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Submission + - Terry Pratchett Diagnosed with Alzheimers

rucs_hack writes: "Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series, has been Diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
He describes it as 'an embuggerance', and plans to continue writing his next two books, "Nation" and "Unseen Academicals" which are not based in the discworld universe.
I imagine the rest of the slashdot community will join me in extending our sympathy and hope for some means to mitigate the effects of the illness."

Submission + - NASA Says Ares I Moon Rocket Will Be Open-Source (

An anonymous reader writes: The final contract to engineer the rocket that will send astronauts back to the Moon by 2020 was awarded to Boeing today, but NASA announced that its brains will be open for development from many contractors and hopefully even garage tinkerers.

From the article: "NASA's Constellation program, which aims to return humans to the moon by 2020, will use the Ares I rocket to launch Orion into orbit. A larger Ares V rocket, which will be developed based on the Ares I design beginning early in the next decade, will rendezvous with Orion in orbit and provide the extra units needed to escape Earth's orbit. But that doesn't mean that Boeing can count on billions of dollars of contracts for the Ares V, noted Ares project manager Steve Cook. The specifications for the Ares I design are 'open-source and non-proprietary,' he said, ensuring that future contracts will have full competition."

Given how this chart shows the increasing amount of international competition for reaching deeper into space over the past decade, NASA could probably use all the help it can get...


Submission + - Can open source games make money? 2

rucs_hack writes: I'm trying to code a multi platform online game, and I've been involved in discussions on the viability of open source as a model for a games development house. I'm unconvinced as to its viability, after all, I'm thinking business here. I want to make money, but I'm also well aware of the power of the open source community. I'm a fan of open source, but I see no examples of profitable businesses emerging in the gaming sphere. I don't have many people around with good understanding of game development and open source business models, so I throw the question open to the slashdot crowd, can a commercially viable game company be founded on the principles and practice of open source?

Organic Matter Found In Canadian Meteorite 226

eldavojohn writes "From what sounds like the opening of an X-Files episode, Canadian scientists have reportedly found in a meteorite organic matter older than the sun at Tagish Lake in Canada. From the article: '"We mean that the material in the meteorite has been processed the least since it was formed. The material we see today is arguably the most representative of the material that first went into making up the solar system." The meteorite likely formed in the outer reaches of the asteroid belt, but the organic material it contains probably had a far more distant origin. The globules could have originated in the Kuiper Belt group of icy planetary remnants orbiting beyond Neptune. Or they could have been created even farther afield. The globules appear to be similar to the kinds of icy grains found in molecular clouds — the vast, low-density regions where stars collapse and form and new solar systems are born.' The article implies that life could potentially survive in these meteorites and maybe even travel through space — supporting the theory that life may have arrived on earth and evolved from that point on."

Microsoft Customers Balk at Hard Sell 353

HangingChad writes "ComputerWorld is running an article about Microsoft's latest type of sales force scare tactic. Apparently Microsoft is using the new title of 'engagement manager' to attempt sales via intimidation. From the article: 'Indeed, according to Microsoft's Web site, the responsibility of someone with Lawless' title of "engagement manager" is to "perform as an integrated member of the account team, drive business development and closing of new services engagements in targeted accounts."'"

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal