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Security

3-D Light System May Revolutionize Fingerprinting 71

coondoggie writes "The US Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate recently awarded almost $420,000 to a Kentucky company to further develop a contactless finger print/biometric system. The goal is a machine that can snap 10 fingerprints in high resolution in less than 10 seconds, without human intervention. This goal is beginning to look feasible. FlashScan3D is working with the University of Kentucky's Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, and has developed a technique called 'structured light illumination' (WIPO patent description), where a pattern of dots or stripes is projected onto a curved or irregular surface."
Hardware Hacking

Old Computers Resurrected As Instruments At Bletchley Park 109

arcticstoat writes with a snippet from bit-tech.com; musician Matthew Applegate "plans on assembling a virtual orchestra of 20 retired relics of computing at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. The choice of venue will even allow Applegate to feature the infamous Colossus Mark 2 computer in the event, which was used for code-breaking in World War II and was recently reconstructed at Bletchley Park in 2007. ... A wide selection of computing fossils be used in Applegate's final musical presentation, which is called 'Obsolete?' This includes the Elliot 803 (a 1960s machine with 4KB of memory), the aforementioned Colossus Mark 2, a Bunsviga adding machine (pictured) and a punch card machine. As well as this, there are also some machines that will look nostalgically familiar to kids who grew up with the home computer generation, including a BBC Micro, an Atari 800XL, a Dragon 32 and an Amstrad CPC464." The article's list of the members of this "orchestra" makes an interesting checklist of computer hardware history.
Portables

Ion Platform For Atom Tested With Games, HD Video 115

J. Dzhugashvili writes "Nvidia has already pulled the curtain off its Ion platform, which couples GeForce 9400 integrated graphics with Intel's Atom processor. But how does it perform? The Tech Report has taken the tiny Ion reference system for a spin in games and video decoding to see if the GeForce GPU really helps. The verdict? 1080p playback is actually smooth, and the whole system only draws 25W during playback. Fast-paced action games are another story—Half-Life 2, Quake Wars, and Call of Duty 4 are all choppy with a single Atom core and single-channel RAM, although they do run. TR concludes that Ion is nevertheless a clear improvement over Intel's 945G chipset, especially since Nvidia doesn't expect Ion-based Atom systems to cost significantly more than all-Intel ones." Update: 02/04 09:14 GMT by T : HotHardware is one of the several other sites offering some performance benchmark numbers on the new chipset.
Unix

Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do? 1397

jfruhlinger writes "If you use a Unix machine, it probably has a funny name. And if you work in an environment where there are multiple Unix machines, they probably have funny names that are variations on a theme. No, you're not the only one! This article explores the phenomenon, showing that even the CIA uses a whimsical server naming scheme." What are some of your best (worst?) naming schemes?
PC Games (Games)

Square Enix Announces Supreme Commander 2 70

arcticstoat writes "Supreme Commander 2 has now been officially announced, but with a surprise publishing partner on board — Square Enix. Gas Powered Games' original RTS game and its expansion pack, Forged Alliance, were published by THQ, who is no stranger to the RTS genre, but Square Enix has previously specialized in Japanese RPGs such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Explaining the move, Square Enix said in a statement that it 'has previously worked exclusively with Japanese development companies, so the decision to form strategic partnerships with developers located outside of Japan serves as a new cornerstone of its strategy to create games targeted primarily at consumers in Europe and North America. Additionally, Square Enix Group's foray into the real-time strategy genre is a significant expansion of its product lineup.'"
Data Storage

Submission + - Western Digital working on 20,000 rpm drive

MrKaos writes: Western digital seems to be preparing itself for the onslaught of SSD drives affecting it's market by developing a 20,000 rpm hard drive. Similar to the Velociraptor line of drives, the new drives seem to be offering lower capacity as a trade off for higher seek and write times. Looks like the battle lines are drawn for a new series of development in the mass storage front.

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