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Comment Re:Dr. Zen's answer (Score 1) 951

They're going to see the scary number, click "Ignore error", retry and tell you that there was some error... something about 'technical support'... If you ask them to retry and note the scary number, they won't understand the purpose. Even if they read it, they'll only remember that their "file system is damaged", thinking about buying a new computer. I'm serious, I had similar experiences. Your approach may be good for more advanced users (who had contact with 'security permissions' and 'file systems'), but I believe it's not worth the effort to maintain such messages.
Idle

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.
Communications

Disaster Recovery For Haiti's Cell Phone Networks 139

spun writes "A disaster recovery team from Trilogy International Partners, LLC was among the first responders to arrive after the quake in Haiti. After seeing to the safety of their staff, they worked quickly to bring up emergency generators and restore service to the devastated country. Winners of a State Department medal for their previous work in Haiti, the company appears to be a model not only for proper disaster recovery response, but also for ethical corporate behavior. Their quick action has no doubt saved thousands of lives, but Haiti still needs our help." Keith Calder, who used to work on Slashdot ad stuff before we had big corporate owners, is now a film producer of last summer's Battle for Terra. They are giving away signed copies of the DVD to the first 100 people who make $25+ red cross donations. It would be cool to see generous Slashdot Sci-Fi fans make a difference. If you are curious or voyeuristic about the devastation, Google Maps has satellite photos.
Science

Scientists Create First Functional Molecular Transistor 57

Dananajaya Ramanayake sends along this excerpt from Wired: "Nearly 62 years after researchers at Bell Labs demonstrated the first functional transistor, scientists say they have made another major breakthrough. Researchers showed the first functional transistor made from a single molecule. The transistor, which has a benzene molecule attached to gold contacts, could behave just like a silicon transistor. The molecule's different energy states can be manipulated by varying the voltage applied to it through the contacts. And by manipulating the energy states, researchers were able to control the current passing through it."
GNOME

Gnome Switches Nautilus Back To Browser Mode 311

An anonymous reader writes "In one of the do-the-developers-actually-use-their-own-software decisions in the Linux Desktop World, back in 2004 Gnome switched to the 'Spatial' view by default with their Nautilus file manager opening a new window with each new folder viewed. Many derided the decision as poor design or as being different for the sake of being different. Well, after five long years the Gnome powers that be have decided to switch back to browser mode."

Comment Re:This is just stupid (Score 1) 187

Does it have to be repeated each time? 1. Making Opera popular makes Opera's mobile versions popular, profit. Making Chrome popular makes web apps popular, profit. Besides, anyone who coded web pages for IE feels a moral need to make it disappear, it's a pain I wouldn't wish on anyone. 2. It's the masses that are too stupid. It's not ok for Microsoft to profit from their OS's popularity (let's assume it's because it's good) to make their crappy browser popular. It's about monopoly, there's no simple small market analogy, but promoting competition (yes, through restricting someone's freedom) works. C. Because Notepad and Paint aren't a threat to competition. I know it seems they're all basic apps for doing basic stuff, so it's natural to include them with an OS, but browsing the web isn't basic at all from an economic point of view. That, and IE is making the web worse, Paint isn't making art or design worse.
Google

Harsh Words From Google On Linux Development 948

jeevesbond writes "The alpha version of Google Chrome is now available for GNU/Linux. Google Chrome developer and former Firefox lead Ben Goodger has some problems with the platform though. His complaints range from the lack of a standardised UI toolkit, inconsistencies across applications, the lack of a unified and comprehensive HIG, to GTK not being a very compelling toolkit. With Adobe getting twitchy about the glibc fork and previously describing the various audio systems as welcome to the jungle, is it time to concentrate on consolidation and standardisation in GNU/Linux in general, and the desktop in particular?"
Programming

Qt Opens Source Code Repositories 230

sobral writes "Following the announcement of the LGPL license model, since yesterday the Qt source code repositories are open to the public together with their roadmap. The contribution model is online and will enable developers from the community to submit patches through a single click process, avoiding the previous hassle of sending in signed paperwork. The code is hosted at qt.gitorious.org and an instant benefit of this launch is that Qt Software has been working together with Gitorious maintainers for the last four months to improve Gitorious and all these new features are already submitted upstream."
Science

Reflected Gravitational Waves 329

WSOGMM sends in an arXiv blog post about reflecting gravity waves. The speculation is that reflected gravity could go some ways toward explaining the odd readings being returned by Gravity Probe B. "In the couple of weeks since he introduced the idea that superconducting sheets can reflect gravity waves, Raymond Chiao from the University of California, Merced, has been busy with a couple of buddies working out how big this effect is... Chiao and co. ask how big the effect of a gravitational wave on a thin superconducting sheet is compared to the effect on an ordinary conducting sheet. The answer? 42 orders of magnitude bigger."
Operating Systems

Linux Kernel 2.6.29 Released 265

diegocgteleline.es writes "Linus Torvalds has released Linux 2.6.29. The new features include the inclusion of kernel graphic modesetting, WiMAX, access point Wi-Fi support, inclusion of squashfs and a preliminary version of btrfs, a more scalable version of RCU, eCryptfs filename encryption, ext4 no journal mode, OCFS2 metadata checksums, improvements to the memory controller, support for filesystem freeze, and other features. Here is the full list of changes."
Transportation

Scientists Teleport Information Between Ions a Meter Apart 220

erickhill writes with word that scientists from the University of Maryland have successfully transferred information from one charged atom to another without having it cross the intervening space of about one meter. The academic paper is available in the journal Science, though it requires a subscription to see more than the abstract. Scientists have previously teleported unmolested qubits between photons of light, and between photons and clouds of atoms. But researchers have long sought to teleport qubits between distant atoms. Light's high speed of travel makes photons good transporters of information, but for storing quantum information, atoms are a much better choice because they're easier to hold on to. 'This is a big deal,' comments Myungshik Kim, a quantum physicist at Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom. 'To store information as it is in quantum form, you have to have a teleportation scheme available between two stationary qubits. Then you can store them and manipulate them later on.'"
GNOME

Ubuntu Mobile Looks At Qt As GNOME Alternative 262

Derwent sends along a Computerworld piece which begins: "The Ubuntu Mobile operating system is undergoing its most radical change with a port to the ARM processor for Internet devices and netbooks, and may use Nokia's LGPL Qt development environment as an alternative to GNOME. During a presentation at this year's linux.conf.au conference, Canonical's David Mandala said Ubuntu Mobile has changed a lot over the past year... 'I worked on ARM devices for many years so a full Linux distribution on ARM is exciting,' Mandala said, adding one of the biggest challenges is reminding developers to write applications for 800 by 600 screen resolutions found in smaller devices. 'The standard [resolution] for GNOME [apps] is 800 by 600, but not all apps are. For this reason Ubuntu Mobile uses the GNOME Mobile (Hildon framework) instead of a full GNOME desktop, but since Nokia open sourced Qt under the LGPL it may consider this as an alternative.'"
Space

Spiraling Magnetic Signal Shows Up In the Cosmic Background 168

pln2bz writes "Astronomers looking for confirmation for emissions from early stellar formation in the cosmic microwave background radiation instead found a signal indicating large amounts of unaccounted-for spiraling magnetic fields in space, but without any accompanying infrared emissions. The discovery possibly dredges up the claims of plasma cosmologists like Eric Lerner, who claim that the intergalactic medium is a strong absorber of the CMB with the absorption occurring in a fog of narrow filaments. These filaments are the result of plasma's natural tendency, as observed within the plasma laboratory and in novelty plasma globes, to form braided, ropelike structures which are collimated by coiled magnetic fields."

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