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Submission + - Wikipedia admin's manipulation "messed up perhaps 15,000 students' lives" 5

Andreas Kolbe writes: Recently, "ArbCom", Wikipedia's highest court, banned an administrator account that for years had been manipulating the Wikipedia article of a bogus Indian business school – deleting criticism, adding puffery, and enabling the article to become a significant part of the school's PR strategy. Believing the school's promises and advertisements, families went to great expense to send sons and daughters on courses there – only for their children to find that the degrees they had gained were worthless. "In my opinion, by letting this go on for so long, Wikipedia has messed up perhaps 15,000 students’ lives," an Indian journalist quoted in the story says. India is one of the countries where tens of millions of Internet users have free access to Wikipedia Zero, but cannot afford the data charges to access the rest of the Internet, making Wikipedia a potential gatekeeper.
Input Devices

Kinect Creators To Make PC Controller 96

Hugh Pickens writes "PrimeSense, the privately held Israeli company that licensed core Kinect technology to Microsoft, is teaming up with PC and peripheral maker Asus to create a similar device for the PC that can be used for browsing multimedia content and accessing the Internet and social networks — basically, the main things consumers use their PCs for. Last month, a Korean game developer claimed that Microsoft was working on a version of Kinect for the PC, but Microsoft hasn't confirmed any such plans."

Submission + - Linux Mint Debian 201012: available

VincenzoRomano writes: The latest Linux Mint Debian is available for download since a few days now for both 32 and 64 bit Intel-like architectures.
From the announcement feature list:

All Mint 10 features
64-bit support
Performance boost (using cgroup, the notorious “4 lines of code better than 200 in user-space)
Installer improvements (multiple HDDs, grub install on partitions, swap allocation, btrfs support)
Better fonts (Using Ubuntu’s libcairo, fontconfig and Ubuntu Font Family) and language support (ttf-wqy-microhei, ttf-sazanami-mincho, ttf-sazanami-gothic installed by default)
Better connectivity and hardware support (pppoe, pppoeconf, gnome-ppp, pppconfig, libgl1-mesa-dri, libgl1-mesa-glx, libgl1-mesa-dev, mesa-utils installed by default)
Better sound support (addressing conflicts between Pulse Audio and Flash)
Updated software and packages

Back to September 7th we saw the very first release, rather beta indeed, of this project, the first step to switch the distribution base from Ubuntu to Debian and to a rolling release policy.
Linux Mint is scoring place #2 at Distrowatch Popularity Ranking (well, kind of), just behind Ubuntu and before Fedora, OpenSUSE and Debian itself, .
Only time will tell whether this is a winning move or not for Linux Mint. But why not giving it a run?


Submission + - Shed-sized nuclear reactors available in five yrs (

Anti-Globalism writes: "Miniature nuclear reactors that can run without human intervention for up to a decade will be available within five years, according to the company tasked with building them. Each one will be smaller than an average garden shed and will generate power for 200,000 homes.

The power plants will be almost impossible to attack or steal as they will be encased in concrete and buried underground. They will contain no weapons-grade material.

The reactors will cost up to £13 million each but are expected to provide cheaper energy than traditional sources such as coal and gas. As a result, the reactors could provide a crucial new energy source for developing countries or even for remote military installations. They will be delivered on the back of a lorry and will have no moving parts."


Google Sorts 1 Petabyte In 6 Hours 166

krewemaynard writes "Google has announced that they were able to sort one petabyte of data in 6 hours and 2 minutes across 4,000 computers. According to the Google Blog, '... to put this amount in perspective, it is 12 times the amount of archived web data in the US Library of Congress as of May 2008. In comparison, consider that the aggregate size of data processed by all instances of MapReduce at Google was on average 20PB per day in January 2008.' The technology making this possible is MapReduce 'a programming model and an associated implementation for processing and generating large data sets.' We discussed it a few months ago. Google has also posted a video from their Technology RoundTable discussing MapReduce."

Google Turns On User-Tweakable Search Wiki 161

Barence writes "Google has launched a new service that allows users to tailor to their own search results. Called SearchWiki, the service allows Google account holders to move results up or off the rankings, or even add their own choice of site to the top of the search results. Google claims that any changes a user makes will only affect their results, and not those of fellow surfers, although it's difficult to believe that some of the feedback generated from the SearchWiki won't be used to fine tune the Google search algorithm. Is this a cunning way to encourage people to sign in while they search, thus providing Google with a richer set of data that can be mapped to specific user accounts?"
The Internet

Integrating the Web Into Games 52

Got Game recently announced the launch of an in-game web browser called Rogue, designed for concurrent use with modern games for those who don't care to to switch back and forth. Their aim is to make it so gamers can more easily keep themselves entertained during downtime in games, and to streamline information retrieval without missing any of the action. An anonymous reader writes with related news from Gamasutra: "This article details the practical steps for game developers to add a video recording feature to a game, encode gameplay footage in the Theora video format, and share the recording on YouTube. Spore's Creature Creator, PixelJunk Eden, and Mainichi Issho already support YouTube, but not only commercial games benefit. By hosting the videos, YouTube puts this feature in reach of indie game developers who might otherwise not be able to afford the server resources."
Christmas Cheer

Holiday Art Executed In Google Documents 72

CyberKnet writes "Some enterprising folks over at Google have collaborated via Google Documents to create holiday art using cells in a spreadsheet as the pixels. A time delay video was taken and is available over at YouTube and the result is pretty spectacular. More info on how they did this is available behind the scenes. They're inviting people to share their own masterpieces or post a video response over on YouTube."

Google Chrome OEM Strategy To Take On IE 290

ruphus13 writes "In an effort to take on IE and make strong headway in its share of the browser market, Google is taking a page out of Microsoft's playbook and working on deals with PC OEMs to include Chrome in their devices. From the article: '[Google] is likely to pursue deals with major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to put Chrome on their computers and devices. ... If Mozilla could get aggressive about this too, we could see Internet Explorer facing more serious competition than ever. ... Google, much more so than Mozilla, has enough global brand recognition, money, and savvy to make a big deal of this. ... Microsoft wooed Dell, Compaq, HP, Gateway, Acer and many other companies into making its browser the default choice on Windows desktops. Chrome currently has just under one percent market share, according to NetApplications. That number could rise significantly through this effort. Mozilla doesn't have the kind of money required to get the significant deals in this space, but Google definitely does.'"
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Blames Add-Ons For Browser Woes 307

darthcamaro writes "Running IE and been hacked? Don't blame Microsoft — at least that's what their security types are now arguing. 'One of the things we've seen in the last two years is that attackers aren't even going after the browser itself anymore,' Eric Lawrence, Security Program Manager on Microsoft's Internet Explorer team, said. 'The browser is becoming a harder target and there are many more browsers. So attackers are targeting add-ons.' This kinda makes sense since whether you're running IE, Firefox, Safari or Chrome you could still be at risk if there is a vulnerability in Flash, PDF, QuickTime or another popular add-on. Or does it?"

E=mc^2 Verified In Quantum Chromodynamic Calculation 268

chirishnique and other readers sent in a story in AFP about a heroic supercomputer computation that has verified Einstein's most famous equation at the level of subatomic particles for the first time. "A brainpower consortium led by Laurent Lellouch of France's Centre for Theoretical Physics, using some of the world's mightiest supercomputers, have set down the calculations for estimating the mass of protons and neutrons, the particles at the nucleus of atoms. ... [T]he mass of gluons is zero and the mass of quarks is only five per cent. Where, therefore, is the missing 95 per cent? The answer, according to the study published in the US journal Science on Thursday, comes from the energy from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons. ... [E]nergy and mass are equivalent, as Einstein proposed in his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905." Update: 11/21 15:50 GMT by KD : New Scientist has a slightly more technical look at the accomplishment.

Spider Missing After Trip To Space Station 507

Garabito writes "A spider that had been sent to the International Space Station for a school science program was lost. Two arachnids were sent in order to know if spiders can survive and make webs in space, but now only one spider can be seen in the container. NASA isn't sure where the other spider could have gone. I, for one, welcome our new arachnid overlords."

New Generator Boosts Wind Turbine Efficiency 50% 315

MagnetDroid writes "A startup company based in Vancouver has developed a new kind of generator that could harvest much more energy from the wind. The design could not only lower the cost of wind turbines but increase their power output by 50 percent to as much as 100 percent, in some locations. Normally, when wind speeds drop, a turbine's engine becomes less efficient. The new engine, from ExRo Technologies, runs efficiently over a wider range of conditions. The design replaces a mechanical transmission with what amounts to an electronic one. Magnets attached to a rotating shaft create a current, but individual coils can be turned on and off electronically at different wind speeds." The company will begin field-testing a small, 5KW wind turbine by early next year.

Anti-Matter Created By Laser At Livermore 465

zootropole alerts us to a press release issued today by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, announcing the production of 'billions of particles of anti-matter.' "Take a gold sample the size of the head of a push pin, shoot a laser through it, and suddenly more than 100 billion particles of anti-matter appear. The anti-matter, also known as positrons, shoots out of the target in a cone-shaped plasma 'jet.' This new ability to create a large number of positrons in a small laboratory opens the door to several fresh avenues of anti-matter research, including an understanding of the physics underlying various astrophysical phenomena such as black holes and gamma ray bursts." The press release doesn't characterize the laser used in this experiment, but it may have been this one.

Urine Passes NASA Taste Test 404

Ponca City, We love you writes "Astronauts flying aboard space shuttle Endeavour are delivering a device to the International Space Station that may leave you wondering if NASA is taking recycling too far. Among the ship's cargo is a water regeneration system that distills, filters, ionizes, and oxidizes wastewater — including urine — into fresh water for drinking or, as one astronaut puts it, 'will make yesterday's coffee into today's coffee.' The US space agency spent $250M for the water recycling equipment but with the space shuttles due to retire in two years, NASA needed to make sure the station crew would have a good supply of fresh water. The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems uses a purification process called vapor compression distillation: urine is boiled until the water in it turns to steam. In space, there's an additional challenge: steam doesn't rise, so the entire distillation system is spun to create artificial gravity to separate the steam from the brine. The water has been thoroughly tested on Earth, including blind taste tests that pitted recycled urine with similarly treated tap water. 'Some people may think it's downright disgusting, but if it's done correctly, you process water that's purer than what you drink here on Earth,' said Endeavour astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper."

Everybody needs a little love sometime; stop hacking and fall in love!