cowtamer writes: According to a National Geographic Article certain fungi can use ionizing radiation to perform "radiosynthesis" using the pigment melanin (the same one in our skin that protects us from UV radiation). It is speculated that this might be useful on long space voyages where energy from the Sun is not readily available.
An anonymous reader writes: CNET UK compares Vista Vs. Apple OSX in a Romeo and Juliet, spandex-wearing, shakesperean English style. Two guys dress up as their favourite operating system and fight with swords, guns, and fists, while a third guy, dresses as a woman, awaits the winner.
philippic writes: The BBC is reporting that "US researchers have simulated half a virtual mouse brain on a supercomputer. The scientists ran a "cortical simulator" that was as big and as complex as half of a mouse brain on the BlueGene L supercomputer."
user24 writes: "TimesOnline reports: "For more than 40 years, Stephen Hawking has studied the mysteries of the universe from his wheelchair. Last night, he broke free of his disability and indulged his passion for gravitational phenomena in a finely stage-managed operation 32,000 feet above the Atlantic.
"It was amazing," he said after he returned from his experience of weightlessness. "The zero-g bit was wonderful . . . I could have gone on and on. Space, here I come."""
dgym writes: Having applications that can be deployed on the net and run either in a browser or from a standalone player is an old idea, but still not one that has been done really well.
Java is one solution, but for various reasons hasn't attained ubiquity. Now that it is being open sourced it might find itself on more platforms, but it still may be too big for some devices, and too slow to start up to not be annoying.
Flash is geared towards video and animation, but can also lend itself to RIAs and it is certainly a very popular plugin. However, like any closed standard, it is only available on the platforms Adobe decide to support.
Silverlight might be a better platform for RIAs from a technical perspective, but is otherwise in the same position as Flash (only with even fewer platforms).
So why are there so many poor choices for such a simple problem? After all the requirements for developing applications are rather low:
A sand boxed virtual machine for running client side code.
A means to display information, i.e. graphics drawing primitives.
Event handling for user input.
Networking back to the originating server.
Can we not have an open standard for these, and open source plugins implementing it? The "virtual machine" could either be defined in terms of a language (e.g. ECMAScript), or be a true byte code engine such as Parrot or Mono. The graphics are straight forward, and using a cross platform library such as Cairo would help make these plugins extremely portable. Networking is almost trivial, although being able to make HTTP requests using the browser's proxy settings would be an important consideration.
atamyrat writes: "BBC has an article about mouse brain simulated on a Blue Gene L supercomputer. Quote:
"The team, from the IBM Almaden Research Lab and the University of Nevada, ran the simulation on a BlueGene L supercomputer that had 4096 processors, each one of which used 256MB of memory.
Using this machine the researchers created half a virtual mouse brain that had 8,000 neurons that had up to 6,300 synapses.
The vast complexity of the simulation meant that it was only run for ten seconds at a speed ten times slower than real life — the equivalent of one second in a real mouse brain."
Article refers to this research report[PDF] titled "Towards Real-Time, Mouse-Scale Cortical Simulations""
It seems many users (myself included) thought Swiftfox was open source, well turns out its not.
The Swiftfox Developer closed Binaries for "security reasons" But as the Author points out this is a security issue in itself as users are left to trust the Developer.
Automatix labels Skype as "Free as in Free beer." But not Swiftfox, so one kind of get's the impression its an open project.
To be fair to the Automatix team Swiftfox is listed under the closed source Opera browser, and they offer alot of free "as in beer" and even some comercial applications but with a name like "SwiftFox" it seems a bit unclear kind of like a closed source "Very Open Office" might."
muszek writes: "Earlier tonight Information Week's comparison of Ubuntu and Windows Vista was posted on Slashdot. The article was written by a Windows power user. For those who want to hear the other side of the story, Ubuntu News posted a lenghty reply. Saying Windows' "add/remove programs" is equal to apt-get goodness simply cannot go unnoticed."