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Sci-Fi

Red Dwarf To Return, Find Earth 298

Lawrence Person writes "Everyone's favorite live-action science fiction comedy series will finally return to TV, with Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat all making it to Earth. The new two-part series Red Dwarf: Back to Earth will appear on digital channel Dave, will be written and directed by Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor, and will reunite the line-up. 'It will sit alongside two further new episodes — the improvised Red Dwarf: Unplugged, which will feature the cast dealing with no sets, effects or autocue, and Red Dwarf: the Making of Back to Earth, a behind the scenes look at the new production.' Personally, I think this is pretty smegging fantastic."
Government

Barack Obama Sworn In As 44th President of the US 1656

Just before noon today, Eastern time, Barack Obama was sworn in before the US Capitol building as the 44th President of the United States (Whitehouse.gov has already been updated to reflect the new President), and offered an inaugural address which outlined some of the challenges that the country currently faces, both within the country's borders and abroad. Obama's election has been called "a civil rights triumph," and his candidacy has inspired perhaps the most visible political involvement of young voters of any candidate since John Kennedy. Here's your chance to discuss the newest occupant of the White House and what you'd like to see happen over the course of his presidency.
Medicine

Sarcasm Useful For Detecting Dementia 389

An anonymous reader writes "Sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but Australian scientists are using it to diagnose dementia, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of New South Wales, found that patients under the age of 65 suffering from frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common form of dementia, cannot detect when someone is being sarcastic."
Displays

The Age of Touch Computing 414

DigitalDame2 writes "In 2009, touch computing will go mainstream. More and more devices will be legitimately touch-enabled with gesture controls for browsing through photos, tossing objects around the screen, flicking to turn the page of a book, and even playing video games and watching movies. In fact, Gartner analyst Steve Prentice told the BBC recently that the mouse will be dead in three to five years. PCMag has a full look at touch computing — the past, the present, and the future — including an interview with Sabrina Boler, touch UI designer."
Databases

Is MySQL's Community Eating the Company? 223

mjasay writes "Craigslist's Jeremy Zawodny reviews the progress of MySQL as a project, and discovers that through third-party forks and enhancements like Drizzle and OurDelta 'you can get a "better" MySQL than the one Sun/MySQL gives you today. For free.' Is this a good thing? On one hand it demonstrates the strong community around MySQL, but on the other, it could make it harder for Sun to fund core development on MySQL by diverting potential revenue from the core database project. Is this the fate of successful open-source companies? To become so successful as a community that they can't eke out a return as a company? If so, could anyone blame MySQL/Sun for creating its own proprietary fork in order to afford further core development?"
Robotics

Ethical Killing Machines 785

ubermiester writes "The New York Times reports on research to develop autonomous battlefield robots that would 'behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans.' The researchers claim that these real-life terminators 'can be designed without an instinct for self-preservation and, as a result, no tendency to lash out in fear. They can be built without anger or recklessness ... and they can be made invulnerable to ... "scenario fulfillment," which causes people to absorb new information more easily if it agrees with their pre-existing ideas.' Based on a recent report stating that 'fewer than half of soldiers and marines serving in Iraq said that noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect, and 17 percent said all civilians should be treated as insurgents,' this might not be all that dumb an idea."
Cellphones

iPhone Gaming Continues To Grow 131

1Up reports that the popularity of gaming on smartphones is growing, particularly on the iPhone. In fact, gaming on portable devices is growing even at home, where users presumably have access to more powerful platforms. CNN points out that the developer for Trism, one of the first popular games, has raked in over $250,000 in profits through the App Store. Apple exec Bob Borchers and various game developers recently discussed the future of games on the iPhone. "Patrick Gunn, director of marketing for EA Mobile, showcased Need for Speed Undercover, which will be available next month. Gunn says that EA has 'taken full advantage of all of the unique elements ... like touch, flick, accelerometer, and motion sensitivity' — and graphically, the game appears to be roughly on par with a PSP title."
Science

11,000-Year-Old Temple Found In Turkey 307

Ralph Spoilsport writes "In Southeast Turkey, the archaeologist Klaus Schmidt has discovered an 11,000-year-old temple. Established civilization theory suggests that agriculture created cities, and cities created monuments. This discovery suggests just the opposite — people got together to build a huge monument to their religion, and in order to sustain it, communities were formed and agriculture (already in development) quickly followed on to sustain the population. Truly a startling find with significant implications."
Security

Open-Source DRM Ready To Take On Big Guns 520

Barence writes "An open-source digital rights management (DRM) scheme says it's ready to supplant Apple and Microsoft as the world's leading copy protection solution. Marlin, which is backed by companies such as Sony and Samsung, has just announced a new partner program that aims to drive the DRM system into more consumer devices. 'It works in a way that doesn't hold consumers hostage,' Talal Shamoon told PC Pro. 'It allows you to protect and share content in the home, in a way that people own the content, not the devices.' When asked about the biggest problem of DRM — that customers hate it — he argued that 'the biggest problem with DRM is people have implemented it badly. Make DRM invisible and people will use it.'"
Science

New Evidence Debunks "Stupid" Neanderthal 505

ThinkComp writes "In what could possibly be a major blow to a scientific consensus that has held for decades, recent research suggests that the traditional conception of Neanderthals being "stupider" than Homo sapiens may in fact be misleading. As articles about the research findings state, 'early stone tool technologies developed by our species, Homo sapiens, were no more efficient than those used by Neanderthals.' The data used in the study is available on-line along with a visual description of the process used."
Networking

NSFnet — 20 Years of Internet Obscurity and Insight 81

coondoggie writes "The National Science Foundation (NSF) reissued the words that started the Internet revolution 20 years ago today: 'The NSFnet Backbone has reached a state where we would like to more officially let operational traffic on.' That was the email sent to users of the NSF's fledgling NSFnet to announce that the network's backbone had been upgraded to a 'blazing T-1 speed.' NSFnet was created by NSF a few years earlier in an attempt to create a computer network similar to the Department of Defense's ARPANET. When the original six-node, 56 kilobits-per-second NSFnet backbone went into operation in 1986, NSF made the decision to allow any academic, governmental or commercial entity to hook up to this network of networks. Within a few weeks of going online, traffic on the new network began doubling every few weeks. The network's backbone of core 56 kilobits-per-second connections were considered fast, but they were not fast enough to satisfy the demands of all the new users who were coming online, according to the NSF."
Microsoft

Microsoft Hyper-V Leaves Linux Out In The Cold 212

whitehartstag writes to mention that Microsoft has announced their new Hyper-V as feature-complete. Unfortunately the list of supported systems is disappointingly short. "No offense to SUSE Enterprise Server crowd, but only providing SUSE support in Hyper-V is a huge mistake. By not supporting Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, and BSD, Microsoft is telling us Hyper-V is a Microsoft only technology. More Mt. Redmond, Microsoft center of the universe thinking. That's disappointing. Sure, if you are a Microsoft only shop, Hyper-V will be an option for virtualization. But so will VMware and XenServer. But if you run a mixed shop, Hyper-V won't solve your problems alone — you'll have to also add VMware or Xen to your virtualized data center portfolio. Or just go with VMware and Xen and forego Hyper-V."

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