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Submission + - Silver Pen Allows for Hand-Written Circuits (

Zothecula writes: People have been using pens to jot down their thoughts for thousands of years but now engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a silver-inked rollerball pen that allows users to jot down electrical circuits and interconnects on paper, wood and other surfaces. Looking just like a regular ballpoint pen, the pen's ink consists of a solution of real silver that dries to leave electrically conductive silver pathways. These pathways maintain their conductivity through multiple bends and folds of the paper, enabling users to personally fabricate low-cost, flexible and disposable electronic devices.

Submission + - Are all the best games NP-hard? ( 1

Catullus writes: Following in the footsteps of Tetris and Minesweeper, the simple yet addictive multiplatform game Flood-It is the latest puzzle to be proven to be hardNP-hard, to be exact. This means that there's no way to write an efficient program to beat the game, unless P=NP. This research by computer scientists from Bristol University raises the intriguing question: are these games fun precisely because they're hard for computers to solve, and need a spark of human creativity?

Submission + - SPAM: Self-healing ceramics for nuclear safety

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers have used supercomputers to simulate how common ceramics could repair themselves after radiation-induced damages. This is an important discovery because 'materials that can resist radiation damage are needed to expand the use of nuclear energy.' These ceramics, which are able to handle high-radiation doses, could improve the durability of nuclear power plants. They also might help to solve the problem of nuclear waste storage. But read more for additional references about how this research could improve nuclear safety."
Data Storage

Submission + - Holographic data storage - finally! (

Anonymous Coward writes: "After 8 years of effort, InPhase Technologies is shipping the world's first holographic disk drive next month. They showed it at this week's NAB. With a 300 GB 5.25" disk cartridge and a 50 year media life, the Tapestry 300r is aimed at the video and film archive market. They've been promising this thing for so long I'd given up hope that they'd ever ship it!"
The Courts

Submission + - Atlanta Police Arrest Anonymous for Protesting ( 4

TheSpoom writes: During the worldwide Anonymous protests against the Scientology organization yesterday, police in Atlanta, GA arrested a protester who had simply delivered a speech given around the world. They then proceeded to ticket any vehicles passing by that honked their horns in support of the protest. As Anonymous has no leader (as nobody knows the identity of anyone else), this action seems fruitless and one questions the motives of these policemen. Police in Los Angeles were more supportive.

Submission + - Fonality Patents DNS Overriding for Local Lookups ( 3

c4colorado writes: VoIP technology company Fonality has attempted to patent the concept of resolving DNS records differently depending on whether the DNS server is queried from an internal or an external location.

While they did apply for this patent in 2006, I'm guessing this trick has been employed countless times as well as being publicly documented prior to the application date. Does anyone have examples of this prior to Aug 17, 2006? And if so, what can be done to demonstrate the obviousness of this and similar patents in a way that would make any difference?


Submission + - SPAM: Flash CS3 and Photoshop CS3 running in Wine 2

twickline writes: "It looks as if Wine might be supporting Adobe's Flash CS3 as well as Photoshop CS3 on Linux in the near future. With the recent help from Google to get Photoshop CS and CS2 working properly in Wine a huge chunk of the underlying architecture work was put in place for CS3 application support. There are still a number of bugs that need to be triangled and fixed before CS3 is properly supported but this is great news none the less. Photoshop CS3 in Wine Louis Lenders posted on bug 8945 that he has got Photoshop CS3 running in Wine, here is his post... with screenshots!"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Wikileaks releases Los Alimos atomic bomb diagram (

An anonymous reader writes: Wikileaks has released a diagram of the first atomic weapon, as used in the Trinity test and subsequently exploded over the Japanese city of Nagasaki, together with an extremely interesting scientific analysis. Wikileaks has not been able to fault the document or find reference to it elsewhere. Given the high quality of other Wikileaks submissions the document may be what it purports to be, or it may be a sophisticated intelligence agency fraud, designed to mislead the atomic weapons development programs of countries like Iran. The neutron initiator is particularly novel. "When polonium is crushed onto beryllium by explosion reaction occurs between polonium alpha emissions and beryllium leading to Carbon-12 & 1 neutron. This, in practice, would lead to a predictable neutron flux, sufficient to set off device."

Submission + - Will the mainframe ever die? (

willdavid writes: "This article by Jeff Gould in Interop News puts the mainframe in perspective. Is it really a dinasaur? "How many IT departments still use servers designed when Lyndon Johnson was President and gasoline cost 30 cents a gallon? More than you might think. Depending on who you ask, there are somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 mainframes still in operation around the world. The question is why? Why aren't these cantankerous old beasts as dead as diplodocus and triceratops? Aren't they outrageously expensive? Isn't it much cheaper to run even the biggest applications on Intel or AMD servers with Unix, Linux or Windows Server? Answering these questions turns out to be not so simple.""

Submission + - Shrinky Dink engineers grow stems cells

An anonymous reader writes: Those Shrinky Dink engineers are at it again. Forced to find alternatives because they didn't have expensive microfabrication equipment, they originally figured out how to use Shrinky Dinks to make molds for microfluidic devices. Now they've figured out how to stack the Shrinky Dinks to make complete plastic microfluidic chips, and even have an instructional video online on how to greatly simplify the process of making stem cell embryoid bodies — the clusters that form before stem cells can turn into tissues.

Submission + - How do I learn to think like a programmer?

Schlage writes: I've taken programming classes before, once in high-school and once in college, but I've never been able to make the transition from "kind of understanding what's involved" to "thinking like a programmer." I have several friends who are programmers, who make their living programming and who have long been involved in such, and their opinion is that I have simply never reached the point where things have changed from general understanding of the concepts involved to really comprehending and internalizing that way of thinking.

In short, I have yet to 'grok' programming and I don't know how to go about changing that.

In general I'm a technical user, but I want to go beyond the passivity of software use/consumption and participate in the tableau of software development. I want this both for personal satisfaction and professional growth. I'm a web designer with a background in multimedia and graphic design. I know CSS and HTML, but I have to copy/paste JavaScript and I barely understand what it does even then. In the past I have used some very technical tools when I've done 3D modeling contract work, but I was lost whenever I wanted to take advantage of the scripting options that most of those programs offer.

My coding abilities consist of understanding enough syntax to do a single thing, to solve one simple problem, yet without ever understanding the framework so that I can generalize what I just learned. I'm dying to take the training wheels off and be able to originate raw code, instead of being constrained only to alter or regurgitate what others have done.

What is the best place/way to understand the logic of coding? Where do I begin?

Submission + - Physics journal bans its authors from Wikipedia

I don't believe in imaginary property writes: "The flagship physics journal Physical Review Letters, has banned their authors from submitting any material to Wikipedia and related forums that is derived from their published work. Recently, the journal withdrew their acceptance of two articles by Jonathan Oppenheim and co-authors because the authors had asked for a rights agreement compatible with Wikipedia and the Quantum Wikipedia. Currently, many scientists "routinely do things which violate the transfer of copyright agreement of the journal". Physicist Bill Unruh, has weighed in, saying "It is unreasonable and completely at odds with the practice in the field. Scientists want as broad an audience for their papers as possible." It looks like Physical Review Letters is having second thoughts about their decision. "Gene Sprouse, editor-in-chief of the APS journals, says the society plans to review its copyright policy at a meeting in May. 'A group of excellent scientists has asked us to consider revising our copyright, and we take them seriously,' he says." New Scientist has the scoop."

Submission + - The Case of the Identical Twins

jd writes: "DNA researchers have discovered something that will cause no end of headaches for biology textbooks. "Identical Twins" aren't. In the fascinating (but tediously titled) paper "Phenotypically Concordant and Discordant Monozygotic Twins Display Different DNA Copy-Number-Variation Profiles", researchers demonstrate that, indeed, "identical twins" (whether they look the same or not) have different DNA. The number of times genes are copied (known as "Copy Number Variations") differs. This is important, because the number of times a gene is copied can reduce the risk of certain genetically-related diseases. (It can also increase the risk of others.) It used to be assumed that the DNA was identical, so that the risks were identical. It is unclear if the differences occur at the outset or over time, or whether such differences could harm the development of stem cell therapies in the future."

Submission + - USENIX: Open Access to Conference Proceedings (

USENIX Association writes: USENIX is pleased to announce open public access to all its conference proceedings. This significant decision will allow universal access to some of the most important technical research in advanced computing. In making this move USENIX is setting the standard for open access to information, an essential part of its mission. USENIX could not achieve such goals without the support and dedication of its membership. We urge you to encourage others to join USENIX. Membership helps us present over 20 influential conferences each year and offer open access to the technical information presented there. USENIX conference proceedings can be found at: Questions? Contact —
Social Networks

Submission + - Would you write code for fake money? (

xzenoe writes: "The creator of, is offering 10,000 thollars for the creation of a WordPress plug-in for the site. ThotMarket is a social bookmarking website that uses a stock market simulation as its ranking mechanism. Users earn and spend virtual dollars to IPO and trade shares of links to other websites, as well as post comments and send messges to one another. In an attempt to expand this mini-economy and get work done for free, the site admin has posted a bounty for a WordPress plug-in that will allow traders to brag about their investing prowess on their own blogs. So, is this an innovative experiment in new-media economics, or the a foolhardy gimmick? What do you think? BTW, Slashdot is being traded at $3.50/share at the moment."

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]