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Comment: skype? -- Re:someone's spying on you (Score 1) 252

by yet-another-lobbyist (#43871721) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is GNU/Linux Malware a Real Threat?
Actually, I have seen something similar recently on a kubuntu 12.04 machine. The web cam just went on on its own. If I remember correctly, it went off as soon as I killed skype. I am not sure whether this makes it more or less concerning, but my guess is that skype is involved.

This machine is fully patched and uses pretty strict firewall rules. Of course, this his my wife's machine, and my guess is that her browsing habits are not very safe. She me told that the cam went on and off on its own several times before...
GNOME

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the extend-freely dept.
Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."
Firefox

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cycle-is-nearly-complete dept.
MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.
Google

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-and-forever dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.

Comment: Way to go, E! (Score 1) 114

by yet-another-lobbyist (#43293683) Attached to: Enlightenment Terminal Allows Video Playback, PDF Viewing
I think this is goddamn just awesome. The only question I have is: why didn't someone think about this before?

I often find myself switching between CLI and GUI, either of which has usability advantages depending on the problem at hand. This one has a good chance of combining the some of advantages of both and come out as a solution outperforming either of the two traditional options. Nice job! So inspiring. Very creative! Way to go, E!

Comment: Re:KDE (Score 3, Interesting) 73

by yet-another-lobbyist (#42062761) Attached to: KDE 4.10 Beta1 Released
...they also seemed to have a rough spot in the past months. For months, there was no stable version available for ubuntu Precise, which is an LTS. Last month, they finally released 3.5.13.1, with support for Precise. I also had trouble accessing their web page and repos for many days in a row. Not exactly the kind of stability I would expect for my main DE.

By the way, KDE 3.5 was my first Linux experience. It was my DE of choice; it worked well and I liked the configurability. But I always found it butt ugly. Looked way old-fashioned and outdated compared to OSs/DEs. Tried a few different themes, but that only made it worse. I still stayed with it for its functionality. But I always found it totally unsexy.

Comment: Re:Found at 125 GeV (Score 4, Informative) 396

by yet-another-lobbyist (#40541487) Attached to: LHC Discovers New Particle That Looks Like the Higgs Boson
It's because of what someone else explained further above: Higgs field is a quantum field, which fluctuates constantly. Particles spontaneously emerge and disappear all the time. Same thing is true for photons: even in a perfectly dark room, you have spontaneously photons appearing and disappearing. This leads to the so-called zero-point-field. Even when there are no "real" photons in a dark room, the electromagnetic field is not zero. It fluctuates around zero due to these so-called "virtual photons". Same is true for every quantum field. To generate a "real" Higgs particle you need 125 GeV. Virtual bosons come and go all the time (for free). Interaction with "massive" particles gives them their mass.

Comment: Re:Found at 125 GeV (Score 1) 396

by yet-another-lobbyist (#40541427) Attached to: LHC Discovers New Particle That Looks Like the Higgs Boson
A photon bounces off mirrors because the electromagnetic field which describes the photon probability density is governed by Maxwell's equations. And according to those, and electromagnetic wave is reflected off a mirror (a perfect metal, for instance). Another way of looking at it is that photons interact with charges. When a photon approaches a metal, it stirs up the charges (electrons) inside the metal, which, in turn, interact with the photon (electromagnetic field) to change the photon's direction.

The way gravity affects the trajectory of photons is because (according to the theory of general relativity) mass distorts space-time itself. In this picture, you could think that the photon flies "straight" in a "bent" space-time.
Power

MIT's 'Artificial Leaf' Makes Fuel From Sunlight 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-you-think-energy-just-falls-off-trees dept.
New submitter nfn writes "MIT has published a new paper (abstract), along with a video of a working prototype, of what they're describing as an 'Artificial Leaf' that separates water into oxygen and hydrogen using cheap, non-exotic materials. 'The artificial leaf — a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials bonded onto its two sides — needs no external wires or control circuits to operate. Simply placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it quickly begins to generate streams of bubbles: oxygen bubbles from one side and hydrogen bubbles from the other. If placed in a container that has a barrier to separate the two sides, the two streams of bubbles can be collected and stored, and used later to deliver power: for example, by feeding them into a fuel cell that combines them once again into water while delivering an electric current.' No word on the arrival of 'Artificial Salads,' or when any of their other alchemy projects will bear artificial fruit."

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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