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Robotics

Snakelike Robot To Treat Soldiers During Battle 130

Al writes "Technology Review has an article about a snake-like robotic arm that could soon be used to treat injured soldiers as they lie on the battlefield. Developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the snakebot attaches to a stretcher and is controlled remotely using a joystick, allowing a doctor to assess a soldier's injuries as the bullets fly by. In future, the robotic arm will be fitted with sensors allowing it to measure vital signs and probe for internal bleeding. Here's a brief video of a prototype arm in action. The arm will become part of the US military's high-tech stretcher, called the Life Support for Trauma and Transport system. This is essentially a portable intensive-care unit, with a ventilator, defibrillator, and other physiological monitors, and it's currently being used in areas of Iraq and Afghanistan."
KDE

KDE 4.2 Is Released 488

OhReally writes "It's a great day for Free Software: KDE, the desktop environment for Linux, Windows, Mac, and (Open)Solaris, has just reached version 4.2, exactly a year since the release of 4.0. This is a version suitable for broad usage, with many improvements all across the board, and lots of bugfixes. You can leave a comment or congratulate the developers here."

Comment Supplementing the summary (Score 5, Informative) 1475

"Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition in the November 4, 2008, general election. It changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry, thereby overriding portions of the ruling of In re Marriage Cases."

Wikipedia Source

Google's argument can be summarized as such: The law deters gays and lesbians from taking up residence in California, which is where the majority of Google's employees work. Thus the law is detrimental to Google in that its gay/lesbian employees may want to leave and prospective employees who happen to be gay/lesbian will have more hoops to jump through to work for Google.

This is particularly bad timing for such a thing as Google is in the process of laying off workers (though it is a very small number - something like 100) and if they are in a position where they have to layoff employees, why are they even talking about hiring employees? Of course the answer to this is simple - Google hopes to grow and something like this will be pertinent in the future - but some people are very shortsighted and will not recognize this.
GNU is Not Unix

Tricked Into Buying OpenOffice.org? 543

mldkfa writes "Recently I told a friend about OpenOffice and how it was a great alternative to the big name pay office suites. She went home and searched on Google for it and thought she found the website, filled typical registration information, and downloaded OpenOffice.org 3.0. The next time she opened her e-mail she found a request for 98 [Euro] for her 1-year subscription to OpenOffice.org 3.0 from the company that she downloaded it from. Apparently the EULA stated this cost and here in Germany she is required to pay up. So I thought I would ask Slashdot, should she pay? On the OpenOffice.org German website there is a warning of these schemes being legal. Shouldn't Sun change the license of OpenOffice.org to protect their fans or are they doing this to protect someone else? It has really made me think about recommending it to any more friends." Below, read Google's translation of the warning; it wouldn't be the first time that open source software has been lightly repackaged and sold in ways that should raise eyebrows among anyone familiar with the wide, free availability of the same apps.
The Internet

Germany Legislates For Mandatory Web Filters 309

An anonymous reader writes "Germany's Minister for Families has announced a legislative initiative to force ISPs to implement a government-mandated block list (in English), which will be updated daily. The BKA (Germany's equivalent of the FBI) will be in charge of generating and maintaining the list. As usual, this is being brought in under the 'fight child porn' guise. The minister is quoted as saying: 'We must not water down the problem' in reply to being challenged that this law and technology could be used to censor other content. She then went on to say: 'I can't know what wishes and plans future governments will develop.' She has agreed the principle of the legislation with the interior minister and the technology minister, which in German coalition government terms means it's pretty much a done deal."
Windows

In-Depth With the Windows 7 Public Beta 785

Dozer writes "With the Windows 7 public beta out, Ars Technica has an in-depth look at the release. There's praise for Windows 7's UI changes and polish as well much-needed changes to UAC, but also a warning that those who have problems with Vista won't like Windows 7 much better. 'If you couldn't stand Vista's UI (whether it's because you didn't like Explorer, Aero, Control Panel, UAC, or anything else), Windows 7 is unlikely to do much to help, as it builds on the same UI. If Vista's hardware demands were too steep, Windows 7 will likely cause you the same grief, as its hardware demands match. And if Vista didn't work with a program or device you need to use, Windows 7 will offer no salvation, as its compatibility is virtually identical.'"
Google

New Google Favicon Deja Vu All Over Again? 227

theodp writes "Last June, Google rolled out a new favicon, the small branding icon that graces your URL bar when you visit Google. Which, as it turned out, bore a striking similarity to Garth Brooks' Circle-G logo. Well, Google went back to the drawing board and has come back with a new favicon, which it says was inspired by — not copied from, mind you — its users' submitted ideas. Some are also seeing inspiration elsewhere for the new favicon, which consists of white 'g' on a background of four color swatches. Take the AVG antivirus icon, for instance. Or everybody's favorite memory toy, Simon. Or — in perhaps the unkindest cut of all — the four-color Microsoft Windows logo, shown here with a superimposed white '7'. Anything else come to mind?" What comes to mind for me is just how obsessed many people are with the Google favicon.
Wine

Bordeaux 1.6 For FreeBSD and PC-BSD Released 53

Tom Wickline writes "Steven Edwards of the Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 1.6 for FreeBSD and PC-BSD today. Bordeaux 1.6 comes with added support for Google's Chrome Web Browser, Google Earth, and Google Picasa. In addition, Cellar support has improved; you can now delete and install into an existing Cellar. There have also been many small bug fixes and tweaks on the backend to improve the speed and reliability of all the supported applications."

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