kaapstorm writes: Six scientists discuss sci-fi in which the fiction's prophetic hammer gets closest to the head of their particular scientific nail. Subjects range from weapons and AI through time travel to evo-psych. Link to Original Source
from the would-you-look-at-that dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA's Mars rover Opportunity will take a small detour on its current journey to check out what could be a toaster-sized iron-based meteorite that crashed into the Red Planet. NASA scientists called the rock 'Oileán Ruaidh,' which is the Gaelic name for an island off the coast of northwestern Ireland. The rock is about 45 centimeters (18 inches) wide from the angle at which it was first seen on September 16."
mykos writes: According to a report from PCINpact one of the major ISPs confirmed that the first batch of IP-addresses was submitted just a few days ago. This is the final step before alleged file-sharers receive warning letters.
The scope of the operation is mind boggling. The copyright holders will start relatively ‘slowly’ with 10,000 IP-addresses a day, but within weeks this number is expected to go up to 150,000 IP-addresses per day according to official reports.
The Internet providers will be tasked with identifying the alleged infringers’ names, addresses, emails and phone numbers. If they fail to do so within 8 days they risk a fine of 1,500 euros per day for every unidentified IP-address.
To put this into perspective, a United States judge ruled recently that the ISP Time Warner only has to give up 28 IP-addresses a month ( 1 per day) to copyright holders because of the immense workload the identifications would cause. Link to Original Source
nacturation writes: Verizon is gearing up to launch its own app store for Android phones. This app store, called V CAST Apps, is completely separate from Android’s existing Market for apps. In other words, it’s Verizon kicking their partner Google in the man region. The idea of Android is supposed to be an OS ecosystem that works across a range of carriers. In the U.S., Apple isn’t doing this, Android is. And that gives the carriers less power. The problem is that Verizon is now using Android’s openness to ruin that approach.
An anonymous reader writes: Police sketch artists might soon be trading in the pencil and paper for a genetics lab. Forensic biologists say they may soon be able to reconstruct a criminal's profile from the DNA they leave at a crime scene. Link to Original Source
CWmike writes "Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday announced inexpensive desktop microprocessors with up to six cores to put pricing pressure on rival Intel. AMD's new chips include the fastest AMD Phenom II X6 1075T six-core processor, which is priced 'under $250' for 1,000 units, AMD said. AMD also introduced a range of dual-core and quad-core Athlon II and Phenom II desktop microprocessors priced between $76 and $185. By comparison, Intel's cheapest six-core processor is the Core i7-970 processor, which is priced at $885 per 1,000 units, according to a price list on Intel's website."
schliz writes: Murdoch University professor Graham Mann is developing algorithms to simulate "free thinking" and emotion. He refutes the emotionless reason portrayed by Mr Spock, arguing that "an intelligent system must have emotions built into it before it can function". The algorithm can translate the "feel" of Aesop's Fables based on Plutchick's Wheel of Emotions. In tests, it freely associated three stories: The Thirsty Pigeon; The Cat and the Cock; and The Wolf and the Crane, and when queried on the association, the machine responded: "I felt sad for the bird." Link to Original Source
schliz writes: Free software activist Richard Stallman has called for the end of the 'war on sharing' at the World Computer Congress in Brisbane, Australia. He criticized surveillance, censorship, restrictive data formats and software-as-a-service in a keynote presentation, and asserted that digital society had to be "free" in order to be a benefit, and not an attack.
Uttini writes: When James Gosling led the team that created the Java language and platform, Sun Microsystems was riding high and Java stood as a landscape-changing revolutionary technology, but financial realities eventually brought Sun to its knees and Oracle entered in as a potential savior--saying all the right things, but behind the scenes, as far as Gosling was concerned, doing all the wrong ones. Link to Original Source
Lansdowne writes: King County Library System, the public-library system in Microsoft's backyard of King County, Washington, has begun replacing its proprietary online library catalog with the open-source Evergreen catalog. In the transition FAQ, the library says they had numerous change requests that the catalog vendor was only willing to make at up to $20,000 per request, so they decided to go with OSS to give themselves "beneficial control over the development, maintenance, reliability and adaptability of our most essential system and the associated costs." Evergreen has been covered on Slashdot before. Link to Original Source
angry tapir writes: "Google is at its wit's end dealing with illegal sellers of prescription drugs that market medicines on its ad network, so it has decided to take some of these allegedly rogue advertisers to court. Rogue prescription drug sellers have increased in number and become more sophisticated in their dealings, and "a small percentage" of them have been able to dodge Google's efforts to block them from running ads on its network, according to Google." Link to Original Source
from the it's-what-plants-crave dept.
lbalbalba writes "In April 1986, a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine exploded and sent radioactive particles flying through the air, infiltrating the surrounding soil. Despite the colossal disaster, some plants in the area seem to have adapted well, flourishing in the contaminated soil."