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Robotics

South Korea to Build Robot Theme Parks 125

coondoggie writes "South Korea officials today said they hope to build two robot theme parks for $1.6 billion by 2013. The parks will feature a number of attractions that let visitors interact with robots and test new products. "The two cities will be developed as meccas for the country's robot industry, while having amusement park areas, exhibition halls and stadiums where robots can compete in various events," the ministry said. The theme parks are not a big surprise because South Korea loves its robots. Earlier this year the government of South Korea said it was drawing up a code of ethics to prevent human abuse of robots — and vice versa."
Power

Aluminum Alloy Releases Hydrogen From Water 393

mdsolar writes "PhysOrg is reporting on a method of releasing hydrogen from water by oxidizing aluminum in an alloy with gallium. In the presence of water the aluminum oxidizes, leaving aluminum oxide, gallium, and hydrogen gas. The Purdue scientists who discovered the effect think this could help to overcome difficulties with hydrogen storage. Quoting: 'On its own, aluminum will not react with water because it forms a protective skin [of aluminum oxide] when exposed to oxygen. Adding gallium keeps the film from forming, allowing the aluminum to react with oxygen in the water.'"
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Site incorporates OSS code bounties in bug tracker

Maur writes: BountySource is a hosted project management site for OSS, but unlike SourceForge or Google Code, BountySource incorporates code bounties directly into the bug/feature tracker. Other sites (like Bounty County) have tried to track bounties but have failed because they merely link to the bounty details and do not hold the money in escrow. BountySource currently allows bounties to be placed using Paypal and has a built-in dispute settlement system. The site shows signs of beta software, but it's under active development and according to their roadmap they have some cool features in the works. Some major projects, such as ZSNES, have already switched to it.
Supercomputing

Submission + - Folding@home killing the planet

Drakaal writes: "Folding@Home is Killing the planet

Folding@Home costs nearly $70million, uses 584gigawatt hours of power, and produces 730 kilotons of Carbon dioxide. Is fighting mad cow worth it? This article weighs the cost benefit of donating electricity and CPU Cycles, VS. the Real Cost of the project."
Software

Submission + - Keep your avatars happy or else

coondoggie writes: "Smile and the world smiles with you? Seems so, even in cyberspace. Ohio State University research released today says the simulated emotions of digital characters on Web sites have a real impact on potential customers looking at them. The study, appearing in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, found that digital characters might be better merchants if they act consistently happy, even if the products they're selling — such as novels or movies — are heart-wrenchingly sad. Still...If your avatar is going down to protest Second Life headquarters, you might want to look a little mean. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1265 2"
Programming

Submission + - Inside the kernel of a Windows Alternative

holden writes: "NewsForge is talking about a recent talk ReactOS lead kernel developer, Alex Ionescu, gave about the internals of ReactOS. In his talk, Ionescu explains the similarities between ReactOS and Windows. and how ReactOS is close to being API compatible with Windows Server 2003. The talk looks at a lot of the technical details of how the ReactOS team implements the Windows NT kernel functionality, along with some of the problems they've faced from graphics drivers which use hard-coded values and work-arounds they are considering."
Robotics

Submission + - VIPeR: Israel's Killer Robot

Guy Yernisberg writes: Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems has just completeted the final model of its new VIPeR autonomous defense robot. It's armed with an Uzi submachine gun and can throw grenades. It has an onboard camera for aiming and identifying possible targets. The problem is, once armed, it shoots at everything it can see. It's supposedly intended for use against Palestinian and Lebanese guerilla fighters — but they live amongst the civilians and not in "combat zones" as the IDF claims. Releasing a killing machine in the middle of a city might not be such a good idea after all.
Programming

Submission + - Auto-parallelizing compiler from Codeplay

Max Romantschuk writes: "Parallelization of code is a very tricky thing. We've all heard of the challeges with Cell, and with dual and quad core pocessors this is becoming an ever more important issue to deal with. The Inquirer writes about a new auto-parallelizing compiler called Sieve from Codeplay: What Sieve is is a C++ compiler that will take a section of code and parallelize it for you with a minimum hassle. All you really need to do is take the code you want to run across multiple CPUs and put beginning and end tags on the parts you want to run in parallel.

Is this the Silver Bullet of parallelization? There's more info on Sieve on Codeplay's site."
HP

HP Disables VT On Some Intel Laptops 258

snoukka writes "I just bought a new HP nx9420 laptop in order to use it with Linux, XEN, and windows on XEN. I was very disappointed when I noticed that the processor had this feature but VT is disabled in BIOS by HP and cannot be enabled! Disabled!? It's like buying a car with turbo and finding out after buying it that this turbo 'feature' was disabled." The forum thread goes back to last August and is still live. The latest post from an HP rep indicates that new firmware for the nx9420 should be available later this week in which the ability to switch on VT is enabled. It's not clear whether other HP products, in which VT was also disabled, will also get new firmware.

Skype Unleashed Onto Cell Phones 74

An anonymous reader writes "Today Hutchinson announced that it would provide unlimited cell phone to cell phone Skype calls via a 3G connection. This new service, called X-series, is part of a new alliance made up of Skype, Sling Media, Yahoo, Nokia, Google, eBay, Microsoft, Orb and Sony Ericsson. According to the article, users will also be able to 'search Google and Yahoo, send MSN instant messages to their friends, watch their TVs from a Slingbox, access their computer at home with Orb and buy or sell stuff on eBay.' Users will only get charged a monthly fee for access, in a similar way to broadband charges."

Screenshot Accounts 'Delisted' on Flickr 210

An anonymous reader writes "Flickr and Second Life fans seem to have collided head-on over a little known policy on Flickr that 'delists' an account from public areas, including search, when more than half of your content is non-photographic in nature. Flickr stated that most people searching the site are looking for photographic content so the restriction is in place merely to keep the site focused on its original intent. From the article: 'As a result, many screenshots on Flickr are AWOL — at least as far as the general public is concerned. That's angering and confusing some of the people who carefully stage scenes in the popular virtual world and religiously post the results online.'"

A Look at FreeNAS Server 214

NewsForge (Also owned by VA) has a quick look at FreeNAS, an open source network attached storage server that can be deployed on pretty much any old PC you have sitting around the house. From the article: "The software, which is based on FreeBSD, Samba, and PHP, includes an operating system that supports various software RAID models and a Web user interface. The server supports access from Windows machines, Apple Macs, FTP, SSH, and Network File System (NFS), and it takes up less than 16MB of disk space on a hard drive or removable media."

UK Government Wants Private Encryption Keys 822

An anonymous reader writes "Businesses and individuals in Britain may soon have to give their encryption keys to the police or face imprisonment. The UK government has said it will bring in the new powers to address a rise in the use of encryption by criminals and terrorists." From the article: "Some security experts are concerned that the plan could criminalise innocent people and drive businesses out of the UK. But the Home Office, which has just launched a consultation process, says the powers contained in Part 3 are needed to combat an increased use of encryption by criminals, paedophiles, and terrorists. 'The use of encryption is... proliferating,' Liam Byrne, Home Office minister of state told Parliament last week. 'Encryption products are more widely available and are integrated as security features in standard operating systems, so the Government has concluded that it is now right to implement the provisions of Part 3 of RIPA... which is not presently in force.'"

What's the Secret Sauce in Ruby on Rails? 414

An anonymous reader writes "Ruby on Rails seems to be a lightning rod for controversy. At the heart of most of the controversy lies amazing productivity claims. Rails isn't a better hammer; it's a different kind of tool. This article explores the compromises and design decisions that went into making Rails so productive within its niche."

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