore's Law 329

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-miss-the-original-three dept.
rennerik writes "Scientists at McGill University in Montreal say they've discovered a new state of matter that could help extend Moore's Law and allow for the fabrication of more tightly packed transistors, or a new kind of transistor altogether. The researchers call the new state of matter 'a quasi-three-dimensional electron crystal.' It was discovered using a device cooled to a temperature about 100 times colder than intergalactic space, following the application of the most powerful continuous magnetic field on Earth."
Businesses

+ - Consumerist Catches Geek Squad Stealing Porn-> 1

Submitted by mekane8
mekane8 (729358) writes "Consumer-advocate Blog Consumerist ran a sting operation to catch a Best Buy "Geek Squad" member searching for and stealing media files from a customer's computer. The main article includes the story with screen captures and a video of the technician's actions. See the Related Story from a former Geek Squad employee detailing the decline of the Geek Squad and Best Buy ethics in general."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

Soldiers Can't Blog Without Approval 358

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the how-else-will-we-know-what-they-ate-for-lunch dept.
denebian devil writes "Wired.com has obtained a copy of updated US Army rules (pdf) that force soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages without first clearing the content with a superior officer. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version, in contrast, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything — from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home. Under the strictest reading of the rule, a soldier must check with his or her superior officer before every blog entry posted and every email sent, though the method of enforcing these regulations is subject to choices made by the unit commanders. According to Wired, active-duty troops aren't the only ones affected by the new guidelines. Civilians working for the military, Army contractors — even soldiers' families — are all subject to the directive as well, though many of the people affected by these new regulations can't even access them because they are being kept on the military's restricted Army Knowledge Online intranet. Wired also interviewed Major Ray Ceralde, author of the new regulations, about why this change has been made."
Microsoft

Why Microsoft Will Never Make .NET Truly Portable 293

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the write-once-run-everywhere-that-is-windows dept.
Michelle Meyers writes "Just days before Microsoft claimed to be making parts of the .NET CLR "available" to other platforms, NeoSmart Technologies had published an article bemoaning and blasting Microsoft's abuse of it's developers by pretending .NET was a true cross-platform framework when they're doing everything in their power to stop it from being just that. Of interest is NeoSmart's analysis of how Microsoft has no problem making certain portions of .NET available to Mac users — just so long as its distributed under an "open source" license that forbids any and all use of the code except for educational purposes — yet are terrified of the very thought of .NET being available to *nix users, even if that's to the benefit of .NET developers everywhere. Even more interesting is one of the comments on that article linking to legal documents in which Microsoft employees discuss the (im)possibility of creating a cross-platform code and UI framework, years before the .NET project even started!"

Why Apple Should Acquire AMD 340

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-else-do-you-do-with-mad-ipod-money dept.
slashdotLIKES writes "CoolTechZone.com columnist Gundeep Hora has a new column up that discusses why Apple should acquire AMD and how both companies would be a good fit for each other. From the article, "After private equity groups, let's look at a more strategic acquisition. For that, Apple is the best bet. Yes, I know it sounds way too radical to be taken seriously. However, Apple could drop Intel altogether and adopt AMD for its Macintosh PCs. Sure, the transition is going to take sometime, and it would probably make Apple announce a brand new line of PCs. However, it will be well worth it. We know Steve Jobs is ruthless when it comes to making interesting deals with powerful companies. This makes AMD a perfect match. Obviously Intel isn't going to be too delighted, but other companies don't bother Jobs. We all know he's the type of executive who crafts deals on his own terms. If Intel wants to be associated with Apple, then they won't really have much of a choice."
Software

Ext3cow Versioning File System Released For 2.6 241

Posted by kdawson
from the have-a-cow-man dept.
Zachary Peterson writes "Ext3cow, an open-source versioning file system based on ext3, has been released for the 2.6 Linux kernel. Ext3cow allows users to view their file system as it appeared at any point in time through a natural, time-shifting interface. This is can be very useful for revision control, intrusion detection, preventing data loss, and meeting the requirements of data retention legislation. See the link for kernel patches and details."
NASA

NASA Tackles Ethics of Deep-Space Exploration 456

Posted by kdawson
from the triage-a-long-way-from-home dept.
TheTony writes "With long-term projects like manned Mars exploration on the horizon, NASA has begun discussing previously taboo subjects. Ethical and practical questions involving illness, death, genetic profiling, and astronaut relations and behavior in space need to be addressed, as NASA begins to consider new policies with these extended missions in mind." From the article: "One topic that is evidently too hot to handle: How do you cope with sexual desire among healthy young men and women during a mission years long?"
Security

A Myspace Lockdown - Is It Possible? 180

Posted by Cliff
from the separate-your-workers-from-distractions dept.
Raxxon asks: "We (my business partner and I) were asked by a local company to help 'tighten up' their security. After looking at a few things we ran some options by the owner and he asked that we attempt to block access to MySpace. He cited reasons of wasted work time as well as some of the nightmare stories about spyware/viruses/etc. Work began and the more I dig into the subject the worse things look. You can block the 19 or 20 Class C Address Blocks that MySpace has, but then you get into problems of sites like "MySpace Bypass" and other such sites that allow you to bypass most of the filtering that's done. Other than becoming rather invasive (like installing Squid with customized screening setups) is there a way to effectively block MySpace from being accessed at a business? What about at home for those who would like to keep their kids off of it? If a dedicated web cache/proxy system is needed how do you prevent things like SSL enabled Proxy sites (denying MySpace but allowing any potentially 'legal' aspects)? In the end is it worth it compared to just adopting an Acceptable Use Policy that states that going to MySpace can lead to eventual dismissal from your job?"
The Almighty Buck

Dow Jones Plunge Fueled by Overwhelmed Computers 215

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sure-always-blame-the-it-guys dept.
cloudscout writes "The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 400 points today. While there were various valid financial reasons for such a decline, some of the blame is being placed on computer systems that couldn't keep up with the abnormally high volume at the New York Stock Exchange and the resulting tremor as they switched over to a backup system."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Ten Maxims Every FPS Should Follow 155

Posted by Zonk
from the do-it-right-the-first-time dept.
The Game Career Guide site has up a story that tries to lay down some rules for a good First Person Shooter. The article advocates in favour of player choices, fast action, and rich environments; keep the boring cutscenes and make sure the players are getting a great bang for their buck. From the article: "Don't allow the player to play the game half-heartedly, which is a dangerous stumbling block at any point of the game. Example: Half-Life 2. While the introduction presenting the environment of City 17 was much more effective than the tram sequence of Black Mesa from the game's predecessor, the sheer length of time between point insertion and getting the crowbar would never have worked in any other game."
Google

+ - Slashdot is Missing a Classic Tech Underdog Story

Submitted by KeepingOnEye
KeepingOnEye (1064714) writes "We (Slashdot) are missing out on one of the coolest underdog stories of the day: It was the #2 spot in Digg's top 10 yesterday with 4,000+ diggs; The guy is getting 10 e-mails every minute from tech users wishing him luck; the stack of them he showed in his video from just the last 8 hours was over two reams of paper thick. He's gotten TV coverage by ABC (where I saw this) and all in the last 24 hours, when his quest went from unknown to known in seconds. People seem really into this — and it's a Slashdot kind of story, but there's no mention of it on Slashdot that I can find... so here it is. :)

From the site (CanGoogleHearMe.com): "On February 11th, 2007 I'm getting on a plane to fly to Mountain View, California, headquarters of Google, Inc. Once there, I'm going to try to pitch an idea to them that I think fits right in with the Google spirit and business model; catch is, I don't have an appointment, they don't know I'm coming, and I'm literally going to be showing up at their door and hoping they give me a meeting.

And if they don't give me one? Then I'm going to sit in their lobby like a spoiled child in hopes that they'll change their mind. :) Every once in a while you have to give an idea a shot, or you spend your entire life passing up ideas that seem just beyond your reach.""
Programming

+ - How do you learn new languages?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "How do you go about learning a new (programming) language? Do you buy a book? Use online tutorials? Message boards? Take a class?"

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken

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