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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 55 declined, 7 accepted (62 total, 11.29% accepted)

Space

Submission + - TV-sized probe to strike Moon's surface

Vincenzo Romano writes: "New Scientist has an interesting article about the Indian TV-sized probe to strike Moon's surface.
The article also shows some nice videos as well, but none about the hit on the moon, though!
From the article:

India's Chandrayaan spacecraft is set to eject a television-sized probe that will crash onto the lunar surface on Friday. The probe will make observations as it descends, testing systems needed to land future robotic spacecraft on the Moon.
"It is a sort of mini-satellite, equipped with its own instruments, batteries, and telemetry," that will strike the surface near the lunar south pole, a region that shows hints of water ice in the soil.

The vector is the Chandrayaan 1 and has carried the Moon Impact Probe (aka MIP) to its final destination.
Next time maybe China will launch a toaster sized probe on Venus to revamp the Space race"

Linux Business

Submission + - Linux on laptops: which one?

Uqbar writes: "I need to install Linux on brand new Core2 Duo laptops for my company (we don't love the "four colours flag" OS). The question is: which distribution?
Well, we could be also be open to any other *NIX-like OS, from the BSD family to the (open)Solaris.
The laptops will be used for both productivity, development and technical support. Gaming is not part of our job. Not yet at least.
The main problems I've encountered so far with Linux on my laptops is the support for the hardware, both the embedded one (like wifi, card readers, bluetooth, sata and graphics) and the pluggable one (like USB, IEEE-1394 and bluetooth).
The other problems are related to the ability for the OS to drive the laptop properly when on batteries.
So the question stands to avoid those issues.
What would be the preferred choice accordingly to your experience?"
Announcements

Submission + - Is Wikipedia on fire?

VincenzoRomano writes: "Since few minutes (17:00 CET) the Wikipedia websites are not available anymore due to some strange networking error in their infrastructure.
Whatever page you request, you either get a timeout error or an error page saying:

Error: ERR_SOCKET_FAILURE, errno (98) Address already in use at Mon, 22 Sep 2008 15:16:56 GMT

Is Wikipedia on fire (as per recent debates) or is it another "wrong time to do the change" issue?"

Announcements

Submission + - Dark Matter spotted out

VincenzoRomano writes: "The Hubble Space Telescope, that is still live and kicking, could have spotted a rather interesting evidence of dark matter separating from the normal one.
The phenomenon has been spotted into a galaxy head on crash in the Bullet Cluster thanks to the gravitational lensing effect on the light coming from galaxies behind the crash.
The sneak preview is by the New Scientist, while the full coverage will come from an forthcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal.
By the way, it looks like the ol'good Hubble space telescope is now competing with the brand new Fermi gamma ray space telescope: Science will win in the end!."
KDE

Submission + - KDE 4.1 RC1 released. But ...

VincenzoRomano writes: "KDE 4.1 RC1 has been released as a further step forwaed to reach the v4.1 release, due on July 29th 2008.
The v4.0 "release" has already been covered, and abundantly commented, in this very site.
The bottom line is simple: 4.0 is incomplete, 4.1 will be incomplete as 4.2 will, when compared to the current v3 release.
Wouldn't it be nicer to simply publish a series of betas until a final and reasonably complete release will be ready?
Or is this the beginning of a decline?"
Linux Business

Submission + - Kubuntu 8.04.1 Released

VincenzoRomano writes: "Despite it's already 1-day old, the latest Kubuntu Hardy Heron minor update is sadly still lacking any release notes!
As there is a real release number change (from 8.04.0 to 8.04.1) something should have been improved or fixed more than what happens with the normal "check for updates" mechanisms. Maybe later we'll know.
In the meantime everyone running the Hardy Heron Kubuntu is invited to update."
Portables

Submission + - I got the new laptop. Now what?

VincenzoRomano writes: "I've got a 2nd hand laptop that looks pretty powerful with its 2GB RAM and T7500 CPU. It's been formatted from the previous owner and I need to install something.
That'll be my main PC for productivity and development (C/C++, MySQL/PostgreSQL ...) but no gaming at all apart of SCUMMVM and Zork. Currently I run a T2400 with KUbuntu using KDE 3. My current experience is mixed as responsiveness to, say, text editing is not always good and stability is also barely acceptable.
Apart of choosing the provided "Windows restoration DVD" (which I'll happily leave in the box) I could choose among a wide selection of Linux distros, a bunch of BSD-like distros and even Solaris or OSx86. Or whatever else can run GNU on this 64bit CPU. The only two piece of software I need to run as smoothly as possible is skype and a browser plugin for flash sites and movies.
Trying them all would be time consuming. So what would be the advises from the slashmates?"
Space

Submission + - Our time dimension is about to become space-like? (127.0.0.1) 2

VincenzoRomano writes: The physics arXiv blog has a rather old posting, yet as much intriguing as interesting.
To put it simple, "the universe is about to lose its dimension of time".
Marc "Bars" Mars and a few pals in Salamanca, Spain say that the Universe's signature might be about to flip from Lorentzian to Euclidean. In other words, our dimension of time is about turn space-like. Gulp: you'd better be prepared by that time!
The full blog entry is here while the original academical article can be found, of course, in the arXiv

KDE

Submission + - KDE4 is ready to run on desktops!

VincenzoRomano writes: "The long awaited KDE v4.0 has been officially released to the world on the last friday.
The new major release is featuring also major enhancements to the famous destop environment.
Apart of the huge amount of work done on the supporting libraries, on the desktop itself and on the core applications, there has been also "a breath of fresh air on the desktop" with brand nwe artwork called Oxygen.
An extensive KDE 4.0 Visual Guide is available with screenshots for an overview of the new look-an-feel.
Detailed technical information for the libraries can be found at the usual KDE TEchBase.
Almost all main Linux distributions are providing upgraded packages with instructions, while there's also a number of Live CD ISO images offered, like the KUbuntu Gutsy Live w/ KDE 4."
KDE

Submission + - KDE 4 to be relelased on Jan 11th

VincenzoRomano writes: "It's official! KDE 4.0 will be released on next January 11th. The release itself doesn't sound very firm, as "the developers are confident to be able to release a more polished and better working KDE" and not the long awaited prime time release.
At the very first Alpha release on march 11th, the release date had been forecasted to October 2007, and then shifted to the end of the year with the second Beta.
Despite this, the promises for the fourth version are quite interesting and maybe deserve a "stay tuned"."
Software

Submission + - Ubuntu 7.10 is available 1

VincenzoRomano writes: "The latest releases of Ubuntu for desktop and server are available today for download. This release brings together the best of free and open source software delivered on a stable, easy to use and learn platform. Read the press releases or download it now.
Among all other news, this new version should have a better support for the hardware and a deeper compatibility with Windows (provided that you are willing to).
Of course also the siblings have been updated, namely KUbuntu (but still not using KDE 4), EdUbuntu and XUbuntu."
Operating Systems

Submission + - How to get a Linux laptop being more responsive? 1

VincenzoRomano writes: "I'm an almost happy Linux user. I presume mine is a common profile: I run both "productivity" and development software on my Centrino Duo laptop.
Everything I need is (almost always) there.
What puzzles me is that while my laptop is a 100 times more powerful that any PC I used to have 10 years ago and has as 20 times more memory and disk space, it has the same responsivenes of a 15 years old PC (i486 DX2-50).
When rebuilding big DB indexes, burning optical media, copying large files from a directory to another one, the Linux system is almost unusable. I cannot even edit text files with the "vi" editor.
One more thing: I'm running KUbuntu Feisty.
By using "a different commercial OS" shipped with the laptop I've encountered much less troubles ... in responsiveness I mean.
I've tried a number of suggestions and hints like those linked by Ubuntu Performance Guides with only small enhacements and also fear that also desktops are affected by such a behaviour.
So the question is: how can I take advantage of my laptop without running other commercial OSes?"
Announcements

Submission + - The Holy Grail is in Rome. Maybe.

VincenzoRomano writes: It seems that an Italian scholar has collected enough clues on where the Holy Grail has been put. In the last 1700 years.
Alfredo Barbagallo argues it'd be buried in the roman basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura, named after Lawrence, the deacon that was in charge about the 250 A.D. to protect the treasures of the Christian Church. He got martyr also because of this.
The buring place should be underneath a rather evident mosaic work depicting a cup filled with blood close to the main altar.
Of course all these clues are to be checked and, most important thing, the Vatican, the "owner" of the basilica, has not released information about new archaeological works inside the church.
So it could be possible that the Grail is not beneath the reversed glass pyramid in Paris!
Media

Submission + - Ars takes a field trip: the Creation Museum

VincenzoRomano writes: There's a new interesting "review" (kind of) about the famous Creation Museum whose opening has already been covered few weeks ago.
Ars Technica is quite serious in this trip as they state, in the Editor's Note "Let it be known that Ars Technica's staff represents a wide range of religious backgrounds, political views, and opinions, (though we must admit that none of us are young-earth creationists)".
Some interesting points from the review:

As you walk through the museum, the contorted reasoning to explain the formation of the Grand Canyon in hours or the rapid creation of thousands of breeds of dogs in a matter of weeks is augmented by what can only be described as a house of horrors about the dangers of abortion and drugs and the devil's music.
For those who need a sneak preview of this ... ehr ... museum there's also a "virtual tour" available on Flickr.Enjoy it!
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - New AACS "fix" hacked in a day

VincenzoRomano writes: "ArsTechnica has just published an update to the neverending story about copy protection used in HD DVD and Blu-ray discs and hacker hefforts against it. Quoting the original article:


The ongoing war between content producers and hackers over the AACS copy protection used in HD DVD and Blu-ray discs produced yet another skirmish last week, and as has been the case as of late, the hackers came out on top.
The hacker "BtCB" posted the new decryption key for AACS on the Freedom to Tinker web site, just one day after the AACS Licensing Authority (AACS LA) issued the key.
The article proposes a simple description of the protection schema and a brief look back at how the cracks have slowly chipped away at its effectiveness.
It seems it'll be a long way to an effective solution ... if any.
One could also argue whether all those money spent by the industry in this reace will be worth the results and how long it would take for a return on investment."

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