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Transportation

Richard Branson Plans Orbital Spaceships For Virgin Galactic 177

Posted by timothy
from the ignore-the-weight dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Following the historic first rocket-powered flight of its SpaceShipTwo vehicle, Virgin Galactic plans to build a fleet of spaceships and begin ferrying hundreds of tourists into space in 2014. And then? A whole new kind of spacecraft, Sir Richard Branson said. 'We'll be building orbital spaceships after that,' Branson told Fox News Tuesday, 'so that people who want to go for a week or two can.' Assuming the cost is on the same scale, would you pay a few hundred grand for a few weeks in orbit?"
Google

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-and-forever dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.
Math

10 Ways To Celebrate International Pi Day 180

Posted by timothy
from the meteor-tail-pink dept.
We'd like to wish you a happy Pi Day. It may be just as arbitrary as some other holidays (though perhaps easier to schedule than some), but any excuse for some delicious food is one I'll take. Reader alphadogg writes with a few suggestions of ways to take part in this convenient celebration of both rationality and irrationality. (And lead your comment with the number of digits you can recite offhand ...)
Microsoft

+ - Windows 8 proving less popular than Vista-> 5

Submitted by NettiWelho
NettiWelho (1147351) writes "Data from Net Applications shows that Windows 8 is less popular than Windows Vista, the operating system that proved unpopular with the enthusiast audience.

Windows 8 usage uptake has slipped behind Vista’s in the same point in its release. Windows 8 online usage share is around 1.6% of all Windows PC’s which is less than the 2.2% share that Windows Vista commanded at the same two month mark after release.

Net Applications monitor operating system usage by recording OS version for around 40,000 sites it monitors for clients.

The slowdown for Windows 8 adoption is a bad sign for Microsoft who experienced great success with the release of Windows 7.

Data was measured up to the 22nd of December, so there is still time by the end of the month for Windows 8 to claim a higher percentage of the user base."

Link to Original Source
Linux

+ - Raided for running a Tor exit node->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "While this doesn't directly effect me it effects the industry I work in... A provider of VPS services was recently raided for running a TOR exit node. This brings forth the question: What can providers do as a whole to prevent their clients and themselves from being raided in the event someone "does something nasty"..."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft alleged anticompetitive practices agains->

Submitted by andydread
andydread (758754) writes "We discussed the accusation against Microsoft by Barnes and Noble about their patent attacks on Android. The details are out on the extent that Microsoft has gone to make open source undesirable in the marketplace. Barnes and Noble says that this is not just about Android. According to B&N Its about all open source in general and they have filed a detailed complaint (PDF) with the ITC spelling out what they call "extortive practices" on the part of Microsoft against open source. Now we have a list of the actual patents in question and B&N explaining how each one of these patents are invalid."
Link to Original Source
Power

+ - Huge Solar Array to Support NJ Data Center->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Publisher McGraw-Hill will build a 50-acre solar array to offset the energy used by a data center on its campus. A number of recent data center projects (including sites for Facebook and Cisco) have integrated on-site solar power, but with outputs of 100 to 200 kilowatts of power, only a fraction of the total power requirements. The McGraw-Hill project in East Windsor, N.J. will generate 14 megawatts of solar power, dwarfing the other projects."
Link to Original Source

+ - Casio F-91W Wristwatch Identifies You as Al-Qaida->

Submitted by rrayst
rrayst (857205) writes "According to the wikileaked Matrix of Threat Indicators for Enemy Combatants, owning a Casio F-91W may indicate "membership and participation in or support to hostilities against US and Coalition forces". "The possession of [the watch] and the silver-color version of this model, the A159W, is an indicator of al-Qaida training in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices (IEDs)." It is "a sign of al-Qaida", used "to make bombs", given to "students at [...] bomb-making training courses in Afghanistan"."
Link to Original Source

+ - UK Patent Office hit by DDOS attack->

Submitted by epa
epa (752046) writes "The UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as the Patent Office) has been hit by a DDOS attack by an anti-intellectual property group. It has suspended its web-based online filing service, and is generally limited its on-line presence."
Link to Original Source

+ - UK to track all browsing, email, phone calls->

Submitted by Sara Chan
Sara Chan (138144) writes "The UK government plans to introduce legislation that will allow the police to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public. The information will include who is contacting whom, when and where and which websites are visited, but not the content of the conversations or messages. Every communications provider will be required to store the information for at least a year. Full story in The Telegraph."
Link to Original Source

+ - Electricity from the air ->

Submitted by Anonymous
Anonymous (666) writes "Professor Fernando Galembeck, a UC chemist, is leading the study into the ways in which electricity builds up and spreads in the atmosphere, and how it could be collected. “Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future," he stated. "Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect.”"
Link to Original Source
Movies

+ - Torrent Only Movies Denied IMDB Listing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A film set to be released for free via BitTorrent has been denied a listing in the Internet Movie Database. The Tunnel is currently in production and despite pleas from the makers, IMDb won’t allow it on their site. The creators of this horror movie believe that because they have shunned an official distributor and chosen a BitTorrent model instead, this has put them at a disadvantage with the Amazon-owned site."
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Hyperfast Star Was Booted from Milky Way->

Submitted by Thorfinn.au
Thorfinn.au (1140205) writes "A hundred million years ago, a triple-star system was traveling through the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy when it made a life-changing misstep. The trio wandered too close to the galaxy's giant black hole, which captured one of the stars and hurled the other two out of the Milky Way. Adding to the stellar game of musical chairs, the two outbound stars merged to form a super-hot, blue star.

This story may seem like science fiction, but astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope say it is the most likely scenario for a so-called hypervelocity star, known as HE 0437-5439, one of the fastest ever detected. It is blazing across space at a speed of 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) an hour, three times faster than our Sun's orbital velocity in the Milky Way. Hubble observations confirm that the stellar speedster hails from our galaxy's core."

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The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins

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