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Science

Morphing Metals 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the forge-ahead dept.
aarondubrow writes "Imagine a metal that 'remembers' its original, cold-forged shape, and can return to that shape when exposed to heat or a magnetic pulse. Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel, such a metal could contract on command, or swing back and forth like a pendulum. Believe it or not, such metals already exist. First discovered in 1931, they belong to a class of materials called 'shape memory alloys (SMA),' whose unique atomic make-up allows them to return to their initial form, or alternate between forms through a phase change."
Open Source

Open Source Developer Knighted 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the knights-who-say-free dept.
unixfan writes "Georg Greve, developer of Open Document Format and active FOSS developer, has received a knighthood in Germany for his work. From the article: 'Some weeks ago I received news that the embassy in Berne had unsuccessfully been trying to contact me under FSFE's old office address in Zurich. This was a bit odd and unexpected. So you can probably understand my surprise to be told by the embassy upon contacting them that on 18 December 2009 I had been awarded the Cross of Merit on ribbon (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) by the Federal Republic of Germany. As you might expect, my first reaction was one of disbelief. I was, in fact, rather shaken. You could also say shocked. Quick Wikipedia research revealed this to be part of the orders of knighthood, making this a Knight's Cross.'"
Space

Dwarf Planets Accumulate In Outer Solar System 93

Posted by kdawson
from the potato-radius dept.
An anonymous reader tips a piece in Australian Geographic indicating that Pluto may be in for another demotion, as researchers work to define dwarf planets more exactly. "[Australian researchers] now argue that the radius which defines a dwarf planet should instead be from 200–300 km, depending on whether the object is made of ice or rock. They base their smaller radius on the limit at which objects naturally form a spherical rather than potato-like shape because of 'self-gravity.' Icy objects less than 200 km (or rocky objects less than 300 km) across are likely to be potato shapes, while objects larger than this are spherical. ... They call this limit the 'potato radius' ... [One researcher is quoted] 'I have no problem with there being hundreds of dwarf planets eventually.'"
Software

Drupal's Dries Buytaert On Drupal 7 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the on-the-horizon dept.
itwbennett writes "The Drupal community has been working on Drupal 7 for two years, and there are 'hundreds of changes' to show for it, says Drupal creator Dries Buytaert in an interview with ITworld's Esther Schindler on the occasion of Drupal 7 going into Alpha test this week. Most notable for end users are 'some massive usability improvements,' says Buytaert, while site builders will see the greatest changes in the Drupal Content Construction Kit (CCK), which has been moved into the Drupal core. But one thing that hasn't changed is the not-so-easy upgrade path. 'The upgrade path for a Drupal site has never been really easy, to be honest,' Buytaert says. 'We do break backwards compatibility. It's a little bit painful because it requires all of the contributed modules — and there's 4,000-5,000 of them — to make changes.' But Buytaert doesn't think that's all bad. 'Innovation is key. Backwards compatibility limits innovation,' Buytaert contends. 'The rule we have is: We'll break the API if it makes a better API, and if it allows good innovation and progress to be made. Also: The second rule is that we'll never break people's data. We'll always provide an upgrade path for the data.'"
Censorship

+ - Australian Net Filter Protest site returns

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Stephen Conroy "Minister for Fascism" website previously reported here has managed to thwart the Australian Domain Name Administrators and has re-registered the domain name stephenconroy.com.au after the initial 14 day injunction expired.

During those 14 days, the protesters managaed to comply with the Australian domain name registration criteria, however in what seems contrary to their own rules and contrary to publicly made quotes by the CEO of auDA, they were continually refused to be handed back the domain.

Now, however, it seems that they have unequivocally shown that they have the right to the domain and have re-registered the domain. We will see how long it lasts this time"

+ - SPAM: Ray Kurzweil: lossless compression of the brain?

Submitted by destinyland
destinyland (578448) writes "In a new interview, Ray Kurzweil argues the human brain isn't as complex as we think. "In The Singularity is Near, I show that if you apply lossless compression, you get [the human genome] down to about 50 million bytes. About half of that is the brain, so that's about 25 million bytes... There just isn't trillions of lines of code — of complexity — in the design of the brain. There is trillions, or even thousands of trillions of bytes of information, but that's not complexity because there's massive redundancy." And he also notes that the brain transmits information a million times slower than electronics, so if we can engineer it mechanically, "We'll be overcoming problems at a very rapid rate, and that will seem magical. But that doesn't mean it's not rooted in science and technology." (This interview appears in the Winter edition of H+ magazine.)"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Sun Ray's work well and are cheap (Score 5, Interesting) 349

by up4fun (#30503184) Attached to: Where Are the Cheap Thin Clients?

I agree with this, too. The sunrays are excellent.

But I think the OP is still missing something here. The transition to VDI is not just about replacing one box with another doing the same old same old. It is also an opportunity to start to transition away from local storage, login, screen savers, etc. While there are many many advantages at the back end, there are also some significant gains at the front-end, too.

As an example, the sun rays have card readers that allow you to authenticate to the back-end very quickly. Using this feature you can roll out always-on desktops that let your users sit down at a desk, any desk, pop their card in and get their desktop, just as they left it, anywhere. As they get up, their card goes with them. No need for screen savers and the whole thing is very very fast. This kind of facility is a big win for our users. No more logins! No more password resets!

So perhaps consider VDI as a way to seriously improve the end-user experience of computing.

D

Debian

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny" Released 386

Posted by kdawson
from the waiting's-over dept.
Alexander "Tolimar" Reichle-Schmehl writes "The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 5.0 (codenamed Lenny) after 22 months of constant development. With 12 supported computer architectures, more than 23,000 packages built from over 12,000 source packages and 63 languages for the new graphical installer, this release sets new records, once again. Software available in 5.0 includes Linux 2.6.26, KDE 3.5.10, Gnome 2.22.2, X.Org 7.3, OpenOffice.org 2.4.1, GIMP 2.4.7, Iceweasel 3.0.6, Apache 2.2.9, Xen 3.2.1 and GCC 4.3.2. Other notable features are X autoconfiguring itself, full read-write support for NTFS, Java programs in the main repository and a single Blu-Ray disc installation media. You can get the ISOs via bittorrent. The Debian Project also wishes to announce that this release is dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, a Debian Developer who died on December 26th, 2008 in a tragic car accident. As a valuable member of the Debian Project, he will be sorely missed."

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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