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Science

The End Of Gravity As a Fundamental Force 650

Posted by kdawson
from the mccavity's-not-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "At a symposium at the Dutch Spinoza-instituut on 8 December, 2009, string theorist Erik Verlinde introduced a theory that derives Newton's classical mechanics. In his theory, gravity exists because of a difference in concentration of information in the empty space between two masses and its surroundings. He does not consider gravity as fundamental, but as an emergent phenomenon that arises from a deeper microscopic reality. A relativistic extension of his argument leads directly to Einstein's equations." Here are two blog entries discussing Verlinde's proposal in somewhat more accessible terms.
Update: 01/12 04:48 GMT by KD : Dr. Verlinde has put up a blog post explaining in simpler terms the logic of the gravity from entropy paper. He introduces it with: "Because the logic of the paper is being misrepresented in some reports, I add here some clarifications."
Books

Grigory Perelman and the Poincare Conjecture 241

Posted by kdawson
from the another-tortured-genius dept.
EagleHasLanded writes "Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman doesn't talk to journalists. Actually, he doesn't talk to anyone anymore. So we'll have to settle for insights via his biographer, Masha Gessen, who, strangely enough, has never talked to him either. But she has spoken with just about everyone who has ever had any significant interaction with Perelman, and the result is the book Perfect Rigor, which more than adequately explains why Perelman has gone into self-imposed exile, and why he probably won't collect the million dollars he won by solving the Poincare Conjecture."
Security

+ - Avast antivirus is ruining my reputation

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "My name is CatThief. I develop themes and extensions for Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey. It recently came to my attention that users are posting warnings on various newsgroups, including a comment at addons.mozilla.org where I have a link to my site from an older version of a Thunderbird theme, that the alltabs.png image inside my Mostly Crystal themes contains the "Nutcracker Family" virus. This comes exclusively from users of Avast antivirus, where Avast is flagging this file with a false positive. Naturally most Avast users are unaware that this is a false positive, so as a result I am being accused of circulating malicious files.

This false positive is a long-standing, known issue with Avast. Just Google this and read what users have to say.
http://www.google.com/search?q=Avast+%22Nutcracker+Family%22&btnG=Google+Search

I changed the image in the theme for Firefox 3.6, and removed it from the theme for Thunderbird 3.0 and SeaMonkey 2.0 in an effort to prevent Avast from flagging this file. Hopefully this will solve future issues, but again, just for the record, THERE IS NO VIRUS IN MY THEMES.

What makes this even worse is how I am a strong advocate for privacy and security and assure any visitors to my site that nothing malicious is present. If someone believes this virus crap, it negates all my work toward that. What really ticks me off, though, is how Avast has known about this issue for a long time and has done nothing to fix it.

So thank you, Avast, for causing users of your product to not only fear a download from my site, but to damage my reputation as a responsible coder and an outspoken opponent of malware and anything considered even the slightest bit insecure."
News

Barack Obama Wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize 1721

Posted by kdawson
from the taliban-not-happy dept.
Barack Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The BBC opines: "In awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is honoring his intentions more than his achievements. After all he has been in office only just over eight months and he will presumably hope to serve eight years, so it is very early in his term to get this award. ... The committee does not make any secret of its approach. It states that he is being given the prize 'for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.' This is of course an implied criticism of former US president George W Bush and the neo-conservatives, who were often accused of trying to change the world in their image." The Washington Post collects more reactions from around the world.
Role Playing (Games)

Developer Explains Clone/Transhumanist RPG 41

Posted by Soulskill
from the gamers-don't-like-words-that-big dept.
destinyland writes "How much would you use technology to change yourself if humanity faced extinction? In this interview, the two creators behind Eclipse Phase explain their bizarre role-playing game, which 'expands the transhuman conversation.' All the characters can be identical clones, and when you switch bodies, it affects your core characteristics while damaging your sanity. But its spookiest concept is close to reality today: the idea of universal surveillance in which 'everything is networked and equipped with sensors and all meshed together.'"
Windows

FSF Attacks Windows 7's "Sins" In New Campaign 926

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-long-way-to-absolution dept.
CWmike writes "The Free Software Foundation today launched a campaign against Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming Windows 7 operating system, calling it 'treacherous computing' that stealthily takes away rights from users. At the Web site Windows7Sins.org, the Boston-based FSF lists the seven 'sins' that proprietary software such as Windows 7 commits against computer users. They include: Poisoning education, locking in users, abusing standards such as OpenDocument Format (ODF), leveraging monopolistic behavior, threatening user security, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the request of entertainment companies concerned about movie and music piracy, and invading privacy. 'Windows, for some time now, has really been a DRM platform, restricting you from making copies of digital files,' said executive director Peter Brown. And if Microsoft's Trusted Computing technology were fully implemented the way the company would like, the vendor would have 'malicious and really complete control over your computer.'"
Google

+ - Google Chrome gets 64-bit version, only for Linux->

Submitted by Noam.of.Doom
Noam.of.Doom (934040) writes "The Google Chrome developers announced on August 19th the immediate availability of a new version of the Google Chrome web browser for Linux, Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Google Chrome 4.0.202.2 is here to fix a lot of annoying bugs (see below for details) and it also adds a couple of features only for the Mac platform. However, the good news is that Dean McNamee, one of the Google Chrome engineers, announced yesterday on their mailing list that a working port of the Chrome browser for 64-bit platforms was now available:

"The v8 team did some amazing work this quarter building a working 64-bit port. After a handful of changes on the Chromium side, I've had Chromium Linux building on 64-bit for the last few weeks. I believe mmoss or tony is going to get a buildbot running, and working on packaging."

Until today, Google Chrome was available on both 32- and 64-bit architectures, but it appears that the latter was running based on the 32-bit libraries. Therefore, starting with Google Chrome 4.0.202.2, 64-bit users can enjoy a true x64 version!"
Link to Original Source

Government

+ - 3 charges against Terry Childs dropped->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Terry Childs, who was arrested nearly a year ago for refusing to turn over the passwords to the San Francisco's FiberWAN network has been cleared for three of the four charges against him. The charges that were dropped referred to the attachment of modems to the network. The remaining charge is for refusing to turn over the password. The prosecutor has vowed to appeal, to have the charges reinstated. We have the original story, and the story where Childs tells his side, for those who want a refresher."
Link to Original Source

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.

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