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Space

North Korea Shows Off Space Center and Launches Missile 294

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-no-attention-to-the-missle-behind-the-curtain dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that nobody would describe North Korea's mission control as imposing. It is a small, unremarkable, two-story building, tiny compared to Nasa's Houston home in America or Russia's space command. But the North's secretive regime, now headed by the third of the Kim dynasty to rule here, Kim Jong-un, is opening up, for the first time in an attempt to allay fears it is about to test missile technology that could deliver a warhead as far as America. 'Sixteen technicians man the satellite command center. Dressed in white coats, like doctors, they sit behind computer screens,' writes Damian Grammaticas. 'On a big screen are live pictures from the launch pad, showing North Korea's rocket being fueled up. The satellite it will carry has already been loaded on board, we are told.' Pyongyang says the minibar refrigerator-sized satellite covered with solar panels and golden foil to protect its instruments will broadcast martial music praising North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung and is designed to monitor weather, natural disasters and agriculture patterns. As the five-day window for North Korea's rocket launch opens today, the United States has warned a launch would be a breach of UN Security Council resolutions that ban the North from testing missile technology. If North Korea goes ahead it could lead to UN sanctions, it has warned. 'That's why we have invited you, to clearly show that this is a satellite launch not a ballistic missile,' says Paek Chang-ho, head of the satellite control center. 'I hope you become supporters in showing the transparency of our satellite launch.'" After all that North Korea decided to launch a missile anyway. From the article: "The three-stage rocket, called the Unha-3, blasted off from the Soehae launch site near North Korea’s western corner with China, at about 7:39 a.m., the South Korea Defense Ministry said."
Iphone

Gizmodo Blows Whistle On 4G iPhone Loser 853

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-meant-to-do-that dept.
Stoobalou writes "Not content with its iPhone scoop, Gizmodo has probably ruined the career of a young engineer. The tech blog last night exposed the name of the hapless Apple employee who had one German beer too many and left a prototype iPhone G4 in a California bar some 20 miles from Apple's Infinite Loop campus. Was that really necessary?" It also came out that they paid $5K for the leaked prototype and that Apple wants it back.
Music

Musicians Oppose Anti-Piracy Measures In the UK 150

Posted by kdawson
from the let-it-be dept.
BluePeppers writes "The Guardian has a story, primarily about a deal that allows YouTube to broadcast music videos again, but also covering a coalition of artist unions that are opposing new legislation in the UK that would punish file sharers more severely. From the article: 'A coalition of bodies representing a range of stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, and Damon Albarn attacks the proposals as expensive, illogical and "extraordinarily negative." The Featured Artists Coalition, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and the Music Producers Guild have joined forces to oppose the proposals to reintroduce the threat of disconnection for persistent file sharers, which was ruled out in the government's Digital Britain report in June.""

Comment: Re:Curious to see where this one goes... (Score 2, Interesting) 219

by morgdx (#24948391) Attached to: Lawsuit Claims Nvidia Execs Concealed Serious Flaw

Okay, so I get a $20 coupon. The 8600GT in my MacBook Pro failed this week in a way which is strongly consistent with the other reports.

The laptop is 3 months out of warranty so it's going to cost me around $1200 to get it fixed, when this appears to be a result of a manufacturing defect.

You desktop jockeys might just be able to slot in a new card and write it down to experience, but laptops are affected too. It appears my options are limited to:

  • Hoping Apple's "legendary" customer service comes through and they agree to repay the cost of replacing the motherboard, graphics chip and all
  • Er.
  • Loss?
Sony

Sony Thinks Blu-ray Will Sell Like DVDs by Year End 434

Posted by Zonk
from the ambitious-planning dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sony CEO Ryoji Chubachi knows something we don't. At a press conference, he announced Sony's plan to increase Blu-ray market share to 50% of all movie discs by the end of the year. 'DVD and BD currently account for about 80% and 20%, respectively, of global demand for movie discs, Chubachi indicated. The new BD devices to be offered by Sony include models integrating an HD LCD TV with BD recording functionality, Chubachi pointed out. Sony has relied mainly on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) to promote BD, and sales of the game console will increase along with the offering by top Hollywood studios of new BD movies, Chubachi noted. However, Sony will extend its BD promotion from the current focus on the PS3 and BD players/recorders to IT devices, Chubachi pointed out.'"
Government

British Village Requests Removal From GPS Maps 539

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-be-seen dept.
longacre writes "The tiny village of Barrow Gurney, England, has asked GPS map publisher Tele Atlas to remove them from the company's maps. The reason: truck drivers using GPS navigation devices are being directed to drive through the town despite the roads being too narrow for sidewalks, which has led to numerous accidents. At the root of the problem lies the fact that the navigation maps used by trucks are the same as those used by passenger cars, and they don't contain data on road width or no-truck zones. Tele Atlas says they will release truck-appropriate databases at some point, but until then they advise local governments to make use of a technology dating back to the Romans: road signs."
Supercomputing

Super-Magnet Sheds Light on Semiconductors 64

Posted by Zonk
from the throm-throm-throm dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "A group of researchers at Florida state have demonstrated a magnet design that could shed new light on nanoscience and semiconductor research. 'The Split Florida Helix magnet can direct and scatter laser light at a sample down the centre of the magnet and from four ports on the sides. Due to become fully operational in 2010, the device can generate fields above 25 tesla. The highest-field split magnet in the world currently attains 18 tesla ... The scientists will be able to expand the scope of their experimental approach, learning more about the intrinsic properties of materials by shining light on crystals from angles not previously available in such high magnetic fields.'"
The Courts

+ - Imprisonment without trial proposed in UK->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "According to a BBC article, the head of the UK Association of Chief Police Officers has asked for terrorism suspects to be held "for as long as it takes" to finish an investigation, without being charged, without being given a trial, and with no upper limit to the time this could go on for. I, for one, would be more afraid of the police than of the terrorists if they were given this power."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Is Your Printer Spying on You?

Submitted by
gnujoshua
gnujoshua writes "In 2005, the EFF alerted the world to how laser printers are spying their users by providing tracking information in the form of a unique smattering of barely detectable yellow dots that appear on every printout. Revitalizing this issue, the Computing Counter Culture Group at the MIT Media Labs has launched Seeing Yellow. They provide instructions to see the tracking dots, as well as provide you with a list of clever questions, and appropriate contact information so that you can confront your laser printer manufacturer. Let's act before this issue slips through the cracks again and send the message that manufacturers' must respect our privacy and our right to anonymous free speech."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Oregon man flies lawn chair 193 miles at 13,000 ft->

Submitted by
Jeff
Jeff writes "Kent Couch, an Oregon cluster balloonist has flown a lawn chair above Oregon at an altitude of 13,000 feet using helium balloons. The AP reports he received rope burns trying to hang on during a bout of turbulence having forgotten to buckle his seat belt.

Couch, 47, is the latest American to emulate Larry Walters — who in 1982 rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons. Walters surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed a guy in a lawn chair with a gun.
Snopes confirms the Walter flight but has no entry yet for Couch."

Link to Original Source
United States

USPTO Peer Review Process To Begin Soon 116

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-like-every-einstein's-dream-come-true dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As we've discussed several times before on Slashdot, the US patent office is looking to employ a Wiki-like process for reviewing patents. It's nowhere near as open as Wikipedia, but there are still numerous comparisons drawn to the well-known project in this Washington Post story. Patent office officials site the huge workload their case officers must deal with in order to handle the modern cycle of product development. Last year some 332,000 applications were handled by only 4,000 employees. 'The tremendous workload has often left examiners with little time to conduct thorough reviews, according to sympathetic critics. Under the pilot project, some companies submitting patent applications will agree to have them reviewed via the Internet. The list of volunteers already contains some of the most prominent names in computing, including Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, as well as IBM, though other applicants are welcome.'"
Windows

UK Greens Declare Vista Bad For Environment 290

Posted by kdawson
from the riding-the-hype dept.
schwaang writes "The UK Green Party says that Vista's DRM requirements will force many unnecessary hardware upgrades. Quoting: 'There will be thousands of tonnes of dumped monitors, video cards, and whole computers that are perfectly capable of running Vista — except for the fact they lack the paranoid lock down mechanisms Vista forces you to use. That's an offensive cost to the environment. Future archaeologists will be able to identify a "Vista Upgrade Layer" when they go through our landfill sites.'"

Flickr Patenting "Interestingness" 95

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-thats-unique dept.
tjcrowder noted that Boing Boing is reporting that Flickr has filed for a patent on a system for determining "interestingness". From the patent application abstract: "Media objects, such as images or soundtracks, may be ranked according to a new class of metrics known as "interestingness." These rankings may be based at least in part on the quantity of user-entered metadata concerning the media object, the number of users who have assigned metadata to the media object, access patterns related to the media object, and/or a lapse of time related to the media object." So basically, nobody else can use tags to label files. Totally original thinking from the folks at flickr. *cough*

Lawsuit Against Ubisoft for Starforce 106

Posted by Zonk
from the punishing-the-enablers dept.
Cyber Akuma writes "Due to Ubisoft's intentional use of the highly controversial copy protection scheme Starforce, despite user protests and purposeful deletion of any forum discussions about the protection, Christopher Spence has filed a 5 Million Dollar lawsuit against the company for use of the crippling DRM in their games. Starforce has been reported to cause system instability, slowdowns, and possible damage to optical drives. As well as questionable business practices when dealing with customers and other companies, which has been reported on Slashdot before."

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