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The Military

+ - China's supercomputers developing stealth ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "China is using its increasing supercomputing capability, which includes a new flying saucer shaped computing facility, for research on stealth technology, according to a slide from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Supercomputing Center presented at an exascale conference in October. The slide illustrates how supercomputers can be used to calculate the radar cross-section of an aircraft or a ship. This can help designers choose shapes for an aircraft or ship that will have the smallest possible radar cross-section, according to a Rand Corp. analyst. China is expected to have stealth aircraft sometime in the 2017 to 2019 timeframe."
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Idle

+ - For Sale: Aircraft Carrier, One Only, Lightly Used

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Time Magazine reports that just in time for the holidays, the British Navy has put the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible up for sale on an eBay-like website. The proud 690-foot warship sailed Her Majesty's seas from 1980 to 2005, and took part in the Falklands, Balkans and Iraq campaigns. A crew of more than 1,000 manned the ship as she steamed at speeds topping out at 28 knots, thanks to its four Rolls-Royce turbine engines. The ship underwent a major refit in 2004 but was decommissioned in 2005 with the proviso that she could be "reactivated" at 18 months notice if a crisis beckoned but over the years her engines, pumps and gear boxes were cannibalized for use in other ships. Of her total weight of 17,0000 tons, 10,000 is composed of metal which makes her attractive on the scrap market. If interested go to the like auction web site and put her to your "wish list," or add her to your "cart." Interestingly enough, the Australian government had originally planned to purchase the ship in 1982 but the Falklands war intervened and in July 1982 the British Ministry of Defence announced that it had withdrawn its offer to sell Invincible and that it would maintain a three-carrier force."

+ - Ask /.: Overseas short term ISP & cell sources

Submitted by managerialslime
managerialslime (739286) writes "Web and cell phone recommendations for international travelers?

I support employees and customers who infrequently travel outside of the United States for both work and pleasure for one to three weeks at a time.

The destinations can be almost any country in the world.

Invariably, they need my staff to find them (a) rental of a "mi-fi" like device so they can get web access for their laptops, iPads, Android, and iPod Touch devices (without onerous surcharges), and (b ) find them short-term cell phone rentals where the per-minute rates won't empty their wallets.

In the last year alone, countries involved included Nicaragua, China, Chile, Finland, and Russia. A trip to India is pending.

I feel like every time someone plans a trip, we need to start over looking for rental vendors.

Is there a web site that keeps travelers up to date on web and cell phone options for short-term trips?

Sites like TripAdvisor.com do a great job of keeping travelers up to date on hotel cleanliness and transportation, but I have yet to find a site to help with voice and data communications for travelers.

(If you don't know of such a site, how about just advice for India?)

Help!"

+ - 500MB/sec memory card format proposed->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Gadget-lovers everywhere rejoice, a high-speed, high-capacity memory card format is being tabled by Sony, SanDisk, and Nikon that would eclipse anything we use today.

Taking into account the growing popularity of HD content capture, the three companies have realized future gadgets require a faster way of storing and transferring data. Not only that, but the ability to store a lot more data too. So the new format being proposed tackles both those problems.

The transfer speed of the memory card format is stated as 500MB/sec (maximum). That has been made possible by switching away from Parallel ATA (max: 167MB/sec) and selecting PCI Express as an interface instead. As for the amount of storage available on the cards, a specific limit has not been set, but “beyond 2 terabytes” has been stated as a goal."

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Sci-Fi

+ - Nokia, Intel Plan 'Star Wars' Hologram Tech ->

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "Nokia and Intel's joint lab will investigate 3D holograms of phone users, clearly reminiscent of the messages used in Star Wars... although the phones will be more compact than R2D2. The lab will also do serious stuff, around Meego, the Noka-Intel open source OS, which developers can preview."
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Comment: Re:about fucking time (Score 2, Insightful) 74

by shadowmage36 (#33230476) Attached to: Robonaut To Escort On Space Shuttle Mission
Agreed. Heinlein said it best:

"I now define 'moral behavior' as 'behavior that tends toward survival.' I won't argue with philosophers or theologians who choose to use the word 'moral' to mean something else, but I do not think anyone can define "behavior that tends toward extinction" as being 'moral' without stretching the word 'moral' all out of shape.

Selfishness is the bedrock on which all moral behavior starts and it can be immoral only when it conflicts with a higher moral imperative. An animal so poor in spirit that he won't even fight on his own behalf is already an evolutionary dead end; the best he can do for his breed is to crawl off and die, and not pass on his defective genes.

The next higher level is to work, fight, and sometimes die for your own immediate family. This is the level at which six pounds of mother cat can be so fierce that she'll drive off a police dog. It is the level at which a father takes a moonlighting job to keep his kids in college -- and the level at which a mother or father dives into a flood to save a drowning child ... and it is still moral behavior even when it fails.
br> Evolution is a process that never stops. Baboons who fail to exhibit moral behavior do not survive; they wind up as meat for leopards.

The next level in moral behavior higher than that exhibited by the baboon is that in which duty and loyalty are shown toward a group of your own kind too large for an individual to know all of them. We have a name for that. It is called 'patriotism.' Behaving on a still higher moral level were the astronauts who went to the Moon, for their actions tend toward the survival of the entire race of mankind.

Many short-sighted fools think that going to the Moon was just a stunt. But the astronauts knew the meaning of what they were doing, as is shown by Neil Armstrong's first words in stepping down onto the soil of Luna: 'One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.'"

Science

+ - The Brain's Secret for Sleeping Like a Log->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Why can some people sleep through anything? According to this article in Wired Science, some lucky people have a bonus helping of a certain kind of brain static that essentially blocks out noise and other stimuli. These "sleep spindles" can be detected via EEG, and show up as brief bursts of high-frequency brain waves; some people naturally produce more than others. The researchers say these spindles are produced by the thalamus, the brain region that acts as a waystation for sensory information. If the thalamus is busy producing sleep spindles, sensory information can't make it through the thalamus to the cortex, the perceptive part of the brain."
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Comment: In a decent society, one would hope that a simple (Score 2, Insightful) 287

by shadowmage36 (#33194592) Attached to: Discovery Threatens Fan Site It Also Promotes
phone call from the owners of the fan site to the marketing people, followed by a phone call between the marketing people and the lawyers, would result in a free license, an amicable settlement arrangement, Discovery getting a bunch of free advertising, the fans being happy to have a good fan site, and everyone winning.

Except we don't live in that strange, logical place. We live here, where it's all about the almighty dollar and name rights, and the hell with corporate goodwill! Any PR is good PR! Et cetera! Rabble, rabble, rabble!

Disgusting. When will we get wise and finally decide, "Enough is enough." Sometimes I think it's a pity there wasn't an ACTUAL "Year They Hanged The Lawyers..."
Censorship

+ - Liability over third-party comments-> 2

Submitted by brunobg
brunobg (739486) writes "I run a website that allows people to rate and comment on pretty much anything, with a unique page for each item. As such, one expects that there will be negative comments, which have already caught the attention of some "offended parties", so far mostly people and not companies. Though sometimes they really are offensive (such as racism, bullying etc) and will be taken down, often they are non-hateful personal opinions or actual facts (ranging from "I don't like it/him/her" to "this guy is boring" to "here's a link to a news article saying this person is a criminal"). The purpose of the site is to provide a semantic back end for things in general, so comments, links, ratings and other data are an integral part of it.
I already have consulted lawyers, who have conflicting opinions. It seems that, since the site is covered by Terms of Service stating that the Poster owns the comments and that certain kinds of content are forbidden and will be taken down, neither I or the website would be liable for them. But it also seems that I can be sued anyway. I can't afford being sued by everybody (actually, anybody) who dislikes being voted "hate" on the site or having a negative comment. OTOH I don't want to take anything off the site without a good reason--it defeats the purpose of the site if only nice comments can be posted. I also can't filter everything that is posted, so things that actually violate the Terms of Service may be online for a while (minutes, hours, perhaps days), until the abuses are reported. It's also not clear what is the status of anonymous comments (by people not registered); do I have to keep tracking information such as IP to know who the Poster was?
What can I do? Note: I'm not based on the USA, so comments on international law are welcome."

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+ - Yelp Accused of Extortion->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "From the article: "Yelp, the online review site, is being accused of extortion in a class-action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles this week. The suit alleges that the site tried to get a Long Beach veterinary hospital named Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital to pay $300 a month — for a minimum 12-month commitment — to suppress or delete reviews that disparaged the hospital.""
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Privacy

+ - Causeless Laptop Searches Get Privacy Office OK->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "The Department of Homeland Security's Privacy Office has approved the controversial searches, copying and retention of laptops, PDAs, and other digital devices without cause at U.S. borders. Travelers could soon start seeing notices from the Privacy Office, which last week released a report supporting the right of customs agents to conduct such searches. The 51-page Privacy Impact Assessment also supported the right of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to copy, download, retain or seize any content from these devices, or the devices themselves, without assigning any specific reason for doing so."
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